Most of the people offer sacrifices as a gratitude towards Allah for his endless bounties. The blessings that Allah bestow upon people are many and His generosity is vast. A person can respond to the gratitude by being grateful and thanking the Almighty and appreciating his blessings.
Allaah, may He be glorified and exalted, has enjoined giving thanks to Him, for He is Appreciative and loves those who give thanks.
Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“So eat of the lawful and good food which Allaah has provided for you. And be grateful for the Graces of Allaah, if it is He Whom you worship”
“seek your provision from Allaah (Alone), and worship Him (Alone), and be grateful to Him. To Him (Alone) you will be brought back”
Being grateful to Allah includes seeking to be close to Allah. It includes all other acts of worship that will draw a person close to Allah such as prayer, zakaah, fasting and so on.
Giving sacrifice in the way of Allah is also one of the means of being grateful to Allah.
Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in his commentary on the verse “Therefore turn in prayer to your Lord and sacrifice (to Him only)” [al-Kawthar 108:2]:
It means prayer and sacrifice are the best things that a person can do in order to show his gratitude and get closer to his Lord, and the usage of the wordfa (translated here as “therefore”) points to the reason, i.e., doing that – prayer and sacrifice – in gratitude for that which Allaah has given him of al-Kawthar (a river in Paradise) and much goodness. So he should give thanks to the One Who has blessed him and worship Him, and the two greatest types of worship are these two acts of worship; indeed, prayer is the ultimate act of worship.
The best of the acts of worship in terms of financial and physical acts are the sacrifice and prayer respectively. The benefits that a believer will get from prayer cannot be had from any other means, as is known by those whose hearts are alive and those of high aspirations.
Offering the sacrifice is the sign of devotion towards Allah and thinking positively of Him. The benefits of offering sacrifice is that a person gets closer to his Lord and increases in his faith and sincerity towards the deen. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) obeyed the command of his Lord and prayed and sacrificed a great deal to Him; he even sacrificed sixty-three camels with his own hand during the Farewell Pilgrimage, and he used to offer sacrifices on the Eids and at other times.
If a person is bestowed with great blessing from the Allah than it is mustahabb for him to give thanks to Him and show the same in actions. Offering sacrifice being one of the beloved actions of worship should be done and food must be prepared and distributed to all.
It is mustahabb to give thanks anew when new blessings come, by speaking words of praise. Gratitude for that may also be expressed by doing acts of worship, which includes offering a sacrifice or inviting people to a meal. The fuqaha’ have mentioned the kinds of meals that may be offered when blessing are renewed, such as the wakeerah which is made for a new home, or naqee’ah which is made on the return of an absent loved one, and hidhaaq which is done when a child completes a reading of the Qur’aan.
Ibn Qudaamah said: These invitations – other than the wedding feast (waleemah) and ‘aqeeqah – are something good, but they are like invitations that are given for no reason; if the person who does them intends thereby to give thanks to Allaah for His blessing and to feed his brothers and offer food, then he will have the reward for that in sha Allaah.
However, while offering a sacrifice a person must be well aware of hiw and why he is doing it. He must make sure that it is free from any innovation or shrik.
Some people believe that in order to protect the new house or car it is essential to offer a sacrifice and sprinkle it with the blood of the slaughtered animal, or that evil spirits will not keep away from you unless you do that, otherwise, the blessing will soon dissipate.
All these are Jahil beliefs and have no basis in Islam. These must be avoided and the intention and the sacrifice must be kept pure from all that non-sense. A believer does not believe in things like these to keep himself from harm and evil rather he holds the belief that Allah alone has the power over all things. He possesses all powers to bring benefit or cause harm, in His hand is the creation and the commandment, and that it is not permissible to do acts of worship unless they are done for the sake of Allaah.
And Allaah knows best.