What are the frequent questions related to sacrificing an animal and their answers?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

What does qurban (sacrifice) mean?

Qurban means approaching as a word. Thereupon, sacrificing an animal means to sacrifice an animal out of the goods that Allah gave in order to approach Him and attain his pleasure and consent.

What is the religious base of qurban?

Sacrificing an animal started with the first man. The children of Hz. Adam sacrificed animals but the sacrifice of one of them was not accepted because his intention was not pure. However, his brother’s sacrifice was accepted. He envied his brother and killed him. The Quran tells us about the event.  (al-Maida 5/27) Accordingly, we understand that what is important in sacrifice is to sacrifice for Allah.

Apart from that incidence, in various places in the Quran, the qurbans that were ordered to previous prophets and the qurbans to be sacrificed in hajj (pilgrimage) are mentioned. Qurban is present in all religions. In the chapter of al-Kawthar, Hz. Muhammad (pbuh) is addressed, and he and his ummah are asked to sacrifice animals. Hazrat Prophet always sacrificed animals in Madinah; he sacrificed 63 animals when he was in hajj, probably based on his lifespan of 63 years: one sacrifice for one year.  

In a hadith reported by Ibn Majah as hasan (good), our Prophet said: “A person who can afford but does not sacrifice an animal should not approach our mosque.” 

What is the religious decree about sacrificing an animal?

Due to the possibility that the order in the chapter of al-Kawthar can mean something else, most of the scholars have the opinion that qurban is not a definite fard. As for Hanafis, they have the opinion that the order had a definite demand but that someone who did not believe it would not be an unbeliever due to the possibility of different interpretations. Hanafis use the terms “wajib” not “fard” for things that are demanded definitely but about which different interpretations are possible. Therefore, qurban is wajib according to Hanafis. That is, those who can afford must do it but they are free to soften it considering other interpretations. 

According to Shafiis, qurban is sunnah, but it is not an ordinary sunnah. It is a sunnah that is necessary to carry out, that is, it is “sunnah lazima”.

Muslim reports the following. “The Messenger of Allah led the prayer of eid al-adha (festival of sacrifice) in Madinah. Some people hurried and slaughtered their qurbans. They thought the Prophet had slaughtered his qurban. Thereupon, the Prophet ordered those who had slaughtered their qurbans before him to slaughter again. If qurban were something that only those who wished would carry out, he would not have ordered them to do it again.”

Conclusion: It is wajib to sacrifice animals according to Hanafis; someone who can afford but does not sacrifice an animal becomes a sinner. According to Shafiis, it is sunnah; someone who can afford but does not sacrifice an animal does not become a sinner. 

Why is an animal sacrificed?

Allah states the following in the chapter of al-Hajj: “It is not their meat nor their blood that reaches Allah: it is your piety that reaches Him.” (22/37). Accordingly, it is understood that the aim of sacrificing an animal is to fulfill the order of Allah and show that one fears Allah. It means we can sacrifice even our most valuable things if Allah asks us. The aim is to show that we can even sacrifice our lives just like Hz. Ibrahim (Abraham) who decided to sacrifice his son, Ismail (Ishmael). In a sense, qurban means we can get rid of the feeling of loving worldly possessions and sacrifice everything for the sake of Allah. 

The main purpose of the worship of sacrificing an animal is to attain Allah’s consent and to want to be close to Him. A person who sacrifices an animal approaches Allah with this deed of worshipping and attains His consent. Sacrificing an animal is also an example of social assistance and solidarity. The poor benefit materially from the sacrificed animals more than others. As it is seen, this worship includes the understanding of being close to God and making sacrifices for people. Sacrificing an animal has had an important place in our religious life as a deed of worshipping that is regarded as a symbol and feature of Muslim communities – no matter what the fiqh decree about it is. Sacrificing an animal is a symbolic expression showing that a Muslim is ready to sacrifice himself and what he has in the way of Allah.

While the religion of Islam aims to make an individual attain spiritual wisdoms and humane virtues, it has introduced some uniting and integrative commands and practices. This superior characteristic of Islam becomes more manifest in the financial deeds of worshipping with social dimensions like zakah, hajj and sacrificing an animal. Those deeds of worshipping continued since the beginning of Islam without undergoing any change and without being intervened in terms of general principles and essence.

Who has to sacrifice an animal?

To put it shortly, those who are rich have to sacrifice animals. The criterion for it is to have enough money, goods or property to be regarded as rich after deducing one’s basic needs. It is not necessary to wait for one year after obtaining those goods, as it is the case in zakah.

Is it necessary in a family for the mother, father and children who have enough money to sacrifice an animal each?

Hanafis regard a person who has personal money, goods or property a separate mukallaf (an accountable person) and have the opinion that whether male or female, such a person needs to sacrifice a separate animal. Other madhhabs have the opinion that it does not matter whether each individual has separate money or not, one sacrifice is enough for a family. 

Can a woman have an animal sacrificed?

As it is understood from the answer to the previous question, according to Hanafis, if a woman has her own goods and property, gold or money, she has to have an animal sacrificed. What is more, since she is not responsible for taking care of the household, the condition of having enough money to meet the needs of the household is not taken into consideration. The husband will meet them. Then, a rich woman has to slaughter an animal or have it slaughtered by proxy. 

Does a traveler (musafir) have to slaughter a sacrifice?

