The Essence of Zabeehat (Qurbaani)
(Ritual slaughter)

Imaam Ja'far us-Saadiq (AS) has said, ‘It is related from my ancestors that Rasulullah (SAWS) sacrificed (slaughtered) an animal during the days of Hajj in the holy place of Mina and he said that this place is ‘manhar' ; i.e. the whole land of Mina is the place of ritual slaughter and he has ordered the people to perform the sacrifice of animal near the place of their stay in Mina.'

It is related from Rasulullah (SAWS) as saying that Hazrat Ali (AS) participated in my sacrifices; where there were 100 female camels. Rasulullah (SAWS) sacrificed 63 out of them and then he rested and requested Hazrat Ali (AS) to slaughter the rest of them.

Rasulullah (SAWS) has said, ‘It is desirable that a man should sacrifice his offerings by his own hands and he should arrange for an offering on his own. If he is unable to do so, he should keep his hand with the hand of the slaughterer; and if he is unable to do so, he should stand by the side and recite the name of Allah until the animal is sacrificed.' The sacrificial offering of a believer should not be slaughtered except by a believer. It is permitted that those who did not find their own sacrificial animal might share a camel or a cow according to the means of a person.

Allah Ta'ala says in the Qur'an in the 36 th verse of Surat ul-Hajj regarding the sacrifice: “We have made the ritual sacrifice among one of the signs of Allah, it is favorable for you in doing so. Take the name of Allah while standing in His way (sacrifice those animals in the way of Allah) and then eat what you get by this sacrifice.” Rasulullah (SAWS) sacrificed the male camel by keeping it in the standing position, but it is ordained to sacrifice the male-goat and the cow at their neck after reclining them on the ground. It is mandatory to say “Bismillah” while sacrificing the offering. It is desirable to recite the du'a of wajjahto wajheya” till “wa ana minal muslemeen” and then the du'a of “Allahumma minka wa laka bismillah” that means:

“I have turned my face towards Him Who has created the heavens and the earth from the beginning. I am on the religion of Allah; I am a Muslim and I am not one of the idolaters. Indeed my worship and my sacrifice and my living and my dying are for Allah, the Lord of the Universes. He has no partner, this I am commanded, and I am first of the Muslims. O Allah I am sacrificing what I got from You and for You, in the name of Allah.”

To remember the Ahl-ul-Bayt (AS) and the Apostles of Allah after every du'a is the habit of every faithful and pure mumin. You should recite the du'a of ‘aqeeqa from the saheefa at the time of sacrifice along with the fervent of Ahl-ul-Bayt (AS) and the Apostles of Allah because doing so is equal to take the names of Allah as they all are the guides to us in the world sent by the Allah. To recite salawaat, bestowing the blessings on Rasulullah (SAWS) and his progeny is an assurance of the acceptance of the du'a in the way of Allah.

Rasulullah (SAWS) used to sacrifice an animal of the same qualities possessed by the animal which came down to Hazrat Ibrahim (AS), i.e. an animal which walks with black; eats with black; sees with black; and excretes with black; means an animal whose legs, face, eyes, and anus is black in color. He was asked, ‘From which place did the animal for Hazrat Ibrahim (AS) descend?' Rasulullah (SAWS) said, ‘It came down from the heaven to the hill which is right of the mosque of Mina.'

Imaam Ja'far us-Saadiq (AS) was asked about which animals were the best for sacrifice and he said: ‘The following animals are the best to sacrifice in the order of priority, female camels; male camels; cows; bulls; male sheep; gelded sheep; he-goats; gelded goat; ewes; she-goats.

It is related by Hazrat Ali (AS) that Rasulullah (SAWS) used to watch the physical characteristics and inquire the age of the animal before purchasing it for sacrifice. He said that the camel should be above five years of age; cows should be above two years of age; male sheep and he-goats should be above one year of age. He said that the animal should have well grown horns and teeth. Rasulullah (SAWS) usually watched out for the horns, eyes, and ears in the animal taken for the sacrifice.

Hazrat Ali (AS) forbade people from sacrificing an animal with a broken horn; or one whose lameness is apparent; or one who is emaciated and the emaciation is apparent; or one whose ears are cut off or damaged; or one who is injured; or one who limps while walking. An aged animal, if there is no defect in him and is not emaciated will suffice, but a fat one is desirable.

