Bonds for sacrificial animals
This year, some banks have come up with a new way to slaughter sacrificial animals on behalf of Muslims by issuing "bonds". Their advertisements mention that these bonds put an end to haphazard slaughtering. The bank slaughters the animal on behalf of the bond holder. What is the ruling of Islamic law on such bonds? Does a Muslim fulfill the sunna by offering a sacrifice in this manner or must he slaughter the animal himself?
A bond is a commission which is permissible in the slaughter of sacrificial animals. The authorized agent — in this instance, the bank — must take into consideration the following conditions, among others, stipulated by Islamic law:
-That the sacrificial animals must fulfill the age requirement.
-That they be free of defects.
-That they be slaughtered at the prescribed times. The time for slaughtering begins after the 'Eid prayer and ends at sunset of the last of the three days following the 'Eid (ayam at-tashreeq) which is the fourth day of the 'Eid i.e. 13th Dhul-Hijja.
-That they be distributed among deserving recipients.
-That the butcher does not take anything of them as a fee.
A person who finds it difficult to fulfill this sunna himself may authorize the bank to slaughter on his behalf by issuing him a bond. The bank is to take the necessary steps to choose the animals and slaughter them and distribute their meat according to Islamic rulings.
Allah the Almighty knows best.