This act of ‘Udhiya’ is to commemorate the unparalleled sacrifice offered by the Prophet Ibrahim . When he, in pursuance to a command of Allah Ta’ala conveyed to him in a dream, prepared himself to slaughter his beloved son Ismail and actually did so, but Allah Almighty after testing him of his submission, sent down a ram and saved his son from the logical fate of slaughter. It is from that time onwards that the sacrifice of an animal became an obligatory duty to be performed by every well to do Muslim.
Concerning this incident the Glorious Quran says:

“And when he attained the age of running with him (Ibrahim), he said: “O my son verily I have seen in a dream that I am slaughtering thee, so look, considerest thou?” He said: “O my father! Do that which thou art commanded, thou shalt find me, Allah willing, of the patients.”

“Then when the two submitted themselves and had prostrated him on his temple.”

“We cried unto him: “O Ibrahim! Of a surety thou hast fulfilled the vision. Verily We! That was a trial manifest. And We ransomed him with a mighty victim. And We left for him among the posterity. Peace be unto Ibrahim. Verily We! Thus we compense the well doers. Verily he was one of Our believing bondsmen.” (37:102-111)
Thus this very incident is also the origin of ‘Takbeer-e-Tashreeq’.

Eminent jurispudents have stated that the origin of the ‘Takbeer-e-Tasreeq’ is when the Prophet Ibrahim made Hazrat Ismail lie down, Allah ordered Hazrat Jibraeel to take along a ‘fidyah’(ransom) and when Hazrat Jibraeel arrived there, he feared that Hazrat Ibrahim would slaughter Ismail and so he began shouting “Allah Akbar, Allah Akbar.”

Hearing his voice, Prophet Ibrahim took it as a glad tiding and exclaimed, “Laa ilaaha allallahu wallahu akbar.”

Hazrat Ismail also came to know that the ‘fidyah’ arrived and he got up saying, “Allahu akbar wa lillahil hamd,” and began to eulogise and thank Allah.


Mufti Muhammad Taqi Uthmaani states that the philosophy behind ‘Udhiya’ is that it is a demonstration of total submission to Allah and a proof of complete obedience to Allah’s will or command. When a Muslim offers a ‘Udhiya’ this is exactly what he intends to prove. Thus, the ‘Udhiya’ offered signifies that he is a slave of Allah at his best. And that he would not hesitate even for a moment once he receives an absolute command from his Creator to surrender before it, to obey it willingly, even if it be at the price of his life and possessions.
This is exactly what the Prophet Ibrahim did.

Apparently, there was no reason why a father should slaughter his innocent son. But, when the command came from Allah, he never asked the reason to that command, nor did he hesitate to obey it.

This is the true philosophy of ‘Qurbani’.


The virtues of ‘Udhiya’ are established from the following ‘Ahadith’ (Traditions).

Hazrat Anas RA reported that the Messenger ﷺ of Allah sacrificed with his own hands, two white rams with black markings. He took the name of Allah and recited ‘Takbir’. Hazrat Anas states that he saw him putting his foot upon their buttocks and saying: “In the name of Allah. And Allah is the greatest”. (Sahih Bukhari ,Sahih Muslim)

Note: We learn from this Hadith that one should try to make sacrifice with his own hands. If the Prophet ﷺ can sacrifice by his own blessed hands at the age of sixty, why can’t our young generation follow in his footsteps? If one cannot do so, he should at least be present at the time of slaughter.

Hazrat Jaber RA reported that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ slaughtered on the day of sacrifice two horned, white and black castrated rams. When he faced them towards the Qibla, he said: “Verily I turn my face towards the One who created the heavens and the earth, upon the religion of Abraham, being upright, and I am not one of the polytheists. Verily my prayer, my life and my death are all for Allah, the Lord of the worlds. There is no partner with him and I have been ordered that, and I am one of the Muslims. O Allah, it is Thine and for Thee, from Muhammad ﷺ and his Ummah: In the name of Allah. Allah is the greatest”. He then slaughtered the rams. (Ahmed, Abu Daud, Ibne Majah)

Hazrat Ayesha radiyallahu anha reports that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “The son of Adam does not perform any actions on the day of sacrifice which is more pleasing to Allah than the shedding of blood. He will come on the day of resurrection with its hair, horns and hooves, and the blood certainly will fall in a place near Allah before it falls on the ground. So, make yourselves purified there with. (Tirmizi, Ibn Majah)

Hazrat Zaid bin Arkam RA reports that the Companions of Rasulullah ﷺ asked him: ” Ya Rasulullah, what is this sacrifice?” He said: “it is the way of your fore father Ibrahim .” They asked: what (reward) is for us therein?” He replied: “There is a reward for every hair (i.e. the reward for meat and useful parts of the animal’s body will be very lofty in merit, but there will also be a great reward for the parts which are useless and thrown away such as the hair).”

