Misconceptions About Slaughtering
by Haroon Saadiq
Once I received an e-mail in which I was informed that a Pakistani English newspaper published an article on Qurbani (Slaughtering of Goats). The author tried to prove that:
- Qurbani by all Muslims is not right.
- Qurbani is not an essential part of Hajj.
- It is the duty of the Head of the State to perform Qurbani and no one else should offer it.
This article was then written to clear the above mentioned misconceptions, in the light of Quran and Sunnah.
When one reads the Islamic history and Ahadeeth of the Holy Prophet, one finds out that there is nothing wrong if all Muslims offer Qurbani. There is no restriction upon any Muslim to offer Qurbani and the head of the state is not the only one who should be offering it. Qurbani is also important when it comes to Hajj, as it will be mentioned in the coming discussion. (Insha Allah).
Lets take up these points one by one.
1) Qurbani (Slaughtering) by All Muslims is Right
The following Sahih Ahadeeth prove that all Muslims can offer Qurbani and there is nothing wrong about it.
The Prophet slaughtered two horned rams, which it is mentioned, were fat ones. Abu Umama (bin) Sahl said, We used to fatten our sacrifices at Medina, and (other) Muslims also fattened theirs (sacrifices). [Bukhari - Book of Sacrifice Slaughtered on Eid al-Azha]
Narrated Anas bin Malik, The Prophet used to offer two rams as sacrifices, and I also used to offer two rams. [Bukhari - Book of Sacrifice Slaughtered on Eid al-Azha]
In a hadeeth narrated by Anas: "... The Prophet then went towards two rams and slaughtered them and the people went towards their sheep and slaughtered them." [Bukhari - Book of Sacrifice Slaughtered on Eid al-Azha]
Narrated Nafi: Abdullah (bin Umar) used to slaughter his sacrifice at the slaughtering place (i.e. the slaughtering place of the Prophet). Ibn Umar said, Allah's Apostle used to slaughter (camels and sheep, etc...) as sacrifices at the Musalla. [Bukhari - Book of Sacrifice Slaughtered on Eid al-Azha]
2) Qurbani is an Essential Part of Hajj-at-Tamattu and Hajj Al-Qiran
Hajj is of three types. Hajj-at-Tamattu, Hajj al-Qiran and Hajj-e-Ifrad. "Hajj-at-Tamattu" is the one in which a person (in the Hajj period) assumes the Ihram of Umrah, performs Umrah, opens up his Ihram and then again assumes Ihram for Hajj and performs Hajj. In "Al-Qiran" one assumes the Ihram for Hajj and Umrah together and it is not allowed to open the Ihram after performing Umrah unless one finishes his Hajj (with the same Ihram). And lastly "Hajj-e-Ifrad", is one in which Hajj is performed by assuming Ihram only for Hajj.
Except for Hajj-e-Ifrad, Qurbani is essential for Hajj-at-Tamattu and Al-Qiran. This is based upon the following information:
"... Then if you are in safety and whosoever performs the Umrah in the months of Hajj, before (performing) the Hajj (i.e. Hajj-at-Tamattu and Al-Qiran), he must slaughter a Hady (animal i.e. a sheep, cow or a camel) such as he can afford. But if he cannot afford it, he should observe fasts, three days during the Hajj and seven days after his return (to his home), making ten days in all. This is for him whose family is not present at Masjid Al-Haram (i.e. non-resident of Makkah). And fear Allah much and know that Allah is Severe in punishment." [Al-Quran 2:196]
During the last Hajj of Allah's Apostle, he performed Umra and Hajj. He drove a sacrifice with him from Zul-Hulaifa. Allah's Apostle started by assuming Ihram for Umra and Hajj, And the people too performed the Umra and Hajj along with the Prophet. Some of them brought the sacrifice and drove it along with them, while the others did not.
So when the Prophet arrived at Makkah, he said to the people, "Whoever among you has driven the sacrifice should not finish his Ihram till he completes his Hajj. And whoever amongst you has not brought (driven) the sacrifice with him, should perform the Tawaf of Ka'ba and (between) Safa and Marwa. then cut short his hair and finish his Ihram and should later assume Ihram for Hajj. And if anyone cannot afford a sacrifice, he should fast for three days during the Hajj and seven days when he returns home.
