Rulings on Slaughtering Animals (Udhiyyah) on Eid Al-Adha

A great short video piece on rulings related to slaughtering an animal on Eid Al-Adha by Sh. Safi Khan.

Imam Safi Khan is the founder and director of the Dar-us-Salaam Community in College Park, MD. He holds a degree in Economics from the University of Maryland, and is well-versed in Islamic law, tafsir, and sirah. He has been a prominent Imam, lecturer, and family and youth counselor in the Washington DC metropolitan area for over twenty-five years.

Since the Shaykh did not go over the conditions for an animal to be a valid sacrifice, I have listed them below.

Conditions for an animal to be a valid sacrifice for Eid A-Adha

For a more detailed summary of the conditions below, please click here.

Condition 1

It should be from the an’aam class which includes animals such as camels, cattle, sheep, and goats.

Condition 2

The animal should have reached the age stipulated in Islamic law because there is a minimum age requirement for an animal to be considered valid for sacrifice. Generally, this means that the animal should be an adult. Age requirements are as follows:

  • Sheep – 6 months old
  • Camel – 5 years old
  • Cattle – 2 years old
  • Goat – 1 year old

Condition 3

It should be free of any deficiencies which will make it unsuitable for sacrifice. There are four such deficiencies to watch out for:

  1. An obvious defect in one eye, such as when the eye is sunken in its socket, or when it sticks out like a button, or is white and obviously defective.
  2. Obvious sickness, whose symptoms are clearly apparent in the animal, such as fever that prevents it from grazing and causes loss of appetite; mange that obviously affects its flesh or its health; deep wounds that affect its health, and so on.
  3. Obvious lameness, which prevents the animal from walking normally.
  4. Emaciation that leaves no marrow in the bones.

The above faults will make an animal unsuitable for sacrifice. More severe faults than the above or others similar to them will also make the animal unsuitable.

Condition 4

The animal should belong to the person who is offering the sacrifice, or he should have permission for that either on the grounds of Islamic law or from the owner. The sacrifice is not valid if the animal slaughtered does not belong to the person who is sacrificing it, such as one that has been taken by force, stolen, or taken on the basis of a false claim, etc, because it is not permissible to draw closer to Allah by means of sin. A sacrifice offered by a guardian from the property of the person under his care is valid, if done with permission.

Condition 5

No one else should have any rights to the sacrificial animal; the sacrifice of an animal that is held in pledge is not valid.

Condition 6

It should be slaughtered at the time specified in Islamic law, which is from after the Eid prayer on the Day of Sacrifice (10th of Dhul-Hijjah) until sunset on the last of the days of al-Tashreeq, which is the 13th of Dhul-Hijjah. So the days when the sacrificed may be offered are four:

  • Day of Eid after the prayer (10th of Dhul-Hijjah)
  • 11th of Dhul-Hijjah
  • 12th of Dhul-Hijjah
  • 13th of Dhul-Hijjah

Whoever slaughters it before the Eid prayer is over, or after sun sets on the 13th of Dhu’l-Hijjah, his sacrifice is not valid. But if he has an excuse for delaying it beyond the days of Tashreeq, such as if the animal ran away, without there being any negligence on his part, and he could not find it until after the time was over, or he appointed someone else to slaughter it and that person forgot until the time was over, then there is nothing wrong with slaughtering it after the appointed time.

It is permissible to slaughter the udhiyah at any time, night or day, but it is better to slaughter it during the day, and it is better to slaughter on the day of Eid after the two khutbahs. Each day is better than the day that follows it, because that means that one is hastening to do good.

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