The Fiqh of Udhiyah (The Sacrificial Animal)

The Fiqh of Udhiyah (The Sacrificial Animal)

Definition

The Udhiyah (the sacrificial animal) is a grazing animal from among camels, cows, buffaloes, sheep and goats that is sacrificed on Eid al-Ad-ha (festival of sacrifice) and the following three days (the days of Tashriq) for the sake of drawing near to Allah.

The Proofs

The proofs from the Gracious Quran, the Sunnah and the Consensus denote that the udhiyah is one of the rites of Islam. Allah says,

For each (faith)-community We have appointed (sacred) rites, so that they may mention the name of God over any grazing beasts (that they sacrifice as charitable-offerings, from whatever) He has provided them. (Quran 22:34)

Anas reported that Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) sacrificed with his own hands two horned rams which were white with black markings reciting the name of Allah and glorifying Him (saying Allah-u-Akbar). He placed his foot on their sides (while sacrificing). (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

Muslim scholars have reached a consensus that the Udhiyah is one of the legal rites of Islam.

The Udhiyah (the sacrificial animal) is a grazing animal from among camels, cows, buffaloes, sheep and goats that is sacrificed on Eid al-Ad-ha (festival of sacrifice) and the following three days (the days of Tashriq) for the sake of drawing near to Allah.

The Legal Ruling

As for the legal ruling, the majority of scholars are of the opinion that the Udhiyah is highly recommended. This is the opinion of Imam Al-Shafi’I and the more famous opinion of Imam malik and Imam Ahmad. On the other hand, Imam Abu Hanifah’s legal opinion is that it is obligatory. This is also the other opinion of Imam Ahmad and Imam Malik. Allah says,

So pray to your Lord, and sacrifice (charitable-offerings to Him alone). (Quran 108:2)

The prerequisites for offering a sacrificial animal:

1. Sincerity

Sincerity is a prerequisite for the acceptance of every act of worship. So, the person who intends to offer an udhiyah (a sacrificial animal) should do this only for the sake of Allah. Allah says,

Never shall (any part of) their flesh nor their blood reach God. But rather, it is (your devotion inspired by the) fear of God in you that reaches Him. Therefore has He subjugated them to you, that you shall extol God, (the Creator) for (the blessing of faith to) which He has guided you. So give glad tidings to those who excel in (doing) good. (Quran 22:37)

2. The sacrificial animal must be one of the following grazing animals:

A. the camel and the she-camel

B. the bull, the cow and the buffalo

C. the sheep (the ram and the ewe)

D. the goat and the she-goat

Allah says,

For each (faith)-community We have appointed (sacred) rites, so that they may mention the name of God over any grazing beasts (that they sacrifice as charitable-offerings, from whatever) He has provided them. (Quran 22:34)

3. The sacrificial animal must reach the legally specified age.

Jabir (RAA) narrated that Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said:

“Sacrifice only a full-grown animal (musinnah) unless it is difficult for you, in which case you should sacrifice a jadha’ah(six to ten month old) sheep.” (Muslim)

Scholars interpret an adult sacrificial animal (musinnah) as thaniyyah whose milk teeth (the medial incisors) have fallen out and are replaced by permanent teeth. Unlike the thaniyyah, the jadha’ah is a young animal.  For grazing beasts to be described as thaniyyah, they have to reach a specific age that differs according to the different kinds of beasts.

A. The thaniyyah from camels is about five years old.

B. The thaniyyah from cows or buffaloes is about two years old.

C. The thaniyyah from goats or sheep is about one year old.

In case the person who intends to sacrifice does not find a grazing beast that meets this requirement, he or she is allowed to sacrifice a jadha’ah (a six month old) lamb.)

4. The sacrificial animal must be free from all physical defects that make it unsatisfactory sacrifice for offering.

Al-Baraa’ ibn ‘Azib (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said,

“Four (types of animals) should be avoided in sacrifice: A One-eyed animal which has obviously lost the sight of one eye, a sick animal which is obviously sick, a lame animal which obviously limps and an animal with a broken leg with no marrow.” (Abu Dawud and Al-Nasa’i)

A more serious defect than those mentioned above is, a fortiori, a one that makes the sacrificial animal unacceptable as sacrifice.

5. Slaughtering the animal designated for sacrifice must take place within the legally specified time.

People can start slaughtering their animals after performing the Eid al-Ad-ha prayer on the 10th to the sunset on the 13th of Dhul-Hijjah.

Narrated Al-Bara’ bin `Azib:

On the day of Nahr (sacrifice) Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) delivered the Khutba (speech) after the ‘Eid prayer and said, “Anyone who prayed like us and slaughtered the sacrifice like we did then he acted according to our (Nusuk) tradition of sacrificing, and whoever slaughtered the sacrifice before the prayer, then that was just mutton (i.e. not sacrifice).” Abu Burda bin Niyar stood up and said, “O Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ)! By Allah, I slaughtered my sacrifice before I offered the ‘Eid prayer and thought that today was the day of eating and drinking (nonalcoholic drinks) and so I made haste (in slaughtering) and ate and also fed my family and neighbors.” Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “That was just mutton (not a sacrifice).” Then Abu Burda said, “I have a young she-goat and no doubt, it is better than two sheep. Will that be sufficient as a sacrifice for me?” The Prophet (ﷺ) replied, “Yes. But it will not be sufficient for anyone else (as a sacrifice), after you.” (Al-Bukhari)

Recommended acts concerning the udhiyah and the person who intends to offer it

1. On the sight of the new moon of Dhul-Hijjah, it is recommended for the people who intend to offer a sacrifice not to have their hair cut or their nails trimmed.

