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Question:

Is it permissible to appoint someone else for our sacrifice?

 

Answer:

Alhamdulillah, praise and thanks to Allah for the countless blessings He has blessed us all with. Blessings and salutations to the Prophet Muhammad PBUH, his wives, his family, companions and all those that follow his teachings to the day of judgement.

Scholars have agreed that it is permissible to appoint someone else to perform the sacrifice for himself on the condition that the appointee is a Muslim. This is in accordance with the hadith from Fatimah R.Anha:

قَوْمِي إِلَى أُضْحِيَّتِكَ فَاشْهَدِيهَا فَإِنَّ لَكِ بِأَوَّلِ قَطْرَةٍ تَقْطُرُ مِنْ دَمِهَا يُغْفَرُ لَكِ مَا سَلَفَ مِنْ ذُنُوبُكَ. قَالَتْ: يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ، هَذَا لَنَا أَهْلَ الْبَيْتِ خَاصَّةً أَوْ لَنَا وَلِلْمُسْلِمِينَ عَامَّةً؟ قَالَ: بَلْ لَنَا وَلِلْمُسْلِمِينَ عَامَّةً

“Stand up and go to the place of sacrifice and witness yourself, for with the first drop of blood your previos sins will be forgiven. Fatimah asked: O Messenger of Allah! Is this just for us Ahl Bait? The Prophet PBUH answered: It is for us and all of Muslims.”

Narrated by al-Hakim in al-Mustadrak (7525)

The instruction of the Prophet PBUH to her daughter Fatimah R.Anha to go out to witness her sacrifice shows that Fatimah R.Anha appointed someone else to slaughter her sacrifice on her behalf. However, the best is for the person who are performing the sacrifice to slaughter his own sacrifice.

Al-Imam al-Nawawi Rahimahullah said in his book al-Majmu’; a man and a woman is permissible to appoint someone else to slaughter their sacrificial animals and if they choose to do so, then it is prioritized for a Muslim who are an expert in the field of hunting and slaughter and who are knowledgeable regarding the conditions of slaughter and its sunnah. [1]

Subsequently, it is impermissible to appoint idolaters, Zoroastrians; fire worshippers and people who denounced Islam to slaughter the sacrificial animal, but it is permissible for the people of the book, children and women. However, the scholars of madhab Syafi’e ruled it makruh (undesirable) to appoint children and women who are experiencing menstruation to slaughter the animal sacrifice and the authentic and correct opinion state that it is permissible and not makruh to appoint women who are experiencing menstruation for there is no authentic prohibition, at the same time menstruating women are prioritized than children. [2]

Appointment of someone usually happened through verbal or written agreement. However, there are certain situations where someone may have the intention to perform the slaughter for his sacrifice, but on the day, he fell sick and is unable to slaughter his sacrificial animal himself, although he did not appoint anyone earlier, then it is permissible for someone to slaughter the sacrificial animal on behalf of the sick person in al-Imam Abu Hanifah Rahimahullah’s opinion. [3]

Next, we include the decision made by National Muzakarah Fatwa regarding the ruling of wakalah in terms the worship of sacrifice:

  • 66th Muzakarah of National Council for Islamic Religious Affairs of Malaysia in 2004 decided that on the ruling of wakalah and several recurring issues regarding the worship of sacrifice, among which: the Muzakarah agreed to accept the decision made by Sharia Review Panel and asked JAKIM to provide sighah al-Taukil which includes the types of sacrificial worship and the permissibility for muwakkil to the appointee to surrender the responsibility of completing the worship of sacrifice to another party.

The decisions of the Syariah Review Panel meeting are as follows:

  1. The original ruling for wakalah is permissible.
  2. It is permissible for an appointee to hand over the responsibility to someone else with the permission of muwakkil.
  3. It is permissible for an appointee to delegate the responsibility if he is ineligible or unable to complete the responsibility.
  4. It is permissible to distribute the meat of the sacrificial animal to other places or countries.

Wallahua’lam.