Who Has to Perform the Ritual Slaughter (Udhiya)?

Hanafi Fiqh

Answered by Ustadh Salman Younas


While growing up we were told those who have performed Hajj need to sacrifice an animal and those who earn well need to sacrifice an animal.

As we approach ‘Id al-Adha, kindly shed some light on for whom it is a must, preferred, and recommended to sacrifice an animal.


The ritual slaughter (udhiya) is obligatory upon someone who is

  1. a sane adult
  2. Muslim
  3. resident
  4. who possesses 612 grams of silver or its equivalent in money, trade items, ornaments, and other wealth in excess of his/her basic needs and immediate debts, i.e., the nisab for zakat al-fitr.

Any member of a family who fulfills the above conditions will be obligated to perform a ritual slaughter, which can be either

  1. 1/7th of cattle or a camel, or
  2. a sheep, goat, or lamb.

In other words, if a wife, a husband, and their adult son fulfill the conditions mentioned above, all three will have to individually sacrifice an animal.

Who Is It Recommended For?

It is recommended to perform a slaughter on behalf of one’s young children who have not yet attained puberty and who possess the nisab of zakat al-fitr. This is due to the difference of opinion on whether being an adult is a condition for obligation. The relied-upon position in the Hanafi school seems to be that it is not although the contrary view is also strong.

It would also be recommended for those who are considered travelers, which include those who are performing Hajj. Such people are exempt from the obligation of ritual slaughter but are still encouraged to perform it if they are able to do so.
[Mawsili, al-Ikhtiyar (4:254-56); Kasani, Bada’i‘ al-Sana’i‘ (5:62-66); Haskafi, al-Durr al-Mukhtar (pp. 645)]

[Ustadh] Salman Younas
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani 

Born and raised in New York, Ustadh Salman Younas graduated from Stony Brook University with a degree in Political Science and Religious Studies. After studying the Islamic sciences online and with local scholars in New York, Ustadh Salman moved to Amman. There he studied Islamic law, legal methodology, belief, hadith methodology, logic, Arabic, and tafsir. He is now in his final year of his PhD at Oxford University, looking at the early evolution of the Hanafi madhab.
His teachers include: Shaykh Faraz Rabbani, Shaykh Salah Abu’l Hajj, Shaykh Ashraf Muneeb, Shaykh Ahmad Hasanat, Shaykh Hamza Karamali, Shaykh Ahmad Snobar, Shaykh Ali Hani, Shaykh Hamza Bakri, Ustadh Rajab Harun and others.
Ustadh Salman’s personal interests include research into the fields of law/legal methodology, hadith, theology, as well as political theory, government, media, and ethics. He is also an avid traveler and book collector. He currently resides in the UK with his wife.