Wa `alaykum as-Salamu wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.
In this fatwa:
The majority of scholars are of the opinion that it is permissible to preserve the meat of Udhiyah beyond three days.
In his response to your question, Dr. Husam al-Din Ibn Musa `Afana, Professor of the principles of Islamic jurisprudence at Al-Quds University, Palestine, states the following,
It is established according to the authentic Hadiths the Prophet (peace be upon him) forbade that the Muslims preserve the meat of Udhiyah. But then he (peace be upon him) allowed it. This means that the prohibition of preserving the meat of Udhiyah was abrogated; and so do believe the majority of scholars.
Below are some of these hadiths:
1- `Abdullah ibn Abi Bakr reported on the authority of `Abdullah ibn Waqid that Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) forbade (people) to preserve the meat of sacrificial animals beyond three days. `Abdullah ibn Abi Bakr said: I made a mention of that to Amra, whereupon she said: He [`Abdullah ibn Waqid] has told the truth, for I heard `A’ishah, Mother of the Believers, say, “The poor among the people of the desert came (to the towns) on the occasion of `Eid Al-Adha during the lifetime of Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him).
Upon that Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) said, ‘Retain with you (the meat) sufficing for three (days), and whatever is left out of that give in charity.’ After this, the Muslims said, ‘O Allah’s Messenger, the people make waterskins with the (hides) of their sacrificial animals and they melt fat out of them.’ Thereupon he (peace and blessings be upon him) said, ‘Why so?’ They said, ‘You forbade (us) to eat the flesh of sacrificial animals beyond three (days).’ The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) then said, ‘I forbade you for those (poor persons) who flocked (to the towns on this occasion for getting meat) but now when (this situation has improved) you may eat, preserve and give in charity.’” (Muslim)
2- Salamah ibn Al-Akwa` (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that he Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Whoever has slaughtered a sacrificial animal should not keep anything of its meat beyond three days.”When it was the following year the people said, “O Allah’s Messenger! Shall we do as we did last year?” He (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “No. In that year the people were having a hard time and I wanted you to help (the needy).” (Al-Bukhari)
3- Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri quoted Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) as having said, “O people of Madinah, do not eat the meat of sacrificial animals beyond three days.”The Muslims then complained to the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) that they had children and servants of theirs (to feed), whereupon he (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Eat, feed others, and store [of your Udhiyahs].”(Muslim)
There are many other hadiths reported to that effect. Accordingly, the majority of scholars, including the righteous predecessors, were of the opinion that it is permissible in the viewpoint of Islam that people preserve the meat of Udhiyah beyond three days, as the contrary was abrogated.
Allah Almighty knows best.
Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.