Ruling on castrating animals in Islam…

There is nothing wrong with castrating animals such as sheep and cattle if it is done for a reason, such as making them grow fat and making the meat better. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) sacrificed castrated sheep, as it was narrated by Ahmad and Ibn Maajah (3122) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) sacrificed two large, castrated rams. Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Ibn Maajah. 

The fuqaha’ differed concerning this issue, as it is mentioned in al-Mawsoo’ah al-Fiqhiyyah (19/112): The Hanafis stated that there is nothing wrong with castrating animals, because it is beneficial for the animal and for people. 

According to the Maalikis, It is permissible to castrate animals that are eaten, and that is not makrooh, because it makes the meat better. 

The Shaafa’is differentiated between animals that are eaten and those that are not eaten. They said: It is permissible to castrate those whose meat is eaten when they are young, but it is haraam in other cases. They stipulated that castration should not lead to the death of the animal. 

As for the Hanbalis, in their view it is permissible to castrate sheep because it makes their meat better, and it was said: It is makrooh in the case of horses and other animals. End quote. 

A hadeeth was narrated which forbids castration of animals, and horses in particular, but it is da’eef (weak). 

That was narrated by Ahmad (4769) from Ibn ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him), who said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) forbade castrating horses and other animals. Ibn ‘Umar said: Because that is how they increase in number. Shu’ayb al-Arna’oot said in Tahqeeq al-Musnad: Its isnaad is da’eef (weak); it was narrated in mawqoof form and in marfoo’ form, and the mawqoof form is the one which is saheeh.   

Maalik and others regarded castration of horses as makrooh. He said: There is nothing wrong with castrating them if they are to be eaten. Al-Muntaqa by al-Baaji (7/268). 

Sacrifice of castrated animal  
Question
I offered the Qurbani of a castrated (Khasi-Urdu). Some people told me that castration is a defect and a defective animal cannot be used for Qurbani. I am worried whether my Qurbani is valid or not?
Answer
Surely, for sacrifice, an animal which is free of all defects must be selected. As far as castration is concerned, in animals castration is not concerned a defect, so the sacrifice of such an animal is perfectly valid. In fact, the sacrifice of such an animal carries more excellence. The Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) sacrificed castrated goats. As given in this Hadith of Sunan Ibn Majah: Translation: It is narrated on the authority of Hadhrat ‘Aisha Siddiqua and Hadhrat Abu Hurairah (May Allah be well pleased with them) that whenever the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) would decide to sacrifice animals, He (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) would select 2 plump, horned, spotted and castrated goats and would sacrifice one on the behalf of those people of the Ummah who testified to the Oneness of Allah Most High and the Prophethood of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) and another on behalf of Himself and His family. (Sunan Ibn Majah, Pg No. 225/226, Hadith No: 313) As given in Fatawa A\’alamgiri, Vol. 5, Pg No. 499. It is given in Tabyeen Ul Haqaiq, Vol. 6, Kitab Ul Azhiya, Pg No. 479: Translation: Hadhrat Imam Azam Abu Hanifa (May Allah be well pleased with him) said that the sacrifice of a castrated animal carries more excellence, as its meat is excellent and tasty. The aforementioned Hadith and rulings of the scholars show that castration of an animal is not a defect and its sacrifice is permissible, correct and better. Therefore, rest assured that your sacrifice is valid.

As for sunni Islam is concern castration of bovine animal is halal, but for shia Islam it is not halal. castration is done so that the animal may fatten and get healthy before slaughter. and in some goat species after the age of two year they start drinking their own urine which causes change of taste of their mutton(meat) the smell of that animal is disgusting to prevent that castration is necessary.

Did the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) always choose a castrated animal for the udhiyah?

Praise be to Allah.

Firstly:

In the answer to question 95329, we stated that there is nothing wrong with castrating animals if it is done for a valid reason. This is the view of the majority of scholars.

There is no report in the Sunnah of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) to indicate that he dealt with castrated animals in a particular way, or that there are particular rulings concerning them. Rather the most that can be said is that he sacrificed two castrated rams. This indicates that doing so is permissible; it is permissible to castrate animals, on the one hand, and it is permissible to offer castrated animals as an udhiyah on the other hand.

Ahmad (23348) narrated that Abu Raafi‘ said: The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) sacrificed two large castrated rams that were white speckled with black. Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in al-Irwa’ (4/360).

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen said:

It is permissible to offer a castrated animal as an udhiyah, because it is proven from the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) that he sacrificed two castrated rams – i.e., two animals whose testicles had been cut off. The point is that the meat of a castrated animal tastes better, so castration does not harm it in the slightest.

 from al-Liqa’ ash-Shahri (3/111)

As for the animal whose penis has been cut off, it is not permissible to offer it as an udhiyah, as we shall see below.

Secondly:

The Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) did not always choose a castrated animal for the udhiyah; rather he would sometimes choose an intact animal that had not been castrated.

Abu Dawood (2796) and at-Tirmidhi (1496) narrated that Abu Sa‘eed said: The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) used to offer as an udhiyah an intact (uncastrated) horned ram, that had black markings around the eyes, the mouth and the feet. Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani.

Imam Maalik (1043) narrated from Naafi‘ that ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar offered an udhiyah once in Madinah. Naafi‘ said: He instructed me to buy for him a horned, intact (uncastrated) ram, then to slaughter it on the Day of al-Adha in the prayer-place of the people.

He said in an-Nihaayah (3/417):

The word (translated here as) intact refers to an animal that that can impregnate a female. He chose an intact male over a castrated male or a female because he wanted one that was of high quality and large size.

