Making sacrifice on the day of 'Eed Al-Adha

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  • Publish date:09/08/2016
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What are the exact rules for making the sacrifice for 'Eed-ul-Adhha? What animals can be sacrificed? And what are the rules for people sharing in the purchase of an animal? Is there a guideline as to what type of animal should be purchased based on the number of people that are interested in splitting the cost? Please, let me know as soon as possible. Thanks.


All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

"Al-Udhiya" (The 'Eed sacrifice) is a Sunnah (recommended act) for any Muslim who is able to do it. This is the opinion of the majority of the scholars. It is also one of the good deeds of Islam as 'Aaishah  may  Allah  be  pleased  with  her narrated from the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) as saying: “Son of Adam has not done any deed on the Day of Adhha more likable to Allah than shedding blood (slaughtering the 'Eed sacrifice). So be pleased with it”. Most scholars believe that slaughtering the 'Eed sacrifice is better than giving its value in charity.

The sacrificed animal should be from the livestock (cows, camels, sheep, goats). As for the prevailing view in this concern might be that the sheep and goats are the best animals for the sacrifice because the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) never slaughtered on the 'Eed any sacrifices except these kinds of animals. But the camels, the cows and the buffaloes could all be slaughtered as 'Eed sacrifices.

The 'Eed sacrifice should be in a good state and fat enough so that its meat could be eaten as this is a symbol of Allah. And Allah Says (what means): {And whosoever honours the symbols of Allah, then it is truly from the piety of the heart} [Quran 22:32]

The 'Eed sacrifice should be more than six months old if it is a sheep as narrated by Ibn Majah in a Hadeeth traceable in ascending order to the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) as saying: “Only a Jaza'a of sheep can suffice as 'Eed sacrifice'' and the Jaza'a is the sheep that is at least six months old. As for 'Eed sacrifice from the goats, it should be at least one year old. The cow, if chosen to be 'Eed sacrifice, two years old. But the camel should not be less than five years old”.

On the other hand, one should avoid making sacrifice with a defective animal. Al-Bara' Ibn 'Azib said the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) stood before us and said: “Four (kinds of animals) are not sufficient in the sacrifices: The one-eyed whose loss of one eye is evident, and the sick whose sickness is evident, the limp whose limpness is evident and the skinny one which has no flesh on it”. [Al-Bukhari]

The majority of scholars are agreed that the four defects that are mentioned in the previous Hadeeth could be taken as a reference for other kinds of defects. So, any defect that is equal to one of them or worse than it makes the sacrifice invalid like (the blind or one which lacks one foot).

The castrated animal can suffice because the Prophet Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) observed 'Eed sacrifice with two castrated rams. Also the sheep that was born without a fat tail or which has at least half of its fat tail can suffice as 'Eed sacrifice. But the sheep whose fat tail was completely cut off does not suffice.

Moreover, one sheep or one goat is sufficient as 'Eed sacrifice for the man as well as his own family. It is also lawful for 7 people to slaughter one cow as 'Eed sacrifice. Jabir Ibn Abdullah  may  Allah  be  pleased  with  him said: “In the year of Hudaybiyah, we along with Allah's Messenger  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) sacrificed a camel for seven persons and a cow for seven persons”. [Muslim]

The participant among the seven involves his family with him because the seventh here is the same as a complete sheep or a goat.

The time for slaughtering the sacrifice is after the ‘Eed prayer and slaughtering it before the ‘Eed prayer does not suffice as the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said: “The first (act) with which we start our day (the day of ‘Eed Al-Adha) is that we offer the prayer. We then return and sacrifice the animals and he who does that in fact has adhered to our Sunnah (practice). And he who slaughters the animal on that day before the 'Eed prayer, is for him (the slaughtering of animal is directed to the acquiring of) and the meat for his family, and there is nothing of the sort of sacrifice in it”.

He  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) also said: “He who sacrifices (the animal) before offering the ('Eed) prayer, he should offer again in its stead, and he who did not sacrifice the animal should slaughter it by reciting the name of Allah

It is likable for one to witness slaughtering his sacrifice or to slaughter it himself and to divide it into three parts. He eats one third with his family, he gives out one third in charity and one third as gifts as the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said to his daughter Fatimah, may Allah be pleased with her: "Be present when your 'Eed sacrifice is slaughtered. Allah forgives you as the first drop of its blood comes out". [Al-Bayhaqi ' and Abdul Razzaq]

He should also say when slaughtering it “Bismillah, O Allah! It is from Your favor and for You”.

Allah knows best.

Fatwa answered by: The Fatwa Center at Islamweb

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