Regulations Regarding Udhiyya
Udhiyyah or Qurbani 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 Day of Nahr (Eid al-Adhaa) until the last of the Days of Tashreeq (the 13th day of Dhu’l-Hijjah), with the intention of offering sacrifice.
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.
A sheep is good enough as a sacrifice for one man and the members of his household and his children based on the hadith of Abu Ayyub: “At the time of the Messenger of Allah ﷺ 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.” (Ibn Majah,Tirmidhi)
A camel or cow is enough for seven people, because of the report “So a cow would be sacrificed on behalf of seven men and we would share it.” (Muslim)
Ruling of Udhiyya
There are two scholarly opinions on udhiyya:
(a) It is waajib (obligatory).
This is the opinion of al-Ozaa’i, al-Layth and Abu Hanifah, and it is one of the two opinions narrated from Imam Ahmad. It was also the opinion of Ibn Taimiyya, and is one of the two opinions in the madhhab of Malik.
According to Hanafis, every adult Muslim, male or female, who owns 613.35 g of silver or its equivalent in money, personal ornaments, stock-in-trade or any other form of wealth that is surplus to his basic needs, is under an obligation to offer a Qurbani. Each adult member of a family who owns this amount must perform his own Qurbani separately. If the husband owns the required quantity, but the wife does not, the Qurbani is obligatory on the husband only and vice-versa. If both of them have the prescribed amount of wealth, both should perform Qurbani separately. If the adult children live with their parents, Qurbani is obligatory on each possessing the prescribed amount. The Qurbani offered by a husband for himself does not fulfill the obligation of his wife, nor can the Qurbani offered by a father discharge his son or daughter from their obligation. However, if a husband or a father, apart from offering his own Qurbani, gives another Qurbani on behalf of his wife or his son, can do so with their permission.
(b) It is a confirmed Sunnah (Sunnah mu’akkadah).
This is the opinion of the majority, and it is the madhhab of al-Shaafa’i and the better-known opinion of Malik and Ahmad. However, most of those who favor this opinion stated that it is makrooh (disliked) for the one who is able to offer a sacrifice to neglect to do so.
Ibn `Uthaymeen said, following his discussion of those who say it is obligatory and those who say it is Sunnah, “Each point of view has its evidence, but to be on the safe side, the one who is able to offer a sacrifice should not neglect to do so, because of it is an act of reverence towards Allah, remembering Him, and making sure that one does nothing blameworthy.”
Conditions of Udhiyya
The animal should be of a certain age to be fit for sacrifice. The minimum ages are:
(a) 6 months for lamb or sheep
(b) 1 year for goat
(c) 2 years for a cow
(d) 5 years for a camel
It should be free of any faults, because the Prophet ﷺ said:
“There are four that will not do for sacrifice:
(1) a one-eyed animal whose defect is obvious,
(2) a sick animal whose sickness is obvious,
(3) a lame animal whose limp is obvious and
(4) an emaciated animal that has no marrow in its bones.” (Sahih al-Jami’)
There are milder defects that do not disqualify an animal, but it is disliked to sacrifice such animals, like an animal with a horn or ear missing, with slits in its ears, etc. The animal may be castrated, it is not considered a fault. Also, the best color for the animal is white.
It should be sacrificed at the specified time, after the prayer and khutba of Eid until sunset on the last of the days of Tashreeq, which is the 13th day of Dhu’l-Hijjah. The Prophet ﷺ said:
“Whoever sacrifices before the prayer let him repeat it.” (Bukhari and Muslim)
`Ali said: “The days of Nahr (Sacrifice) are the day of al-Adhaa and the three days following it.”
This is also the opinion of al-Hasan al-Basri, `Ata’ ibn Abi Rabaah, al-Ozaa’i, Shafa’i and Ibn al-Mundhir.
A necessary condition is that the animal is slaughtered by a Muslim with the intention of offering a sacrifice (udhiyya). Therefore, it is not sufficient to slaughter it for the meat. Furthermore, one can not delegate it to a kitabi.
