ACTNews, JAKARTA – Sacrificing animals on the day of Eid-ul-Adha is has been prescribed by Allah in the Quran. Several verses in the holy book explicitly mention about the animal sacrifice, one of which is Surah Al-Hajj (Chapter 22) verse 37 in which Allah 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.”
Sacrificing animals is considered to be an act of Sunnah, a recommended act that is not obligatory. However, although it is not obligatory, we should at least try our best to be able to perform this act of worship. Many people think that only the extremely wealthy are obliged to do the sacrifice.
In fact, those who have just enough wealth to purchase an animal to sacrifice are recommended to do it. Those who have wealth in the form of assets such as houses, cars, or lands that can be sold are also able to do an animal sacrifice.
Both Muslim men and women are equally recommended to do the animal sacrifice. One can perform an animal sacrifice for him/herself or on behalf of his/her family. Even if one has deceased family members, he/she can also perform the animal sacrifice on their behalf.
The animals that are allowed to be sacrificed are sheep, goats, cows, bulls, buffaloes and camels that are healthy and have no defects. This requirement is based on a hadith narrated by Ubaid ibn Fayruz in which Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) said, “Four (types of animals) should be avoided in sacrifice: A One-eyed animal which has obviously lost the sight of one eye, a sick animal which is obviously sick, a lame animal which obviously limps and an animal with a broken leg with no marrow.”
Dr. Amir Faisal Fath, an Indonesian Muslim scholar, said that the animal sacrifice is like a gift that one gives to his/her Lord. “Consider it as a gift that we give as servants to Allah, so give the best. Sacrificing the best animals, those with no diseases and defects, will bring Allah’s pleasure,” said Fath.
Each kind of the above animals has a minimum age requirement before it can be sacrificed: one year for goats, two years for cows, and five years for camels. A goat can be sacrificed for one individual or one families, while a cow or a camel can be sacrificed for seven individuals or seven families.
It is recommended that the animals are slaughtered directly by the individuals who offer the sacrifice. However, if he/she is unable, then it can be done by people who are able to slaughter the animals.
A third of the meat can be given to the poor and the needy; a third of it can be given to the neighbors of those who offer the sacrifice, while the rest can be eaten by their family.