The Obligation of Having Sincerity When Slaughtering the Sacrificial Animal – Shaykh AbdurRazzaq bin Abdul-Muhsin
Source: Lessons of Creed Acquired From The Hajj – By ‘AbdurRazzaq bin ‘Abdul-Muhsin al-Badr, Translated By Abbas Abu Yahya
The Obligation of Having Sincerity When Slaughtering the Sacrificial Animal
Indeed from the great days of Allaah is the day of an-Nahr, the tenth day from the month of Dhul-Hijjah, the day of the blessed ‘Eid al-Adha. This day has been called the day of an-Nahr because the Muslims seek closeness to Allaah on that Day by slaughtering grazing livestock (sheep, camels, cattle, goats). Pilgrims on this day slaughter their sacrificial animals and the Muslims in every scattered part of the earth slaughter their sacrificial animals too, seeking closeness to Allaah by doing so, Allaah Ta’ala said:
<<And for every nation We have appointed religious ceremonies, that they may mention the Name of Allaah over the beast of cattle that He has given them for food. And your (God) is One (God – Allaah), so you must submit to Him Alone (in Islaam). And give glad tidings to the Mukhbitin [those who obey Allaah with humility and are humble from among the true believers of Islaamic Monotheism],
Whose hearts are filled with fear when Allaah is mentioned; who patiently bear whatever may befall them (of calamities); and who perform the prayer and who spend (in Allaah’s Cause) out of what We have provided them.
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 Allaah, therein you have much good. So mention the Name of Allaah over them when they are drawn up in lines (for sacrifice). Then, when they are down on their sides (after slaughter), eat thereof, and feed the beggar who does not ask (men), and the beggar who asks (men). Thus have We made them subject to you that you may be grateful.
It is neither their meat nor their blood that reaches Allaah, but it is piety from you that reaches Him. Thus have We made them subject to you that you may magnify Allaah for His Guidance to you. And give glad tidings to the Muhsinûn (doers of good). >> [Hajj: 34-37]
The meaning of which is: The intent is not just slaughtering but, indeed what has been legislated for you is slaughtering this sacrifice so that you remember Allaah at the slaughter, as He indeed is The Creator and The Provider, it is not that He will take anything from its meat or its blood, for Allaah Ta’ala is in no need of other than Himself.
<< but it is piety from you that reaches Him>>
The meaning of which is: to have sincerity, hope of gaining reward, a good intention and a desire for the Face of Allaah by performing good actions. In 1this is a great encouragement and motivation to have sincerity in slaughtering and that the intent should be the Face of Allaah alone, because Allaah Ta’ala does not accept actions except those that are sincere, with which one only desires the Face of Allaah –Subhanahu- as Allaah Ta’ala said:
<<Say: “Verily, my prayer, my sacrifice, my living and my dying are for Allaah, The Lord of all that exists. He has no partner. And of this I have been commanded, and I am the first of the Muslims.”>> [Anaam: 162-163]
Ibn Katheer –Rahimullaah- said in explanation of this Ayaah: ‘Allaah Ta’ala commands the Messenger -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- to inform the Mushrikeen who worship other than Allaah and slaughter in other than His name, that he is in opposition to them in this. Indeed his prayer is for Allaah and his sacrifices are in the name of Allaah alone, Who has no partner. This is like the saying of Allaah Ta’ala:
<<Verily, my prayer, my sacrifice>> [Anaam: 162]
i.e. that your prayer and your slaughtering should be sincerely for Allaah. Indeed the Mushrikeen used to worship idols and slaughter for them, so Allaah Ta’ala ordered the Messenger -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- to oppose them, to turn away from what they were upon and to face Allaah with purpose, intention and determination, doing so sincerely for Allaah Ta’ala.
Mujahid said regarding Allaah’s saying <<my prayer, my sacrifice>> i.e. ritual: slaughtering in the Hajj and Umrah.’
Ath-Thawri said on the authority of Sa’eed bin Jubair who said regarding the word:
<<my sacrifice>> : my slaughtering.
As-Saadi and Dhihaak also said the same thing.
Slaughtering is a great act from the different types of worship with which the Muslims seek nearness to their Lord –Azza wa Jal – fulfilling rites for the sake of Allaah Ta’ala from slaughtering the sacrificial animal to vows to other such things. So it is not permissible to direct these acts of worship to other than Allaah.
