A-Salam-Alaykoum brother, Is it permissible to offer a sacrifice at night, like slaughtering an animal before Fajr prayer? Thank you for the prompt response as this practice has become rampant in my community. Wa Salam
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 is His slave and Messenger.
Some jurists stated that it is disliked to slaughter animals at night. An-Nawawi said in Al-Majmoo' Sharh Al-Muhaththab (8/388): “It is disliked, according to the view of our School of jurisprudence [i.e. the Shaafi’i School], to slaughter animals other than the Udh-hiyah (‘Eed sacrificial animal) at night, and slaughtering the Udh-hiyah at night is even more disliked.” [End of quote]
Based on that, it is better to not slaughter animals at night, and it is not unlikely that your local customary practice of slaughtering animals at night is borrowed from the practices of magicians and charlatans. We live at a time in which such people – may Allah decrease their numbers – have grown in number, religious knowledge has diminished, and slaughtering animals for the Jinn, magic, and fortune-telling purposes have become widespread. If this is the case, then the forbiddance to slaughter at night is further emphasized to avoid imitating such charlatans. Indeed, the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, forbade the Companions from slaughtering animals to Allah, The Exalted, in a place where animals are slaughtered to other than Him. The same applies to the timing; slaughtering animals to Allah should not be offered at times during which polytheists slaughter their animals to other than Him.
Dr. ‘Abdul-Kareem Al-Khudhayr said: “It is impermissible to slaughter an animal to Allah in a place where animals are slaughtered to other than Him. This comes under the heading of elimination of means that lead to unfavorable results, because the slaughterer, who offers the animal to Allah, The Exalted, intends to draw closer to Him and does not associate partners with Him in this act of worship. But, considering the fact that such a place is used for slaughtering animals to other than Allah, it should be avoided. The same applies to the timing; it is forbidden to pray at sunrise and sunset because these times coincide with the times when the disbelievers prostrate to the sun when it rises and sets between the horns of a devil. Therefore, it is forbidden to pray at these two times because of the imitation of polytheists it involves and for which a beholder may assume that the one prostrating himself to Allah, The Exalted, at this time is prostrating to the sun.” [End of quote]
Allah Knows best.
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