Abu Talhah (ra) reported, 'The Prophet (saw) sacrificed for the one who could not sacrifice from his ummah, one who bore witness to the Oneness of Allah and [his] Prophethood'. (Tabarani and Ahmad)
Not many people know that, on the day of Eid-ul-Adha, the Prophet (saw) used to give Qurbani on behalf of himself and another sacrifice on behalf of those from his Ummah who were unable to give. This extra sacrifice is what we call the Prophetic Qurbani. The importance of this Sunnah is such that the Prophet (saw) himself advised his cousin and son-in-law, Ali (ra) to follow it:
And yet, today this beautiful act of generosity is all but forgotten. How many of us offer a Prophetic Qurbani when giving our own sacrifice? How many are even aware of this Sunnah?
The Qur’an tells us the Prophet (saw) is the best example for mankind:
‘There is indeed a good model for you in the Messenger of Allah [saw] - for the one who has hope in Allah and the Last Day and remembers Allah profusely’. (Qur’an 33:21)
Therefore, there are great rewards in following his actions, and what an opportunity we have every year to make one extra sacrifice for the Ummah just as our Prophet (saw) did. The extra sacrifice can be given to the needy in the same way that Zakat al-Fitr is given at the end of Ramadan, so that the poorest communities can enjoy a healthy, filling meal with fresh meat on the days of Eid-ul-Adha.
Why give a Prophetic Qurbani?
Giving a Prophetic Qurbani is a special act because it follows the Sunnah of our beloved Prophet (saw). There is wisdom in everything the Prophet (saw) did and immense reward in reviving his Sunnah. Furthermore, giving an extra Qurbani means even more families in need will benefit. In poverty-stricken communities, meat is an unaffordable luxury and so it is a joyous occasion when they can enjoy the generosity of a Prophetic Qurbani.
On the authority of Anas (ra) that the Prophet (saw) said, 'None of you truly believes until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself'. (Bukhari and Muslim)
For the people who have the means to give on behalf of the Ummah, this hadith holds much importance. Millions of Muslims who fall below the Nisab threshold do not have the opportunity to offer a sacrifice themselves. They do not get to participate in this religious ritual that commemorates the sacrifice of Prophet Ibrahim (as). By giving on behalf of these people, you are not only doubling your reward and your impact, you are ensuring that they are involved in the blessed festivities of Eid-ul-Adha.
This year, why not revive this neglected Sunnah? Give a Prophetic Qurbani abroad or in the UK, with the intention of following the Sunnah, feeding the poor and gaining Allah’s reward, all from just £35.