Umm Salama, the wife of Allah’s Apostle (ﷺ), reported Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) to have said:

“When is the beginning of Dhul-Hijjah and anyone of you intends to offer a sacrificial animal, he should not get his hair cut or nails trimmed until he offers it. (Muslim)

2. As for the sacrificial animals, the best kind is the camel then the cow in case one of them is offered by a single person. After that comes the sheep, then the goat, then one-seventh of a camel, then one-seventh of a cow. However, the best sacrificial animal with regard to quality is the fattest.

What is the smallest number of sacrificial animals that can be offered?

A person can buy at least one sheep to offer as sacrifice on behalf of himself/ herself and his/her family. With regard to the possession, a single person can offer only one sheep. Similarly, seven people can share a camel or a cow. Hence, eight people cannot share a camel or a cow. Also, two people cannot share a sheep. As for the rewards, the person can share the reward of one sheep with one’s family or as many people as one wishes.

Jabir (RAA) narrated, ‘In the year of Hudaibiyah (Reconciliation), we sacrificed a camel for each seven people along with Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ), and also a cow for seven. (Muslim)

How can the sacrificial animal be distributed?

It is recommended to eat, give as a present and give to charity from the udhiyah. Allah says,

 

…they may observe (many) benefits for themselves and mention (much) the name of God during the known days (of Hajj-Pilgrimage) over what He has provided them of grazing beasts (to sacrifice). So eat of them and feed the afflicted (ones), the (indigent) poor. (Quran 22:28)

 

… (you may butcher their meat to )eat of them (yourselves)- and to feed (both) the self-restrained needy and the suppliant poor. (Quran 22:36)

Some scholars prefer the meat to be divided into three: one-third for the owner, one-third for charity and the last third to be given as gifts.

 

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How to Observe Ihram, the First Rite of Hajj?

How to Observe Ihram, the First Rite of Hajj?

By Dr. Salih Al-Fawzan

Definition of Ihram

Ihram (a state of ritual consecration during Hajj or ‘Umrah) is the first of the rites of Hajj, and it means the intention to start the rites. It is called ihram (which is derived from the Arabic word “haram“, i.e. forbidden or prohibited) because a pilgrim by assuming ihram prohibits himself from all the acts that have been permissible before being in this state, such as sexual intercourse, wearing perfume, clipping one’s fingernails, having one’s hair cut, or wearing certain kinds of clothes.

To illustrate, Shaykhul-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

“A man is not considered in a state of ihram once he intends, with his heart, to perform Hajj, for the intention is already in his heart since he has left his hometown (heading for Mecca). So, there must be specific words or deeds through which he becomes in a state of ihram.”[1]

The clothing of ihram reminds one of death, the shroud of dead people, and the Day of Resurrection, and so on.

Recommended deeds to be observed before Ihram:

1. Taking a ritual bath

The Prophet (PBUH) used to do so before assuming ihram[2].

This is also because bathing is a better and more comprehensive way of cleaning and ridding oneself of any undesired smell. Moreover, having a bath upon assuming ihram is also required for a woman in a state of postnatal bleeding or menstruation, for the Prophet (PBUH) commanded Asma Bint ‘Umays, who was in a state of confinement, to take a bath before assuming ihram as related by Imam Muslim[3]. He (PBUH) also commanded ‘A’ishah (his wife) to do the same though she was in her menstrual period[4].

The purpose of this is to clean the body, remove undesired smells and remove the impurity of menstruation or confinement.

2. Cleaning oneself perfectly well

It is desirable to clean oneself perfectly well, removing the hair which is legally enjoined to be removed, such as trimming the moustache, shaving the hair of the armpits, and shaving the pubic hair.

One should do this before assuming ihram because it will not be allowed when being in a state of ihram. Yet, removing such kinds of hair is not one of the prerequisites for ihram. In other words, if one does not need to trim or shave any of them, one is not obliged to do so; it is permissible to do so if needed.

3. Putting on perfume

It is desirable for a pilgrim to perfume oneself using whatever is available, such as musk, incense, rose-water, aloes, or the like, for ‘A’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) reported:

“I used to scent Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) whenever he wanted to assume ihram and (also) on finishing ihram before circumambulating the House of Allah (i.e. before tawaf).”[5]

4. Wearing the ihram clothes

It is desirable for male pilgrims before ihram to take off all tailored or sewn clothes and wear something unstitched; the Prophet (PBUH) used to take off his tailored or sewn clothes and wear something unstitched – after taking a bath – to assume ihram[6]. So, a pilgrim should wear a white, clean unstitched loincloth wrapped round the lower part of the body, wrapping another sheet of white, clean, unstitched cloth round the upper part.Yet, it is permissible to replace the white color with any other color provided it is traditionally befitting men.

The wisdom of the ihram clothing

The idea behind this is to withdraw oneself from luxury and to have the feeling of a submissive servant of Allah through wearing such humble clothing.Moreover, such clothing always reminds one of being in a state of ihram, and thus one keeps alert and avoids committing the acts prohibited during ihram. The clothing of ihram reminds one of death, the shroud of dead people, and the Day of Resurrection, and so on and so forth. In addition, taking off sewn clothes before intending to assume ihram is an act of the Sunnah, but it is obligatory after assuming ihram. So, if a pilgrim intends assuming ihram while still wearing his ordinary sewn clothes, his ihram is considered valid, but he is then obliged to take such clothes off and put on the clothes of ihram.

