Praise be to Allah
The word udhiyah means an animal of the ‘an’aam class (i.e., camel, cow, sheep or goat) that is slaughtered during the days of Eid al-Adha because of the Eid and as an act of worship, intending to draw closer to Allah thereby.
This is one of the rituals of Islam prescribed in the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, and according to the consensus of the Muslims.
In the Qur’an:
1. Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala says,
“So pray to your Lord and sacrifice [to Him alone].”
2. Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala says,
“Say, ‘Indeed, my prayer, my rites of sacrifice, my living and my dying are for Allah , Lord of the worlds. No partner has He. And this I have been commanded, and I am the first [among you] of the Muslims.’”
The word nusuk (translated here as sacrifice) means sacrifice; this is the view of Sa’eed ibn Jubayr. And it was said that it means all acts of worship, including sacrifice, which is more comprehensive.
3. Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala says,
“And for all religion, We have appointed a rite [of sacrifice] that they may mention the name of Allah over what He has provided for them of [sacrificial] animals. For your god is one God, so to Him submit. And, [O Muhammad], give good tidings to the humble [before their Lord]”
In the Sunnah:
1. It was narrated in Saheeh al-Bukhari (5558) and Saheeh Muslim (1966) that Anas ibn Maalik radhiAllahu ‘anhu said, “The Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam sacrificed two white rams speckled with black. He slaughtered them with his own hand, said ‘Allahu akbar’ and put his foot on their necks.”
2. It was narrated that ‘AbdAllah ibn ‘Umar radhiAllahu ‘anhu said, “The Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam stayed in Madina for ten years, offering sacrifice (every year on Eid).” [Narrated by Ahmad, 4935; al-Tirmidhi, 1507; classed as hasan by al-Albaani in Mishkaat al-Masaabeeh, 1475.]
3. It was narrated from ‘Uqbah ibn ‘Aamir radhiAllahu ‘anhu that the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam shared out sacrificial animals among his companions, and ‘Uqbah got a sheep that was six months old. He said, “O Messenger of Allah, I got a sheep that is six months old.” He said, “Offer it as a sacrifice.” [Narrated by al-Bukhari, 5547]
4. It was narrated from al-Baraa’ ibn ‘Aazib radhiAllahu ‘anhu that the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said,
“Whoever offers a sacrifice after the prayer has completed his rituals (of Eid) and has followed the way of the Muslims.”
[Narrated by al-Bukhari, 5545.]
The Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam offered sacrifices, as did his companions radhiAllahu ‘anhum. And he said that sacrifice is the way of the Muslims. Hence the Muslims are unanimously agreed that it is prescribed in Islam, as was narrated by more than one of the scholars. But they differed as to whether it is Sunnah mu’akkadah (a confirmed Sunnah) or it is obligatory and it is not permissible to omit it. The majority of scholars are of the view that it is Sunnah mu’akkadah. This is the view of al-Shaafa’i, Maalik and Ahmad according to his most well-known view.
Others were of the view that it is obligatory. This is the view of Abu Haneefah and one of the views narrated from Ahmad. This was also the view favored by Ibn Taimiyyah who said, “This is one of the views narrated in the madhhab of Maalik, or it appears to be the view of Maalik.”
Shaykh Muhammad ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) said,
“Udhiyah is Sunnah mu’akkadah for the one who is able to do it, so a person should offer the sacrifice on behalf of himself and the members of his household.”
The original post can be read here
Fatawa Ibn ‘Uthaymeen, 2/661.