A person who is regarded a traveler religiously does not have to slaughter a sacrifice (it is not wajib for him). However, if he slaughters a sacrifice himself or has one slaughtered by a proxy, it will be a nice act. The sacrifice that is slaughtered is regarded as nafilah (supererogatory).  

A traveler (musafir) does not have to sacrifice an animal but he will gain thawabs if he does. If a person sacrifices an animal when he is a traveler and returns to his hometown on the days of eid, he does not have to sacrifice an animal again. If a person does not sacrifice an animal when he is a traveler and returns to his hometown on the days of eid, he has to sacrifice an animal.

Is slaughtering a sacrifice regarded to have been fulfilled by giving sadaqah (alms, donation) instead?

No, never! We cannot determine the type and quality of worshipping. The types of worshipping have to be in accordance with what the Creator has determined. There are already other kinds of alms giving. A person has to fulfill them if he has to, and he has to slaughter a sacrifice if he has to.

The worship of sacrificing an animal is fulfilled by slaughtering an animal that has certain conditions based on the rules of slaughtering. When the equivalent of the money for an animal to be sacrificed is given to the poor or charity organizations, the worship of sacrificing an animals is not regarded to have been fulfilled. It is one of the important duties of a Muslim to help the poor and the needy and to do them favors but it is not religiously appropriate to present of those deeds of worshipping as the alternative to the other. 

As a matter of fact, the Prophet sacrificed an animal every year after it became legitimate. (Bukhari, Hajj 117, 119; Muslim, Adahi 17)

Besides, it is stated in hadiths that the most lovable deed of worshipping on eid al-adha is sacrificing an animal, that it will be accepted by Allah as soon as the animal is slaughtered and that every organ of the animal will be written as a thawab for the person. (Tirmidhi, Adahi 1; Ibn Majah, Adahi 3)

When is a sacrifice slaughtered?

An animal is sacrificed on the first three days of eid al-adha. The time for slaughtering starts after eid al-adha prayer is performed in places where eid al-adha prayer is performed and after the time for the morning prayer starts in places where eid al-adha prayer is not performed. It continues up to the sunset on the third day of eid al-adha. Slaughtering can be fulfilled during the daytime and night within this period. However, it is more appropriate to sacrifice animals during the daytime. It is more virtuous to slaughter the animal on the first day of eid al-adha. 

According to Shafii madhhab, it is permissible to sacrifice an animal on the fourth day of eid al-adha too.

How many people can have a share in an animal to be sacrificed?

It is definite based on the hadiths and practices of the Prophet that a sheep and a goat is sacrificed for only one person and that a cow, buffalo and camel can be sacrificed for up to seven people. (Abu Dawud, “Dahaya”, 7-8). The animals that are sacrificed by more than one person can be sacrificed as an odd or even number of shares. 

A bovine animal and a camel can be slaughtered for one share (person) to seven shares (people). If a bovine animal is old enough to be slaughtered and if it has certain conditions, the amount of flesh being little or much does not determine the number of shares. Even if a bovine animal is small and has little flesh, it can be sacrificed for up to seven people. When people say this animal can be sacrificed for three or five people, they want to talk about the amount of flesh for each share. Up to seven people can share a bovine animal and a camel as long as it has the conditions necessary for being sacrificed.

What animals can be slaughtered as sacrifice? What qualities do those animals have to have?

Only goats, sheep, cattle and camels can be slaughtered as sacrifice. The other animals cannot be slaughtered as sacrifice because qurban is a kind of worship and it can be carried out as the Prophet taught us. 

A person who tries to slaughter a chicken, ostrich, etc as sacrifice and a person who says that they can be slaughtered as sacrifice becomes a sinner because he commits a bid’a (innovation in religion). There are even some scholars who say such a claim is unbelief.

An animal can be sacrificed when it becomes mature as the other members of its kind and when it has an average size. If any defect or illness decreases their value, they cannot be slaughtered as sacrifice because sacrifice has a meaning like this: ”O my Lord! I am slaughtering a sheep or a goat, etc for you.”

Accordingly, it is not appropriate to sacrifice an animal that is not regarded as a normal goat or a normal sheep. The criterion relating the issue is the following hadith: “Animals that are apparently blind, apparently ill, apparently lame and those that are so weak as there is no marrow in their bones cannot be sacrificed.”

In addition, it has been stated that an animal with one eye and an animal with broken horns cannot be sacrificed because those defects spoil the state of being an average animal of its kind. However, animals whose horns are dulled when they are young so that they will be fleshy or so that they will not be harmed can be sacrificed because such a situation does not decrease but increases the value of those animals. 

A sheep, goat, cattle, buffalo and camel can be sacrificed. Animals other than those cannot be sacrificed. Both females and males of those three kinds of animals can be sacrificed. Sheep and goats that are under age one, cattle that are under age two and camels that are under age five cannot be sacrificed. Those ages are the shared view of all madhhabs in general. (see W. Zuhayli, al-Fiqhul-Islami, 3/315) However, according to Hanafi and Hanbali madhhabs, if a 6, 7-month-old sheep is bulky and good- looking as if it is one year old, it is religiously permissible to be slaughtered as a sacrifice. Nevertheless, a goat must be at least one year old.

What animals can be sacrificed by more than one person?

Cattle and camels can be sacrificed for up to seven people. A sheep or a goat can only be sacrificed for one person. 

What are the things to pay attention to while slaughtering an animal?

