In the name of Allah, most Gracious, most Merciful
Praised be to Allah. O Allah, we praise you, beseech you for help and forgiveness. Whomever Allah guides, no one can misguide. I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, I also bear witness that our Master Muhammad is the servant and messenger of Allah. May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon our Master Muhammad, his honourable family, his righteous companions and those who follow them in righteousness until the Day of Judgment.
* The day of Arafat
The 9th day of Dhul-Hijjah is the day of Arafat. It is in this day the pilgrims gather on the mountain plain of Arafat, praying and supplicating to their Lord. The day of Arafat holds great importance in Islam since this is the Day when Allah completed his revelation on His Messenger (saw).
It is reported in the sahihayn (i.e. al-Bukhari and Muslim), from Umar Ibn al-Khattab (ra) that a Jewish man said to him:
O Amirul Mumineen (O head of the Muslims)! There is a verse in the Noble and Magnificent Qur’an, which if it was revealed on us, the Jews, we would have taken that day as an Eid (festival). Umar asked: which verse? He said:
“This day I have perfected your religion for you, completed my favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion.” [Surah al-Maidah (5):3]
Umar (ra) said: “we know on which day and in which place this verse was revealed to Allah’s Messenger (saw). It was when he was standing in Arafat on a Friday.”
Arafat is the day on which Allah took the covenant from the progeny of Adam (alaihis-salaam). It was reported that Ibn Abbas (radhiyallahu anhu) narrated: The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) related:
“When Allah created Adam (AS) Allah took covenant from him in a place called Na’man on the day of Arafat, then He extracted from him all the descendants who would be born until the end of the world, generation after generation, and spread them out in front of Him in order to take a covenant from them also. He spoke to them face to face saying:
“Am I not your Lord?”
And they all replied: “Yes, we testify to it”. Allah then explained why He had all of mankind bear witness that He was their Creator and only true God worthy of worship. He said:
“That was in case you (mankind) should say on the Day of Resurrection, ‘Surely, we were unaware of this. We had no idea that You, Allah, were our Lord. No one told us that we were only supposed to worship you.”
[(Sahih, by Shaikh al-Albani in Silsilah al-Ahadith as-Sahihah vol: 4, no: 1623]
* Fasting on the day of Arafat
Fasting on the day of Arafat is a true blessing and a means of great forgiveness for all who undertakes it and there is no doubt that we should all try our best to fast on this blessed day which is the next Friday Dhul-Hijjah 9, 1435 A.H (October 3, 2014).
The Prophet (saw) says: “Be content with the fact that Allah will expiate for your sins for a whole year before the day of Arafat and the year after the day of Arafat”. [Sahih Muslim)
And he also says:
“There is no day on which Allah frees more people from the Fire than the day of Arafat. He Allah (swt) comes close and expresses His pride to the angels saying, ‘What do these people want?” [Sahih Muslim]
However whoever is at Arafat as a pilgrim then fasting is not expected of him as the Prophet (SAW) stopped at Arafat to eat.
* Yawm an-Nahr (Ranar Layya)
The tenth day of Dhul-Hijjah is the greatest day of Hajj. It is known as Yawm an –Nahr (the day of Sacrifice), since it marks the ending of the major rite of Hajj – the Sacrifice. And it is on this day that the Muslims commemorate the bounties and blessings of Allah. It was recorded in a Hadith by Imam Ahmad (in his Musnad vol: 4, no: 350) that the day of Nahr is the most virtuous day to Allah. The Messenger of Allah (sallAllahu alaihi wa-sallam) said:
“The greatest day of Hajj (Pilgrimage) is the Day of an-Nahr (Slaughtering).” [(Sahih) by Shaikh al-Albani in Irwa al-Ghalil (no: 1101). And Abu Dawud no: 1945]
Imam Ibn Taymiyyah al-Harrani (d.728H) said:
“The most excellent day of the week is the day of Jumu’ah (Friday), by the agreement and consensus of the Scholars (Ulama’). And the most excellent day of the year is the day of an-Nahr. And some of them said that it is the day of Arafat. However, the first opinion is the correct one, since it is related in the Sunan collections that the Prophet (saw) said: “The most excellent days with Allah is the day of an-Nahr, then the day that the Muslims reside in Mina.”
