Is offering udhiyah an obligation?
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.
Thank you for your good question.
Offering udhiyah (sacrifice) during Eid Al-Adha is regarded as wajib or mandatory according to Imam Abu Hanifah and as sunnah mu’akkadah or confirmed Sunnah according to other jurists.
Aishah, Mother of the Believers, reported the Prophet (peace be on him) as having said, “No deed is more beloved to Almighty Allah on the Day of Eid Al-Adha than offering sacrifices (for His sake). The animals sacrificed will come on the Day of Judgment with their horns, hair and hoofs [to testify to the sincerity of the people who have offered them]. The blood of these animals takes its place in Almighty Allah’s sight before it is dropped on the ground. So, be pleased on offering them.” (Ibn Majjah and At-Tirmidhi)
The opinion of the majority of the scholars that udhiyah/qurbani is a confirmed Sunnah, not obligatory, carries more weight. This is founded on some proofs that include that narration of Umm Salamah (may Allah be pleased with her) that Prophet Muhammad (peace be on him) said, “When you see the new moon of Dhul-Hijjah and one of you wants to offer a sacrifice, let him/her refrain from (removing anything from) his/her hair or nails” (Muslim).
The Prophet’s saying here “ and one of you wants to offer a sacrifice, let him/her refrain from (removing anything from) his/her hair or nails“ indicates the udhiyah’s being a voluntary act, as an obligatory one would not be left for one’s choice as these words indicate.
This view is also founded on the narration of Ibn Abbas (may Allah be pleased with them both) that the Prophet (peace be on him) said, “There are three things that are obligatory for me but voluntary for you. These are the Witr Prayer, sacrificing animals (on Eid Al-Adha), and the two [Sunnah] rak`ahs of Fajr Prayer.” (Al-Hakem)
May Allah accept your and our good deeds, Ameen.
Allah Almighty knows best.
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