The cost of the udhiyah in our country is 1200 riyals or more; it is very expensive even if a person can afford it. But can he give this money to organisations that will send udhiyahs to other countries where 200 or 300 riyals will pay for 3 udhiyahs instead of one at local prices. Will that bring a greater reward or not?
Praise be to Allah
The Sunnah with regard to the udhiyah is for the Muslim to offer the udhiyah in his own country, because that serves many interests and enables one to do acts of worship that will be missed out on if the Muslim offers the udhiyah elsewhere than in his own country via charities to whom he gives money to slaughter the udhiyah in another country.
1. Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
… on the other hand, some people send their money for the udhiyah to be slaughtered in other places, and this is wrong. Some people give money to Hay’at al-Ighaathah or other charities to offer the udhiyah for them in other places, but in that case they will not have performed the udhiyah. The udhiyah is a ritual that should be performed in one’s own land. By the blessing of Allah, may He be glorified and exalted, when He singled out the pilgrims to offer the hadiy (sacrificial animals) as a means of drawing closer to Allah during the days of Eid, He also prescribed that those who are not performing Hajj should offer the udhiyah, so that they may join the pilgrims in some of the symbols ordained by Allah, may He be glorified and exalted. “And the Budn (cows, oxen, or camels driven to be offered as sacrifices by the pilgrims at the sanctuary of Makkah.) We have made for you as among the Symbols of Allah” [al-Hajj 22:36]. As this is the purpose of the udhiyah, we say: Do not offer the udhiyah outside your house; offer the udhiyah in your country; perform this ritual. Offering the udhiyah by sending your money elsewhere is contrary to the Sunnah and causes you to miss out on many benefits, of which we may note the following:
Firstly: it is causing one of the symbols and rituals ordained by Allah to disappear in your own land, namely the udhiyah.
Secondly: it causes you to miss out on drawing closer to Allah, may He be exalted, by slaughtering it, because what is prescribed in the case of the udhiyah is for the individual to slaughter it with his own hand. If he is not able to do that, then the scholars said that he should be present at its slaughter, but in this case (if he sends money abroad), he misses out on doing that.
Thirdly: it causes you to miss out on mentioning the name of Allah over it, because if the udhiyah is done in your presence in your country, then you will be the one who mentions the name of Allah over it. Allah refers to this benefit in the verse in which He says (interpretation of the meaning): “And for every nation We have appointed religious ceremonies, that they may mention the Name of Allah over the beast of cattle that He has given them for food” [al-Hajj 22:34]. If you send your udhiyah far away, you do not know whether the name of Allah will be mentioned over it or not, and you are depriving yourself of being able to mention the name of Allah over it yourself.
Fourthly: it causes you to miss out on eating from it, because if it is done in Bosnia-Herzegovina, or in Chechnya, or in Somalia, or elsewhere, how can you eat from it?! You will miss out on eating from it, but Allah, may He be glorified and exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): “Then eat thereof and feed therewith the poor who have a very hard time” [al-Hajj 22:28] and “eat thereof, and feed the beggar who does not ask (men), and the beggar who asks (men)” [al-Hajj 22:36]. Eating is mentioned first, therefore some of the Muslim scholars are of the view that eating from the udhiyah is obligatory; just as giving it in charity is obligatory, it is also obligatory to eat from it, and this will definitely be missed if you offer the udhiyah in another country.
Fifthly: you will miss out on distributing the meat as is required. What is required in the case of the udhiyah is to eat some of it, give some of it as gifts and give some of it in charity, but this will be missed. If it is distributed in another country, you do not know whether it will be given in charity to the poor or as gifts to the rich, or as gifts to people who are not Muslims.
Sixthly: you are depriving people in your own country of benefitting from these udhiyahs, and you will be deprived of giving some of the udhiyah as gifts to your neighbours and friends, and as charity to the poor in your own country. If it goes there, you will miss out on all of that.
Seventhly: you do not know whether it will be slaughtered in the best manner, or in some other manner. It may be slaughtered before the prayer, or it may be delayed until after the days of at-tashreeq, and perhaps the slaughterman will not mention the name of Allah over it. All of this may happen, but if it is with you, you can slaughter it as you want, in the best manner.
Therefore we advise you not to send money for the udhiyah to be offered elsewhere. Rather you should offer your udhiyah here. We also advise anyone who has surplus wealth to give it in charity to his needy brethren in any Muslim country, and let him do his udhiyah without extravagance or falling short.
Al-Liqa’ ash-Shahri (no. 26)
2. Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzaan (may Allah preserve him) said:
O Muslims, the udhiyah is a confirmed Sunnah for the one who is able to afford it. People should slaughter the udhiyah in their houses, eat from it in their houses, give some of it as gifts to their neighbours, and give some of it to the poor around them.
With regard to what some people have introduced of sending the cost of the udhiyah to charitable organisations so that it may be slaughtered in another country, far away from the home of the person who wants to offer the udhiyah, this is contrary to the Sunnah and is changing the act of worship. What should be done is to refrain from this act and to slaughter the udhiyah in one’s own house, in the country of the one who is offering the udhiyah, as is indicated by the Sunnah and as was the practice of the Muslims from the time of the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) until this new practice was introduced. I am afraid that it may be an innovation (bid‘ah), and the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever introduces anything into this matter of ours that is not part of it, it will be rejected.” And he (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Beware of newly introduced matters, for every newly introduced matter is an innovation, and every innovation is a going astray.”
Whoever wants to give charity to the needy, the door of charity is wide open, but acts of worship should not be changed from the prescribed manner in the name of charity. Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): “And whatsoever the Messenger (Muhammad (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him)) gives you, take it, and whatsoever he forbids you, abstain (from it) , and fear Allah. Verily, Allah is Severe in punishment” [al-Hashr 59:7].
Majallat ad-Da‘wah, issue no. 1878 (27/11/1423)
If the price of the udhiyah is high, then whoever is rich let him offer the udhiyah, and he will have the reward thereof with Allah, may He be exalted, commensurate with what he spends. Whoever is poor and cannot afford to buy the udhiyah, then Allah does not burden any soul with more than it can bear, and he is not obliged to offer the udhiyah.
Whoever wants to give charity to his Muslim brothers, let him give whatever he wants of wealth, but with regard to the udhiyah, he should not offer the udhiyah anywhere but in his own country.
And Allah knows best.