The Ibadah of Qurbani is among the Shi’aar (distinguishing features) of Islam. Such importance has been accorded to Qurbani that a severe warning was sounded to those who shirk in performing it despite having the means. It is reported from Hazrat Abu Hurairah (Radhiyallahu Anhu) that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said:
“He who has the means and does not perform Qurbani, he should not approach our musallah (eid gah/place of performing Eid Salaah)”
[Sunan Ibn Majah, pg.226 #3123].
This Hadith clearly describes the great importance that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) accorded to Qurbani. We can truly appreciate the full impact of this Hadith if we ponder for a moment what a tremendous blessing it was to perform a single Salaah behind Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam). Here Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) is prohibiting the person who failed to perform Qurbani, despite having the means, from performing the Eid Salaah behind him. This, then, illustrates the tremendous importance of Qurbani in Islam and the reprehensible position of those who ignore this injunction. Hence no true Muslim who has the means will ever omit performing the Qurbani.
It is Waajib (necessary) for the one who has the means to perform Qurbani. It is narrated from Hazrat Ibn Umar (Radhiyallahu Anhuma):
Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) remained in Madinah Munawwarah for ten years and each year he performed Qurbani (Sunanut Tirmizi vol.1, pg.277 #1507). This Hadith indicates that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) performed Qurbani every year that he was in Madinah Munawwarah and never omitted this practice. Such strict adherence to this act is a clear indication of it being Waajib. Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) is also reported to have said:
“He who has slaughtered (his animal) before the Eid Salaah should slaughter another in its place (since the first is not acceptable). He who has not slaughtered (any animal as yet for Qurbani) must do so”
[Sahih Bukhari Vol.2 Pg. 834].
The virtues of Qurbani are indeed tremendous. It is reported in a Hadith that the Sahabah (Radhiyallahu Anhum) enquired of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) as to what the rewards of Qurbani were. Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) replied that the person performing Qurbani will be rewarded for every hair on the body of the animal or for every fibre of wool in the case of sheep”
[Mishkaat ul Masaabih Vol.1, pg.129].
Sacrificing the animals of Qurbani on the day of Eidul Adha is also the most beloved action to Allah Ta’ala on that day. Hazrat Aaisha (Radhiyallahu Anha) reports that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said:
“The son of Adam (Alayhis Salaam) does not perform any action on the day of Nahr (Eidul Adha) which is more beloved to Allah Ta’ala than causing the blood (of the Qurbani animals) to flow” (Mishkaat ul Masaabih Vol.1 Pg.128). On different occasions certain acts enjoy a superior status compared to many other forms of Ibadah. On the day of Eidul Adha the sacrificing of animals has been granted this special virtue of being the most beloved action in the sight of Allah Ta’ala.
The first drop of blood from the Qurbani animal causes a person’s sins to be forgiven. Hazrat Ali (Radiyallahu Anhu) reports that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said to Hazrat Fatimah (Radiyallahu Anha):
“O Fatimah! Go and witness your Qurbani, because the first drop of blood that falls from it causes all your sins to be forgiven. On the Day of Qiyamah, this animal will be brought with its blood and flesh and will be placed on your scale increasing it seventy times more. Hazrat Abu Saeed (Radiyallahu Anhu) after hearing of the great blessing asked Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) whether this great favour was only for the family of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) because they are more worthy of this good action or is it for the family of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) and the entire Muslim Ummat? Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) replied that it is for both the descendants of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) and the entire Ummah.”
From this Hadith two important virtues are found: The first drop of blood of the Qurbani animal causes a person’s sins to be forgiven and his scales of deeds will increase manifold. Therefore Qurbani should be done wholeheartedly. Even if it is not Wajib one should try and achieve this blessing.
Therefore no person who has the means should forego this great Ibadah. With an open heart one should spend from the wealth that Allah Ta’ala has granted and purchase the best animal that one can reasonably afford. Hazrat Ibrahim (Alayhis Salaam) was prepared to sacrifice his son. Surely we can sacrifice some of our wealth!