5 points about SLAUGHTERING in Islam

Slaughtering or sacrificing an animal can be defined as killing or butchering animals for food [1]. The history of slaughtering can be traced back to Islam as early as the time of Prophet Ibrahim. Allah commanded him to slaughter his son, Prophet Ismail. Out of obedience to the command of Allah, Prophet Ibrahim did as was told.

Fortunately, Allah replaced Prophet Ismail with a sheep, as revealed in Surah al-Saffaat 37:101-107, which can be translated in English as “So We gave him the glad tidings of a forbearing boy. And, when he (his son) was old enough to walk with him, he said: ‘O my son! I have seen in a dream that I am slaughtering you (offering you in sacrifice to Allaah). So look at what you think!’ He said: ‘O my father! Do what you are commanded, InshaAllah (if Allah wills), you shall find me of As-Saabiroon (the patient).’

Then, when they had both submitted themselves (to the Will of Allaah), and he had laid him prostrate on his forehead (or on the side of his forehead for slaughtering), We called out to him: ‘O Ibraaheem! You have fulfilled the dream!’ Verily, thus do We reward the Muhsinoon (good-doers). Undoubtedly, that, indeed, was a manifest trial. And We ransomed him with a great sacrifice (i.e., a ram)” [2]. These verses are evidence that slaughtering for the sake of Allah is an act of obedience toward Allah. It is allowed and recommended in Islam.

There are different conditions in which slaughtering can be done in Islam, including Udhiyah, Aqeeqah, and Hady.

people gathering near kaaba mecca saudi arabia

Different types of slaughtering

The Hady

The Hady is a legally edible animal brought to the Sacred Mosque. It is slaughtered there and sacrificed for the sake of Allah. Those who perform umrah in the month of Hajj (at Tamattu and Al Qiran) perform this action if they can afford it. (Surah Al Baqarah 2:196)

The Udhiyah

As mentioned earlier, slaughtering was done before the time of Prophet Ibrahim. Udhiyah is a legally edible animal slaughtered and sacrificed on the Day of Sacrifice or the Days of Tashriq to attain Allah’s closeness and pleasure [3]. It is done after the Eid prayer on Eid al Adha. It is prescribed in the Quran, the Sunnah of His Messenger, and according to consensus. Among the evidence from the Quran about it is in surah al-Kawthar 108:2,   Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): Therefore turn in prayer to your Lord and sacrifice (to Him only).”

The hadith that mentioned this relevance is a hadith narrated from al-Baraa’ ibn ‘Aazib (may Allaah be pleased with him). Prophet Muhammad said: “Whoever offers a sacrifice after the prayer has completed his rituals (of Eid) and has followed the way of the Muslims.” [5] Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) offered sacrifices, as did his companions. He said that sacrifice is the way of the Muslims.

The majority of scholars are of the view that it is a prescribed sunnah. Therefore it is prescribed in Islam, and it is a way that all Muslims should follow and relevant to Muslims today. Shaykh Muhammad ibn’ Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) said a person should offer the sacrifice on behalf of himself and the members of his household.”

close up of baby feet

The Aqeeqah

The slaughtering of a sacrificial animal for the newborn to Allah is known as Aqeeqah [4]. It is a sign of gratefulness. The scholars of the Standing Committee agreed that it is also a prescribed Sunnah. Many ahadith mentioned the virtues of aqeeqah and its relevance as a way of Muslims.

Among others includes a hadith narrated by Salmaan ibn ‘Aamir al-Dabbi. He said: ‘I heard the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) say: “Aqeeqah is to be offered for a (newly born) boy, so slaughter (an animal) for him, and remove all dirt from him.” [6] Another hadith mentioning the importance of Aqeeqah and the need for it to be done a hadith narrated by Samurah ibn Jundub. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Every child is in pledge for his aqeeqah, which should be sacrificed for him on the seventh day, and his head should be shaved, and he should be given a name.” [7]

It was said that the meaning of it is that if the aqeeqah is not done for him and he dies in childhood, he will be prevented from interceding for his parents; or that the ‘aqeeqah is a means of ridding the child of the Shaytaan and protecting the child from shaytan.

The slaughtering to show gratitude toward Allah

We can also sacrifice an animal as a sign of thanksgiving to Allah. For example, we slaughter an animal for Walimah to thank Allah after moving to a new house or returning from a journey. When Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) returned from a trip, he would sacrifice a camel and invite the people to eat. [8] Edible animals are also slaughtered by pronouncing Allah’s name to be eaten in our daily lives.

Requirement in Slaughtering

Bismillah” must be read for each animal to be sacrificed. As thought by Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), it is required for slaughtering to be accepted as an ibadah. 

In conclusion, slaughtering an animal in Islam mentioned above has been relevant in the life of a Muslim since a long time ago. They should be done for the sake of Allah (ikhlas), in the manner thought by our beloved Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) (ittiba) to gain the rewards from Him.

Written by Dr. Fadzidah Ariffin UmmAbdullah

[1] http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/slaughter

[2] http://islamqa.info/en/13043

[3] Chapter 10, A summary of Islamic Jurisprudence Vol 1, Dr. Salih Al Fawzan.

[4] Chapter 11, A summary of Islamic Jurisprudence Vol 1, Dr. Salih Al Fawzan.

[5] Narrated by al-Bukhari, 5545.

[6] Narrated by al-Bukhari, 5154

[7] Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 1522, he said it is Hasan Saheeh; Ibn Maajah, 3165; Saheeh Ibn Maajah, 2563).

[8] Narrated by al-Bukhari, 3089



  1. Tafsir Ibn Kathir of Al- Quran
  2. A summary of Islamic Jurisprudence Vol 1
  3. http://islamqa.info/en/36432
  4. https://islamqa.info/en/12448
  5. http://islamqa.info/en/26952
  6. https://islamqa.info/en/172296

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