Can I Sacrifice an Animal on Behalf of Deceased?

07 August, 2019
Q Assalamu Alaikum, I want to inquire that, If a person passed away shall his family member slaughter an animal on Eid ul Adha on his behalf?

Answer

Short Answer:  No, you don’t have to slaughter a separate animal for the deceased. So in a single household, the reward goes to all living members and one may include deceased members. When sacrificing, one may intend to do it on his behalf and all his family members; in addition to specifying the deceased by name or even by saying all deceased members of his family as a general statement. As I mentioned earlier, one animal or share is sufficient for the entire family, including deceased members. That does not mean it is forbidden to slaughter an additional animal if you wish to do so as long as you don’t overburden yourself. If you are going to do the slaughtering yourself, remember to do so after the Eid prayer, not before.

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Wa Alaikum Assalam Dear Brother,

Thank you for your question and for contacting Ask About Islam.

A Difference of Opinion Regarding Those At Home

In fact, the sacrifice is highly recommended, but not obligatory on any Muslim who is not attending Hajj.

Just like any confirmed Sunnah (Sunnah muakkada), if we do it we will get the reward for doing it and if we don’t do it, we will not be sinning.

However, we would have missed out on the reward that’s why it is better to do it.

This is the opinion of the majority of scholars.

(It is worth mentioning, however, that sacrificing an animal on the day of Eid is considered obligatory according to Imam Abu Hanifa (may Allah have mercy on him) for those not attending Hajj. Therefore, not doing it becomes a sin in his opinion.)

The point here: it is not a sin not to sacrifice on Eid ul-Adha according to the vast majority of scholars.

For Those At Hajj

Obviously, the sacrifice is obligatory on those attending the Hajj if they can afford it.

The one who cannot afford it, should not sacrifice an animal.

But how does one calculate how much to sacrifice?

One-tenth of a camel or one-seventh of a cow is equivalent to one sheep.

It is sufficient for a head-of-household to sacrifice a sheep, for example, on behalf of himself and his family members, but two or three heads of households may not share a single sheep for sacrifice.

However, a camel or cow is sufficient for ten or seven families.

Also, there is no limit to the number of people on whose behalf the sacrifice may be offered per family.

What About The Deceased?

To specifically answer your question, no, you don’t have to slaughter a separate animal for the deceased.

So in a single household, the reward goes to all living members and one may include deceased members.

When sacrificing, one may intend to do it on his behalf and all his family members; in addition to specifying the deceased by name or even by saying all deceased members of his family as a general statement.

As I mentioned earlier, one animal or share is sufficient for the entire family, including deceased members. That does not mean it is forbidden to slaughter an additional animal if you wish to do so as long as you don’t overburden yourself.

If you are going to do the slaughtering yourself, remember to do so after the Eid prayer, not before.

Narrated Anas bin Malik that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said:

Whoever slaughtered the sacrifice before the prayer, he just slaughtered it for himself, and whoever slaughtered it after the prayer, he slaughtered it at the right time and followed the tradition of the Muslims. (Al-Bukhari)

 

And Allah knows best.

I hope this helps.

Salam and please keep in touch.

(From Ask About Islam archives)

Please continue feeding your curiosity, and find more info in the following links:

Qurbani Questions And Answers

 

Is Blood of Sacrificed Animals Meant to Forgive Sins? (pt. 2)

 

https://aboutislam.net/shariah/special-coverage-shariah/eid-al-adha-special-coverage-shariah/15-fatwas-udhiyah/

 

Son-in-Law Paying for Our Udhiyah: Permissible?

 

https://aboutislam.net/shariah/special-coverage-shariah/eid-al-adha-special-coverage-shariah/20-fatwas-eid-udhiyah/