When is the best time for someone to perform the worship of sacrifice?
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.
Allah SWT states:
فَصَلِّ لِرَبِّكَ وَٱنۡحَرۡ
“So, pray to your Lord and sacrifice [to Him alone].”
Surah al-Kauthar (2)
Al-Imam al-Qurtubi Rahimahullah in al-Jami’ li Ahkam al-Quran said: “It is started with prayer (‘Eid prayer) then followed by the worship of sacrifice.”
The author of al-Fiqh al-Manhaji said: “The time starts after sunrise on the day of Eidul Adha which is the duration for which it is enough to perform 2 rakaat of prayer and 2 khutbahs. Then, it continues until the sun sets on the final days of Tasyrik which are the 11,12 and 13 of Zulhijjah. The prioritized time for sacrifice is after the sunnah ‘Eid prayer.”
In another hadith, the Prophet PBUH said:
إِنَّ أَوَّلَ مَا نَبْدَأُ بِهِ فِي يَوْمِنَا هَذَا نُصَلِّي ثُمَّ نَرْجِعُ فَنَنْحَرُ فَمَنْ فَعَلَ ذَلِكَ فَقَدْ أَصَابَ سُنَّتَنَا وَمَنْ ذَبَحَ فَإِنَّمَا هُوَ لَحْمٌ قَدَّمَهُ لأَهْلِهِ لَيْسَ مِنَ النُّسُكِ فِي شَىْءٍ
“The first (act) with which we started our day (the day of 'Id-ul Adha) was that we offered prayer. We then returned and sacrificed the animals and he who did that in fact adhered to our Sunnah (practice). And he who slaughtered the (animal on that day before the 'Id prayer), for him (the slaughtering of the animal was directed to the acquiring of) meat for his family, and there is nothing of the sort of sacrifice in it.”
Sahih al-Bukhari (965) and Sahih Muslim (1961)
The meaning of the phrase: “And he who slaughtered the (animal on that day before the 'Id prayer),” means the time before the beginning of the sunnah Eid prayer and before a duration in which it is enough for one to perform the prayer.
Jubair bin Mut’im RA narrated:
وَكُلُّ أَيَّامِ التَّشْرِيقِ ذَبْحٌ
“Each Tasyrik day is the day of sacrifice (the duration sacrifice is made).”
Musnad al-Imam al-Ahmad (16751). Syeikh Syu’aib al-Arnouth states that the sanad is weak.
According to the above discussion, the question regarding the best time for sacrifice could be concluded as the following:
- Time for sacrifice starts after the sun rises on the day of sacrifice, which is on the 10th day of Zulhijjah. After sunrise is meant as the time after the completion of two rakaat (sunnah Eid prayer) and two khutbahs (not an excessively long khutbah).
- Whoever performs the sacrifice before the said time, then the slaughter is not considered as a sacrifice. It is considered a charity (slaughtering animal to get its meat).
- The time then continues until the end of tasyriq days which means that it ends after 4 days, which is the 10th, 11th, 12th and 13th of Zulhijjah.
- If the tasyriq days have ended without one performing sacrifice. Then, the sacrifice is performed afterwards, subsequently, it is just considered as normal animal slaughter to get its meat and not sacrifice.
- If someone made a nazar to perform the sacrifice, however, tasyriq days have ended, then it is still obligated for him to perform the sacrifice and it is considered as qadha’, and qadha’ is not abrogated with time.
The above conclusions are taken from al-Mu’tamad fi al-Fiqh al-Syafi’e written by Prof. Dr Muhammad al-Zuhayli Hafizahullah, volume 2, pg. 483-484. Wallahua’lam.