Can one perform an udhiyya with the intention of aqiqa as well?
The scholars have held different positions on this issue. Imam Ahmad allowed it, others have not because the purpose of each is different. The purpose of udhiyya is to sacrifice on behalf of oneself. The purpose of aqiqa is to offer a sacrifice on behalf of a newborn. Its better for a person who can afford it to offer separate sacrifices. A person who can not afford may combine his intention for the two.
Can one perform an udhiyya on behalf of a deceased person?
If a person left a will to do so, then it is permissible by the agreement of the scholars.
The scholars have differed if a person did not leave a will, but an heir wants to do so from his personal wealth:
(a) Shafi’ees do not allow it.
(b) Hambalis and Hanafis consider it permissible.
(c) Imam Malik is reported to have disliked it because ‘it has not been reported from the Prophet ﷺ or any of the early Muslims and generally people do so to boast.’
‘Ali is reported to have sacrificed two rams on behalf of the Prophet ﷺ and said the Prophet ﷺ ordered him to do so. The authenticity of this report is disputed among hadith scholars.
After reading some discussions for and against its permissibly, perhaps the safest approach, in my humble opinion, is to do what Abdullah ibn Mubarak (a hadith scholar and ascetic from the early generations and a student of Imam Abu Hanifa) said, ‘It is dearer to me to donate the price of the udhiyya in charity on behalf of the deceased and not to offer sacrifice on his behalf, for he won’t eat any of it.’
What to Say When Slaughtering the Udhiyya?
The Sunnah for a person slaughtering himself is to say:
Bismillaah, wa Allahu akbar, Allahumma haadha minka wa laka, haadha `anni.
“In the name of Allah, Allah is most great. O Allah, this is from You and to You. This is on my behalf.”
If slaughtering on behalf of someone else, say:
Bismillaah, wa Allahu akbar, Allahumma haadha minka wa laka, haadha `an [fulaan], Allahumma taqabbal min [fulaan] wa aali [fulaan].
“In the name of Allah, Allah is most great. O Allah, this is from You and to You. This is on behalf of [mention name]. O Allah, accept this sacrifice from [mention name] and the family of [mention name].”
It is not necessary to name the person on whose behalf the sacrifice is being performed. The intention that it is being done for him is sufficient. Taking the name is better. Saying Bismillaah is obligatory, the rest is recommended.
‘Allaahumma minka’ (O Allah, from You) means this sacrifice is a gift and provision that has reached me from You.
‘Laka‘ (to You) means, it is sincerely for You alone.
It is better for the person and the udhiyya to face the qibla while performing the slaughter.
What should be done with the sacrifice?
(1) It is mustahab (preferable) for the one who has made a sacrifice to not eat anything on that day before he eats from from his animal if possible because of the hadith,
“Let every man eat from his sacrifice.” (Saheeh al-Jami’)
This eating should be after the Eid prayer and khutba. This is the opinion of the scholars, including `Ali, Ibn `Abbas, Malik, al-Shafa’i and others.
The evidence for this is the hadith of Buraydah: “The Prophet ﷺ would not go out on the day of Fitr until he had eaten, and he would not eat on the day of Adhaa until he had slaughtered (his sacrifice).”
(2) It is better for a person to slaughter the sacrifice himself, but if he does not, it is better for him to be present.
(3) Some scholars recommend 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.
(4) The scholars agreed that it is not permissible to sell anything from its meat, fat or skin. In a confirmed report, the Prophet ﷺ said:
“Whoever sells the skin of his udhiyya, there is no udhiyya for him (it is not counted).”
The butcher should not be given anything of it by way of reward or payment. `Ali said:
“The Messenger of Allah ﷺ 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 ﷺ said, `We will give him something from what we have.'” (Bukhari, Muslim)
It is permissible to give the butcher something as a gift. It is also permissible to give some of it to a non-Muslim if he is poor, a relative, or a neighbor, or in order to open his heart to Islam.
And Allah knows best.
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