1. Attention must be paid not to harm the animal. Pushing, shoving and beating animals while slaughtering, which we sometimes see in big cities, is brutality; it has nothing to do with Islamic ethics. Those who torment animals like that are like people who commit ten sins but receive two rewards. It is better to abandon a good deed rather than committing sins. Muslims have the opportunity to show people how to treat animals with affection while sacrificing animals. They should use that opportunity and show the mercy of Muslims and their difference from others.

2. The second important thing is cleanliness and not to make people feel disgusted. What we see in big cities are not signs of Islam. Allah wants us to sacrifice animals not to pollute the environment. Our Prophet stated the following: “Allah laid it as a condition to fulfill everything in the best way. Then, slaughter the animal in the best way, sharpen the knife well and soothe the animal.” Muslims must pay attention to the issue and should not pave the way for those who want to attack the religion and religious people. 

Is it permissible to make an animal faint first and slaughter it then, to slaughter more than one animal at the same time, to eat the flesh of the animals slaughtered by Jews and Christians?

To make an animal faint in order not to torment it (in order to lessen the pain of death) through electric shock or narcosis while slaughtering is not among the defects that prevents an animal from being a sacrifice. The defects that prevent from being a sacrifice are not the ones that happen while slaughtering but the ones that are present in the animal beforehand and that decrease the value of the animal compared to an average animal of its kind. The defects that take place while slaughtering are related to slaughtering and they are not regarded as defects that prevent being a sacrifice. Therefore, it is permissible to make an animal faint through electric shock as long as it is slaughtered while it is still alive (before it dies through the effect of the shock). If the animal dies as a result of the shock before it is slaughtered, it is not regarded a sacrifice and its flesh cannot be eaten.

Therefore, the flesh of an animal that is fainted in due form can be eaten. The fact that the blood is completely removed or not does not change the judgment. If the animal dies when it is hit on the head, cutting its throat does not make it halal. It is necessary to ask and find out whether the animal has died before it is slaughtered or not in the countries where animals are slaughtered like that.

There is no difference between ovine and bovine animals about their way of slaughtering in terms of Islam. Both kinds are need to be slaughtered in due form by Muslims or the People of the Book (Jews and Christians). It is permissible to slaughter more than one animal through a machine by pushing one button. The one slaughtering it must be a Muslim or someone from the People of the Book. It is sunnah to utter basmala (bismillahi: in the name of Allah) but the animal does not become haram if basmala is not uttered. If what the Christians slaughter are eaten in terms of their religion, Muslims can eat it too; but it must not be one of the animals whose flesh is haram like pigs, snakes, etc.)

How should the flesh of the sacrificed animals be used?

The aim of slaughtering a sacrifice is to make blood flow for the sake of Allah. After it is flown, the sacrifice is valid but one of the wisdoms of sacrificing is to enable the poor to eat meat. It is necessary to realize it and to give away as much of the meat as possible.

The Prophet advised us to divide the flesh of the sacrificed animal and to give one third of it to the poor that cannot sacrifice an animal, one third of it to the relatives and neighbors and to keep one third of it for the household. (Abu Dawud, “Dahaya”, 10) It is possible to keep all of the meat for the household if the family is in need and it will be more appropriate to give away most or even all of the flesh of the animal to be sacrificed in periods when there are a lot of needy people.

Can the animal to be sacrificed be donated as a whole?

The animal to be sacrificed can be donated. It is permissible to slaughter the animal and then give it to one person, some people or to a charity organization. A person can give the money to someone and ask that person to slaughter the animal for him as a proxy. However, only donating the money of the animal to be sacrificed instead of slaughtering it cannot replace slaughtering a sacrifice. 

Is it permissible to have an animal slaughtered by charity organizations by proxy?

A person can certainly donate his sacrifice to institutions that he trusts and believes that carry out that duty properly and he can appoint them as proxy. However, it is necessary to know that sacrifice is a kind of worship. Therefore, one should be careful and make sure that the flesh of the sacrifice is used properly and without committing any sins.

Is it necessary to perform prayer of thanks for the sacrificed animals that are donated?

The prayer of thanks for two rak’ahs that are performed when the sacrifice is slaughtered should be performed both when someone slaughters it himself and when he has it slaughtered by proxy. It is not fard to perform it but it is sunnah and a good deed.   

Is it permissible to buy sacrifice on installments?

It is not obligatory to buy the sacrifice in cash. It can be bought through all kinds of purchasing methods that are halal (permissible). Since it is permissible to purchase things on installments, it is also permissible to purchase the sacrifice on installments. 

Is it permissible to sacrifice a slaughter with the borrowed money?

Since it is permissible to buy other things with the borrowed money, it is also permissible to buy a sacrifice with it. 

Can a sacrifice be slaughtered for a dead person?

1. A sacrifice can be slaughtered in the name of a dead person or to donate its reward to a dead person. A person can donate to various charity institutions, the poor and the needy or slaughter a sacrifice in order to donate the reward to his parents or other relatives.

2. It is permissible to slaughter a sacrifice in order to donate the reward to the spirit of our beloved Prophet (pbuh) or other blessed people.   

Is it permissible to slaughter a sacrifice of vow during the days of the eid al-adha?

It is permissible to slaughter a sacrifice of vow during the days of the eid al-adha. According to some scholars, since “qurban” (sacrifice) is the animal that is slaughtered during the days of the eid al-adha, a person who vows, “I shall slaughter a sacrifice” is regarded to have uttered he will sacrifice a slaughter during the days of eid al-adha; therefore, the sacrifices of vow can only be slaughtered during the days of the eid al-adha. However, in Turkish, when the word “qurban” is uttered, the days of the eid al adha is not understood unless one specifies that he will slaughter it during the days of the eid al-adha; therefore, it can be slaughtered any time.   

