Wednesday 15 Thu al-Qa‘dah 1440 - 17 July 2019
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Offering udhiyah on behalf of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) and the hadith that was narrated concerning that

Question

Is it valid for a Muslim to offer an udhiyah on behalf of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him)? What is the scholars’ view on this matter?
How sound is this hadith and how is it to be understood? It was narrated from Hanash from ‘Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) that he used to offer an udhiyah of two rams, one of behalf of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) and the other on his own behalf. He was asked about that, and he said: He instructed me to do that – meaning the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) and I shall never stop doing it. Narrated by at-Tirmidhi and Abu Dawood.

Praise be to Allah

It is not permissible for anyone to offer an udhiyah on behalf of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), because the basic principle with regard to acts of worship is that they are not allowed and should not be done unless there is proven evidence to the contrary.

With regard to the hadith referred to by the questioner, it was narrated by at-Tirmidhi and classed as da‘eef by Shaykh al-Albaani and others, as we shall see below in sha Allah.

At-Tirmidhi (1495) said: Muhammad ibn ‘Ubayd al-Muhaaribi al-Kufi told us: Shareek told us, from Abu’l-Hasna’, from al-Hakam, from Hanash, from ‘Ali, that he used to offer an udhiyah of two rams, one of behalf of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) and the other on his own behalf. He was asked about that, and he said: He instructed me (amarani) to do that – meaning the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) and I shall never stop doing it. Then immediately after narrating the hadith, he (at-Tirmidhi) said: This hadith is ghareeb (strange) and we only know it from the hadith of Shareek.

It was also narrated by Ahmad (1219) and Abu Dawood (2790) via Shareek ibn ‘Abdullah al-Qaadi, with the word awsaani (instructed me; this word is used to refer to instructions left by a dying person to be carried out after his death): ‘Uthmaan ibn Abi Shaybah told us: Shareek told us, from Abu’l-Hasna’, from al-Hakam, from Hanash who said: I saw ‘Ali offer an udhiyah of two rams. I said to him: What is this? He said: The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) instructed me (awsaani) to offer an udhiyah on his behalf, so I offer an udhiyah on his behalf.

Al-Mubaarakfoori (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

Al-Mundhiri said: Hanash is Abu’l-Mu‘tamir al-Kinaani as-San‘aani. More than one scholar criticised him. Ibn Hibbaan al-Basti said: He made a lot of mistakes when narrating reports, and was the only one to narrate from ‘Ali things the like of which are not seen in the hadiths of trustworthy narrators, to the extent that he became one of those who cannot be quoted as evidence.

Shareek is ibn ‘Abdullah al-Qaadi, concerning whom there are some reservations. Muslim narrated some reports from him in al-Mutaaba‘aat. End quote.

I say: Abu’l-Hasna’, the Shaykh of ‘Abdullah, is majhool (unknown) as is well known. Therefore the hadith is da‘eef.

End quote from Tuhfat al-Ahwadhi.

Shaykh al-Albaani (may Allah have mercy on him) said: I say: Its isnaad is da‘eef because of the poor memory of Shareek – who is ibn ‘Abdullah al-Qaadi.

Hanash is ibn al-Mu‘tamir as-San‘aani, who was classed as da‘eef by the majority of scholars.

And Abu’l-Hasna’ is majhool (unknown).

End quote from Da‘eef Abi Dawood.

It was also classed as da‘eef by Shaykh ‘Abd al-Muhsin al-‘Abbaad (may Allah preserve him), as it says in his commentary on Sunan Abi Dawood, for the reasons mentioned above.

Once it is determined that a hadith is da‘eef, we must act on the basis of the general principle, which is that it is not permissible to offer an udhiyah on behalf of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him).

Shaykh ‘Abd al-Muhsin al-‘Abbaad (may Allah preserve him) said: When a person offers an udhiyah, he does so on behalf of himself and the members of his household, and he may do so on behalf of the living and the dead among the members of his family. If a man leaves instructions (in his will) that an udhiyah be offered on his behalf, then an udhiyah should be offered on his behalf.

As for offering an udhiyah on behalf of a deceased person only, we do not know of any proven evidence to support that practice. But if a person offers an udhiyah on behalf of himself and the members of his household or his relatives, both living and dead, there is nothing wrong with that, and there is evidence in the Sunnah to support that. So the dead may be included alongside the living, but as for offering an udhiyah on their behalf only, without them having left instructions to that effect, I do not know of any evidence for that.

With regard to the hadith narrated by Abu Dawood from ‘Ali (may Allah be pleased with him), according to which he used to offer an udhiyah of two rams and say that the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) had left instructions for him to do that, this is not proven from the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), because its isnaad includes a narrator who is majhool (unknown) and another who was criticised (by the hadith scholars) although he is not unknown. Anyone who wants to do something to increase the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), then he should strive to do righteous deeds for himself, for Allah, may He be exalted, will give His Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) a reward like that which He will give him, for the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) is the one who showed people the way to do good, and “Whoever guides to goodness will have a reward like that of the one who does it.”

End quote from Sharh Sunan Abi Dawood

Even if we assume that the hadith is saheeh, this applies specifically to instructions left to be carried out after one’s death, as was clearly stated in the report of Abu Dawood. But the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) did not leave any instruction to anyone except ‘Ali (may Allah be pleased with him), so we must adhere to the texts and not go beyond that.

For more information on the ruling on offering an udhiyah on behalf of a deceased person, please see the answer to question no. 36596

And Allah knows best.

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