Dhu ‘l-Hijjah, ‘Id al-Adha and Qurbani

By Mufti Afzal Husayn Ilyas

Old Picture of Kabah, Masjid al Haram, MakkahMay Allah accept this noble effort of ours, make it a means of guidance for the Ummah and keep us steadfast on the straight path. Ameen.


Allah-Ta’aala has taken oath of the night in Suratul-Fajr of the Quraan. Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) has said: ”There is no better time to perform Ibaadat (devotion) of Allah Ta’aala than on the (first) ten days of Zul Hijjah. A day’s Saum (fasting) in it, equals the Saum (fasting) of a year, and a night’s Ibaadah in it, equals the lbaadah of Laylatul Qadr”. (Tirmizi-Ibn Majah).

According to the majority. the ten nights-are those of the (first) ten days of Zul­ Hijjah, especially the ninth, i.e. the Day of Arafah and the night preceeding the Eid Day. All these days are filled with special virtues. The observance of the saum (fast) of the ninth of Zul Hijjah (Day of Arafah) is a Kaffarah (atonement) of the fast and concerning year, and to remain awake on the night of Eid and perform lbaadah is a source of great virtue and Thawaab (reward).


Hazrat Abu Oatadah al-Ansari (R.A.) relates that Rasulullah (SAW) was asked about Saum (fast) on the day of Arafah (9th ZuI Hijjah). He said: “It compensates for the minor sins of the past year and coming year”.

 The 9th day of the month of Zil-Haj is called Yowm-e-Arafah, If Yowm-e­ Arafah is observed in Saudi Arabia on Friday and in South Africa on Saturday. South African Muslims must treat Saturday as Yowm-e­ Arafah. Muslims are to calculate according to the Lunar dates of their own country. It is haraam to fast on (1) Eid·ul-Fitr; (2) Eid-ul-Adha and 3 days after Eid-ul-Adha.


It Is related that Rasulullah (SAW) said: “Whoever stays awake and makes lbaadat on the nights of Eidul Fitr and Eidul Adha, his heart will not die on the day when all hearts will be dead”. (Targheeb).

 Hazrat Muaaz ibn Jabal (RA) relates that Rasulullah (SAW) said: “Jannat is Wajib for those who stay awake with the intention of making Ibaadat on the following nights; 8th 9th and 10th of Zul Hijjah, the night of Eidul Fitr and the night of the Shabaan”. (Targheeb).


 It Is sunnat on the day of Edul Adha to:

  • Awake earlier than usual
  • Brush the teeth (Miswaak)
  • Have a bath (Ghusal)
  • Be well dressed in an Islamic manner
  • Dress in your best clothes (Not necessarily new)
  • Use Itr
  • Perform Eid Namaaz at the Eidgah (Permanently fixed place for Eid Namaaz)
  • Avoid eating before Eid Namaaz
  • Go to the place of Namaaz early
  • Walk to the place of the Eid Namaaz (If it is within distance)
  • Read aloud the Takbeeraat on the way to the place of prayer. Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, La-ilaha-illalahu wallahu Akbar Allahu Akbar walilahil hamd
  • Use different routes to and from the place of Eid Namaaz.


On the 10th day of the sacred month of Zil-Hajj the Muslims throughout the world gather together in Masjids or the Eid Grounds to perform two Rakaats Namaaz (Waajib). These two Rakaats Namaaz are not preceded by the Azaan or the Iqaamath, but by six Takbeers (ALLAHU AKBAR), three in the first and three in the second Rakaat. .

After the Muslims. have stood in the rows, The Imaam commences the Namaaz with the.”TAKBEER ULLA”, (ALLAHU AKBAR), in response to which all raise their hands up to the lobe of the ears and then fold their arms, thereafter reciting, the Sana (SUBHANA KALLA HUMMA WA BI HAMDIKA WA TA BARAKA A’SMOKA WA TA’AALA JADDUKA WA LA ILAHA GHAIROKA). The lmaam then recites loudly the three Takbeer lifting and dropping the hands after the first two and folding the arms after the third Takbeer. The Imaam then continues to recite the Sura Fatiha and another Sura and then the Ruku and the Sijdas, thus completing the first Rakaat of the Narnaaz, after which he rises up completing the second Rakaat. In the second Rakaat, the three Takbeers are not recited before the Sura Fatiha and the Sura but the Imaam just recites loudly the last three remainingTakbeers before the Ruku. The followers in response to which all raise their hands to the lobes of the ears as in the first Rakaat and lower them to their sides. The Imaam then reads the fourth Takbeer after at which the Ruku is performed followed by the Sijdas and Salaams, thus completing the two Rakaats Namaaz.

