Masaa’il e Qurbani
Date of Sacrifice
Sacrifice is one of the most important and esteemed acts of worship in the month of Dhul-Hijjah. It is a significant means of attaining the pleasure of Allah Almighty. The tradition of offering sacrifices in the presence of Allah has been ongoing since the time of Prophet Adam (peace be upon him). As soon as Prophet Adam (peace be upon him) descended to the Earth, the slaughtering of animals was ordained by divine command. The story of Prophet Adam’s (peace be upon him) sons, Habil (Abel) and Qabil (Cain), is mentioned in the Noble Qur’an, where it is stated that Habil offered a fine sacrificial animal, which was accepted by Allah Almighty. (Imdad al-Fatawa)
The Story of Prophet Adam’s (peace be upon him) Sons, Habil and Qabil
Allah Almighty has mentioned the story of Prophet Adam’s (peace be upon him) sons, Habil and Qabil, in Surah Al-Ma’idah (Chapter 5) of the Qur’an. Both of them presented sacrifices before Allah. Habil offered a commendable animal for sacrifice, while Qabil presented some agricultural produce, specifically grains. At that time, the sign of the acceptance of the sacrifice was that fire came down from the sky and consumed the sacrifice. Consequently, Habil’s sacrifice was accepted as the fire consumed it, whereas Qabil’s sacrifice remained untouched. As a result, his sacrifice was not accepted.
The mentioned incident is related to verse number 27 of Surah Al-Ma’idah
۞ وَٱتْلُ عَلَيْهِمْ نَبَأَ ٱبْنَىْ ءَادَمَ بِٱلْحَقِّ إِذْ قَرَّبَا قُرْبَانًۭا فَتُقُبِّلَ مِنْ أَحَدِهِمَا وَلَمْ يُتَقَبَّلْ مِنَ ٱلْـَٔاخَرِ قَالَ لَأَقْتُلَنَّكَ ۖ قَالَ إِنَّمَا يَتَقَبَّلُ ٱللَّهُ مِنَ ٱلْمُتَّقِينَ
And recite to them the story of the two sons of ’Ādam rightly: When both of them offered a sacrifice, it was accepted from one of them, and was not accepted from the other. He said, “I will kill you.” He said, “Allah accepts only from the God-fearing. (5:27)
The mention of the disobedience of the Children of Israel, who continued to disregard the command of Jihad despite its obligation. It is clarified that it is not only permissible but obligatory to take someone’s life in a purposeful Jihad. However, unjustly killing someone is a grave sin. The incident mentioned in the Quran is the first recorded incident of murder in this world. The Quran only mentions that the two sons of Adam (peace be upon him) presented some offerings, and one offering was accepted by Allah while the other was not. As a result, the rejected son became enraged and killed his brother. The details of this incident are not provided in the Quran, but scholars have narrated a detailed incident based on the accounts of Hazrat Abdullah bin Masood (may Allah be pleased with him) and other companions. According to this narration, Hazrat Adam (peace be upon him) had two sons named Qabil (Cain) and Habil (Abel). Since the world’s population was limited to the offspring of Hazrat Adam (peace be upon him), each pregnancy of his wife would result in the birth of twin children, a boy and a girl. It was prohibited for the twin siblings to marry each other, but the son born in one pregnancy could marry the daughter born in a subsequent pregnancy. The girl born with Qabil was very beautiful, and despite the prohibition, he insisted on marrying her. Habil considered her marriage to Qabil as forbidden, but he desired to marry her. As their disagreement escalated, they decided to present offerings before Allah, and whoever had his offering accepted by Allah would be considered truthful. Both of them presented their offerings, and it is mentioned in the narrations that Habil offered a high-quality animal for sacrifice, while Qabil offered some crops. The sign of the acceptance of the offering was that fire descended from the sky and consumed the accepted sacrifice. In this case, the fire consumed Habil’s offering, indicating that his sacrifice was accepted, while Qabil’s offering remained untouched, indicating that it was not accepted. Instead of accepting the verdict and dealing with his envy, Qabil became prepared to kill his brother.
