Answered by Shaykh Hamza Karamali, SunniPath Academy Teacher
Camels and cows fulfill the sunna for seven people and can be shared among them. Sheep and goats cannot be shared by multiple people, since they only fulfill the sunna for a single person.
The animals must be free of any defect that diminishes the quality of their meat. For example, it is not valid to slaughter animals that are lame, blind, insane, or sick. See Reliance, j14.2 for a more detailed description of defects that make the animal invalid to slaughter for the ‘Eid sacrifice.
(Reliance, 14.2; I‘anatu’l-Talibin, 2.331; al-Yaqut al-Nafis fi Madhhab Ibn Idris, 204-205; Mughni’l-Muhtaj, 4.379)
The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said to the Lady Fatima (Allah be pleased with her),
“Stand up to your sacrificial animal (udhiya) and witness it, for at the first drop of its blood, all your previous sins will be forgiven.” (Hakim)
It is best to commission a Muslim who knows the fiqh of the sacrifice.
If one slaughters oneself, one must intend at the time of slaughtering that this is the sunna sacrifice of ‘Eid al-Adha. If one commissions someone else to slaughter, one can intend when one authorizes them to slaughter on one’s behalf.
(Mughni’l-Muhtaj, 4.378; Reliance, j14.3-j14.4; I‘anatu’l-Talibin, 2.335)
If the sacrifice was a sunna sacrifice (meaning that one did not vow it), it is permissible to eat from the meat of the sacrifice, although some of it (meaning any non-trivial (ghayr tafih) amount) must be given away in charity. It best to give all of the meat away in charity except for a few morsels (not more than three) that one eats oneself; it is sunna that these morsels be from the liver (kabid). It is common practice in many Muslim lands to give one-third of the meat in charity, one-third to wealthy Muslims, and to keep one third for oneself, and this is acceptable.
To give in charity means to give the meat to someone who is poor (faqeer) or short of money (miskeen) as defined in the chapter of zakat (see Reliance, h8.8, h8.11). It is not necessary to give to more than one person. The meat must be given uncooked.
It is invalid to sell any of the animal—even its hide. If the sacrifice was not obligatory, then one may give the hide away in charity or as a gift or use it oneself, but one may not sell it. It is not permissible to destroy it (itlaf) either. It is not permissible to give it to the butcher as payment for his slaughtering, although one may give it to him as a gift (if the sacrifice not obligatory, it is only be permissible to give it to him if he is poor or short of money). It is unlawful (haram) to give or feed any of the sacrificial animal to a non-Muslim.
(al-Yaqut al-Nafis fi Madhhab Ibn Idris, 206; Tuhfat al-Muhtaj + Hashiyat ‘Abd al-Hamid, 9.363-365; Hashiyat al-Bajuri ‘ala Ibn Qasim al-Ghazzi, 2.324).
This ruling is taken from the hadith of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace),
“When you see the moon of Dhu’l-Hijjah, and you intend to perform the sacrifice, then don’t remove (lit. “touch”) any of your hair or nails.” (Muslim)
(Mughni’l-Muhtaj, 4.378; al-Minhaj Sharh Sahih Muslim ibn al-Hajjaj, 7.139; Reliance, j14.1)
And Allah knows best.
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