In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the 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 (Pbuh), 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 Significance of the Day of Arafah
Brothers and Sisters! The 9th day of Zul Hijjah is the Day of Arafah. It is in this day the pilgrims gather on the mountain plain of Arafah, praying and supplicating to their Lord. The day of Arafah holds great importance in Islam since this is the Day when Allah completed his revelation on His Messenger Muhammad (Pbuh).
It is reported in the Sahihain (i.e. al-Bukhari and Muslim), from Umar Ibn al-Khattab (RA) that a Jewish man said to him (Umar):
“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-Ma’idah, 5:3]
Umar (RA) said:
“We know on which day and in which place this verse was revealed to Allah’s Messenger (Pbuh). It was when he was standing in Arafah on a Friday.”
My people! Arafah is also the day on which Allah took the covenant from the progeny of Adam (AS). It was reported that Ibn Abbas (RA) narrated: The Messenger of Allah (Pbuh) related:
“When Allah created Adam (AS) Allah took covenant from him in a place called Na’man on the day of Arafah, 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 Creator?” 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 Arafah
Fasting on the day of Arafah 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 Thursday, Zul-Hijjah 9, 1438 A.H (August 31, 2017).
The Prophet (Pbuh) says:
“Be content with the fact that Allah will expiate for your sins for a whole year before the day of Arafah and the year after the day of Arafah.” [Sahih Muslim)
And he (Pbuh) also says:
“There is no day on which Allah frees more people from the Fire than the day of Arafah. He Allah (SWT) comes close and expresses His pride to the angels saying, ‘What do these people want?” [Sahih Muslim]
However whoever is at Arafah as a pilgrim then fasting is not expected of him as the Prophet (Pbuh) stopped at Arafah to eat.
*Yaum an-Nahr, Yaum al-Hajjil Akbar (Ranar Layyah)
The tenth day of Zul 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 (Pbuh) 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 Arafah. However, the first opinion is the correct one, since it is related in the Sunan collections that the Prophet (Pbuh) 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, Page 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 Muhammad (Pbuh). Anas (RA) narrated:
“Allah’s Messenger (Pbuh) came to Madinah and the people of Madinah in the days of Jahiliyyah had two days of play and amusement. So, Allah’s Messenger (Pbuh) 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 Hafiz Ibn Hajr Al-asqalani, in Bulugh al-Maram. And also related by Imam Ahmad in Musand. Vol. 3, no. 103]
The Messenger of Allah (Pbuh) 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):
Brothers and Sisters! From the day of Arafah until the ASR prayer of the 13th day of Zul Hijjah, one should make Takbir after every obligatory Salah (prayer). Ibn Abi Shaybah relates that:
“Ali (RA) used to make the Takbir beginning after the Fajr (Subh) prayer on the day of Arafah, 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 Arafah up until the last day of at-Tashriq (the thirteenth of Zul Hijjah), after every Prayer.” [See Majmu al-Fatawa,24/220]
Imam al-Khattabi (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 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 has been related from the Messenger of Allah (Pbuh). However, the following have been reported from the his Sahabah (his Companions):
1. Ibn Mas’ud (RA) reported:
“Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, La ilaha illallah, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar wa lillahil-Hamd.” [Sahih, Irwa al-Ghalil 650, Imam Daraqutni and Ibn Abi Shaibah]
“Allah is the greatest, 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.”
2. 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]
“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.”
3. Salman (RA) reported:
“Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar kabiran.” [Sahih – Bayhaqi, 3/316]
“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]
Respected Brothers and Sisters! This verse has been explained by scholars to mean the ten days of Zul Hijjah. Scholars consider it desirable to increase Zikr (remembrance of Allah) in these days, because the Messenger of Allah (Pbuh) 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-Hamdulillah’, 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 offices, 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-Eids (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 Zikr 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 (Pbuh) delivering a Khutbah (Sermon), saying:
“The first thing to be done on this day (i.e. 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.” [Kitabul-Eids in Sahih Bukhari]
Brothers and Sisters! Eid-ul-Adha is celebrated on the 10th through 13th day of Zul 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 (AS) 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 takbir as much as possible:
“Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, La ilaha illallah, wal lahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar wa lil-lahil-hamd.”
