The Quran

Commentaries for 22.37

Al Hajj (The pilgrimage) - الحج

22.37 Abbas - Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs
(Their flesh and their blood reach not Allah) because in the pre-Islamic time they used to splash the blood of sacrifices on the walls of the Holy House and sully themselves with this blood and so Allah forbade them from doing so; it is also said that this means: Allah does not accept their flesh or blood, (but the devotion from you reacheth Him) but He accepts your pure and sincere works. (Thus have We made them subject unto ye that you may magnify Allah that He hath guided you) as He guided you to His religion and wont. (And give good tidings to the good) to those who are good in their words and deeds; and it is said that the good means: the generous with their sacrifices.
22.37 Jalal - Al-Jalalayn
Neither their flesh nor their blood shall reach God, that is, neither of these shall be raised up to Him; rather it is your piety that shall reach Him, that is, it is your righteous action, performed purely for Him, together with [your] faith, that shall be raised up to Him. Thus has He disposed them for you, that you may magnify God for His guiding you, for His pointing out to you the [ritual] ceremonies of His religion and the rites of His pilgrimage. And give good tidings to the virtuous, namely, those who affirm the Oneness [of God].
22.37 Kathir - Ibn Al Kathir
The Goal of the Udhiyyah (Sacrifice) according to Allah is the Sincerity and Taqwa of His Servant
Allah says: this sacrifice is prescribed for you so that you will remember Him at the time of slaughter, for He is the Creator and Provider. Nothing of its flesh or blood reaches Him, for He has no need of anything other than Himself. During the time of Jahiliyyah, when they offered sacrifices to their gods, they would put some of the meat of their sacrifices on their idols, and sprinkle the blood over them. But Allah says:
لَن يَنَالَ اللَّهَ لُحُومُهَا وَلاَ دِمَآؤُهَا
(It is neither their meat nor their blood that reaches Allah,) Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Ibn Jurayj said, "The people of the Jahiliyyah used to put the meat of their sacrifices and sprinkle the blood on the House, and the Companions of the Messenger of Allah said, "We have more right to do that.'' Then Allah revealed the words:
لَن يَنَالَ اللَّهَ لُحُومُهَا وَلاَ دِمَآؤُهَا وَلَـكِن يَنَالُهُ التَّقْوَى مِنكُمْ
(It is neither their meat nor their blood that reaches Allah, but it is Taqwa from you that reaches Him.) That is what He will accept and reward for, as mentioned in the Sahih,
«إِنَّ اللهَ لَا يَنْظُرُ إِلَى صُوَرِكُمْ وَلَا إِلَى أَلْوَانِكُمْ، وَلَكِنْ يَنْظُرُ إِلَى قُلُوبِكُمْ وَأَعْمَالِكُم»
(Allah does not look to your appearance or your colors, but He looks to your hearts and deeds.) And in the Hadith; (Indeed charity falls in the Hand of Ar-Rahman before it falls in the hand of the one asking.)
كَذَلِكَ سَخَّرَهَا لَكُمْ
(Thus have We made them subject to you) meaning, `for this purpose We have subjugated the Budn for you,'
لِتُكَبِّرُواْ اللَّهَ عَلَى مَا هَدَاكُمْ
(that you may proclaim Allah's greatness for His guidance to you.) means, that you may glorify Him for guiding you to His religion and His way which He loves and is pleased with, and has forbidden you to do all that He hates and rejects.
وَبَشِّرِ الْمُحْسِنِينَ
(And give glad tidings to the doers of good.) means, `give good news, O Muhammad, to those who do good,' i.e., whose deeds are good and who remain within the limits prescribed by Allah, who follow that which has been prescribed for them, who believe in the Messenger and follow that which he has conveyed from his Lord.
