QURBANI OF SHEEP WITHOUT TAILS
Q: I went to see sheep for Qurbaani in Rynsoord (Benoni) where some brothers (including an Aalim) are selling sheep with no tails. I told them that it is not permissible to make Qurbaani of such sheep and they referred me to a fatwa from an Ulama organisation in KZN. I have attached it. Kindly comment.
A: The Kitaabs of Fiqh are replete with the prohibition of slaughtering sheep that have no tails and even if more than 2/3 of the tails are cut off. It is clearly stated in Qudoori, “It is not permissible (to slaughter an animal whose) ears or tail are cut. The author of Hidaaya further clarifies, “This is so because of the words of Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) who said, “Look carefully at the eyes and ears.” That is, seek out animals that are not defective. However, as for the tails (the prohibition is) because it is an entire limb that has purpose, just like the ears.” Any animal without ears or a tail is regarded as defective and cannot be used for Qurbaani.
Qudoori further states: “And neither (is it permissible to slaughter such an animal) where most of its ears and tail are removed. However, if most of the ears or tail remains then it will be permissible.” Hidaaya then clarifies what is constituted as most of the ears and tail.
We have specifically quoted from Qudoori and Hidaaya because these are Kitaabs taught in all the Madaaris. The same ruling is proclaimed in all other classical texts of Fiqh. This is not anything new or unheard of where the ulama of today need to study further or rule differently on. Ulama that are engaged in capitalising on acts of Ibaadat for monetary gain (just like SANHA, et al), have a penchant to ‘bend the Shariah’ in exchange for a few measly coins.
In fact, the Kitaabs of Fiqh also clarify that an animal which is born without ears or tail is also regarded as defective and not permitted for Qurbaani slaughter. This ruling is clearly stipulated even though an animal that is born without horns or the horns are cut off (except if removed from root) will be permissible to slaughter. The reasoning offered by the author of Hidaaya is because the horns are not crucial limbs of the body that have specific use. The ruling that also appears in Shaami clearly state that animals which are born without tails are not permitted for Qurbaani.
Now, when an animal that is born without a tail cannot be considered for Qurbaani, how can an animal whose entire (or major portion of its) tail has been removed, ever be permissible?
Besides, in South Africa, there are countless sheep available that have full tails. In fact, here in Johannesburg and surrounds, everyone we know that are offering sheep for Qurbaani, have sheep with tails. There is thus, no need for any further investigation into this mas`alah. Also, even if there was such a scenario where sheep with tails are unavailable, there is always the option of slaughtering goats, or even cows (and camels).
In essence, any slaughter of an animal that has no tail (or more than 2/3 of the tail has been removed) is NOT VALID as Qurbaani. ‘Qurbaani’ made of such animals has to be necessarily repeated.