Allah mentions in the Qur-aan Kareem: “So turn in prayer towards your Lord and sacrifice (animals)”. [Surah 108/ al-Kauthar, v:2]
and in [Surah 22/ al-Hajj, v:37] “It is neither their meat nor their blood that reaches Allah, but it is piety from you that reaches Him.”
Allah does not have a need for anything, let alone one from mankind. The orders that have been given to Mankind are required to be fulfilled in obedience to the Creator without seeking to deduce them with logic or intellect. They should be carried out in subservience to Allah, this is the meaning of Taqwa.
Ud-hiyyah or Qurbaani is a sacrifice, obligatory upon every Muslim who is of sound mind, mature (who has reached the age of puberty), Muqeem (i.e. he is a resident and not a Shar’ee traveller) and possesses the amount of 612.35 grams of silver or wealth equivalent to that value during the three days of Udhiyyah (Ayyaam-un-Nahr) which are the 10th, 11th and 12th of Dhul-Hijjah.
When a person slaughters a sacrificial animal, he is forgiven at the fall of the first drop of blood, and verily, the animal shall be brought forward on the Day Of Judgement with its blood, meat etc., and shall be increased in weight seventy times more than its own weight, and thereafter it will be placed on the scale of deeds. (Kanzul ‘Ummaal).
There are three words in Arabic that are used to describe the act of Sacrifice:
1. Nahr- “Therefore turn in prayer to your Lord and sacrifice to Him only.” [Surah 108/al-Kauthar, v:2)
2. Nusuk- “Say: My Salaah, my sacrifice (Nusuk), my living and my dying are for Allah, Lord of All the Worlds. He has no partner. And of this I have been commanded, and I am the first of the Muslims.” [Surah 06/al-An’aam, v:162] The word nusuk (translated here as sacrifice) means sacrifice; this is the view of Sa’eed ibn Jubayr (RadiyAllahu ‘anhu). And it was said that it means all acts of worship, including sacrifice, which is more comprehensive.
The word Mansak (as nusuk)- “And for every nation We have appointed religious ceremonies, that they may mention the Name of Allah over the beast of cattle that He has given them for food. And your Ilaah (God) is One Ilaah (God Allah), so you must submit to Him Alone (in Islam). And (O Muhammad) give glad tidings to the Mukhbitoon (those who obey Allah with humility and are humble from among the true believers of Islamic Monotheism)”. [Surah 22/al-Hajj, v:34]
3. Ud-hiyyah- according to Shaykh Muhammad ibn ‘Uthaymeen, means an animal of the “an’aam” class (i.e., camel, cow, sheep or goat) that is slaughtered during the days of ‘Eid al-Adha because of the ‘Eid and as an act of worship, intending to draw closer to Allah thereby. This is one of the rituals of Islam prescribed in the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam), and according to the consensus of the Muslims.
‘Allaamah Mullah Ali Qari and Allamah Tibi (rahimahullah) stated: “Ud-hiyyah refers to that animal which is sacrificed on the 10th of Dhul-Hijjah for the sake of Allah.” [Mirqaatul Mafaateeh, vol 3, p302]
The act of Ud-hiyyah (sacrifice) or Qurbaani as it is commonly known as in many parts of the world, is from amongst the symbols of Islam. This act was enacted from the time of Aadam (‘Alayhis-Salaam) until the time of the Prophet (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam), almost every nation and Prophet performed this deed. ‘And for every nation We have appointed religious ceremonies, that they may mention the Name of Allah over the beast of cattle that he has given them for food…’ [Surah 22/al-Hajj, v:34]
It is also related in Surah 05/ al-Maa-idah, v:27, that the two sons of Aadam, Haabil (Abel) and Kaabil (Cane) performed sacrifices for the pleasure of Allah. “And recite to them the story of Adam’s two sons, in truth, when they both offered a sacrifice [to Allah ], and it was accepted from one of them but was not accepted from the other. Said [the latter], “I will surely kill you.” Said [the former], “Indeed, Allah only accepts from the righteous [who fear Him].”
