Assalamualaikum wbt, Dato’ Seri Mufti. Alhamdulillah, this year I am blessed with the opportunity and capability of performing the sacrifice. I want to ask, what is the prioritized way for me to distribute the sacrificial meat?
Hope to get an explanation from Mufti. Thank you.
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 sanctioned the worship of qorban to those who are able to perform it. The evidence of the sanctioning of qorban is the statement of Allah SWT in the Quran:
فَصَلِّ لِرَبِّكَ وَانْحَرْ
“So, pray to your Lord and sacrifice [to Him alone].”
Surah al-Kauthar (2)
It is also stated in a hadith narrated by Anas Ibn Malik RA:
كَانَ النَّبِيُّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ يُضَحِّي بِكَبْشَيْنِ وَأَنَا أُضَحِّي بِكَبْشَيْنِ
“The Prophet (ﷺ) used to offer two rams as sacrifices, and I also used to offer two rams.”
Sahih al-Bukhari (5233)
Sacrifice is sunnah muakkadah (highly encouraged sunnah) according to madhab Syafi’e. It is an eminence of Islam and an obligation for those who are able to perform it, maintaining its eminence. (Refer al-Mu’tamad fi Fiqh al-Syafie, 2:478)
Furthermore, it is also an obligation to donate the sacrificial meat to the poor and needy as stated by Allah SWT:
فَكُلُوا مِنْهَا وَأَطْعِمُوا الْبَائِسَ الْفَقِيرَ
“So, eat of them and feed the miserable and poor.”
Surah al-Hajj (28)
In answering the above question, we would like to state that the first thing to consider is whether the sacrifice is a sunnah sacrifice or obligatory sacrifice such as nazar or it has been decided as a sacrifice.
If the animal of sacrifice is for sunnah sacrifice, then it is sunnah for him to eat a portion of the sacrificial meat. It is also permissible for him to distribute it to others. This is in accordance with a hadith narrated by Jabir RA, where the Prophet PBUH performed sacrifice as the following:
فَنَحَرَ ثَلَاثًا وَسِتَّينَ بَدَنَةً بِيَدِهِ ثُمَّ أَعْطَى عَلِيًّا فَنَحَرَ مَا غَبَرَ وَأَشْرَكَهُ فِي هَدْيِهِ ثُمَّ أَمَرَ مِنْ كُلِّ بَدَنة بِبَضْعَةٍ فَجَعَلَتْ فِي قِدرٍ فَطَبَخَتْ فَأَكَلَا مِن لَحْمِهَا وَشُرْبَا مِن مَرْقِهَا
“The Prophet PBUH slaughter 63 camels, then the Prophet PBUH give the rest of the animals to Ali Ibn Abi Talib to be slaughtered. Afterwards the Prophet PBUH asked that every camel is to be distributed to several people and is placed in a pot and cooked. Then, both of them eat the meat and gravy.”
Sahih Muslim (1218)
Hence, the sacrificial meat can be distributed as the following:
- It is sunnah for the person performing a sacrifice to take 1/3 of the sacrificial meat for himself and donate the rest which is 2/3 of the sacrificial meat to the poor and needy.
- Or, the person performing sacrifice take 1/3 of the meat and distribute 1/3 of it to the poor and needy and the remaining 1/3 of it is given as a gift for the rich (such as family members or neighbours). It is prioritized to donate 2/3 of the sacrificial meat to the poor and needy compared to giving it to the rich.
- However, the best and prioritized way is a person who is performing sacrifice distribute all of the sacrificial meat and just eat a small portion of it just as a blessing. The reason is, donating all of the sacrificial meat is the worship of getting closer to Allah SWT at the same time distancing oneself from the attribute of selfishness. While eating a small portion of it is practising the commandment stated in the Quran and following the sunnah of the Prophet PBUH. (Refer al-Mu’tamad Fi Fiqh al-Syafie: 485)
Consequently, if the sacrifice is an obligatory sacrifice such as nazar sacrifice or another obligatory sacrifice, then it is an obligation for him to donate all of the sacrificial meat to the poor and needy and it is impermissible for him to eat any part of it. (Refer al-Mu’tamad Fi Fiqh al-Syafie: 485)
Hence, al-Syeikh Muhammad bin Ahmad al-Syathiri said in Syarh al-Yaqut al-Nafis:
وَالأَفْضَلُ فِي الضَحِيَّةِ المَسْنُونَةِ: أَن يَتَصَدَّقَ بِأَكْثَرِهَا وَيَبْقَى لَهُ قَلِيلًا للبَرَكَةِ
“As for the distribution of sunnah sacrifice, one should donate the majority portion of it and leave a small portion for himself to eat as a blessing from it.” (Refer Syarh al-Yaqut al-Nafis: 826)
According to the above discussion, we conclude that if it is an obligatory sacrifice such as nazar sacrifice or a specified sacrifice, then it is obligatory for him to donate all of the sacrificial meat and it is prohibited for him to eat it.
Whereas, if it is a sunnah sacrifice, then it is prioritized for him to donate all of the sacrificial meat leaving just a small portion of it to be eaten following the commandment in the Quran and sunnah of the Prophet PBUH.
May Allah SWT bless us with guidance in practising the commandments in His religion the best we could. Amin.