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Is One Sheep Enough for the Whole Family?

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by DarulIftaBirmingham

Answered by: Alimah Siddiqa al-Farsiyyah​


Assalamu Alaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh,

Mufti Saab, could you please clarify the masla of shares for Qurbani in the context of the following hadith.

“It was narrated that Abu Ayyub al-Ansaari said: “At the time of the Prophet, a man would sacrifice a sheep on behalf of himself and his household, and they would eat some and give some to others.” [Tirmidhi 1216]

Also if you could kindly clarify the issue of NOT cutting hair and nails and what it’s classification is,   is it mustahab?

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيْم

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful 


Wa Alaikum Salam Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh

1. Narrated ‘Atā’ bin Yasār: “I asked Abu Abū Ayyūb Al-Ansārī how the slaughtering was done during the time of the Messenger of Allah (). He said: ‘A man would sacrifice a sheep for himself and the people in his household. They would eat from it and feed others until the people (later) would boast about it and it became as you see now.” [Hasan Sahih][1]

From the above Hadīth, Imām Mālik and Imām Ahmad are of the opinion that it is permissible to sacrifice only one sheep on behalf of the whole family in which many sāhibun nisābs are present. On the other hand, Imām Abū Hanīfah and Imām Shāfi’ī are of the opinion that every Muslim must perform their own sacrifice.

The Hanafis explain the above Hadīth that; what Abū Ayyūb Al-Ansārī (may Allah be pleased with him) meant was, at that time many people were poor. Thus, the sacrifice would only be obligatory on some people or one member of every family. As such, that member would perform the sacrifice and include his whole family in its reward. Or, he would sacrifice it and let his whole family take part in eating it.[2] From this we understand that sacrificing one sheep would not be enough if there is more than one sāhibun nisāb, rather everyone would have to perform their own sacrifice.

2. With regards to not cutting hair and nails until the completion of one’s sacrifice, it is Mustahab (liked). One of the wisdom behind this ruling is to resemble the Hujjāj in hopes of also gaining a portion of the blessings that Allāh Ta’ālā showers upon them.[3] However, if someone has not removed their hair or cut their nails for forty days, then they must remove it as not removing one’s unwanted hair and nails for over forty days is Makrūh Tahrīmī (disliked).[4]

Only Allāh Ta’ālā knows best

Written by Alimah Siddiqa al-Farsiyyah

Check and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah

Darul Ifta Birmingham




[1] Jāmi’ at-Tirmidhī, 3/143 #1505, Dārul Gharb al-Islami


قَالَ: سَمِعْتُ عَطَاءَ بْنَ يَسَارٍ يَقُولُ: سَأَلْتُ أَبَا أَيُّوبَ الأَنْصَارِيَّ: كَيْفَ كَانَتِ الضَّحَايَا عَلَى عَهْدِ رَسُولِ اللهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ؟ فَقَالَ: كَانَ الرَّجُلُ يُضَحِّي بِالشَّاةِ عَنْهُ وَعَنْ أَهْلِ بَيْتِهِ، فَيَأْكُلُونَ وَيُطْعِمُونَ حَتَّى تَبَاهَى النَّاسُ، فَصَارَتْ كَمَا تَرَى


[2] Muftī Sa’īd Pālanpūrī, Tuhfatul Alma’ī, 4/438, ZamZam Publishers +

Al-’Arfush Shadhī, 3/167, Dārut Turāth Al-Arabī


ونقول: إن المراد الاشتراك في اللحم لا الاشتراك في أداء الأضحية، وهذا شائع في عرفنا أيضاً


[3] Muftī Taqī ‘Uthmānī, Dars Tirmidhī, 5/173, Dārul Kitāb


[4] Muftī Sa’īd Pālanpūrī, Tuhfatul Alma’ī, 4/453, ZamZam Publishers


This answer was collected from DarulIftaBirmingham.co.uk, which is run under the supervision of Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah from the United Kingdom.

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