No Substitute to Animal Sacrifice on Eid-ul-Azha: fatwa

NEW DELHI โ€“ย In a fatwa on the animal sacrifice for Eid-ul-Azha, renowned Islamic seminary, Darul Uloom Waqf, Deoband declared that sacrificing of animals is imperative on sahib-e-nasab (those who can afford it) under all circumstances and there cannot be any alternate to this practice.

Darul Ifta (the department of fatwa in the Darul Uloom) issued the fatwa in response to a question from one, Usman Raichoti, on whether a Muslim can skip the ritual sacrifice if the situation does not allow. Raichoti approached the seminary for an opinion in the light of Islamic injunctions considering the current lockdown scenario in the country which makes it difficult for the faithful to discharge this Islamic duty.

According to Urdu Daily Inquilabโ€™s report, the muftis (experts on Islamic jurisprudence), said that animal sacrifice is mandatory on designated days. Offering sadaqa or khairat (charity) cannot be an alternative to sacrificing animals nor can the duty of sacrificing be abrogated by the charity. If one fails to do sacrifice in its mandatory days despite all efforts, he cannot compensate it. However, the money equivalent to the animal meant for the sacrifice should be donated to the poor.

The muftis issued this fatwa after they were asked whether charity can be done in place of the sacrificing animal due to lockdown restrictions and outbreak of Coronavirus. They said that the mandatory sacrifice is imperative but the additional sacrifices can be avoided and that money should be given to the poor and the needy suffering due to the lockdown. And the beggars should be given priority in this charity.

Besides, according to Islamic guidance, the most costly animal is required to be sacrificed. But under the current situation, one can compromise with this guideline and can settle for cheaper animal and the money saved on it should be given to the poor.

On this occasion, Sharia council of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind also issued a fatwa in this regard. It concurred with the view of Darul Uloom Deoband that there cannot be any alternative to the sacrifice.

โ€œIt is not a ritual. According to the Prophetโ€™s saying, nothing is more beloved to Allah than sacrificing animals during its mandatory days. Hence, Muslim should make all efforts to perform the rites of sacrificing animals in the festival of Eid-ul-Azha. Charity, welfare activities and any other practice cannot be alternate to it,โ€ reads the fatwa issued by the Sharia council.

The Sharia council also urged Muslims to maintain cleanliness and follow the Covid-19 protocol while sacrificing animals and offering namaz at the Eidgah.

However, there is difference of opinion on this issue among the Muslims forums. A Hyderabad Islamic seminary said that if animal sacrifice is not possible, charity can be done in its place.

โ€œNo deed is dearer to the Almighty Allah than sacrifice between 10th and 12th Zul Hijjah. Keeping this in view, every person who has the means should make every effort to do the sacrifice. If sacrifice it is not possible by 12th Zul Hijjah, an amount equivalent to the cost of the animal or share (in the cattle) can be donated to poor relatives, destitute or those seeking Islamic education,โ€ reads the โ€˜fatwaโ€™ issued by Jamia Nizamiaโ€™s chief mufti, Maulana Mufti Mohammad Azeemuddin.

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