camel-cow-sheep

What’s best for sacrifice – sheep, cow or camel?

MOST scholars, from the fatawa quoted below, say that the order of preference for sacrifice is: camel, cow, sheep, and then a share in a camel or cow.

They base it on the hadeeth of the Prophet ﷺ‎ concerning Jumu’ah: “Whoever comes at the earliest hour, it is as if he sacrificed a camel. Whoever comes in the second hour, it is as if he sacrificed a cow. Whoever comes in the third hour, it is as if he sacrificed a horned ram. Whoever comes in the fourth hour, it is as if he sacrificed a chicken. Whoever comes in the fifth hour, it is as if he sacrificed an egg.” [Al-Bukhari, #881; Muslim, #850]

Imam Ibn Qudamah (d. 620AH/1223CE) says in Al-Mughni, the most widely known textbook of Hanbali fiqh:

young magazine

“The best sacrifice is a camel, then a cow, then a sheep, then to have a share in a cow. This is the view of Abu Haneefah and al-Shaafa’i

[…]

“A sheep is better than sharing in a camel, because the aim of the sacrifice is to shed blood. A ram is better than a sheep (ewe), because that is what the Prophet ﷺ‎ sacrificed and the meat is better.” [al-Mughni, 13/366]

Al-Lajnah Ad-Da’imah [The Permanent Committee for Islamic Research & Fatawa of Saudi Arabia] said after expressing a similar opinion: 

“This is the view of the three imams – Abu Haneefah, al-Shaafa’i and Ahmad. Maalik said: The best is a young sheep, then a cow, then a camel, because the Prophet ﷺ‎ sacrificed two rams, and he ﷺ‎ did not do anything but that which was best.

“The response to that is that the Prophet ﷺ‎ sometimes chose the option that was not the best option out of kindness to his ummah, because they follow his example. He ﷺ‎ did not want to make things difficult for them. He stated that the best is a camel, then a cow, then a sheep, as stated above [i.e. the hadeeth]. And Allah knows best.” [Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah, 11/398]

Ref: IslamQA


Limited free articles. Subscribe for full access.

Related Posts

What Nullifies The Fast?

Question: What Nullifies The Fast? A: Sexual intercourse; Eating; Drinking; The emission of Mani (semen) due to desire; Whatever bears

Condition In Marriage Contract

 Question: Some guardians impose as a condition on their daughters’ husbands at the time of making the marriage contract that

Relationship With Fiancee

Question: What is the ruling on having relationship with one’s fiancee? Limited free articles. Subscribe for full access.

Subscribe to our Magazine

“Muslim Ink is attractively designed with very informative articles… It is an entertaining and pleasant read which I would recommend all.”Dr. Bilal Philips
Founder & Chancellor of IOU