By fulfilling the aforesaid prerequisites, a pilgrim is thus prepared to be in a state of ihram but such acts themselves are not called ihram as many people mistakenly believe; ihram means the intention of starting performing the rites of Hajj or ‘Umrah. Accordingly, a pilgrim is not considered in a state of ihram once he takes off his sewn clothes and wears the aforementioned clothing of ihram without having the intention of starting performing the rites of Rajj or ‘Umrah. This is because the Prophet (PBUH) said:

“Indeed, (the correctness and rewards of) deeds depend upon intentions…” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

The legal ruling concerning observing prayer before ihram:

As for praying before assuming ihram, the more valid opinion is that there is not a special kind of prayer to be offered before Ihram. However, if the time of ihram coincides with an obligatory prayer, then a pilgrim is to perform the obligatory prayer first then assume ihram. To illustrate, it was narrated that the Prophet (PBUH) assumed ihram immediately following performing (an obligatory) prayer[7]. Moreover, Anas reported that the Prophet (PBUH) performed the Dhuhr (Noon) Prayer then rode his mount beast[8], and when he came to the hill of Al-Bayda’ he raised his voice with talbiyah. The great Muslim scholar Ibnul-Qayyim (may Allah have mercy on him), said:

“It was never reported that the Prophet (PBUH) specified performing two rak’ahs (units of prayer)for assuming ihram; what was reported is that he performed the obligatory Dhuhr (Noon) Prayer before it.”[9]

A common mistake

It is important here to draw the attention of pilgrims to a very important matter; many pilgrims mistakenly believe that they have to assume ihram from the mosque in the site for ihram for them. As a result, many pilgrims, males and females, hurry to such mosques, overcrowding them, to start assuming ihram from there. They may also change their clothes there and wear the clothing of ihram while in fact all such issues are, by all means, baseless. Rather, Muslims are just required to assume ihram from the proper site for ihram for them, not specifically from the mosques therein.

They can assume ihram anywhere in such sites, and there is no specific place in a certain site from which a pilgrim is obliged to assume ihram. That is to say, pilgrims can assume ihram wherever is appropriate for them in their site for ihram, and this makes it easier for them and their fellows. This also spares pilgrims being exposed before one another or being jammed in certain places.

We would like to point out that those mosques in the sites for ihram were not there during the lifetime of the Prophet (PBUH), and that they were not built for the purpose of assuming ihram. However, they were built for the inhabitants of and around such places to perform prayer therein. This is very important to bear in mind, and may Allah grant us all success.

The three kinds of ihram:

A pilgrim is free to choose either the three kinds of ihram, namely tamattu’, ifrad, and qiran:

Tamattu’

It means that a pilgrim assumes ihram for performing ‘Umrah during the months of Hajj, and then, after performing ‘Umrah, a pilgrim assumes ihram for performing Hajj in the same season.

Ifrad

It means that a pilgrim assumes ihram for performing Hajj only, keeping in the state of ihram until he finishes performing the rites of Hajj.

Qiran

It means that a pilgrim assumes ihram for performing both ‘Umrah and Hajj together, or to assume ihram for ‘Umrah then, before starting the tawaf (circumambulating the Ka’bah) for ‘Umrah, a pilgrim intends performing both ‘Umrah and Hajj either from the miqat or before the tawaf of ‘Umrah. In this case, a pilgrim is to perform both tawaf and sa ‘y (going between Al-Safa and Al-Marwah) for both.

It is important to point out that a pilgrim who intends tamattu’ or qiran is obliged to slaughter a sacrificial animal if he is not a resident of Mecca. We should also know that the best of the aforesaid three ways of ihram is tamattu’ for various legal proofs.

Once a pilgrim assumes ihram in any of the aforesaid three ways, he is to chant talbiyah, saying; “Here I am at Your service, O Allah, here l am at Your service. Here I am at Your service, You have no partner, here I am at Your service. Verily, all praise, blessings, and dominion are Yours, You have no partner”

A pilgrim should raise his voice with talbiyah, saying it repeatedly.


[1] See: Majmu’ul-Fatawa (26/22, 108].

[2] Al-Tirmidhi (830) [3/192]

[3] Muslim (2900) (4/371] and (2941) [4/404].

[4] Muslim {2929) [4/392].

[5] Al-Bukhari (1539) [3/499] and Muslim (2818) [4/337).

[6] Al-Tirmidhi (830) [3/193].

[7] Al-Tirmidhi (819) [3/182) and Al-Nasa’i (2753) [3/176].

[8] Abu Dawud (1774) [2/258] and Al-Nasa’i (2661) [3/136].

[9] See: Zad al-Ma’ad.


The article is an excerpt from the author’s book “A Summary of Islamic Jurisprudence” with some modifications.

Dr. Salih Al-Fawzan is a Professor of Islamic Jurisprudence, Member of the Board of Senior Ulema & Member of the Permanent Committee for Fatwa and Research.

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The Story of the Rites of Hajj (Pilgrimage in Islam)

The Story of the Rites of Hajj (Pilgrimage in Islam)

Hajar and Isma’il alone in the Desert

Pilgrimage is connected with Messenger Ibrahim (Khalil Al Rahman), his wife Hajar and his son Isma’il (PBUT). Prophet Ibrahim was inspired to leave both his wife and baby (Isma’il) alone in a deserted dry valley in Makkah (Ummul Qura). Ibrahim’s wife (Isma’il’s mother) was worried when Prophet Ibrahim intended to leave her alone with her baby; that is why she asked him if Allah (Exalted be He) commanded him to do so. When she became sure that Allah had inspired Ibrahim to leave them alone, she felt reassured and unconcerned.

