Some people offer a lamb or a goat, whereas some people partake in the sacrifice of a cow or buffalo or a camel? Please explain these various alternatives, and which applies when? Please also provide the related Ahadith in this regard.
Qurbaani is Waajib on every person who is a free person, is Muslim, is a
Muqeem (resident) and is wealthy, i.e. owner of the amount of Nisaab on the
day of Eid al-Adha.
A person can make Qurbaani of camels, cattle (which includes buffalo, cows,
etc.) and sheep or goats. The Ahaadith relating to the animals:
Camel: Jabir (Radhiallaahu Anhu) narrated that Nabi (Sallallaahu Alayhi
Wasallam) slaughtered on the day of Nahr 63 camels. (Muslim)
Cattle: Jabir (Radhiallaahu Anhu) and Aaisha (Radhiallaahu Anha) narrated
that Nabi (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) slaughtered on behalf of his wives
Sheep: Anas (Radhiallaahu Anhu) reports that Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi
Wasallam) slaughtered 2 sheep. (Saheehayn)
Camels and cattle are divided into seven shares and therefore, seven people
can fulfil their obligation of Qurbaani from one of these animals. But sheep
or goats are sufficient only for one slave.
A person has the choice to choose between the different animals and is at
total liberty to slaughter which animal he may so desire as explained above.
and Allah Ta’ala Knows Best
Mufti Ebrahim Desai