ثم المشهور عند الجمهور أن الذي قرب الشاة هو هابيل، وأن الذي قرب الطعام هو قابيل، وأنه تقبل من هابيل شاته حتى قال ابن عباس وغيره: إنها الكبش الذي فدي به الذبيح، وهو مناسب، والله أعلم، ولم يتقبل من قابيل.
The great event of Hazrat Ibrahim (علیہ السلام) and Hazrat Ismail (علیہ السلام) Similarly, the great event of Hazrat Ibrahim (علیہ السلام) and his son Hazrat Ismail (علیہ السلام) regarding the sacrifice is also very important and characteristic, which is famous and well-known.
Therefore, it is mentioned in the Holy Quran, Surah Al-Safaat, see verses 100 to 111:
رَبِّ هَبْ لِیْ مِنَ الصّٰلِحِيْنَ ۞ فَبَشَّرْنٰهُ بِغُلٰمٍ حَلِيْمٍ ۞ فَلَمَّا بَلَغَ مَعَهُ السَّعْىَ قَالَ يٰبُنَىَّ اِنِّىْۤ اَرٰى فِى الْمَنَامِ اَنِّىْۤ اَذْبَحُكَ فَانْظُرْ مَاذَا تَرٰىؕ قَالَ يٰۤاَبَتِ افْعَلْ مَا تُؤْمَرُ سَتَجِدُنِىْۤ اِنْ شَآءَ اللّٰهُ مِنَ الصّٰبِرِيْنَ ۞ فَلَمَّاۤ اَسْلَمَا وَتَلَّهٗ لِلْجَبِيْنِۚ ۞ وَنَادَيْنٰهُ اَنْ يّٰۤاِبْرٰهِيْمُۙ ۞ قَدْ صَدَّقْتَ الرُّءْيَاۚ اِنَّا كَذٰلِكَ نَجْزِى الْمُحْسِنِيْنَ ۞ اِنَّ هٰذَا لَهُوَ الْبَلٰٓؤُا الْمُبِيْنُ ۞ وَفَدَيْنٰهُ بِذِبْحٍ عَظِيْمٍ ۞ وَتَرَكْنَا عَلَيْهِ فِى الْاٰخِرِيْنَۖ ۞ سَلٰمٌ عَلٰٓى اِبْرٰهِيْمَ ۞ كَذٰلِكَ نَجْزِى الْمُحْسِنِيْنَ ۞ اِنَّهٗ مِنْ عِبَادِنَا الْمُؤْمِنِيْنَ ۞
O my Lord, bless me with a righteous son.” So, We gave him the good news of a forbearing boy. Thereafter, when he (the boy) reached an age in which he could work with him, he (Ibrāhīm) said, “O my little son, I have seen in a dream that I am slaughtering you, so consider, what is your opinion?” He said, “O my dear father, do what you have been ordered to do. You will find me, inshā’allah , (if Allah wills) one of those who endure patiently.” So, (it was a great episode) when both of them submitted themselves (to Allah’s will), and he laid him on his forehead (to slaughter him), and then We called out to him, “O Ibrāhīm, you did make the dream come true.” This is how We reward those who are good in their deeds. This was indeed a trial that clearly demonstrated (their obedience). And We ransomed him with a great sacrifice, and We left for him (a word of praise) among the later people, (that is,) “Salām be on Ibrāhīm! This is how We reward those who are good in their deeds. Surely, he is among Our believing servants. (100:111)
1. The intended person here is Prophet Ismail (Ishmael) (peace be upon him).
2. Although it was a dream, the dreams of the prophets (peace be upon them) are also a form of revelation. Therefore, Prophet Ismail (peace be upon him) considered it as Allah’s command.
3. Both the father and the son had firmly resolved to fulfill Allah’s command by sacrificing the son. That is why Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) laid his son on his forehead so that he would not waver or hesitate when wielding the knife, upon seeing his son’s face.