Immediately after the completion of the two Rakaats Namaaz only the Imaam rises up and recites the two Khutbas (Sermons). It is essential that every Muslim should listen to the Khutbas attentetively (Wajib).


  1. Hazrat Ayesha (RA) narrates that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said: “There is nothing dearer to Allah during the days of Ourbani than the sacrificing of animals. The sacrificed animal shall come on the day Qiyamah with its horns, hair and hoofs. The blood of the sacrificed animal is accepted by Allah before it reaches the ground. Therefore sacrifice with an open heart”
  2. Hazrat Zaid bin Arquam (RA) relates that the companions of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) asked: “0 Messenger of Allah! What is Qurbani?” He replied; “It is the Sunnah of your father Abraham”, They asked again: “What benefit do we derive from it?” He answered: “A reward for every hair of the sacrificed animals”. “And what about the wool?” “A reward,” he said, “for every fibre of the wool”.

Therefore a Muslim upon whom Qurbani is compulsory should under no circumstances lose this golden opportunity of gaining such innumerable rewards from hIs Creator, the Almighty Allah.


 The importance of the Qurbani may be understood from the following statement of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam): “He who does not make the Qurbani inspite of having the means to offer it, should not attend our Musallaa”. The Musallaa or Eid Gah is the vacant ground on the outskirts of the town where the Eid Salaat is performed. This Hadith does not prohibit the culprit from going to the Musallaa and performing the Eid Salaat. In fact it is necessary for him to perform the Eid Salaat even if he has wilfully neglected this great ibaadat of Qurbani.

 Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam), in this Hadith rather emphasises the importance of the Ourbani and the evil of deliberately ommitting it. One who wilfully ignores the performance of the Qurbani is like one who has dissociated himself from the general body of the Ummah, hence Nabie-Kareem (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) criticizes him so severely to jolt him into realising the evil of his neglect.


  1. Every person, male or female, upon whom Sadaqatul-Fitr is Wajib. Qurbani is also Wajib, but if one sacrifices an animal, without it being compulsory on him, one gains the same reward as mentioned above
  2. No person Is permitted to sacrifice on behalf of his wife or parents who are alive, without first obtaining their permission to do so
  3. If a person sacrifices an animal in which seven shares are allowed (cows, etc.) and if he has his own share in that animal, and also a share for any of the above persons without first obtaining their consent, then the whole sacrifice becomes invalid
  4. It is not compulsory to sacrifice on behalf of minor children.


Qurbani can be made on behalf of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) the Sahaabah, parents, relatives and friends who have passed away. Qurbani is permissible on behalf of any Muslim who has died. Those whom Allah Taata has blessed with sufficient wealth should utilise this great opportunity of Qurbani to sacrifice animals on behalf of their dead who are always waiting anxiously and in expectant of thawaab from their relatives who still have the opportunity of earthly life. Qurbani on behalf of a living person is not valid without the permission of the person concerned.


Qurbani is not Wajib (compulsory) on the musaalfir (one who has undertaken a journey of 81 km or more). However this does not mean that the musaafir should refrain from making Qurbani even if they have the means and is able to procure an animal for the purpose. Ourbani is an ibaadat of tremendous importance. The thawaab for this noble act of sacrifice is truly great. No one concious of the Aakhirah and in want of thawaab will unnecessarily cast aside this great act of ibaadat. The musaafir should, therefore, not be neglected of this great act of sacrifice.

According to the Haith Shareef, Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) even while on journey made the Qurbani. Hadhrat Abdullah Bin Abbas (RA) narrated that on one journey a group of Sahaabah in the company of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) made Qurbani while they were in Safr (travelling). They sacrificed a cow on behalf of seven persons.


These are the animals that can be sacrificed: Both male and female goats, sheep, buffaloes and camels. Also oxen and cows. No other animals is permitted. Up to seven people can become share-holders in a single cow, buffalo or a camel, providing that: (a) no share is less than a seventh part and (b) the intention of every share-holder is either Qurbani or Aquiqua, and not mere partaking of the meat. If the share-holders are less than seven, then too, no one should be a partner in less than a seventh part. 12. AGES OF ANIMALS Sheep and goats should not be less than a year old (but a very healthy sheep or ram over six months old may be used for sacrifice also). Cows and buffaloes not less than two years and camels not less than five years old.


