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All about Eid Al-Adha Rulings during COVID-19 Pandemic

By AMJA Resident Fatwa Committee

The following are some rulings that we would like to bring to your attention and remind you of, which are relevant in the midst of the current Coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic. States and cities all over North America are dealing with the spread of this disease amongst their residents on different levels. Therefore, these factors must be taken into consideration in the application of the following rulings.

May Allah accept our good deeds.
Eid Mubarak!

The Legal Ruling Regarding the `Eid Prayer

In those states and municipalities where residents have been ordered or advised to avoid crowds and/or not to leave home except in the case of necessity, the Eid prayer can be performed with the minimum requirements; this would include an imam as well as two or three adult males, all the while maintaining physical distancing and wearing face masks. This is because Eid is one of the manifest Islamic rituals, and scholars have varying opinions on whether or not its performance is a communal obligation, an individual obligation, or a confirmed Sunnah.

Furthermore, because of the principle which states, “What is doable (as far as obligatory actions) does not stop being an obligation due to the presence of what is not doable,” the Eid prayer should be performed to the best of our ability, even if it is within the narrow and limited scope that we have described. It would not be befitting for us to be negligent in this matter (i.e., not performing the Eid prayer at all).

And similar to how Jumuah prayer is to be established within the limits of the maximum permissible number of congregants in one building, even if that means limiting the congregation to the administrative members of the mosque, the same can be said about the Eid prayer.

When it comes to the performance of the Eid prayer in the home, for the one who was not able to pray it in congregation, the matter is not so restricted.

What Is the Legal Ruling Regarding the ‘Eid Sermon?

Whereas the khutbah (sermon) is a condition of validity for Jumuah prayer (even though the one who catches one rak’ah [unit] of the prayer is considered to have caught the prayer), the khutbah is voluntary in the two Eid prayers. This is proven by what has been narrated by ‘Abdullah ibn as-Sa’ib who said, “I attended the Eid prayer with the Messenger of Allah (PBUH). When he finished the prayer, he said: ‘We shall deliver the sermon; he who likes to sit and listen may do so, and he who wishes to leave may do so’.” Therefore, the khutbah is not a condition of validity for the Eid prayer, nor is listening to it.

Where to Perform the ‘Eid Prayer?

And though the Jumuah prayer, by default, is to be performed inside the mosque, the Eid prayer on the other hand should be performed outdoors rather than inside the mosque. It is for this reason that the majority of scholars from the Maliki, Shafi’i, and Hanbali schools permit the performance of Eid prayer in the home for the one who was not able to attend it in congregation, though the Hanafi’ scholars disagree. The evidence on the side of the majority is what has been narrated to us about Anas, may Allah be pleased with him, who, whenever he missed Eid prayer with the imam, would gather his family members and servants. He would then have ‘Abdullah ibn Abi ‘Utbah lead them in two units of prayer while performing the customary takbeerat.

 

Based on this narration, there is no harm in performing the Eid prayer at home individually, or together with the members of one’s family, if someone is unable to perform it in congregation due to a hindrance. In addition, we have the choice in performing this prayer in congregation or individually. And whether we choose to pray it in its normal form (reciting out loud with the additional takbeerat), or as two units with a silent recitation and without the additional takbeerat (similar to the two units of duha’ prayer), or four units with a silent recitation (similar to dhuhr prayer), then that is all permissible and correct, with each of the aforementioned forms being traceable to a narration attributed to our righteous predecessors (salaf).

The Ruling on Performing ‘Eid Prayer through Broadcast

It is not permissible to pray in one’s home while being led by an imam who is elsewhere, for example via modern means of communication and broadcast such as internet, television, etc. However, there is no harm in listening to an Eid khutbah being broadcast live (even if it is prerecorded) from the mosque after having completed the Eid prayer at home, and the speech in this case would be considered a general admonishment. There is also no harm if it is followed up by a broadcasted supplication (du’a) afterwards.

Some Recommended Acts of the `Eid Day

And for the one who will be praying at home, it is a Sunnah to break the fast after the Eid prayer and not beforehand (in contrast to Eid al-Fitr). It is also recommended to perform the other Sunnahs of Eid, such as performing a ritual shower (ghusl), applying good scents, dressing nicely, etc.

