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The event of offering this sacrifice which has been reported on the basis of sound and strong chains of authorities and which has been declared by Commentator Ibn Kathir as the unanimously agreed upon position of all earlier and later 'Ulama is given below.
When Sayyidna Adam and Hawwa' عليه السلام, came to live in the world and started having children, it so happened that they had twins from every pregnancy, one of the two being a boy, while the other, a girl. That was a time when, among the children of Adam عليه السلام, there was no one other than brothers and sisters and brothers and sisters cannot be married to one another. So, Allah Jalla Sha'nuhu in terms of the need of the time, had promulgated a special provision in the religious law given to Sayyidna Adam LJL that, as for a boy and girl born out of one pregnancy, they shall be regarded as real brothers and sisters among themselves and marriage between them shall be considered forbidden. But, for a boy born in the second pregnancy, a girl born in the first one shall not be legally taken as a real sister and marriage between them would be permissible.
But ,what happened was that the girl born with the first boy, Qabil, was beautiful while the girl born with the second boy, Habil, was ugly. When came the time of marriage, the ugly girl born with Habil fell to the lot of Qabil according to rules. This enraged Qabil. He turned hostile to Habil and started .asisting that the girl born with him should be the one given in marriage to him. Sayyidna Adam عليه السلام, in view of the legal rule of procedure, did not accept the demand. However, to remove the division between Habil and Qabil, he proposed that they should both offer their respective sacrifice for Allah. Whoever has his sacrifice accepted will be the one to have that girl. The reason is that Sayyidna Adam عليه السلام was certain that the sacrifice to be accepted will be the sacrifice of the one who has the right to marry her, that is, the sacrifice of Habil.
In those days, an open sign of a sacrifice being accepted was that a firewould come from the sky and eat up the sacrifice; and the sacrifice which was not eaten up by the fire was the sign of its remaining unacceptable.
Now, the situation was that Habil was the owner of a flock of sheep and goats. He offered the sacrifice of a good spring lamb. Qabil was a farmer. He offered some grains as his sacrifice. As customary with them, a fire did come from the sky and ate up the sacrifice offered by Habil and the sacrifice offered by Qabil remained lying where it was, untouched. Thereupon, hit by failure and disgrace, Qabil was further enraged. Unable to restrain it, he told his brother openly: لَأَقْتُلَنَّكَ (I will kill you).
Habil did not respond to his angry remark with counter anger on the spot. He rather said something which was peaceful and principled. It even had an element of sympathetic concern for him: إِنَّمَا يَتَقَبَّلُ اللَّهُ مِنَ الْمُتَّقِينَ (Allah accepts only from the God-fearing) that is, if you had been Godfearing, practicing TaqwZ and piety, your sacrifice too would have been accepted. Since you did not do so, the sacrifice was not accepted. Why blame me for it?
Also mentioned within this statement is the cure for the envy (hasad) of the envier (hasid), that is, when the envier sees that Allah Ta'ala to him, has given someone then, he should a take particular his deprivation blessing which as a result has not been of his own practical shortcomings and sins and think of repenting from them and correcting his or her behaviour not that one starts wishing and worrying about ways through which the other person could be made to lose the blessing he has because this would not bring him any gain, in fact, it will become the cause of some loss to him, for acceptibility with Allah depends on Taqwa (fear of Allah). (Mazhari).
Acceptibility of Deeds Depends on Ikhlas and Taqwa (Sincerity)(Fear of Allah)
There appears in this dialogue between Habil and Qabil a sentence which has the status of an important principle: The acceptibility of one's deeds and acts of worship depends on Taqwa The deed of a person who has no Taqwa in him is not accepted. For this reason, the learned among the righteous elders (salaf) have said that this verse is a shot in the arms of those who are devoted to acts of worship and do deeds in the hope of finding the pleasure of Allah. And this was the reason why Sayyidna 'Amir ibn 'Abdullah was crying at the time of his death. People around him asked: 'As for you, you have been busy doing your 'Ibadat (acts of worship) and good deeds throughout your life, why, then, would you weep?' He said, 'You are saying this and ringing in my ears is this saying of Allah Ta'ala : إِنَّمَا يَتَقَبَّلُ اللَّهُ مِنَ الْمُتَّقِينَ, (Allah accepts only from the God-fearing). I just do not know if any 'Ibadah of mine will be accepted, or not.'