Ritual Sacrifice (Udhiyyah/ Qurbani) on Behalf of the Deceased

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by Mathabah.org

Answered by Shaykh Yūsuf Badāt

Question:

I have two questions regarding the Qurbānī (ritual animal slaughter) during ‘Eīd Al Adha. During the days of ‘Eīd Al Adha, it has been customary in our culture to slaughter on behalf of deceased relatives and also on behalf of the Prophet (peace and blessings upon him).

I would like to obtain the religious verdict regarding the following:

  1. Is it permissible to slaughter (Qurbānī) on behalf of the deceased?
  2. Is it permissible to slaughter (Qurbānī) on behalf of the Prophet (peace and blessings upon him)?

Answer:

Thank you/ Jazākumullāhu Khayran for your question. Your commitment to learning the correct position in matters related to the religion is admirable.

The response to your concerns is as follows:

  1. It is permissible to slaughter Udhiyyah animals for Allāh’s sake on behalf of the deceased with the intention the reward of the good deed would reach them. This would be considered an optional act (nafl).
  2. It is also permissible to slaughter Udhiyyah animals for Allāh’s sake on behalf of the Prophet (peace and blessings upon him) with the intention of rendering an act of goodness. This again would be considered an optional deed (nafl).

Please refer to the following hadīths:

‘Alī (may Allāh be pleased with him) reports, “The Prophet (peace and blessings upon him) instructed me to slaughter on his behalf. Therefore, I will continue to slaughter (Udhīyyah) on his behalf as long as I live”. (Tirmidhī, Abu Dawud, Musnad Ahmed)

Hamash (may Allāh be pleased with him) says, “I saw Alī (may Allāh be pleased with him) slaughtering two sheep, so I asked him why he is slaughtering two sheep.” He said, “The Prophet (peace and blessings upon him) made a bequest that I should render Udhīyyah for him.” (Tirmidhī).

Abbās (may Allāh be pleased with him) says that Sā’d ibn Ubādah (ra) was away when his mother passed away. When he returned he asked the Messenger of Allāh (peace and blessings upon him), “Will it be of any benefit if I give charity on her behalf? The Prophet (peace and blessings upon him) replied in the affirmative”. (Bukhāri)

And Allāh Knows Best.

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