A Muslim is recommended to slaughter his udhiyah (sacrificial animal) by himself. If he cannot do it himself, he can authorize another Muslim to slaughter on his behalf, and he should be present while his animal is being slaughtered, for this incurs great reward. On the other hand, a Muslim can authori
ze a non-Muslim from among the People of the Book to undertake the slaughtering for him.
Dr. Ahmad Ash-Sharabasi, Professor of `Aqeedah and Philosophy at Al-Azhar University stated: “It is originally recommended for a Muslim to slaughter his udhiyah by himself, if he can do it efficiently. He should start by saying “Bismillah, Allahu Akbar (In the Name of Allah, Allah is Greatest). O Allah, this sacrifice is offered by so-and-so” and mention his name. It is reported by Jabir that he witnessed the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) at the congregation of `Eid Al-Adha Prayer. After giving the `Eid sermon, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) ascended his pulpit, took a sheep, slaughtered it himself and said, “Bismillah, Allahu Akbar. O Allah, I offer this sacrifice for my own and for anyone of my Ummah who could not offer sacrifice.”
If the person who is offering the sacrifice cannot do the slaughtering, he is recommended to ask another one to slaughter on his behalf, but he should witness the slaughter. It was reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said to his daughter Fatimah, “O Fatimah, go and witness your udhiyah, because you will be forgiven all your sins with the first drop of blood, and say, ‘Lo! my worship and, my sacrifice and my living and my dying are for Allah, Lord of the Worlds. He hath no partner. This am I commanded, and I am one of those who surrender (unto Him).’”
On hearing the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) saying so, `Imran ibn Husayn said, “O Messenger of Allah, is this special for you and your folk only, as you are worthy of such forgiveness, or general for all Muslims?” The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “It is for Muslims in general.”
The original ruling is that a Muslim should authorize a fellow Muslim to slaughter the sacrifice on his behalf. However, there is nothing wrong if he authorizes someone from among the People of the Book. It is legally permissible, so long as the person who would undertake slaughtering is qualified and can do it efficiently. In his book Al-Majmu`, Imam An-Nawawi stated that the Muslim scholars agree that a person who is going to offer a sacrifice can authorize another Muslim to slaughter on his behalf. The Shafi`i scholars maintain that it is also permissible for a Muslim to authorize a non-Muslim from among the People of the Book to slaughter the sacrifice on behalf of him, even though this is not the best choice.
From this we can say that a Muslim who wants to offer a sacrifice but cannot slaughter it himself and cannot find a fellow Muslim to slaughter it on his behalf, can ask a Christian or Jew to slaughter the animal for him, so long as that person can slaughter efficiently. In this case the sacrifice is absolutely halal.”