However; no sooner had the water Ibrahim (PBUH) left for his wife and son been used up than the baby began crying out of thirst and hunger. That is why Hajar soon started looking for water to quench the thirst of her child. First, she mounted Safa Mountain and looked for water, but she saw no water from that direction; hence she ran toward Marwa Mountain and climbed it looking for a caravan or anybody carrying water.

The archangel Gabriel and the well of Zamzam

“..and We covenanted with Abraham and Isma´il, that they should sanctify My House for those who compass it round, or use it as a retreat, or bow, or prostrate themselves (therein in prayer).”

Unfortunately, she saw nothing there. She went back running to Mount Safa for the same purpose, but again she found nothing. The concerned kind mother repeated that for seven times without finding any drop of water. At that time, the Archangel Gabriel dug the earth with his heel or wing till water flowed from that place. Once Ismael’s mother saw that, she happily ran toward her son to make something like a basin around the water saying zummi, zummi; that is to say, keep constricted! Keep constricted! That is why it has been called Zamzam. However, there are other opinions about this.

Allah (Exalted be He) eternalizes those hastening races of the believing anxious mother who was worried about her son, and has kept the blessed Zamzam water all these long centuries for the Mekkans as well as the pilgrims to drink and carry portions of it to dear persons in their countries.

The greatest test ever!

Ibrahim (PBUH) was exposed to several severe Divine tests; however, he always proved to be a sincere great believer in his Lord. This time, he saw in a dream that he was slaughtering his dear son Isma’il. And since Prophets’ dreams are true, he intended to fulfill this dream and obey His Lord in spite of his great love to his son. Thus, Ibrahim and Isma’il were exposed to hard test when Ibrahim told Isma’il (PBUT) that he had to slaughter him. Isma’il passed the hard test successfully, when he surrendered to Allah’s will and told his father to carry out what he was inspired to do. What is more, he assured his father that he would be patient.

O my son! I have seen in a vision that I offer you in sacrifice: what is your view!(The son) said: “O my father! Do as you are commanded: you will find me, if Allah so wills, one practicing patience and constancy (Quran 37: 102)

Ibrahim stones the devil

When both father and son obeyed Allah and submitted to His will, they went out toward the sacrifice place to carry out the Divine command. On their way, the devil whispered to Ibrahim so as to bend him from executing the command of Allah on his beloved son, so Ibrahim (PBUH) threw the devil with seven gravels.  From this incident came Al-Aqabah in Mina (the big pillar—a ritual in Hajj where people throw stones at the place where the devil was when he spoke to Ibrahim

Prophet Ibrahim (PBUH) went on accompanying his son to the sacrifice place so as to carry out the Divine command. Then, the devil appeared for the second time and whispered to Prophet Ibrahim; but again he rejected that and stoned the devil with seven gravels. This became Al-Jamra Al-Wusta (the Middle Pillar).

The devil insisted on misleading Ibrahim (PBUH); so it appeared to him for the third time, so that he might stop him from fulfilling His Lord’s command. However, Ibrahim, again, did not listen to the devil’s speaking, and stoned it with other seven gravels insisting on fulfilling His Lord’s revelation. This then became Al-Jamra Al-Sughra (the small Pillar).

At length, when they reached the sacrifice place Prophet Ibrahim (PBUH) had laid him prostrate on his forehead (for sacrifice), then he passed the knife over Isma`il’s neck, but it did not cut him at all; as Allah (Exalted be He) stopped it to work, and ransomed Isma’il with a big ram coming down from heaven. Thus, from this incident pilgrims have to offer sacrifice as a part of Haj rituals till today.

So when they had both submitted their wills (to Allah), and he had laid him prostrate on his forehead (for sacrifice), We called out to him “O Abraham! “Thou hast already fulfilled the vision!” – thus indeed do We reward those who do right. For this was obviously a trial- And We ransomed him with a momentous sacrifice (Quran 37:103-107)

Rebuilding the Ka’bah

Then, Isma’il (PBUH) grew up and became a young man, he occupied a considerable position among the tribes that abode near Zamzam well.

Later, Allah (Exalted be He) authorized both Prophets to build up the Holy House of Allah (Al Ka’bah) upon its old bases and commanded them to purify the House of Allah and prepare it for those who perform tawaf or stay in it worshipping Allah or praying for Him.

“..and We covenanted with Abraham and Isma´il, that they should sanctify My House for those who compass it round, or use it as a retreat, or bow, or prostrate themselves (therein in prayer).”  (Quran 2:125)

Moreover, Allah (Exalted be He) has eternalized Hajer’s seven races between Safa and Marwah up till today. Thus, pilgrims follow the steps of Isma’il’s mother when they make the races between Mount Safa and Mount Marwah every time they come for Hajj or Umrah.

Likewise, Allah (Exalted be He) has eternalized what Prophet Ibrahim (the caring father) did when he threw seven gravels at the devil every time, of the three times, it appeared to him with the aim of persuading him not to accomplish the command of Allah.

Undoubtedly, these great incidents reflect the great faith Prophet Ibrahim, his son and wife enjoy within their hearts in spite of all the severe incidents they experienced. Besides, such incidents reveal the absolute wisdom and mercy of Allah upon Ibrahim, his son and wife as well as the pilgrims who visit the house of Allah and carry out the required rituals necessary for Hajj or Umrah.

