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Can You Give Qurbani on Behalf of the Deceased?

Qurbani is one of the most important rituals in Islam, in which the Prophet Ibrahim’s (AS) devotion to Allah (SWT) is celebrated. While eligible Muslims everywhere will be getting ready to donate their own Qurbani they may be wondering; can you give Qurbani for the deceased?

The ritual of Qurbani is an annual occurrence, and Muslims can take a couple of routes to honour the tradition. In Islamic countries, Muslims may choose to slaughter an animal themselves and split the meat into three parts, keeping one part for themselves and their family, giving the second part to their friends and neighbours, and donating the third part to those in need. In the UK, the law doesn’t permit anyone other than licenced slaughterhouses to slaughter animals, meaning Muslims in the UK typically donate to a charity for the purpose of Qurbani.

As previously mentioned, Qurbani is all about honouring the sacrifice that the Prophet Ibrahim (AS) was willing to make – Allah (SWT) instructed him to sacrifice his son, Ismail (AS), and the pair obliged out of their dedication to the Creator. As a reward for their undying faith, Allah (SWT) replaced Ismail (AS) with a ram, leaving him completely unharmed. It’s for this reason that we honour Qurbani to this day.

The Concept of Qurbani

While Qurbani is often referred to as a ritual, it’s much more than this. Qurbani is a commemoration of the ultimate act of sacrifice and submission to Allah (SWT). Muslims who have reached the age of puberty, have wealth that exceeds the Nisab threshold, and are of sound mind are all obliged to give Qurbani in some way. This is all about expressing their readiness to give up anything that’s precious to them for the sake of the Creator.

The Prophetic Tradition of Giving Qurbani for the Deceased

Many Muslims choose to give a Prophetic Qurbani, which is the practice of donating one share of Qurbani on your own behalf and donating a second share on behalf of the global Muslim community. The practice got its name because the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) always performed his Qurbani in this way. Giving a Prophetic Qurbani covers both living and deceased members of the community.

Scholarly Opinions About Qurbani in the Name of the Deceased

The concept of giving Qurbani on behalf of the deceased has been extensively deliberated by Islamic scholars. Generally speaking, though, it’s widely agreed that it’s permitted to give Qurbani on behalf of the deceased. This is because Qurbani is considered a form of charity, meaning the deceased can benefit from such in regard to rewards and blessings.

Qurbani for the Deceased – Hanafi

So long as the intention behind an additional Qurbani donation is to seek rewards for the deceased, the Hanafi school of thought accepts the concept of giving Qurbani on behalf of the deceased. This is because it qualifies as a form of ongoing charity, otherwise known as Sadaqah Jariyah.

Qurbani for the Deceased – Shafi’i

Again, Shafi’i scholars support the idea of giving Qurbani on behalf of the deceased. They believe that the rewards of such an act can be transferred to the deceased and benefit them in Jannah.

Qurbani for the Deceased – Hanbali

Similarly, Hanbali scholars deem giving Qurbani on behalf of the deceased valid, as it’s an act of charity that can benefit those who have passed away.

Qurbani for the Deceased – Maliki

While the Maliki school of thought doesn’t actively encourage Muslims to perform Qurbani on behalf of the deceased, they don’t necessarily prohibit it either. Instead, they state that the obligation of Qurbani lies with the living individuals who meet the criteria. Despite this, secondary Qurbani donations on behalf of the deceased will be accepted.

The Benefits of Qurbani for the Deceased

There are a number of spiritual benefits that come from giving Qurbani on behalf of the deceased. For instance, it serves as an act of ongoing charity, and this elevates a person’s status in Jannah and brings them continuous rewards. What’s more, this practice strengthens the bond between the living and the deceased, which fosters a sense of remembrance and connection. It honours the memory of loved ones and keeps their presence alive in the hearts of the family and community.

Practical Considerations

Performing Qurbani on behalf of the deceased means approaching the practice with the right intention and understanding. This involves considering the following practical steps:

  • Intention – The person must make the intention that the Qurbani is being given for the sake of Allah (SWT) on behalf of the deceased.
  • Selecting the animal – An animal that meets the required criteria must be chosen.
  • The distribution of meat – The meat can be distributed in the traditional way, or it can be given to someone in need in its entirety.
  • Consultation – If any Muslim is unsure about their Qurbani donation on behalf of the deceased, they should consult their local imam for guidance.

Give Qurbani on Behalf of the Deceased with Charity Meals

Here at Charity Meals, we accept your Qurbani donations, and this includes any additional ones that you’d like to make on behalf of the deceased.