SOME CONCEPTS OF QURBANI
by A.K.Anwar Batcha
Some days ago I received a whatsup message informing the present practice of sacrificing more
than one sheep for each member of the famiily as not authentic as per sunnah.It has quoted
different sources from Bukhari, Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah etc.. I checked the Hadiths mentioned but as
per the authentic volumes published by Darussalam of Saudi Arabia with the English translation
by Dr Muhammad Muhsin Khan I find the following narrations.
KITAB AL ADHAHI Sacrifices:( The Book of Slaughtring and Hunting of Animals)
Hadees No 460: Narrated Anas bin Malik(ra): The Messenger of Allah(saw) used to offer two
rams as sacrifices and I used to offer two rams.
Hadees No 461: Narrated Anas (ra) : The Prophet(saw) came towards two horned rams having
black and white colours and slaughtered them with his own hands. Also in Hadees Nos 465,
No 466:Narrated Aisha (ra): Allah`s Apostle (saw) entered upon at Sarif …..Allah`s messenger
slaughtered some cows as sacrifices on behalf of his wives.
Nowhere in these Hadees it is said that he slaughtered one for himself and another for the Ummah
as mentioned in the message. Also Anas has no neessity to sacrifice two.
In Sunan Abu Dawud English translation by Prof. Ahmad Hasan under Kitab Al Dahaya (
Book of Sacrifice)
Hadees Chapter 1032 no: 2787: Anas said The Prophet(saw) sacrificed seven camels standing
with his own hand and sacrificed at Madinah two rams which were white with black markings..
Sahih Muslim Kitab Al Adahi: Nos 4841 and 4842
Anas reportedthat Allah`s Messenger(saw) sacrificed with his own hands two horned rams which
were white and black markings…..
In the earlier period of Islam there were very few Muslims who could offer Qurbani . The Prophet
himself used to distribute sheep to sahabis and once only a young goat was left with and it was
allowed to be slaughtered. In another period there was famine in Madinah and the Prophet(saw)
forbade keeping the sacrificial meat for more than three days.
Bukhari No 477:Narrated Aisha(ra): We used to salt some of the meat of sacrifice and present it
to the Prophet(saw)at Madina. Once he said “Do not eat (of the meat) for more than three days.”
That was not a final order, but (that year) he wanted us to feed of it to others. Allah knows best.”
Hadees No 475: Narrated Abu Said Khudri(Al Khudri) …. Abu Qatada(who was his maternal
brother and was one of the warriors of the battle of Badr)…. said “ A new verdict was given in your
absence ie. The meat of sacrifice was allowed( to be stored and eaten later on).
Those who performed Haj earlier, sacrifice the the Hady which was taken by them. For those who
do not perform Haj the Qurbani is known as Udhiyya and it is Sunna Mustahaba. It was true in
initial period of Islam that there were not many rich Muslims and whoever sacrified a sheep used
to share it. But after a few generations people had doubts about the religious practices and different
Imams codified the religious practices. The Fiqh (Islamic Jurisprudence) developed as a science
and Imams Abu Hanifa, Shafei, Maliki and Hanbali developed it during the second century after
Hijra. They depended on the Quran, Hadees, Ijma(concensus of Juristic opinion) and
Qiyas(Analogical Deductions) and preceded the Hadees compilers.The Hadees were compiled by
Imam Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Dawud, Tirmidhi etc during the 3rd century and the narrations vary.
The majority of Indian Muslims follow Hanafi and those in coastal belt follow Shafei Madhabs.
The Hanbali is the fore runner for the Wahhabi, Salafi sect.When the Muslim ummaths affluency
increased the Nisab was prescribed for those eligible to offer Qurbani. As per Hanafi if one possess
a Nisab of 612.36 gms of silver (Rs 30, 618) it is wajib( compulsory) on the individual to offer a
sheep or share in cow or camel. The meat thus generated go to the poor also.Before 1980 the
sacrificed cattle in in Mina was bull dozed and burnt to control the spread of disease. Now they are
transported to poor countries.
The commentary of Ibn Kathir ( Tafsir Ibn Kathir) mentions the Hadith quoted . Imam Ghazzali
also mention it.These are odd narrations and selective.
Now many poor Muslims are not able to afford mutton and it in a way helps them if there are
more sacrifices from those who can afford it. The present practice of quoting texts only to
discourage a prevalent practice is not good. Islamic Jurisprudence has evolved over many centuries
and to disown all that the Imams of the earlier period compiled is not going to improve our
understanding of Islam.Islam would not have spread in India if the Sufis have not sacrificed their
life. There is now a movement to abrogate all previous practices with the more radical view and
we all know what it has resulted in.Every one indulges in his own way of interpretation and their
impact on the younger generations has been disastrous.