It is neither their flesh nor their blood that reaches Allah;
it is your piety that reaches Him." (Qur'an 22:37)
it is your piety that reaches Him." (Qur'an 22:37)
Lessons of Qurbani / Udhiyah
Qurbani is once in the year but it has lessons which every Muslim can apply for the rest of the year.
1. Importance of Qurbani
Allah mentions sacrificing of an animal side by side with Salaah in a number of verses of the Quraan :
a. "Verily my prayer, my sacrifice, my life and my death are for Allah; the Lord of the worlds.”
b. So turn in prayer towards your Lord and sacrifice (animals).” (108.2)
Salaah is a pivotal component of Islam. Without Salaah little of Islam remains. The fact that sacrifice (Qurbani) has been mentioned with it shows that it is similarly an important form of worship.
When a person slaughters a Qurbani animal, he is forgiven at the fall of the first drop of blood, and the animal will be brought on the Day of Qiyamah with its blood, meat, limbs, etc and placed on his scale of deeds. The Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam also mentioned that there is a reward attached for every hair or fibre of wool on the body of the sacrificed animal.
2. Respecting a personality by deed not statue
Islam teaches a unique method of paying respect to a great personality. In other cultures a person of respect is remembered by his statue or portrait. Islam commands that the practical act of the individual be emulated. The sacrifice of Ibrahim Alaihis Salaam was virtuous and we are commanded to do the very same action every year. Likewise, the life of the Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam was so beautiful that every Muslim has been instructed to live their lives in his mould. Similarly, the running of Bibi Hajira between Safa and Marwa is in the same way remembered by every Muslim who performs the Sa'ee during Umrah.
3. Islam teaches peace not violence
Before we slaughter the animal we take the name of Allah seeking His permission and asking for His blessings. The taking of a life is by no means a minor task. When Muslims are so scrupulous about respecting animal life how much more when it comes to human life? By no means are Muslims terrorists and blood-thirsty fanatics! Muslims are taught to adhere to a code ethics even on the battlefield.
4. Superiority of the Islamic method of slaughter
Islam, being a perfect way of life, has taught us how to slaughter an animal. The Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam taught us not to cause unnecessary pain and torture to the animal at the time of slaughter. It is with this in mind that Islam gives the following general guidelines :
- The knife used for slaughtering should be well sharpened so that it slits the throat easily, without causing undue pain.
- The knife should not be sharpened in front of the animals as this may drive fear into them.
- The animal should be slaughtered in isolation so that other animals cannot see the slaughter.
- The animal should be laid on the ground with ease and should not be mercilessly dragged to the place of slaughter.
5. Building Leadership qualities and removing pride
Every prophet of Allah looked after sheep at some point in his life. This was a divine system of training aimed at teaching the prophet leadership qualities. It inculcated simplicity in them and taught them that true reward comes with hard work. Tending to sheep may be a menial and low task but it is from ground zero that great leaders develop.
6. The Command of Allah and human logic
Ibrahim Alayhis Salaamhad two choices : to follow the cry of his heart or to submit to the call of his Creator. He chose to submit. There was no logic in killing his own son, Ismail, for no apparent reason. Ismail had not committed any sin or major wrong. But, this was a command from Allah which needed to be followed whether it conformed to logic or not. Eid-ul-Adha hinges on the spirit of surrender and submission to the divine call. A true Muslim accepts every command of his Creator without question and without searching for loopholes.
7. Spirit and Body
If we look at any form of worship in Islam it has deep spiritual and moral significance. When we sacrifice an animal it should be done for the pleasure of Allah only. Allah wants to see what the heart contains.
“It is not their flesh nor their blood that reaches Allah, but it is your piety that reaches Him…” (Surah Hajj)
8. Qurbani teaches sacrifice
When Ibrahim Alaihis Salaam chose to sacrifice his son he taught us the golden lesson that love for Allah in a man's heart should be stronger than the love for himself, his family and his emotions. It is a reminder that Islam teaches sacrifice and hard work as opposed to a life of endless pleasure and comfort.
9. Worship must be of superior quality
Islam teaches us to sacrifice animals of the best quality. They should be free from faults and defects. An animal that is blind, lame or has a structural defect from birth is not suitable for sacrifice. This teaches us that our relationship with Allah must be of a superior quality. We should not give a sub-standard effort. When we have to meet for an important business meeting we make sure that we dress perfectly, speak perfectly and focus our attention perfectly so that nothing important is missed. When we are in Salaah we should similarly be at peak performance. Our dress, recitation of Quraan and concentration should be perfect. Similarly, in all our acts of ibaadah like Haj, Zakaah, Sadaqah, etc, we should strive for perfection.
Source : http://www.internationalstudentsguide.com/islameveryday/lessons_of_qurbani.HTM