Korban is the Arabic term which means " To get close ". This is the act where a Muslim perform an act to get closer to Allah SWT. This word was used in the story of Habil and Qabil.
Allah SWT says in Surah Al Maidah verse 27 :
" And ( O Muhammad ) recite to them the story of the two sons of Adam ( Habil and Qabil / Abel and Cain ) in truth; when each offered a Korban ( sacrifice ), it was accepted from the one but not from the other. The latter said to the former : " I will surely kill you." The former said : " Verily Allah accepts only from those who are pious ."
Korban in Islamic term means :
The slaughtering of a predetermined animal at a certain period with the intention of getting close to Allah SWT.
The animals to be slaughtered are goats, cows and camels. They are slaughtered on the day of Eidul Adha and also on the three days of Tasyrik which falls on the 11, 12 and 13th of Zhulhijjah ( 12th month of the Islamic calendar ).
The practice of Korban was made an injunction in the 2nd year after the Muslims' migration to Medina.
THE LAWS OF KORBAN
The practice of Korban has been stipulated in the Quran, Sunnah as well as the Ijmak ( consensus of the Islamic Scholars ).
In the Quran, Allah SWT states in Al Kauthar verse 2 :
" Then turn in prayer to your Lord and sacrifice ( to Him only )."
As with the Sunnah, it was reported in Sahih Bukhari and Muslim :
" The Prophet ( Peace be upon him ) made korban by slaughtering 2 white goats with horns.The Prophet slaughtered the goats himself and did this while reciting the Name of Allah, made takbir and placed his foot on the necks of the animals."
THE BENEFITS OF KORBAN
1. Korban is an act of worship. It is an act performed by a Muslim on a voluntary basis with the intention of getting closer to Allah.
2. To relive the sacrifice that had been performed by Prophet Abraham when God commanded him to slaughter his beloved son Ishmael as a sacrifice.The sacrifice was later changed to a goat when Abraham and Ishmael succeded in conforming to the commandments of Allah.
3. Doing charity to the poor by contributing and distributing the meat to them and the destitutes.These acts would spread happiness and cheers amongst them especially during the festival of Eidul Adha where Muslims are in the spirit of festivities.
THE COMPULSION OF KORBAN
Scholars of Islam are of various opinion with regards to the obligatory nature of korban.
First Opinion :
Imam Abu Hanifah and his companions are of the opinion that korban is obligatory once in every year for those non traveller.
Second Opinion :
Other scholars are of the opinion that korban is not obligatory but strongly encouraged ( Sunnah Muakkadah ) and for those who have the affordability and ability to perform it but decided not to do so is disliked ( Makruh ).
The act of Korban could become mandatory when a Muslim states or points to an animal that belongs to him and says that it would be his/her korban. Then that person has to fulfil the intention that he has made.
It could also become mandatory when a Muslim made a nazar with Allah.A nazar is a promise made by any person to perform a certain act when his wishes is granted by Allah.Thus if a Muslim promise to perform korban if he is cured of his illness, then the korban becomes compulsory when he is truly cured from the stated illness.
THE PREREQUISITES OF KORBAN
- The animals to be slaughtered must be a goats, cows or camels.
- The animals must be of the right age. For camels, it must be older than 6 years old, for cows the age must be older than 3 years old and for goats, it must be older than 2 years old or the front tooths lost due to birth.
- They must be free from any form of handicap such as blind, sick, limp and skinny.
- The animals must be slaughtered in the appropriate humane ways.
TIME OF KORBAN
The time for korban starts from sunrise after the performance of the Eidul Adha prayers which falls on the 10th of Zhulhijjah till the sunsets on the 13th of Zhulhijjah.
The best time is to perform the acts of korban immediately after the completion of the Eidul Adha prayers.
It was reported in Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim that the Prophet ( Peace be upon him ) said :
" The first thing that we do on the day of Eid is to perform the prayers.Then we go home and carry out our korban.Thus whoever does those acts has conformed to our sunnah. And for those who slaughtered before it, then the meat is for the family members and not as an act of korban."
DISTRIBUTION OF THE MEAT
If the korban is mandatory or wajib due to nazar or the reasons stated above, then the meat should not be eaten by the person doing the korban as well as his family members. The meat should be distributed to others such as friends, neighbours and to the poor and destitutes.
If the korban is voluntary, the person who does the korban is entitled to the maximum of a third (1/3), the other third is distributed amongst the poor and the last third distributed amongst friends and neighbours regardless of their financial status.