Praise be to Allah.
Can you appoint someone to slaughter the udhiyah?
It is better for a person to slaughter his udhiyah himself, because of the report narrated by Anas ibn Malik (may Allah be pleased with him), that the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) sacrificed two horned black and white rams, placing his foot on their sides; he said the name of Allah and said takbir, and slaughtered them with his own hand. (Narrated by al-Bukhari (5558) and Muslim (1966)
It is permissible to appoint someone to slaughter the sacrifice on one’s behalf, even without a reason to do so, because of the report narrated by Jabir according to which the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) slaughtered sixty-three [animals] with his own hand. Then he handed it over to `Ali who slaughtered the rest. (Narrated by Muslim (1218)
Dr. Wahbah az-Zuhayli (may Allah preserve him) said:
“It is mustahabb for the one who wants to offer a sacrifice to slaughter it himself if he is able to do so, because it is an act of worship and doing an act of worship oneself is better than delegating someone else to do it. But if a person is not skilled in slaughtering, it is better to delegate it to a Muslim who is good at it; in this case it is mustahabb to witness the sacrifice, because of the words of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) to Fatimah (may Allah be pleased with her): O Fatimah, go to your udhiyah and witness it. And the madhhabs are unanimously agreed on that.” (Al-Fiqh al-Islami wa Adillatuhu (4/237)
Can you offer the udhiyah in another country?
With regard to offering the udhiyah outside of one’s country , there is a difference of opinion among the scholars concerning that.
Dr. Wahbah az-Zuhayli (op. cit., 4/282) said:
“As for transferring udhiyah to another country , the Hanafis said: It is makruh to transfer it, like zakah, from one country to another, unless he is transferring it to his relatives or to people who are in greater need of it than the people in his own country. If he transfers it to anyone else, it is valid although it is makruh. The Malikis said: it is not permissible to transfer it the distance at which shortening prayers becomes permissible or more, unless the people in that place are in greater need of it than the people in the place where it should be offered. In that case, he should transfer most of it to them and keep a smaller portion for his own family.
The Hanbalis and Shafi`is, like the Malikis, said: It is permissible to transfer it no more than the distance at which shortening prayers becomes permissible, from the country in which the udhiyah is due. But it is haram to transfer it, as in the case of zakah, the distance at which shortening prayers becomes permissible, although it is valid.”
A number of contemporary scholars are of the view that it is permissible to offer the udhiyah outside one’s own country, so as to give to the Muslims who are in greater need and are poorer.
Shaykh Ibn Jibrin (may Allah have mercy on him) was asked: The Global Islamic Aid Council in Saudi Arabia, conveys its warmest greetings to you and asks Allah to continue to benefit the Muslims through your knowledge and to reward you immensely for your efforts.
I refer to your fatwa which says that it is permissible for the Council to accept the cost of udhiyah from its supporters and to buy udhiyahs with it to be slaughtered at the time of sacrifice and distributed to poor Muslims in countries that are poorer and in greater need. Some Saudi charities have been working in this field for several years on the basis of this fatwa, whereas the Council is in an embarrassing situation vis-à-vis the poor Muslims in other countries because it has stopped offering the udhiyah to them in their countries. Hence we hope that you will do us the honour of stating the shar‘i opinion on this matter.
“We have received your message with your request for information on the ruling on sending the value of the udhiyah to be slaughtered in other countries and distributed among poor Muslims, as you read in a fatwa of ours that it is permissible for the Council to take the price of the udhiyahs from its supporters and use it to buy the animals to be slaughtered at the time of sacrifice and distributed to the Muslims in a country that is poorer and in greater need. We said that on the basis that the wisdom behind offering a sacrifice is to revive the Sunnah and bring some relief to Muslims on the days of ‘Eid which are days of joy and happiness, because in this country there are people who are wealthy and want to do good, and they had left instructions to slaughter udhiyah so that in one household a great number of udhiyahs are being offered, but there are few poor people who need to eat it during those days. So we thought that it was more appropriate to send the money to a poor country with which to buy the animals and slaughter them during the days of ‘Eid in the name of the donors, and divide them among the poor Muslims of Ahl as-Sunnah wa’l-Jama‘ah. This is better than leaving the meat frozen to be eaten over a number of months. However, if there are poor people in one’s own country, then it is better to give it to them so as to meet their needs. This is what we think, but you may ask others for fatwas. May Allah bless us all and send blessings and peace upon Muhammad and his family and Companions.” (From the Shaykh’s website).