What does vow mean?

Vow means to promise Allah to perform a kind of fard or wajib worshipping although one is not obliged to do it religiously.

Can a person donate a sacrifice of vow?

A sacrifice of vow can definitely be donated. After slaughtering a sacrifice of vow, a person can give it to somebody as a whole, to several people or to a charitable institution. He can donate the money so that a sacrifice of vow, aqiqah (sacrifice for a newborn child) or thanks will be slaughtered on behalf of him; or he can appoint someone as proxy to slaughter his sacrifice or have it slaughtered. 

Is it permissible to appoint charity organizations as proxy to have a sacrifice of vow, aqiqah or thanks to be slaughtered? 

Yes, a person can donate his sacrifice to charity organizations that he is sure to fulfill that duty properly; he can appoint them as proxy.

Is it necessary to have taqwa (fearing Allah) in order to slaughter a sacrifice due to the incidence of Abel (Habil) and Cain (Qabil) narrated in the Quran?

Taqwa is not one of the necessary conditions to fulfill the worship of sacrifice; taqwa is a quality that believers in general need to obtain and develop. The thought, "The worship of sacrifice is wajib, sunnah; if I do not slaughter it, I will have disobeyed Allah and will have abandoned the sunnah of the Prophet” is taqwa and it is present in almost every believer that slaughters a sacrifice.

The issue of the sacrifices of the two sons of Hazrat Adam is explained in the Quran (al-Maida. 5/27-31). According to that explanation, the son whose sacrifice had been accepted explained the fact that his brother’s sacrifice was not accepted was due to “taqwa” and states that “the worshipping is accepted from only those who have taqwa”. What taqwa means in that incidence is understood from the remaining part of the verse. The son whose sacrifice has not been accepted wants to kill his brother due to jealousy. If the connection of a slave to Allah, his love and respect towards Him, his fear of the bad results that will originate from his disobedience (taqwa) does not suffice to overcome his jealousy and other desires of his soul, it means his taqwa is incomplete; the worshipping of that slave (person) is incomplete too; he may have worshipped not for Allah but for other motives and reasons, and the fact that his worshipping is not accepted is based on the defect of that intention and motive. Furthermore, a person cannot know whether another person has taqwa or not; he knows whether he himself has the feeling of taqwa and deeds originating from taqwa. A person who slaughters a sacrifice accepting it as a duty because Allah ordered it and because Hz. Prophet did it has taqwa in this sense.

Is there a drawback to slaughtering a pregnant animal or an animal that has just given birth?

It is makrooh (abominable) to slaughter a pregnant animal whose giving birth is near or an animal that has just given birth. It is not appropriate to sacrifice a pregnant animal since the baby in the womb will be destroyed.

Can a third person have a share in a sacrifice that two people will slaughter? 

Sacrifices that can be slaughtered for more than one person can be sacrificed for an even or odd number of people. Thus, a third person does not have to have share in a sacrifice that will be slaughtered for two people. A person who has bought a bovine or camel to slaughter can accept one or more persons as participants later. 

Is it necessary to cut off the head of the sacrificed animal?

It is not regarded a nice act to cut off the head of the sacrificed animal so as not to torment the animal. There is no drawback to cutting off the head after the animal dies. 

Is it permissible to have a sacrifice slaughtered by proxy? 

A person himself can slaughter a sacrifice or he can make somebody else slaughter it on behalf of him by proxy because sacrifice is a financial worship. Proxy is permissible in a financial worship. 

A person can appoint someone as proxy in the place where he lives or another person or institution in a different place. A person can appoint someone as a proxy orally, in writing, through telephone, internet, fax and similar means of communication.

It is not necessary for the person to buy the sacrifice himself, to slaughter it himself or to be present when it is slaughtered for a sacrifice to be valid. They can also be carried out by proxy. 

Is there a drawback to benefiting from the milk, wool, hide, and offal of the animal to be sacrificed by the owner of that sacrifice?

If a person intends to sacrifice an animal that he has raised or that he has not bought with the intention of sacrificing at a time near the eid al-adha, he can drink its milk and benefit from it. However, it is not appropriate to benefit from an animal that is bought with the intention of sacrificing near the eid al adha. If someone has benefited from it, he has to give its equivalent as sadaqah.

It is makrooh to sell the parts of the animals like its hide, fat, head, feet, wool and milk. If they are sold, it is necessary to give the equivalent as sadaqah. Since sacrifice is slaughtered only for the sake of Allah, it is not permissible to sell the meat and other parts of it and spent by the owner. If something like that has been done, the equivalent has to be given as sadaqah.

Can the butcher be paid by giving him some meat of the sacrificed animal?  

The butcher cannot be paid through the meat of the sacrificed animal. The following was reported from Hz. Ali: "The Messenger of Allah ordered me to stand near the camels and while they were being slaughtered and to distribute their hide and the clothes on them and prohibited me from paying the wages of the butcher through them; he said he would give the wages of the butchers himself." (Muslim, Adahi, 28; Abu Dawud, Adahi, 9; Nasai, Dahaya,37) 

Is it permissible to sell the flesh and hide of the sacrificed animal?

