Fatwa n°: 885
Category: Fatwas of Hady and Sacrifices
The obligation to sacrifice for a wealthy person
To whom the Udh-hiya (i.e., the sacrificial animal) of Eid ul-Adha is obligatory? May Allah bless you.
All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds. Peace and blessing be upon whom Allah sent as a mercy to the Worlds, upon his Family, his Companions and his Brothers till the Day of Resurrection.
The sacrificial animal is incumbent on the wealthy person, who can afford it, in addition to his principal needs. This is the opinion of Al-Ahnâf (the followers of the Imam Abu Hanîfa) and Al-Mâlikiyya (the followers of the Imam Mâlik)(1), in accordance with the Prophet صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم saying: “He who has the capacity, and does not sacrifice, may not approach our Musalla (place of prayer - on the Eid)”(2). It is also supported by what was reported by Mikhnaf Ibn Sulaym that the Prophet صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم said in `Arafa: “O people! Every family must offer a sacrifice every year and a `Atîra(3)”(4). The `Atîra was abrogated by the Prophet صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم saying: “Neither Fara`(5) nor `Atîra is permissible”(6) and the abrogation of Al-`Atîra does not imply the abrogation of the sacrifice of Eid ul-Adha, since there is no correlation between the two statements which would imply that if a ruling is cancelled the other ruling will be also cancelled. What makes this opinion the strongest is what was reported by Jundub Ibn Sufyân Al-Bajali who said: I witnessed the Prophet صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم to have said on the Day of Nahr (i.e., slaughter). He said: “Whoever slaughtered the sacrifice before offering the Eid prayer, should slaughter another sacrifice in its place; and whoever has not slaughtered their sacrifice yet, should slaughter now”(7). Its obligation is evident, especially that there is an order to perform the slaughter again(8).
Ibn Taymiya رحمه الله said: “As for the sacrifice, the most likely is that it is obligatory, since it is one of the most important distinctive signs of Islam. It is the general rite in all the towns and it is associated with prayer in Allah’s saying:
﴿قُلْ إِنَّ صَلاَتِي وَنُسُكِي وَمَحْيَايَ وَمَمَاتِي للهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ﴾ [الأنعام: 162].
The meaning of the verse:
﴾Say (O Muhammad): “Verily, my Salât (prayer), my sacrifice, my living, and my dying are for Allâh, the Lord of the `Âlamîn (mankind, jinn and all that exists)﴿ [Al-An`âm (The Cattle): 162]. Allâh عزَّ وجلَّ said also:
﴿فَصَلِّ لِرَبِّكَ وَانْحَرْ﴾ [الكوثر: 2].
The meaning of the verse:
﴾Therefore turn in prayer to your Lord and sacrifice (to Him only)﴿ [Al-Kauthar (A River in Paradise): 2]. So, Allah عزَّ وجلَّ ordered to sacrifice as well as to perform prayer”. Then he (Ibn Taymiya) said: “And those who deny the obligation (of sacrificing) do not have a proof, their argument is the Prophet صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم saying: “Whoever intends to offer a sacrifice and he enters the month of Dhu Al-Hijja, he should neither get his hair cut nor should he get his nails trimmed”(9). They said: “The obligation does not depend on the will of the person”; in fact, this is a general expression, as obligations are not let to the will of the person, as saying: if you want to do it, then, do it, but the obligation is, rather, related to a condition in order to show a ruling, like Allah’s عزَّ وجلَّ saying:
﴿إِذَا قُمْتُمْ إِلَى الصَّلاةِ فاغْسِلُوا﴾ [المائدة: 6].
The meaning of the verse:
﴾When ye rise up for As-Salât (the prayer), wash…﴿ [Al-Mâ'ida (The Table Spread with Food): 6].
They (The scholars) explained it as follows: If you intend to rise up. They also explained it: if you intend to recite (Qur'an) then say the Isti`âdha (saying: A`ûdhu Billâhi Min Ash-Shaytân Ar-Rajîm i.e.: I Seeking refuge in Allah from Satan the outcast)(10). Indeed, purification is obligatory as well as the recitation (of Qur'an) during the prayer. Allah عزَّ وجلَّ said:
﴿إِنْ هُوَ إِلاَّ ذِكْرٌ لِّلْعَالَمِينَ. لِمَنْ شَاءَ مِنكُمْ أَنْ يَسْتَقِيمَ﴾ [التكوير: 27-28].
The meaning of the verse:
﴾Verily, this (the Qur’ân) is no less than a Reminder to (all) the `Âlamîn (mankind and jinn), to whomsoever among you who wills to walk straight﴿ [At-Takwîr (Wound Round and Lost its Light): 27-28]. And the will to be straight is obligatory(11).
