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Friday, December 26, 2008


If a discreet, pubert, free male or female Muslim, settled in a village, in a desert or in a town, has the nisab amount of property or money in addition to what he or she needs, it becomes wajib [1] for him or her to slaughter a certain animal with the intention of ’Iyd-al-ad’ha (the ’Iyd of qurban) within certain days. The need includes a house with household appliances and three sets of clothings. According to the Shaikhayn [Imam a’zam and Imam Abu Yusuf], a father has to perform the qurban on his rich child’s behalf [if he has a rich child], the expense being taken from the child’s property. The meat cannot be eaten by anyone but the child. The meat left over by the child is sold and the money is used to buy durable things, such as clothings for the child. But the fatwa [2] agrees with Imam Muhammad’s ijtihad [3]. Accordingly, it is not wajib for the father to perform the qurban on his child’s behalf, neither at his expense nor the child’s. We have explained the nisab for qurban in our discourse on the sadaqa fitr [4] in the previous chapter. While explaining about the people (and institutions) that are to be given zakat [5], Ibn Abidin says that no matter how much produce a person gets from his field or year’s rental he gets for his field, house, shop, [workshop or lorry] , according to Imam Muhammad, he is poor if it does not meet his yearly needs or if his monthly income does not meet his monthly needs and his debts to others. The fatwa agrees with this. But according to Imam a’zam and Imam Abu Yusuf, he is rich. For the value of the field, which is his property, or of the fixture, meets his needs, and what is left is (at least) the amount of nisab. Setting apart a sum of each rental he takes, he must save money and give the fitra and perform the qurban. That is, he must attain great thawab (reward). If he does not give the fitra and does not perform the qurban, he is absolved from the sin according to Imam Muhammad. As it is seen, both of the ijtihads are well put and are matters of compassion for Muslims. If a person in this situation does not give the fitra or perform the qurban Imam Muhammad’s ijtihad will save him from torment. A person who can neither get any produce from his field nor rent it out, as well as a man or woman who has property more than necessary but does not have any money, follows Imam Muhammad’s ijtihad and does not give the fitra or perform the qurban. If he gives the fitra and performs the qurban, he attains the thawab for fitra and qurban according to the latter ijtihad. A person who performs a worship which is not wajib for him attains thawab for supererogatory (nafila) worship only. He cannot attain the thawab for a wajib. If he gives the meat to the poor, he attains thawab for alms, too. But the thawab for fitra and qurban, which are wajib, is much greater than that which is given for nafila [6] and sunna . So is the case with every kind of worship. It is written in the books Mizan-i-kubra and Manahij that it is sunnat-i-muakkada [7] according to the other three Madhhabs [8]. Anyone who claims that qurban is not Islamic will become a disbeliever.


[1] wajib: (act, thing) never omitted by the Prophet, so almost as compulsory as fard and not to be omitted.
[2] fatwa: i) ijtihad (of a mujtahid); ii) conclusion (of a mufti) from books of fiqh whether something not shown in them is permitted or not; answer given to religious questions by Islamic scholars; iii) rukhsa.
[3] ijtihad: (meaning or conclusion drawn by a mujtahid by) endeavouring to understand the hidden meaning in an ayat or a hadith.
[4] fitr: alms (2 kg of wheat or silver of equal value) given after every Ramadan, the ninth month of Muslim calendar.
[5] zakat: (fard duty of giving annually) certain amount of certain kinds of property to certain kinds of people, by which the remaining property becomes purified and blessed and the Muslim who gives it protects himself against being (called) a miser.
[6] nafila : the supererogatory, additional; in the shari’at non-fard and non-wajib ‘ibadat; the sunnat salats accompanying the daily five salats or any ‘ibadat one can perform whenever one wishes.
[7] sunnat: (act, thing) that was, though not commanded by Allahu ta’ala, done and liked by the Prophet (‘alaihi ‘s-salam) as an ‘ibada (there is thawab if done, but no sin if omitted, yet it causes sin if continually omitted and disbelief if disliked; the Sunna.
[8] Madhhab: all of what a profound ‘alim of (especially) Fiqh (usually one of the four-Hanafi, Shafi’i, Maliki, Hanbali) or iman (one of the two, namely Ash-ari, Maturidi) communicated.


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