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All about the First Ten Days of Dhul-Hijjah

All about the First Ten Days of Dhul-Hijjah

By Editorial Staff

After a few days, Muslims all over the world will be witnessing the best days a year. Out of Allah’s wisdom, He favors some of His creatures over others. Allah creates and chooses whatever He wills and does whatever He intends. A certain creature per se is not better than any other creature. It is Allah Who gives preference to some creatures over others through His inexhaustible wisdom. For instance, in the world of angels, the archangel Gabriel is the best of them. Prophets are the best of all humankind. The unrelenting Messengers of Resolve are the best among all prophets and messengers. This also applies to animals, inanimate objects, places, times, etc.

If we take a closer look at the shari’ah texts concerning time, we find out that the last one-third of night is the best time among all the other 24 hours. Friday is the best day a week. The month of Ramadan is the best of all months. Similarly, the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah are the best days a year.

Which is better, the last ten days of Ramadan or the first ten days of Dhul-hijjah?

In his reply to this question, Shaikh al-Islam, Ibn Taimiyah said,

“The daylight time is better in the first ten days of Dhul-hijjah than the last ten days of Ramadan. However, the nights are better in the last ten days of Ramadan than those of Dhul-hijjah.”

The nights are better in the last ten days of Ramadan because there is Lailat al-Qadr (the Night of Decree). On the other hand, the daylight is better in the first ten days of Dhul-hijjah because of the 9th day, the Day of Arafat, and the 10th day, Eid Al-Ad-ha. On these two days, Muslims perform most rites of Hajj (Pilgrimage).

The Virtues of the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah:

1. Allah swears an oath by these days in the Gracious Quran.

Allah says,

“By the dawn, and the Ten Nights (of the Month of Pilgrimage)! By all that is even and all that is odd, and the night as it passes! Is there in this an oath (of sufficient proof) for whoever has a mind (that God is all-able to punish the ungodly)?” (Quran 89:1-5)

The majority of the commentators of the Gracious Quran hold the opinion that the “Ten Nights” refers the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah. On the other hand, when Allah swears by something of His creatures, this denotes that such a thing is excellent.

2. These days are mentioned in the Gracious Quran as “the known days”.

Allah says,

…they may observe (many) benefits for themselves and mention (much) the name of God during the known days (of Hajj-Pilgrimage)… (Quran 22:28)

“There are no days during which the righteous action is so pleasing to Allah than these days (i.e., the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah)

3. Some commentators of the Gracious Quran say that these days are also referred to in the following verse:

“Thereafter, We promised to Moses thirty nights (of retreat in Our presence at Mount Tur), and We completed them with ten (more).” (Quran 7:142)

4. Acts of worship performed during those days are better and more beloved than any other time of the year.

Ibn ‘Abbas (May Allah be pleased with them) reported:

The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “There are no days during which the righteous action is so pleasing to Allah than these days (i.e., the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah).” He was asked: “O Messenger of Allah, not even Jihad in the Cause of Allah?” He (ﷺ) replied, “Not even Jihad in the Cause of Allah, except in case one goes forth with his life and his property and does not return with either of it.” (Al-Bukhari)

Obligatory deeds performed on these days are better than those performed on other than such days. Likewise, voluntary deeds performed on these days are better. However, voluntary deeds observed on these days cannot be better than obligatory ones. And therefore, fasting the last ten days of Ramadan is better than fasting on the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah.

5. The ten days are sacred as they are in the sacred month of Dhul-Hujjah.

Concerning the four sacred months, Allah says,

… do not wrong yourselves (or others) in them. (Quran 9:36)

What should a Muslim do to make the best use of these days?

These days are a great season of worship and a great opportunity every Muslim should seize. The truthful believer becomes more active in worship on these days. Here are some acts of worship Muslims can observe:

1. (Dhikr) Remembrance of Allah

One of the best acts of worship to be observed during the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah is spending a lot of time doing dhikr. In a mu’allaq (suspended) hadith mentioned by Al-Bukhari, he quotes Ibn ‘Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) as saying,

“…and mention (much) the name of God during the known days (of Hajj-Pilgrimage)… (Quran 22:28)

These are the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah whereas “the numbered days” are the days of Tashriq (the 11th, 12th and 13th days of Dhul-Hijjah)”

Ibn ‘Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) means by “the numbered days” to refer to the following verse:

 

“Thus make (much) mention (of the name of) God (with solemn reverence) in the (special) numbered days (in the valley of Mina).” (Quran 2:203)

“Ibn `Umar and Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with them) used to go out in the marketplace during the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah, reciting Takbir, and the people would recite Takbir when they heard them.” (Al-Bukhari)

In another hadith concerning these ten days, it says, “… so increase saying Tahlil (saying la-illah illa Allah), Takbir (saying Allahu akbar), and Tahmid (saying Al-hamdullilah)” (Ahmad)

Remembrance of Allah is one of the best purposes of worship. Thus, it is part of a lot of acts of worship including prayer, Friday speech, hajj, offering a sacrifice, etc.

2. Reciting the Gracious Quran

Reciting the Gracious Quran is also part of doing dhikr which should be given full attention on these days. So, it is a good idea to specify a time for reciting or studying the Gracious Quran. There are a lot of proofs that indicate the excellence of reciting and reflecting on the Quran. Allah says,

Indeed, those who recite the Book of God, and who (duly) establish the Prayer, and who spend (charitably) from what We have provided them, secretly and openly- they have hope in a (blessed) transaction that shall never come to ruin- that He may give them their rewards (in full) and increase them evermore from His bounty. Indeed, He is all-forgiving, ever-thankful. (Quran 35:29-30)

3. Fasting

When we say, “fasting on the first ten days” we mean only the first nine days which are allowed to fast because it is known that fasting on Eid al-Ad-ha (festival of sacrifice), on the 10th day of Dhul-Hijjah,  is prohibited.