I said: As for arguing by the traditions reported about Abu Bakr, `Umar and Abou Mass`ûd رضي الله عنهم concerning the optionality of sacrificing, the Companions of the Prophet صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم differed on its ruling. So, we have to choose of their opinions the one which is supported by proofs. Their opinions are in fact proofs for those who have the view that a wealthy person must sacrifice. On the other hand, the reported traditions are Mauqûf (stop at Companions) and contradict the aforesaid Marfû` (hadith directly attributed to the Prophet صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم) texts, and “The Marfû` takes precedence over the Mauqûf” as it is stated by the rules of jurisprudence.
The perfect knowledge belongs to Allah سبحانه وتعالى. Our last prayer is all praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds. Peace and blessing be upon our Prophet, his Family, his Companions and his Brothers till the Day of Resurrection.
Algiers Rabî` Al-Awwal 30th, 1429 H
April 6th, 2008
(1) See : “Sharh Muslim” (13/92).
(2) Reported by Ibn Mâjah in his “Sunan” in the chapter of “Sacrifices”, concerning whether sacrifices are obligatory or not? (hadith 3123), Al-Hâkim in “El-Mustadrak” (hadith 7565), Ad-Dâraqutni in his “Sunan” (4/276) and Ahmad in his “Musnad” (hadith 8074), from the hadith of Abu Hurayra رضي الله عنه. This hadith is judged Hassan (good) by Ahmad Shâkir in his recension of “Musnad Ahmad” (16/120) and Al-Albâni in “Takhrîj Mushkilat Al-Faqr” (102).
(3) `Atîra: it was a sheep which used to be slaughtered during the month of Rajab.
(4) Reported by Abu Dâwûd in his “Sunan” in the chapter of “Sacrifices”, concerning the obligation of sacrifices (hadith 2788), At-Tirmidhi in his “Sunan” in the chapter of “Sacrifices” (hadith 1518), An-Nassâ'i in his “Sunan” in the chapter of “Al-Fara` Wal `Atîra”, concerning Al-Fara` and Al-`Atîra (hadith 4222), Ibn Mâjah in his “Sunan” in the chapter of “Sacrifices” concerning whether sacrifices are obligatory or not? (hadith 3125), from the hadith of Mikhnaf Ibn Sulaym رضي الله عنه. Al-Albâni judged it as Hassan (good) in “Al-Mishkât” (the second recension) (hadith 1478).
(5) Fara`: It was the first offspring (they got of camels or sheep) which they (pagans) used to offer (as a sacrifice) to their idols.
(6) Reported by Al-Bukhâri in his “Sahîh” in the chapter of “Al-`Aqîqa” (new born sacrifice), concerning Al-`Atîra (hadith 5157) and Muslim in his “Sahih” in the chapter of “Sacrifices”, concerning Al-Fara` and Al-`Atîra (hadith 5116), from the hadith of Abu Hurayra رضي الله عنه.
- Al-Fara`: the first offspring of a she-camel, they (pagans) used to slaughter it for their idols, then the Muslims were prevented from it. [“An-Nihâya” of Ibn Al-Athîr: (3/435)]. Al-`Atîra: a sheep which used to be slaughtered during the month of Rajab. [“An-Nihâya” of Ibn Al-Athîr (3/187)].
(7) Reported by Al-Bukhâri in his “Sahîh” in the chapter of “Sacrifices”, concerning whoever slaughtered (his animal) before prayer should slaughter again (hadith 5242) and Muslim in his “Sahîh” in the chapter of “Sacrifices”, concerning its time (hadith 5064), from the hadith of Jundub Ibn Sufyân Al-Bajali رضي الله عنه.
(8) “As-Sayl Al-Jarrâr” of Ash-Shawkâni (4/74).
(9) Reported by Muslim in his “Sahih” in the chapter of “Sacrifices”, concerning the forbiddance for one who intends to offer a sacrifice to get his hair cut after the beginning of Dhu Al-Hijja…(hadith 5117), Abu Dâwûd in his “Sunan” in the chapter of “Sacrifices”, concerning getting one’s hair cut during the ten first days of the month of Dhu Al-Hijja (hadith 2791), At-Tirmidhi in his “Sunan” in the chapter of “Sacrifices”, concerning abandoning trimming his hair during the first ten days of Dhu Al-Hijja (hadith 1523) and An-Nassâ'i in his “Sunan” in the chapter of “Sacrifices”, concerning sacrifices (hadith 4361), from the hadith of Um Salama رضي الله عنها.
(10) They pointed to the verse 98 in the sura of An-Nahl (The Bees):
﴿فَإِذَا قَرَأْتَ الْقُرْآنَ فَاسْتَعِذْ بِاللهِ مِنَ الشَّيْطَانِ الرَّجِيمِ﴾ [النحل : 98].
﴾And when you recite the Qur'an, seek refuge in Allah from Satan the outcast﴿ (translator’s note).
(11) “Majmû`Al-Fatâwa” of Ibn Taymiya (23/162).