[(Sahih) by Shaikh al-Albani in Irwa al-Ghalil (no: 2018). Also Related by Imam Abu Dawud no: 1765 [See Majmu al-Fatawa vol: 25, pp. 288]
The day of An-Nahr is also known as ‘Eid al-Adha, meaning the festival of Sacrifice and it is one of the two festivals which Allah has granted to the Ummah of Prophet (saw). Anas (ra) narrated; Allah’s Messenger (saw) came to Medina and the people of Medina in the days of Jahiliyyah and two days of play and amusement. So, Allah’s Messenger (saw) said:
“I came to you and you had in Jahiliyyah, two days of play and amusement. Allah has replaced something better for you; the Day of an-Nahr and the day of al-Fitr.” [(Sahih) by Hafidh Ibn Hajr Al-asqalani, in Bulugh al-Maram. And also related by Ahmad in Musand. Vol: 3, no: 103]
The Messenger of Allah (saw) said:
“The day of al-Fitr, and the day of an-Nahr, and the days of at-Tashriq (the three days after an-Nahr) are our days of Eid (festivity); and they are days of eating and drinking.” [(Sahih) by Shaikh al-Albani in Sahih al-Jami (no: 8192). Related by Ahmad in Musnad (no: 1945)]
* Glorifying Allah with Takbir: (Takbir al-Muqayyad)
From the day of Arafat until the ASR prayer of the 13th day of Dhul-Hijjah, one should make Takbir after every obligatory Salaat (prayer). Ibn Abi Shaybah relates that Ali (ra) used to make the Takbir beginning after the Fajr (Subh) prayer on the day of Arafat, until after the ASR prayer on the last day of at-Tashriq. [(Sahih) by Shaikh al-Albani in al-Irwa and also Related by Ibn Abi Shaybah in al-Musannaf]
Shaikh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullah) said:
“The most correct saying concerning the Takbir – that which the majority of the Salaf (Pious Predecessors), and the Scholars from the Companions and Imams were upon – is to begin making the Takbir from Fajr (dawn) on the day of Arafat up until the last day of at-Tashriq (the thirteenth of Dhul-Hijjah), after every Prayer.” [See Majmu al-Fatawa (24/220)]
Imam al-Khattabiy (rahimahullah) (d. 456H) said:
“The wisdom behind saying the Takbir in these days is that in the time of Jahiliyyah (pre-Islamic ignorance), they used to slaughter for their Taghuts (false objects of worship). So the Takbirs were prescribed in order to indicate that the act of slaughtering is directed to Allah alone, and by mentioning only His Name.” [See Fath al-Bari of Ibn Hajar Al-asqalani rahimahullah]
As regards to the actual wording of the Takbirs, then nothing authentic has been related from the Messenger of Allah (saw). However, the following have been reported from the Sahabah (his companions).
- Ibn Mas’ud (ra): reported, “Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, La ilaha illAllah, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar wa lillahil-Hamd.” [(Sahih) Irwa al-Ghalil (650), Daraqutni, and Ibn Abi Shaibah]
Meaning: (Allah is the greatest, Allah is the Greatest, and there is none worthy of worship except Allah. Allah is the Greatest; Allah is the Greatest and to Allah belongs all praises)
- Ibn Abbas (ra): reported, “Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar wa lillahil-Hamd; Allahu Akbar wa-ajal, Allahu Akbar ala ma hadana.”[(Sahih) – Bayhaqi (3/315)
Meaning: (Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest, and Allah is the Greatest and to Allah belongs all praises. Allah is the Greatest to that which He has guided us to)
- Salman (ra) reported: “Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar kabiran”.
[Sahih) – Bayhaqi (3/316)
Meaning: (Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest, and Allah is the Greatest)
Allah says in the Noble Qur’an:
“Increase in these days with Tahlil, Takbir and Tahmid (Takbir al-Mutlaq). And mention the name of Allah on the appointed Days.” [Surah al-Hajj (22):28]
This verse has been explained (by some) Scholars to mean the ten days of Dhul-Hijjah. Scholars consider it desirable to increase Dhikr (remembrance of Allah) in these days, because the Messenger of Allah (saw) is reported to have said:
“There are no days that are greater to Allah or in which deeds are more beloved to Him than these ten days, so increase your Tahlil, Takbir and Tahmid during these days.” [Musnad of Imam Ahmad]
Tahlil, Takbir and Tahmid mean saying ‘La ilaha illa Allah’, ‘Allahu Akbar’ and ‘al-Hamdu lillah’, respectively.
Ishaq narrates from the scholars of the Tabi’in that in these ten days they used to say: Allahu-Akbar, Allahu-Akbar; La-ilaha-illAllah; wallahu-Akbar, Allahu-Akbar; wa- lillahil-hamd.
