Sunnats and Aadaab of Qurbaani

1. Qurbaani is a great and meritorious ibaadat in Deen. Special mention has been made regarding it in the Holy Qur’aan and its abundant virtues and significance have been emphasised in the Ahaadith of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). Allah Ta’ala says:

لَن يَنَالَ اللَّـهَ لُحُومُهَا وَلَا دِمَاؤُهَا وَلَـٰكِن يَنَالُهُ التَّقْوَىٰ مِنكُمْ

It is neither the meat nor the blood (of the animal) that reaches Allah Ta’ala, instead it is the piety of your heart (ikhlaas) that reaches Him.

عن زيد بن أرقم رضي الله عنه قال قال أصحاب رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم : يا رسول الله ما هذه الأضاحي ؟ قال : سنة أبيكم إبراهيم عليه السلام. قالوا : فما لنا فيها يا رسول الله ؟ قال : بكل شعرة حسنة . قالوا : فالصوف يا رسول الله ؟ قال : بكل شعرة من الصوف حسنة.  (ابن ماجه رقم 3127)

Hazrat Zaid bin Arqam (Radhiyallahu Anhu) reports that the Sahaabah (Radhiyallahu Anhum) once enquired from Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam): O Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), what is the significance of this action of Qurbaani? Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) replied: “It is the practice of your forefather Hazrat Ibraahim (Alaihis Salaam).” The Sahaabah then asked, “O Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), What reward will we receive through carrying it out?” Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) replied, “For every strand of hair (on the back of the animal) you will receive a reward.”  The Sahaabah then asked: “O Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), what about wool?” Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) replied: “For every fibre of wool (on the back of the animal) you will receive a reward.”

2. On the day of Eid, the best and most beloved action to Allah Ta’ala is the spilling of blood.

عَن عَائِشَةَ رَضِيَ اللهُ عَنهَا قَالَت : قَالَ رَسُولُ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيهِ وَسَلَّمَ : مَا عَمِلَ آدَمى مِن عَمَلٍ يَومَ النَّحْرِ أَحَبَّ إلى اللهِ مِن إِهرَاقِ الدَّمِ إنَّهُ لَيَأتِي يَومَ القِيَامَةِ بِقُرُونِها وَأشْعَارِها وَأَظْلَافِها وَإنَّ الدَّم لَيَقَعُ مِن اللهِ بِمَكَانٍ قَبْلَ أَن يَقَعَ من الأَرْضِ فَطِيبُوا بِهَا نَفْسًا. (ترمذي رقم 1493)

Hazrat Aaisha (Radhiallahu Anha) reports that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: “There is nothing dearer and more beloved to Allah Ta’ala (from the monetary transactions) during the days of Qurbaani than the spilling of blood (i.e. the sacrificing of animals). The sacrificed animal shall come on the Day of Qiyaamah with its horns, hair and hooves.The sacrifice is accepted by Allah Ta’ala even before the blood reaches the ground. Therefore carry out the Qurbaani in a condition that your heart is pleased and happy to fulfil the command of Allah Ta’ala.”

3. Before the Qurbaani as well as at the time of Qurbaani one should not be cruel or ill-treat the animal in any way; rather he should treat it kindly and compassionately.

عن شداد بن أوس عن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قال : إن الله تبارك وتعالى كتب الإحسان على كل شيء فإذا قتلتم فأحسنوا القتلة وإذا ذبحتم فأحسنوا الذبح وليحد أحدكم شفرته وليرح ذبيحته.(مسلم رقم 1955)

Hazrat Shaddaad bin Aus (Radhiyallahu Anhu) reports that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: “Allah Ta’ala has ordained kindness upon everything. When you kill (the enemy in Jihaad), then kill in a good manner (i.e. do not mutilate the body etc.), and when you slaughter, then slaughter in a good manner and sharpen your knives and allow the animal to die easily.”

4. If one possesses the means, then it is mustahab for one to slaughter a nafl Qurbaani on behalf of Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), the Sahaabah (Radhiyallahu Anhum) and the pious of the ummah.

عن علي رضي الله عنه  أنه كان يضحى بكبشين أحدهما عن النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم والآخر عن نفسه فقيل له فقال أمرني به يعني النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم فلا أدعه أبدا (ترمذي رقم 1495)

It is reported regarding Hazrat Ali (Radhiyallahu Anhu) that he used to slaughter every year at the time of Qurbaani two sheep, one on behalf of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) and the other on behalf of himself. When asked why he had slaughtered on behalf of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), he replied, “Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) had told me to do so, thus I will never leave it out throughout my life.”

5. One should hasten to fulfil the obligation of Qurbaani. Carrying out the Qurbaani on the first day is more rewarding than the second day, and carrying out the Qurbaani on the second day is more rewarding than the third day.

