Is one sacrifice sufficient on behalf of all the members of a household, even if they are many?.
Praise be to Allaah.
One sacrifice is sufficient on behalf of all the members of a household, no matter how many of them there are.
Al-Tirmidhi (1505) narrated that �Ata� ibn Yassaar said: I asked Abu Ayyoob: How was the sacrifice done at the time of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)? He said: A man would offer a sheep on behalf of himself and the members of his family, and they would eat some and feed others with some.� Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi.
It says in Tuhfat al-Ahwadhi:
This hadeeth clearly states that a single sheep is sufficient on behalf of a man and the members of his household, even if they are many, and that is correct.
Al-Haafiz ibn al-Qayyim said in Zaad al-Ma�aad: The teaching of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was that a sheep is sufficient on behalf of a man and the members of his household, even if they are many in number.
Al-Shawkaani said in Nayl al-Awtaar: In fact a single sheep is sufficient on behalf of the members of a household, even if there are one hundred or more, as is indicated by the Sunnah. End quote.
Shaykh Ibn �Uthaymeen said in al-Sharh al-Mumti� (5/275):
There is no limit to how many people may share in the reward. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) offered a sacrifice on behalf of his entire ummah, and a man may offer a single sheep on behalf of himself and the members of his household, even if they are one hundred strong. End quote.
The Standing Committee was asked: There are twenty-two people in this family, and they have one income and one budget. On Eid al-Adha they offer a single sacrifice, and I do not know whether that is sufficient or whether they should offer two sacrifices?
If the family is big but they live in one house, one sacrifice is sufficient for them, but if they offer more than one sacrifice, that is better. End quote.
Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa�imah, 11/408.
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For how many people is the udhiyah sufficient?
We are eight people � myself, my wife and my children. Is one udhiyah (sacrificial animal) sufficient for us, or should there be one animal for each person?
If one is sufficient for us, then is it permissible for my neighbour and I to share in one udhiyah?.
Praise be to Allaah.
One sheep is sufficient as udhiyah for one man and his family and whoever he wants among the Muslims, because of the hadeeth of �Aa�ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) who said that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) ordered that a ram with black legs, black belly and black (circles) round the eyes should be brought to him, so that he could sacrifice it. He said to �Aa�ishah: �Give me the knife,� and she did that. He took it, then he took the ram, placed it on the ground and then slaughtered it (i.e., prepared to slaughter it), saying: �In the name of Allaah, O Allaah, accept (this sacrifice) on behalf of Muhammad and the family of Muhammad and the ummah of Muhammad.� Then he sacrificed it.
Narrated by Muslim.
It was narrated that Abu Ayyoob al-Ansaari (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: �At the time of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), a man would sacrifice a sheep on behalf of himself and his household, and they would eat some and give some to others.� Narrated by Ibn Maajah and by al-Tirmidhi, who classed it as saheeh. Also classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi, 1216.
If a man sacrifices a single sheep or goat on behalf of himself and his family, that will suffice for everyone he intended of his family, whether living or deceased. If he did not intend anything specific then it includes all those who are included in this word (family or household) either customarily or linguistically. Customarily it refers to all those whom he supports of wives, children and relatives; linguistically it includes all those who are related to him of his own children and the descendents of his father, grandfather and great-grandfather.
One-seventh of a camel or cow is equivalent to one sheep; if a man sacrifices one-seventh of a camel or cow on behalf of himself and his family, that is sufficient, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said that one-seventh of a camel or cow takes the place of a sheep in the case of the hadiy (sacrifice offered during Hajj), so that applies also to the udhiyah because there is no difference between the udhiyah and the hadiy in this regard.
If two or more people buy a sheep and sacrifice it, that is not sufficient, because no such thing has been narrated in the Qur�aan and Sunnah. Similarly if eight or more people share one camel or one cow, that is not sufficient (but it is permissible for seven people to share a camel or cow), because acts of worship are as prescribed in the Qur�aan and Sunnah and are not subject to personal opinion; it is not permissible to go beyond the set limits with regard to how much is to be done or the way in which it is to be done. This does not have to do with including others in the reward, because it was narrated that there is no limit to the number of people on whose behalf the sacrifice may be offered.
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The best animals to be sacrificed are camels, then cows, then sheep, then to share in a sacrifice
What is best for the sacrifice � to slaughter a sheep or to have a share in a cow?.
Praise be to Allaah.
The best sacrifice is a camel, then a cow, then a sheep, then to have a share in a cow. This is the view of Abu Haneefah and al-Shaafa�i, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said concerning Jumu�ah: �Whoever comes at the earliest hour, it is as if he sacrificed a camel. Whoever comes in the second hour, it is as if he sacrificed a cow. Whoever comes in the third hour, it is as if he sacrificed a horned ram. Whoever comes in the fourth hour, it is as if he sacrificed a chicken. Whoever comes in the fifth hour, it is as if he sacrificed an egg.� Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 881; Muslim, 850.
It is a sacrifice by means of which one draws closer to Allaah, so the best (to be offered) is a camel, as in the case of the hadiy (sacrifice offered by the pilgrim on Hajj).
A sheep is better than sharing in a camel, because the aim of the sacrifice is to shed blood. A ram is better than a sheep (ewe), because that is what the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) sacrificed and the meat is better.