Imaam Ja'far us-Saadiq (AS) forbade the sale of any parts of the sacrificial animals in the market. He prohibited feeding the meat of sacrificial animals to the polytheists and idolaters because it is the means of obtaining the spiritual union with Allah. The meat of the sacrificial animals should be distributed among the believers, neighbors and be fed to the needy and poor who are not in a position to sacrifice an animal in the way of Allah. He also prohibited people from keeping the meat for more than three days, when people were in need of it; but there is no harm in keeping it longer after it is distributed to the needy.

It is favorable to sacrifice an animal on the day of ‘Eid. After offering the namaaz of ‘Eid, from the sunrise to the declension of the sun at noon , it is permissible to sacrifice an animal. After the declension of sun it is not advisable to sacrifice an animal. An animal can be sacrificed on the other day of ‘Eid. If the animal that has been brought for the sacrifice is stolen; or it is lost, and if it is not found till the day of ‘Eid then, Allah Ta'ala gives the reward of sacrifice to that man. Sacrifice by a person who is sexually impure, alcoholic, adulterer, disbeliever in the shari'at and the Qur'an is illegitimate and is not accepted by Allah and to eat such a meat is forbidden.

Imaam Ja'far us-Saadiq (AS) has said, ‘If you wish to sacrifice an animal, do not torture it; give it a light meal and water before sacrificing it. Sharpen the knife, turn the head of the animal towards the qibla, and while reciting “Du'a-e-‘Aqeeqa” cut the main artery of the animal near its neck and do not cut the bone of the neck nor its skin until the blood is completely drained out. For every drop of blood that falls from the neck of the animal, Allah Ta'ala erases the sins of the man and makes him pure from the sins.

Rasulullah (SAWS) has said, ‘The best of meal in the heaven and the earth is the meat of the sacrificed animal and the best of drinks in the heaven and the earth is water.' So you eat the meat, for it increases the flesh of your body and the one who abandons eating meat for forty days will spoil his behavior and his thinking (disposition).

Imaam Ja'far us-Saadiq (AS) has said, “Eating meat increases one's power of vision and hearing and strengthens the body.” He said that one of the prophet complained of bodily weakness to Allah. Allah revealed verses on him in which he commanded to eat the meat and milk cooked together (now popularly known as “khurdi”) , for Allah has given favor and cure in it. The prophet did as it was revealed and he got relief from his sufferings.

It is related that Rasulullah (SAWS) liked the leg portion of the meat the most (the ham) and whenever an animal was gifted to him, he would first select the ham of the animal. Rasulullah (SAWS) disapproved the eating of glands; the spinal cord; the marrow of the lumbar region, the spleen, the penis of male animals, the vulvae and the uterus of the female animals and the whitish portion of the kidneys of the sacrificial animals.

Hazrat Ali (AS) has related an incident as said, ‘Once Rasulullah (SAWS) sacrificed an animal and invited me to take part in it and ordered me to cook the meat and he ate the meat and ordered me to have the same meat; and he had the soup of the meat and ordered me to have the soup and then he said that the one who has the soup of the meat is said to have eaten the meat itself.'

Rasulullah (SAWS) once went to Maulatana Fatema (AS) on the day of sacrifice (qurbaani) and said, “O Fatema (AS), wake up and witness your sacrifices and listen to me, the first drop of blood which falls will be expiation of your every minor sin and listen to me, the flesh of the animal sacrificed, its faeces, its bones and its skin and everything will be placed in your balance at the Day of Judgement, and indeed Allah will give seventy times more favor to you.” Hazrat Miqdaad bin al-Aswad heard of this remark and asked Rasulullah (SAWS), may my father and mother be sacrificed for you, is this act of Allah restricted to the progeny of Mohammad (SAWS), or it is meant for the general Muslim populace? Rasulullah (SAWS) replied, “Indeed, it applies to all the Muslims who sacrifices in the way of Allah as He has ordered; for the one who pleases Allah by doing so; and for the one who abides to the practices of Mohammad (SAWS) by doing so; all of them deserves the same reward.”

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