Dear brothers in Islam:
Prophet Muhammad, may peace be upon him, urged us to perform good deeds and give to charities in obedience to Allah.
Offering sacrifice (for example, the slaughter of a lamb, goat, cow or camel) is among the good deeds commended to us by the Prophet; it is also considered to be Sunnah Mu’akkadah (that is, things the Prophet used to practice consistently) for those living in Makkah or other countries and who are financially capable of doing to do so.
The time of sacrifice starts after the time to perform the Eid prayer and the two Eid speeches; it ends with the sunset of the third day of Tashriq.
Prophet Muhammad said what means: whoever offers sacrifice after performing Eid-ul-Adha prayer fulfils our Sunnah, otherwise he does not.
By scholarly consensus, it is prohibited to sell any part of the sacrifice be it skin, meat or otherwise. It is also prohibited to give the skin or any other part to the butcher for his labor.
Offering sacrifice is the practice of Prophet Ibrahim who had a dream that he was slaughtering his son. Ibrahim knew that this was an order from Allah, as the dreams of the prophets are Revelation.
Prophet Ibrahim told his son Isma^il to bring a rope and a knife, and to come with him on a certain route of Makkah.
When prophet Ibrahim was alone with his son on that route prophet Ibrahim addressed his son by saying: I have seen in my dream that I am slaughtering you, so what do you have to say?
Isma^il replied: Oh father, do what you are ordered and by the will of Allah you will find me patient. Oh father, if you want to slaughter me, then tie me well so that none of my blood splashes you, because the pain of death is strong and I will probably shake under such pain (for indeed death is painful/has a lot of pain). Sharpen the blade of your knife so it is quicker in slaying me; do it in a way that you cannot see my face or that I do not see the blade (and get scared as a result). If you want to take my clothing back to my mother to make it easier for her, then do so.
Prophet Ibrahim told him: You are a help to me in carrying out the orders of Allah!
Prophet Ibrahim tied Isma^il down and sharpened his blade as Isma^il had suggested. Ibrahim made sure not to look at Isma^il’s face, and placed the blade at his throat.
At this point, an angel told prophet Ibrahim: Oh Ibrahim, you have fulfilled the orders of Allah. Take this sacrifice instead of your son. (as cited in Suratus–Saffat 107).
Instead of Isma^il being slaughtered, a large lamb with horns and red wool was slaughtered. The lamb had grazed in Paradise for 40 years. Allah made that lamb come down to Earth, and prophet Ibrahim slaughtered it in Mina.
This is the reason people offer sacrifice at that place in Hajj. The people who are performing Hajj spend their money buying an animal whose meat is then given to the poor of Makkah.
On this great occasion of Eid, it is important that you do the following:
· Visit your relatives, give charity to the poor and orphans, and be especially kind to widows and those who are unhappy.
· Visit the cemetery to recite verses of Qur’an for deceased Muslims and pray to Allah for them.
· When you see your Muslim brothers, say to them: may Allah accept our good deeds.