End quote from al-Mughni, 13/366
The Standing Committee was asked: Which is better for sacrifice, a ram or a cow?
The best sacrifice is a camel, then a cow, then a sheep, then a share of a camel or cow, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said concerning Jumu�ah: �Whoever comes at the earliest hour, it is as if he sacrificed a camel��
The point here is that there is an order of preference between camels, cows and sheep in drawing close to Allaah through the sacrifice. Undoubtedly sacrifice is one of the greatest acts of worship through which we may draw closer to Allaah. A camel is more valuable and more useful. This is the view of the three imams � Abu Haneefah, al-Shaafa�i and Ahmad. Maalik said: The best is a young sheep, then a cow, then a camel, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) sacrificed two rams, and he (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did not do anything but that which was best.
The response to that is that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) sometimes chose the option that was not the best option out of kindness to his ummah, because they follow his example. He (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did not want to make things difficult for them. He stated that the best is a camel, then a cow, then a sheep, as stated above. And Allaah knows best. End quote.
Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa�imah, 11/398.
Shaykh Ibn �Uthaymeen said in Ahkaam al-Udhiyah:
The best sacrifice is a camel, then a cow, if one offers the whole animal, then a sheep, then a goat, then one-seventh of a camel, then one-seventh of a cow. End quote.
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Conditions of udhiyah
I intend to offer a sacrifice on behalf of myself and my children. Are there any specific characteristics that the animal should have, or is it correct to sacrifice any sheep?.
Praise be to Allaah.
There are six conditions for the udhiyah:
It should be one of the an�aam class of animals, which are: camels, cattle, sheep and goats, because Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
�And for every nation We have appointed religious ceremonies, that they may mention the Name of Allaah over the beast of cattle that He has given them for food�
Baheemat al-an�aam (translated here as �beast of cattle�) includes camels, cattle and sheep. This is what is well known among the Arabs, and this was the view of al-Hasan, Qataadah and others.
It should have reached the age stipulated in sharee�ah, which is six months for a sheep and the age at which the animal is considered to be an adult for any other animal, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: �Do not sacrifice anything but an adult animal, unless it is difficult for you, in which case you may slaughter a six-month old lamb (jadh�ah).� Narrated by Muslim.
A mature animal means one that is considered to be an adult.
In the case of camels it means one that is five years old.
For cattle, it means one that is two years old.
For sheep it means one that is a year old.
The jadh�ah is that which is half a year old. So it is not correct to sacrifice a camel, cow or goat that has not yet reached maturity, or a sheep that is less than six months old.
It should be free of any faults that would render it unsuitable for sacrifice, of which there are four:
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, when the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was asked about what should be avoided in udhiyah, he gestured with his hand and said: �Four: a lame animal which is obviously lame, a one-eyed animal whose defect is obvious, a sick animal whose sickness is obvious, and an emaciated animal that no one would choose.� Narrated by Maalik in al-Muwatta� from the hadeeth of al-Bara� ibn �Aazib. According to a hadeeth narrated from him in al-Sunan, he said: �The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) stood up among us and said: �There are four which are not permissible for sacrifice,�� and he mentioned something similar. Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Irwa� al-Ghaleel, 1148.
These four faults render an animal unsuitable for sacrifice, and they include similar faults or more severe faults. So the following animals are also unsuitable for sacrifice:
1- One that is blind in both eyes.
2- One that has eaten more than it can stand, until the danger has passed.
3- One that has encountered difficulty in giving birth, until all danger has passed.
4- One that has suffered something that could kill it, such as strangulation or a fall from a high place, until the danger has passed.
5- One that is unable to walk because of a defect.
6- One that has had one of its forelegs or hind legs cut off.
If these are added to the four defects mentioned in the text, the number of those that cannot be offered as sacrifices reaches ten � these six and the four mentioned above.
The animal should belong to the person who is offering the sacrifice, or he should have permission for that either on the grounds of sharee�ah 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 Allaah by means of sin. A sacrifice offered by the guardian of an orphan from the orphan�s property is valid if that is customary and if he feels sad about not offering a sacrifice.
A sacrifice offered by a guardian from the property of the person under his care is valid, if done with permission.
No one else should have any rights to the sacrificial animal; the sacrifice of an animal that is held in pledge is not valid.
It should be slaughtered at the time specified in sharee�ah, which is from after the Eid prayer on the Day of Sacrifice until sunset on the last of the days of al-Tashreeq, which is the 13th of Dhu�l-Hijjah. So the days when the sacrificed may be offered are four: the day of Eid after the prayer, and the three days after that. 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, because of the hadeeth narrated by al-Bukhaari from al-Bara� ibn �Aazib (may Allaah be pleased with him), according to which the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: �Whoever slaughters (his sacrifice) before the prayer, it is meat that he has brought to his family, but that is not the sacrifice.� And he narrated that Jundub ibn Sufyaan al-Bajali (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: �I heard the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) saying, �Whoever slaughters the sacrifice before he prays, let him replace it with another.�� And it was narrated that Nubayshah al-Hadhali (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: �The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: �The days of al-Tashreeq are the days of eating, drinking and remembering Allaah.�� Narrated by Muslim.
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. This is by analogy with the one who sleeps and misses a prayer, or forgets it � he should pray it as soon as he wakes up or remember it.
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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