عن جابر بن عبد الله قال : شهدت مع النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم الأضحى بالمصلى فلما قضى خطبته نزل عن منبره فأتى بكبش فذبحه رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم بيده وقال بسم الله والله أكبر هذا عني وعمن لم يضح من أمتي  (ترمذي رقم 1521)

Hazrat Jaabir (Radhiyallahu Anhu) reports, “I was present with Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) on the occasion of Eid ul Adha. When Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) completed the khutbah, he descended from the mimbar and a sheep was brought before him for Qurbaani. Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) slaughtered the sheep with his own hands while reciting the takbeer بسم الله والله أكبر; this Qurbaani is on behalf of myself and those from my ummah who cannot perform Qurbaani (i.e. the reward of this Qurbaani I convey it to those from my ummah who cannot perform Qurbaani).”

6. It is Sunnah for one to not consume anything on the morning of Eid ul Adha until one returns from the Eid salaah.

عن ابن بريدة عن أبيه رضي الله عنه أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم كان لا يخرج يوم الفطر حتى يأكل . وكان لا يأكل يوم النحر حتى يرجع (ابن ماجة رقم 1756)

Hazrat Buraidah (Radhiallahu Anhu) reports that on the occasion of Eid ul Fitr, Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) would not leave for the Eid salaah until he consumed something. However, on the occasion of Eid ul Adha, he would not consume anything until he returned from the Eid salaah. (When he returned from the Eid salaah, the first thing he consumed was the liver of the sacrificial animal.)

7. Upon returning from the Eid salaah, the first thing that one should consume should be the meat of the sacrificial animal. The first thing that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) consumed upon returning from the Eid salaah was the meat of the sacrificial animal.

حدثني عبد الله بن بريدة، عن أبيه قال: كان رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم لا يغدو يوم الفطر حتى يأكل، ولا يأكل يوم الأضحى حتى يرجع فيأكل من أضحيته  (مسند أحمد 38/ 88) وفي رواية البيهقي وكان إذا رجع أكل من كبد أضحيته (السنن الكبرى للبيهقي رقم 6161)

Hazrat Buraidah (Radhiallahu Anhu) reports that on the occasion of Eid ul Fitr, Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) would not leave for the Eid salaah until he consumed something. However, on the occasion of Eid ul Adha, Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) would not consume anything until he returned from the Eid salaah. Thereafter, the (first) thing that he consumed was the meat of the sacrificial animal.

In the narration of Bayhaqi, it is reported that the first thing which Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) consumed was the liver of the sacrificial animal.

8. It is impermissible for one to fast on the 10th, 11th, 12th and 13th of Dhul Hijja.

عَنْ نُبَيْشَةَ الْهُذَلِيِّ، قَالَ: قَالَ رَسُولُ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ:  أَيَّامُ التَّشْرِيقِ أَيَّامُ أَكْلٍ، وَشُرْبٍ، وَذِكْرِ اللهِ  (مسند أحمد رقم 20722)

It is reported from Hazrat Nubaisha (Radhiyallahu Anhu) that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: “The days of Tashreeq are days of eating, drinking and remembering Allah Ta’ala.”

9. One should within one’s means, try to purchase the best animal for Qurbaani. The healthier (i.e. the more valuable) the animal is the more the reward one will receive in the Hereafter.

عن عائشة وعن أبي هريرة أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم كان إذا أراد أن يضحي اشترى كبشين عظيمين أقرنين أملحين موجوءين . فذبح أحدهما عن أمته لمن شهد لله بالتوحيد وشهد له بالبلاغ . وذبح الآخر عن محمد وعن آل محمد صلى الله عليه و سلم  (ابن ماجة رقم 3122)

Hazrat Aaisha (Radhiyallahu Anha) and Hazrat Abu Hurayrah (Radhiyallahu Anhu) had reported that when Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) intended making Qurbaani, he purchased two large-sized, horned, black and white, castrated rams. He slaughtered one on behalf of his entire ummah and the other one on behalf of himself and the family of Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). (i.e. He conveyed the thawaab of the first to his entire ummah, and the second to his family).

10. It is mustahab to fatten the animal for Qurbaani.

قال يحيى بن سعيد سمعت أبا أمامة بن سهل قال كنا نسمن الأضحية بالمدينة وكان المسلمون يسمنون  (البخاري رقم 5553)

Yahya bin Saeed (Rahmatullahi Alaihi) reports that he heard Hazrat Abu Umaamah bin Sahl (Radhiyallahu Anhu) say: “We used to fatten our Qurbaani animals in Madina Tayyiba and all the Muslims (i.e. the Sahaabah) used to do the same.”

11. If one is capable, it is best for him to make Qurbaani of his animal himself. If this is not possible, then he should at least witness his qurbaani being done provided hijaab is observed between the males and the females (i.e. intermingling should not take place).

