Hajj Ritual

II. Slaughtering a Sacrificial Animal in Mina

The fifth obligation:

The fifth obligation of the Hağğu-t-Tamattu´ is to slaughter an animal in Mina, and it must be done with the intention of attaining closeness to Allah. Slaughtering the sacrificial animal before the day of the festival is not permitted. In an exceptional case, it is permissible to slaughter the animal in the night preceding the festival.

As a measure of obligatory precaution, the slaughtering has to take place after the stones have been thrown, but if it happens prior to that because the rule has been forgotten or was not known, it is still valid and does not need to be repeated. It is a duty to slaughter the sacrificial animal in Mina, and if this is not possible due to overcrowding and because Mina cannot hold so many people, it is possible to perform the slaughter in the valley of Wadi Muhassir if there seems to be no reasonable chance of slaughtering in Mina before the 13th of Dhu-l-Hiğğah.

#382: As a precautionary measure, the slaughter should take place on the day of the festival but it is permissible to postpone it until the end of the 13 th of Dhu-l-Hiğğah. As a precautionary measure, it is advisable for the pilgrim not to slaughter at night, except for those who are in fear.

#383: Every pilgrim is obliged to slaughter a sacrificial animal. The situation of those who cannot possibly do so is explained in #396.

#384: The sacrificial animal has to be a camel, a cow, a sheep or a goat. A camel may not be slaughtered before it has completed the age of five years and has commenced the sixth year. A cow or a goat have to be at least two years old and – as a precaution – should have begun the third year. A sheep has to be seven months old and should have commenced the eighth month. As a precaution, it should have completed one year and have begun the second. If – after the slaughter – the animal turns out to be younger than required, the slaughtering is deemed incorrect and has to be repeated. It is also necessary, that all the body parts of the animal be intact; it must not be blind or lame, have missing ears or a broken horn. It should not be castrated (unless no other can be found), weak, sick, very old or diseased in both testicles. There is no problem if the ears are injured or perforated although – as a precaution – they should be free from these defects. As a recommended measure of precaution, the animal should not have been born without a tail or horns.

#385: If a pilgrim purchases a healthy animal, which they want to sacrifice, pays the price and then finds out that it has a defect, it is apparently adequate as a sacrificial animal.

#386: If a pilgrim cannot find a sacrificial animal that meets the above-mentioned conditions within the slaughtering period (the day of the festival and the three subsequent days), then they should slaughter whichever animal they can procure, and in addition they should perform the alternative fast. If they do not have enough money and can only afford an animal that does not fulfill the criteria, the same rule applies. A similar case would be if they did find a suitable animal but not until after the 13th of Dhu-l-Hiğğah.

#387: If a sacrificial animal is purchased on the assumption that it had been well-fed and then it is discovered, whether before or after the slaughtering, that this was not the case, the animal will do and no other has to be bought and slaughtered. However, if the animal had already been in the pilgrim's possession beforehand, they have to do the slaughtering again.

#388: If a sacrificial animal is slaughtered and then doubts arise as to whether the animal had met the conditions, these doubts are inconsequential. Similarly, if afterwards the pilgrim is in doubt about whether the slaughtering took place in Mina. If doubt arises as to whether an animal has been slaughtered at all and it arises after cutting or shaving the hair, it should be ignored. Otherwise the pilgrim has to return to Mina and perform the sacrifice.

If they have worries that their sacrificial animal is too thin and weak but they slaughter it nonetheless, hoping that it may not be so, and it actually turns out to be not thin and weak, then their sacrifice is valid.

#389: If a healthy animal has been purchased for the Hağğu-t-Tamattu´ and then it is taken ill, gets deformed, loses a body part or another fault appears, it not suffice to slaughter that animal as a sacrifice. To be on the safe side, the pilgrim should slaughter it in addition to an adequate sacrificial animal or they should sell it and donate the sale price to a good cause.

