Animal rights

Q:

AOA, I have a question. I am a muslim and a vegan because of the cruelty associated with the meat industry. In meat and dairy industry, cows are artifically insemnated, chickens are debeaked and daily injected with antibiotics and hormones. They are tourtured. This treatment is far from the definition of halal. As per I know, halal is not only a specie of an animal but also a way of raising animals. Now a days, animals are not raised in a halal manner. As a vegan, is it permissible to donate money on eid instead of animal sacrifice? A friend of mine sent me these ahadith and told me that its permissible but I still wanted to confirm because I don’t want to displease Allah. These are the ahadith she sent to me:

Fat’h al-Bāri adapted from ‘Selections from Fath al-Bāri by Ibn Hajar al-Asqalānī’ translated by Tim Winters.It is authentically reported in the sunan of Bayhaqī that Hudhayfa bin Usayd said :

I saw Abū Bakr and Umar would not perform Udhīyah (sacrifice) disliking that they’d be followed (by people in this tradition).

It is also authentically reported in another tradition, that Abū Masūd al-Ansarī said :

I abstain from offering Udhīyah even though I am able to offer it, fearing that my neighbor would think that it is incumbent upon me.

How Ibn Abbās used to perform his Udhiyah:

It is authentically reported in Sunan al Bayhaqī:

Ikrima narrated that if Ibn Abbas were to observe Udhīyah, he would give two Dirhams to his slave and say : buy meat out of it, and inform the people that this is the sacrifice (udhiya) of Ibn Abbas.

The Tabi’ī Imam, Faqih Sa’īd bin al-Musayab and Imam Shā’bi that they both have said :

As spending by three Dirhams in charity, is more dearer to us than to sacrifice (udhīyah).

(al-Muhalla)

It is authentically proven from Bilāl that he said :

I wouldn’t care if I slaughter a cock, as because spending that cost to an orphan or a poor, is more dearer to me than to offer udhiyah (sacrifice).

 (Musannaf Abd al-Razzāq, the Sanad has been classified as “Sahih” by Allama Abu al-Hasan al-Sulaymanī and Sh Mash’hūr Hasan)

From contemporary Ulema, Shaykh Salih al-Uthaymin issued a fatwa that it is better to give charity to your close relative who is in debt than to offer sacrifice.

And Shaykh Ibn Baz also said that it is permissible to pay the price of udhiyah in charity.

Qurra ibn Iyas reported: A man said, “O Messenger of Allah, I would have slaughtered a sheep but I had mercy on it.” The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “If you had mercy on the sheep, then Allah will have mercy on you twice.”

Source: al-Adab al-Mufrad 368

Now my question is that is it permissible to donate money instead of animal sacrifice or not? May Allah bless you (Ameen)

A:

Wa `alaykum As-Salamu wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.

Offering sacrifice is not an obligatory ritual; it is only a recommended one. So, we are not obligated to observe the ritual year after year. That is the lesson both the pious Caliphs, Abu Bakr, and Umar wanted to impart. Furthermore, as we learn from the Companions, they were in the habit of offering a single sacrifice on behalf of the entire family. So he said it has now been degraded to an occasion for people for competition leading to abuse of animals.

Animal sacrifice is recommended because eating meat is often the only way for people in many parts of the world to get the essential protein. Since Allah prescribed it, who knows best what is good for us, we must never to the other extreme of banning the sacrifice or stop it altogether. What is needed is to observe it by complying with the most rigorous conditions to stop all forms of cruelty, torture, and abuse of animals. We must do so most compassionately as the Prophet ordered us: “Allah has ordained compassion and benevolence in all the acts we perform: so, if you were to kill (an animal for food) do so most benevolently; Sharpen the knife and bring ease to the animal, sparing the maximum pain.” (Reported by Muslim)

Since sacrifice is not obligatory, a person can choose not to do it and give charity money. However, it will not be reckoned as a sacrifice. Nevertheless,  he will be rewarded for charity. And he may even get greater rewards if he gives it for saving the life of an individual, etc.

I can very well understand the concerns you have raised. Those are critical issues for Muslims to address. Unfortunately, we have become obsessed with minor matters, neglecting such vital areas of ethics, which constitutes the heart and soul of the Shari̔a. Islam is opposed to all forms of cruelty and torture of animals; that is why they have strict rules against all such practices that amount to torture. Islam goes as far as rendering any animal that has been subjected to torture as unfit and unlawful for us to consume.

Furthermore, Islam does not allow the cruel and inhuman ways of breeding and raising animals as practiced in many countries. So, Muslims ought to take the initiative to push for implementing such beautiful teachings of Islam.

Almighty Allah knows best.

Thursday, Jan. 01, 1970 | 00:00 - 00:00 GMT

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