By Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri
The word qurbani embraces vast scope of meaning. This is derived from word qurb (nearness). Therefore the act of qurbani denotes the nearness to Allah Almighty. Technically, the word qurbanirefers to the sacrificing of animals on the occasion of Eid al-Adha with a view to achieving the nearness to Him. In the wider context, it means sacrificing everything one possesses in the way of Allah like life, wealth, honour and comfort etc. The 162nd verse of Sura al-Anam states: “My prayers, my Hajj (Pilgirmage) and sacrifice (with all my acts of worship) and my life and my death are for Allah alone Who is the Lord of all the worlds.”
Historical background of slaughter
The act of slaughtering lawful animals as a means for achieving nearness to Allah Almighty dates back to the time when Hadrat Adam (as) came to the world. The Holy Qur`an has made mention of the first sacrifice offered in the way of Allah by the sons of Hadrat Adam, Habeel and Qabeel. Although these sons of Adam started the tradition of slaughter but it gained eternal popularity through the incident that involved Hadrat Ibrahim (as) and Hadrat Ismail (as). This slaughter is the reflection of the greatest slaughter offered on the face of earth. Thus in order to commemorate the sacrifice offered by Hadrat Ibrahim and Hadrat Ismail till the Day of Judgment, the Muslims were enjoined to perform the act of slaughter on 10th of Dhil-Hajj during every Islamic year.