The hide of the animal should be given to the poor or to a charitable organization. The Prophet (pbuh) ordered Hz. Ali to stand near the camels while they were being slaughtered and to give their hide and the clothes on them to the poor as sadaqah and prohibited him from paying the wages of the butcher with them. (Abu Dawud; “Manasik”, 20). Accordingly, it is not permissible to sell the hide of the sacrificed animal or to give it as the fee of slaughtering or keeping. If the hide is sold, the money has to be given to the poor. However, it is permissible to give the flesh and hide of the animal to the person who slaughters it without laying it as a condition before slaughtering.

It is permissible for a person who wishes to have his sacrifice slaughtered through a foundation or organization by proxy and to distribute the flash to the poor by proxy; if it is not possible to distribute the flesh of the sacrificed animals to poor Muslims, it is religiously permissible to sell some or all of the flesh for market value and give the money to the poor.                               

What parts of the sacrificed animal cannot be eaten?

The organs of the sacrificed animals that are not permissible to eat are as follows:

* Urinary tract (vagina)

* Testicles

* Urinary bladder

* Gall bladder (bile)

* Flowing blood

* Penis

Those parts of the animal are removed while it is slaughtered and they are discarded. 

What should we do with the hide of the sacrificed animal?

The hide of the animal can be turned to a prayer mat or some other thing to be used at home by the owner. The owner of the sacrificed animal can use the hide however he wishes; if he wishes, he can donate it to a charity organization. 

Is it permissible to have hajj sacrifices slaughtered in another country

Hajj, which is one of the five fundamentals of Islam, consists of visiting the Kaaba in Makkah and the holy places around it within the determined time period for that worshipping properly and fulfilling the other necessary duties. 

The worship of hajj can be carried out in three different forms called ifrad, tamattu and qiran.

If one utters the intention of hajj only, not umrah, that is, hajj al-ifrad, he does not have to slaughter a sacrifice.

It is wajib for those who utter the intention of hajj at-tamattu (hajj in which one performs umrah first, takes off his ihram, and then puts on his ihram again for hajj in the same hajj season) and hajj al-qiran (hajj in which one utters the intention of performing both hajj and umrah without taking off his ihram) to slaughter a sacrifice of thanks (hady) in the region of Haram (al-Baqara 2/196). Therefore, it is not permissible to slaughter the sacrifice of hady outside the region of Haram. There is no disagreement about it among the scholars.

The sacrifice in hajj can be slaughtered by the hajji himself; he can appoint someone as a proxy or he can appoint the Islamic Bank, which carries out the sacrifice organization in hajj, as a proxy.

The sacrifices slaughtered by the Islamic Bank are distributed to the poor in that region and all over the world. 

If the hajjis want to sacrifice an animal as nafilah apart from hady (the sacrifice of hajj), they can appoint someone as proxy and have them slaughtered in another country.

Is the worship of sacrifice regarded to have been fulfilled by giving sadaqah instead of slaughtering an animal?

The worship of sacrifice can be carried out by slaughtering a sacrifice. Therefore, the worship of sacrifice or the sacrifice of of is not regarded to have been fulfilled by giving the money to the poor.

The worship of sacrificing an animal is fulfilled by slaughtering an animal that has certain conditions based on the rules of slaughtering. When the equivalent of the money for an animal to be sacrificed is given to the poor or charity organizations, the worship of sacrificing an animals is not regarded to have been fulfilled. It is one of the important duties of a Muslim to help the poor and the needy and to do them favors but it is not religiously appropriate to present of those deeds of worshipping as the alternative to the other. 

As a matter of fact, the Prophet sacrificed an animal every year after it became legitimate. (Bukhari, Hajj 117, 119; Muslim, Adahi 17)

Besides, it is stated in hadiths that the most lovable deed of worshipping on eid al-adha is sacrificing an animal, that it will be accepted by Allah as soon as the animal is slaughtered and that every organ of the animal will be written as a thawab for the person. (Tirmidhi, Adahi 1; Ibn Majah, Adahi 3)

Is it permissible to determine the price of the sacrificed animal after it has been slaughtered (buying or selling the sacrifice by weighing it) ?

It is permissible to sell an animal to be sacrificed by weighing the flesh without taking into consideration the offal, the head and the hide it after slaughtering it by determining a certain amount of money per kilo before it is slaughtered.

However, it is necessary to determine a definite price and not to say something like the current value and not make an exception that the hide, head and offal will belong to the seller. 

Similarly, it is permissible to buy an animal by weighing it alive and determining a certain amount of money per kilo and to make a deal like that.

It is permissible to sell an animal by weighing it alive or after slaughtering it on condition that the price per kilo is determined. 

What should a person who did not slaughter a sacrifice due to disregard do?

A person who fails to slaughter a sacrifice due to disregard, etc. although he is obliged to needs to give the equivalent of the money to the poor, repent and ask Allah for forgiveness. 

What should be done if the animal bought as a sacrifice dies before it is slaughtered?

If an animal bought as a sacrifice dies, the owner needs to buy another animal and slaughter it if he is obliged to slaughter a sacrifice during the first three days of the eid; after the days of the eid, it is necessary to give the equivalent of the money to the poor.

If the animal that a rich person has bought dies before the days of the eid, he has to buy a sacrifice again.

If a rich man gives someone some money and says to him, "Buy a sacrifice and slaughter it on behalf of me” and if that person spends the money and if the rich person finds out about it after the first three days of the eid, the person has to pay the money back. However, that money needs to be given away to the poor.

Is it necessary for a man to slaughter a sacrifice for his wife?