“Allah is the Greatest; 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 (Pbuh) to go to the Eid prayer by one way and return by another. And don’t forget, the takbiraat at-tashriq 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 Zul Hijjah (that is 23 times in all), as mentioned earlier.
The following actions are also Sunnah on the day of Eid:
– To clean the teeth with miswak (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 takbir above.
– Nothing is to be eaten before the prayer of Eid-ul-Adha, unlike Eid-ul-Fitr.
– No (nafila) 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’ahs in congregation. The procedure of the prayer is as follows:
First, make the niyyah (intention) for the Eid Salah (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:
“Subhanakal-lahumma wa bi hamdika wa tabarakas-muka wa ta’ala jadduka wa la ilaha ghairuk.”
“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 seven 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’la or Surah Qaf). Then ruku’u and sujud are performed as in other prayers. In the second raka’ah, the Imam recites Bismillah quietly and then Surah Fatiha and another Surah loudly (Preferably Surah Al-Ghashiyah or Surah Al-Qamar) and then says Allahu Akbar five times, each time raising the hands to the ears and dropping them. Then the congregation goes into ruku’u, sujud 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 (Pbuh). He can translate in the local language for people to understand the message in the Sermon.
*Some selected Hadiths from Sahih al-Bukhari in the Chapter of the Two Eids.
Narrated Aisha (RA) that Allah’s Messenger (Pbuh) said:
“There is an Eid for every nation and this is our Eid.”
Narrated Abdullah bin Umar (RA) that Allah’s Messenger (Pbuh) used to offer the prayer of Eid-ul-Adha and Eid-ul-fitr and then deliver the Khutbah after the prayer.
Narrated Ibn Abbas (RA) that the Prophet (Pbuh) said:
“No good deeds done on other days are superior to those done on these (first 10 days of Zul Hijjah).” Then some Companions of the Prophet (Pbuh) 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 Jabir ibn Abdullah (RA) that:
“On the day of Eid, the Prophet (Pbuh) used to return (from the prayer) through a way different from that by which he went.”
Narrated Urwa, on the authority of Aisha (RA) that:
“On the days of Mina (11th, 12th and 13th of Zul Hijjah) Abu Bakr (RA) came to her while two girls were beating the tambourine and the Prophet (Pbuh) was lying covered with his clothes. Abu Bakr (RA) scolded them and the Prophet (Pbuh) 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 Sacrificial Animals
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 Hanifah took from this Hadith that it was a wajib. But 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 Salatul-Eid (Eid Prayer), meaning the earliest salatul-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 (Pbuh) 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 Zuhr 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 (Zawal). If the time for Zuhr 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. Wallahu ‘Alam.
*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 (Pbuh) said:
“This is on behalf of Muhammad and his family.”
Abu Ayyub al-Ansari (RA) has said:
“During the time of the Prophet (Pbuh) 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 cow with the condition that the cow is not less than 2 years old or the camel less than five 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.” [Al Qur’an]
*The Position of Praying Jumu’ah when the Eid falls on a Friday
My respected people! Imam Abu Dawud in his Sunan collected narrations for the subject of praying the Jumu’ah prayer if the Eid falls on Friday. He began placing these Hadiths right after a series of Hadith that mention the categories of people excused from Jumu’ah.
*Zaid Ibn Arqam:
Ilyas ibn AbuRamlah ash-Shami said:
“I witnessed Mu’awiyah Ibn Abu Sufyan asking Zaid Ibn Arqam: Did you offer along with the Messenger of Allah (Pbuh) the Friday and Eid prayers fell on the same day? He said: Yes. He asked: How did he do? He replied: He offered the Eid prayer, then granted concession to offer the Friday prayer, and said: If anyone wants to offer it, he may offer it.”
*Abdullah Ibn Abbas:
Ata’ Ibn Abi Rabah said:
“Ibn az-Zubair led us in the Eid prayer on Friday early in the morning. When we went to offer the Friday, he did not come out to us. So we prayed by ourselves alone. At that time Ibn Abbas was present in at-Ta’if. When he came to us, we mentioned this (incident) to him. He said: He followed the Sunnah.”
