As salam alaykum wa rahmotullahi wa baarakatuh
In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful
As the Eidul-hadhaa approaches, one of the important (obligatory) aspect of the celebration is the sacrifice of animal for whoever has the capacity. As a muslim, it is very important to know the does and don'ts of the sacrifice, which is also a worship, in order to be accepted and be rewarded, by Almighty Allah.
WHAT IS UDHIYAH?
Udhiyah refers to the animal that is sacrificed as an act of worship to Almighty Allah during the period from after the Eid prayer on the day of Nahr (Eidul-hadhaa, 10th day of Dhul-hijjah) until the last of the days of Tashreeq.
Allah says, "Therefore turn in prayer to your Lord and sacrifice (to Him only)". (Surah Kawthar 108:2).
Qurbani (Udhiya) is a practice commanded by Allah and it is a prescribed duty for each sane, capable and mature Muslim.
WHAT IS THE ORIGIN OF UDHIYAH?
This act of Udhiyah is to commemorate the unparalleled sacrifice offered by Prophet Ibrahim. When he, in pursuance to a command of Allah communicated to him in a dream, prepared himself to slaughter his beloved son Ismail. But Allah, after testing his submission, sent down a ram and saved his son from the logical fate of slaughter. It is from that time onwards that the sacrifice of an animal became an obligatory duty to be performed by every well to do Muslim [As-Saffat 37: 102-111].
WHAT IS THE VIRTUE OF UDHIYAH?
Zaid bn Arqam reports that the companions of Rasulullah (sallalahu alaehi wasallam) asked him:
"Ya Rasulullah, what is this sacrifice?", He said; " it is the way of your father Ibrahim ", They asked; " what (reward) is for us therein? ", He replied; " There is a reward for every hair", They asked; "for then will, O Messenger of Allah?", He replied;" There is one reward for every strand of wook. [Ahmad, Ibn Majah].
WHO IS REQUIRED TO PERFORM UDHIYAH?
Every adult Muslim, male or female, who owns 612.36 grams of silver or its equivalent in money, personal ornaments, stock-in-trade or any other form of wealth which is in excess of one’s basic personal needs, is under an obligation to offer the ritual slaughter (Udhiyah).
Each adult member of a family who owns the above-mentioned amount must carry out his or her own Udhiyah separately. If the husband owns the required amount but his wife does not, then slaughtering will be obligatory on the husband only, and vice-versa. If both of them have the prescribed amount of wealth, then two separate Udhiyahs will need to be performed.
If the adult children live with their parents, Udhiyah is obligatory on each one of them possessing the prescribed amount. The ritual slaughter offered by a husband for himself does not fulfil the obligation of his wife, nor can the Udhiyah offered by a father discharge his son or daughter from their obligation; rather, separate sacrifices will have to be carried out for each individual possessing the required amount. A husband or father, apart from offering his own ritual slaughter, may offer another on behalf of his wife or son, with their permission.
THE TIME OF UDHIYAH
1) Udhiyah is only valid during the three days of Dhu’l-Hijjah, namely the 10th, 11th and 12th, and cannot be performed in any other day of the year.
2) Although Udhiyah is permissible on each of the above three days, the first day (i.e. the 10th of Dhu’l-Hijjah) is the most preferable and desired day.
3) Generally, Udhiyah is not allowed before Eid Salat. If Udhiyah is being done at a place where Eid Salat is not performed, the slaughter should commence after the completion of Eid Salat in the nearby town/city. However, according to the Hanafi School, in small villages where Eid prayer is not to be performed, Udhiya can be offered any time after the break of dawn on the 10th of Dhu’l-Hijjah.
4) Udhiyah can be performed during night time. However, it is preferable to perform it during the daytime.
CONDITIONS FOR THE SLAUGHTERED ANIMAL
1) The animals eligible for Udhiya are goats, sheep, cattle and camels, male or female. No other type of animal is allowed for Udhiya.
2) Castrated animals may be used for Udhiya.
3) Barren animals may be used for Udhiya.
4) Goats and sheep have to be at least one year old. However, a healthy sheep that looks like a one year old may also be used, provided it is at least six months of age.
5) Cattle (cow, ox and buffalo) must be at least two years old.
6) Camels must be at least five years old.
RULINGS ON DEFECTS IN THE UDHIYAH ANIMAL
1) An animal that was born without horns or the horn is broken off from the middle is eligible for Udhiya. However, if the horn is broken off from the root, or the horn has been uprooted, then it will not be eligible for Udhiya.
2) An animal that is totally blind or has lost one-third or more of its eye-sight, or one-third or more of one of its ear is cut, or one-third or more of its tail is cut, is not eligible for Udhiya.
3) An animal which limps/walks on three legs and cannot put the injured (4th) leg onto the ground, or it is able to put the injured leg onto the ground, but is unable to walk on it, is not eligible for Udhiya. However, if it is unable to walk on it, but can still take support from it, then it is eligible for Udhiya, even though it is limping.
4) Animals having no teeth at all are not eligible for Udhiya. If an animal has lost some teeth only, and has most of its teeth, it is eligible for Udhiya. If most of the teeth are lost, it is not eligible for Udhiya.
5) An animal born without ears is not eligible for Udhiya. An animal with very small ears is eligible for Udhiya.
6) Thin and extremely weak animals, unable to walk to the place of slaughter, are not eligible for Udhiya.
7) If an animal sustains an injury whilst being slaughtered, the Udhiya is valid.
cool If an animal is purchased in a healthy and eligible state, and thereafter, an accident occurs which renders the animal unfit for Udhiya, then in such a case, if the purchaser is no longer wealthy (owner of the required amount) it will be permissible to offer the same animal for Udhiya. However, if the purchaser is wealthy, then it is necessary to obtain another animal in place of the injured animal.