4. Since both the father and the son had already exercised their own discretion in implementing Allah’s command, the test was completed. Now Allah demonstrated His power by replacing the knife with a ram from His divine power, sparing Prophet Ismail (peace be upon him) from the sacrifice.
It is important to understand that the dreams of the prophets are a form of revelation, and acting upon them is necessary. Therefore, Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) prepared to sacrifice his son based solely on his dream. As mentioned in the “Sharh Mushkil al-Athar” by Imam Tahawi:
“The dreams of the prophets are a form of revelation. Acting upon them is necessary, just as the Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) prepared to sacrifice his son based on his dream.”
عَنْ سَعِيدِ بْنِ جُبَيْرٍ عَنِ ابْنِ عَبَّاسٍ فِي قَوْلِهِ تَعَالَى: «إِنِّي رَأَيْتُ أَحَدَ عَشَرَ كَوْكَبًا» [يوسف: 4] قَالَ: كَانَتْ رُؤْيَا الْأَنْبِيَاءِ عَلَيْهِمُ السَّلَامُ وَحْيًا. وَكَانَ أَحْسَنُ مَا حَضَرَنَا مِمَّا يُؤَوَّلُ عَلَيْهِ هَذَا الْحَدِيثُ: أَنَّ رُؤْيَا الْأَنْبِيَاءِ صَلَوَاتُ اللهِ عَلَيْهِمْ كَانَتْ مِمَّا يُوحِيهِ اللهُ إِيَّاهَا إِلَيْهِمْ، فَيُوحِي إِلَيْهِمْ فِي مَنَامَاتِهِمْ مَا شَاءَ أَنْ يُوحِيَ إِلَيْهِمْ فِيهَا، وَيُوحِي إِلَيْهِمْ فِي يَقَظَاتِهِمْ مَا شَاءَ أَنْ يُوحِيَهُ إِلَيْهِمْ فِيهَا، وَكُلُّ ذَلِكَ وَحْيٌ مِنْهُ إِلَيْهِمْ، يَجْعَلُ مِنْهُ مَا شَاءَ فِي مَنَامَاتِهِمْ، وَيَجْعَلُ مِنْهُ مَا شَاءَ فِي يَقَظَاتِهِم
Except for the prophets, the dream of anyone else cannot serve as evidence or proof that one must act upon it, nor can any command be imposed based on that dream.
The act of sacrifice has existed in every religion and community:
Through the events of Habil (Abel) and Qabil (Cain) from the sons of Prophet Adam (peace be upon him), and the events of Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) and his son Prophet Ismail (Ishmael) (peace be upon them), it becomes clear that offering sacrifices in the presence of Allah is a great act of worship that has been present in every religion and community from Prophet Adam (peace be upon him) to the Ummah of Muhammad (peace be upon him). As stated in the Quran, in Surah Al-Hajj, verse 34, Allah Almighty guides:
وَلِكُلِّ أُمَّةٍۢ جَعَلْنَا مَنسَكًۭا لِّيَذْكُرُوا۟ ٱسْمَ ٱللَّهِ عَلَىٰ مَا رَزَقَهُم مِّنۢ بَهِيمَةِ ٱلْأَنْعَـٰمِ ۗ فَإِلَـٰهُكُمْ إِلَـٰهٌۭ وَٰحِدٌۭ فَلَهُۥٓ أَسْلِمُوا۟ ۗ وَبَشِّرِ ٱلْمُخْبِتِينَ
For every Ummah (religious community) We prescribed the act of sacrifice, so that they recite Allah’s name over the provision He gave them from the cattle. So, your God is One God. Therefore, to Him alone you must submit. And give good news to those who turn to Him with humbleness (22:34)
This fact reveals that the act of offering sacrifices in the presence of Allah has been prescribed for every community. However, there are indeed differences in the methods and forms of sacrifice among different nations. Among these, the most significant form of sacrifice is the one bestowed upon the Ummah of Muhammad (peace be upon him) as the celebration of Eid al-Adha, which is a commemoration of the sacrifice of Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) (peace be upon him).