In the religion of Islam, the property of the individual is valid; therefore, whoever is rich, whether the husband or the wife, has to slaughter a sacrifice. If the rich person wants, he can slaughter a sacrifice for his wife and children, too.   

Is there a drawback to daubing the blood of the sacrificed animal on something or one’s body?

Daubing the blood of the sacrificed animal on the house, car or forehead has no religious base; it is based on former customs and traditions. 

Can a woman who is in the menstruation period and a man who is junub slaughter a sacrifice?

A person, whether male or female, who has the necessary conditions and is qualified can sacrifice an animal.

A woman who is in menstruation period or a man who is junub can sacrifice an animal. It is permissible to eat the meat of that animal.

Is it necessary to slaughter a sacrifice for an unborn child?

It is not necessary to slaughter a sacrifice for an unborn child. However, if a man vows that he will slaughter a sacrifice if his wife becomes pregnant, he needs to slaughter a sacrifice. 

If the sacrificed animal turns out to be ill, is it necessary to slaughter another animal?

If the slaughtered animal turns out to be ill, the flesh is disposed of, a new animal is bought and slaughtered with the money that is returned during the first three days of the eid; if the three days have passed, the money has to be given away to the poor.

Is there a drawback to preventing the animals to be sacrificed from becoming pregnant?

Allah has provided animals like the other bounties to serve man and made it halal to benefit from the animals in various ways.

However, it is not religiously appropriate when it is considered in terms of intervention in the creation, maintaining the ecologic balance and treating animals nicely to end the pregnancy of the animals intended for sacrifice in order to make them have more flesh.

It is a sin to do the things that are not approved by our religion; it is also a sin to give consent to and to be an intermediary for them. However, there is no drawback to using drugs or similar things to prevent animals to be sacrificed or animals grown for their flesh from being pregnant in terms of religion.

What is the decree about the worship and ceremonies carried out during the eid al-adha; are they fard or sunnah?

Our adhan (call to prayer), mosques, minarets, greetings, religious patterns, way of dressing though it is becoming indecent day by day, our festivals and etiquette are our distinctive signs as Muslims (the symbols that distinguish us from the members of other religions and cultures). Today, it has become more important to maintain those symbols than the past because our society is pluralistic, multi-cultural, multi-religious; those multi……….s have been separated like the seven colors and their relationship with each other has been decreased to a minimum; those colors are far from coming together and forming enlightenment or an illuminating light; they are even far from forming a mosaic, a word that some people like to use very much. 

An indispensable element that Muslims must maintain is the signs of religion (belief, faith). They are envelopes, trenches and armors that protect the meanings, contents and what is inside and deep; their functions are not only protection but also teaching and training. 

We slaughter a sacrifice in the eid al-adha; we perform the prayer of the eid in the morning; we utter the takbirs of tashriq beginning from the morning prayer of the eve of eid al-adha to the end of the afternoon prayer on the fourth day of eid al-adha; we give some meat of the sacrificed animal to the poor; we visit our relatives, the dead in the grave, the living in their homes; we talk to them, listen to their troubles and express our love and respect. Since the means of communication have enhanced today, we call our relatives that we cannot visit through telephone, etc. and ask about their health and wish them nice festival days. 

It is discussed whether the worship and ceremonies carried out during the eid al-adha are fard or sunnah. The proper question to be asked is this: what shall we lose if we abandon them? In our opinion, the most important one is that we will lose a symbol; the question should be, “is it permissible to lose a symbol?”

In none of the madhhabs is sacrifice a worship that can be abandoned and that is a worship with little importance; sacrifice is an important worship; Hz. Prophet (pbuh) gave it importance and performed it throughout his life.

A Muslim will not pick off even grass if it is not necessary or legitimate. When it is necessary or legitimate, he will kill a person (he will kill an enemy during the war). Slaughtering a sacrifice is the symbol and training of consciousness and surrendering to Allah along with other meanings.

We should protect our symbol, or else, we can lose everything we have in that dust and smoke.

"There are some people who say ‘slaughtering a sacrifice strengthens the tendency for violence; it should not exist in Islam, which is a religion of love and mercy.” How would you answer it?  

When the eid al-adha approaches, some animal lovers and vegetarians attract attention to the aspect of sacrifice in terms of Islam and discuss it. The Muslims who want to sacrifice an animal wonder about some details and they talk about people who restrict their rights to give the hide and meat of sacrificed animal to whomever they want to. The Islamic world flies into the lofty horizons of religious contemplation and excitement in the spiritual atmosphere of the eid al-adha and the worship of hajj.  

Violence cannot be condemned without any conditions and limits; the violence against the enemy that tries to destroy the material and spiritual values of a nation is called jihad; it is legitimate war; those who die during that war are called martyrs and those who survive are called ghazis (war veterans). The violence that is discussed is the “unjust and unlawful violence” inflicted upon the people in the country and abroad, upon our own people or others. 

Benefiting from the flesh and other parts of animals that are hunted or slaughtered through certain methods is as old as humanity; it is legitimate in all divine religions and it is not contrary to ethics. If the living things except human beings are not allowed to be killed when human beings need to kill, then agriculture cannot be carried out; nor can people walk in the fields and meadows since there exists the possibility of crushing and killing tiny creatures that are impossible to see. What can be said in terms of mercy is that animals should not be killed unnecessarily and when they are to be killed, they should not be tormented. 

The relationships established between the tendency towards violence in man and slaughtering a sacrifice and the idea that a person who satisfies his need for violence by slaughtering a sacrifice will not use or will reduce violence are not based on scientific data. What will decrease violence is love, mercy, the love of Allah, who is the owner and creator of all creatures, and to have the reflections of His mercy; they can be achieved through a proper religious and ethical education.

