Q: A discussion about Ud-hiyah took place. Some people were of the view that
it is illegal to write in a persons will to slaughter an Ud-hiyah (sacrificial animal offered by non-pilgrims),
because the Prophet (peace be upon him), his Sahabah (Companions, may Allah be pleased with them) and the Rightly-Guided Caliphs did not do it. Some people were also of the view that it is better to give the price of the Ud-hiyah as a Sadaqah (voluntary charity) rather than slaughtering it. Please advise concerning this.
Ud-hiyah is a stressed Sunnah according to most of the scholars, because the Prophet (peace be upon him) did it and urged his Ummah (nation) to do it. The original rule is that it is required on its prescribed time from a living person for himself and his household.As for slaughtering Ud-hiyah in behalf of the dead, if they had written that in a will or made it in a Waqf (endowment), it should be carried out. If not, and their relatives want to sacrifice on their behalf, (Part No. 11; Page No. 419) there is no harm in this, and it is considered a form of Sadaqah on behalf of the dead, which is legal according to the opinion of Ahl-ul-Sunnah wal-Jama`ah (adherents to the Sunnah and the Muslim mainstream).As for giving the price of the Ud-hiyah as a Sadaqah instead of slaughtering it, if the Ud-hiyah is stated in the will or the Waqf, it is impermissible to give its price as a Sadaqah instead. If it is voluntary, there is no harm in this. As for Ud-hiyah on behalf of a living Muslim and his household, it is a stressed Sunnah for those who can afford it. It is better to slaughter it than give its price in charity, out of following the example of the Prophet (peace be upon him).May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.