Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam
Question: I am a convert and I recently found out that udhiya/qurbani is obligatory.This year I have the nisab minimum and so as I understand it would be wajib for me to do it (unless I am able to take a ruling from another madhab where it is sunna. is this possible?). It is difficult for me to do udhiya/qurbani, partly because I don´t fully understand the meaning of this practice in our deen. Could you please explain the reasons why we do this and the intentions one should have and how this should draw us nearer to Allah swt? Could I ask a brother at the mosque to do it for me and do I have to be present when the animal is sacrificed? Also, I rarely eat meat and I live with my non-muslim parents so could I just donate most of the meat to the mosque and leave a bit for my parents/family?
Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
I pray that you are in the best of health and faith, insha’Allah.
Yes, the sacrifice (udhiya) is necessary (wajib) upon the sane, mature, resident in possession of the zakatable minimum (nisab) in any form of wealth.
The Meaning of the Sacrifice (udhiya/qurbani)
The sacrifice is offered in order to commemorate the total submission displayed by Ibrahim (Allah bless him and give him peace) when he was commanded to sacrifice his son. Allah Most High says, “And when (his son) was old enough to walk with him, (Abraham) said: O my dear son, I have seen in a dream that I must sacrifice thee. So look, what thinkest thou ? He said: O my father! Do that which thou art commanded. Allah willing, thou shalt find me of the steadfast.” [Qur’an, 37:102]
Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani states that the philosophy behind ‘Udhiya’ is that it is a demonstration of total submission to Allah and a proof of complete obedience to Allah’s will or command. When a Muslim offers an ‘udhiya’ this is exactly what he intends to prove. Thus, the ‘udhiya’ offered signifies that he is a slave of Allah at his best. And that he would not hesitate even for a moment once he receives an absolute command from his Creator to surrender before it, to obey it willingly, even if it be at the price of his life and possessions. [Taken from: http://www.inter-islam.org/Actions/Qurbani.html]
`Aisha (Allah be pleased with her) reports that the Apostle of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “The son of Adam does not perform any actions on the day of sacrifice which is more pleasing to Allah than the shedding of blood. He will come on the day of resurrection with its hair, horns and hooves, and the blood certainly will fall in a place near Allah before it falls on the ground. So, make yourselves purified there with.” [Tirmidhi; Ibn Majah]
Zaid bin Arkam reports that the Companions of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) asked him: “O Messenger of Allah, what is this sacrifice?” He said: “It is the way of your forefather Ibrahim .” They asked: what (reward) is for us therein?” He replied: “There is a reward for every hair (i.e. the reward for meat and useful parts of the animal’s body will be very lofty in merit, but there will also be a great reward for the parts which are useless and thrown away such as the hair).” They asked: “For the wool, O Messenger of Allah?” He (Allah bless him and give him peace) replied: “There is one reward for every strand of wool.” [Ahmad; Ibn Majah]
You can ask another to perform it on your behalf. However, it is not a condition that you be present at the sacrifice. And there would be no harm in donating most of the meat away. See: Do I Have to Give 1/3 of the Sacrificial Meat Away in Charity?
And Allah alone gives success.
Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani