Slaughtering animals upon building houses
Q: In our residential area, people are accustomed to slaughtering an animal upon starting or finishing the construction of a house. Neighbors and relatives are invited on this occasion. What is Your Eminence’s opinion about this practice? Is there any recommendable act to be performed before going to live in a new house? Benefit us may Allah reward you well!
(Part No. 2; Page No. 29)
Ans by Imam Ibn Baz (rahimahullaah):
This practice needs to be clarified.
If by slaughtering the animal the owners of the house seek to protect themselves from jinn or ensure that the house is safe to live in or any similar issue, this practice will be considered an act of Bid’ah (innovation in religion).
If the slaughter is offered for the sake of the jinn, then it will be considered an act of major Shirk (associating others with Allah in His Divinity or worship) as it involves offering an act of Ibadah (worship) to someone other than Allah.
However, if by doing this, one intends to show gratitude to Allah’s Blessings for reaching the roof or completion of construction works there is nothing wrong with this and with inviting the relatives and neighbors. This is the custom of many people who offer thanks to Allah due to Him helping them construct a house of their own instead of renting a house to live in. There is nothing wrong in this.
If the intention behind this is to protect oneself from jinn or to fulfill any other non-Islamic purpose, then this practice is impermissible.
This practice will be valid only if the intention is to show gratitude to Allah for enabling one to construct a house of their own. This practice is similar to being hospitable to one’s relatives and neighbors.This is also similar to holding a marriage banquet.
A similar practice is performed when people return from travel when animals are sacrificed and relatives are entertained. It was the Prophet’s (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) regular practice that upon returning from a journey he would slaughter a camel and invite people to dine with him.
(Part No. 2; Page No. 30)
Source: English Translations of Collection of “Noor ala Al-Darb” Programs, Volume 2. By: Sheikh `Abdul `Aziz Bin `Abdullah ibn `AbdulRahman ibn Bazz (May Allah forgive and reward al-Firdouse to him and his parents). He was The Mufti of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Chairman of the Council of Senior Scholars, and Chairman of Department of Scholarly Research and Ifta’.
This English Translation is collected from alifta.net, Portal of the general Presidency of Scholarly Research and Ifta’