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Friday, November 27, 2009

Eid-ul-Adha

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A very happy Eid to all Muslims.

What Exactly is Eid?

It is a day in which there is a gathering. The word being derived from 'ada-ya 'udu he returned, he is returning, as if they are returning to it i.e. 'Eid. It is also said that the word is derived from 'aadah custom/habit, because they have become accustomed to it. The plural of it being 'Ayad. It is also said: "'Ayadal Muslimun" the Muslims celebrate 'Eid, meaning they witnessed their 'Eid.

Ibn-ul- 'Arabi said: "'Eid was named 'Eid because it returns every year with renewed happiness."

The renowned scholar Ibn 'Aabidin said: "'Eid was titled by this name because in it is the customary beneficence of Allah, the Most High, i.e. various forms of kindness that return, everyday upon His servants. From these are: "Fitr" (eating) after food had been prohibited, Sadaqatul-Fitr, completion of the Hajj by the Tawaf of visiting, the meat from the sacrifices and many other acts. Also because the custom in 'Eid is joy, happiness, cheer fullness and gladness."

The Mercy of Allah for the Prophetic Ummah by the two Eids

Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) said: "The Prophet (SAW) came to Madina and the people of Madina had, in Jahileyah two days for play and amusement. So the Prophet (SAW) said: 'I came to you and you had, in Jaahiliyah two days for play and amusement. Indeed Allah has replaced them for you by that which is better than them: The day of Nahr (Slaughtering) and the day of Fitr (Breaking fast).'"

Shaikh Ahmad 'Abdur-Rahman al-Bana said: "That is because the two days, the day of al-Fitr and of an-Nahr are from the legislation of Allah, the Most High, His choice for His creation and because they succeed the performance of two great pillars of Islam - which are, the Hajj and Fasting. In them Allah forgives the pilgrims and those who fast and spreads His Mercy over all of His obedient creation. As for the days Niaruz and Mahrajan, then they were chosen by the wise men of that era, either because of the mildness of climate and season or because of other transitory virtues. Thus the difference between them is clear for one who contemplates."

Adornment / Beautification for 'Eid

Ibn 'Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) said: "'Umar (may' Allah be pleased with him) bought a silk outer-garment that was being sold in the market. He came to the Messenger of Allah (SAW) and said, 'Take this garment, to adorn (yourself) with on 'Eid and for meeting delegations with. Allah's Messenger replied, 'lndeed, this is the garment of one who has no share of the Hereafter. 'Umar RA remained as long as Allah willed him to remain and then left. Then the Messenger of Allah sent to him a silk garment. So 'Umar came with it to the Messenger of Allah and said, 'O Messenger of Allah! You said indeed this is the garment of one who has no share of the Hereafter but you sent this garment to me!' So the Messenger of Allah said. 'Sell it and fulfill your needs with its profit '"

Imam as-Sindi said: "From the hadith it is known that beautification for the day of 'Eid was an established custom amongst them (the Companions) and the Prophet (SAW) did not disapprove of it. Consequently it is known that the custom remained."

Hafiz Ibn Hajr said: "Ibn Abi Dunyah and al-Baihaqi reported, with an authentic chain of narration to Ibn 'Umar that he used to wear his best clothes for the 'Eids."

He also said: "The inference of proof is from the Prophet's was approving 'Umar on the basic principle of beautifying for the day of jumu'ah and his censure to wearing such a garment because it was made of silk."

Ibn Qudamah said in al-Mughni: "This shows that beautifying, in this circumstance was a well-known fact to them. Malik said: 'I heard the people of knowledge deeming the preference of wearing perfume and of beautifying in the 'Eids."'

Ibn al-Qayyim said in Zaad-ul-Ma'aad: "He (SAW) would wear his best clothes when proceeding to the two 'Eids and the day of jumu'ah. On one occasion he wore a green burdah and on another a red Burdah; but not one that was solely red as some people may think. For if that was the case it would no longer be called a Burdah. Rather it had red thread like the thread of Yemani Burdah."

The Sacrifice

The sacrifice is a sheep that is slaughtered after the 'Eid-ul-'Adha prayer, seeking nearness to Allah, the Most High, by offering this sacrifice. Allah, the Perfect and Free of all defects and the Most High, says: "Say (Oh Muhammad). Indeed my prayer, my sacrifice, my living and my dying are for Allah, the Lord of the worlds" (Holy Quran 6:162)

Here the word "sacrifice" means "slaughtering so as to seek nearness to Allah, Exalted be He."

The scholars have differed with respect to its ruling. However, that which seems to be the strongest opinion from the differing evidences is that the sacrifice is obligatory and here - my Muslim brothers - are some of the Hadith which have been used as an evidence by the ones who say it is obligatory:

1. From Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) who said: "The Messenger of Allah (SAW) said: 'Whosoever has the capability and does not offer a sacrifice, then let him not approach our musallah."' The inference of proof from the hadith is that when he (SAW) prohibited one who has the ability and does not offer a sacrifice from approaching the musallah, he (SAW) highlighted the fact that the one not offering a sacrifice has left an obligatory act. Therefore it is as if he (SAW) is saying that there is no benefit in seeking nearness to Allah while at the same time leaving this obligatory act.

2. From Jundub bin 'Abdullah al-Bajali (may Allah be pleased with him) who said: "I witnessed the Messenger of Allah (SAW) say on the day of Nahr (slaughtering).'Whomsoever slaughtered before praying, then let him replace it with another sacrifice and whomsoever has not slaughtered then let him slaughter "' The "order" is clear in showing that it is obligatory, and nothing has come to take the order away from its clear meaning.

3. From Mikhnaf bin Sulaim who witnessed the Prophet (SAW) say while giving a sermon on the day of 'Arafah: "It is the duty of the people of every household to offer the sacrifice of 'Atariyah every year and do you know what 'Atariyah is? It is what the people call ar-Rajabiyah"

This contains within it an obligatory order. As for 'Atariyah, then it has been abrogated but its abrogation does not necessitate the abrogation of the sacrifice of 'Eid, as that remains upon the original guide line and principal.

Ibn Athir said: "'Atariyah has been abrogated and this occurred in the beginning of Islam."

As for the ones who oppose this stance, then their biggest doubt leading them to the conclusion that the sacrifice is Sunnah, is the saying of the Messenger (SAW): "When the (first) ten days (of Dhul-Hijjah) come and one of you wants to offer a sacrifice, then let him not remove anything from his hair or from his skin (fingernails)" so they said: "This contains an evidence showing that the sacrifice is not obligatory, because he (SAW) said, 'and if one of you wants to offer a sacrifice' Therefore, if it was obligatory he would not have left it to one's will."

Shaikh-ul-Islam Ibn Taymiyah - after deeming that the strongest opinion is that of the sacrifice being obligatory - replied to this doubt by saying:

Similarly they determined that it meant: When you intend to recite (the Qur'an), seek refuge in Allah. Purification for prayer is obligatory and recitation in the prayer is obligatory. Indeed Allah says: "Verily this (Qur'an) is no less than a reminder to all the Mankind and Jinn. To whomsoever amongst you will to walk straight." and wanting to be upright in the Deen is an obligation. Then he, (Ibn Taymiyah) may Allah have mercy on him, said: "...Also, it is not obligatory upon everybody to offer a sacrifice. Rather it is obligatory upon the one who has the ability. As such a person is the one who wants to offer a sacrifice. Just as he (SAW) said: "Whoever wants to make Hajj then let him hasten for indeed a thing may deviate him from it and a need may prevent him from performing it". Indeed Hajj is obligatory upon everyone who has the ability. Therefore, the saying of the Prophet (SAW): "Whoever wants to offer a sacrifice" is like his (SAW) saying:"Whoever wants to make Hajj..." Imam al-'Ayni has replied to the reasoning of those who say it is not obligatory, when explaining the saying of the author of al-Hidayah: "... and the meaning of 'want' from that which has been narrated - and Allah knows best - is the opposite of inadvertence and not an option."

So al-'Ayni (may Allah have mercy on him) said: "The intended meaning is not a choice between leaving and permit ting. Rather it becomes as if he (SAW) said: 'whoever amongst you intends to offer a sacrifice' and this option does not point to a negation of the obligation. Just as in his (SAW) saying: "Whomsoever wants to pray then let him make wudu" and his saying: "whomsoever amongst you wants to pray Jumu'ah then let him make ghusl" i.e. whoever intends it, no option is found and likewise this one (i.e. the sacrifice)."As for the deduction of proof from the reasoning that the Prophet (SAW) did not obligate the sacrifice upon his ummah, as in Sunan Abu Dawud, Sunan at-Tirmidhee , Musnad Ahmad with an authentic chain of narration from Jabir ibn 'Abdullah - then it is a reasoning which does not hold, since it can be understood by harmonizing the evidences together - to mean those of the ummah who do not have the ability.

Therefore he who is unable to offer the sacrifice has the ruling of it being obligatory removed from him from the onset, and Allah knows best.

Regulations of the Sacrifice

There are regulations connected to the sacrifice, which a Muslim must know about, so that he has knowledge of his acts of worship and is on clear guidance in his affairs (of his life). I shall by the will of Allah in what follows summarize these regulations.

First: The Prophet (SAW) used to sacrifice two rams, after the 'Eid prayer and he (SAW) informed us that: "Whosoever slaughters before the 'Eid prayer, then it is not from the sacrifice: rather it is meat which he gives to his family."

Second: He (SAW) used to order his Companions to slaughter a sheep which is a jadha 'a and a than iyaa from other than the sheep. Mujashi 'a ibn Mas'ood (may Allah be pleased with him) said: The Prophet (SAW) said: "Indeed a sheep which is a jaza'a is equal, as a sacrifice, to the slaughtering of a goat which is a thaniyah."

Third: It is permissible to delay the slaughtering until the second or the third day after 'Eid. This is taken from what is established upon the Prophet (SAW) who said: "All the days of Tashriq are days of slaughtering."

Ibn al-Qayyim said: "This is the opinion of Ahmad, Malik and Abu Hanifah (may Allah have mercy on them). Ahmad said: 'It is the opinion of many of the Companions of Muhammad (SAW).' Athram mentioned this (view) upon Ibn 'Umar and Ibn 'Abbas (may Allah be pleased with them)."

Fourth: From the Prophet's guidance is that whosoever desires to offer a sacrifice and the (first) ten days of Dhul-Hijjah have begun then he should not remove anything from his hair or from his finger nails, as there is a prohibition upon doing this.

Imam an-Nawawi said in Sharh Muslim: "The meaning of the prohibition of removing any hair or finger nails is a prohibition from cutting the finger nails, or breaking them or other means and a prohibition of removing hair by shaving, shorting, plucking, burning, or by using cream or any other means. This applies to hair of the arms, moustache, private areas, head and other bodily hair."

Ibn Qudaamah said in al-Mughni: "... and if one does this then one seeks forgiveness from Allah. There is an ijmaa that there is no fidyah (redemption) regardless of whether it was done intentionally or forgetfully." I say: This is an indication from him, may Allah have mercy on him, that it is haram and totally forbidden. This is clear in the original basis of the prophetic prohibition.

Five: He (SAW) used to select a sacrificial animal that was free from defects and he deemed this as being better. He prohibited the sacrificing of an animal whose ears were cut or had broken horns. He ordered looking for the flawlessness of the animal, and prohibited slaughtering a one eyed animal, a muqabil a mudabirah, a sharqa'a, and a kharqa'a. This is because they have been prohibited. As for a ram that has been castrated then it is permissible to be used as a sacrifice, due to what is established from the Prophet (SAW). This has been transmitted by Abu Ya'laa, al-Baihaqee with a chain of narration that has been declared hasan by al- Haithamee in Majmoo az-Zawaa 'id.

Six: He (SAW) used to slaughter at the musallah.

Seven: From the guidance of the Prophet (SAW) is that a sheep is sufficient for a man and his family, even if the number of the family be many, as 'Ata bin Yassar said: "I asked Abu Ayyub al-Ansari how was the slaughtering done at the time of Allah's Messenger (SAW)? So he replied: 'Indeed A man used to slaughter a sheep for himself and his family, and they would eat of it and feed others with it."

Eight: It is preferable to make takbir and tasmiyah when slaughtering. This is due to what is confirmed from Anas (may Allah be pleased with him), who said: "The Prophet sacrificed two horned rams, which were white with black markings. He slaughtered them himself, while saying: "Bismillah, Allahu Akbar" (In the name of Allah, Allah is the Greatest) and he had his foot placed on their sides."

Nine: The best sacrificial animal is that which is a large horned ram, being white mixed with black around its eyes and its legs; as this is the description that the Prophet (SAW) preferred and sacrificed.

Ten: It is preferred that a Muslim carries out his own sacrifice, but if he deputizes someone else to do the slaughter for him, then that is permissible and there is no problem in doing so.

Eleven: It is preferred that the family who offered the sacrifice eats from the sacrifice, give gifts from its meat and give sadaqah from it. It is permissible for them to store some of the meat. This is taken from the saying of the Prophet (SAW): "Eat, store and give sadaqah."

Twelve: A camel suffices as a sacrifice for seven, and similarly a cow. Muslim reports in his Sahih from Jaber ibn Adullah who said: "We slaughtered at Hudaibiyah with the Prophet (SAW) a camel which sufficed for seven and a cow sufficed for seven."

Thirteen: The butcher is not given payment for his work from the sacrifice because of what is established upon 'Alee (May Allah be pleased with him), who said: "The Prophet (SAW) ordered me to watch over his slaughtered meat, to give sadaqah from its meat, skin and jalali ("it is that which is worn on the animal for protection."); and not to give the butcher anything from the sacrifice." He ('Ali) said: "...we pay the butcher from ourselves."

Fourteen: Whosoever, from amongst the Muslims is unable to offer a sacrifice then he still takes the reward of those who offer a sacrifice from the Prophet's ummah. This because the Prophet (SAW) said when he was slaughtering one of the two rams: "O Allah! This is on my behalf and on behalf of those of my ummah who do not offer a sacrifice."

Fifteen: Ibn Qudaamah said in al-Mughni: "Indeed The Prophet (SAW) performed the sacrifice as did the rightly guided Khulafa, after the Prophet (SAW). And if they knew that giving sadaqah is better they would have turned to it and enacted it. However giving the sadaqah instead of the Sacrifice leads to abandoning a sunnah which the Prophet (SAW) established."

THE SUNNAH OF EID:

1. Wake up early

2. Offer Salatul Fajr

3. Prepare for personal cleanliness take care of details of clothing, etc.

4. Take a Ghusl (bath) after Fajr

5. Brush your teeth

6. Dress up, putting on best clothes available, whether new or cleaned old ones

7. Use perfume (men only)

8. Have breakfast on Eid-al-Fitr before leaving for prayer ground. On Eid-al-Adha, eat breakfast after Salaat or after sacrifice if you are doing a sacrifice.

9. Pay Zakat-al-Fitr before Salaat-al-Eid (on Eid-al-Fitr)

10. Go to prayer ground early

11. Offer Salaat-al-Eid in congregation in an open place except when whether is not permitting like rain, snow, etc.

12. Use two separate routes to and from the prayer ground.

13. Recite the following Takbir on the way to Salaat and until the beginning of Salaat-al-Eid. On Eid-al-Adha, Takbir starts from Maghrib on the 9th Zdilhijjah and last until the Asr on the 12th Zdilhijjah: Allahu-Akbar, Allahu-Akbar. La ila-ha ill-lal-lah. Allahu-Akbar, Allahu-Akbar. Wa-lilahill hamd Allah u Akbar u Kabeera walhamd ulillahi katheera wa subhan Allahi bukrataw wasseela. (Allah is greater. Allah is greater. There is no god but Allah. Allah is greater. Allah is greater. And all praises are for Allah. Allah is the Greatest of All. Lots and lots of praise be to him and Glory be to Him in the evening and the morning).

HOW TO OFFER SALAAT-AL-EID

Ibn Abbass (RA) reported: ' I participated in the Salaat-al-Eid-al-Fitr with the Messenger of Allah (SAW), Abu Bakr (RA), Umar (RA) and Uthman (RA), and all of them held Salaat-al-Eid before Khutbah, and then the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) delivered the Khutbah (sermon)'. Hadith, Muslim

WHO SHOULD GO TO THE PRYER GROUND AND OFFER SALAAT-AL-EID

Umm Atiyah (RA) reported: 'The Messenger of Allah (saw) commanded us to bring out on Eid-al- Fitr and Eid-al-Adha, young women, hijab-observing adult women and the menstruating women. The menstruating women stayed out of actual Salaat but participated in good deeds and Duaa (supplication)'. I (Umm Atiyah) said to the Holy Prophet (saw): 'O! Messenger of Allah, one does not have an outer garment.' He replied:"Let her sister cover her with her garment." Hadith Muslim. On the Eid day, every believing man, woman and child must go to the prayer ground and participate in this joyous occasion.

STRUCTURE OF SALAAT-AL-EID

Salaat-al-Eid is wajib (strongly recommended, just short of obligatory). It consists of two Rakaat (units) with six or thirteen additional Takbirs. It must be offered in congregation. The Salaat is followed by the Khutbah. The Khutbah is part of the worship and listening to it is Sunnah. During the Khutbah, the Imam must remind the community about its responsibilities and obligations towards Allah, fellow Muslims and the fellow human beings. The Imam must encourage the Muslims to do good and ward off evil. The Muslim community must also be directed to the state of the community and the Ummah at large and the feelings of sacrifice and Jihaad should be aroused in the community.

