Q: I it permissible to purchase a sheep for qurbani which has no tail? The farmers say they are cut for medical reasons.
A:Some Ulema are of the opinion that sheep without tails are permissible for Qurbani in today’s times because the cutting of the tail is not considered a defect in the animal. Instead the farmers cut the tails of sheep for health reasons. Other Ulema believe that even though the tails are cut for health reasons, from an Islamic perspective this is still considered a defect in the animal. We, too, hold the same view. Health reasons are not always acceptable in Shariah as grounds to discard Islamic practices that were in vogue since the beginning. Besides, farmers today rear sheep with tails especially for the qurbani period; hence such animals are easily available.
It is better to avoid this dispute by making qurbani of sheep with tails where these are available. But if in your area the only sheep available are without tails, then it will be permissible to slaughter such sheep for qurbani.
And Allah knows best
Mufti Siraj Desai