The validity of offering Qurbani on behalf of the Prophet [Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him
Q – What is the validity of doing Qurbani under the name of our Prophet Mohammed (PBUH)? Apparently, it is a common practice around the world and widely practiced in Bangladesh. My thoughts: never heard of it before and need to be clear as if it is wrong we need to stop immediately. Your thought and findings please?
All praise be to Allah for guiding us to His Law and Way, and for inspiring us the means of realising His higher objectives [Maqasid] and outlining systematic argumentation to establish them. May the blessings of Allah be upon our Prophet Muhammad [SAAS], through whom Allah laid solid foundations for reform. May His mercy be upon the Prophet’s companions and the members of his household, luminaries of Islam and jewels in its crown, and upon the leading scholars through whom divine knowledge has radiated following the advent of Islam.
Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullah,
May Allah reward your eagerness and enthusiasm to learn what the authentic Sunnah is as regards to the issue of offering Qurbani on behalf of our beloved Prophet [peace and blessing of Allah be upon him]. I am not qualified to issue legal edicts; therefore, the comments below are purely brief advice giving and what I have gathered in this regard. For a detailed and executive answer to your query please refer to your local Imam, or alternatively visit the following web sites and pose the question to them: www.suhaibweb.com [excellent site supervised by our teacher Imam Suhaib Webb]. www.islamtoday.com, www.islamonline.net, and www.sunnipath.com
1 -According to Imam al-‘Azam Abu Hanifa, Imam al-Awzai’, Imam Layth, Shaykh al Islam Ibn Taymiyyah and an opinion attributed to Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal, the Qurbani is wajib [Obligatory]. However, according to the majority [jamhur] of the fuqaha it is a confirmed Sunnah.
2 -This issue goes back to whether one is allowed to offer sacrifice for their deceased family members. The vast majority of scholars permit one to offer the sacrifice on behalf of the deceased and there is ijma’ that the rewards of good actions such as hajj, Sadaqa, recitation, Salah reach the dead in their graves.
Imam Ibn Taymiyyah said, ‘whoever claims that the deceased do not benefit from the good actions of others has indeed breached the Ijma’. He was asked regarding the validity of offering sacrifice for the deceased. He responded by saying that it is allowed to sacrifice on his behalf as it is valid to perform hajj on his [deceased] behalf.
The prophet himself offered Qurbani on behalf of his living and dead family members [Muslim]. In other narrations we find that he even offered Qurbani on behalf of his Ummah, the living and the dead those who testified to the Tawhid of Allah [Abi Ya’la with a good isnaad, also Ahmad, and al-Bazzar]. In another narration it is reported that Ali would offer sacrifice on behalf of the prophet after his [peace and blessings of Allah be upon him] death, except that this is a strange [ghareeb] narration. [Tirmidhi].
3- We read in the history books that many of the salaf would offer sacrifice for their deceased teachers and Shuyukh. Many luminaries would sacrifice for Imam Bukhari after the completing the study of sahih Bukhari, and these reports are widespread and known
4- Therefore, technically, one is allowed to offer Qurbani on behalf of the Prophet, not just our beloved but all other Prophets and Messengers, however, let me highlight few matters:
A – We know that one of the reasons we are encouraged to offer the sacrifice is the high reward we will receive from Allah, and also for the expiation of our sins. The Prophet is infallible and does not incur any sin. Allah has forgiven his past and future ‘faults’ [here it is not sin], and hence he does not require from anyone any good actions so he may benefit from.
B – It is we who need the sacrifices since we commit sin day and night. There are many family members who may not be financially capable to offer their Qurbani, therefore, it would be better, in my opinion, to assist them rather than offering on behalf of the Prophet.
C – We can help our deprived brothers and sisters in less fortunate circumstances than us, such the people of Palestine, Afghanistan and other underprivileged countries. The Prophet was selfless and he cried for his Ummah. I am sure he will be pleased to see us helping our brothers and sisters in Palestine and other oppressed Muslim countries, especially during the economical downturn the world is facing!
5– This is not a fundamental matter of creed. As far as I understand if a person wishes to give sacrifices in the name of the Prophet, he or she will not be considered a mubtadi’ [innovator] or a mushrik [polytheist].
6- What our duty should be to our elders [especially as you say it is widespread in Bangladesh] is that we teach them the Sunnah of the Prophet. Educate them about the Tawhid of Allah; teach them the Sirah and how they should follow the Prophet without breaching his Shari’ah, the way his companions followed him [may Allah be pleased with them].
This must be done with wisdom and knowledge, “Invite to the way of your Lord with wisdom and good preaching. And reason with them in the better way.” [16:125]. Know that there are many good things they posses which we can benefit from, and if we find that they are performing certain actions that are not in accordance with the Sunnah then we have to be patient, teach them with wisdom, and make dua for them.
I pray that the aforementioned points will benefit you in understanding this issue and I pray that Allah forgives me for any mistakes I have made. Keep us in your Duas.