Regarding Qurbani/sacrificial slaughter at Eid Ul Adha/hajj, please note the following important points:
Qurbani is wajib upon a person who possesses wealth to the value of 613g of silver.
Qurbani must be done to fulfil ones own obligation before you can offer to fulfil this obligation for another (eg wife, parents etc).
It is wajib upon a baaligh, Muslim person of sound mind who possesses at least the value of 613g of silver in wealth.
It is therefore not obligatory upon children or the poor or people not of sound mind and so on.
Please be careful in ensuring your Qurbani is fulfilled correctly. It is the responsibility of the individual in ensuring all conditions of Qurbani are met. For example, niyya is a necessary component of slaughter. Before the zibah, the person doing the slaughter must make intention that this slaughter is for such a person. Not necessarily by name (this is good if possible) but General niyya is sufficient. Eg intention: this Qurbani is being filled for the man in London who called me asking to make slaughter on his behalf.
If a person is doing zibah of his own animal then his niyya will be for himself and if he is doing on behalf of someone else then it should be as above.
The issue arises when organisations are instructed to the Qurbani on your behalf. For large organisations, they may be required to fulfil hundreds, may be thousands of qurbani’s. So the question now is do they have enough information about each instruction to ensure a valid niyya? If they do, Do they pass this on to the person doing zibah? This is a very crucial issue as many organisations do not make record of the identity of the person instructing them for Qurbani!
If niyya is not valid, the animal will be halal but it will not fulfil the obligation of Qurbani which remains outstanding and the person instructing will be sinful for failing a wajib Amal.
After niyya, another important point is the tasmiyya read at time of zibah. The person doing zibah (zaabih) must say bismillahi allahuakbar. This must be said at least loud enough so that it can be heard by the person himself. If it is not pronounced or pronounced ‘in the heart’ or so quiet that it can not be heard by the person himself then the animal will not be halal to eat.
In collective Qurbani of a large animal, if the niyya of any individual is not correct or it transpires any of the individuals is a gustakh (person who disrespects) the Prophet ﷺ or of the sihaba or the Beloved wives of the prophet ﷺ, or is a non Muslim (eg ahmedi/qaidiyani) then the Qurbani of the whole animal is made void rendering the Qurbani of the correct individuals wasted also. Again with large organisations, they do not differentiate on any of this issues. If someone pays their share for Qurbani, the sacrifice is done on their behalf thereby wasting the efforts of the others in that collective Qurbani.
When the animal is sacrificed (zibah done), at least three out of the four main veins/arteries in the neck must be cut through, or the animal will not be halal! The zaabih (person doing sacrifice) must be aware of the anatomy of the animal and conditions of zibah, in order to fulfil the obligations. How can someone fulfil the obligations if he doesn’t know what they are himself?!
The health conditions of the animal must also be met for Qurbani to be valid. I.e conditions like the animal must be of a certain age, it must not be blind in any eye, it must not be injured.. Etc etc.
This gives the reader an overall idea of the conditions and requirements of Qurbani and we must understand that if any of the conditions or wajibat of the process of Qurbani and sacrificial slaughter are not met, then Qurbani is not valid and we are accountable.
Please take care in ensuring that your Qurbani is conducted in the correct manner, fulfilling all conditions, requirements and wajibat.
We can see the problems we are faced with when instructing large organisations.
The question then arises where people ask me, where should we give our Qurbani then? We want to help the poor?
My personal response to that is, give to a madrassa in the Middle East or Asia. These madrasas have very poor children who are often orphans or abandoned by their families. They are also students of deen. If you assist them not only will your wajibat be fulfilled, not only will you be assisting the poor but in addition you will receive reward when the child sits in class reciting Allah’s kalaam, Rasoolallah ﷺ ‘s kalaam, learns about the sciences of deen … These children will be scholars, hafiz and so on, you will be assisting those who assist the deen of Allah ﷻ and His Rasoolallah ﷺ. By very nature of the establishment they are, madrasas are likely to take care when fulfilling such actions.
Again be careful to give to a reliable madrassa. How do you know if it is reliable? Well, if you have witnessed yourself or accept the testimony of another. You have to at least have taken all reasonable measures to ensure your wajib Amal is completed correctly. Madrasas are easier to organise and manage then thousands or even tens of thousands of qurbani’s that large charity organisations are required to complete. If, after taking all reasonable precautions and measures, the organisation or individuals instructed, do not fulfil all the necessary requirements, then they will be responsible not the individual. Again the condition first is that you did everything possible to settle your mind that the organisation is reliable in its methodologies of Qurbani.
With regards to the meat of the Qurbani animal. What is recommended in that respect? The recommendation is that you keep 1/3 of the meat for yourself, 1/3 for your relatives and friends and 1/3 for the poor and needy. I always recommend including the family of the prophet ﷺ since they cannot be recipients of zakat or sadqa but they can receive Qurbani meat.
If an individual wishes to keep most or all of the meat for himself, if he is poor then there is no issue whatsoever, in fact that is preferable but even if he is rich, although it is against recommendation, he can still keep most or all the meat for himself or his family without being accountable.
The above is a summary. I have not delivered the detail on each of the conditions and requirements, there are also additional conditions and requirements which I have not mentioned. I have covered the main areas as relevant to is in the west. Eg the masa’il of buying animals and slaughtering yourself etc have not been touched upon. May be on another occasion, if Allah ﷻ gives me the tauwfeeq,
انشآء الله تعالى
Allah ﷻ & His Rasool ﷺ know best.
(Please also note that my reference to large organisations and charities is general. I am not in anyway casting doubt on any individual organisation but simply educating the necessity to exercise caution in these matters)
By Shaykh Abu Yusha Yasin