It is also a beloved act (mustahab) to raise the voice when saying the Takbir, in the markets, the houses, the streets, the masjids (mosques) and other places, because of the saying of Allah Most High in Surah al-Hajj verse 37:
“…that you may magnify Allah for His Guidance to you…”
Imam Bukhari (rahimahullah) said in the book of al-Idayn (two Eids prayers) in the chapter of the Virtue of good deeds during the days of Tashriq, Abdullah Ibn Umar and Abu Hurayrah (ra) would go out in the marketplace during the ten days and say Takbir, and the people would say Takbir when they said Takbir. [Sahih al-Bukhari]
The Sunnah is to say the Takbir individually. The saying of Takbir in congregation, i.e., everyone pronouncing the Takbir with one voice, is not permissible since this has not been transmitted (to us) from the early generations of the Sahabah and those who followed their ways. And this is applicable for all Dhikr and supplications, except if the person doesn’t know what to say. In that case he may repeat after someone else until he learns (the words to be said).
Narrated al-Barra’ (Allah be pleased with him) that he heard the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi wa sallam) delivering a khutbah saying:
“The first thing to be done on this day (first day of Eid-ul-Adha) is to pray; and after returning from the prayer we slaughter our sacrifices (in the name of Allah), and whoever does so, he has acted according to our Sunnah.” (Kitaabul-Eidayn, Sahih Bukhari)
Eid-ul-Adha is celebrated on the 10th through 12th day of Dhul Hijjah, and in the 12th month of the lunar calendar. Many of the rituals related to the Eid directly commemorate the sacrifices of Prophet Ibrahim (alayhis-salaam) and his family for the sake of Allah. On the way to the Eid prayer, while waiting for it and on the way back from the prayer one should recite the following takbeer as much as possible:
“Allahu Akbar-Allahu Akbar-Laa ilaaha illallaah-wal-laahu Akbar Allahu Akbar wa lil-laahil-hamd.”
Meaning: (Allah is the Greatest; Allah is the Greatest; there is no god except Allah; and Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest and for Allah is all praise).
Also it is the tradition of the Prophet (Sallallaahu Alayhi wa sallam) to go to the prayer by one way and return by another. The takbeerat at-tashreeq above is also to be recited after every fard (compulsory) prayer, beginning from the Fajr prayer of the 9th to the Asr prayer of the 13th of Dhul Hijjah (that is 23 times in all).
The following actions are also Sunnah on the day of Eid:
- To clean the teeth with miswaak (or its equivalent, like toothbrush);
- To take a bath;
- To adorn oneself and dress in the best clothes that are available and are permitted in Shari’ah;
- To use perfume;
- To rise early and go to the prayer grounds early;
- To walk to the prayer grounds if possible and to recite the takbeer above;
- Nothing is to be eaten before the prayer of Eid-ul-Adha, unlike Eid-ul-Fitr;
- No (nafla) prayers should be prayed at the Eid prayer ground, neither before nor after the Eid prayer.
* Procedure of the Eid Prayer
Eid-ul-Adha Prayer consists of two raka’ats in congregation. The procedure of the prayer is as follows:
First, make the niyyah for the Eid Salaah (prayer);
Then the Imam says Allahu Akbar (and the followers do so after him). Then the hands are folded as in other prayers and the du’a al – istiftah.
“Subhaanakal-laahumma wa bi hamdika wa tabaarakas-muka wa ta’aalaa jad-duka wa laa ilaaha ghairuk”.
Meaning: (O Allah! Glory and Praise are for you, and blessed is Your name, and exalted is Your majesty; and there is no god except You.)
Then Allahu Akbar is said 7 times, every time raising the hands to the ears and dropping them except the last time when they are folded. Then the Imam recites the Ta’awwudh and Bismillah quietly and then recites Surah Fatiha and another Surah (Preferably Surah Al-A’laa or Surah Qaaf). Then ruku’u and sujuud are performed as in other prayers. In the second rak’ah, the Imam recites Bismillah quietly and then Surah Fatiha and another Surah loudly (Preferably Surah Al-Ghaashiyah or Surah Al-Qamar) and then says Allahu Akbar 5 times, each time raising the hands to the ears and dropping them. Then the congregation goes into ruku’u, sujuud and finishes the prayer as any other. After the Eid prayer is completed, the Imam stands up and gives khutbah in Arabic, as was the practice of the prophet (Sallallaahu Alayhi wa sallam).
* Some selected Traditions (Hadiths) from Sahih-al-Bukhari: The Chapter of the Two Eids.
- Narrated Aisha (Radiyallaahu anhaa) that Allah’s Messenger (Sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) said: “There is an Eid for every nation and this is our Eid.”
- Narrated Abdullah bin Umar (Radiyallaahu anhu) that Allah’s Messenger (Sallallaahu Alayhi wa sallam) used to offer the prayer of Eid-ul-Adha and Eid-ul-fitr and then deliver the khutbah after the prayer.
