On the second day of Eid Al-Adhaa the people gather and slaughter sacrificial animals in the masjid and say this is on behalf of the deceased. Is this prescribed within the religion?
No, this is from the newly invented matters as it is not known that The Prophet ﷺ or his ﷺ Companions would do this on the second day or any of the days of Eid; coming to the masjid (with sacrificial animals) and saying this is on behalf of the deceased. It is therefore from the newly invented matters.
The scholars have differed over the validity of sacrificing an animal on Eid Al-Adhaa on behalf of the deceased, not in this manner that includes sacrificing the animal in a gathering, rather they have disagreed about the validity of the slaughter itself.
The correct view is that it is not valid because the Prophet ﷺ did not do it on behalf of his family members that passed away before him such as Khadeejah, Hamza, and his daughters. All of his daughters passed away before him except Fatima (may Allah be pleased with them all).
It is not known that he slaughtered on behalf of Khadeejah or anyone else. They were only mentioned in his general wording
اللَّهُمَّ تَقَبَّلْ مِنْ مُحَمَّدٍ وَآلِ مُحَمَّدٍ
Oh Allah accept this from Mohammed and the family of Mohammed
[Narrated by Aisha in Muslim. Hadith Number 1766]
Included in them are the living and the dead. Therefore it is permissible if made generally (i.e. to include the living and the dead) whilst singling out the dead has not been authentically reported from the Messenger of Allah ﷺ at all.
Shaykh Al-Islam viewed it to be permissible for a person to sacrifice an animal on Eid Al-Adhaa on behalf of the deceased because it is a form of charity and charity paid on behalf of the deceased is accepted valid. (see Majmoo Fatawa Volume 26 Page 307)
Having said that, this particular form of charity was not done by the Prophet ﷺ whilst there are others he did do and he was the most eager in the pursuit of goodness, so if it was good they (the Prophet ﷺ and his Companions) would have proceeded us in it.
Therefore it is more befitting for this action to be abandoned. As for the manner in which it has been described this is a newly invented practice, a bid-ah.
Answered by: Shaykh Abu Bilaal Al-Hadhramy – may Allah preserve him
Answered on: 29 Muharam 1441(٢٨th September 2019):
Translated by: Abu Sufian Saami ibn Daniel Al-Ghaani