In the chapter of as-Saffat (102-110), the incidence of Hz. Ibrahim slaughtering a sacrifice instead of his son is summarized through a nice and effective wording. Hz. Ibrahim saw in his dream that he slaughtered his son as a sacrifice and he decided to realize it instead of accepting it as a sign of surrendering to Allah; the obedience, sacrifice and surrendering of Hz. Ibrahim and his son were accepted as a sacrifice by Allah and he was allowed to slaughter a ram instead; the sacrifice of the ram replaced the sacrifice of the son. The information that the ram was sent down from the sky or Paradise is not present in the verses of the Quran and sound hadiths.

Additional questions and answers regarding the issue:

What is the decree on uttering basmala (saying bismillahi) while slaughtering an animal? What supplication should be read?

It is necessary to utter basmala while slaughtering an animal whether it is a sacrificed animal or not. If one does not utter basmala deliberately, it is not permissible to eat the flesh of that animal. However, if one forgets to utter basmala, it is permissible to eat the flesh of that animal.
When an animal is sacrificed, “Bismillahi Allahu akbar” is uttered three times and the following verses are read:
 
قُلْ اِنَّ صَلَات۪ي وَنُسُك۪ي وَمَحْيَايَ وَمَمَات۪ي لِلّٰهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَم۪ينَۙ  لَا شَر۪يكَ لَهُۚ وَبِذٰلِكَ اُمِرْتُ وَاَنَا۬ اَوَّلُ الْمُسْلِم۪ينَ         

Qul inna salati wa nusuki wa mahyaya wa mamati lillahi Rabbil-Alamina la sharika lah. Wa bi dhalika umirtu wa ana awwalul muslimin: Say: "Truly, my prayer and my service of sacrifice, my life and my death, are (all) for Allah, the Cherisher of the Worlds: No partner hath He: this am I commanded, and I am the first of those who bow to His will. (al-An’am 6/ 162-163)
 
اِنّ۪ي وَجَّهْتُ وَجْهِيَ لِلَّذ۪ي فَطَرَ السَّمٰوَاتِ وَالْاَرْضَ حَن۪يفًا وَمَآ اَنَا۬ مِنَ الْمُشْرِك۪ينَۚ 

Inni wajjahtu wajhiya lilladhi fataras-samawati wal-arda hanifan wa ma ana minal-mushrikin: For me, I have set my face, firmly and truly, towards Him Who created the heavens and the earth, and never shall I give partners to Allah. (al-An’am 6/ 79)

Is it necessary to have wudu while sacrificing an animal?

It is not necessary to have wudu while sacrificing an animal but it is more virtuous to have wudu since it is a deed of worshipping.

Is it permissible to share the same bovine animal or camel with the intention of aqiqa, vow, udhiyya and nafilah sacrifices?

Each one of the people who shares an animal does not have to have the same intention for the sacrifice. The people who share can have the intention of aqiqa, vow, udhiyya and nafilah sacrifices as long as they join it with the intention of worshipping.

Is it permissible to sacrifice an animal that was sound when it was bought but that became faulty afterwards?

If a person buys a sound animal but a fault that prevents sacrificing occurs after that before the animal is slaughtered and if that person is rich, he has to buy another animal and sacrifice it. If he is poor, he does not have to buy another one; he can sacrifice that one.

If the horns of an animal are blunted electrically after birth, is it permissible to sacrifice such an animal?

It is permissible to sacrifice an animal whose horns are blunted electrically or by a similar method after birth and that grows up without horns unless it has some other faults that prevents being sacrificed.

Is it permissible to sacrifice a castrated animal?

An animal that is castrated for various reasons can be sacrificed. It is not regarded as a fault in terms of being sacrificed.

If a disease is seen in an animal that has been slaughtered as a sacrifice, is it necessary to slaughter another animal?

If the disease of the animal to be sacrificed has not been known before it has been slaughtered and if it does not have any other faults, another animal does not have to be sacrificed if the disease is understood after it has been slaughtered. However, if the seller returns the money on the first three days of eid for the animal to be sacrificed due to a fault it has before, another animal has to be bought and slaughtered. If the money is returned after the third day, the money is given to the poor as sadaqah.

Which one is more virtuous to sacrifice, a male animal or a female animal?

It is definite based on the hadiths and practices of the Prophet (pbuh) that both male and female bovine animals, camels, sheep and goats can be sacrificed as long as they have certain qualities. The gender of the animal to be sacrificed is not a criterion for the virtue of the deed of worshipping. However, there are some scholars who said it was more virtuous to sacrifice a female animal in terms of bovine animals. It will be more appropriate to consider that view based on the conditions of the community and period when those fiqh scholars lived. Such a view might have been put forward in a community based on agriculture in order to benefit from the power of male bovine animals. However, those views should not be regarded as unchangeable principles of the religion. They are views put forward based on the interests of the community. Acting upon the same principle, it can be more appropriate today to sacrifice male bovine animals if the sacrifice of female bovine animals harm reproduction. Besides, the gender of the animal is not among the conditions for the validity of the animal to be sacrificed.

Is it permissible to sacrifice a tailless sheep?

If a sheep is born without a tail or if its tail is blunted when it is very young so that it will be plump, it is permissible to sacrifice such an animal. However, it is not permissible to sacrifice an animal whose tail is chopped fully or more than half as a result of an accident.

