63. Sacrifice of Animals

Surah No.22 , Al Hajj , Ayat No.34

وَلِكُلِّ أُمَّةٍ جَعَلْنَا مَنسَكًا لِيَذْكُرُوا اسْمَ اللَّهِ عَلَى مَا رَزَقَهُم مِّن بَهِيمَةِ الْأَنْعَامِ

o فَإِلَهُكُمْ إِلَهٌ وَاحِدٌ فَلَهُ أَسْلِمُوا وَبَشِّرِ الْمُخْبِتِينَ

Translation :

In every community We have allowed a system of sacrifice, that they may mention the name of Allah over those cattle, which He has given them for food. And your God is only one Allah : then submit your wills to Him and (O Prophet) give Good News to those who are humble.

Surah No.22 , Al Hajj , Ayat No.37

لَنْ يَنَالَ اللَّهَ لُحُومُهَا وَلَا دِمَاؤُهَا وَلَكِنْ يَنَالُهُ التَّقْوَى مِنْكُمْ كَذَلِكَ سَخَّرَهَا لَكُمْ لِتُكَبِّرُوا اللَّهَ عَلَى مَا هَدَاكُمْ وَبَشِّرِ الْمُحْسِنِينَo

Translation :

Neither their flesh reaches Allah nor their blood, but it is your piety that reaches Him. Allah has subjected these animals to you so that you should glorify Him for the guidance He has given you. And, O Prophet, give good news to those who do righteous works.

Comments :

Sacrifice has been an essential part of the worship of Allah in all the earlier religions. In order to communicate Tauhid, Allah had prohibited sacrifice for any other than Himself.

A sacrifice is acceptable to Allah only if it is accompanied by piety and sincerity. Though sacrifice is a Symbol of Allah, yet it has been accepted only if it is accompanied by piety.

One should glorify Allah" at the time of sacrifice verbally also in order to acknowledge that the animals really belong to Allah and to no one else.

Please note that the Sacrifice as mentioned in verses 36 and 37 of Surah Hajj is not for the pilgrims alone and it is not confined to Makkah on the occasion of Hajj. It is a general command for all those Muslims (male and female) who own wealth to the value of the Zakat Nisaab. They should be grateful to Allah as they may spiritually join those who go to Makkah to perform Hajj.

Ahadis of Sahih Bukhaari

According to a Tradition reported by Ibn 'Umar, the Holy Prophet (saws) resided at Madinah for ten years and performed sacrifice every year.

(1) Volume 7, Book 68, Number 467:

Narrated Al-Bara': I heard the Prophet delivering a sermon, and he said (on the Day of 'Id-Allah. a), "The first thing we will do on this day of ours is that we will offer the 'Id prayer, then we will return and slaughter our sacrifices; and whoever does so, then indeed he has followed our tradition, and whoever slaughtered his sacrifice (before the prayer), what he offered was just meat that he presented to his family, and that was not a sacrifice."

(2) Volume 7, Book 68, Number 468:

Narrated Anas: The Holy Prophet (saws) said: "The one who sacrifices an animal before the 'Id Prayer, should offer another sacrifice; but the one who sacrifices his animal after the 'Id Prayer, did the right thing and followed the way of the Muslims".

(3) Volume 7, Book 68, Number 476:

Narrated Salama bin Al-Aqua': The Prophet said, "Whoever has slaughtered a sacrifice should not keep anything of Its meat after three days." When it was the next year the people said, "O Allah's Apostle! Shall we do as we did last year?" He said, ' Eat of it and feed of it to others and store of it for in that year the people were having a hard time and I wanted you to help (the needy)."

Thus, it is clear that the sacrifice on the occasion of 'Id which is observed in the whole Muslim world is a Sunnah of the Holy Prophet and has been enjoined by him. The only dispute is whether it is obligatory in nature or only a Sunnah. Ibrahim Nakha'i, Imams Abu Hanifah, Malik, Imam Abu Yusuf too, are of the opinion that it is Obligatory in nature.

On the other hand, Imams Shafi`i and Ahmad bin Hanbal regard it only as a Sunnah of the Muslims.