What is wrong with helping the poor instead of Qurbani? Is Sacrificing Animals a Source of Economic Destruction & Shortage of Livestock? By Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani

Propaganda against Animal sacrifice

A section of the people is raising objections to the very objective for which Almighty Allah prescribed the performance of Qurbani. They say that Qurbani has been imposed without – God forbid any benefit. Millions are spent to make the blood flow through the drains which is highly wasteful from the economic point of view. It means a great loss of our animal wealth. It would be much better, they suggest, to help the poor with the huge sums of money spent on Qurbani.

The propaganda is being carried on so forcefully that everyday persons come to ask if it would not be better to distribute the money to be spent on Qurbani among their relatives. Apparently there is no harm in this, they suggest.

It should be noted that every form of worship has an appointed time and procedure, for example, if a man wishes to spend his time in helping the poor instead of praying, he will be guilty of missing the prayer which is an obligatory duty, even though he may earn some sawab (reward) for helping the poor. This holds good also in respect of other obligatory (Farz) and compulsory (wajib) duties.

The propaganda campaign, launched against Qurbani that it is irrational and unjustifiable from the economic point of view, defies the very philosophy and spirit of the Qurbani. The worship of Qurbani has been prescribed for you and you should comply with it, whether you understand its wisdom and reason or not. The spirit of Qurbani is that it is Allah’s command and you have to obey it unconditionally and unhesitatingly. Man is not man unless he cultivates in him the quality of obedience. The root cause of all evils, wrongs, and sinful activities lies in the fact that man has forgotten the basic principles of following the Divine commands and is running after the dictates of his own mind and intellect.

What lesson does Qurbani teach?

The same philosophy is visible in the ritual of Qurbani. The word “Qurbani” literally means something which is done to attain nearness to Allah. The word “Qurbani” is derived from the word “Qurban” and the word “Qurban” is derived from the root “Qurb”. Thus, the word “Qurban” means something by which one may attain nearness to Allah. We learn from all the acts concerning the Qurbani that Deen (Faith) is the name of compliance with the commandments of Allah. When Allah’s command is issued there is no scope to tax the mind in order to seek the wisdom and benefits underlying the divine command. All that is needed is total submission and surrender to it. “Order is order” is the common saying well known to everyone.

Prophet Ibrahim did not demand rational wisdom

A command of Allah came to Hazrat Ibrahim in a vision to slaughter his son. If Allah had desired. He would have issued the command through a revelation (Wahi). but He did not do so. Instead. he was shown in a vision that he was slaughtering his son. If this had happened to an ordinary man he would have ignored the command on the plea that it was only a vision. However. a vision in the case of a prophet is as good as a revelation. It was. therefore. a trial for Hazrat Ibrahim to see whether he was ready to obey the divine command. When Hazrat Ibrahim came to know that it was an order from Allah to slaughter his son, he did not question Almighty Allah why such a command was being given to him and what wisdom and benefit lay in it. No law and no custom on the surface of the earth can allow and appreciate that a father should slaughter his son. A command like this can in no way is justified and accepted on the scale of Reason.

Deviation and going astray from the right path are a common feature of our society today. The reason is that for every Divine command the people want to know the wisdom and benefit underlying that command, and its rational justification. They will obey the command; if they come to know its benefit, otherwise not. This is no Deen and obedience. Obedience is what Hazrat Ibrahim and his son Hazrat Isma’el demonstrated by their own unprecedented acts. Al-mighty Allah appreciated this sacrifice of theirs so much that He prescribed the sacrifice (Qurbani) to be offered every year till the Day of Judgement.

Make your life a model of Obedience

The essence of Deen is that one should not insist one’s own opinion in matters concerning Deen. Everything concerning Deen should be done strictly in compliance with the procedure taught by Allah and His Prophet ﷺ, If this point becomes firmly impressed upon the minds all forms of Bidah shall be uprooted. It was to attain this goal that the ritual of Qurbani was prescribed. We are all prone to be unmindful of it while offering the Qurbani, it is necessary to recall that this worship contains the lesson that our entire life should be subject to the commands of Allah. It should be a complete model of obedience and total submission, Whether we understand or do not understand the wisdom and reason behind the commands. This is the philosophy of Qurbani. May Almighty Allah help us all to understand this philosophy and grant us its blessings.

The entire event-related above is in fact the basis of the worship of Qurbani. It is declaring from the very outset that the Qurbani was prescribed in order to impress firmly on the heart of man and to teach him that Allah’s command has preference over all other things and that Deen is the name of total obedience. When the Divine Command arrives it must be obeyed without trying to find out its wisdom, benefit, or reason.

Allah looks for piety of the heart

The Qurbani which a Muslim presents to Almighty Allah is such a gift that no sooner is the knife applied to the animal’s throat than the Qurbani is completed and accepted by Allah, and the slaughtered animal with all its meat and skin, etc. is at your disposal. It is, as if, Almighty Allah has touched it with His hands and the entire gift is left to you for use as you please. Look at Allah’s mercy and generosity shown to the Ummah of the Holy Prophet, Muhammad ﷺ that a gift is being de mantled and when it is offered in the form of the slaughtered animal then the obedience to the command is enough to please Allah. He does not require anything more. Thus He has said:

لن ينال الله لحومها ولا دماؤها ولكن يناله التقوى منكم

It means that “neither their flesh nor their blood reaches Him”. (2237)

In other words, if a person offers the Qurbani with piety and purity of his heart Allah readily accepts his Qurbani. Allah does not require the flesh of the slaughtered animal but leaves its disposal to the option of the man who has offered the Qurbani. If he himself uses the entire flesh, there is no sin in it. It is, however, very desirable that he should himself use only one-third of it and distribute one-third among his relatives and the remaining one-third among the poor. The point to note here is that it does not displease Allah at all if the entire flesh is consumed by the person himself who is offering the Qurbani.

Source: Islam aur Daur e Hazir kay Shubhat o Mughalty, By Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani

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