عن علي رضي الله عنه أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم قال يا فاطمة قومي فاشهدي أضحيتك فإن لك بأول قطرة تقطر من دمها مغفرة لكل ذنب أما إنه يجاء بلحمها ودمها توضع في ميزانك سبعين ضعفا قال أبو سعيد يا رسول الله هذا لآل محمد خاصة فإنهم أهل لما خصوا به من الخير أو للمسلمين عامة قال لآل محمد خاصة وللمسلمين عامة (الترغيب رقم 1662)

Hazrat Ali (Radhiyallahu Anhu) reports that on one occasion Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) told Hazrat Faatima (Radhiallahu Anha), “Witness your Qurbaani animal being sacrificed. With the first drop of blood that falls, your sins will be forgiven. Its meat and blood will be placed in your scale of good deeds and multiplied seventy times.” Hazrat Abu Saeed (Radhiyallahu Anhu) asked Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam): “O Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) is this reward exclusively reserved for your family or for all Muslims.?”Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) replied: “It is for all Muslims.”

12. A woman can also slaughter her own animal provided she does not appear before strange men.

13. Do not slaughter the animal in the view of other animals.

14. One should use a sharp knife to slaughter. Do not cause difficulty to the animal by using a blunt knife at the time of slaughtering.

عن عبد الله بن عمر رضي الله عنهما قال أمر رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم بحد الشفار وأن توارى عن البهائم. وقال إذا ذبح أحدكم فليجهز (ابن ماجة رقم 3172)

Hazrat Abdullah ibn Umar (Radhiyallahu Anhuma) reports that Rasulullah (Sallalllahu Alaihi Wasallam) commanded that the knives be sharpened (before slaughtering the animal) and carry out the Qurbaani in a condition that it be concealed from the other animals; and when you slaughter the animal, then hasten in the slaughter.

15. Do not sharpen the knife before the animal.

وعن ابن عباس رضي الله عنهما أن رجلا أضجع شاة وهو يحد شفرته فقال النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم أتريد أن تميتها موتتين هلا أحددت شفرتك قبل أن تضجعها (الترغيب رقم 3422 )

Hazrat ibn Abbaas (Radhiyallahu Anhuma) reports that on one occasion a person had laid his animal down for slaughtering and was sharpening his knife (in view of the animal). Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) reprimanded him saying: “Do you want to kill this animal twice? Why didn’t you sharpen your knife before bringing your animal here to be slaughtered?” 

16. One should bring the animal to the place of slaughter gently. One should not drag the animal.

عن ابن سيرين أن عمر رضي الله عنه رأى رجلا يسحب شاة برجلها ليذبحها فقال له ويلك قدها إلى الموت قودا جميلا (الترغيب رقم 1674)

Hazrat ibn Sireen (Rahmatullahi Alaihi) reports that Hazrat Umar (Radhiyallahu Anhu) saw a man dragging his goat along by its leg to slaughter it. Hazrat Umar (Radhiyallahu Anhu) reprimanded him saying: “Woe be to you, why do you drag it? Lead it along towards its death in a beautiful manner.”

17. One should place the animal on its left side facing towards the qiblah.[1]

عن انس بن مالك رضي الله عنه قال : ضحى رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم بكبشين أملحين أقرنين ذبحهما بيده وسمى وكبر ووضع رجله على صفاحهما (ترمذي رقم 1494)

Hazrat Anas (Radhiyallahu Anhu) reports that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) slaughtered two horned, black and white rams. He slaughtered them with his own hands while reciting the tasmiya and takbeer and placed his leg on their sides.

18. One should not commence the skinning until the animal is completely cold and there is no sign of life left in the body. [2]

19. The person cutting the animal should cut the animal as swiftly as possible so that he does not cause unnecessary difficulty to the animal.

20. At the time of slaughtering, one should recite the tasmiya in the following manner:

بِسمِ اللهِ اللهُ أكْبَر

In the name of Allah Ta’ala, and Allah Ta’ala is the greatest.

21. If the tasmiya was left out intentionally the animal will be carrion.

وَلَا تَأْكُلُوا مِمَّا لَمْ يُذْكَرِ اسْمُ اللَّـهِ عَلَيْهِ

And do not eat (of that meat) on which the name of Allah Ta’ala had not been taken (at the time of slaughtering).

