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Sacrifices / What is the ruling on authorizing someone to slaughter a sacrifice on your behalf in poor and afflicted countries such as Syria?

What is the ruling on authorizing someone to slaughter a sacrifice on your behalf in poor and afflicted countries such as Syria?

publish date : 2016-02-18 | Views : 1991
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What is the ruling on authorizing someone to slaughter a sacrifice on your behalf in poor and afflicted countries such as Syria?

ما حكم التوكيل بذبح الأضحية في البلدان الفقيرة والمنكوبة مثل سوريا؟

Praise be to Allah, and may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon the Messenger of Allah, his family and his companions.

To proceed:

Sacrificing is a Sunnah that is established on the Messenger of Allah (peace be on him). This act of slaughtering a sacrifice is established by recurrent hadiths ensured by many chains of transmission. The Messenger of Allah (peace be on him) used to offer as sacrifice two horned rams, black and white in colour. Allah the Exalted made sacrifice as part of His rites when He said: “And the Budn (cows, oxen, or camels driven to be offered as sacrifices by the pilgrims at the sanctuary of Makkah.) We have made for you as among the Symbols of Allah, therein you have much good.[1] Al-Budn is that which is slaughtered with an intention of drawing closer to Allah the Exalted, and from it is the sacrificial animal.
Part of the Messenger of Allah’s guidance (peace be on him) is that he used to personally slaughter the sacrifice for himself and his family. This is mentioned in a hadith transmitted by Bukhari (5565) and Muslim

(1966) on the authority of Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) who said that: “Allah's Messenger (peace be on him) sacrificed with his own hands two horned rams which were white with black markings reciting the name of Allah and glorifying Him (saying Allah-u-Akbar). He placed his foot on their sides (while sacrificing).” People used to welcome sacrifice during the first days of Islam as a way of showing respect to the rite of Allah. This is evidenced by a hadith narrated by Bukhari on the authority of Abu Umamah IbnSahl who said: “We used to fatten sacrificial animals in Madinah and the Muslims used to fatten their sacrificial animals too.”[2]
The objectives of Allah’s laws pertaining to sacrifice is to honour the symbols of Allah by making the sacrificial animals fat, good selection of them, slaughtering by mentioning the name of Allah on them, witnessing while they are being slaughtered, eating from them and distributing the meat to others. These objectives should be taken into account and one should strive to do whatever he can from these objectives. Allah the Exalted says: “It is neither their meat nor their blood that reaches Allah, but it is piety from you that reaches Him.” [al-Hajj: 37].
The question that has been asked many times lately is: What is the ruling on sending sacrifice to most needy and poorest countries? Contemporary scholars are of two opinions in this regard:
First: Prohibition. They based their opinion on that sending sacrifice outside the country results in losing many objectives of sacrifice and bringing much harm. Therefore the objective of feeding the poor and needy should not dominate other objectives of sacrifice. From the most notable scholars who held this opinion is our Shaykh Muhammad Ibn Uthaymin who has a sermon that includes the benefits that are lost and the harm that is brought by sending sacrifice out of the country. To this effect he said: “We should not absolutely call people to send money for sacrifice to other countries.”
Second: Permissibility. They based their opinion on that sending sacrifice to poor and needy countries results in alleviating the need for food. This is so because Allah prescribed for them a share from sacrifice when regarding sharing sacrifice He said: “eat thereof, and feed the beggar who does not ask (men), and the beggar who asks (men).” [al-Hajj: 36].
Allah prescribed that the animal should be divided in halves, according to one view, the other view says that it should be divided into three parts. So the portion of the poor is either half or one third. The instruction on eating from the meat only came as permission as well as repelling the belief that it is not allowed to eat from what is slaughtered for the purpose of drawing closer to Allah the Exalted. For this, the majority of scholars went on to say that it is desirable to eat from the sacrifice. The scholarly consensus is that it is Sunnah to eat from sacrifice. Taking that into account, it is desirable for the person sacrificing to eat from his sacrifice, and this does not take away the necessities that may arise such as famine and the like. The Messenger of Allah (peace be on him) took that into account and forbade people to store meat from sacrificed animals for more than three days. This was done because hunger had befallen the people. The Messenger of Allah (peace be on him) clarified the justification of this prohibition in a hadith transmitted by Muslim (1971) on the authority of ‘Amrah who said that she heard ‘Aisha (may Allah have mercy on her) saying: “The poor among the people of the desert come (to the towns) on the occasion of Eid al-Adha during the lifetime of Allah's Messenger (peace be on him). Upon this Allah's Messenger (peace be on him) said: Retain with you (the flesh) sufficing for three (days), and whatever is left out of that give in charity. After this they (the Muslims) said: Allah's Messenger, the people make water skins with the (hides) of their sacrificed animals and they melt fat out of them. Thereupon he said. What then? They said: You forbade (us) to eat the flesh of sacrificial animals beyond three (days), whereupon he 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.”
Regarding the justification of prohibition, Bukhari (5423) narrated a hadith on the authority of ‘Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) who said: “The Prophet (peace be on him) did not do that (i.e., forbade the storage of the meat of sacrifices for three days) except (he did so in the year the people were hungry) so that the rich would feed the poor. ..”
This principle clarifies that taking care of the needs of poor people dominates keeping the meat from sacrificed animals and enjoying it for more than three days. In his exegesis (12/48) al-Qurtubi made a mistake when he said: “If needy people come to a land during the time of sacrifice and the people of that land did not have enough except to take care of  those poor people, then it will be incumbent upon them not to store the met for more than three days.” In Fath al-Bari (10/27), al-Hafidh Ibn Hajar followed up Qurtubi’s restriction of three days by saying: “Restriction of keeping the meat for not more than three days is a fact. If the need is not taken care of except by dividing the meat amongst all, then it is necessary not to keep even for a single night.” 
From the most notable people who held the view that it is permissible to send sacrifice to poor countries and fighters in the path of Allah is our Shaykh, ‘Abdul ‘Aziz Ibn Baz who while responding to a question on this matter said: “There is nothing wrong if a person slaughters for his family or sends the sacrifice out of his country. However, slaughtering for his family is the best. If a person slaughters at his house and eats from the meat and distributes to those around him then that would be the best way of following the Messenger of Allah’s (peace be on him) example.” Then he went on to say: “If a person wishes to slaughter another sacrifice for poor people in another country, then he will be rewarded for that as it is part of charity.”[3]
When Shaykh Ibn Baz said that this was permissible, he clarified that the most appropriate thing to do is for a person to slaughter in his country with his family then after that send sacrifice that can take care of the needy in other countries.
The preponderant view is that the principle on sacrifice is that a person should sacrifice in his own country acting upon the Sunnah as well as showing the symbol of Allah, but if there is need, necessity or benefit of sending the sacrifice to a poor country then there is no harm in doing that. Moreover, this is desirable during times of hunger, necessity or severe need. The loss of rewards due to not slaughtering by oneself, witnessing, supplicating upon slaughtering eating from the sacrifice and giving it to others is obscured by the rewards attained due to taking care of the needs of desperate and poor people as well as serving the interests of the needy Muslims.
What is also permissible when people from one family are slaughtering many sacrificial animals or gathering them together is to slaughter one sacrificial animal. This is because the showing of the rite and Sunnah is achieved by a man and his family sacrificing one animal and sending whatever is in excess to take care of the needy Muslims.
And Allah knows best

Your brother,

Dr. Khalid al-Mosleh

5 / 12 / 1434 AH

 


[1]Al-Hajj: 36

[2]Sahih Bukhari just before Hadith number 5553

[3][3]Fatawa nur ‘ala al-Darb

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