Tuesday 8 Rabi‘ al-awwal 1444 - 4 October 2022
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Is it obligatory to distribute the meat of the ‘aqeeqah in the city where the child lives?

Question

Is it obligatory to distribute the meat of the ‘aqeeqah in the city in which the child lives, or is it permissible to distribute it in another city?

Answer

Praise be to Allah.

It is permissible to distribute the meat of the ‘aqeeqah in the city where the child lives, or in another city. The matter is broad in scope.

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

As for how the ‘aqeeqah is to be eaten and distributed:

The parent may eat some of it and give some as gifts or in charity. There is no set share to be followed in that regard; so he may eat whatever he likes of it, give whatever he can as gifts, and give in charity whatever he can. If he wishes, he may bring together his relatives and friends, either in the city where he lives or outside the city. But in this case, it is essential to give the poor some of it. There is nothing wrong with cooking it and distributing it after it has been cooked, or distributing it raw. The matter is broad in scope.

Fataawa Noor ‘ala ad-Darb (228/5).

Rather the scholars differed regarding the best place to slaughter it: is it better to slaughter it in the city where the child lives, or in the city of the father, if he resides in a different city?

This difference of opinion has to do with what is preferable, not whether it is permissible.

Ibn Hajar al-Haytami (may Allah have mercy on him) said: Perhaps it may be slaughtered in the city where the child lives, by analogy with zakat al-fitr, which should be given in the city where the person is; as for me, I favour the view that it should be slaughtered in the city where the one who is doing the ‘aqeeqah lives (the father or someone else), because he is the one to whom the command is addressed.

Al-Fataawa al-Kubra (4/257).

Shaykh Ibn Jibreen (may Allah preserve him) favoured the view that the best is for it to be slaughtered in the city where the child lives. He was asked: Can the ‘aqeeqah be slaughtered in the city where the father of the child lives, or should it be done in the city in which the child was born? Please give evidence, if possible.

He replied:

The best is for it to be done in the city in which the child lives. If the father is living in another city, he should send the price of the ‘aqeeqah and appoint someone to slaughter it and invite people to eat it, as this will prompt people to offer supplication for the child and pray for blessing for him, and so on. And Allah knows best.

End quote from the website of Shaykh Ibn Jibreen.

Shaykh al-Albaani (may Allah have mercy on him) was asked: Is it stipulated that the ‘aqeeqah should be slaughtered in the city where the child lives?

He replied: No.

The scholars pointed out an important matter having to do with the ‘aqeeqah and sacrifices (udhiyah), which is that one should not send money to someone who will buy a sheep with it and slaughter it in another city, on the grounds that the people there are poor. Rather what is required of the Muslim is to slaughter it himself, or to be present when it is slaughtered, so that he will feel that he is drawing closer to Allah, may He be exalted, through this sacrifice, and that the matter is not simply one of giving money in charity and neglecting the rituals of Islam. Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) was asked:

What is the ruling on distributing the ‘aqeeqah outside the city? Please note that the family has no need of the meat of this ‘aqeeqah, and they are able to slaughter another animal in the city.

He replied:

I would like to take the opportunity of this question to explain to the brothers here and those who are listening that the purpose of slaughtering sacrifices – whether it is an ‘aqeeqah or hadiy or udhiyah – is not to obtain the meat or make use of the meat; obtaining the meat is a secondary matter.

Rather the purpose of this act is to draw closer to Allah by offering the sacrifice. This is the most important thing. As for the meat, Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning):

{Their meat will not reach Allah, nor will their blood, but what reaches Him is piety from you}

[al-Hajj 22:37].

Once we understand that, it will become clear to us that those who send money for the udhiyah to be offered on their behalf in another place, or for the ‘aqeeqah to be offered for their children in another place, are mistaken, because if they do that they are missing out on what matters. In fact, they are missing out on the most important purpose of this ritual, which is to draw close to Allah by offering the sacrifice. You do not know who will be doing the slaughter; it may be done by somebody who does not pray, in which case it will not be halaal; or it may be done by someone who does not say Bismillah over it, so it will not be halaal; or he may be careless about the sacrificial animal and may buy something that is not acceptable as a sacrifice.

It is a grave mistake to send money to buy animals for udhiyah or ‘aqeeqah in another place. We say: Slaughter it yourself, with your own hand if possible, or appoint someone to do that, and be present at the slaughter so that you will feel that you are drawing closer to Allah, may He be glorified and exalted, by slaughtering it, and so that you can eat from it, because you are enjoined to eat from it. Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): {So eat of them and feed the miserable and poor} [al-Hajj 22:28].

Many of the scholars have said that it is obligatory for the person to eat of every sacrifice that he offers, so as to draw close to Allah, such as the hadiy, the ‘aqeeqah and so on. Can he eat from it if it is slaughtered in a far-off place? No.

If you want your brothers in a far-off place to benefit, then send money to them, send clothes to them, send food to them. But as for sending one of the rituals of Islam to another country, this is undoubtedly an act of ignorance. End quote.

Liqa’ al-Baab al-Maftooh (23/11).

Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzaan (may Allah preserve him) said:

The Muslim should slaughter the udhiyah and ‘aqeeqah himself, in his own city and in his house, and he should eat from them and give charity from them. He should not send their value so that the animal can be bought and distributed in another land, as some novice seekers of knowledge or ordinary people call for, on the grounds that in some countries there are poor and needy people. End quote.

Al-Muntaqa min Fataawa al-Fawzaan (50/10).

Thus it is clear that what matters in the case of ‘aqeeqah is that the one who is offering ‘aqeeqah should slaughter the animal himself, or it should be done in his presence, then he should eat some of it and give some of it in charity. He can send the meat and distribute it in whatever place he wishes.

For more information, please see the answer to question no. 8423 .

And Allah knows best.

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Source: Islam Q&A