For whom is it wajib to sacrifice an animal? Who sacrifices an animal?

Details of the Question

Who sacrifices an animal at eid al-adha? Is it enough for the man in the family to sacrifice an animal or is it necessary for every individual in the family to sacrifice an animal? Will you give information about the responsibilities, things to do about sacrificing an animal and issues to be careful about while sacrificing an animal?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

According to Hanafis, the person who has the wealth needs to sacrifice an animal; therefore, anyone who has his own money in the family needs to sacrifice an animal whether male or female. If both the woman and the man in a family have their own capitals, the person who is regarded as rich by the religion needs to sacrifice an animal. If both of them are regarded rich, both of them need to sacrifice animals. 

It is wajib for Muslims who are regarded rich by the religion to sacrifice an animal. The criterion for being rich regarding sacrificing animal is as follows:  

A person who has 85 grams of gold or 595 grams of silver or the equivalent of it as cash or goods apart from his essential needs is regarded as rich. 

Unlike zakah, it is not necessary to own the nisab amount of gold, silver, money, etc for a year. Besides, grazing animals like sheep, goats and cattle, and the commercial goods are taken into consideration while calculating the nisab amount. These goods do not have to be from the ones that increase. For instance, a person who has twenty sheep is regarded rich if the value of his sheep is equal to or more than the nisab amount. A person who has commercial goods equal to nisab amount is regarded rich in terms of sacrificing an animal and needs to sacrifice an animal.

On the other hand, if a person who has a real estate other than the house he lives in, receives rent for it and if nisab amount of money is left after he meets his needs with it, it becomes wajib for him to sacrifice an animal. 

Similarly, if a person who is in debt has more goods than the equivalent of his debt and if nisab amount of money is left after he pays his debt, it becomes wajib for him to sacrifice an animal. What is more, a person who has a lot of clothes equal to nisab amount apart from two suits, one for winter and one for summer, for his essential needs is regarded rich. The following decree exists in our fiqh books:

"If a person has another house apart from the house he lives in, it is wajib for him to sacrifice an animal even if he does not use it for business or he does not get any rent for it."

It becomes wajib for a person who owns as much money or goods as the amount of nisab before eid al-adha or even on the first, second or third days of eid al-adha to sacrifice an animal.  That is, the condition of owning the amount for a year is not valid for sacrificing an animal. For instance, it is wajib for a person who receives enough money for the nisab amount apart from his essential needs on the first day of eid al-adha to sacrifice an animal.

Essential needs taken into consideration for sacrificing an animal or zakah are as follows:

The house where a person lives, household goods, car, materials used for one's trade and job,  clothes for winter and summer, food and drinks for a month, or according to another view, for a year.

If a person has nisab amount apart from the things above, it becomes wajib for him to sacrifice an animal.

Besides, the following statement has no religious evidence: “Is it possible not to sacrifice an animal? It is necessary for a healthy person.” If a man is rich but ill or disabled, he has to sacrifice an animal. On the other hand, “health” is not among the conditions of the obligation of sacrificing an animal. However, the person who will sacrifice an animal can utter the following intention:

“O Lord! I should have sacrificed myself to You for the boons you granted to me but you rendered it haram to sacrifice a human being. I am sacrificing this animal instead of me.”

These words show the sincere intention of a person.

One cannot sacrifice an animal by borrowing money from others. If a person has enough money on the days of eid al-adha, it becomes wajib for him to sacrifice an animal.

It is not appropriate to borrow money and sacrifice an animal thinking, “I wonder what the people around and my neighbors will say if I do not sacrifice an animal. They may criticize me." For, Allah Almighty does not place on a person a burden greater than he can bear. Such a thought harms sincerity. For, in that case, a person will sacrifice an animal so that others will see and that others will not criticize him, which is contrary to the consciousness of servitude.

However, if a person who is not rich has enough money to buy an animal, he can sacrifice an animal and can eat its meat with his family. He will get rewards if he does so.

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