The under-mentioned animals are not permissible for Qurbani: (a) Blind. (b) One-eyed. (c) One that has lost a third or more eye-sight of one eye. (d) An animal whose one third or more than one third ear or tail is cut off. (e) A lame animal which walks with only three legs and is unable to place its fourth foot on the ground, or places it on the ground but is unable to walk with it but if it can walk with it although it may be lame, then such an animal is permissible for Qurbani. (f) A tooth-less animal, but if only a few teeth have fallen off then it is permissible. (g) An animal born without ears, but an animal with very small ears is permissible. (h) A horn less animal or one with broken horns is also permissible, but if the horn is broken off right from the root, then such an animal is not permissible. A castrated animal is permissible. This type of goat is preferable. If an animal becomes disqualified after it has been bought, it should be replaced, but if the owner is a poor man, upon whom Qurbani is not compulsory, then he may sacrifice the same animal. Sacrifice is permissible in day time as well as in the night, but it is not advisable at night, lest a vein may not be well cut, thus rendering Qurbani unlawful. It is better to slaughter the animal yourself. If you are unable to do so, then it is better to be present infront of the animal. It is essential to utter the words of the Niyat and Duaa before slaughtering. It is quite in order to slaughter while uttering the word BISMILLAHI ALLAHU AKBAR and thinking in his heart that he is slaughtering. It is mustahab to buy the animal in advance, feed it, attend to it, look after it and then sacrifice it. It is related of Hazrat Shaikhul Hind -MOULANA MAHMOODUL HASAN may Allah Ta’alah enlighten his resting place and fill it with noor (light), (who was the first student of Darul Uloom Deoband and later became the Shaikul Hadith), that immediately after Eidul Adha he used to buy the animal for Qurbani for the following year, feed it himself and attend to it throughout the year. The animal used to become so deeply attached to Hazrat Moulana (RA) that it used to accompany him to the Darul Hadlth and then returned home with him.

On the day of Eid when making Qurbani of this animal Moulana used to cry, so did the other members of the family as they grew very attached to the animal.

Mas’alah: It is not permissible to milk an animal that has been selected for Qurbani, nor should its wool be sheared or hair be cut. If due to some necessity it was milked, then this should be given away as sadaqah. Likewise, if the hair or wool was cut, this should be given away as sadaqah.

Mas’alah: It is Mustahab to razor-sharpen the knife before slaughtering so that the animal will not suffer unduly. After slaughtering, the animal should not be skinned or cut up into pieces before it completely becomes cold. One animal should not be slaughtered in the presence of another animal.

Mas’alah: It is Mustahab for the person slaughtering the Qurbani to face the Qiblah.


 In those habitations and towns where it is permissible to perform Jumu’ah, thoro is not permissible to perform the Ourbani before the Eid Salaat. If someone has performed this Ibaadah before the Eid Salaat it will have to be repeated. In those small villages where the Jornu’ah and Eidayn are not performed, the inhabitants of these places may perform Ourbani after Subh Saadiq (true dawn) on the tenth day (of Zul Hijjah). I n the case where for some reason the Eid Salaat could not be performed after the normal Eid Salaat time, it is permissible, but not preferable to perform Ourbani at night. (Shaami).


 These days begin after Fajr on the 9th Zul-Hajj and end after Asr on the 13th Zul-Hajj. It is Wajib for every adult Muslim to recite the Takbirat of Tashriq audibly after every Fard Salaah which is performed with Jamat during this period (23 Salawath).

 These are the Takbirs to be recited: Allahu Akbar Allahu Akbar La-ilaha illallahu wallahu Akbar Allahu Akbar walillahil Hamd. Translation: ‘Allah is Great, Allah is Great. There is no Deity besides Allah. And Allah is great. Allah is great and all praises belong to Him alone.

 It is mustahab for those who say their prayers singly (men or women) and Musafirs (travellers) to recite these Takbir softly.


At time of Zabah the animal should be laid with its throat towards the Oibla. Before the Zabah, read: Inni wajahtu wajhiya lillahi fatarassamawati warlarda hanilow wamaan minal Mushrikin. Inna salati wansuki wamahyaya wam­mamati Lillahi Rabbil Alamin. Lasharikalahu wabidhalika umirtu minal muslimin Allahumma minka walaka.
Translation: ‘For me, I have set my face, firmly and truly towards him who created the heavens and the earth. And never shall I give partners to Allah. Verily my worship and my sacrifice, my living and my dying are tor Allah. Rabb of the worlds, 0 Allah this Sacrifice is from you and is for you’.


Bismillahi Allahu Akbar.
Translation: In the name of Allah, Allah is great.



Translation: ‘0 Allah accept from me (this sacrifice) like you have accepted from Your beloved Muhammad and Your friend Ibrahim. Peace be upon them’.