They asked: “For the wool, Ya Rasulullah?” He replied: “There is one reward for every strand of wool.” (Ahmed, Ibn Majah)


‘Qurbani’ is ‘wajib’ (compulsory) according to Imam Abu Hanifah (and sunnat-e-muakkadah according to other Imams) upon every ‘mukeem’ (domiciled) and who possesses 613.35 grams of silver or its equivalent in money, personal ornaments, stock in trade or any other form of wealth which is surplus to his/her basic needs. Each adult member of a family who possesses that much wealth must perform his/her own ‘Qurbani’ separately.

Hazrat Ibn Umar RA reports that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ lived in Madinah Munawarah for ten years and performed ‘Qurbani’ every year. (Tirmizi)

Note: Despite the fact that the Prophet ﷺ was not obliged to sacrifice as he never possessed the required amount of wealth, he still did so as can be conceived from the above Hadith.


A sacrifice can be made on behalf of others such as minor offspring. This offering is not ‘wajib’ (compulsory) but is ‘mustahab’ (desirable). Similarly if one decides to sacrifice on behalf of the spouse or a father decides to sacrifice on behalf of an adult offspring (apart from offering his/her own ‘Qurbani’) can do so with their permission. A sacrifice can also be made on behalf of a deceased Muslim. This can be classified into three categories:

1- If the deceased had made a will for a sacrifice then, it is permissible to sacrifice to fulfil the will but is incumbent to give all the meat of the sacrificed animal to the poor and needy (those who are entitled to receive ‘Zakaat’). (“Vide Shami” vol.5 p293)
2- Whether or not the deceased had made this will, his/her relative or friends can make a ‘nafl’ (voluntary) sacrifice from their own money; the meat of this sacrificed animal can be partaken by the rich and poor alike.
3- One may make a voluntary sacrifice from one’s own wealth for the deceased persons and this meat can partaken by all, rich and poor.
If ones intention is of mere remittance of recompense to a dead person then it will be superior to slaughter an animal during the Days of ‘Nahar’ instead of giving money in charity. This is because reward is attained both for spending wealth and for sacrificing.
In a ‘Hadith’ it is stated.
Hazrat Hanash RA reported: I saw Hazrat Ali Karramallahu vecceh sacrificing two rams. I asked him, “What is this?” He said: “Verily the Messenger of Allah left instruction to me to sacrifice on his behalf, and so I am sacrificing on his behalf. (Tirmizi, Abu Daud)
Note: Rasulullah ﷺ is so generous that he had sacrificed on behalf of his whole ‘Ummah’ and we see here Hazrat Ali sacrificing for Rasulullah ﷺ after he has passed away. We learn from this that we should also put a share of Rasulullah ﷺ in our sacrifice.


Although the person offering a Qurbani can keep all its meat for his own use, yet it is preferable to distribute one third among the poor, another one third among his friends and relatives, and then keep the rest for his personal consumption. Thus, if possible, one should eat its meat on the very day.


If somebody out of his/her ignorance and negligence, did not offer ‘Qurbani’ on the three prescribed days (10th, 11th and 12th ‘Zulhijjah’) they should then give the price of the ‘Qurbani’ as ‘sadaqah’ (alms and charity) This does not mean that Sadakah is an alternative, this will only be the case when it is not offered on the prescribed days, thus there is no alternative to ‘Qurbani’ in the prescribed days.


Various practices of Qurban were reported from the times of Adam a.s till the last prophet Muhammad s.a.w :
The story af the two sons of Adam – Habil and Qabil – establishes the pivotal role of the act of Qurban in establishing one’s worth in the sight of God: “Recite to them the truth, Of the story of the two sons of Prophet Adam. Behold they each presented a sacrifice ( to Allah SWT ): It was accepted from one, But not from the other. Said the latter: “Be sure I will slay thee.” “Surely,”said the former, “Allah doth accept of the sacrifice Of those who are righteous.”al-Maidah : 27


A person who is regarded a traveler religiously does nothave to slaughter a sacrifice (it is not wajib for him). However, if he slaughters a sacrifice himself or has one slaughtered by a proxy, it will be a nice act. The sacrifice that is slaughtered is regarded as nafilah (supererogatory).


Up to seven people can share in a sacrifice for cattle and camels. The animal to be sacrificed has be over the minimum age and has to have the necessary qualities; the amount of the flesh of the animal to be sacrificed does not affect the number of the participants. Seven people can share in a bovine even if it is small and has little flesh. The expressions like “This sacrifice can only be slaughtered for five people or three people” are used to express the certain amount to be given to each participant. Otherwise, if a bovine or camel has the necessary qualities, it can be slaughtered for seven people.

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