22. Before slaughtering, it is sunnah for one to recite the following duaa:

                     إنِّي وَجَّهْتُ وَجْهِيَ لِلَّذِي فَطَرَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضَ عَلَى مِلَّةِ إِبْرَاهِيمَ حَنِيفًا وَمَا أَنَا مِنَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ

إنَّ صَلَاتِي وَنُسُكِي وَمَحْيَايَ وَمَمَاتِي لِلَّـهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ لَا شَرِيكَ لَهُ وَبِذَلِكَ أُمِرْتُ وَأَنَا مِنَ الْمُسْلِمِينَ اللهُمَّ مِنكَ وَ لَكَ

I have firmly turned myself towards that Being who has created the heavens and the earth, while I am upon the Straight Deen of Ibraaheem )Alaihis Salaam), and I am not among the Mushrikeen. Verily, my Salaah, my sacrifice, my life and my death are for Allah Ta’ala, Lord of the worlds. He has no partner, with this I have been commanded and I am among the Muslimeen. O Allah! This sacrifice is due to You granting us the ability to do so and it is for You.

 

عن جابر بن عبد الله رضي الله عنه قال ذبح النبى صلى الله عليه وسلم يوم الذبح كبشين أقرنين أملحين موجئين فلما وجههما قال: إنى وجهت وجهى للذى فطر السموات والأرض على ملة إبراهيم حنيفا وما أنا من المشركين إن صلاتى ونسكى ومحياى ومماتى لله رب العالمين لا شريك له وبذلك أمرت وأنا من المسلمين اللهم منك ولك عن محمد وأمته باسم الله والله أكبر. ثم ذبح. (ابو داود رقم 2797)

Hazrat Jaabir (Radhiyallahu Anhu) reports that on the day of Qurbaani, Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) slaughtered two black and white, horned, castrated rams. When Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) placed them down to slaughter them, he recited the following duaa:

إنِّي وَجَّهْتُ وَجْهِيَ لِلَّذِي فَطَرَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضَ عَلَى مِلَّةِ إِبْرَاهِيمَ حَنِيفًا وَمَا أَنَا مِنَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ

إنَّ صَلَاتِي وَنُسُكِي وَمَحْيَايَ وَمَمَاتِي لِلَّـهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ لَا شَرِيكَ لَهُ وَبِذَلِكَ أُمِرْتُ وَأَنَا مِنَ الْمُسْلِمِينَ اللهُمَّ مِنكَ وَ لَكَ

23. It is mustahab that one eats from the Qurbaani animal and one feed others. Though it is permissible for one to keep the entire Qurbaani meat for one’s own needs, however it is best that the Qurbaani meat be divided into three portions. One portion should be kept for one’s immediate family, the second portion be distributed among one’s relatives and friends, and the third portion be distributed among the poor and needy.[3]

عن عابس بن ربيعة قال قلت لأم المؤمنين : أكان رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم ينهى عن لحوم الأضاحي ؟ قالت لا ولكن قل من كان يضحي من الناس فأحب أن يطعم من لم يكن يضحي ولقد كنا نرفع الكراع فنأكله بعد عشرة أيام (ترمذي رقم 1511)

It is reported regarding Hazrat Aabis bin Rabee’ah (Radhiyallahu Anhu) that he once asked the mother of the believers, Hazrat Aaisha (Radhiyallahu Anha), “Did Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) prevent us from eating the meat of the Qurbaani animal?” Hazrat Aaisha (Radhiyallahu Anha) replied, “No, Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) allowed us to eat the meat of the Qurbaani animal as much and as long as we wish. However, during the mubaarak life of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) there were many people who were poor and could not carry out Qurbaani, hence Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) encouraged us to distribute the meat among them and to feed them. We would consume from the Qurbaani animals shoulder for over ten days.”

24. It is recorded in the Hadith that the best of actions carried out on the day of Qurbaani is the spilling of blood. However, Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) has explained that the action that will earn one greater reward is joining of family ties that have been severed. Hence, together with carrying out the obligation of Qurbaani, we should ensure we maintain family ties.

عن ابن عباس رضي الله عنهما قال قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم في يوم أضحى ما عمل آدمي في هذا اليوم أفضل من دم يهراق إلا أن يكون رحما توصل رواه الطبراني في الكبير  (الترغيب رقم 1661)

Hazrat ibn Abbaas (Radhiallahu Anhu) reports that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said on the day of Eid ul Adha: “There is no action more virtuous than the spilling of blood (Qurbaani) on this day, except the joining of family ties (that have been severed).”


[1] قوله (فاضجعه)اي على اليسار و هو الظاهر لانه ايسر في الذبح (بذل المجهود 4/70)

[2]  ( و ) كره كل تعذيب بلا فائدة مثل ( قطع الرأس والسلخ قبل أن تبرد ) أي تسكن عن الاضطراب وهو تفسير باللازم كما لا يخفى ( و ) كره ( ترك التوجه إلى القبلة ) لمخالفته السنة (الدر المختار 6/296)

[3] و يستحب أن يأكل من أضحيته و يطعم منها غيره و الأفضل أن يتصدق بالثلث و يتخذ الثلث ضيافة لأقاربه و أصدقائه و يدخر الثلث و يطعم الغني و الفقير جميعا (الهندية 5/300)

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