What If It Is Permissible to Gather?

As for the states and municipalities where the virus is under control and it is permissible to gather therein, then people may congregate while following the guidelines set by health officials and after having consulted the experts, so as to ensure the safety of those coming to pray as well as the community at large, all the while establishing the ritual of Eid and preserving this Sunnah. The congregants, and all those attending, are to avoid shaking hands with one another and/or hugging, in order to avoid the possible spread of the virus – as we are still dealing with this pandemic.

 

It would be permissible for congregants to perform the Eid prayer while standing next to their own vehicles in a parking lot while maintaining a safe distance from others, if this is the only way the community would be permitted to gather and perform the Eid prayer. We do not, however, deem it permissible to pray sitting inside one’s vehicle, because that would change the required form in which the prayer is to be performed and because doing so can be used as a pretext for permitting, by default, this form of prayer in the future even once the dire need caused by the pandemic is gone, and even with the availability of other options such as praying in small groups, praying at home, or to the side of one’s vehicle, as we have just mentioned.

The Legal Ruling on Udhiyah

Sacrificing an animal (udhiyah or qurban) is a Sunnah and is not considered an obligation. If a Muslim does not perform it due to a financial constraint, then there is no blame on them.

 

It is not sufficient to give money (in charity) instead of having an animal sacrificed out of fear of contagion that can be caused by mixing with others during the time the animal is slaughtered. It would be invalid to make a deductive analogy (qiyas) of replacing the udhiyah with giving money in charity as one might do with one’s Zakat al-Fitr. This is because the udhiyah is an act of worship that hinges on two components that make it incomparable with Zakat al-Fitr:

(1) the act of slaughtering the animal, which, in and of itself, is considered an act of worship by which one gains nearness to Allah, and

(2) the charity and goodness that reaches the poor and needy as a result of the act.

The presence of the virus does not provide us with a valid concession in changing the act of offering the udhiyah to simply offering monetary charity as a replacement. Doing so would be an innovation in the religion of Islam, and we do not know of any support for such a view offered by any of our esteemed scholars from the past. If someone were to do this (donate money instead of offering an udhiyah), their act would be considered a general charity (sadaqah) and would not count for them as a valid alternative for the udhiyah.

 

By default, the sacrifice should be performed in the land one is residing in, and it is prescribed for one to witness the sacrificial act and eat from the meat of the udhiyah. However, it is permissible to appoint someone who will perform the sacrifice on your behalf, even if that is done outside the country where you reside. Given the circumstances of this pandemic, if it is not possible (to perform the sacrifice locally), or if doing so involves hardship or a risk of exposure to harm, there is no blame in forgoing these aspects of the ritual and having the sacrifice performed by someone you appoint.

The Best Days a Year

In conclusion, we would like to remind the Muslim community of the importance of benefiting from the blessed seasons of worship, especially the most virtuous days of this worldly life, as it has been related to us in the hadith of Jabir, may Allah be pleased with him, in which he reported that the Prophet (PBUH) said: “The best days of this world are the ten days (i.e., the first 10 of Dhul-Hijjah)…” [reported by al-Bazzar and ibn Hibban and classified saheeh (authentic) by al-Albani]. And, as taught to us by the Prophet (PBUH): “The greatest day in the sight of Allah is the day of Sacrifice (al-Nahr), followed by the day of Remaining (al-Qar)” [reported by Abu Dawood and al-Nasa’i and classified as authentic by al-Albani].

 

Ibn Hajar said in Al-Fat-h “The apparent reason as to why the ten days of Dhul-Hijjah stand out in their virtue is the fact that they combine in them the performance of the most essential acts of worship, which are salah, fasting, charity, and Hajj (pilgrimage), and we do not find this trait present in any other set of days.”

 

And given these are the most virtuous days of the year, the recompense for good deeds performed in them is magnified and the rewards are multiplied. It is narrated on the authority of Ibn ‘Abbas, may Allah be pleased with them both, that the Prophet (PBUH) said: “”There are no days during which righteous action is so pleasing to Allah than these days (i.e., the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah).” He was asked: “O Messenger of Allah, not even striving in the cause of Allah?” He (PBUH) replied, “Not even striving in the cause of Allah, except in case one goes forth with his life and his property and does not return with either of them.” [reported by al-Bukhari]

Fasting the Day of ‘Arafah

So it is incumbent upon Muslims to strive hard in performing prayers as well as fasting during the day of ‘Arafah (the 9th of Dhul-Hijjah), given that the Prophet (PBUH) was extra keen on fasting the day of ‘Arafah out of the ten days of Dhul-Hijjah. He (PBUH) mentioned the virtue of fasting it (‘Arafah) specifically when he said, “Fast the day of Arafah, for I anticipate that by doing so Allah will forgive the sins of the coming year as well as the previous year” [reported by Muslim].

Remembrance of Allah

In these blessed days, Muslims should also be keen on increasing their remembrance of Allah, as well as their Quran recitation, and chanting takbeer (saying “Allahu Akbar), tahleel (saying “La ilaha illa Allah”), tahmeed (saying “al-Hamdulillah”), and tasbeeh (saying “Subhan Allah”). It has been narrated by Ibn ‘Umar, may Allah be pleased with him and his father, that the Prophet (PBUH) said: “There are no days greater in the sight of Allah, nor are righteous actions performed in any other days more pleasing to Allah, than these ten days. Thus, increase therein in your performance of tahleel, takbeer, and tahmeed” [reported by Ahmad]. Al-Bukhari states “Ibn ‘Umar and Abu Hurairah, may Allah be pleased with them, used to go out to the marketplace during the ten days (of Dhul-Hijjah) and perform takbeer (saying “Allahu Akbar”) out loud, and the people in the marketplace would hear them and likewise raise their voices with takbeer.” Maymoon ibn Mihran (from amongst the Successors [Tabi’een]) said, “I remember a time when the people would perform their takbeerat so much during the ten days that I would compare it (the sound of their voices) to waves.”

Confined and General Unrestricted Takbeer

And it is legislated to perform the takbeerat starting from the first of the ten days until the end of the days of Tashreeq (which, according to the more correct of the two scholarly views in this matter, are the three days following Eid al-Adha).

It is more emphasized to perform the takbeerat after completing each of the five daily prayers, even if the prayer is performed at home. The takbeerat following the daily prayers are what some scholars refer to as “confined takbeer” as opposed to the general unrestricted takbeer. These confined takbeerat are performed by those not performing Hajj, and they are done after each of the five daily prayers, starting from fajr on the day of ‘Arafah until ‘asr on the third day of Tashreeq.

How to Perform the Takbeerat?

As for how the takbeerat are performed, the matter is not so restricted. It is incumbent upon Muslims, especially in these times, to strive in teaching our children this Sunnah, which is among the honored rituals of our religion, in order to ensure it does not die out as a practice amongst them in the coming generations.

 

Ibn al-Qayyim said in Al-Hadyi: “it has been reported that the Prophet (PBUH) used to perform takbeerat from fajr prayer on the day of ‘Arafah until ‘asr on the final day of Tashreeq, and he would chant:

‘Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, La ilaha illa Allah, wa-Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, wa-lillahil-hamd’.

And though this chain of narration is not strong, the Ummah as a whole has applied it (this form of takbeer).

In this mentioned form, “Allahu Akbar” is repeated in pairs of two. As for it being repeated in sets of three (Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar), that is based on what has been narrated solely from the actions of Jabir ibn ‘Abdullah and ibn ‘Abbas. And both forms (whether saying ‘Allahu Akbar’ in pairs of two or sets of three) are fine.”

 

Al-Hafiz Ibn Hajar said in Al-Fat-ḥ : “As for the form of the takbeer, the most correct version has been reported by ‘Abd al-Razzaq in an authentic (saheeh) chain on the authority of Salman, in which he said, ‘Proclaim Allah’s Greatness: Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbaru Kabeera.’ This form has also been reported to be the choice of Sa’eed ibn Jubayr, Mujahid, and ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Abi Layla. It is also the choice of Imam al-Shafi’i, who would add to it ‘wa-lillahil-hamd’.”

 

It has also been mentioned in the form of saying ‘Allahu Akbar’ three times and adding ‘La ilaha illa Allah, wahdahu la shareeka lahu.’

 

It has also been mentioned in the form of saying ‘Allahu Akbar’ twice, followed by ‘La ilaha illa Allah, wa-Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, wa-lillahil-hamd,’ and this form is traced to ‘Umar and Ibn Mas’ood, and it is the choice of Ahmad and Is-haq.”

 

Al-Nawawi reported in his Al-Majmoo‘ that al-Shafi’i said in Al-Mukhtasar: “Whatever increase comes in the form of Allah’s mention is good.” Though it would be more suitable to confine the forms of takbeer to only that which has been reported to us, the matter is not so restricted. And to Allah all Praise is due.


Source: amjaonline.org with some modifications

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ABC's of Islam New Muslims

All about the First Ten Days of Dul-Hijjah and Udhiyah – a Special Folder

By Editorial Staff

About the merits of the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “There are no days on which righteous deeds are beloved to Allah more than (the righteous deeds on) these 10 days.”

The people asked, “Not even jihad for the sake of Allah?” He said, “Not even jihad for the sake of Allah, except for the case of a man who went out, giving up himself and his wealth for the cause of Allah, and came back with nothing.” (Al-Bukhari)

These articles will help you learn every thing about those blessed days and how to make the best of them.

 

The Fiqh of Udhiyah (The Sacrificial Animal)

This article discusses the meaning of Udhiyah, its legal ruling, the prerequisites, the time for offering it and how it can be distributed.

2. Rulings and Conditions of Udhiyah

3. Offering Sacrifice: Refrain from This

4. The Sacrifice: Rulings and Conditions

 

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New Muslims Pilgrimage

All about the First Ten Days of Dhul-Hijjah

By Editorial Staff

After a few days, Muslims all over the world will be witnessing the best days a year. Out of Allah’s wisdom, He favors some of His creatures over others. Allah creates and chooses whatever He wills and does whatever He intends. A certain creature per se is not better than any other creature. It is Allah Who gives preference to some creatures over others through His inexhaustible wisdom. For instance, in the world of angels, the archangel Gabriel is the best of them. Prophets are the best of all humankind. The unrelenting Messengers of Resolve are the best among all prophets and messengers. This also applies to animals, inanimate objects, places, times, etc.

If we take a closer look at the shari’ah texts concerning time, we find out that the last one-third of night is the best time among all the other 24 hours. Friday is the best day a week. The month of Ramadan is the best of all months. Similarly, the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah are the best days a year.

Which is better, the last ten days of Ramadan or the first ten days of Dhul-hijjah?

In his reply to this question, Shaikh al-Islam, Ibn Taimiyah said,

“The daylight time is better in the first ten days of Dhul-hijjah than the last ten days of Ramadan. However, the nights are better in the last ten days of Ramadan than those of Dhul-hijjah.”

The nights are better in the last ten days of Ramadan because there is Lailat al-Qadr (the Night of Decree). On the other hand, the daylight is better in the first ten days of Dhul-hijjah because of the 9th day, the Day of Arafat, and the 10th day, Eid Al-Ad-ha. On these two days, Muslims perform most rites of Hajj (Pilgrimage).

The Virtues of the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah:

1. Allah swears an oath by these days in the Gracious Quran.

Allah says,

“By the dawn, and the Ten Nights (of the Month of Pilgrimage)! By all that is even and all that is odd, and the night as it passes! Is there in this an oath (of sufficient proof) for whoever has a mind (that God is all-able to punish the ungodly)?” (Quran 89:1-5)

The majority of the commentators of the Gracious Quran hold the opinion that the “Ten Nights” refers the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah. On the other hand, when Allah swears by something of His creatures, this denotes that such a thing is excellent.

