Spending money in vows, `Aqiqah and wedding banquet

Q 3: what is the ruling on making a vow for the sake of Allah? Is it permissible for the person offering a vow to slaughter a sacrifice to eat from it? Is it permissible to give the value of the matter vowed, of `Aqiqah (a sacrifice for a newborn) or a walimah (wedding dinner) in money instead?

A: The basic rule states that a maker of a vow should not eat from it unless he stipulates or intends to eat from it, in which case it is permitted for him to eat as he specified or intended. Furthermore, it is not permitted to pay money as a substitute for what he stipulated to do if his vow was fulfilled, unless what he vowed was to pay money in charity so as to draw near to Allah, in which case it is permissible as a substitute for what he vowed. On the other hand, if the person vowed to pay all his money, he is only obligated to pay one-third of it. Likewise, it is not permissible to give money instead of holding `Aqiqah or Walimah, as it is an act of Sunnah to slaughter two sheep if the newborn is a boy and one if a girl. (Part No. 23; Page No. 393) The same applies to Walimah, a recommended act for a person who marries to slaughter a sheep. It is authentically narrated that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said to `Abdul Rahman ibn `Awf after his marriage: Hold a Walimah (wedding banquet) even by slaughtering one ewe. This is the traditional practice of Sunnah. As for paying the value of these matters in money, it is in disagreement with the Sunnah and there is no legal evidence to support it, as neither the Prophet (peace be upon him) nor his Sahabah (Companions of the Prophet) did this. A Muslim should only adhere strictly to the reliable accounts of the Qur'an and the Sunnah 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.