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Section III: Slaughtering Sacrificial Animals for Eid al-Adha

Firstly: The Definition of Sacrificial Animals for Eid al-Adha
Linguistically, udhiyah (sacrificial animal) is the term for what is offered as a sacrifice; i.e. that which is slaughtered during the days of Eid al-Adha. The plural is adahi.
Technically, udhiyah refers to a sheep, goat, cow, or camel that is slaughtered on any day from the Day of Eid al-Adha until the end of the Days of Tashreeq in order to draw closer to Allah the Exalted.
Secondly: Legislation of Slaughtering for Eid al-Adha
Slaughtering for Eid al-Adha is legislated. Consensus on this was related by Ibn Qudamah, Ibn Daqeeq al-`Id, Ibn Hajar, and al-Shawkani.
Thirdly: The Wisdom behind its Legislation
1. Thanking Allah the Exalted for the blessing of life.
2. Reviving the Sunnah of Ibrahim ﷺ when Allah – Mighty is His Name – ordered him to slaughter a sacrificial ransom on behalf of his son Isma`il ﷺ on the Day of Eid al-Adha.
3. It allows one to be expansive with oneself and one’s family, generous with neighbours and visitors, and to give charity to the poor. These are all manifestations of happiness and joy through the blessings that Allah has bestowed upon mankind. This is a proclamation of Allah the Exalted’s blessings, as Allah says: “And as for your Lord’s blessings, proclaim it.” (Al-Duha: 11)
4. Spilling blood emphasizes belief in what Allah Mighty and Majestic has informed us: that He created these animals for the benefit of mankind and has permitted their slaughter and butchering so that they can provide them with food.
Fourthly: The Merits of Slaughtering for Eid Al-Adha
Firstly: Sacrificial animals are amongst the offerings consecrate to Allah the Exalted; “That (is the command). And whoso magnifieth the offerings consecrated to Allah, it surely is from devotion of the hearts.” (Al-Hajj: 32)
Secondly: Slaughtering for the sake of Allah the Exalted and drawing close to Him with devotional acts are amongst the greatest acts of worship and the most majestic acts of obedience. Allah Mighty and Majestic has paired slaughtering with prayer in multiple places in His magnificent Book in order to show its magnificence, great rank, and high status.
Fifthly: The Ruling of Slaughtering for Eid Al-Adha
Slaughtering for Eid al-Adha is a confirmed sunnah. This is the position of the majority: the Malikis (according to the well-known position), Shafi`is, and Hanbalis. It is the position of the Zahiri school and one of two narrations from Abu Yusuf. It is the position of the majority of scholars.
Sixthly: The Ruling of Animals Slaughtered due to Vows
It is wajib for whoever vows to slaughter to fulfill their vow, whether they vowed a particular animal or not. This is by agreement of the four schools of jurisprudence.
Seventhly: How a Sacrificial Animal is Specified
An animal is specified as sacrificial when it is purchased with that intention. This is the position of the Hanafi school, one position amongst Hanbalis, and the position of Ibn al-Qasim of the Maliki school. This is the chosen position of Ibn Taymiyyah. The fatwa of the Permanent Council corresponds to this position.
Eighthly: Conditions of a Valid Sacrifice
1. That it be a flock animal
It is a condition that the sacrifice be a flock animal: a camel, cow, sheep, or goat. Consensus on this was related by Ibn `Abd al-Barr, Ibn Rushd, al-Nawawi, and al-San`ani.


2. That it have reached the Sharia-required age
A condition for sacrificial animals is that have reached the Sharia-required age. It is not valid to offer a goat that is younger than a thaniyyah nor a sheep that is younger than a jadha`ah. This is the chosen position of Ibn `Abd al-Barr, al-Nawawi, and al-Shinqiti. Ibn Hazm related consensus on a thaniyyah goat counting as a valid sacrifice. Al-Tirmidhi related the same regarding a jadha`ah sheep.


The meaning of a thaniyyah in terms of camels, cattle, and goats; and a jadha` in terms of sheep
A thaniyyah is a camel that has completed five years of age, a cow that has completed two years of age, or a goat that has completed one year [1044] Some hold that it is a goat that has completed two years of age and has started its third year of life. of age. A jadha` is a sheep that has completed six months of age. These details are explicitly mentioned by Hanafi and Hanbali jurists. This is the chosen position of Ibn `Uthaymin. The Permanent Council’s fatwa corresponds to this.


3. Freedom from defects that render it unworthy of sacrifice
It is a condition that a sacrificial animal be free of defects that render it unworthy of sacrifice. Animals that do not qualify for sacrifice are those that are obviously blind in at least one eye, obviously sick, lame to such an extent that they cannot keep up with the flock, and emaciated such that they bear little meat. Consensus on this was related by Ibn Hazm, Ibn `Abd al-Barr, Ibn Rushd, Ibn Qudamah, and al-Nawawi.


