And hold firmly to the rope of Allah all together and do not become divided…(3:103)

The Reality of Sacrifice

Posted by:




’’عَنْ عَبْدِاﷲِ بْنِ عَوْنٍ عَنْ عَامِرٍ اَبِیْ رَمْلَۃَ ’’قَاَلَ اَنْبَأَنَا مَحْنَفُ بِنِ سَلِیْمٍ قَالَ وَ نَحْنُ وَقُوْفٌ مَعَ رَسُوْلِ اﷲِصَلَّی اﷲُ عَلَیْہِ وَسَلَّمَ بِعَرَفَاتِ قَالَ قَالَ یَا اَیُّھَا النَّاسُ اِنَّ عَلیٰ کُلِّ اَھْلِ بَیْت فِیْ کُلِّ عَامٍ اُضْحِیَۃً…‘‘(سنن ابی داؤد ، کتاب الضحایا)

Narrated Mikhnaf ibn Sulaym (R.T.A.): We were staying with the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) at Arafat; he said: O people, every family must offer a sacrifice and an Atirah. Do you know what the Atirah is? It is what you call the Rajab sacrifice.



‘قربانی’ is an Arabic derived from the root word ‘قربان’, which means ‘کُلُّ مَا یَتَقَّرَبُ بِہٖ اِلٰی اﷲِ’ (Everythnig that causes nearness to Allah). It should also be born in mind that in Arabic language the the terminological words have been used for sacrifice are  ‘اضحِیۃ’ and ‘نُسُک’ as also used in the tradition mentioned above.

What is sacrifice?:

When asked ‘مَا ھَذِہٖ الْاَضَاحِیْ؟’ (What is the sacrifice?), the Holy Prophet ﷺ replied, ‘سُنَّۃُ اَبِیْکُمْ اِبْرَاہِیْمَ’ (it is the Sunnah of your father, Ibrahim A.S.).

In reality, sacrifice is a practice done in great memory of Hazrat Ibrahim’s matchless life. His entire life was full of many various trials and sacrifices. His greatest achievement is that he was not leas concerned even to sacrifice even himself in order to establish the unity of Allah, the Almighty and weaken the power of idolatory. His second sacrifice is that he was ready with his soul and heart to sacrifice his only and the most beloved son, Hazrat Ismail (A.S.) with view to seek Allah’s pleasure.

Offering sacrifice is not a characteristic only of the community of the Holy Prophet, Muhammad ﷺ, rather it existed only in the previous communities and practiced only by the followers of different religions. We find the mention of sacrifice even in the event of Habil and Qabil. Similarly, sacrifice was practiced only by the Jews, Christians and Arabs during the days of ignorance. It is also offered by the Hindus namely ‘Baleedan’ or ‘Bali’.

However, it is an established fact that sacrifice exists in almost all the communities existing in the world   and there is not a single heavenly, rational or well-known religion which opposes this blessed practice but may be with some differences in the ways of offering it.

The reality of sacrifice:

Sincerity:  The first and foremost condition for each and every act done with intention solely to seek Allah’s pleasure is that it must be only for Allah’s sake. If deeds, though physical or material, are worth non-existing or unpractised if not done with real spirit of sincerity, rather they may cause provoke Allah’s wrath and sever chastisement for lacking in sincerity.

Keeping all these things in mind, kindly analyse the most sacred form of worship and recall the most wonderful episode that took place with Hazrat Ibrahim (A.S.). Not only this one but if we take the full stocks of his whole account of life we would surely come to know the fact that the main background of all the events which took place with him was only the compliance of Allah’s commandment or seeking His ultimate pleasure.

It is for this reason that it is not only the sacrifice but his whole life has been regarded as a model for the whole community of Muhammad ﷺ which, in reality, is an honour only for Hazrat Ibrahim (A.S.) after the Holy Prophet ﷺ. It is also for this reason that he had been blessed with the title of ‘Khaliullah’ and the word ‘Kullat’ means love in its perfect form.

The true passion of being sacrificed:

Sacrifice is something that requires the true spirit to be sacrificed for something that was found in Hazrat Ibrahim (A.S.). On the contrary, offering sacrifice as a customary practice to avoid the critical remarks of people and not to possess such type of true spirit which the practice of sacrifice requires from us has no value in the sight of Allah, the Almighty, since sacrificing animals is a sign and practical training to reach the goal.

In its true sense, sacrifice aims at ‘the upliftment of Allah’s word’ and be ever ready for this cause to sacrifice oneself and all that belongs to him like his property, family, whims and wishes, likings and disliking in the cause of Allah, the Almighty. It is the main objective that sacrifice is required in Islam rather than offering it as a customary practice through flowing the blood of animals.

Certain points of guidance pertaining to sacrifice:

  • Offering sacrifice is a sacred form of worship observed soley for Allah’s sake.
  • It is obligatory on a person who can afford.
  • To offer sacrifice each year.

Lastly we pray to Allah, the Almighty to grant us Taufique to offer our sacrifices with the true spirit as required in Islam. (Ameen!)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *