Giving qurbani on behalf of deceased relatives

Question :

What do the scholars and experts of shari’ah say regarding a Qurbani for Deceased Relatives in the light of the Quran and Sunnah?


Qurbani, or Udhiyah, is an important act of worship in Islam, commemorating the willingness of Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) to sacrifice his son Ismail (Ishmael) in obedience to Allah’s ﷻ command. While Qurbani is primarily an obligation for the living, it can also be performed on behalf of deceased relatives, seeking mercy and blessings for their souls.

The practice of Qurbani is rooted in the Quran, where Allah ﷻ says: “So pray to your Lord and sacrifice [to Him alone].” (Quran 108:2)

Although this verse does not specifically mention Qurbani for the deceased, it establishes the general importance of sacrifice in worship. It is narrated that the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ performed Qurbani on behalf of his family, including those who had passed away. Anas bin Malik reported that the Prophet ﷺ sacrificed two rams, one for himself and one for his Ummah. (Sahih Muslim)

Some companions of the Prophet ﷺ also performed Qurbani on behalf of their deceased relatives, reflecting the acceptance of this practice within the early Muslim community. Many Islamic scholars, such as those from the Hanafi, Shafi’i, and Hanbali schools of thought, have permitted performing Qurbani for deceased relatives. They regard it as a form of Sadaqah Jariyah (ongoing charity) that can benefit the deceased by earning them rewards in the Hereafter.

Performing Qurbani for deceased relatives is seen as a noble act of charity and love. It reflects the Islamic values of compassion and remembrance. The intention behind this act should be to seek Allah’s ﷻ mercy and forgiveness for the deceased, asking Him to elevate their status in Jannah (Paradise).

How to Perform Qurbani for the Deceased:

Intention (Niyyah): Begin with a sincere intention of performing the Qurbani on behalf of your deceased relative(s).

Selection of Animal: Choose a permissible animal for sacrifice (sheep, goat, cow, or camel) that meets the Islamic criteria for Qurbani.

Performing the Sacrifice: Conduct the sacrifice during the days of Eid al-Adha, from the 10th to the 12th of Dhul-Hijjah

Distribute the meat according to Islamic guidelines: one-third for your family, one-third for relatives and friends, and one-third for the poor and needy. You may choose to donate the entire portion to charity on behalf of the deceased.

Performing Qurbani for deceased relatives is a commendable practice supported by the Sunnah and scholarly consensus. It is a meaningful way to honour their memory, seek Allah’s ﷻ blessings, and earn ongoing rewards for them in the Hereafter. May Allah ﷻ accept our sacrifices and grant mercy and forgiveness to our departed loved ones. Ameen.

This Fatwa is written by Dr. Hafiz Muhammad Munir Al Azhari

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