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I just got into a discussion with someone about this.

They told me: Eid ul Adha is soennah Moekkadah, which means it's not mandatory, but recommended.

However, they also sendإِنَّا أَعْطَيْنَاكَ الْكَوْثَرَ .1 فَصَلِّ لِرَبِّكَ وَانْحَرْ .2 إِنَّ شَانِئَكَ هُوَ الْأَبْتَرُ .3 1. which urges to me that it is mandatory.

Some also say that a donation towards a good cause, such as a poor family is also ok.

So what is it? Is it mandatory, or are donations accepted as well?

  • scholars differ. Some say it's mandatory and some say it's sunnah. Some say sacrificing is better than donation of its price to charity , because with sacrificing you can do both (sacrificing and giving meat to the poor) and because sacrificing itself is a great ritual . – Butarek Hd Sep 1 '17 at 8:41
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Is it wajib or sunnah mu'akkadah??

This is a discussed matter:

  • Tha majority of scholars say it is sunnah mu'akkadah, this means a highly recommended sunnah.
  • Some scholars however, among them al-Awza'i, al-Laith ibn Sa'ad, Abu Hanifa and in one of two opinions of imam Ahmad consider it wajib!

As an evidence for wujub they use this hadith:

"He who can afford it but did not offer a sacrifice must not come near our place of prayer."
(Bulugh al-Maram of imam ibn Hajar al-'Asqalani: where it is stated that: the hadith was related by Ahmad and Ibn Majah. Al-Hakim graded it as Sahih. Other Imams said that it is Mawquf (i.e. it is not connected to the Prophet (ﷺ).) )

This is taken from this Arabic fatwa on islamweb #6216, note that my understanding of wajib in the hanfi madhhab is that it is something between fard (obligatory) and sunnah mu'akkada (highly recommended) and therefore not doing it is not considered a sin, but this definition of term may not apply to the other quoted scholars terminology!

Ibn Hajar commented this hadith as follows (according the above fatwa):

ولا حجة فيه لأن الصيغة ليست صريحة في الوجوب المطلق، وقد ذكر معها العيترة وليست بواجبة عند من قال بوجوب الأضحية

(My own translation take it with the necessary care)

And there's no evidence in this hadith, as the expression isn't a clear evidence for a general order, and the Atirah (see this hadith for example) was mentioned in the context and this is not considered as wajib by those who say the udhiyya is wajib!

In his fath al-Bari -when commenting the hadith of al-Bara'- i found the following comment (after discussing the sources and authenticity of the hadith):

ومع ذلك فليس صريحا في الإيجاب

which means: And even thou it is not a clear expression of an order!

The scholar Abudl Hay Yousuf (see here in Arabic), says it is not a sinful act if a person who is able to buy an udhiyya doesn't do so (btw that's the same thing ibn Hajar said in his later comments and he also added some references in fath al-Bari). And he quoted a couple of ahadith showing that this is a recommended act:

  1. "A human does no action from the actions on the day of Nahr more beloved to Allah then spilling blood. On the Day of judgement, it will appear with its horns, and hair, and hooves, and indeed the blood will be accepted by Allah from where it is received before it even falls upon earth, so let your heart delight in it."
    (Jami' at-Tirmdihi and with a similar version in sunan ibn Majah)

  2. “The Companions of the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: ‘O Messenger of Allah, what are these sacrifices?’ He said: ‘The Sunnah of your father Ibrahim.’ They said: ‘What is there for us in them, O Messenger of Allah?’ He said: ‘For every hair, one merit.’ They said: ‘What about wool, O Messenger of Allah?’ He said: ‘For every hair of wool, one merit.’”
    (Sunan ibn Majah and Musnad Ahmad)

  3. "He who can afford it but did not offer a sacrifice must not come near our place of prayer."
    (Our evidence for wajib)

  4. مَا أَنْفَقْتُ الْوَرِقَ فِي شَيْءٍ أَفْضَلَ مِنْ نُحَيْرَةٍ فِي يَوْمِ عِيدٍ (from sunan ad-Daraqotni)
    This hadith may be interpreted or translated as follows (My own attempt):
    "There's nothing better to pay for than the sacrifice of the day of 'Eid."

Note that the qualification of sunnah.com is mostly based on the opinion of al-Albani this must not reflect the opinion of the majority of scholars especially not earlier scholars such as ibn Hajar, ad-Dhabai, as-Suyuti etc.

Is the verse of surat al-Kawtar an evidence for an order to do the sacrifice

Imam al-Qurtobi -as one of the scholars who have written a fiqh or verdict based tafsir- in his tafsir interprets clearly the order for sacrifice in verse (108:2):

So pray to your Lord and sacrifice [to Him alone]. فَصَلِّ لِرَبِّكَ وَانْحَرْ

with the sacrifice o those who complete hajj quoting some views:

وقال قتادة وعطاء وعكرمة : فصل لربك صلاة العيد ويوم النحر . وانحر نسكك .
Qatadah, 'Ataa' and 'Ikrimah said: pray to your Lord the Eid prayer at the day of Adha then sacrifice your nusuk نسك (udhiyya).

وقال أنس : كان النبي - صلى الله عليه وسلم - ينحر ثم يصلي ، فأمر أن يصلي ثم ينحر .
And Anas said: The Prophet (peace and Allahs prayers and blessings be upon him) used to sacrifice then pray and was hereby ordered to pray then sacrifice!

وقال سعيد بن جبير أيضا : صل لربك صلاة الصبح المفروضة بجمع ، وانحر البدن بمنى ،
And Sa'id ibn Jubayr also said: pray to your Lord your sobh (fajr frad) prayer in congregation and sacrifice your budn البدن (the camel see 22:36) in Mina(n):

وقال سعيد بن جبير أيضا : نزلت في الحديبية حين حصر النبي - صلى الله عليه وسلم - عن البيت ، فأمره الله تعالى أن يصلي وينحر البدن وينصرف ; ففعل ذلك .
Sa'id ibn Jubayr also said: this verse was revealed when the Prophet(Allahs prayers and blessings be upon him) was hindered to do hajj in al-Hudaybiyah الحديبية, so Allah ordered him to pray and sacrifice the camels and leave and he did so.

Other tafsirs here interpret: "وَانْحَرْ" in the context of salat too so many say that this refers to putting on hand on an other (right on left) while praying this was also later discussed in tafsir al-Qurtobi.

See also this relevant hadith:

"Whoever offers the prayer like us and slaughters like us then his Nusuk (sacrifice) will be accepted by Allah. And whoever slaughters his sacrifice before the `Id prayer then he has not done the sacrifice." ... (Sahih al-Bukhari)

So on the whole the order here can only be interpreted for a single or special occasion or for people doing hajj or for the order that at least the leaders of the ummah should do the sacrifice, for the rest it still is a recommendation!

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