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Fiqh of Uḍhiyyah (The 'Eid Sacrifice)

Updated: Jun 25

“﴾So pray to your Lord﴿ ’Eid al-Aḍhā prayer ﴾and make your sacrifice to Him alone﴿ right after it” [108:2]

Uḍhiyyah refers to the animal sacrifice done during the days of Eid al-Adha.

Hukm (Ruling) of Uḍhiyyah

Uḍhiyyah is a stressed sunnah for travelers and residents who are not:

  • slaves

  • performing Hajj

  • poor

It's therefore a stressed sunnah for men and women, for young male or female orphans and children¹ if they meet the three aforementioned conditions.

The Species of Animals that Can be Sacrificed

The only species that can be offered as uḍhiyyah are (in order of preference):

  • sheep (at least one lunar year old)

  • goats (at least 13 lunar months old)

  • cows or buffalos (at least three lunar years old)

  • camels (at least five lunar years old)

The Time of Uḍhiyyah

Uḍhiyyah may only be performed from the 10th - 12th of Dhul Hijjah. It is not valid to offer an uḍhiyyah after the sun sets on the 12th. The time for the uḍhiyyah begins on the 10th after the imām has finished slaughtering his animal, if he brought his animal to the 'Eid musallā.²

The best times (in order) for slaughter:

  • 10th of Dhul Hijjah = Morning until Dhuhr comes in

  • 10th of Dhul Hijjah = Afternoon until the sun sets

  • 11th of Dhul Hijjah = Morning

  • 12th of Dhul Hijjah = Morning

  • 11th of Dhul Hijjah = Afternoon

  • 12th of Dhul Hijjah = Afternoon

The Conditions of Validity of Uḍhiyyah

There are four conditions of validity:

  1. Performed in daytime

  2. Being Muslim

  3. The ownership of animal is not shared

  4. The animal is free from major defects (such as: missing limbs, blindness, no tail, unhealed, broken horn, clearly limping, etc.)

Sharing the Reward with Others?

In a family, not every person has to have their own uḍhiyyah. Rather, one uḍhiyyah can be shared with others if all of the following conditions are met:

  • being a wife/relative of the one sacrificing

  • living in the same home as the one sacrificing

  • being financially dependent upon the one sacrificing

Remember to intend sharing the reward of the uḍhiyyah with others before the sacrifice itself.

Do’s and Don’t’s Before and After the Sacrifice

  • Switching animals for a better or similar one is permissible

  • Shaving the wool and selling it is disliked

  • Drinking the milk from it is disliked

  • If the sacrificial animal has a baby before the sacrifice, it is recommended to offer the baby as a sacrifice along with its mother

  • Eating, gifting and giving the meat in charity to poor Muslims is preferable, though a fixed ratio of distribution is not specifically recommended

  • Feeding the meat to non-Muslims, even if they’re family, is disliked

  • Selling or trading ANY part of the animal is forbidden

Other Uḍhiyyah-related Rulings

  • Avoiding trimming nails and hair before the sacrifice is recommended

  • This is for both the person doing the uḍhiyyah, and those he is doing on the behalf of (like his family)

  • Saying Allāhumma minka wa ilayka at the time of slaughter is disliked

  • Slaughtering on behalf of a deceased person is disliked

  • Sacrificing an animal in Rajab is disliked

  • You can appoint a representative in a different country, send the money to them, and they do it for you and distribute the meat there, but be careful that your donation is made to someone trustworthy

[1] In which case the guardian of the child/orphan will purchase the animal using the child’s/orphan's wealth.

[2] It is not valid to sacrifice one’s animal before the imam or at the same time as him.


This article was written by advanced Markaz Imam Malik students Abdallah Mathieu Gallant and Joshua de Jesus. Students Tariq Patanam and Heraa Hashmi also checked this article.

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