“The Friday and the Eid prayers occurred during the time of Ibn al-Zubair. He said: Two festivals (Eid and Friday) both fell on the same day. He combined them and offered two raka’ahs in the morning and did not add anything until he offered the afternoon (Asr) prayer.”
The Prophet (Pbuh) said:
“Two festivals (Eid and Friday) have both fell on this day. If anyone does not want to offer the Friday prayer, then the Eid prayer is enough for him. But we shall offer the Friday prayer.”
Benefits of this Subject
Imam Muhammad Nasiruddin Al-Albani graded all these narrations as being authentic. He said:
“If anyone wants to offer it, he may offer it.” ‘Shows that when the Jumu’ah and Eid fall on the same day the excuse to not attend Jumu’ah is allowed only to the one who makes Eid prayer.”‘
“He followed the Sunnah.” ‘Shows the Eid is given preference, perhaps because it’s the yearly Eid and Jumu’ah comes weekly.”‘
“Led us in the Eid prayer on Friday early in the morning. When we went to offer the Friday, he did not come out to us.” ‘Shows that the Eid prayer is done before Jumu’ah.”‘
“Ibn az-Zubair led us in the Eid prayer on Friday early in the morning. When we went to offer the Friday, he did not come out to us.” Al-Amir As-San’ani said: “This doesn’t prove Ibn Zubair didn’t pray until Asr, just because he didn’t go out with them for prayer, and this doesn’t mean he didn’t pray alone in his house.”
“Ibn az-Zubair led us in the Eid prayer on Friday early in the morning. When we went to offer the Friday, he did not come out to us.” ‘Is proof that the Eid prayer is offered in the countryside or in an open area, and not in the masjid.”‘
“Ibn az-Zubair led us in the Eid prayer on Friday early in the morning. When we went to offer the Friday, he did not come out to us.” Shaykh Ibn Rslan said: “This implies that since the regular Imam didn’t come out every one prayed the Zuhr independently.”
“Ibn Abbas was present in at-Ta’if..” ‘Ibn Abbas lived in Ta’if and died there in 68 Hijrah at the age of 70 years old.’
“He followed the sunnah.” Al-Amir said: “Ibn Abbas’s speech means he followed the sunnah by not going to offer Jumu’ah and not holding is Jumu’ah when the Eid falls on a Friday isn’t an innovation [Bid’ah].”
“If anyone wants to offer it, he may offer it.” ‘This establishes that a person has the option to offer Jumu’ah or not; however, if he doesn’t offer Jumu’ah then he must still pray Zuhr (But some scholars said no need to pray Zuhr). Since there is a consensus among the scholars that whoever misses Jumu’ah must offer Zuhr; as Jumu’ah takes the place of the Zuhr.”‘
“…and did not add anything to them until he offered the afternoon prayer.” ‘It could be inferred that they offered the Eid prayer they didn’t offer anything else until Asr. And this position has been reported to have been practiced by Az-Zubair and Ali ibn Abi Talib. However what’s established is just because the Imam didn’t come to the masjid doesn’t mean he didn’t pray as Imam Al-Amir mentioned.”‘
Imam Ash-Shafi’i held the position that the excuse to miss Jumu’ah was only for those who lived far away based on a Hadith with a broken chain from a Tabi’i on the Prophet. This makes it weak since the Tabi’i didn’t meet the Prophet. Also, this argument is rejected based on Ibn Abbas’s words “This is the Sunnah“, for those who didn’t go out and pray Jumu’ah.
So if the Eid and Jumu’ah both coincided together (as we are about to witness) on the same day, the Muslim who observes the Eid prayer with the Imam has the option to attend Jumu’ah or pray Zuhr in his house.
Finally, my respected people, I ask Allah (SWT) in His infinite Mercy to accept all our Ibaadaats (Worship) in these blessed days and always, ameen.
Written By your brother:
Imam Murtadha Muhammad Gusau, the Chief Imam of Nagazi-Uvete Jumu’ah and Late Alhaji Abdurrahman Okene’s Mosques, Okene, Kogi State, Nigeria. The Imam can be reached via: +2348038289761, for advice and corrections.