Say this before slaughtering an Udhiyah


Every year on the day of Eid-ul-Adha, this question often crops up in the minds of those performing the Sunnah of Udhiyah. Is there any specific dua that one has to read when slaughtering the animal?

First, let us understand what Udhiyah stands for. The word Udhiyah means an animal of the An’aam class (camel, cow, sheep or goat) that is slaughtered during the days of Eid-ul-Adha as an act of worship, intending to draw closer to Allah thereby.

One who wants to slaughter the Udhiyah has to say Bismillaah wa Allaahu akbar, Allaahumma haaza minka wa laka, haaza ‘anni (or if it is being offered on behalf of someone else, haaza ‘an [fulaan]), Allaahumma taqabbal min [fulaan] wa aali [fulaan]. (In the name of Allah, Allah is most great. O Allah, this is from You and to You. This is on my behalf (or if it is being offered on behalf of someone else, this is on behalf of [So and so]). O Allah, accept (this sacrifice) from [So and so] and the family of [So and so] – here one should mention his name instead of [fulaan] or [So and so].

Allaahumma minka (O Allaah, from You) means this sacrifice is a gift and provision that has reached me from You. Laka (to You) means, it is sincerely for You alone.

However, what is obligatory here is to say Bismillaah; the rest is mustahabb.

Anas RA said: The Prophet PBUH sacrificed two horned rams that were white speckled with black. He slaughtered them with his own hand, said Bismillaah and Allaahu akbar, and put his foot on their necks (Bukhari and Muslim).

Aaishah RA narrets that Prophet PBUH ordered that a horned ram be brought to him so that he could sacrifice it. He said, “O ‘Aa’ishah, give me the knife.” Then he said, “Sharpen it on a stone.” So she did that, then he took it and took the ram, and he lay it down and prepared to slaughter it. He said, “In the name of Allah, O Allah accept (this sacrifice) from Muhammad and the family of Muhammad and the ummah of Muhammad,” then he sacrificed it, (Muslim).

Jabir bin Abdullah said: I was present with the Prophet PBUH on the day of Eid-ul-Adha at the prayer place. When he had finished his Khutbah he came down from his minbar (pulpit) and a ram was brought which the Messenger of Allaah PBUH slaughtered with his own hand. He said, “In the name of Allah, Allah is Most Great. This is on behalf of myself and on behalf of those of my ummah who have not offered a sacrifice.” Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi.

 

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Worship ALLAH & Perform Sacrifice…


“So pray to your Lord and sacrifice to Him alone” (Al-Kawthar 108:2)

Eid-ul-Adha (the festival of Sacrifice) is a glorious day for Muslims all around the world. The day is celebrated by offering Eid prayers at dawn, chanting of Takbeer, carrying out the sunnah of sacrificing an animal, donning the best attire, spreading the joy among relatives and friends. However, the sunnah of sacrificing is limited to those who can afford it. The significance of Udhiya or sacrifice can be understoon by the fact that Prophet Muhammed PBUH lived in Madinah and not one he missed out on this great Sunnah which is also known as Sunnah of Prophet Ibrahim PBUH.

It was narrated Abdullah bin Umar RA said: “The Prophet PBUH stayed in Madinah for ten years, offering sacrifice (every year on Eid).” Narrated by Ahmad, al-Tirmidhi classed as hasan by al-Albaani in Mishkaat al-Masaabeeh.

Sacrifice is not merely symbolic but has a deep religious sentiment attached for a Muslim. Essence of Eid-ul-Adha is elaborated at Essence of Eid-ul-Adha . , According the a majority of scholars, offering sacrifice on this day is a Sunnah Moakkadah (a Sunnah that has been emphasized upon). But Imam Abu Hanifah and Ibn Taimiyyah (may ALLAH have mercy on both of them) have opined it to be Wajib (compulsory). Allah SWT said to Prophet Muhammad PBUH, “So pray to your Lord and sacrifice to Him alone” (Al-Kawthar 108:2). Prophet PBUH said, “whosoever has the means of performing sacrifice, and does not do so shall not even come near our Eidgah (place of performing Eid salaat),” (Baihaqi and Hakim, classed Hasan by Albanee).

