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The Greater Qurbaani

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The immense rewards of qurbaani are mindboggling. One’s sins are forgiven before the first drop of blood of the animal falls onto the ground. A person’s reward will be equivalent to the number of strands of hair or fibre of wool on the animal he is slaughtering. Likewise many other great rewards have been promised for this very great ‘ibaadah. Hence, can you imagine a reward greater than this? Indeed, Allah Ta‘ala loves something even more than sacrificing animals and blesses the one who undertakes it with greater rewards. Hadhrat ‘Abdullah bin ‘Abbaas (radhiyallahu ‘anhuma) reported that once on the day of ‘Eid-ul-Adha Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) said : “There is no action more virtuous than the spilling of blood (qurbaani) on this day, except the joining of family ties (that have been severed).” (at-Targheeb 2/154)

Greater Sacrifice

While performing qurbaani is certainly a great sacrifice, joining and maintaining family ties is a greater sacrifice. The sacrifice of qurbaani only entails the sacrificing of wealth while joining and maintaining  family ties often entails the very great sacrifice and “qurbaani” of one’s ego and self-esteem. At times it also requires the sacrifice of some wealth. An indifferent family member may snub one and spurn the gesture of re-joining and patching up. However if one undertakes the great ‘sacrifice’ in humbling oneself to join kinship, it will definitely surpass the sacrificing of animals in reward and in securing the pleasure of Allah Ta‘ala. Allah Ta‘ala loves that the paragon of His creation (insaan) and the followers of His beloved Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) should live harmoniously and cordially with one another. Hence any initiative undertaken to  foster a harmonious relationship is greatly appreciated and rewarded by Allah Ta‘ala.

Maintaining family ties is afforded such importance in the court of Allah Ta‘ala that a person’s entry into Jannah is subject to him maintaining family ties. Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) stated in a hadeeth: “Rahim (family ties) are linked to Rahmaan (Allah Ta‘ala). Allah Ta‘ala makes Jannah haraam on the one who severs them” (Musnad Ahmad #1651). Having a tit-for-tat attitude, as is common nowadays, is very far from what our most beloved Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) advocated. Huzaifah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) reports that Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) said: “Do not behave in a dishonourable manner and say: ‘If people treat me kindly then I will treat them kindly, and if they are unjust to me then I will be unjust to them.’ Instead, control yourself. If people are kind to you then be kind to them, and if they ill-treat you then do not retaliate” (Sunan Tirmizi #2007).

Once a Sahaabi complained to Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam): “O Rasulallah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), I have some relatives. I try to strengthen bonds of family ties with them, but they ignore me. I treat them with kindness, but they ill-treat me. I exercise patience in my behaviour towards them, but they are rude to me.” Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) replied, “If you are treating them as you say, you are throwing dust in their faces (they will be disgraced) and Allah Ta‘ala will continue to support you against them as long as you remain steadfast in your behaviour.” (Saheeh Muslim #6525)

Not Accepted

The severity of the evil of severing family relations cannot be overemphasised. In one hadeeth, Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) said: “The deeds of man are presented to Allah Ta‘ala on the eve of every Friday, and the deeds of the one who breaks family ties are not accepted” (Musnad Ahmad #10272). Such a person is also deprived of the special forgiveness and amnesty of Allah Ta‘ala on the Night of Baraa’ah (15 night of Sha’baan) when millions of people are forgiven.

Barakah in Life and Wealth

On the converse, when one plucks up the courage and undertakes the great ‘sacrifice’ of rejoining family ties and maintaining a healthy relationship,  besides the immense rewards of the Hereafter one will also enjoy its benefits in this very life. Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) has stated in a hadeeth: “The one who wishes to be blessed with a long life, enjoy expanse in his sustenance and livelihood, and be saved from a bad death then he should fear Allah and maintain family ties” (Musnad Ahmad #1213).

There are numerous other benefits and rewards that one receives for maintaining a healthy relationship and reuniting torn hearts. It is therefore the duty of every individual to undertake the “sacrifice” necessary to maintain kinship. It is better to trample one’s ego or tolerate some loss of wealth to join and maintain family ties (earning great rewards and benefits in the process) rather than suffer the severe consequences of severing family ties.

Therefore, this ‘Eidul Adha, let us engage in the 'ibaadah of qurbaani as well as the ‘ibaadah of the act that is greater than qurbaani. May Allah guide us all to the path of love and harmony. Aameen.