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Wednesday, 09 October 2013 01:59

Some Important Rulings Concerning Udhiya/Qurbani

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‘Udhiya’ is an Arabic term which means “sacrificing an animal”, and ‘Qurbani’ is an Urdu and Persian word derived from the Arabic word ‘Qurban’ which literally means an act performed to seek Allah’s pleasure. It is technically used for the sacrifice of an animal slaughtered for the sake of Allah.


Virtues of Udhiya (qurbani):
Allah Most High Says:
“So turn in prayer towards your Lord and sacrifice (animals).” (Qur’an 108:2)

There is nothing dearer to Allah during the days of Udhiya than the sacrificing of animals.
The sacrificed animal shall come on the Day of Judgment with its horns, hair, and hooves (to be weighed).
The sacrifice is accepted by Allah before the blood reaches the ground. Therefore sacrifice with an open and happy heart. (Sunan Tirmidhi and Sunan Ibn Majah)
Sayyiduna Zayd ibn Arqam (may Allah be pleased with him) relates that the Companions asked, “O Messenger of Allah! What is Udhiya?” He replied, “It is the Sunna of your father Ibrahim (peace be upon him).” They asked again, “What benefit do we get from it?” He answered, “A reward for every hair (of the sacrificed animal).” “And [what reward is there for animals with]
The Time of Udhiya
  1. Udhiya is only valid during the three days of Dhu’l-Hijjah, namely the 10th, 11th and 12th, and cannot be performed in any other day of the year.
  2. Although Udhiya is permissible on each of the above three days, the first day (i.e. the 10th of Dhu’l-Hijjah) is the most preferable and desired day.
  3. Udhiya can be performed during night time. However, it is preferable to perform it during the daytime.


Conditions for the Slaughtered Animal
  1. The animals eligible for Udhiya are goats, sheep, cattle and camels, male or female. No other type of animal is allowed for Udhiya.
  2. Castrated animals may be used for Udhiya.
  3. Barren animals may be used for Udhiya.
  4. Goats and sheep have to be at least one year old. However, a healthy sheep that looks like a one year old may also be used, provided it is at least six months of age.
  5. Cattle (cow, ox and buffalo) must be at least two years old.
  6. Camels must be at least five years old.


Rulings on Defects in the Udhiya Animal
  1. An animal that was born without horns or the horn is broken off from the middle is eligible for Udhiya. However, if the horn is broken off from the root, or the horn has been uprooted, then it will not be eligible for Udhiya.
  2. An animal that is totally blind or has lost one-third or more of its eye-sight, or one-third or more of one of its ear is cut, or one-third or more of its tail is cut, is not eligible for Udhiya.
  3. An animal which limps/walks on three legs and cannot put the injured (4th) leg onto the ground, or it is able to put the injured leg onto the ground, but is unable to walk on it, is not eligible for Udhiya. However, if it is unable to walk on it, but can still take support from it, then it is eligible for Udhiya, even though it is limping.
  4. Animals having no teeth at all are not eligible for Udhiya. If an animal has lost some teeth only, and has most of its teeth, it is eligible for Udhiya. If most of the teeth are lost, it is not eligible for Udhiya.
  5. An animal born without ears is not eligible for Udhiya. An animal with very small ears is eligible for Udhiya.
  6. Thin and extremely weak animals, unable to walk to the place of slaughter, are not eligible for Udhiya.


Dhabh (Slaughter) of the Udhiya Animal
  1. It is recommended (mustahabb) that the owner of the Udhiya animal slaughters it personally, provided he is able to slaughter properly. If the owner is unable to slaughter, it is better to delegate the task to another Muslim who is acquainted with the requirements of a valid Islamic slaughter. If the slaughter has been delegated, it is desirable that the owner of the Udhiya animal is present at the time of slaughter.
  2. The Islamic slaughter requires that the throat, the external jugular veins and the wind-pipe of the animal is swiftly and clearly severed with a sharp tool, together with invoking the name of Allah Most High.
  3. It is Mustahabb to face the Qibla while slaughtering.
  4. It is preferable to sharpen the knife before slaughter to ease the suffering of the animal.
  5. After slaughter, the animal should not be skinned or cut up into pieces before it turns completely cold.
  6. It is disliked to slaughter an animal in the presence of another animal, although the slaughter is valid.
  7. It is preferable to read the following whilst laying the throat of the animal towards the Qibla:
“For me, I have set my face firmly and truly towards Him, Who created the heavens and the earth. And never shall I give partners to Allah. Verily, my worship and my sacrifice, my living and my dying are for Allah; Lord of the worlds. O Allah this sacrifice is from you and is for you”
Whilst slaughtering the animal read, “Bismillah Allahu Akbar” (In the name of Allah, Allah is the Greatest). If the above are not memorized, then make intention of Udhiya and merely recite “Bismillah” and the Udhiya will be valid.
No Alternative for Udhiya
Some people think that instead of offering a ritual slaughter (Udhiya), they can give its amount to the poor as charity. This attitude is totally wrong. In fact, there are different forms of worship obligatory on Muslims. Each one of them has its own importance and none of them can stand for the other. It is not permissible for a Muslim to perform Salat instead of fasting in Ramadhan, nor is it permissible to give some charity instead of observing the obligatory Salat. Similarly, Udhiya is an independent form of worship and cannot be discharged by spending money in charity. However, if an individual, out of ignorance or negligence, could not offer it on the three prescribed days (10th, 11th and 12th of Dhu’l-Hijjah) then, in that case only, he can give the price of a ritual slaughter (Udhiya) as Sadaqah to those entitled to receive Zakat. But during the days of Udhiya, no Sadaqa can discharge this obligation.
Cutting and Clipping the Hair and Nails It is Mustahabb (and not necessary) for the one intending to perform Udhiya to refrain from cutting hair or clipping nails from 1st of Dhu’l-Hijjah till he has offered the sacrifice.
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