2. These days are mentioned in the Gracious Quran as “the known days”.

Allah says,

…they may observe (many) benefits for themselves and mention (much) the name of God during the known days (of Hajj-Pilgrimage)… (Quran 22:28)

“There are no days during which the righteous action is so pleasing to Allah than these days (i.e., the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah)

3. Some commentators of the Gracious Quran say that these days are also referred to in the following verse:

“Thereafter, We promised to Moses thirty nights (of retreat in Our presence at Mount Tur), and We completed them with ten (more).” (Quran 7:142)

4. Acts of worship performed during those days are better and more beloved than any other time of the year.

Ibn ‘Abbas (May Allah be pleased with them) reported:

The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “There are no days during which the righteous action is so pleasing to Allah than these days (i.e., the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah).” He was asked: “O Messenger of Allah, not even Jihad in the Cause of Allah?” He (ﷺ) replied, “Not even Jihad in the Cause of Allah, except in case one goes forth with his life and his property and does not return with either of it.” (Al-Bukhari)

Obligatory deeds performed on these days are better than those performed on other than such days. Likewise, voluntary deeds performed on these days are better. However, voluntary deeds observed on these days cannot be better than obligatory ones. And therefore, fasting the last ten days of Ramadan is better than fasting on the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah.

5. The ten days are sacred as they are in the sacred month of Dhul-Hujjah.

Concerning the four sacred months, Allah says,

… do not wrong yourselves (or others) in them. (Quran 9:36)

What should a Muslim do to make the best use of these days?

These days are a great season of worship and a great opportunity every Muslim should seize. The truthful believer becomes more active in worship on these days. Here are some acts of worship Muslims can observe:

1. (Dhikr) Remembrance of Allah

One of the best acts of worship to be observed during the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah is spending a lot of time doing dhikr. In a mu’allaq (suspended) hadith mentioned by Al-Bukhari, he quotes Ibn ‘Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) as saying,

“…and mention (much) the name of God during the known days (of Hajj-Pilgrimage)… (Quran 22:28)

These are the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah whereas “the numbered days” are the days of Tashriq (the 11th, 12th and 13th days of Dhul-Hijjah)”

Ibn ‘Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) means by “the numbered days” to refer to the following verse:

 

“Thus make (much) mention (of the name of) God (with solemn reverence) in the (special) numbered days (in the valley of Mina).” (Quran 2:203)

“Ibn `Umar and Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with them) used to go out in the marketplace during the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah, reciting Takbir, and the people would recite Takbir when they heard them.” (Al-Bukhari)

In another hadith concerning these ten days, it says, “… so increase saying Tahlil (saying la-illah illa Allah), Takbir (saying Allahu akbar), and Tahmid (saying Al-hamdullilah)” (Ahmad)

Remembrance of Allah is one of the best purposes of worship. Thus, it is part of a lot of acts of worship including prayer, Friday speech, hajj, offering a sacrifice, etc.

2. Reciting the Gracious Quran

Reciting the Gracious Quran is also part of doing dhikr which should be given full attention on these days. So, it is a good idea to specify a time for reciting or studying the Gracious Quran. There are a lot of proofs that indicate the excellence of reciting and reflecting on the Quran. Allah says,

Indeed, those who recite the Book of God, and who (duly) establish the Prayer, and who spend (charitably) from what We have provided them, secretly and openly- they have hope in a (blessed) transaction that shall never come to ruin- that He may give them their rewards (in full) and increase them evermore from His bounty. Indeed, He is all-forgiving, ever-thankful. (Quran 35:29-30)

3. Fasting

When we say, “fasting on the first ten days” we mean only the first nine days which are allowed to fast because it is known that fasting on Eid al-Ad-ha (festival of sacrifice), on the 10th day of Dhul-Hijjah,  is prohibited.

Imam Al-Nawawi said that fasting these nine days is highly recommended especially the 9th day, the Day of ‘Arafat.

