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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Ramadan Is Not the End! It’s a New Start!

Ramadan Is Not the End! It’s a New Start!

By Editorial Staff

Kinds of people after Ramadan

1. The successful ones

The Blessed month of Ramadan during which Muslims have performed many acts of worship is now over. It acts as a witness for or against people.

Those who spared no effort to observe as many acts of worship as they could must be ecstatic with happiness. They hope that the month is not only a witness but that it is also their intercessor on the Day of Judgment.

Those who spared no effort to observe as many acts of worship as they could must be ecstatic with happiness. This is because they have successfully completed their fasting. They hope that the month is not only a witness but that it is also their intercessor on the Day of Judgment. Moreover, they have got rid of their past sins.

Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “He who observes fasting during the month of Ramadan with Faith while seeking its reward from Allah, will have his past sins forgiven.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

The same reward is granted to those who also performed the tarawih (night prayer). Every Muslim who observed fasting and tarawih prays to Allah to accept their good deeds.

2. The Most successful ones

Out of precaution, good people fear that their actions are not accepted because of likely shortcomings that may be there in their worship. That’s why they ask Allah to accept their fasting, tarawih, recitation of the Quran, giving in charity and the other good deeds they have performed.

It was narrated that ‘Aishah said: “I said: ‘O Messenger of Allah,

“And those who give that (their charity) which they give (and also do other good deeds) with their hearts full of fear.” (Quran 23:60)

Is this the one who commits adultery, steals and drinks alcohol?’

He said: ‘No, O daughter of Abu Bakr’ – O daughter of Siddiq – rather it is a man who fasts and gives charity and prays, but he fears that those will not be accepted from him.’” (Ibn Majah and Al-Tirmidhi)

Ibn kathir and Al-Albany declared this Hadith as authentic.

3. The unsuccessful ones

On the other hand, there are others who are happy because Ramadan is over. They do not like it to perform fasting and other acts of worship. Those lazy people often neglect performing the compulsory acts of worship. That’s why one can find the number of Muslims observing prayer in mosques decreases after Ramadan.

Such people should ask themselves whether their deeds are accepted. They should be truthful if they really seek Allah’s forgiveness and mercy.

Signs of acceptance

There are signs that denote that one’s good deeds are accepted. One of these signs is that one finds themselves more steadfast and unwavering in abiding by the rituals of Islam. The progress in worship and behavior Muslims make by the end of Ramadan denotes their success in benefitting from Ramadan.

On the contrary, there are people who have not made any progress. They are still lazy to do acts of worship. Thus, their condition after Ramadan is the same as or even worse than before it. This denotes non-acceptance of their worship.

In fact, they have not seized the opportunity to gain the great rewards of the blessed month. They may not have the chance to live until the next Ramadan. We ask Allah, Almighty, to guide such people to repentance and to shower them with His mercy.

Worship is not over after Ramadan

If the month of Ramadan is over, this does not mean the time of worship is over. Allah says,

“And worship your Lord (thus) – until the certainty (of death) comes to you.” (Quran 15:99)

We can understand from this aya that one should continue to worship Allah as long as he is alive because no one knows the specific time of his or her death. It’s everyone’s hope to die while they are in the best state of maintaining the rituals of Islam and closeness to Allah. To achieve this goal, one should consider the following aya. Allah says,

“O you who believe! Be ever God-fearing, with a fear justly due Him. And do not die, except while you are muslims, in willing submission to God (alone).” (Quran 3:102)

When interpreting this Aya, Imam Ibn Kathir, the great commentator of the Quran, said, “Preserve your Islam while you are well and safe, so that you die as a Muslim. The Most Generous Allah has made it His decision that whatever state one lives in, that is what he dies upon and is resurrected upon. We seek refuge from dying on other than Islam.”

In fact, good deeds should still be observed all the year round. Fasting, performing night prayer, reciting the Gracious Quran, giving in charity, making du’aa (supplication) and enjoining what is good and forbidding what is evil are just a few examples. Let us look at one or two of these kinds of worship!

Fasting

Although fasting is compulsory in Ramadan, it is still recommended in the other months. In Shawwal, it is recommended to fast six days.

Abu Ayyub (May Allah be pleased with him) reported:

The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “He who observes Al-Sawm (the fasts) in the month of Ramadan, and also observes Al-Sawm for six days in the month of Shawwal, it is as if he has observed Al-Sawm for the whole year.” (Muslim)

One can start to perform those six days from Shawwal 2 because it is prohibited to fast the first day of Shawwal. They may be observed consecutively or separately during the month.