- Narrated Ibn Abbas (Radiyallaahu anhu) that the Prophet (Sallallaahu Alayhi wa sallam) said: “No good deeds done on other days are superior to those done on these (first 10 days of Dhil Hijjah).” Then some companions of the Prophet (Sallallaahu Alayhi wa sallam) said, “Not even Jihad?” He replied, “Not even jihad, except that of a man who does it by putting himself and his property in danger (for Allah’s sake) and does not return with any of those things.”
- Narrated Jaabir ibn Abdullah (Radiyallaahu anhu): On the day of Eid, the Prophet (Sallallaahu Alayhi wa sallam) used to return (from the prayer) through a way different from that by which he went.
- Narrated Urwa, on the authority of Aisha (Radiyallaahu anhaa) that on the days of Mina (11th, 12th and 13th of Dhul Hijjah) Abu Bakr (Radiyallaahu anhu) came to her while two girls were beating the tambourine and the Prophet (Sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) was lying covered with his clothes. Abu Bakr (Radiyallaahu anhu) scolded them and the Prophet (Sallallaahu Alayhi wa sallam) uncovered his face and said to Abu Bakr, “Leave them, for these days are the days of Eid and the days of Mina.”
* The Slaughtering of Animals (Yanka dabbar layya).
According to Imam Abu Hanifah, the slaughtering is a wajib. For Abu Hanifah, a wajib is more than a Sunnah and less than a fard (Obligatory or Compulsory). The other Imams consider a wajib to mean fard (obligatory).
Therefore, he sees that it is wajib for those people who are capable to do it according to the hadith, “Whoever has the ability to slaughter and he doesn’t, then let him not come near our prayer area.” So Abu Hanifa took from this hadith that it was a wajib. If we cannot consider it as a wajib, at least it is a Sunnah mu’akkadah and in it is a great bounty.
Its time of occurrence (the Slaughtering) is after Salaatul-Eid, meaning the earliest salaatul-Eid that has been performed in your area. After which, it is permissible to make the sacrifice. If it is done before that, it is not considered an Eid sacrifice.
For the Prophet (blessing of Allah and peace be upon him) commanded the one who performs the slaughtering before the Eid prayer to consider his sheep as a “sheep of meat” and not as a “sheep of worship”. Even if he gave all of it in charity he will only be rewarded for it the reward of charity, not the reward for slaughtering for the Eid. For slaughtering is an act of worship and the acts of worship if they have a fixed time and condition then it is not befitting for it to be performed early or late, like the daily prayers. Is it permissible for you to pray Dhuhr before its appointed time? The answer to this question is a big and capital No! So it is with the slaughtering of the Eid, it has its specified time too.
Some people in certain places slaughter their animal the night before the Eid. This is incorrect and a misplacement of the Sunnah, as well as a loss of the reward that it contains. If this person realizes his mistake in time, especially if he made a vow to slaughter (then it is obligatory for him), he should repeat it in the correct time after the Eid prayer. It is also permissible to slaughter on the second and third day of the Eid.
It is best to slaughter before the sun reaches its zenith (Zawali). If the time for Dhuhr comes and he has not performed the slaughter it is better to wait till the second day to do it. Some of the Imams have said that it is permissible after that during the day or even the night. For this reason I see that it is not absolutely necessary that everybody slaughters on the first day because there will be a lot of crowding at the site of the slaughtering. So, it is possible that some people can delay their slaughtering until the second or third day.
* What is the Proper Animal for Slaughter?
Camels, cows, ram, sheep and goats are the proper animal to use for slaughtering because they are considered livestock (Bahimatul an’ am). So it is permissible to slaughter from any of these types. The sheep can be used for one, meaning a man and the members of his household. As the Prophet (peace and blessing of Allah be upon him) said, “This is on behalf of Muhammad and his family.”
Abu Ayyub al-Ansari (ra) has said, “During the time of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) a man used to slaughter one sheep for himself and his family until it came to the point that people competed with each other and they became what you now see”. This is the Sunnah.
As for cows and camels, 1/7 of either of them is sufficient for one person, so it is possible and permissible that 7 people could share one camel or one camel or one cow with the condition that the cow is not less than 2 years old or the camel less than 5 years old.
The better the quality of the animal used for slaughtering with regards to its size and condition, the better. That is because it is a gift to Allah, Mighty and Majesty. Therefore, it is befitting for the Muslim to present to Allah the best possible thing. As for one giving to Allah what he himself would dislike, then no, this is not appropriate. But in the end, know that, “It is not their meat nor their blood that reaches Allah, rather, it is the piety of the hearts that reaches Him.”
Finally, my respected people, I ask Allah (swt) in His infinite mercy to accept all our Ibadaats in these blessed days and always, amin.
Imam Murtada Muhammad Gusau, the chief Imam of Nagazi Jumu’at Mosque, Okene Kogi State Nigeria. He can be reached via 08038289761 for advice and corrections.