4. Fasting on the Day of ‘Arafat

As well as being the best day of the year, the Day of ‘Arafat is the day when Allah perfected the religion of Islam. Narrated ‘Umar bin Al-Khattab:

Once a Jew said to me, “O the chief of believers! There is a verse in your Holy Book which is read by all of you (Muslims), and had it been revealed to us, we would have taken that day (on which it was revealed) as a day of celebration.” ‘Umar bin Al-Khattab asked, “Which is that verse?” The Jew replied,

“This day I have perfected your religion For you, completed My favor upon you, And have chosen for you Islam as your religion.” (Quran 5:3)

‘Umar replied,”No doubt, we know when and where this verse was revealed to the Prophet. It was Friday and the Prophet (ﷺ) was standing at ‘Arafat (i.e. the Day of Hajj)” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

Secondly, fasting on this day expiates the sins of two years, the last and the coming one. This is mentioned in a hadith related by Muslim. However, it is recommended for pilgrims not to fast on that day out of emulation of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). Not fasting will also give the pilgrim more energy to do a lot of dhikr and make du’aa (supplications to Allah)

Thirdly, ‘Aishah (May Allah be pleased with her) reported:

The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “There is no day on which Allah sets free more slaves from Hell than He does on the Day of ‘Arafah.” (Muslim)

There are a lot of other acts of worship a Muslim is recommended to observe. These include offering sacrifice (on the 10th, 11th 12th and 13th Day of Dhul-Hijjah), praying for Allah’s blessings upon the Prophet, giving to charity, being kind to parents, etc.

 

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The Fiqh of Udhiyah (The Sacrificial Animal)

By Editorial Staff

Definition

The Udhiyah (the sacrificial animal) is a grazing animal from among camels, cows, buffaloes, sheep and goats that is sacrificed on Eid al-Ad-ha (festival of sacrifice) and the following three days (the days of Tashriq) for the sake of drawing near to Allah.

The Proofs

The proofs from the Gracious Quran, the Sunnah and the Consensus denote that the udhiyah is one of the rites of Islam. Allah says,

For each (faith)-community We have appointed (sacred) rites, so that they may mention the name of God over any grazing beasts (that they sacrifice as charitable-offerings, from whatever) He has provided them. (Quran 22:34)

Anas reported that Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) sacrificed with his own hands two horned rams which were white with black markings reciting the name of Allah and glorifying Him (saying Allah-u-Akbar). He placed his foot on their sides (while sacrificing). (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

Muslim scholars have reached a consensus that the Udhiyah is one of the legal rites of Islam.

The Udhiyah (the sacrificial animal) is a grazing animal from among camels, cows, buffaloes, sheep and goats that is sacrificed on Eid al-Ad-ha (festival of sacrifice) and the following three days (the days of Tashriq) for the sake of drawing near to Allah.

The Legal Ruling

As for the legal ruling, the majority of scholars are of the opinion that the Udhiyah is highly recommended. This is the opinion of Imam Al-Shafi’I and the more famous opinion of Imam malik and Imam Ahmad. On the other hand, Imam Abu Hanifah’s legal opinion is that it is obligatory. This is also the other opinion of Imam Ahmad and Imam Malik. Allah says,

So pray to your Lord, and sacrifice (charitable-offerings to Him alone). (Quran 108:2)

The prerequisites for offering a sacrificial animal:

1. Sincerity

Sincerity is a prerequisite for the acceptance of every act of worship. So, the person who intends to offer an udhiyah (a sacrificial animal) should do this only for the sake of Allah. Allah says,

Never shall (any part of) their flesh nor their blood reach God. But rather, it is (your devotion inspired by the) fear of God in you that reaches Him. Therefore has He subjugated them to you, that you shall extol God, (the Creator) for (the blessing of faith to) which He has guided you. So give glad tidings to those who excel in (doing) good. (Quran 22:37)

2. The sacrificial animal must be one of the following grazing animals:

A. the camel and the she-camel

B. the bull, the cow and the buffalo

C. the sheep (the ram and the ewe)

D. the goat and the she-goat

Allah says,

For each (faith)-community We have appointed (sacred) rites, so that they may mention the name of God over any grazing beasts (that they sacrifice as charitable-offerings, from whatever) He has provided them. (Quran 22:34)

3. The sacrificial animal must reach the legally specified age.

Jabir (RAA) narrated that Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said:

“Sacrifice only a full-grown animal (musinnah) unless it is difficult for you, in which case you should sacrifice a jadha’ah(six to ten month old) sheep.” (Muslim)

Scholars interpret an adult sacrificial animal (musinnah) as thaniyyah whose milk teeth (the medial incisors) have fallen out and are replaced by permanent teeth. Unlike the thaniyyah, the jadha’ah is a young animal.  For grazing beasts to be described as thaniyyah, they have to reach a specific age that differs according to the different kinds of beasts.