Allamah ibn Qadama (rahimahullah) relates: “The Muslims have unanimously accepted the performance of ud-hiyyah as an order of the Sharee’ah.” (Al Mughni, vol 13, p360)
Moreover it is a commemoration of Khaleelullah, Ibraheem (‘Alayhis-Salaam). Allah has stated in the Qur-aan thus: And, when he (his son) was old enough to walk with him, he said: “O my son! I have seen in a dream that I am slaughtering you (offering you in sacrifice to Allah). So look what you think!” He said: “O my father! Do that which you are commanded, InshaaAllah (if Allah wills), you shall find me of As-Sabiroon (the patient).” And when they had both submitted and he put him down upon him forehead, We called to him, “O Ibraheem, You have fulfilled the vision.” Indeed, We thus reward the doers of good. Indeed, this was the clear trial. And We ransomed him with a great sacrifice. And We left for him (a goodly remembrance) among the later generations. “Salam peace be upon Ibraheem.” (Surah 37/as-Saaffaat v:102-109)
Allah tested the Prophet Ibraheem (‘Alayhis-Salaam) with many difficulties and orders to prove his obedience. On one occasion Ibraheem was shown a dream wherein he was sacrificing his son Isma-eel . The Prophets’ dreams are treated as revelation and both father and son proceeded to carry out the order of Allah. When the time came for the sacrifice and Ibraheem (‘Alayhis-Salaam) fulfilled the order of Allah ; Allah substituted the sacrifice with a ram. In remembrance of the love, obedience and belief both Ibraheem and Ismaa-eel (‘Alayhimus-Salaam) showed to Allah on this occasion; the sacrifice is enacted by Muslims all over the world and will be performed until the day of Qiyaamah following the example of Ibraheem (‘Alayhis-Salaam). The performance of this action of Ibraheem (‘Alayhis-Salaam), namely, the willingness
to sacrifice his son shows that a person’s logic should not always be used to justify the orders of Allah. It was for this reason that his obedience was so loved by Allah, that the mention of which is also found in Qur-aan. [Tafseer Ibn Katheer/ Ma’aariful Qur-aan]
There is nothing dearer to Allah during the days of ud-hiyyah than the sacrificing of animals. The sacrificed animal shall come on the Day of Judgement with its horns, hair, and hooves (to be weighed). The sacrifice is accepted by Allah before the blood reaches the ground. Therefore sacrifice with an open and happy heart. (Tirmidhi, Ibn Maajah).
It was narrated in Saheeh al-Bukhaari (5558) and Saheeh Muslim (1966) that Anas ibn Maalik (RadiyAllahu ‘anhu) said: “Rasoolullah (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam) sacrificed two white rams speckled with black. He slaughtered them with his own hand, said ‘Allaahu Akbar’ and put his foot on their necks.”
It was narrated that ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar (RadiyAllahu ‘anhu) said: “Rasoolullah (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam) stayed in Madeenah for ten years, offering sacrifice (every year on ‘Eid).” [Ahmad, 4935; Tirmidhi, 1507; classed as hasan by al-Albaani in Mishkaat al-Masaabeeh, 1475]
It was narrated from ‘Uqbah ibn ‘Aamir (RadiyAllahu ‘anhu) that Rasoolullah (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam) shared out sacrificial animals amongst his companions, and ‘Uqbah got a sheep that was six months old. He said, “O Messenger of Allah, I got a sheep that is six months old.” He said, “Offer it as a sacrifice.” [Bukhaari, 5547]
Ud-hiyyah is only valid during three days of Dhul-Hijjah, 10th, 11th, and 12th. Ud-hiyyah cannot be performed in any other day of the year. Although it is permissible on each of the three days, the first day (10th of Dhul Hijjah) is the most preferable and desired day.
Generally, ud-hiyyah is not allowed before ‘Eid Salah.
It was narrated from al-Baraa’ ibn ‘Aazib (RadiyAllahu ‘anhu) that Rasoolullah (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam) said: “Whoever offers a sacrifice after the prayer has completed his rituals (of ‘Eid) and has followed the way of the Muslims.” [Bukhaari, 5545]