What is Udhiyah?
Udhiyah refers to the animal (camel, cattle or sheep) that is sacrificed as an act of worship to Allaah, 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'I-Hijjah). Allaah says:
"Therefore turn in prayer to your Lord and sacrifice (to Him only)." (Q 108[Kawthar ]:2)
What is the Shariah ruling on Udhiyyah?
It is a confirmed sunnah. (sunnah mu'kkadah) according to the majority of scholars (some scholars say that it is waajib [obligatory]).
Can it be slaughtered on behalf of the dead?
If the deceased bequeathed up to one third of his wealth for that purpose, or included it in his waqf (endowment), then these wishes must be carried out, otherwise, 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 dead, in his udhiyah. Thus, when he slaughters it, he should say, "Allaahumma haadha 'anni wa 'an aali bayti (0 Allaah, this is on behalf of myself and the members of my household)." However, he does not have to make a separate sacrifice on behalf of every deceased person.
Can one give the monetary equivalent of the animal in charity if he is too busy to slaughter?
The scholars agreed that sacrificing the animal and giving its meat in charity is better than giving its value in charity, because the Messenger (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) used to make the sacrifice, and he did not do anything but that which is best and most befitting. This is the opinion of Abu Haneefah, al-Shaafa'i and Ahmad.
What animals are we supposed to slaughter?
The kinds of animals prescribed for sacrifice are camels, cows, rams and goats. Some of the scholars said that the best sacrifice is camels, then cows, rams, goats, then a share in a she-camel or cow, because the Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) 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. Imaam Maalik believed that the best is a young sheep, then a cow then a camel, because the Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) sacrificed two rams, and he never did anything but that which was the best. However, others responded saying that the Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) always chose what was more appropriate out of kindness towards his ummah, because they would follow his example, and he did not want to make things difficult for them. (Fataawa aI-Shaykh 'Abd al- 'Azeez ibn Baaz). An average size cow is sold between N60,OOO and N80,000 thus if you share with six other Muslims you will need just N I 1,000 to slaughter udhiyyah. With this reality, very many people would really have no excuse not to slaughter. Allaah knows best.
My Parents are slaughtering do I also have to slaughter?
Yes, once you have the ability to do so. Abu Hurayrah reported that Allaah's Messenger said:
"Whoever can afford to offer a sacrifice but does not do so, let him not approach our place of prayer." (Ahmad and Ibn Maajah; classed as saheeh by al- Haakim).
If you are barred from joining the rest Muslims at the eid prayer ground just because you did not slaughter while you could afford then the least that could be said is that it is makrooh (disliked) not to slaughter.
How big should my animal be?
At least, the animal should have reached the required age, which is six months for a ram, one year for a goat, two years for a cow and five years for a camel. Additionally, it should be free of any faults, because the Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa sal/am) 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 allaami)
However, there are milder defects that do not disqualify an animal, but it is 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 Allaah, and Allaah is Good and accepts only that which is good. Whoever honours the rites of Allaah, this has to do with the piety (taqwa) of the heart. So generally, your animal should look really good.
Can I sell any part of the sacrificed animal like its hide etc.?
The scholars agreed that it is not permissible to sell anything from its. meat, fat or skin. ln asaheeh hadeeth, the Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) said:
"Whoever sells the skin of his udhiyah, there is no udhiyah for him (i.e., it is not counted as udhiyah}." (Saheeh al-laam;').
When is the slaughtering due?
It should be sacrificed at the specified time, which is from after the prayer and khutbah of Eid - not from when the time for the prayer and khutbah starts - until before sunset on the last of the days of Tashreeq, which is the 13th day of Dhu'l-Hijjah. The Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) said:
"Whoever sacrifices before the prayer, let him repeat it." (Bukhaari and Muslim)
What should be done with the sacrifice?
It is mustahabb (liked, preferable) for the one who has made a sacrifice to not eat anything on that day before he eats from its meat, if this is possible, because of the hadeeth,
"Let every man eat from his sacrifice." (Saheeh al-Jaami'), This eating should be after the Eid prayer and khutbah.
who slaughter the animal?
It is better for a person to slaughter the sacrifice himself but if he does not, it is mustahabb (recommended) for him to be present, at least, when it is slaughtered. You should however take care not to give the butcher anything of it by way of reward or payment, because Ali(RA)said: "The Messenger of Allaah 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 is better to give the butcher monetary compensation.
How should the meat be divided?
It is mustahaab 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. This was the opinion of Ibn Mas'ood and Ibn 'Umar (RA). It is permissible to give some of it to a kaafir if he is poor or a relative or a neighbour, or in order to open his heart to Islam. (Fataawa al- Shaykh Abdal-Azeez ibn Baaz).
Is it correct that whoever intends to slaughter should not have a haircut?
Yes, 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. This is because the Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) said:
"When you see the new moon of Dhu'l- Hijjah. If anyone of you wants to offer a sacrifice. let him not remove anything from his hair or nails until he has offered his sacrifice." According to another report: "Let him not touch any part of his hair or nails." (Muslim).
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 Allaah, 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 tom nail or a wound in a site covered by hair, should remove it, and there is no sin on him if he does so. 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 Allaah, 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 atom nail or a wound in a site covered by hair, should remove it, and there is no sin on him if he does so.