The Prophet performed the Tawaf of Ka'ba on his arrival (at Makkah), he touched the (black stone) corner first of all and then did Ramal (fast walking and moving of the shoulders) during the first three rounds, around the Ka'ba. During the last four rounds he walked. After finishing the Tawaf of the Ka'ba, he offered a two Rakat prayer at Maqam Ibrahim and after finishing the prayer he went to Safa and Marwa and performed seven rounds of Tawaf between them and did not do any deed forbidden because of Ihram, till he finished all the ceremonies of his Hajj. And sacrificed his Hadi (animal for sacrifice) on the day of Nahr (10th day of Zul-Hijja). He then hastened onwards (to Makkah) and performed the Tawaf of Ka'ba, and then everything that was forbidden because of Ihram became permissible. Those who took and drove the sacrifice with them did the same as Allah's Apostle did." [Bukhari - Book of Pilgrimage]
Narrated Abu Jamra: I asked Ibn Abbas about Hajj-at-Tamattu. He ordered me to perform it. I asked him about the sacrifice. He said, a camel, or a cow, or a sheep or you may share the sacrifice with others. [Bukhari - Book of Pilgrimage]
Jabir narrated in the hadith of the Farewell Pilgrimage of the Apostle of Allah: That he (the Messenger of Allah) sacrificed sixty-three (camels) with his own hand. Then he gave the remaining number to Ali who sacrificed them and he shared him in his sacrifice. [Muslim - Book of Pilgrimage]
Nafi said, when Ibn Umar took the sacrifice (from Madina) at the time of Hudaibiya, he garlanded and marked it at Zul-Hulaifa, and stab the right side of its hump with a large knife and then he made it kneel with its face towards the Qibla (Ka'ba)
3) Any one who can Afford should offer Qurbani, and Not Only the Head of the State
Narrated Uqba bin Amir that the Prophet distributed among his companions some animals for sacrifice (to be slaughtered on Eid-al-Azha). Uqba's share was a Jaza'a (a six month old goat). Uqba said. "O Allah's Apostle! I get in my share a Jaza'a (a six month old goat)." The Prophet said, "Slaughter it as a sacrifice". [Bukhari - Book of Sacrifice Slaughtered on Eid al-Azha]
Narrated Anas: The Prophet said, "Whoever slaughtered the sacrifice before the (Eid) Prayer, should slaughter another one ..." [Bukhari - Book of Sacrifice Slaughtered on Eid al-Azha]
Narrated Al-Bara: I heard the Prophet delivering a sermon, and he said (on the day of Eid al Azha), " The first thing we will do on this day of ours is that we will offer the Eid prayer, then we will return and slaughter our sacrifices. And whoever does so, is following our tradition. And whoever slaughtered his sacrifice (before the prayer), what he offered was just meat that he presented to his family, and that was not a sacrifice ..." [Bukhari - Book of Sacrifice Slaughtered on Eid al-Azha]
There have been arguments among the scholars about Qurbani, but it was not to stop or discourage anyone from doing it. No one tried driving away the Muslims from offering this Sunnah. But now a days we see many so called scholars who are all the time trying to drive away people from offering this Sunnah. I dont know what basis they provide. My feeling says that it is either ignorance or an evil plan by someone who cannot tolerate Muslim welfare.
Muslims from all over the world offer Qurbani and donate the goat skins to various organizations. These organizations after selling the goat skins help the oppressed people. Moreover the money earned from these goat skins is used to propagate Islamic teachings and help the poor patients who are dying in hospitals. Recently many people including innocent children were dying with hunger in Afghanistan due to an unfair embargo imposed upon them by USA and their allies (although they speak very highly of themselves regarding Human Rights). At this time it was the meat of Qurbani from the sacrifices of Muslims that helped the Afghanis.
" He it is Who has sent His Messenger with guidance and the Religion of Truth to make it victorious over all religions, even though the Polytheists hate it " [61:9]