Hadith Islam

Slaughtering on Eid-ul-Adha: Is it Obligatory?


عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ رَضِيَ الله عَنْهُ، أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ قَالَ: “مَنْ كَانَ لَهُ سَعَةٌ وَلَمْ يُضَحِّ فَلَا يَقْرَبَنَّ مُصَلَّانَا”.

أخرجه ابن ماجه، والحاكم وصححه الألباني.

It is narrated from Abu Hurairah [RA] that the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم said,

“Whoever has the capacity to offer a sacrifice (i.e. slaughter an animal as a sacrifice) and he doesn’t do so should not come close to our place of prayer (i.e. the place of Eid prayer, meaning shouldn’t come close to the Eid salah).”

[Reported by ibn Majah and Hakim, authenticated by Sh Al-Albani]

Vocabulary from the Hadtih

سَعَةٌ – capacity.

يُضَحِّ – to sacrifice, to offer a ritual sacrifice by slaughtering an animal.

مُصَلَّانَا – our place of prayer.

Lessons from the Hadith

Sh Ali ibn Hasan Al-Halabi comments:

“The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said that the one who doesn’t offer a sacrifice should not come close to our place of prayer. And he صلى الله عليه وسلم said in another hadith that ‘Its a responsibility for the people of every household that they offer a sacrifice every year’.

The scholars, however, have differed in the ruling of sacrifice. The majority says that it is a very highly recommended act, one that the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم always did (sunnah muakkadah). The Hanafis and ibn Taymiyyah say that it is obligatory.

However, it is established that the two great companions – Abu Bakr and Umar – used to not offer a sacrifice in some years. It is said that they did it so that the people do not suppose this to be an obligation. So this is what Abu Bakr and Umar did in the earliest of times, doing so to clarify what they saw as the correct opinion in the ruling of sacrifice. However, this does not render a capable, relatively well-off person free of the responsibility of offering a sacrifice. Rather, he should offer the sacrifice every year until he dies. Sh Al-Albani used to say, ‘Many people take loans for wordly things. There is nothing preventing them for taking loans for religious rituals, like ritual sacrifice!’

The correct ruling is that it is not obligatory. However, its very highly recommended and should be done every year.”