And he (may Allah have mercy on him) was asked: Is it permissible to send the meat of one’s sacrifice outside the Kingdom, to needy and poor people, such as those in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sudan, African countries and other Muslim countries, because of great need there? Please advise us, may Allah protect you
“It is preferable to slaughter it in the country where you are, so that you may be present at the slaughter and say the name of Allah over it, and eat from it, give some as gifts and give some in charity, by thirds. But if it is a rich country and there are no poor people there, and if you give to some of them they will store it for several days and they have abundant meat throughout the year, then it is permissible to send it to those who need it in poor countries where meat is scarce and they only have it rarely. But it is essential to make sure that the sacrifice is done during the days of sacrifice, and that the animal is of the right age and free of defects, and that the person appointed to do that is trustworthy.” (From the shaykh’s website)
In the Almoslim.net website, supervised by Dr. Nasir al-‘Umar (may Allah preserve him), there is a fatwa about transferring the udhiyah outside the land where the sacrifice was offered.
“The issue is: the ruling on the one who is offering the sacrifice transferring his udhiyah to be slaughtered in a place other than his own, whether that is in the same country or in another country, on the grounds that there are Muslims in that country who are in greater need of the udhiyah meat than the Muslims in his own country.
Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds, and blessings and peace be upon His Noble Messenger and upon his family and Companions.
It should be noted that one of the major issues to which Islam pays attention, and one of its greater aims, is to promote what is in people’s interests and to take care of needy and poor Muslims. One of the important issues in this regard is the permissibility of transferring the udhiyah from the land of the one who is offering the sacrifice to another land, especially as there is nothing in the Book of Allah or the Sunnah of His Messenger (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) to suggest that this is not allowed. The basic principle in that regard is that it is permissible. If it is permissible in the case of zakah, which is obligatory according to consensus, to transfer it from one land to another land to serve a greater interest and meet a greater need, then how about the udhiyah, which is mustahabb?
Some scholars disallowed it, on the grounds that it means missing out on practising this ritual, and Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“And the Budn (cows, oxen, or camels driven to be offered as sacrifices by the pilgrims at the sanctuary of Makkah.) We have made for you as among the Symbols of Allah, therein you have much good. So mention the Name of Allah over them when they are drawn up in lines (for sacrifice). Then, when they are down on their sides (after slaughter), eat thereof, and feed the beggar who does not ask (men), and the beggar who asks (men). Thus have We made them subject to you that you may be grateful.” [al-Hajj 22:36].
But quoting this verse as evidence is a matter that is subject to further discussion, for two reasons:
- Not everyone has their udhiyah offered outside their own countries; rather there are still some who offer the sacrifice in their own countries, so practising the ritual is still being done..
- Even if we assume that all people are having their udhiyahs sacrificed outside their country, the basic principle of practising the ritual is still being carried out. It is being more strongly manifested in another country, even if it is less so in the country of the one who is offering the sacrifice, and that is done on the basis of need and serving an interest.
The aim of offering the sacrifice is to practise the ritual in every country and to benefit the poor Muslims. Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning):
“It is neither their meat nor their blood that reaches Allah, but it is piety from you that reaches Him.” [al-Hajj 22:37].
In as-Sahihayn it is narrated via Abu ‘Asim, from Yazid ibn Abi ‘Ubayd that Salamah ibn al-Akwa‘ (may Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever among you offers a sacrifice, nothing of it should be left in his house after the third day.” The following year, they said: O Messenger of Allah, should we do what we did last year? He said: “No, that was a year when people were hard-pressed, and I wanted (the meat) to be distributed among them.”
When the Lawgiver looked at people’s poverty, they were forbidden to store the meat for more than three days, but when that reason no longer applied, the prohibition was lifted.
In that case we do not see anything wrong with the fatwa which permits transferring the udhiyah from one country to another, if the Muslims have a need for that. There are large numbers of Muslims who are sleeping under the stars (homeless) and are starving and may die of hunger, so there is an urgent need to help them and come to their aid with zakah and charity, and to transfer the udhiyah to their countries. It is not essential for the udhiyah to be offered in the place where the one who is offering it is; if he misses out on the Sunnah of eating from his sacrifice he will not miss out on helping poor and needy Muslims. And Allah knows best. May Allah send blessings and peace upon our Prophet Muhammad and upon all his family and Companions.”
Based on that, there is nothing wrong with giving money to someone to slaughter the udhiyah for you in Somalia, on condition that he is trustworthy and that he will slaughter it during the days of sacrifice which are the days of at-tashriq.
And Allah knows best.