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Caution when slaughtering Qurbani sheep under a year old

Nasihah (Advice): Virtue of Qurbani
Sayyiduna Ali (Radiyallahu Anhu) reports that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) once said to Sayyidatuna Faathimah (Radiyallahu Anha): “When a person slaughters a Qurbani animal, he is forgiven at the fall of the first drop of blood, and verily, the animal shall be brought forward on the Day of Judgment with its blood, meat, limbs, etc. and shall be increased in weight seventy times, and then placed on the scale of deeds”(Bayhaqi, as-Sunan al-Kubra, Hadith #: 19161)
Question and Answer:
Q. Is it permissible to slaughter sheep that are under one year of age? I notice many farmers are selling sheep for Qurbani that are lambs around 6 months old but they look so small.
(Query published as received)
A. If a sheep is more than six months old but less than a year, and physically appears to be one year old it will suffice for Qurbani. (al-Fatawa al-Hindiyyah, Vol: 5, Pg: 297 & al-Mabsoot, by Sarakhsi, Vol: 12/4, Pg: 9 – 10/141, Darul Ma’rifah)
The condition is that the sheep must be at least six months or older and it must be so big in size that it resembles a one year old sheep. If it is small and does not resemble a one year old sheep in size, the Qurbani will not be valid.
And Allah Knows Best
Mufti Suhail Tarmahomed

Fatwa Department
Jamiatul Ulama (KZN) 

Council of Muslim Theologians
223 Alpine Road, Overport, Durban

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