Qurbani is also referred to as the Sunna of Ibrahim in many texts. It follows the true story of father and son, Ibrahim and Ismail, and their unflinching loyalty and devotion to Allah (SWT). The story serves as a means of motivation, education and inspiration to millions of Muslims around the world today. Here, we will talk about this story at length.
It is said that Ibrahim (AS) had a dream one night, in which Allah (SWT) told him to sacrifice Ismail, his beloved son. At first Ibrahim (AS) thought it was the devil playing tricks on him and he immediately disregarded it. However the following night, the same dream occurred again commanding him to do the same. Ibrahim (AS) then came to realise that this was no fluke and in fact, a message from Allah (SWT).
Ibrahim (AS) loved his son, Ismail (AS). Yet he was fully prepared to follow Allah’s (SWT) command and do as He instructed. He took his son to Mount Arafat along with a knife and rope. Upon reaching there, he told his son about his dream and what Allah SWT had commanded him to do. Being an obedient son, Prophet Ismail (AS) immediately obliged and asked that his hands and legs be tied so that he may not struggle and that his father blindfold himself so that he won’t have to witness him suffer.
Ibrahim (AS) did as Ismail (AS) had said. Blindfolded and with the knife in his hands, he did as Allah SWT had asked of him. When he took the blindfold off, to his surprise, he saw the body of a dead ram in front of him. Ismail (AS) was completely unharmed standing right next to him. At first he thought that something had gone horribly wrong and that he had disobeyed the order of his Creator. But then he heard a voice telling him that Allah (SWT) looks after his followers and that he need not worry.
Ibrahim (AS) and Ismail (AS) had just passed a difficult test from Allah SWT.
Since then, every year, during the month of Dhul Hijjah, Muslims from around the world perform Qurbani to remember what Ibrahim did. Muslims sacrifice animals (preferably a goat, cow or camel) in memory of the deed.
Qurbani for Muslims is therefore a lesson in obedience. As Muslims, we must obey Allah’s command without pause. We must perform the tasks he has ordained compulsory on all Muslims such as praying Salat, performing Sawm, paying Zakat and embarking on Hajj. May Allah (SWT) enable us to perform the Sunna of Ibrahim year in and year out. AmeenDue to the firm faith of both father and son, Isma’eel was replaced by a ram and his life was spared by Allah. In this story we must therefore remember that Eid ul-Adha is not just a celebration, but the remembrance of one of the greatest sacrfices in history.
Some differences in the rules of Qurbani between Shafi and Hanafi:
1. Status
Shafi: Qurbani is Sunnah Muakkada.
Hanafi: Qurbani is Wajib.
2. Validity
Shafi: It is Sunnah Muakkada alal Kifaya. If one person in the household does a Qurbani, others don’t need to do so.
Hanafi: Each individual qualifying needs to do a separate Qurbani.
3. Qadha
Shafi: No qadha of Qurbani.
Hanafi: Give the value of sheep for missed Qurbani.
4. Qurbani period
Shafi: from 10th Zul Hijja when time enough for an Eid Salah and 2 short Rakaats and 2 short Khutbas passes. Lasts 4 days until sunset on 13th Zul Hijja.
Hanafi: from sunrise on 10th Zul Hijja until sunset on 12th Zul Hijja. Lasts 3 days.
5. Age of animal
Shafi: Sheep – over one year.
Goats – over two years.
Hanafi: Sheep – Over one year. Also a fat, big 6-month+ sheep allowed if it physically appears to be a year old.
Goats – over one year.
6. Tasmiya
Hanafi: Wajib to recite at time of slaughter.
Shafi: Sunnah. If left out, not because of regarding it as trivial, Halaal.
7. Meat
Shafi: some portion is Wajib to give in charity. Meat can only be given to Muslims.
Hanafi: not Wajib to give any portion in charity. Meat can be given to non Muslims.
8. Takbeer of Tashreeq
Hanafi: Wajib after every Fardh Salaah in the days of Tashreeq.
Shafi: Sunnah after every Salaah irrespective of status.
9. Number of vessels to be cut
Hanafi: cutting any three of the four vessels of the throat: carotid artery, trachea, esophagus, and jugular veins.
Shafi: oesophagus and windpipe to be cut. Slaughter will be valid when these two are cut, even if the two jugular veins are not cut.

The beloved and blessed Prophet (SallAllahu Alayhi wa Sallam) said,

“On the day of Eid al-Adha, no other good deed of man is dearer to Allah than shedding blood (of sacrificial animal). On the Day of Judgement, the sacrificed animal will come with its horns, hair and hooves. Allah accepts the sacrifice before the blood of the sacrificed animal reaches the ground. Therefore, perform sacrifice whole-heartedly.” [Tirmidhi, Vol. 3, Page 162, Hadith 1498]