#390: If a sacrificial animal got lost after the purchase, it was unknown whether someone else had sacrificed it in the owner's name, another animal was purchased and then the first one was found before the other one had been slaughtered, the pilgrim must sacrifice the first animal. The second animal remains in possession of the pilgrim. He may sacrifice it, too, which is recommended.

If the lost animal is found after the second has been slaughtered, it should also be slaughtered as a precaution.

#391: If someone finds a lost animal and they know that it is a sacrificial animal, they should look for the owner till the 12th of Dhu-l-Hiğğah, and if they do not find them by the afternoon (Al-´Asr), they should sacrifice the animal in the name of the owner.

#392: If the pilgrim cannot find a sacrificial animal during the days of the slaughtering (the day of the festival and the three subsequent days) and they have provided the purchase price, they should – as a precaution – fast instead of performing the slaughtering and they should also give the sum to a trustworthy person in order that they may purchase an animal and slaughter it on their behalf before the month of Dhu-l-Hiğğah is over. If no animal can be found before the end of the month of Dhu-l-Hiğğah, the slaughtering is performed the following year. In that case it is certainly sufficient to fast instead of the sacrifice, i.e. the slaughtering is omitted if the four days for the sacrifice are over.

#393: If it is not possible to obtain an animal or if there is no money available, the pilgrim has to fast ten days in lieu of the sacrifice. Three of these days should be fasted in the month of Dhu-l-Hiğğah (as a precaution on the seventh, eighth and on the ninth day and not prior to that) and the remaining seven days when they have returned home. If the pilgrim does not return home but stays in Mecca, they have to wait till their companions have arrived back home or wait one month before fasting the seven days.

The first three days must be fasted in a row. The seven days do not need to be fasted consecutively, but as a precaution, it is better do so. The three-day fast should not begin before one has assumed the state of consecration for the ´Umratu-t-Tamattu´. If the pilgrim fasts prior to that, it is invalid.

#394: For a pilgrim for whom fasting is obligatory but who fails to fast the three days during the pilgrimage before the day of the festival it does not suffice to fast the eighth and the ninth of the month and a third day after the festival. The pilgrim should fast immediately after the days of the sacrifice ended (after the 13th of Dhu-l-Hiğğah) if there are no compelling reasons to delay it.

If the pilgrim was not able to fast after the Ayyāmu-t-Tashrīq, they have to do it on their way home or at home. However, these three days have to be fasted within the month of Dhu-l-Hiğğah. As a precaution, there should be a break between the three and the seven days. If this month is over and the pilgrim has not fasted, the fasting is omitted and they are obligated to perform the sacrifice the following year.

#395: If a pilgrim could not possibly find a sacrificial animal or does not have enough money to purchase one and they comply with the three days of fasting during the time of pilgrimage and then suddenly they get the chance to slaughter a sacrificial animal within the four days of sacrifice, it is an obligatory measure of precaution for them to perform the sacrifice.

#396: If someone is unable to perform the sacrifice on their own but they have the possibility of participating in a group to perform the slaughter, they should do so – as a precaution – and should still perform the above-described fast.

#397: If a pilgrim entrusts another person with the slaughtering and later they begin to doubt whether the authorized person really had done it, they have to act on the assumption that it was not done. If the authorized person is considered reliable and informs the pilgrim that the sacrificial animal has been slaughtered, this is sufficient, otherwise not.

#398: The conditions for slaughtering a sacrificial animal are not to be applied to the slaughtering of an animal as a penalty (kaffārah), although they should be fulfilled as a precautionary measure.

#399: The pilgrim need not slaughter the animal personally, neither a sacrificial animal nor one that is slaughtered as a penalty. It is also possible to appoint a representative even if the pilgrim were able to perform the slaughter. In this case, the representative has to set the intention in the name of the pilgrim and – as a precautionary measure – the pilgrim must likewise set the intention . The representative has to be a Muslim.