What is Udhiya?
'Udhiya' is an Arabic word meaning "blood sacrifice", and 'Qurbani' is an Urdu and Persian word derived from the Arabic word "Qurban" which literally means an act performed to seek Allah Ta'ala's pleasure. It is technically used for the sacrifice of an animal slaughtered for the sake of Allah Ta'ala.
The sacrifice of an animal has always been a recognised form of worship in many religions, but in the 'Shariah' (Islamic sacred law) of The Last and Final Messenger of Allah Ta'ala (Peace be upon him) the sacrifice of an animal has been recognised as a form of ibadah (worship) during the three days of the month Zul Hijjah, namely the 10th, 11th, and 12th .
This is to commemorate the unparalleled sacrifice offered by the Prophet Sayyidna Ibrahim, Alayhi Salam, when he, in pursuance to a command of Allah Ta'ala conveyed to him in a dream, prepared himself to slaughter his beloved son, Sayyidna Isma'il, Alayhi Salam, and actually intended to do so, but Allah Ta'ala the Almighty, after testing his submission, sent down a sheep and saved his son from the logical fate of slaughter. It is from that incident that the sacrifice of an animal became an obligatory duty to be performed by every Muslim who has the means to do it.
On who is obligatory?
Qurbani is Wajib (obligatory) on every Muslim who is
- Of sound mind - mature (has reached the age of puberty),
- Muqeem (i.e. he is not a Shari traveller)
- Possesses the amount of 612,36 grams of silver or wealth equivalent to that value which is in excess of one's basic needs and debts on any of the three days of Qurbani. It is not necessary that this amount be in one's possession for a complete lunar year. (please do consult your local Islamic Scholars for more details)
What the Quran and Hadith says:
Allah Ta'ala Ta'ala, The Most Wise says:
"It is not their meat nor their blood that reaches Allâh, it is your piety that reaches Him. Indeed He has subjected them (animals) to you so that you may glorify Allah for guiding you, and give glad tidings to those who excel in good." (Quran-22:37)
The Noble Messenger of Allah Ta'ala(Peace be upon him) is reported to have said:
"For every hair that is on the sacrificial animal, one reward is recorded for the person making the Qurbâni."
"There is nothing dearer to Allâh during the days of Qurbâni than the sacrificing of animals. The sacrificed animal shall come on the Day of Qiyamah with its horns, hair and hooves (to be weighed in reward). The sacrifice is accepted by Allâh before the blood reaches the ground. Therefore sacrifice with an open and happy heart."
"Whoever has the capacity to sacrifice and does not do so, should not come to the place where the Eid prayer is offered." (Hadith-Ibn Majah).
Therefore if you have the means to do Qurbani, do not ignore this important part of Deen. There are many more details that relate to Qurbani which we have not covered in this brief article.
For a detailed article on the Laws & Virtues of Udhiya (Qurbani) please visit: http://eislaminfo.blogspot.com/2010/10/qurbaniudhiyya.html