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Meaning of the verse {And do not shave your heads until the sacrificial animal has reached its place of slaughter}

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Publication : 13-06-2022

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Question

What is the meaning of the verse in which Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): {And do not shave your heads until the sacrificial animal has reached its place of slaughter} [al-Baqarah 2:196]? Doesn’t this clearly state that the sacrifice should come before shaving the head, otherwise what does the verse mean?

Answer

Praise be to Allah.

The verse (interpretation of the meaning): {And do not shave your heads until the sacrificial animal has reached its place of slaughter} [al-Baqarah 2:196] means: Do not shave your heads until after you have offered the sacrifice. This is what the verse means. But in the Sunnah it says that there is nothing wrong with shaving the head before offering the sacrifice. As the Sunnah says this, this is a way in which Allah, may He be glorified and exalted, has made things easier for people. Or it may be said that the words {until the sacrificial animal has reached its place of slaughter} mean: the time when it reaches that place, not when it is actually slaughtered. In that case, there is no contradiction between the hadith and the verse, thus there may be two meanings:

1.. It may be said that what is meant by the words {until the sacrificial animal has reached its place of slaughter} is not when the sacrificial animal is slaughtered; rather it refers to when the time for slaughter begins.

2.. It may be said that what is meant by the words {until the sacrificial animal has reached its place of slaughter} is when it is actually slaughtered; however, the Sunnah states that it is permissible to shave the head before slaughtering the animal. End quote.

Majmoo‘ Fataawa Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (23/162).

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Source: Islam Q&A