It has been established in the authentic book of hadeeth by Muslim from the hadeeth of the Ameer ul-Mumineen ‘Alee bin Abu Taalib –radhiAllaahu anhuwho said: the Messenger of Allaah-sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- informed me of four statements:
‘Allaah’s curse is upon the one who slaughters for other than Allaah, Allaah’s curse is upon the one who curses his parents, Allaah’s curse is upon the one who gives shelter to an innovator and Allaah’s curse is upon the one who changes signposts which mark directions on the earth.’ 
Accursedness meaning exiled and being distant from the Mercy of Allaah. The most dangerous of these four matters, such that the one who does it is deserving of this punishment, is slaughtering for other than Allaah. This is why the Messenger of Allaah -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- mentioned it first, which shows the great danger of this matter, as slaughtering for other than Allaah is Shirk, whereas the other points mentioned are from the major sins but they do not reach the level of Shirk. Any type of slaughtering done for other than Allaah is Shirk even if what is slaughtered -seeking closeness to Allaah- is insignificant or small such as a fly or something similar to that. So how about the one seeking closeness while he sacrifices the best and the finest of animals?
It has been narrated by Imaam Ahmad in his book ‘az-Zuhd’, by Abu Na’eem in his book ‘al-Hileeya’ and in other places on the authority of Salman alFarsi –RadhiAllaahu anhu- with an authentic chain stopping at him, that he said:
‘A man entered Paradise due to a fly and another man entered the Fire due to a fly. They asked, ‘How is that?’ He replied: Two men from before your time passed by some people who had an idol and none could pass by them except that he had to sacrifice to their idol.
They said to one of the two men: Sacrifice something.
He said: I don’t have anything.
They said: Sacrifice something, even if it is a fly.
So he sacrificed a fly and passed by, then entered the Hell-fire.
They said to the other man: Sacrifice something.
He said: I never sacrifice anything for other than Allaah –Azza wa Jal. So they chopped his head off and he entered Paradise.’
This shows the wickedness of Shirk and the severity of its danger that, even if it is with something small, it obligates entry into Hell-fire. So, when the first man sacrificed a despicable and the vilest of animals, a fly, for the idol his reward was the Fire due to him committing Shirk in the worship of Allaah. If this is the case of the one who sacrificed by slaughtering a fly, then what is the state of the one who fattens a camel or a sacrificial animal then slaughters it for the one he worships other than Allaah such as graves, tombs, stones, trees or anything else.
Imaam ash-Shawakaani –Rahimullaah- said in his book ‘Sharh as-Sadoor’: ‘This is from the causes of extreme evil, by which the evil companion is thrown behind the wall of Islaam from the highest point of the Deen and lands on his skull. So much so that many of them come with the best of the livestock they possess and the most excellent of what they have of sheep and cattle, then they slaughter them at the graves seeking closeness to them and hoping that this (closeness) can be attained from the graves. So they sacrifice for other than Allaah and, as a result, they worship one from amongst the idols, because there is no difference between slaughtering for the erected stones they call idols and slaughtering for and at the grave of the deceased calling it a grave.
A simple difference in description does not affect something’s being Halaal or being Haram. The one who calls alcohol by other than its true name and drinks it has the same ruling as the one who calls alcohol by its name and drinks it, there is no difference of opinion amongst any of the Muslims in this.
There is no doubt that slaughtering is one type from the different types of worship for Allaah, similar to slaughtering the sacrificial animal and atonement. So the one who seeks closeness to the inhabitant of the grave and slaughters for it does not have any other intent in so-doing except to glorify and honour the grave, to seek to attain goodness from it and to fend off evil due to it. This is, no doubt, worship and it suffices as evil just to hear of it. There is no power or might except with Allaah, The Most High, The Most Great, to Allaah we belong and to Him is our return. The Prophet -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- said: ‘In Islaam there is no slaughtering animals near graves.’
Abdur-Razzaq Sanaani said: ‘They used to slaughter at the grave, i.e. cows and sheep’ as narrated by Abu Daawood with an authentic chain of narration on the authority of Anas ibn Maalik.’
Indeed Imaam ash-Shawakaani –Rahimullaah- was very eloquent in his advice and very good in warning against this dangerous issue. We ask Allaah, The Most Noble that He saves us all from falling into any of this and that He makes all our actions sincerely for His Noble Face, in accordance with the Sunnah of His Prophet Muhammad -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam. Indeed Allaah is The Most Generous and The Most Noble.
 Tafseer Ibn Katheer (3/377)
 Saheeh Muslim
 Az-Zuhud p.32,33 & al-Hileeyah (1/203)
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Lessons Of Creed Acquired From The Hajj – Chapter 10 – Abbas Abu Yahya