History of Qurbani
Qurbani (Sacrifice) is an ancient form of worship that is prevalent from the time of Hazrat Adam (Alaihis Salaam). The first sacrifice to be offered was that of Haabil and Qaabil, the two sons of Hazrat Adam (Alaihis Salaam). Hazrat Bibi Hawa (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anha) used to give birth to twins and Haabil was born with Leewa while Qaabil was born with Aqleemah. In terms of the Shariah during that time, Aqleemah was unlawful for Qaabil but Leewa was lawful for him. But because Aqleemah was prettier Qaabil tried to marry her. He argued with Hazrat Adam (Alaihis Salaam) who eventually told both his sons to offer a sacrifice, and the one whose sacrifice is burned by a heavenly fire would be true and sincere. Thus Qaabil brought a heap of wheat and Haabil slaughtered a sheep and placed it on a mountain. A fire from an unknown source appeared and burnt the meat, leaving the wheat untouched. At this miraculous happening Qaabil became jealous and made a firm intention to kill Haabil. [Tafseer Noorul Irfaan]
Referring to this incident, Allah Ta’ala states in the Glorious Qur’an, And narrate to them the true story about the two sons of Adam, when each of them offered a sacrifice (to Allah). It was accepted from one, but was rejected from the other. He (Qaabil) said, I swear that I shall kill
you. The other (Haabil) said, Allah accepts (the offering) only from the God-fearing. [Surah 5, Verse 27]
From this verse we learn that the eating of sacrificial meat was not permissible for the previous Ummahs. Their accepted sacrifice would be burnt by fire from Almighty Allah, while the rejected sacrifice would be left to rot. The eating of sacrificial meat is a distinctive privilege of the Ummah of Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). [Tafseer Noorul Irfaan] We can therefore see how Allah Taâ€™ala has bestowed His special favour upon us just because we are the Ummatis of His Beloved Rasool (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). Subhaanallah!
The month of Hajj and the day of Eid-ul-Adha remind us of the sacrifices of Hazrat Ibrahim Khaleelullah (Alaihis Salaam). Allah Ta’ala loved his act of devotion and sacrifice so much that He has made it incumbent on us to follow this beautiful Sunnah of Hazrat Ibrahim (Alaihis Salaam) till the Day of Qiyaamah. In fact sacrifices have been made for Allah Ta’ala since the time of Hazrat Adam (Alaihis Salaam) yet it was that of Hazrat Ibrahim (Alaihis Salaam) that Allah Ta’ala made incumbent on us to follow, further emphasizing how much Allah Ta’ala loved that act. From this we also learn that true devotion to Almighty Allah demands that one must be willing to sacrifice everything in the name of Allah, whether it be your wealth, family or life.
Qurbani instils in us selflessness, sharing and sacrifice and removes from us the carnal desire to hoard money. The intention of Qurbani is not to feed or eat the meat of Qurbani, but to fulfil a command of Allah Ta’ala and to renew the Sunnah of Hazrat Ibrahim (Alaihis Salaam). The Holy
Qur’an bears testament to this in the following verse,”Neither their flesh reaches to Allah nor their blood, but your piety reaches Him.” [Surah 22, Verse 37]
Significance of Qurbani
Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) once said to his beloved daughter Hazrat Bibi Fatima (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anha), “You must stand in the presence of your animal sacrifice, and bear witness to it, for then you will be granted forgiveness, with the first drop of blood that drips from it, for every sin you have committed. (As you stand there) you must say “Inna Salaati wa Nusuki wa Mahyaaya wa Mamaati Lillaahi Rabbil Aalameen”” [Ghunyalit Taalibi Tareeqal Haq, Vol. 3]
What Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) told Hazrat Bibi Fatima (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anha) to recite in the above Hadith is a verse of the Holy Qur’an, the translation of which is, â€œUndoubtedly, my prayer, and my sacrifices, and my living and my dying are all for Allah Who is
the Lord of all the worlds.â€ [Surah 6, Verse 162]