The other supererogatory fasts

The other recommended fasts during the year include fasting on Mondays and Thursdays, and for three days every month, the 13th, the 14th and the 15th.

The Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) would also encourage Muslims to do more acts of worship on the first nine days of Dhul-Hijjah, the 12th month in the lunar calendar. This includes fasting on those days. Moreover, the reward for fasting on the Day of Arafat, the 9th day of Dhul-Hijjah, is the forgiveness of the sins of two years, one before and one after that day. It should be noted that it is not recommended for the pilgrim to fast the Day of Arafat. The reward of the pilgrim for standing on Arafat and doing other acts of worship is the forgiveness of all past sins. So, the pilgrim does not fast on that day to be better able to do more acts of worship.

It is also highly recommended to fast a lot of days of Al-Muharram, the first month in the lunar calendar. Fasting the 10th day of Al-Muharram forgives the sins of the previous year. Also, Prophet Muhammad (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) used to fast most days of Sha’ban.

The night prayer

The night prayer is not exclusively recommended in Ramadan. It can still be performed at every night of the year.

Narrated Abu Hurairah:

The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) as saying: The most excellent fast after Ramadan is Allah’s month al-Muharram, and the most excellent prayer after the prescribed prayer is the prayer during night. (Muslim)

The night prayer is one of the best acts of worship that brings the Muslim closer to Allah. In addition, it is a symbol of goodness and excellence. Allah says,

“Little of the night did they lie down. For at night’s end they were seeking (God’s) forgiveness.” (Quran 51: 17-18)

Reciting the Gracious Quran

Reciting the Gracious Quran should be part and parcel of the Muslim’s everyday life. There are several ayat (verses) from the Quran and many hadiths that encourage Muslims to read the Quran, study its meanings and reflect upon its admonitions. The Muslim should spend some time to do this even if it is ten minutes. 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)

There are a lot of other acts of worship which every Muslim should do a share of it. May Allah accept our and your good deeds! Ameen!

 

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Etiquette and Legal Rulings of the `Eid Day

Etiquette and Legal Rulings of the `Eid Day

‘Eid al-Fitr (festival of fast-breaking) and ‘Eid al-Ad-ha (festival of sacrifice) are the only two main festivals in Islam.

There are certain acts of worship and etiquette Muslims should observe on those days to express their gratitude to Allah.  Among these acts of worship is the ‘Eid prayer. Allah says,

“Rather, (He wills) for you to complete the number (of prescribed days) _ and that you shall extol God for (the blessing of faith to) which He has guided you, so that you may give thanks (to Him alone for easing its way and establishing you therein).” (Quran 2: 185)

There are certain acts of worship and etiquette Muslims should observe on those days to express their gratitude to Allah.

The legal ruling regarding the `Eid prayer

Scholars hold different opinions concerning performing the ‘Eid prayer. There are three rulings as follows:

1. Individually obligatory

This means that every Muslim must perform it. This is the opinion of Imam Abu Hanifah and Shaikh al-Islam Ibn Taimiyah. They quoted the following Hadith to support their opinion:

Umm ‘Atiyya reported: The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) commanded us to bring out on ‘Eid al-Fitr (festival of fast-breaking) and ‘Eid al-Ad-ha (festival of sacrifice) young women, menstruating women and purdah-observing ladies, menstruating women kept back from prayer, but participated in goodness and supplication of the Muslims. I said: Messenger of Allah, one of us does not have an outer garment (to cover her face and body). He said: Let her sister cover her with her outer garment. (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

They interpret the commandment in the hadith to mean obligation. Although it is not obligatory for women to perform the prayer in congregation, the Prophet (peace be upon him) ordered them to witness the ‘Eid prayer. This, in turn, means that it is obligatory for men.

2. Collectively obligatory

This means that the ‘Eid prayer must be performed. Here, not every single person falls under the obligation. A group can perform the obligation on behalf of others.

This opinion is, however, not that strong. If the ‘Eid prayer is collectively obligatory, women won’t fall under the obligation which is in contradiction with the above mentioned Hadith.

3. Sunnah or recommended

If we take the following Hadith into consideration, we can understand the commandment in the above mentioned hadith to mean recommendation. This is the opinion of the majority of the scholars.

