Will Qurbānī be Accepted by Allāh if His Laws in Purchasing the Animal are Broken?

Part 1

As the month of Dhul Ḥijjah draws near, everyone is preoccupied with searching for an animal to purchase for sacrifice on ʿĒid-al-ʾAḍḥā. ʾUḍḥiyah/Qurbānī is one of the most rewarding acts of worship. It is important that we fulfill it in the correct manner without any form of deception; in accordance with the rulings of the Sharʿīah and in a manner most pleasing to Allāh Taʿālā. Do we even reflect and think about whether the ways we go about searching and purchasing animals for sacrifice are Islamically correct or not? Some common scenarios which contradict Islamic teachings that usually occur while purchasing animals for sacrifice will be listed below.

Scenario1: A person (Zaid) finalises the sale of a sheep with the owner (John) for $500 and then agrees to pay and collect it after five days. Within this period, another person (Bakr) offers to pay for this same sheep at a higher price of $600. John, being a kafir, takes the $600 from Bakr and gives him Zaid’s sheep. When Zaid returns, he finds that the sheep he bought is no longer there and John wishes to give him back his $500.

The transaction described in the scenario above goes against the principles of the Sharʿīah.

 Allāh Taʿālā says in the Holy Qurʾān:

يٰـاَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ اٰمَنُوا لَا تَاكُلُوا اَموَالَـكُم بَينَكُم بِالبَاطِلِ اِلَّا اَن تَكُونَ تِجَارَةً عَن تَرَاضٍ مِّنكُم​

“O you who have Imān, do not unjustly consume the wealth of each other (by stealing or by other unacceptable means), but (you may exchange wealth with each other) by way of trade (conducted) with your mutual consent.” {Sūrah Nisāʾ: 29}

وَعَن أبي حرَّة الرقاشِي عَن عَمه قَالَ: قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسلم: أَلا تَظْلِمُوا أَلَا لَا يَحِلُّ مَالُ امْرِئٍ إِلَّا بِطِيبِ نَفْسٍ مِنْهُ

The Messenger of Allāh ﷺ said: “You must not act oppressively, and it is not permissible to take a person’s wealth without his consent/agreement.” [Shuʿbul ʾImān]

In Islām, it is not permissible to use someone else’s possessions (or buy them) without their consent.

It is important to understand that in Islām, once a person places an offer (ījāb) and the other person accepts (qabūl), the sale is finalised. The person who agrees to buy the item becomes the new owner of that item, even if the item and payment have not been handed over.

Therefore, in the scenario described, Zaid has become the owner of that sheep even though he has not collected it as yet. It is not right for Bakr, after being informed that Zaid has finalised the sale of the sheep to offer a higher price to the first owner in hope of getting that sheep for himself. John has no right to sell the sheep to Bakr because he is no longer the rightful owner. Zaid has become the owner. It is as though this is now a stolen sheep because this transaction took place without the consent of the owner Zaid. The question arises, if Bakr sacrifices this sheep on his own behalf, will his sacrifice be valid?

There are many finer details and rulings which branch out from this scenario. If the need arises, one should refer to their local scholars for details. However, the general ruling which the fuqahāʾ have stated is that in many cases, the second person’s (i.e., Bakr’s) sacrifice, who took the sheep without the actual Islamic owner’s permission and consent will not be valid. In some cases, as mentioned in “Fatāwā Hindiyyah”, the meat will not even be ḥalāl (lawful) for him to eat or distribute to his relatives. In some cases, the sacrifice made by Bakr would actually be on behalf of the real owner, Zaid. Even in the few cases where the sacrifice will be valid on behalf of Bakr, it is mentioned in “Al-Badāʾiʿ-uṣ-Ṣanāʾiʿ” that he will still be sinful because the transaction was done in an unlawful manner and thus, it is necessary for him to repent and seek forgiveness.

ʾUḍḥiyah is an important ritual in Islām. It is an act of ʿibādah (worship). It commemorates the sacrifice and patience of Ibrāhīm عليه السلام. It teaches us to sacrifice our worldly desires and trains us to build the spirit of giving. It teaches us to understand the beauty, benefits, and barakah which are reaped by sacrificing and giving, rather than accumulating and taking. Unfortunately, we have lost the true soul and spirit of this ʿibādah of Allāh. Allāh Taʿālā says in the Qurʾān:

لَن يَنَالَ ٱللَّهَ لُحُومُهَا وَلَا دِمَآؤُهَا وَلَـٰكِن يَنَالُهُ ٱلتَّقْوَىٰ مِنكُمْ

“(When sacrificing animals, remember that) Their flesh and blood will never reach Allāh, but it is your taqwā that will reach Allāh.” {Sūrah Ḥajj:37}

In this verse, it is emphasised that one’s sacrifice and worship are accepted based on one’s piety. How can we take other people’s possessions without their permission? Is this piety? Is this taqwā? Is there going to be any barakah and rewards in such a sacrifice?

Scenario 2: A person (ʿAmr) discusses with the owner of the sheep regarding purchasing it. He places an offer and is inclined towards purchasing it and informs that he will return tomorrow to finalise the sale. However, the ījāb (offer) and qabūl (acceptance) was not finalised. Another person (Qasam) thereafter offers a higher price and buys the sheep.

In this scenario, even though Qasam would become the owner, however, the manner in which the transaction was conducted goes against the teachings of our beloved Nabī ﷺ.

He ﷺ said: “A man must not offer a price above that offered by his brother.” [Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim]

Based on this the ʿulamā state that it is impermissible to make a counteroffer if someone has already finalised their offer. How will there be any barakah in our sacrifice if we break the commands of Allāh’s Rasūl ﷺ? Will we gain the true rewards for such a virtuous action by not heeding the advice of our ḥabīb Muḥammad ﷺ?

Let us ponder and reflect. Are we fulfilling this obligation, this act of worship in the correct manner? Are we pleasing Allāh and His Rasūl ﷺ? We must put our selfish reasons aside and fulfill this ʾibādah according to the laws of the Sharʿīah and in a manner which is deserving of acceptance and love from Our Creator Allāh Taʿālā. Ensure that no one has already finalised the sale or even the offer of purchasing the animal before we negotiate for our Qurbani animal.

May Allāh Taʿālā grant us the tawfīq. Āmīn.

Dārul Iftā wal Irshād

Sirājul ʿUlūm Institute

Reviewed and concurred by:

Muftī Reza Deonarine

Muftī Mujahid Dan Lubrin

Mawlānā Aleem Muhammad

Muftī Waheeb Sayyid

Muftī Muhammad Mahdi (https://www.facebook.com/GuidingStarsAcademy2013/)

Muftī Ahmed Saeed Adam (Markaz Dawatul Haqq)

Mawlānā Siraaj Bhana

Muftī Muhammed Teladia (Darul Hamd)

See here for Part 2

Leave a Reply

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