To say that it is obligatory to sacrifice an animal when moving into in a new house for fear that the jinn will dwell in the house and harm the occupants is baseless and no more than superstitions. However, Muslim jurists differed on the ruling of sacrificing an animal when moving into a new house. Some jurists are of the opinion that this is obligatory, while others say that this is commendable and that the sacrifice is in gratitude for this blessing.
Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, states: “In fact, people’s opinions regarding the jinn are different. There are some people who exaggerate the existence of the jinn. They believe that the jinn are everywhere around them and have to do with everything occurring to them, as if the jinn were controlling the world.
On the other hand, there are some people who absolutely deny the existence of the jinn because they do not believe in any but the material things they see with their eyes. This is also an exaggeration.
Both such views contradict with what Islam believes in that respect.
Islam is a moderate religion. It believes in the existence of the jinn. Reports about the presence of jinn and invoking them have been circulated through generations.
According to the researches made about invoking spirits, those who claim that they conjure spirits of dead humans do, in fact, invoke the jinn, not spirits of the dead.
There is no doubt that the jinn do exist. But there is no basis in Islam for the belief that the jinn have such great power that they can control the world. There is nothing at all in Islam to the effect that one who moves to a new house has to sacrifice an animal or else the jinn would occupy the house and turn his life into hell.
Anything in that regard is a matter of the Unseen, and hence, nothing related to it is to be believed unless it has been conveyed to us by the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) [or is mentioned in the Qur’an].
To sum up, the belief that one who moves to a new house is obligated to sacrifice an animal, in order to ward off the evils and harm of the jinn has nothing to do with Islam.
According to the Kuwaiti Encyclopedia of Fiqh, it is desirable for one who moves to a new house to invite neighbors and friends to a meal, as is the case on giving parties on happy occasions. Such meal is called wakeerah.
The desirability of giving wakeerah is not as certain in religion as inviting people to meals on holding weddings.
Some Shafi`i scholars are of the opinion that people have to give wakeerah on building a new house because Imam Ash-Shafi`i said, after tackling the wakeerah as one of the kinds of the meals given in Islam, “I do not advise people to give up holding it (i.e., the wakeerah).”
Some Maliki scholars believe that holding a wakeerah is not desirable; however, some other Maliki scholars hold the opinion that there is nothing in Islam against giving a wakeerah.