Rulings of Udhiyah (Sacrifice)
Rulings of Udhiyah (Sacrifice)
Udhiyah is one of the great rituals of Islam, in which we remember the Unity of Allah, His blessings upon us and the obedience of our father prophet Ibrahim to his Lord, and in this act of udhiyah there is much goodness and blessing. So the Muslim must pay attention to its great importance.
Udhiyah refers to the animal (camel, cattle or sheep) that is sacrificed as an act of worship to Allah, in the country in which the person offering the sacrifice lives, during the period from after the Eid prayer on the 10th of thul-Hijjah until the 13th day of thul-Hijjah, with the intention of offering sacrifice to Allah.
“Therefore turn in prayer to your Lord and sacrifice (to Him only).”
“Say (O Muhammad): ‘Verily, my prayer, my sacrifice, my living and my dying are for Allah, the Lord of the mankind, jinns and all that exists).”
“And for every nation We have appointed religious ceremonies, that they may mention the Name of Allah over the beast of cattle that He has given them for food. And your God is One God, so you must submit to Him Alone (in Islam)…”
Ruling of udhiyah
Udhiyyah is a confirmed Sunnah according to the majority of scholars (some scholars say that it is waajib or obligatory;
The basic principle is that it is required at the appointed time from one who is alive on behalf of himself and the members of his household, and he may include in the reward for it whoever he wishes, living or dead. if a person wishes to offer a sacrifice on behalf of someone who has died, this is a good deed and is considered to be giving charity on behalf of the dead. But the Sunnah is for a man to include the members of his household, living and deed, in his udhiyah, and when he slaughters it, he should say, “(O Allah, this is on behalf of myself and the members of my household” – he does not have to make a separate sacrifice on behalf of every deceased person.
The scholars agreed that sacrificing the animal and giving its meat in charity is better than giving its value in charity, because the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used to make the sacrifice, and he did not do anything but that which is best and most befitting.
The virtues of udhiyah and the best of Udhiyah
A sheep is good enough as a sacrifice for one man and the members of his household and his children, because of the hadeeth of Abu Ayoob: “At the time of the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), a man would sacrifice a sheep on behalf of himself and the members of his household, and they would eat from it and give some to others.” (Reported by Ibn Maajah and al-Tirmidhi, who classed it as saheeh)
The kinds of animals prescribed for sacrifice are camels, cattle and sheep. Some of the scholars said that the best sacrifice is camels, then cattle, then sheep, then a share in a camel or cow, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said concerning Friday prayers: “Whoever goes to [Friday prayers] early, it is equivalent to him sacrificing a camel.” This is the opinion of the three imaams Abu Haneefah, al-Shaafa'i and Ahmad. On this basis, a sheep is better than one-seventh of a camel or cow. Maalik said that the best is a young sheep, then a cow then a camel, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) sacrificed two rams, and he never did anything but that which was the best. The response to that is that he (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) always chose what was more appropriate out of kindness towards Muslims, because they would follow his example, and he did not want to make things difficult for them. (Fataawa al-Shaykh ‘AbdulAzeez ibn Baaz).
A camel or cow is enough for seven people, because of the report narrated by Jaabir (may Allah be pleased with him) who said: “We sacrificed at al-Hudaybiyah with the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), a camel for seven and a cow for seven.” According to one version: “The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) commanded us to share camels and cattle, each seven men sharing one animal.” According to another version: “So a cow would be sacrificed on behalf of seven men and we would share it.” (Reported by Muslim)
Conditions of udhiyah
1. The animal should have reached the required age, which is six months for a lamb, one year for a goat, two years for a cow and five years for a camel.
2. It should be free of any faults, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “There are four that will not do for sacrifice: a one-eyed animal whose defect is obvious, a sick animal whose sickness is obvious, a lame animal whose limp is obvious and an emaciated animal that has no marrow in its bones .” (Saheeh, Saheeh al-Jaami’, no. 886). There are milder defects that do not disqualify an animal, but it is disliked (makrooh) to sacrifice such animals, such as an animal with a horn or ear missing, or an animal with slits in its ears, etc. Udhiyah is an act of worship to Allah, and Allah is Good and accepts only that which is good. Whoever honors the rites of Allah, this has to do with the piety (taqwa) of the heart.
What should be done with the sacrifice?
1. It is better for a person to slaughter the sacrifice himself, but if he does not, it is better for him to be present when it is slaughtered.
2. It is better to divide the meat into three: one third to be eaten, one third to be given as gifts and one third to be given in charity. It is permissible to eat all of it with family, The scholars agreed that it is not permissible to sell anything from its meat, fat or skin. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever sells the skin of his udhiyah, there is no udhiyah for him (i.e., it is not counted as udhiyah).” (Classed as hasan in Saheeh al-Jaami’, 6118).
3. The butcher should not be given anything of it by way of reward or payment, because ‘Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) commanded me to take care of the sacrifice and to give its meat, skin and raiment ( covering used for protection ) in charity, and not to give anything of it to the butcher as a compensation . He said, ‘We will give him something from what we have.’” (Agreed upon). It was said that it is permissible to give the butcher something as a gift, and that it is permissible to give some of it to non-Muslim if he is poor or a relative or a neighbour, or in order to open his heart to Islam. (Fataawa al-Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Baaz).
what should the Muslim avoid in the first ten days of Dhu’l-Hijjah if he wants to offer a sacrifice?
The Sunnah indicates that the one who wants to offer a sacrifice must refrain from taking anything from his hair, nails or skin from the first day of Dhu’l-Hijjah until he offers his sacrifice, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “When you see the new moon of Dhu’l-Hijjah, if any one of you wants to offer a sacrifice, let him not remove anything from his hair or nails until he has offered his sacrifice.” (Reported by Muslim 13/146). This command implies obligation and the prohibition implies that it is forbidden, according to the most correct opinion, because these are absolutes with no exceptions. If a person deliberately takes something (from his hair or nails), he must seek the forgiveness of Allah, but he does not have to pay any fidyah (penalty), and his udhiyah is still valid. Whoever needs to remove some of his hair or nails because leaving it will cause him harm, such as a torn nail or a wound in a site covered by hair, should remove it, and there is no sin on him if he does so.
If a person removes some of his hair and nails during the first ten days of Dhu’l-Hijjah because he is not planning to offer a sacrifice due to shortage of the price of udhiyah, then he decides to sacrifice, he should refrain from cutting his hair or nails from the moment he takes the decision.
There are some women who delegate their brothers or sons to do the sacrifice on their behalf so that they can cut their hair during the first ten days of Dhu’l-Hijjah. This is not correct, because the ruling applies to the one who is making the sacrifice, whether he or she delegates someone else to do the actual slaughter or not. The prohibition does not apply to the person appointed, it applies to the person who wants to offer a sacrifice on behalf of himself, as is indicated by the hadeeth. As for the person who is doing the sacrifice on behalf of another, whether because of a will or because he has been delegated to do so, the prohibition does not apply to him.
It is apparent that this prohibition applies to the one who is offering the sacrifice, and does not extend to his wife or children, unless one of them is offering a sacrifice on his or her own behalf. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used to sacrifice on behalf of the family of Muhammad, and it was not reported that he forbade them to remove anything of their hair or nails.
The things that are forbidden for the person who wants to offer a sacrifice are reported in the hadeeth quoted above. It is not forbidden for him to wear perfume or to have intercourse with his wife or to wear sewn garments and so on.
Collected and Revised
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Jeddah Dawah Center
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