Ruling on ‘Aqeeqah during the days of Islamic ritual sacrifice

Question: What do respected Islamic scholars and Muftis say about the following issue? I have heard that the person who wants to perform ‘Aqeeqah during the days of Eid-ul-Adha must also perform the Islamic ritual sacrifice. If he does not perform the Islamic ritual sacrifice, the ‘Aqeeqah will not also be valid. Is this ruling correct? Please guide me about it.

Questioner: Muhammad Mansoor Attari (Chakwal, Punjab)

بِسْمِ اللّٰہِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِیْمِ

اَلْجَوَابُ بِعَوْنِ الْمَلِکِ الْوَھَّابِ اَللّٰھُمَّ  ھِدَایَۃَ الْحَقِّ وَالصَّوَابِ

Answer: You have heard that “the person who wants to perform ‘Aqeeqah during the days of Eid-ul-Adha must also perform the Islamic ritual sacrifice. If he does not perform the Islamic ritual sacrifice, the ‘Aqeeqah will not also be valid”. What you have heard is not correct because ‘Aqeeqah and Islamic ritual sacrifice during the days of Eid-ul-Adha are two different things. ‘Aqeeqah is a Sunnat-e-Mustahabbah, whereas Islamic ritual sacrifice during the days of Eid-ul-Adha is Wajib provided that its conditions are met. If a person does not perform ‘Aqeeqah despite being capable enough to do it, he is still not a sinner nor does he deserve to be reproved. On the contrary, if he does not perform the Islamic ritual Wajib sacrifice without a valid reason, he will commit an impermissible action, becoming a sinner.

So, therefore, these two are different rites. Performing one of them does not depend upon the other at all. However, there is a possibility in which two sacrifices may be performed. For example, according to Shari’ah, if it is Wajib for a person to perform the Islamic ritual sacrifice during the days of Eid-ul-Adha and he also wants to perform ‘Aqeeqah during the same days, then obviously he must perform two sacrifices; one with the intention of the Islamic ritual Wajib sacrifice and the other with the intention of ‘Aqeeqah. If he performs only ‘Aqeeqah without performing the Islamic ritual Wajib sacrifice, he will become a sinner. In this case, performing a Mustahab action, i.e. ‘Aqeeqah while missing the Wajib sacrifice is not something to be appreciated. In fact, this is a very big mistake. However, the ‘Aqeeqah performed in this case will still be valid.

Regarding ‘Aqeeqah, it is stated in ‘العقود الدریة فی تنقیح الفتاوی الحامدیة:

قال فی السراج الوھاج فی کتاب الاضحیة مانصە مسالة: العقیقة تطوع ان شاء فعلھا وان شاء لم یفعل۔

i.e. the following is the wording of the ruling mentioned in Siraj-ul-Wahaaj in the chapter of Udhiyyah [اُضحِیَّة]: ‘Aqeeqah is Nafl, i.e. Mustahab. If a person wishes, he may do it and if he does not wish, he is allowed to not do it. (Al-‘Uqood-ud-Durriyah, vol. 2, pp. 367)

Regarding the Islamic ritual sacrifice, it is stated in Tanveer-ul-Absaar and Sharh Durr-e-Mukhtar:

(فتجب) التضحیة (علی حر مسلم مقیم موسر) یسار الفطرۃ (عن نفسە)۔ملخصا

i.e. hence it is Wajib for a free and resident Muslim who is the possessor of the “Nisab” of Sadaqah Fitr to perform the Islamic ritual sacrifice on his behalf. (Tanveer, Durr ma’ Rad-dul-Muhtar, vol. 9, pp. 521, 524)

Regarding the person who performs a Nafl sacrifice on behalf of anyone else instead of performing the sacrifice which is Wajib for him, a leading and legendary scholar of Shari’ah Mufti Amjad Ali A’zami رَحْمَةُ اللّٰەِ عَلَيْه stated, ‘Not performing a Wajib act on one’s own behalf and performing a Nafl one on behalf of others is a very big mistake. However, the sacrifice performed on behalf of others will still be valid.’ (Fatawa Amjadiyyah, vol. 3, pp. 315)

وَاللہُ اَعْلَمُ عَزَّوَجَلَّ وَ رَسُوْلُہٗ اَعْلَم صَلَّی اللّٰہُ عَلَیْہِ واٰلِہٖ وَسَلَّم

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