Imam Al-Nawawi said that fasting these nine days is highly recommended especially the 9th day, the Day of ‘Arafat.

4. Fasting on the Day of ‘Arafat

As well as being the best day of the year, the Day of ‘Arafat is the day when Allah perfected the religion of Islam. Narrated ‘Umar bin Al-Khattab:

Once a Jew said to me, “O the chief of believers! There is a verse in your Holy Book which is read by all of you (Muslims), and had it been revealed to us, we would have taken that day (on which it was revealed) as a day of celebration.” ‘Umar bin Al-Khattab asked, “Which is that verse?” The Jew replied,

“This day I have perfected your religion For you, completed My favor upon you, And have chosen for you Islam as your religion.” (Quran 5:3)

‘Umar replied,”No doubt, we know when and where this verse was revealed to the Prophet. It was Friday and the Prophet (ﷺ) was standing at ‘Arafat (i.e. the Day of Hajj)” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

Secondly, fasting on this day expiates the sins of two years, the last and the coming one. This is mentioned in a hadith related by Muslim. However, it is recommended for pilgrims not to fast on that day out of emulation of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). Not fasting will also give the pilgrim more energy to do a lot of dhikr and make du’aa (supplications to Allah)

Thirdly, ‘Aishah (May Allah be pleased with her) reported:

The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “There is no day on which Allah sets free more slaves from Hell than He does on the Day of ‘Arafah.” (Muslim)

There are a lot of other acts of worship a Muslim is recommended to observe. These include offering sacrifice (on the 10th, 11th 12th and 13th Day of Dhul-Hijjah), praying for Allah’s blessings upon the Prophet, giving to charity, being kind to parents, etc.

 

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Merits of the Prophet’s Wife, Lady Khadijah

Merits of the Prophet’s Wife, Lady Khadijah

Translated from an article by 'Abdullah ibn 'Abduh Nu'man Al-'Awaadi

Spouses are partners in life. In life’s different conditions, they are friends for better or worse, in prosperity and adversity, in poverty and richness, and in hopes and pains. When a good husband marries a good wife, she becomes the best consort and friend he has won.

Our Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was one of those whom Allah chose for them the best of women. Allah chose for His Messenger the best and most virtuous women to be his wives. Thus, they were the best wives to the best husband ever. Of his pure wives was Khadijah (may Allah be pleased with her)

Khadijah (may Allah be pleased with her) was a model of purity and chastity that every Muslim woman may be inspired to emulate. A Muslim woman should learn that from her as well as how to choose a husband, how to help solve the husband’s problems and how to allay his concerns and sorrows. Moreover, a wife should learn about her husband’s past life and benefit from it for a better present and future. Khadijah (may Allah be pleased with her) was also a model of unique sacrifice for advocating the truth, offering tangible and intangible support for the Islamic Call after accepting it right away and without hesitation.

The life of our Mother Khadijah (may Allah be pleased with her) was filled with causes of righteousness for Muslim women to emulate. She is like a school whose successful graduates are those women who would like to be good wives, successful preachers, ascetic worshippers and businesswomen who uses their wealth to advocate the truth.

Here’s a short part of Khadijah’s biography Khadijah bint Khuwailid:

Allah chose for His Messenger the best and most virtuous women to be his wives.

Her biography and behavior:

Her name is Khaidijah bint Khuwailid ibn Asad ibn ‘Abd al-‘Uzza ibn qusai. She was from the tribe of Asad from Quraish. She was the Prophet’s wife and the first to believe in his prophethood and accept Islam. The prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) married her maybe 15 years or over before his prophethood. The reason why she wanted to marry the Prophet (peace be upon him) was his good behavior which was very well-known among the people of Makkah.

Khadijah (may Allah be pleased with her), who was older than the Prophet (peace be upon him), gave birth to all his children except Ibrahim. She was honest, forbearing and wealthy. After she had become a widow, every noble man from Quraish wanted to marry her. When the Prophet (pace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used to travel to trade for her, the profits increased. Later, she wanted to marry him. So, she sent Nafisah bint Umayah who said to him, “why don’t you marry?” “I have nothing.” he replied. “What if you needn’t have anything as you are invited to marry a wealthy, beautiful and an efficient woman?” she suggested. “Who is she?” he asked. “Khadijah” she answered. Thereupon, he agreed.[i]

Her qualities:

1. Nobility, honorable lineage, wealth and honor

2. Sound judgment and apparent wisdom

3. She sacrificed her wealth in order to advocate the truth

4. She loved the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and gave preference to his pleasure

5. Chastity and purity; she was nicknamed “the Pure” in the pre-Islamic period.

Her Merits:

1. Khadijah (may Allah be pleased with her) was the first person ever to believe in the Prophethood of Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him)

2. She was given glad tidings of Paradise while she was still alive. Narrated Abu Huraira: Gabriel came to the Prophet (ﷺ) and said, “O Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ)! This is Khadija coming to you with a dish having meat soup (or some food or drink). When she reaches you, greet her on behalf of her Lord (i.e. Allah) and on my behalf, and give her the glad tidings of having a palace of hollowed pearls in Paradise wherein there will be neither any noise nor any fatigue (trouble).” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

