The concept of sacrifice
The message of sacrifice is present in the Islamic principles, prayers and virtues etc. while praying Salaat, Fasting, offering Zakaat and performing Hajj, a slave ignores his/her own ideas and adopts the instructions of Almighty Allah. Similarly, in marriage and divorce, trade and commerce, he/she overlooks desires and follows the rules given by Almighty Allah. With the above lines, it is clearly understood that obedience, reverence, Islamic faith and sacrifice are interrelated to one and other. Besides the existence of the meaning of sacrifice in the principles of Islam, Allah has decreed the sacrifice of an animal especially once in a year:
In this regard Allah Most High says:
Therefore, offer prayer for your Lord and do the sacrifice.
Sacrifice (Qurbani) means achieving the closeness (Qurb) of Almighty Allah. Everything that supports the slave in doing this comes under the category of sacrifice.
If a person spends his hours and seconds, his capabilities, wealth and empire and his life too, for the sake of obtaining approval and pleasure of Almighty Allah, even then the duty of worship is not fulfilled. We get the above lesson from the auspicious lives of the virtuous slaves of Almighty Allah.
Especially unique lessons of sacrifice appear in the entire life of Hadhrat Ibrahim (May peace be upon Him). Sacrifice is liked and desired Almighty Allah.
Allah Most High says:
You shall never attain good unless you spend favorite things.
Neither their flesh reaches Allah nor their blood, but your piety reaches Him.
Slaughtering an animal according to Islamic tenets with the intention of worship either on 10th, 11th of 12th Dhul Hijjah is known as Sacrifice (Qurbani).
There are three days – 10th, 11th and 12th Dhul Hijjah for sacrifice, the time of sacrifice begins soon after offering the Salaat of ‘Eid ul Azha and ends soon after the sunset of 12th Dhul Hijjah, after this time sacrifice cannot be done, sacrificing in the night is Undesirable (Makruh).
Sacrificing develops obedience, reverence towards Almighty Allah in Muslims. There are countless exhortations for sacrifice in the Hadith of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam). There is a Hadith in Shu’abul Imaan Vol. 5, Page No. 482:
Hadhrat Abu Hurairah (May Allah be well pleased with Him) narrates, Holy Prophet said: By the virtue of slaughtering a sheep on the day of your ‘Eid, your Lord will be pleased.
By the guidance of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam), we came to know about those deeds by which the Lord of the Worlds is pleased. On the day of ‘Eid ul Azha among all the acts and deeds, sacrificing is the most honorable one. According to Shu’abul Imaan Vol. 5, Pg. No. 482:
Hadhrat ‘Abdullah bin ‘Abbas (May Allah be well pleased with them) narrates that Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) said: The best Dirham (i.e. money) is that which is spent to slaughter an animal on the day of ‘Eid.
There are numerous exhortations to sacrifice in the Hadith of Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam). The most beloved deed to Allah is sacrificing on ‘Eid ul Azha, according to Jame’ Tirmidhi, Vol.1, Pg. No. 275:
Ummul Momineen Hadhrat ‘Aisha Siddiqua (May Allah be well pleased with her) narrates that Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) said: On the day of sacrifice, no other virtue of a man is more liked by Allah than the shedding of blood in sacrifice of the animal and undoubtedly, on the Day of Judgment, the animal will come along with the horns, hairs and feet. Before the blood of the sacrificed animal falls on the earth, the same will be accepted in the court of Almighty Allah, so you perform sacrifice wholeheartedly.
According to Sunan Ibn Majah, Vol. 2, Pg. No. 226:
Hadhrat Zaid bin Arqam (May Allah be well pleased with him) narrates, a companion of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam): O Prophet of Allah (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam)! What is sacrifice? The Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) replied: It is the practice of your father Ibrahim (May peace be upon Him). Again he asked: What is there for us in it O Prophet of Allah (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam)? The Holy Prophet replied: There is a reward for every hair. Again he asked: O Prophet of Allah (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam)! Then what is the purpose of the wool? The Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) replied: There is a reward for every strand of the wool.
Today sacrificing is opposed by some of the groups. They say that sacrificing is the practice of Hadhrat Ibrahim (May peace be upon Him) and not of our Prophet, so it is not a suitable virtue for us. May Allah protect us from such arrogance! They comment that this act is destroying a number of animals. Instead of this, the same amount of money can be used for the welfare activities of the poor and needy people.
The thoughts and ideas of Muslims are purely according to the principles of the Holy Quran and Hadith. Sacrificing is an order of Almighty Allah through the following verse:
Translation: Therefore offer Salaat for your Lord and do the sacrifice.
The Holy Quran highlights the sacrifices of Hadhrat Ibrahim (Peace be upon Him).
Therefore, follow the religion of Ibrahim who was separate from every falsehood.
Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) has defined the concept of sacrifice for every Ummah as He says:
And for every nation (Ummah) we appointed a sacrifice that they might mention the name of Allah ……….
Numerous Hadith of Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) are narrated in this regard. Besides, the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) Himself offered sacrifice on the practice of Hadhrat Ibrahim (Peace be upon Him) and established it for His disciples. The best model for us to follow is the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) as Almighty Allah says:
Indeed, the best model for you to follow is the Messenger of Allah.
The Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) offered sacrifice during His stay in Madina in the last years of his observable life. With the reference of Jame’ Tirmidhi, a Hadith is narrated in Mishkat-ul-Masabeeh, Vol. 1, Pg. No. 129, in which Hadhrat ‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar (May Allah be well pleased with them) says: During the 10-year-stay of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) in Madina, He regularly sacrificed animals.
By the above verses of Holy Quran and the Hadith of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam), we get the proof that sacrifice of animals is an order of Almighty Allah as well as a form of worship. If it can be abandoned due to expenditure, then a huge amount of money is spent in the performance of Hajj, so should the Muslims stop themselves from doing so? The reply will be absolutely not, as it is decreed by Almighty Allah. Similarly, sacrificing is also an order of Almighty Allah, which cannot be abandoned. Hence, the sacrificed animals are said to be wasted only at the moment when its body parts and organs are not utilized, except the Undesirable and Forbidden parts, the rest all are utilized.
Even its skin is used for various purposes. The meat is distributed among the family members, relatives and friends and destitute folk, etc. After all feeding family is a responsibility and feeding relatives and the poor is an act of kindness. Therefore, claiming that the animals are being “wasted” is a big stupidity and selfishness.