9) If an animal purchased for Udhiya gives birth (before being slaughtered), then the newly born animal should also be slaughtered.
SLAUGHTER OF THE UDHIYAH ANIMAL
1) It is recommended (mustahabb) that the owner of the Udhiya animal slaughters it personally, provided he is able to slaughter properly. If the owner is unable to slaughter, it is better to delegate the task to another Muslim who is acquainted with the requirements of a valid Islamic slaughter. If the slaughter has been delegated, it is desirable that the owner of the Udhiya animal is present at the time of slaughter.
2) The Islamic slaughter requires that the throat, the external jugular veins and the wind-pipe of the animal is swiftly and clearly severed with a sharp tool, together with invoking the name of Allah Most High. If only two of the passages and veins are cut, the slaughter will be deemed incorrect. If any three of the four are severed, the slaughter will be valid.
3) It is Mustahabb to face the Qibla while slaughtering.
4) It is preferable to sharpen the knife before slaughter to ease the suffering of the animal.
5) After slaughter, the animal should not be skinned or cut up into pieces before it turns completely cold.
6) It is disliked to slaughter an animal in the presence of another animal, although the slaughter is valid.
7) It is preferable to read the following whilst laying the throat of the animal towards the Qibla:
“For me, I have set my face firmly and truly towards Him, Who created the heavens and the earth. And never shall I give partners to Allah. Verily, my worship and my sacrifice, my living and my dying are for Allah; Lord of the worlds. O Allah this sacrifice is from you and is for you”
Whilst slaughtering the animal read, “Bismillah Allahu Akbar” (In the name of Allah, Allah is the Greatest).
If the above are not memorized, then make intention of Udhiya and merely recite “Bismillah” and the Udhiya will be valid.
HOW MANY PEOPLE CAN SHARE THE MEAT OF A COW OR CAMEL?
The majority view is that a cow or camel's meat suffices for seven people because of the report of Jaabir who said: "We sacrificed Al-Hud'hiyah with the Prophet (sallalahu alaehi wasallam), a camel for seven and a cow for seven" [Muslim].
Also, it is not a condition that all those coming together to buy a cow or camel must have the same purpose for the meat. A person's intention can be for Ud'hiyah, another for Aqeeqah while another for waleematun-Nikkah e.t.c.
MEAT AND SKIN OF THE UDHIYAH
It is prescribed for the person who offers the sacrifice to eat some of the meat, to give some as gifts and to give some in charity, because Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Then eat thereof and feed therewith the poor having a hard time” [al-Hajj 22:28]
“eat thereof, and feed the poor who does not ask (men), and the beggar who asks (men). Thus have We made them subject to you that you may be grateful” [al-Hajj 22:36]
It was narrated from Salamah ibn al-Akwa’ (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Eat some, give some to others and store some.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari. Giving some to others includes both giving gifts to the rich and giving charity to the poor.
It was narrated from ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Eat some, store some and give some in charity.” Narrated by Muslim.
The scholars (may Allaah have mercy on them) differed concerning the amounts that should be eaten and given as gifts and in charity. The matter is broad in scope but the best way is to eat one-third, give one-third as gifts and give one-third in charity. What one is permitted to eat may also be stored, even for a long time, so long as that will not result in any harm being caused by eating it, except in times of famine, when it is not permitted to store it for more than three days, because of the hadeeth of Salamah ibn al-Akwa’ (may Allaah be pleased with him) who said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever among you offers a sacrifice should not have anything of it left in his house after three days.” The following year, they said, “O Messenger of Allaah, should we do what we did last year?” He (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, “Eat some, give some to others and store some, for last year the people were having a hard time and I wanted you to help (the needy).” Agreed upon.
With regard to the permission to eat and give away the meat of the udhiyah it makes no difference whether the sacrifice is voluntary or obligatory, or whether it is offered on behalf of a living person or a deceased one, or in fulfillment of a will, because the executor of the will takes the place of the person who made it, and the person who made the will would eat, give away and give in charity. And because this is the custom among people, and that which is done customarily is like that which is spoken.
In the case of one who has been delegated to offer the sacrifice, if the person who appointed him has given him permission to eat of it and give some as gifts and in charity, or if that is indicated by analogy or by custom, then he may do that, otherwise he should give it to the person who appointed him, who is then in charge of the distribution of the meat.
It is haraam to sell any part of the udhiyah, whether that is the meat or any other part, including the skin. And the butcher should not be given any part of it in return for his work or part of it, because that is like selling.
But if a person gives the butcher some of it as a gift or as an act of charity, then he may dispose of it however he wishes, by selling it or otherwise, but he should not sell it to the one who gave it to him.
Therefore, it is not haram to store Udhiyah meat once some has been given out to the needy and as a charity.
NO ALTERNATIVE FOR UDHIYAH
Some people think that instead of offering a ritual slaughter (Udhiyah), they can give its amount to the poor as charity. This attitude is totally wrong. In fact, there are different forms of worship obligatory on Muslims. Each one of them has its own importance and none of them can stand for the other. It is not permissible for a Muslim to perform Salat instead of fasting in Ramadhan, nor is it permissible to give some charity instead of observing the obligatory Salat. Similarly, Udhiyah is an independent form of worship and cannot be discharged by spending money in charity.
Almighty Allah will accept all our good deeds and worship as an act of Ibadah and grant us long and healthy life to witness many more of this season on earth and as a MUSLIM (Ameen)
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