Post slaughtering, the meat should be divided into three parts. One third for himself and his family, one third is to be distributed amid relatives and friends, and the other one third should be distributed to the poor and needy. Prophet PBUH said, “Eat, store and give in charity,” [Muslim]. ALLAH mentions, “And the camels and cattle WE have appointed for you as among the symbols [i.e., the rites] of ALLAH; for you therein is good. So mention the name of ALLAH upon them when lined up [for sacrifice]; and when they are [lifeless] on their sides, then eat from them and feed the needy [who do not seek aid] and the beggar” (Al-Hajj: 22:36).

There are mainly five conditions for offering the sacrifice:

  1. That the sacrificial animal should be one of the grazing livestock, specifically: camels, cattle, sheep and goats. It should be noted that there can be 7 shares of sacrifice in camel and cow. Jabir (RA)is reported to have said, “We slaughtered (the animal of sacrifice) at Hudaibiyah along with the holy Prophet PBUH on the basis of partners; in the camel for seven persons and in the cow for seven persons” (Ibn Majah). Whereas sheep and goats cannot be shared but can be offered on behalf of a whole family as Abu Ayyub Ansari (RA)said, “A person during the lifetime of the holy prophet PBUH used to sacrifice on behalf of himself and his family,” (Ibn Majah).
  2. That the sacrificial animal should attain the prescribed age as specified in the Hadith. Reported by Jabir (RA) that the holy Prophet PBUH said, “Do not slaughter (an animal as sacrifice) except that which has reached the age of musinnah, unless it is hard upon you (to sacrifice a musinnah animal). In that case, slaughter a jaza of a sheep” (Muslim). A camel is musinnah at 5 years, a cow at 2 years and the goat at 1 year. A jaza of a sheep is when it has completed only half a year.
  3. That the sacrificial animal should be devoid from the four main defects as stated in the Hadith. The Prophet PBUH said, “Four kind of animals are unlawful for sacrifice: An animal which has lost sight of one eye and the loss of which is visible, a sick animal the sickness of which is evident, a lame animal the lameness of which is apparent, and an animal whose limbs are fractured and the core of the bones of which is exhausted,” (Muwatta Malik and Ibn Majah).
  4. That the person should be the owner of that sacrificial animal (like if he is a shepherd or the one who has bought). Disowned animal cannot be sacrificed.
  5. That the sacrifice should be offered on the prescribed time. The time commences after the Eid prayer on the 10th of Zul Hijjah until the sunset of 13th Zul Hijjah. It is permitted to slaughter at day or night during these four days. It is advised to offer on the 10th itself after the Eid prayer as the Prophet PBUH did. Sacrifice will be invalid if it is offered before the approved time. Narrated Al-Bara’ bin ‘Azib (RA) that The Prophet PBUH said, “The first thing that we should do on this day of ours is to pray and then return to slaughter the sacrifice. So anyone who does so, he acted according to our Sunnah (tradition), and whoever slaughtered the sacrifice before the prayer, it was just meat which he presented to his family and would not be considered as Nusuk (sacrifice),” [Bukhari].

A doubt might trigger in an individual’s mind that what ALLAH SWT has got to do with the sacrifice. The best reply for this is what ALLAH SWT says, “Their meat will not reach ALLAH, nor will their blood, but what reaches Him is piety from you. Thus have WE subjected them to you that you may glorify ALLAH for that [to] which He has guided you; and give good tidings to the doers of good,” (Al-Hajj 22:37).

Essence of EID-ul-ADHA


Every festival brings in a remembrance of rejoicing moment which had passed long ago. A festival brings in its own uniqueness, a message, history, sacrifices involved, and most of the times an opportunity for us to connect ourselves to our creator – essence of our spiritual lives.

Every religion has its own set of festivals. Some have more and some have less.

Similarly the ummah of our last and beloved prophet Muhammed PBUH is also gifted by two occasions by Allah SWT to cherish and celebrate. The occasions are Eid-ul-fitr and Eid-ul-adha. Eid-ul-fitr falls on 1st of shawal (10th month of the lunar calendar) and Eid-ul-adha falls on 10th day of zul hijj (12th month of the lunar calendar). Muslims have a very different approach of celebrating festivals than others.