(Note) The Udhiyyah is Sunnah Mustahabbah One animal is sufficient on behalf of all the members of one household. Ibn `Umar said, "The Messenger of Allah continued to offer sacrifice for ten years.'' This was recorded by At-Tirmidhi. Abu Ayyub said: "At the time of the Messenger of Allah, a man would sacrifice a sheep on behalf of himself and all the members of his household, and they would eat from it and feed others, until the people started boasting by sacrificing more than one and things reached the stage that you see now.'' This was recorded by At-Tirmidhi, who graded it Sahih, and by Ibn Majah. `Abdullah bin Hisham used to sacrifice one sheep on behalf of his entire family; this was recorded by Al-Bukhari. Concerning how old the sacrificial animal should be, Muslim recorded from Jabir that the Messenger of Allah said:
«لَا تَذْبَحُوا إِلَّا مُسِنَّةً، إِلَّا أَنْ تَعْسُرَ عَلَيْكُمْ فَتَذْبَحُوا جَذَعَةً مِنَ الضَّأْن»
(Do not sacrifice any but mature animals, and if that is not possible, then sacrifice a young sheep.)
22.37 Maududi - Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an
This prescribes a very important condition for the sacrifice made in the worship of Allah. A sacrifice is acceptable to Allah only if it is accompanied by piety and sincerity. Though sacrifice is a Symbol of Allah, yet it has been made plain that it is accepted only if it is accompanied by piety, saying, "Neither their flesh reaches Allah nor their blood, but it is your piety...." This was also meant to condemn the ritual of the days of ignorance, when the Arabs took the flesh to the Ka'bah and smeared its walls with the blood of the sacrificed animal.
".... you should glorify Allah" at the time of sacrifice verbally also in order to acknowledge that the animals really belong to Allah and to no one else. One of the sentences uttered at the time of sacrifice is Allahumma minka wa laka (O Allah, this animal is Thine and is presented to Thee).
It should be noted well that the command of sacrifice as contained in verses 36 and 37 is not for the pilgrims alone and that the performance of sacrifice is not confined to Makkah on the occasion of Hajj. It is a general command for all those Muslims who are well off. They have been enjoined to be grateful to Allah because He has subjected these animals for the good of all human beings. Therefore they are required to sacrifice the animals during these days so that they may spiritually join those who go to Makkah to perform Hajj.
There are many authentic Traditions to the effect that the Holy Prophet made sacrifice on this occasion, while he was personally at al-Madinah:
(1) "The one who does not perform sacrifice even though he can should not join us in the `Id Prayer". (Musnad Ahmad, Ibn Majah).
(2) According to a Tradition reported by Ibn 'Umar, the Holy Prophet dwelt at al-Madinah for ten years and performed sacrifice every year. (Tirmizi).
(3) According to Hadrat Anas, the Holy Prophet said:
"The one who sacrificed an animal before the 'Id Prayer, should offer another sacrifice; but the one who sacrificed his animal after the 'Id Prayer, did the right thing and followed the way of the Muslims". (Bukhari)
It this connection, it is note-worthy that no `Id Prayer is held on the tenth of Zil-Hajj in Makkah: therefore the injunction was meant for all Muslims and not only for those performing Hajj at Makkah.
Thus, it is clear that the sacrifice on the occasion of 'Id which is observed in the whole Muslim world is a Sunnah of the Holy Prophet and has been enjoined by him. The only dispute is whether it is obligatory in nature or only a Sunnah. Ibrahim Nakha'i, Imams Abu Hanifah, Malik, Muhammad and, according to a Tradition, Imam Abu Yusuf too, are of the opinion that it is Obligatory in nature. On the other hand, Imams Shafi`i and Ahmad bin Hanbal regard it only as a Sunnah of the Muslims, and Sufyan Thauri has also agreed with them, saying that there will be no harm if a person does not offer a sacrifice. It is, however, an irony that some of the "learned" Muslims of our time, who follow neither the Qur'an nor the Sunnah, and are only guided by personal whims, have declared that if there is a consensus of opinion of the Muslims, they can give up the practice of sacrifice on the occasion of Eid.