4. Slaughtering at the prescribed time. [1045] See the issue on the starting and ending times for sacrificial slaughter.


5. Intention
It is a condition that one offering a sacrifice must intend it as such. This is by agreement of the four schools of jurisprudence.
Ninthly: When to Sacrifice
1. The earliest time to slaughter
Slaughtering before dawn on the Day of Eid al-Adha
It is not permissible to slaughter a sacrificial animal before dawn on the Day of Eid al-Adha. Consensus on this was related by Ibn al-Mundhir, Ibn `Abd al-Barr, and al-Qurtubi.
Slaughtering before prayer
It is not permissible to slaughter sacrificial animals before the Eid prayer. Consensus on this was related by Ibn `Abd al-Barr, al-Nawawi, and Ibn Rushd.


2. The starting time for slaughter
The starting time for slaughtering sacrificial animals is after the Eid prayer. This is the position of the Hanafi and Hanbali schools. This is the chosen position of al-Tahawi, al-Shawkani, and Ibn `Uthaymin.


3. The starting time for slaughter with respect to those who do not live in cities and towns
The starting time for slaughter for those living in areas where the Eid prayer is not offered, such as Bedouins, is after sufficient time to perform the Eid prayer has passed after the sun has risen a spear’s length above the horizon. This is the position of the Hanbali school. This is the chosen position of Ibn `Uthaymin.


4. How long the time to slaughter extends
Jurists are of two positions regarding how long the time to slaughter extends:
The first position: The time allotted for slaughter lasts three days: the Day of Eid al-Adha and the first two Days of Tashreeq. This is the position of the majority: the Hanafis, Malikis, and Hanbalis.
The second position: The time allotted for slaughter remains until the end of the Days of Tashreeq. This is the position of the Shafi`i school, one position amongst Hanbalis, and the position of a group of the Salaf. This is the chosen position of Ibn Taymiyyah, Ibn al-Qayyim, al-Shawkani, Ibn Baz, and Ibn `Uthaymin.


5. The ruling of slaughtering at night
Slaughtering at night counts as a valid sacrifice. This is the position of the Hanafi [1046] It suffices but is makruh according to them. and Shafi`i [1047] Al-Shafi`i says: “One may slaughter at night or during the day. I only dislike slaughtering at night because a man might slaughter incorrectly or needy people might not be present. As for if he slaughters correctly and needy people are available, then it makes no difference.” (Al-Umm, 2/239) schools and one position amongst Hanbalis. This is the chosen position of Ibn Hazm, al-San`ani, al-Shawkani, and Ibn `Uthaymin [1048] Ibn `Uthaymin says: “In truth, slaughtering during these two nights is not makruh unless that detracts from what is due of sacrifice. Thus, it is makruh from that perspective, not because the slaughtering happened at night.” (Al-Sharh Al-Mumti`, 7/464) .


6. Hastening to slaughter
It is mustahabb to hasten to slaughter the sacrificial animal after the prescribed time has started. This is by agreement of the four schools of jurisprudence.
Tenthly: Mannerisms and Sunnah Acts Related to Sacrificing
1. The ruling of cutting the hair and clipping the nails for one intending sacrifice

Jurists have differed regarding the ruling of cutting the hair and clipping the nails after the start of Dhu al-Hijjah for one intending to sacrifice. The two strongest positions are:
The first position: It is haram for one intending to sacrifice – if they witnessed the crescent of Dhu al-Hijjah – to cut their hair or clip their nails until they sacrifice. This is the position of the Hanbali school, one position amongst Shafi`is, and the position of a group of the Salaf. This is the chosen position of Ibn Hazm, Ibn al-Qayyim, Ibn Baz, and Ibn `Uthaymin.
The second position: It is makruh for one intending to sacrifice to cut their hair or clip their nails until they sacrifice. This is the position of the Maliki and Shafi`i schools and one position amongst Hanbalis.
The ruling of expiation for cutting the hair or clipping the nails when intending to sacrifice
There is no expiation due for cutting the hair or clipping the nails for one who intends to sacrifice. Consensus on this was related by Ibn Qudamah and al-Mirdawi.


2. To slaughter on one’s own behalf if one is able
It is mustahabb to slaughter on one’s own behalf if one is able. Consensus on this was related by al-Nawawi.


3. Eating from the sacrificial animal, feeding others, and storing it
It is permissible for one to eat, feed others from, and store the meat of their sacrificial animal. This is by agreement of the four schools of jurisprudence.
Eleventhly: Assigning Someone to Slaughter on One’s Behalf
It is permissible to assign someone else to slaughter the sacrificial animal on one’s behalf, provided they are Muslim. This is by agreement of the four schools of jurisprudence. [1049] Though Malikis deem it makruh.
Twelfthly: Which is better: Slaughtering an Animal or Giving its Value in Charity?
Slaughtering a sacrificial animal is better than giving its value in charity. This is explicitly mentioned by jurists of the Hanafi, Maliki, and Hanbali schools. This is the chosen position of Ibn Baz and Ibn `Uthaymin.
Thirteenthly: Giving the Butcher a Portion of the Meat as Payment
It is not permissible to give the butcher a portion of the meat as payment. This is by agreement of the four schools of jurisprudence.
Fourteenthly: Slaughtering on Behalf of the Deceased as Independent Act
It is not legislated to slaughter on behalf of the deceased as an independent act. This is the position of the Maliki [1050] Their school is that it is makruh to do so. and Shafi`i [1051] Unless it is done by their permission, such as the fulfilment of a bequest. schools. This is the chosen position of Ibn `Uthaymin.


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