What is aqiqa sacrifice?

An animal sacrificed for a newborn baby with the intention of thanking Allah is called “aqiqa”. It is mustahab to sacrifice an animal as aqiqa. The same qualities are necessary in the animals to be sacrificed as aqiqa as the other sacrifices.

The sacrifice of aqiqa can be slaughtered beginning from the day a baby was born up to the age of puberty but it is more virtuous to sacrifice it on the seventh day of the birth.

There is no limitation about the people that can eat the flesh and use the hide of the animal to be sacrificed as aqiqa. Everybody, including the owner of the animal to be sacrificed can eat the flesh of that animal and use it.

What is sacrifice of thanking?

The animals sacrificed by hajjis who perform tamattu and qiran hajj are also called sacrifice of thanking since they perform hajj and umrah together in the same season. Similarly, a person can sacrifice an animal for thanking Allah when he attains a purpose or a boon. The owners can eat the flesh of those animals.

What is sacrifice of vow?

It is wajib for a person who vows a sacrifice to sacrifice an animal. If a person lays it as a condition for something to happen for his vow of sacrifice, he has to sacrifice an animal when it takes place. The owner of the vow, his parents and grandparents, his children and grandchildren cannot eat the flesh of the vow of sacrifice; the rich cannot eat either. If he wants to eat from it or make one of those who cannot eat from it eat, he has to give the equivalent of the meat to the poor.

Is it permissible to sacrifice an animal with the money earned through illegitimate ways?

The religion of Islam want people to be engaged in legitimate jobs and earn their living through legitimate ways. However, if a person has obtained his wealth through haram ways and has died, his inheritors needs to look for the owner of that wealth and return it to him. If they cannot find him, they need to give it to the poor or charitable organizations without expecting any thawabs. (Sarakhsi, al-Mabsut, XII, 306; Ibn Nujaym, al-Bahrur-Raiq, VIII, 229; Fatawa al-Hindiyya, III, 210) 

Therefore, it is not appropriate to sacrifice an animal with the money obtained illegitimately. Financial deeds of worshipping have to be done through halal money. For, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said, “O people, Allah is good and He therefore, accepts only that which is good. And Allah commanded the believers as He commanded the Messengers by saying, “O ye messengers! Enjoy (all) things good and pure, and work righteousness: for I am well-acquainted with (all) that ye do” (al-Mu’minun, 23/51). He said to believers, “O ye who believe! Eat of the good things that We have provided for you…” (al-Baqara, 2/172) The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) then made a mention of a person who travels widely, his hair disheveled and covered with dust. He lifts his hand towards the sky (and thus makes the supplication): "O Lord, O Lord," whereas his diet is unlawful, his drink is unlawful, and his clothes are unlawful and his nourishment is unlawful. How can then his supplication be accepted?”  (Muslim, Zakah, 65) 

If a person sacrifices an animal with haram money despite those warnings, he will not attain any thawabs but he will be saved from the responsibility of sacrificing an animal just like a person who performs a prayer wearing a garment that he stole being saved from the responsibility of prayer. (Qasani, Badai, Beirut 1982, III, 96; Zaylai, Tabyinul-Haqaiq, Egypt 1313, VI, 48) 

Is it permissible for a group of people to collect money and sacrifice an animal on behalf of the Prophet (pbuh)?

There is no such practice as a group of people collecting money and sacrificing an animal on behalf of the Prophet (pbuh) in our religion. It is not appropriate to regard it as a deed of worship that is necessary to be done. For, it is a bid’ah to regard a practice that is not reported from Allah and His Messenger as a deed of worshipping and as something religious. Every bid’ah is an error/aberration. (Muslim, Jumua 44; Abu Dawud, Sunnah 6; Tirmidhi, Muqaddima 16) 

The narration reported from Hz. Ali as “The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) ordered me to sacrifice an animal on behalf of him. I am sacrificing this animal upon his will” (Abu Dawud, Dahaya, 2; Musnad, I, 107, 149) cannot be an evidence for this practice. For, Hz. Ali showed the will/order of the Prophet (pbuh) as a reason for sacrificing an animal. Therefore, this hadith does not show that an animal needs to be sacrificed for a person after his death unless he makes a will/orders when he is alive that an animal be sacrificed for him.   

Is it permissible to sacrifice an animal by borrowing a loan from a bank? 

Sacrificing an animal is a financial deed of worshipping that needs to be performed by a sane Muslim who has reached the age of puberty, who is rich enough based on the criterion of the religion and who is a resident. (Marghinani, al-Hidaya, IV, 70) A person who has at least 80. 18 grams of gold or the equivalent money or goods whether they increase or not except his basic needs and debts is regarded as rich by the religion. Therefore, such a person needs to sacrifice an animal as an expression of thanking Allah for the boons He has granted him and as a sign of making sacrifices in the way of Allah. (Mawsili, Ikhtiyar, Istanbul, I, 99-100, 123; V, 723; (Ibn Abidin, Raddul-Muhtar, VI, 312) 

A person can buy an animal to sacrifice whether it is wajib or nafilah by paying cash or later. It does not harm the validity of the sacrifice. However, if he has to pay interest when he borrows a loan, he will violate the prohibition of interest (al-Baqara, 2/275-279; Muslim, Musaqat, 105-106; Abu Dawud, Buyu’, 4) and commit a sin. It is more appropriate for a person who is not well off not to sacrifice an animal instead of resorting to such methods.

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