3. Allah and the archangel Gabriel greeted her.

4. The best of Muslim women

Narrated `Ali: I heard the Prophet (ﷺ) saying, “Mary, the daughter of `Imran, was the best among the women (of the world of her time) and Khadija is the best amongst the women (of this nation). (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

5. She gave birth to all the children of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon her) who said, “Khadija was such-and-such, and from her I had children.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

The Prophet rewarded her for all these favors:

1. He did not marry a second wife until she had died.

2. He loved her so much and did not forget her virtues and favors

Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said: Her love had been nurtured in my heart by Allah Himself. (Muslim)

3. He felt great sorrow over her death.

4. He always remembered her even after her death

Narrated ‘Aisha: “Once Hala bint Khuwailid, Khadija’s sister, asked the permission of the Prophet (ﷺ) to enter. On that, the Prophet (ﷺ) remembered the way Khadija used to ask permission, and that upset him. He said, “O Allah! Hala!” So I became jealous and said, “What makes you remember an old woman amongst the old women of Quraish an old woman (with a teethless mouth) of red gums who died long ago, and in whose place Allah has given you somebody better than her?” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

5. He kept good ties with her friends as an act of loyalty to her.

Narrated `Aisha: I did not feel jealous of any of the wives of the Prophet (ﷺ) as much as I did of Khadija though I did not see her, but the Prophet (ﷺ) used to mention her very often, and whenever he slaughtered a sheep, he would cut its parts and send them to the women friends of Khadija. When I sometimes said to him, “(You treat Khadija in such a way) as if there is no woman on earth except Khadija,” he would say, “Khadija was such-and-such, and from her I had children.” (Al-Bukhari)

A sad incident and its date:

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) led a life of ease and comfort with Khadijah (may Allah be pleased with her). He found tranquility, peace of mind and solace with her. She helped him in facing all the difficulties of life so she was a joy to the eye for him. However, death is certain and it is a destiny that can never be postponed. Khadijah (may Allah be pleased with her) died on 10 Ramadan in the 10th year after prophethood. It was also said that she died before that.

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) felt great sorrow and pain at that because he lost the one who used to help and support him. He lost a beloved wife who was with him in times of prosperity and adversity for twenty five years. His sorrow increased as it wasn’t a long time since his uncle Abu Talib had died. His uncle also used to defend and protect him especially outside whereas Khadijah used to support him especially inside the house.

Lessons to be learned from this incident:

1. No matter how strong love is, death can cause people to break up. So, love whoever you wish, you will break up one day. However, the content and patient believer will be rewarded for this.

2. Sorrow which is not accompanied by words or actions that contradict patience is permissible. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) felt sorrow at the death of Khadijah (may Allah be pleased with her)

3. One feels greater sorrow at the death of a person whose life is filled with acts of charity and goodness.

4. The death of a good wife remains a deep wound that memories, similar incidents and voices keep reopening.

5. What our mother Khadijah (may Allah be pleased with her) has done to support and help Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) as well as her good qualities make us hold her in high esteem and to respect and praise her.


[i] Adapted from Ibn Hajar’s Al-Isabah fi tamyeez Al-Sahabah (7/600-604)

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All about the Ihram’s Locations for Hajj in Islam

All about the Ihram’s Locations for Hajj in Islam

By Dr. Salih Al-Fawzan

There are certain times for Hajj, and certain locations for entering the state of ihram.

First: The Fixed Times of Hajj

The times specified for Hajj are mentioned by Allah, Exalted be He, when He says:

“Hajj is [during} well-known months, so whoever has made Hajj obligatory upon himself therein [by entering the state of ihram, there is [to be for him] no sexual relations and no disobedience and no disputing during Hajj…” (Quran: Al-Baqarah: 197)

These months are: Shawwal, Dhul-Qa’dah, and the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah. Therefore, anyone who enters the state of ihram in these months with the intention to perform Hajj must avoid offensive words and deeds which contradict the purity of that act of worship, and should also be preoccupied with good deeds and abide by piety.

Second: The Locations for Entering the State of Ihram

A Muslim should be aware of Miqats and never pass them without being in a state of ihram.

They are the specific places where a pilgrim must not exceed and head for Mecca without entering the state of ihram (a state of ritual consecration during Hajj or ‘Umrah) at them, declaring his intention to perform Hajj. These places were pointed out by the Prophet (peace be upon him) as mentioned in the narration of ‘Abdullah lbn ‘Abbas who said:

“Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) specified Dhul-Hulaifah (as a site for ihram) for the people of Medina, Al-Juhfah for the people of Ash-Sham(the Levant; the region covering Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and Palestine), Qarn Al-Manazil for the people of Najd, and Yalamlam for the people of Yemen, saying, ‘They are (sites for ihram) for those people and for any other people coming through them (i.e. those sites) with the intention of performing Hajj and ‘Umrah (Lesser Pilgrimage). And whoever is living within these boundaries can assume ihram from the place he starts from, and the people of Mecca can assume ihram from Mecca! ” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

Moreover, Imam Muslim related on the authority of Jabir that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said; “. . The muhall (the site for entering the state of ihram) of the people of Iraq is Dhat- ‘Irq.” (Muslim)

The wisdom of setting such Miqats

The idea behind setting such miqats (the sites for entering the state of ihram) for Hajj is as follows: The House of Allah (the Ka’bah), being so glorified and honored by Allah, is fortified by Allah through Mecca and protected by the Sanctuary of Mecca which, in turn, is glorified by those miqats beyond which one cannot pass without being in the state of ihram as a sign of honor and glorification to the House of Allah.