If a person has not memorised the Dua, it is correct that he slaughter the animal with the Niyjat of Ourbani and the recital of ‘Bismillahi Allahu Akbar’. If a Muslim knows how to make Zabah properly it is Mustahab (desirable) that he make it with his own hand. If one is unable to do so, it is better to delegate the Zabah to another Muslim who knows the requirements of proper Islamic Zabah. A Muslim woman if she is capable should also make the Zabah herself. In any case it is desirable that the person for whom the Qurbani is being made should be present at the sacrifice. Do not sharpen the knife after the animal has been caught for sacrifice; all preparations should be made beforehand.


The meat of the animal to be shared by the partners and should be distributed by weight and not by estimation. If the actual weighing is not practicable due to some reason, and all the partners agree to distribute the meat without weighing, distribution by guess can be done with the condition that each share necessarily contains either a leg of the animal or some quantity of its liver. The Ourbani meat should be divided into three parts. One part should be kept for the the family, one for relatives and friends, and one for the poor and needy. One who has a large family could be given all the meat. It is Haraarn to sell the Qurbani meat.

The slaughterer, (skinner etc.) cannot be given the skin or meat in payment. A separate remuneration must be given one. There is no objection to giving the meat to needy non-muslims. One can keep all the meat, if one so desires.


  • The skin of the Qurbani animal could be kept for personal use, such as tanning the skin and using it as a Musallah (prayer mat), a water bag or something else. If it is sold, that amount cannot be used and it is Wajib to give away in sadaqah.
  • A skin of the Qurbani animal cannot be sold without the Niyyah of sadaqah (Alamgiri).
  • The Qurbani skin cannot be given in lieu of any services. An Imaam, Mu’azzin etc. cannot be given this in lieu of their services.
  • A needy Muslim engaged in religious activities could be given the skin as sadaqah, and it is preferable to do so.


  • Qurbani is Sunnatul Muakkadah ala Kifaayah. l.e. if a few members in the community make the Qurbani, the duty will be discharged on behalf of the whole community. But, this does not mean that one should be negligent regarding the Qurbani. Whoever can afford it should not miss the opportunity of offering the sacrifice. According to Imam Shaffi (RA) it is Makrooh (reprehensible) for one who can afford the Qurbani, not to make it.
  • Once the intention is made to make the Qurbani, then it no longer remains Sunnats, but becomes compulsory. The Niyyat which will transform the Sunnat Qurbani into a compulsory sacrifice making the niyaat to the effect: “I intend this animal as a sacrifice”.
  • If an animal is purchased with the intention of Qurbani and the animal is lost or destroyed through no fault of the purchaser, then it will not be obligatory to replace the animal.
  • It is Sunnat for one to make his own Qurbani with his own hands if he has the ability to do so. But, a woman should let someone else make the “Zabah” (slaughter) on her behalf.
  • It is Sunnat for one to look on when one’s animal is being sacrificed.
  • It is Sunnat for the one who intends making the Qurbani not to cut any of his nails or remove any hairs from the body until after the Qurbani has been offered (i.e, from the 1st Zil-Hajj until after sacrifice the animal.)
  • If a sheep has not yet attained the age of one year then its Qurbani could be made if the following two conditions are present: (i) It must not be under six months. (ii) Its front teeth must have been replaced with a new set.
  • It is not permissible to make Qurbani on behalf of a living person without his permission nor is it permissible to make Qurbani on behalf of a deceased if a Wasiyaat (bequest) was not made by the deceased.
  • It is not permissible to make Qurbaani of defective animals, e.g. blindness in one eye or both eyes; so much lameness that it cannot keep up with the flock; severe sickness which makes the flesh defective; an animal suffering from scabies; an animal with the ear or part of the ear cut (not necessarily one third as is the Hanafi Mazhab); an animal with the tailor part of the tail cut. Broken horns will not be considered as a defect.
  • If a vow was made unto Allah Ta’ala to make Qurbani of a particular animal and that animal happens to be defective, then it shall have to be sacrificed not withstanding the defects.
  • The period of Qurbani is from after the Eid Salaat until sunset of the 12th Zil-Hajj.
  • At the time of slaughtering the animal, it is compulsory to make the Niyyat (intention) of Qurbani otherwise the sacrifice will not be valid.
  • It is Sunnat to divide the flesh into three parts; one part for the poor; one part for friends and relatives; and one part for one’s own use. It is Waajib (compulsory) to give at least some of the flesh to the poor, It is Afdhal (better and of greater Sawaab) to give all the meat to the poor. But, if all the meat is given out, a few pieces should be kept for one’s own use so that one will not be deprived of the Barakat. It is not permissible to use more than one-third for one’s own use.
  • It is not permissible to give Qurbani flesh to non-Muslims.

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