The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “It is the Sunnah of your father Ibrahim (as). For every hair of the Qurbani you receive a reward from Allah SWT.” (Tirmidhi).
Qurbani, or Udhiyah, as it is known in the Arabic language, is the sacrifice of an animal, typically a goat, sheep or cow, performed by Muslims worldwide on the days of Eid-Ul-Adha. This sacred act is a commemoration of Prophet Ibrahim’s (AS) piety and obedience towards Allah (SWT).
Although he loved his son dearly, Ibrahim (AS) was ready to submit to Allah (SWT) and was ultimately rewarded for his devotion. Since then, Muslims have continued this legacy over the years, sacrificing an animal, or paying for one to be sacrificed on their behalf, to be distributed to the poor and needy.
The story of Ibrahim (AS)
Prophet Ibrahim (AS) hoped to have children to help him spread the message of Allah (SWT), but sadly he was not blessed with a child from his first wife, Sarah. As time passed, Sarah could see her husband getting old and childless, and so she offered her female servant, Hajar, as a second wife to her husband.
Eventually, Hajar and Ibrahim (AS) were blessed with a baby boy, Ismail (AS).
Years later, the Prophet Ibrahim (AS) was instructed to sacrifice his son Ismail (AS), in a series of dreams he had. Understanding this was a command from Allah (SWT), Ibrahim confided in his son who in turn provided words of comfort and encouragement to his father:
“O my son, indeed I have seen in a dream that I [must] sacrifice you, so see what you think.” He said, “O my father, do as you are commanded. You will find me, if Allah wills, of the steadfast.” (As-Saffat, 37:102).
Standing atop Mount Arafat with a sharp knife pressed against his son’s neck, Ibrahim’s submission to his Lord was instantly rewarded. In his infinite mercy, Allah (SWT) replaced Ibrahim’s son with a ram as an alternative offering. Ismail was left unharmed and the sheep was slaughtered in the name of Allah (SWT).
The Prophet Ibrahim (AS) was willing to endure the unbearable grief of sacrificing his beloved son, out of sincere devotion. In His wisdom, Allah (SWT) had not written for Ismail to be killed but He simply wanted to test the Prophet’s submission to his creator.
The moral of the sacred legacy
“It is neither their flesh nor their blood that reaches Allah, it is your piety that reaches Him.” (Al-Hajj, 22:37).
It falls on us to follow in the footsteps of the Prophet Ibrahim (AS), to submit to Allah (SWT) and sacrifice our worldly attachments, we will surely be rewarded in this life and the hereafter.
Today, we reflect on this Prophetic miracle by offering an obligatory Qurbani and distributing the sacrificed meat to those in dire need of nourishment, all around the world. It is important to purify our intentions and give our Qurbani with unwavering sincerity, the same way Ibrahim (AS) did many years ago. We must show mercy to others so that Allah (SWT) shows mercy to us!
This year, the sacrifice is set to take place between the 13th of Dhul Hijjah until Eid day, which will fall on the 20th of July. The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) would never delay in his giving and offered his sacrifice, twice, with an open heart.
Emulate the Sunnah and give your Qurbani donations as soon as possible!