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(22 Al-Hajj:36) “We have appointed sacrificial camels among the symbols of (devotion to) Allah. There is much good in them for you. So make them stand (at the time of sacrifice) and pronounce the name of Allah over them, and when they fall down on their sides (after they are slaughtered) eat, and also feed those who do not ask and those who ask. Thus have We subjected these animals that you may give thanks.”

 

Seven persons can become partners in the sacrifice of one camel and likewise in the sacrifice of one cow and the like, as enjoined by the Prophet (peace be upon him) in a tradition reported in the collection of Hadith by Muslim. This means, you should sacrifice animals because you get many benefits from them to show your gratitude to Allah, the Giver, and also to acknowledge His Supremacy and Sovereignty.

 

“pronounce the name of Allah over them” implies that animals should be slaughtered by pronouncing the name of Allah over them, because without that their flesh would be unlawful to eat. In the Islamic Law there is no conception of slaughtering an animal without pronouncing the name of Allah over it. According to traditions, there are different wordings for pronouncing the name of Allah over the animals at the time of their slaughter. Some of these are:

(I) Bismillahi Allahu Akbar; Allahumma minka wa laka: In the name of Allah, Allah is most Great! O Allah, this is Thine and is presented to Thee.

(2) Allahu Akbar- La ilaha ill-Allahu; Allahumma minka wa laka: Allah is most Great: There is no god but Allah: O Allah, this is Thine and is presented to Thee.

(3) Inni wajjahtu wajhiya lillazi fatar-as-sama wati wal-arda, hanif-an-wa ma ana min-al-mushrikin. Inns Salati wa nusuki wa mahyaya wa mamati lillahi Rabb-il-alamin. La sharika lahu wa bi-zalika umirtu wa ana min-al-Muslimin. Allahumma minka wa laka. I have turned my face sincerely towards the Being Who created the heavens and the earth, and I am not from among the idolatrous people. My Salat and my rites of worship and my life and my death are all for Allah, the Lord of the universe, Who has no partner with Him. This is what I have been enjoined and I am the first to surrender to Him. O Allah! This is Thine, and is presented to Thee.

 

It should be noted that a camel is sacrificed while it is standing. This was commanded by the Prophet (peace be upon him) and is reported in Muslim and Bukhari in a tradition from Ibn Umar, who saw a man slaughtering his camel in the sitting position. He said to him: Tie one foot of your camel and make it stand, because that is the way of Abu Qasim (peace be upon him). According to another tradition the Prophet (peace be upon him) and his companions would tie a left foot of the camel and make it stand on three feet, then they would slaughter it.

 

“Then, when they are down on their sides (after slaughter)” means till they die completely, for the Prophet (peace be upon him) prohibited to cut off a piece of flesh if there is still any sign of life in the slaughtered animal. If this is done, the piece of flesh would be unlawful. This is another reason why animals should be sacrificed: “Thus have We made them (animals) subject to you, that you may give thanks”.

(22 Al-Hajj:37) “Neither their flesh reaches Allah nor their blood; it is your piety that reaches Him. He has subjected these animals (to you) that you may magnify Allah for the guidance He has bestowed upon you. Give glad tidings, (O Prophet), to those who do good.”

 

This prescribes a very important condition for the sacrifice made in the worship of Allah. A sacrifice is acceptable to Allah only if it is accompanied by piety and sincerity. Though sacrifice is a symbol of Allah, yet it has been made plain that it is accepted only if it is accompanied by piety, saying: “Neither their meat that reaches Allah nor their blood, but what reaches Him is the piety from you”. This was also meant to condemn the ritual of the days of ignorance, when the Arabs took the flesh to the Kabah and smeared its walls with the blood of the sacrificed animal.

 

“That you may glorify Allah” at the time of sacrifice verbally also in order to acknowledge that the animals really belong to Allah and to no one else. One of the sentences uttered at the time of sacrifice is Allahumma minka wa laka (O Allah, this animal is Thine and is presented to Thee). It should be noted that the command of sacrifice as contained in (verses 36 and 37) is not for the pilgrims alone. Nor is the performance of sacrifice confined to Makkah on the occasion of Hajj. It is a general command for all those Muslims who are well off. They have been enjoined to be grateful to Allah because He has subjected these animals for the good of all human beings. Therefore they are required to sacrifice the animals during these days so that they may spiritually join those who go to Makkah to perform Hajj.

 

There are many authentic traditions to the effect that the Prophet (peace be upon him) made sacrifice on this occasion, while he was personally at Al-Madinah.

(1) The one who does not perform sacrifice even though he can, should not join us in the Eid Prayer. (Musnad Ahmad, Ibn Majah).

(2) According to a tradition reported by Ibn Umar, the Prophet (peace be upon him) dwelt at Al-Madinah for ten years and performed sacrifice every year. (Tirmizi).

(3) According to Anas, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said:

The one who sacrificed an animal before the Eid Prayer, should offer another sacrifice; but the one who sacrificed his animal after the Eid Prayer, did the right thing and followed the way of the Muslims. (Bukhari). Therefore, it is clear that the sacrifice on the occasion of Eid which is observed in the entire Muslim world is a Sunnah of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and has been commanded by him.

 

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