The prophet use to celebrate Eid by increasing the remembrance of Allah SWT. Two rakahs of special prayer was offered by the prophet PBUH and the way these two rakahs are offered is different from the normal prayers. On the occasion of Eid-ul-adha Prophet PBUH used to recite takbeer (La ila-ha ill-lal-lah. ALLAHo-Akber, ALLAHo-Akber. Wa-lilahill hamd) from Maghrib on the 9th Zdilhijjah and last until the Asr on the 12th Zdilhijjah. The takbeer translates as: ALLAH is greater. ALLAH is greater. There is no God but ALLAH. ALLAH is greater. ALLAH is greater. And all praises are for ALLAH. As said every festival has a moment of remembrance behind it.

This very Eid-ul-adha carries a rich history of ALLAH’s (SWT) beloved slave; prophet Ibrahim. This prophet was put to a lot of trials. Right from his childhood he had the essence of tawheed (monotheism) in him. The whole clan of prophet Ibrahim was idol worshippers but he never indulged in that, instead he rouse in revolt against it for which he was awarded severe punishment and torment. In his youth he was married to Sarah. The couple was not blessed with a child for a long period. Prophet Ibrahim then married Hajira. She bore a child i.e. Prophet Ismail. The first wife Sarah became a little jealous of Hajira and her child hence Allah SWT ordered Prophet Ibrahim to leave the land of Palestine and migrate to the land of Makkah.

Allah SWT ordered prophet Ibrahim to leave his wife Hajira and son Ismail in the lifeless valley of Makkah. As prophet Ibrahim was getting ready to return to the land of Palestine, his wife Hajira asked him: “Who ordered you to leave us here”? When Ibrahim replied: “ALLAH”, Hajira said: “then ALLAH will not forget us; you can go”. Although Ibrahim had left a large quantity of food and water with Hajira and Ismail, the supplies quickly ran out and within a few days the two were suffering from hunger and thirst. Hajira had to face lots of difficulties to quench her and her son’s thirst. But she got away by having a strong faith in ALLAH (SWT). True that supreme faith in Allah SWT tides away any hardship.

After some time when prophet Ibrahim returned to meet his wife and son they were quite happy with whatever the Almighty had bestowed on them. Allah SWT wanted to put Prophet Ibrahim in yet another trial but this was the toughest of all. ALLAH (SWT) had ordered Prophet Ibrahim to sacrifice his son. Prophet Ibrahim was in dilemma as to what to choose? Is it Love of God over the Love of self, Prophet hood over Fatherhood, Loyalty to God over Loyalty to family, Truth over Reality, Responsibility over Pleasure, Duty over Right, Tawheed over Shirk. He preferred to choose ALLAH (SWT) and decided to sacrifice Ismail.

On the grounds of Mina near Makkah, an amazing conversation between father and son took place. Ibrahim said to Ismail: “O my Son, I see in a vision that I offer you in sacrifice. Now see what is your view?” (Quran – 37:102). Ismail replied in comforting words: “O my father! Do as you are commanded. You will find me, if ALLAH so wills, patient and constant” (Quran – 37:103). This shows the staunchness of faith in the young Ismail.

This gave Ibrahim strength. Ibrahim tied his heart to ALLAH (SWT), he took Ismail his only son in one hand and the knife in the other and he walked until he reached the place of sacrifice. Ibrahim was suffering a lot at every moment. It was possible for him to retract and turn back. Yet he laid Ismail on the ground, putting his face away from him to give strength to his crushed soul and paralyzed hand. And so he began to slaughter Ismail. But, by ALLAH’s grace, the knife did not cut. Ismail was replaced by a heavenly sheep and the later was sacrificed.

ALLAH (SWT) was extremely pleased by this act of his beloved prophet and said: “O Ibrahim! You have confirmed the Vision Thus indeed do We reward those who do right this is indeed the manifest trial!” (Quran – 37:104-105) But today do we really understand what Ibrahim went through? Do we appreciate what it was like to be Ibrahim? Can we grasp in thought what happened? Why is it that we regard Ibrahim as the father of faith? The patriarchal figure of the three major world religions, i.e. Islam, Christianity and Judaism.

What we really need to understand is that by offering the sacrifices to Almighty we must go to an extent to which Prophet Ibrahim went. Mere sacrificing an animal does not suffice. ALLAH (SWT) says: “Never does their flesh nor their blood reach ALLAH, but your piety successfully reaches Him” (Quran – 22:37).