What is the Udhiyah?
What is the Udhiya?
Udhiyah or animal sacrifice is an act of worship that reminds us of the great act of sacrifice that Prophets Ibrahim and Ismaeel were willing to make for the sake of Almighty Allah.
Dr. Muzammil Siddiqi, of the Fiqh Council of North America, states:
Offering Udhiyah (sacrifice) during Eid ul Adha is regarded as wajib or mandatory according to Imam Abu Hanifah and as sunnah mu’akkadah or confirmed Sunnah according to other jurists.
All those who have the nisab (payable amount) of Zakat should offer a sacrifice. The time for offering a sacrifice begins after the Eid al Adha prayer. According to a hadith, the Prophet ﷺ is reported to have said, “Whosoever offered a sacrifice before the Eid prayer, slaughtered an animal for meat, but whosoever made sacrifice after the Eid al Adha prayer, has offered a sacrifice” (Al-Bukhari, Sahih, hadith no. 902).
Udhiyah (sacrifice) is an act of worship (ibadah). Like having the times of prayers, we also have time to make a sacrifice during Eid al Adha. The time of sacrifice remains until sunset on the 12th day of Dhul-Hijjah (according to some jurists; another opinion states the time is extended until the sunset of the 13th day). It is not required for the head of the household to offer a separate sacrifice for each family member. One sacrifice is sufficient for the entire family. However, if other family members own the nisab of Zakat, they must offer their own sacrifice. One goat, lamb, or sheep is on behalf of one person, but seven people can share in offering one cow or camel.
The Udhiyah is the Sunnah of Prophets Ibrahim, Ismaeel, and Muhammad ﷺ. This Islamic tradition reminds us of the great act of sacrifice that Prophets Ibrahim and Ismaeel were willing to make for the sake of Almighty Allah. Allah spared the life of Prophet Ismaeel, but He told us that, “And We ransomed him with a momentous sacrifice” (Quran 37: 107). The momentous sacrifice (dhibhin ‘athim) is the sacrifice of the millions of people who have been remembering this tradition for the last four thousand years. Other people who claim to follow Prophet Ibrahim have forgotten this tradition, but we Muslims have kept it alive without interruption. We must keep this Sunnah and should not forget it.
There is no substitute for Udhiyah. However, suppose one wants to offer a nafl (non-obligatory) sacrifice on behalf of oneself or one’s deceased parents or other relatives. In that case, one has a choice to make Udhiyah or give the price of the animal in charity.