A man from Najd with unkempt hair came to Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) and we heard his loud voice but could not understand what he was saying, till he came near and then we came to know that he was asking about Islam. Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “You have to offer prayers perfectly five times in a day and night (24 hours).” The man asked, “Is there any more (praying)?” Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) replied, “No, but if you want to offer the Nawafil (voluntary) prayers (you can).” … And then that man retreated saying, “By Allah! I will neither do less nor more than this.” Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “If what he said is true, then he will be successful (i.e. he will be granted Paradise).”  (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

The time of ‘Eid prayer

The ‘Eid prayer has the same time as Duha prayer. Duha means the morning sunshine. In the technical usage it refers to a specific time that starts about 10 or 15 minutes after the sunrise and finishes 10 or 15 minutes before the Dhuhr (noon) prayer or before it’s high noon i.e. when the sun starts to move from its highest point in the sky towards the direction of the sunset.

The place of its performance

It is recommended that the ‘Eid prayer be performed in the open, namely, outside mosques in a wide place. The Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) and his Companions (may Allah be pleased with them) used to perform it in the desert. However, the place should be near so that it can be easy for people to attend.

It is reprehensible to perform the ‘Eid prayer in mosques without any legal excuse.

The recommended acts of the Day of ‘Eid

1. Eating before ‘Eid prayer on ‘Eid al-Fitr and after it on ‘Eid al Ad-ha

On ‘Eid al-Fitr, it is recommended to eat dates or something else if there is not any before going out to perform the prayer. This shows how obedient Muslims are in hastening to fulfill Allah’s commands by breaking the fast.

On ‘Eid al-Ad-ha, it is recommended to eat after the ‘Eid prayer. If a person offers a sacrifice on this day, it is recommended to eat from what they offered.

Narrated Anas bin Malik: Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) never proceeded (for the prayer) on the Day of ‘Eid al-Fitr unless he had eaten some dates. Anas also narrated: The Prophet (ﷺ) used to eat odd number of dates.

2. Going out for the ‘Eid prayer in the early hours of the morning

One can go out after performing the fajr (Dawn) prayer. Only the Imam can come on the time of the prayer.

Narrated Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri:

The Prophet (ﷺ) used to proceed to the Musalla (the place of the prayer) on the days of ‘Eid al-Fitr and ‘Eid al-Ad-ha; the first thing to begin with was the prayer… (Al-Bukhari)

3. Going to the place of the prayer on foot

Legal excuses such as sickness, the place for prayer is far, etc. allow the person to ride.

4. Taking a ritual bath and to putting on perfume

Abdullah ibn ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) used to take a ritual bath before proceeding to perform the ‘Eid prayer.

5. Wearing clean and nice clothes

‘Umar ibn al-Khattab said, “O Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ)! Buy this cloak and adorn yourself with it on the ‘Eid festivals and on meeting the delegations.” (Al-Bukhari)

6. Going through one route and returning through another one

Scholars say the wisdom behind that is to emulate Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). There are other opinions regarding this, however, this is the preferred one.

Jabir (May Allah be pleased with him) reported:

On the occasion of the ‘Eid, the Prophet (ﷺ) would proceed to the prayer place taking one route and returning from another. (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

7. Reciting Takbir in a loud voice

Allah says,

“Rather, (He wills) for you to complete the number (of prescribed days) _ and that you shall extol God for (the blessing of faith to) which He has guided you, so that you may give thanks (to Him alone for easing its way and establishing you therein).” (Quran 2: 185)

‘Extol God’ means to say takbir. One starts to recite takbir when he comes out of his house and after he reaches the place of the prayer. This continues till the time of the prayer.

The majority of scholars are of the opinion that the time for takbir on ‘Eid al-Fitr starts from after the dawn prayer until the time for performing the ‘Eid prayer. Others say that it starts immediately after seeing the new moon of the month of Shawwal.

On ‘Eid al-Ad-ha, there are two kinds of takbir with regard to the time of saying it: The first kind, which is recited at any time, starts from the first day of Dhul-Hijjah until the 13th day of Dhul-Hijjah. Moreover, the second kind, which is recited after every obligatory prayer, starts from the Fajr (dawn) prayer on the 9th day of Dhul-Hijjah until the ‘Asr (afternoon) prayer on the 13th day of Dhul-Hijjah.

There are many forms of takbir. The following is one of the most famous:

Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar, laa ilaha ill-Allah, wa Allahu akbar, Allah akbar, wa Lillaah il-hamd (Allah is the Most Great, Allah is the Most Great, there is no god but Allah, Allah is the Most Great, Allah is the Most Great, and for Allah is all praise).

8. Offering congratulations

Different expressions can be used here such as ‘may Allah accept our and your good deeds’ or ‘Eid Mubarak’ (I wish you a blessed ‘Eid), etc.

 

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