Imagine a beach with no waves… Imagine a desert with no sand… Imagine a rose with no petals… Imagine a perfume with no fragrance…  Imagine a fire with no heat…

If all these are unimaginable, it is because the missing ingredient, in each case, is the MAIN ingredient. Without this vital ingredient, none of these things would be significant or appreciated. In fact, without the main ingredient, they are like a wedding without the bride and groom – empty and soulless!

Similar is the case with qurbaani. On the day of ‘Eidul Adhaa and the two days that follow, it is the action of qurbaani that is the main ingredient. It is for this reason that the action of qurbaani, during this period, is the most beloved action to Allah Ta‘ala. Hence, a day of ‘Eid without qurbaani is like a perfume without any fragrance – empty and lacking spirit.

At present, due to the lockdown, there are many restrictions imposed regarding social gatherings, etc. However, there is absolutely no restriction on a person performing qurbaani with his household in his own yard. In fact, the virtues for performing qurbaani are so immense that no person should allow himself to be deprived of this opportunity to earn rewards. The ahaadeeth mention that for every hair on the back of the sacrificial animal, one will have a good deed recorded in his account. (Sunan Ibni Maajah #3127) Imagine the number of strands on the back of an animal! Furthermore, the blood and meat of the animal will be placed with one’s good deeds in the scale on the Day of Qiyaamah, and its weight will be multiplied seventy times! (At-Targheeb wat Tarheeb vol. 2 pg. 154)

Nevertheless, we should not only ensure that we perform qurbaani if we have the means to do so, rather we should try to personally perform qurbaani, with our own hands, even if it is just a single animal in our back yard. Additionally, if we are concerned about contracting the virus, then an additional benefit of conducting qurbaani in our yards is that we will be minimizing our risk and will be able to implement any measures that we feel necessary.

Shaikhul Hind, Moulana Mahmoodul Hasan (rahimahullah), was a renowned saint and scholar of India. He was imprisoned by the British for rising against their oppressive rule and fighting for independence. Such was his passion, enthusiasm and zeal for qurbaani that while he was imprisoned on the island of Malta, he requested the authorities to sell him an animal and allow him to perform qurbaani in the prison. Although prisoners were not normally allowed to slaughter animals, his sincerity and passion melted the hearts of his captors and they relented, permitting him to perform qurbaani. Hence, even while in the prison, he performed his qurbaani, calling the name of Allah Ta‘ala as he upheld this great ‘ibaadah. (Hayaat-e-Shaikhul Hind – Akaabir-e-Deoband aur ‘Ishk-e-Rasul [sallallahu alaihi wasallam], pg. 132)

Shaikhul Hind (rahimahullah) understood the significance and importance of qurbaani, and hence he made arrangements to perform it himself, even while incarcerated. This is a lesson for us all – even if we are under lockdown, we still enjoy MUCH freedom and can easily make the arrangements to perform our own qurbaani. Hence, regardless of any qurbaani that we may get others to perform on our behalf (e.g. via organizations, farms, etc.) we must do at least one qurbaani with our own hands, showing due importance to the occasion of ‘Eid. This is the ingredient that will bring the soul and spirit to our ‘Eid and earn us the pleasure of Allah Ta‘ala, as it indicates that we wholeheartedly embrace this action, and we are not doing it resentfully or grudgingly.

May Allah Ta‘ala bless us all to enliven our ‘Eid with the beloved action of qurbaani, and may He bless our efforts with acceptance, aameen.