See: Tahdheeb al-Lughah by al-Azhari (5/48)

Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

The intact, horned ram is the best of udhiyahs according to Maalik and most of the scholars.

 from al-Istidhkaar (5/220)

Some of the scholars gave preference to the castrated animal because its meat tastes better. Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

It is permissible to offer a castrated animal as an udhiyah; some scholars even regard that as preferable to an intact animal, because its meat tastes better. However the correct view is that the intact animal is preferable from one angle, because it is physically complete, and this is given precedence over the goodness of its meat.

 from Fataawa Noor ‘ala ad-Darb (9/42)

Other scholars regarded both as being equal, without giving precedence to one or the other.

Ash-Shawkaani (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

The hadiths on this topic were quoted as evidence for it being recommended to offer a castrated animal as an udhiyah, but what appears to be the case is that there is no preference, because it is also proven that the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) offered intact animals as udhiyahs, as in the hadith of Abu Sa‘eed. So they are both the same.

 from Nayl al-Awtaar (5/142)

Perhaps it is most correct here to say that what is best of either type is that which is fattest, has most meat, is most physically complete and best in appearance, as it says in Ahkaam al-Udhiyah wa’dh-Dhakaah (2/229).

If the intact animal is bigger and has better-tasting meat, then it is preferable, and if the castrated animal is bigger and has better-tasting meat, then it is preferable.

Conditions for the Slaughtered Animal

1) The animals eligible for Udhiya are goats, sheep, cattle and camels, male or female. No other type of animal is allowed for Udhiya.

2) Castrated animals may be used for Udhiya.

3) Barren animals may be used for Udhiya.

4) Goats and sheep have to be at least one year old. However, a healthy sheep that looks like a one year old may also be used, provided it is at least six months of age.

5) Cattle (cow, ox and buffalo) must be at least two years old.

6) Camels must be at least five years old.

Rulings on Defects in the Udhiya Animal

1) An animal that was born without horns or the horn is broken off from the middle is eligible for Udhiya. However, if the horn is broken off from the root, or the horn has been uprooted, then it will not be eligible for Udhiya.

2) An animal that is totally blind or has lost one-third or more of its eye-sight, or one-third or more of one of its ear is cut, or one-third or more of its tail is cut, is not eligible for Udhiya.

3) An animal which limps/walks on three legs and cannot put the injured (4th) leg onto the ground, or it is able to put the injured leg onto the ground, but is unable to walk on it, is not eligible for Udhiya. However, if it is unable to walk on it, but can still take support from it, then it is eligible for Udhiya, even though it is limping.

4) Animals having no teeth at all are not eligible for Udhiya. If an animal has lost some teeth only, and has most of its teeth, it is eligible for Udhiya. If most of the teeth are lost, it is not eligible for Udhiya.

5) An animal born without ears is not eligible for Udhiya. An animal with very small ears is eligible for Udhiya.

6) Thin and extremely weak animals, unable to walk to the place of slaughter, are not eligible for Udhiya.

7) If an animal sustains an injury whilst being slaughtered, the Udhiya is valid.

8) If an animal is purchased in a healthy and eligible state, and thereafter, an accident occurs which renders the animal unfit for Udhiya, then in such a case, if the purchaser is no longer wealthy (owner of the required amount) it will be permissible to offer the same animal for Udhiya. However, if the purchaser is wealthy, then it is necessary to obtain another animal in place of the injured animal.

9) If an animal purchased for Udhiya gives birth (before being slaughtered), then the newly born animal should also be slaughtered.

With regard to those that are makruh (disliked), they are as follows:

1- Those who have had one half or more of their ears or horns cut off.

2- Those whose ears have been slit crosswise from the front.

3- Those whose ears have been slit crosswise from the back.
4- Those whose ears have been slit lengthwise.

5- Those whose ears have had a hole made in them.

6- Those whose ears have been cut until the ear channel is visible; or those that are so emaciated that there is no marrow in their bones.

7- Those whose horns have been removed entirely.

8- Those that are completely blind even though the eyes are still present.

9- Those that do not follow the flock and join it unless they are herded and driven to do so.

These are the animals that it is makruh to sacrifice, as narrated in the hadiths that forbid sacrificing those that have these faults or enjoin avoiding such animals. This is understood as meaning that it is makruh, when these reports are taken in conjunction with the hadith of Al-Bara’ ibn `Aazib (may Allah be pleased with him) who said, “The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) was asked, ‘What should be avoided in the sacrificial animals?’ He gestured with his hand and said, ‘Four: a lame animal that is obviously lame; a one-eyed animal whose defect is obvious; a sick animal whose sickness is obvious; and an emaciated animal that no one would choose’” (Al-Muwatta)

Animals with similar faults are also added to this list, so it is makruh to sacrifice the following kinds of animals:

1- Camels, cattle, and goats that have had half or more of their tails cut off.

2- Those that have had less than half of their fat tails cut off. If half or more has been cut off, then according to the majority of scholars it is unsuitable for sacrifice. If it was born that way, however, there is nothing wrong with it.

3- An animal whose penis has been cut off.

4- An animal that has lost some of its teeth, whether incisors or molars. But if it was born like that it is not makruh to sacrifice it.

5- An animal whose teats have been cut off. But if it was born like that it is not makruh to sacrifice it. If its milk has stopped flowing but its teats are intact, there is nothing wrong with it.

If these five are added to the nine mentioned above, the number of makruh animals reaches fourteen.

 

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