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The Qurbani Animal

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The animal that is being sacrificed for Qurbani should be treated with respect. The Qurbani animal must qualify in terms of specification, quality, age and being free from defects. The following domesticated animals are permitted for Qurbani:

goat/sheep/ram = 1 year or older
bull/buffalo/cow/ox = 2 years or older
camel = 5 years or older

Animals younger than the prescribed age are not suitable for Qurbani

A sheep that is more than six months old but less than a year, and physically appears to be a year old will suffice for Qurbani. This does not apply to goats and other animals. (Mishkat, Ad Durrul Mukhtar)

A cow, bull, buffalo or camel will suffice for seven persons, provided no participants share is less than one seventh; and the intention of all partners is to attain reward and not merely to benefit from the meat. (Mishkat, Ad Durrul Mukhtar)

Animals chosen for Qurbani should be healthy and free from defects. (Raddul Muhtar)

Animals with defects

The following animals are not suitable for Qurbani:

1. An animal that has it’s horn/s broken off from the root. An animal born without horns or the horns are broken off but not from the root is suitable for Qurbani.(Mishkat, I'laaus Sunan, Raddul Muhtar)

2. An animal that has lost its sight, has one eye only or has lost more than one-third of its vision. (Mishkat, Ad Durrul Mukhtar)

3. An animal that is born without ears or lost more than a third of the ear. (Mishkat, Ad Durrul Mukhtar)

4. An animal that limps and walks on three legs and cannot put the injured (fourth) leg onto the ground, or it can put the injured leg onto the ground, but is unable to walk on it. However, if it is unable to walk on it, but can take support from it, then Qurbani is permitted with such an animal. (Mishkat, Raddul Muhtar)

5. Animals that are so lean that their bones have no marrow. (Mishkat, Raddul Muhtar)

6. If an animal gets injured while slaughtering, e.g. breaks a leg or an ear gets cut off, the Qurbani will be valid. (Ad Durrul Mukhtar)

7. If an animal was bought in a healthy condition and thereafter became unfit for Qurbani then,

a. If the owner is not wealthy (possessor of nisab) it will be permissible to offer the unfit animal for Qurbani.

b. if the owner is wealthy (possesses the nisab), then it is compulsory for him to obtain another animal. (Ad Durrul Mukhtar)

Method of slaughtering an animal

Care should be taken to slaughter the animal without subjecting it to unnecessary pain and torture. The following pertinent points are to be kept in mind:

The knife must be sharp so that it slits the throat swiftly, without causing undue pain to the animal. (Sahih Muslim, Tanweerul Absaar)

The knife should not be sharpened in the presence of the animal.

The animal should not be slaughtered whilst it is hungry or thirsty. (Sunan Ibn Majah)

The animal should not be dragged along to the place of slaughter. (Tanweerul Absaar)

The animal should be slaughtered at a place where other animals cannot witness the slaughter.

The animal should be laid on the ground with ease and slaughtered without delay.

The animal should not be slaughtered with such impact that its head is severed, or the knife reaches the spinal cord. (Ad Durrul Mukhtar)

It is incorrect to slaughter the animal above the neck because it causes the animal severe pain. (Ad Durrul Mukhtar)

After slaughtering, the head should not be cut off nor should the animal be skinned until the body is cold (lifeless). (Ad Durrul Mukhtar)

The Qurbani animal should be placed on its left side facing the Qiblah and the following dua should be recited before slaughtering the animal:

“Inni wajjah tu wajhiya lillazi fataras samawati wal arda haneefou wama ana minal mushrikeen – Inna salati wanusuki wa mahyaya wa mamati lillahi rabbil alameen – La shareekalah wa bizalika umirtu wa ana minal muslimeen, Allahumma minka walak”

“For me I have set my face firmly and truly towards Him Who created the heavens end the earth. And never shall I associate partners with Allah. Verily my worship, my sacrifice, my living and my dying are for Allah, Lord of the worlds. He has no partner. With this I have been commanded and I am from among the Muslims. O

Allah this sacrifice is from You and for You.”

When slaughtering the animal recite: Bismillahi Allahu Akbar. (In the name of Allah - Allah is the Greatest)

Du'a to be read after Zabah (slaughter):

“Allahumma taqabbalhu minni kama taqabbalta min habibika Muhammadin wa Khaleelika Ibrahim alayhimas salam”

“O Allah accept from me this sacrifice like You have accepted from Your beloved Muhammad (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) and Your friend Ibrahim u peace be upon them.”

The meat of the sacrificed animal

It is advisable - but not compulsory - to apportion the Qurbani animal into three parts. One part for one's family, another may be distributed among friends and relatives and the third to the poor and needy. It is permissible to keep all the meat for oneself. (Raddul Muhtar)

The meat of the animal which has more than one share should be distributed by weight. It may be distributed by estimation, if all parts of the animal including the skin, hooves head, offal, etc are included in each share and all shareholders agree. (Ad Durrul Mukhtar)

It is unlawful to sell the Qurbani meat. (Sunanus Sughra lil Baihaqi, Raddul Muhtar, Ad Durrul Mukhtar)

It is not permissible to tender the skin or meat as payment to the slaughterer (or skinner). Their fees should be paid separately. (Sunanus Sughra lil Baihaqi, Ad Durrul Mukhtar)

The meat of the voluntary (nafl) Qurbani, made on behalf of a deceased person may be eaten by all. (Raddul Muhtar)

Qurbani meat may be consumed by oneself and may be served to others, e.g. at a Walima. (Raddul Muhtar, Ad Durrul Mukhtar)

It is permissible to utilise the skin for one's personal use, e.g. as a Musalla or a leather pouch. However, if the skin is sold, it is not permissible to use the income thereof. It is Wajib to give it in charity. (Ad Durrul Mukhtar)

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