Q: What is the ruling on
slaughtering sacrificial animals for six days beginning with the day of `Eid-ul-Fitr (the Festival of Breaking the Fast) as an act becoming closer to Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He)?
All the people of my village offer these sacrifices. Every home buys a sheep and slaughters it on this occasion justifying it by saying that it is an old custom established by their fathers and ancestors. Throughout the six days, each group of people, including women and children, is assigned one day to distribute the meat to the neighborhood. They slaughter their sacrificial animals and gather to eat all the meat leaving nothing at all. Was this practiced during the time of the Prophet (peace be upon him), his Sahabah (Companions of the Prophet) or the Salaf (righteous predecessors)? Give us a Fatwa (legal opinion issued by a qualified Muslim scholar), may Allah reward you with the best! Am I (Part No. 7; Page No. 155) sinful for having done this in the past before knowing your Fatwa? If I stop doing so from now on, am I liable for any Kaffarah (expiation)?Give us Fatwa, may Allah reward you with the best!
If the case is as you mention, i.e. you customarily slaughter sacrifices thinking that they bring you closer to Allah during `Eid-ul-Fitr, this act is a Bid`ah (innovation in religion) that you must forsake. In fact, a Muslim should not slaughter unless it is following a practice ordained by Allah at times ordained by Allah, such as Ud-hiyah (sacrificial animal offered by non-pilgrims) and Hady (sacrificial animal offered by pilgrims).The custom that was practiced by your ancestors is of no significance, for they run counter to Shari`ah (Islamic law) and must be forsaken. Doing so should be understood within the context of forsaking a Bid`ah, rather than one's ancestors. Furthermore, you should make this clear to countrymen and those who practice this that it is impermissible to do so.May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.