Third: The Locations of Ihram

1. Dhul-Hulaifah (Abyar `Ali Mosque)

The farthest of these sites for entering ihram is Dhul-Hulaifah, a place southwest of Madinah and 18 km from its mosque. It is the miqat for the people coming from Madinah and beyond.

2. Al-Juhfah

As for the people of Ash-Sham (the Levant; the region covering Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and Palestine), Egypt and Morocco, the site for ihram is Al-Juhfah which is 187 km to the northwest of Makkah.

It was on the eastern coast of the Red Sea, but it has completely disappeared and Rabigh (to the north of Al-Juhfah) is used as the substitute for this miqat now.

3. Yalamlam

Yalamlam, 54 km to the south of Makkah. It is the miqat for those coming from Yemen and the pilgrims who pass by it.

4. Qarn Al-Manazil

The site for ihram (a state of ritual consecration during Hajj or ‘Umrah) for the people of Najd and the pilgrims who pass by it is Qarn Al-Manazil – now known as As-Sayl – which is 94 km to the east of Makkah.

5. Dhat-`Irq

As regards the people of Iraq and those of the East, the site for ihram is Dhat-‘ Irq which is 94 km to the northeast of Makkah.

These are the sites for entering ihram for the people of the aforesaid places and those passing through them with the intention of performing Hajj or “Umrah.

E-Da`wah Committee presents this map as an illustrated guide to explain the different places of Ihram.

The place of Ihram for the people of Makka (Mecca)

Regarding those who dwell in places that are nearer to Mecca than the aforementioned places, they assume ihram for Hajj or ” Umrah from their places. As mentioned above, the residents of Mecca, however, enter ihram for Hajj from their own residence, i.e. from places at Mecca itself; they do not have to get out of Mecca to assume ihram from there. However, when it comes to ‘ Ummh, they have to get out of Mecca to the nearest precincts wherefrom they can assume ihram.

As for those who do not pass by any of the aforesaid sites of ihram on their way to perform Hajj, they have to assume ihram once they know they are at the nearest place opposite to any of these sites.

Al-Bukhari related that ‘Umar Ibnul-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him) said to the people of Iraq:

“Make your site for ihram a place situated opposite to it (i.e. opposite to Qarn Al-Manazil, the place of ihram for the people of Najd) on your usual way.” (Al-Bukhari)

Fourth: How to Enter the State of Ihram while on a Plane?

Those who travel by plane should assume ihram once they know that they are parallel to any of the sites for ihram during the flight. However, they should be prepared before getting on board the plane by ritual bathing and cleaning. Afterwards, whenever the plane reaches a place that is parallel to any of the aforesaid sites for ihram, they should declare the intention of ihram and chant talbiyah in the plane.

It is impermissible for one to delay ihram until the plane lands in the airport of Jeddah as some pilgrims mistakenly do, as both Jeddah and Bahrah are not sites for ihram except for their own people or anyone who intends to perform Hajj or ‘Umrah while being there. Otherwise, it is impermissible to assume ihram from Jeddah, as it will be regarded as negligence of one of the rites of Hajj, namely assuming ihram from one of its decreed sites, and one in this case will be obliged to slaughter a sacrificial animal in expiation.

A common mistake

Here is a common mistake made by many people and it has to be pointed out; some people mistakenly believe that they have to take a ritual bath before assuming ihram, arguing that this is not possible while being in a plane and so on. Therefore, it is important to point out that ihram means declaring the intention to perform the rites of Hajj or ‘Umrah, avoiding the acts prohibited to be done while being in a state of ihram as much as possible. As for washing, wearing perfumes, and the like, they are acts of the Sunnah which a Muslim can do before getting on board the plane, and assuming ihram without observing them is permissible. So, a plane passenger can make the intention to assume ihram and recite talbiyah while being in his/her seat once the plane is over any of the known sites for ihram or just before it.

This is known by asking the pilots or the hostesses of the plane, or trying to find it out independently through investigation and estimation. Thus, one would have done ones utmost in this regard. However, if one does not care, it will be considered an inexcusable negligence and indifference regarding one of the prerequisites of Hajj and ‘Umrafi, namely ihram, which may invalidate them.

Fifth: What to Do if You Miss the Location of Ihram?

As for those who pass by their site of ihram without assuming it, they have to return to that site and assume ihram, for it is a manageable obligation that should never be neglected. So, if one does not go back and assume ihram from the right site – as some mistakenly do from Jeddah and the like – one in this case will be obliged to slaughter a sacrificial animal in expiation, i.e. to slaughter a sheep or to get one-seventh of a camel or one-seventh of a cow and divide it among the residents of the Sanctuary of Mecca, provided one (the pilgrim who sacrifices) should eat nothing from it.

Conclusion

In a nutshell, Muslims should take an interest in their religious matters so as to perform all acts of worship properly and perfectly as legally enjoined.

Among these religious matters is the ihram for Hajj and ‘Umrah; it has to be assumed from the sites for ihram specified by the Prophet (PBUH). Therefore, a Muslim should be aware of these sites and never pass them without being in a state of ihram.


The article is an excerpt from the author’s book “A Summary of Islamic Jurisprudence” with some modifications.

Dr. Salih Al-Fawzan is a Professor of Islamic Jurisprudence, Member of the Board of Senior Ulema & Member of the Permanent Committee for Fatwa and Research.

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