A. The thaniyyah from camels is about five years old.

B. The thaniyyah from cows or buffaloes is about two years old.

C. The thaniyyah from goats or sheep is about one year old.

In case the person who intends to sacrifice does not find a grazing beast that meets this requirement, he or she is allowed to sacrifice a jadha’ah (a six month old) lamb.)

4. The sacrificial animal must be free from all physical defects that make it unsatisfactory sacrifice for offering.

Al-Baraa’ ibn ‘Azib (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said,

“Four (types of animals) should be avoided in sacrifice: A One-eyed animal which has obviously lost the sight of one eye, a sick animal which is obviously sick, a lame animal which obviously limps and an animal with a broken leg with no marrow.” (Abu Dawud and Al-Nasa’i)

A more serious defect than those mentioned above is, a fortiori, a one that makes the sacrificial animal unacceptable as sacrifice.

5. Slaughtering the animal designated for sacrifice must take place within the legally specified time.

People can start slaughtering their animals after performing the Eid al-Ad-ha prayer on the 10th to the sunset on the 13th of Dhul-Hijjah.

Narrated Al-Bara’ bin `Azib:

On the day of Nahr (sacrifice) Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) delivered the Khutba (speech) after the ‘Eid prayer and said, “Anyone who prayed like us and slaughtered the sacrifice like we did then he acted according to our (Nusuk) tradition of sacrificing, and whoever slaughtered the sacrifice before the prayer, then that was just mutton (i.e. not sacrifice).” Abu Burda bin Niyar stood up and said, “O Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ)! By Allah, I slaughtered my sacrifice before I offered the ‘Eid prayer and thought that today was the day of eating and drinking (nonalcoholic drinks) and so I made haste (in slaughtering) and ate and also fed my family and neighbors.” Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “That was just mutton (not a sacrifice).” Then Abu Burda said, “I have a young she-goat and no doubt, it is better than two sheep. Will that be sufficient as a sacrifice for me?” The Prophet (ﷺ) replied, “Yes. But it will not be sufficient for anyone else (as a sacrifice), after you.” (Al-Bukhari)

Recommended acts concerning the udhiyah and the person who intends to offer it

1. On the sight of the new moon of Dhul-Hijjah, it is recommended for the people who intend to offer a sacrifice not to have their hair cut or their nails trimmed.

Umm Salama, the wife of Allah’s Apostle (ﷺ), reported Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) to have said:

“When is the beginning of Dhul-Hijjah and anyone of you intends to offer a sacrificial animal, he should not get his hair cut or nails trimmed until he offers it. (Muslim)

2. As for the sacrificial animals, the best kind is the camel then the cow in case one of them is offered by a single person. After that comes the sheep, then the goat, then one-seventh of a camel, then one-seventh of a cow. However, the best sacrificial animal with regard to quality is the fattest.

What is the smallest number of sacrificial animals that can be offered?

A person can buy at least one sheep to offer as sacrifice on behalf of himself/ herself and his/her family. With regard to the possession, a single person can offer only one sheep. Similarly, seven people can share a camel or a cow. Hence, eight people cannot share a camel or a cow. Also, two people cannot share a sheep. As for the rewards, the person can share the reward of one sheep with one’s family or as many people as one wishes.

Jabir (RAA) narrated, ‘In the year of Hudaibiyah (Reconciliation), we sacrificed a camel for each seven people along with Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ), and also a cow for seven. (Muslim)

How can the sacrificial animal be distributed?

It is recommended to eat, give as a present and give to charity from the udhiyah. Allah says,

 

…they may observe (many) benefits for themselves and mention (much) the name of God during the known days (of Hajj-Pilgrimage) over what He has provided them of grazing beasts (to sacrifice). So eat of them and feed the afflicted (ones), the (indigent) poor. (Quran 22:28)

 

… (you may butcher their meat to )eat of them (yourselves)- and to feed (both) the self-restrained needy and the suppliant poor. (Quran 22:36)

Some scholars prefer the meat to be divided into three: one-third for the owner, one-third for charity and the last third to be given as gifts.

 

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