EID ul-Adha, literally means, Feast of the Sacrifice, is the latter of the two official holidays celebrated within Islam (the other being Eid al-Fitr). It honours the willingness of Ibrahim(Abraham) to sacrifice his son Ismail(Ishmael) as an act of obedience to God's command. This year, The day falls on Tuesday, the 20th of this Month.
Like any other admonishing of Allah (God), his servants are to observe it strictly according to the laid down rules. Let us use this opportunity to remind ourselves of this important rules.
1. Every sane adult male and female Muslim who can afford to sacrifice an animal should sacrifice one as an act of worship
2. The animals can be sacrificed starting from after the Eid Salaah on the 10th Dhul-Hijjah until 13th DhulHijjah.
3. Eligible animals are: goats, sheep, cows, camels.
4. Goats and sheep must be at least 12 months old
5. Cows and camels also have a minimum age of 2 years and 5 years respectively.
6. A goat/sheep may be slaughtered only as a single sacrifice, i.e. it forms only a single share.
7. A maximum of seven people can jointly sacrifice one cow or one camel, i.e. a cow/camel can have up to seven sharers.
8. A sacrificial animal should be free of any physical defect: injury, wound, deformity, etc.
9. The animal must be slaughtered in the Islamic manner:
a. Place the animal on its left side facing qiblah (East).
b. Slaughter it using a very sharp knife, slide the knife two and a half times across the throat, slicing the jugular vein and draining all the blood.
c. Slaughter it out of sight of other sacrificial animals.
d. Say BISMILLAHI WALLAAHU AKBAR at the time of slaughtering.
10. The slaughtered animal's meat should be shared in three lots: but not necessarily equally.
a. One third to the poor and needy.
b. One third to friends and relatives.
c. One third for self.
11. The skin, intestines, head, hooves etc. CANNOT be given as payment to the slaughterer.
12. The Muslim who intends to slaughter SHOULD NOT clip his/her nails or trim any hair from the time of the new crescent of Dhul-Hijjah UNTIL AFTER offering the sacrifice.
May Allah accept our Sacrifices.