At the conclusion of the Salaat the Muslims should convey greetings to each other give reasonable gifts to the youngsters and visit each other at their homes. Muslims should also take this opportunity to invite their non-Muslims neighbors, co-workers, classmates and business acquaintances to Eid festivities to expose them to Islam and Muslim culture.

SACRIFICE AND EID-AL-ADHA

Those who have enough wealth to pay Zakaat must offer the sacrifice for Allah. It is the tradition of Prophet Ibrahim (as) and a strongly recommended Sunnah. A lamb, sheep, goat, cow, buffalo, or camel can be offered as the sacrifice. There are seven shares in a cow, buffalo and camel. The sacrifice should be accomplished by slaughtering the animal after Salaat-al-Eid. The sacrifice also called Udhiyah or Qurbani last for three days from 10th Zdilhijjah until the sunset of 12th Zdilhijjah. The meat should be divided into three shares: one for the family the second for relatives and friend and the third share is for the poor and the needy.

The issue of moon sighting

How do we determine the date of Eid al-Adha ? Is it Eid al-Adha or Eid al-Hajj?

The Messenger (SAW) made Eid al-Adha obligatory for all the Muslims in the second year of Hijrah. It was 9 years before he performed the Hajj. If Eid al-Adha is dependent on Hajj date in Makka then why did he start celebrating it 9 years before the Hajj became obligatory for the Muslims?

The Messenger (SAW) determined Eid al-Adha date solely by the sighted crescent. The Hadith specifies “Hilal D.Hijja” for “Udhiya”.

The Messenger (SAW) used to fast the 9 D.Hijja and not “Arafah in Makka”.

If Eid al-Adha is determined by the Hajj date then why did the Messenger (SAW) make no effort to ascertain the Arafah dates in Makka for his Eid celebration in Medina? At least after the conquest of Makka there was no problem in finding out when the Arafah was going to be. The Messenger (SAW) made no attempt to know or inform the Muslims in Medina when the Hajj was in Makka. Every Muslim community prayed according to its sighting of D. Hijjah crescent. The Messenger (SAW) at least once prayed Eid al-Adha during a journey and sacrificed there on the 10 D.Hijja.

The Khulafa and the Companions were aware of the problem that the D. Hijja crescent is not visible everywhere on the same day. They made no attempt to inform the Muslims living in nearby towns about the Hajj date. Muslims celebrated Eid-Adha according to whenever and wherever they saw the crescent.

The Companions opposed every attempt to impose the sighting in one town over the others, even in close proximity. If it was not seen on a clear horizon, or the horizon was cloudy on the 29th day they completed 30 days of the month.

It is narrated in Sahih Muslim, Volume 6, Hadith 2391 that

Kuraib reported that Umm Fadl, daughter of Harith, sent him (Fadl, i.e. her son) to Mu'awiya in Syria. I (Fadl) arrived in Syria, and did the needful for her. It was there in Syria that the month of Ramadan commenced. I saw the new moon (of Ramadan) on Friday. I then came back to Medina at the end of the month. Abdullah b. 'Abbas (Allah be pleased with him) asked me (about the new moon of Ramadan) and said: When did you see it? I said: We saw it on the night of Friday. He said: (Did) you see it yourself? I said: Yes, and the people also saw it and they observed fast and Mu'awiya also observed fast, whereupon he said: But we saw it on Saturday night. So we would continue to observe fast till we complete thirty (lasts) or we see it (the new moon of Shawwal). I said: Is the sighting of the moon by Mu'awiya not valid for you? He said: No; this is how the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) has commanded us. Yahya b. Yahya was in doubt (whether the word used in the narration by Kuraib) was Naktafi or Taktafi.

Another Hadith in Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaiba also confirms this. 'Ikrama and Salim asked the people in Medina to ignore the sighting in a nearby place hardly 20 miles away because it was not visible in Medina.

All the Fuqaha are unanimous that Eid al-Adha is on D. Hijjah 10, and that it is determined by the sighting wherever a Muslims lives. None said it is ON 10 D. HIJJAH IN MAKKA or next day of Arafah in Makka.

Unity of the Muslim Ummah or Sharing the same day: Both arguments are invalid because of geophysical realities. Muslims now live in every corner of the world. All do not share the Day of Arafah (Sacrifice) in Makka. Some have to pray and sacrifice before the Hujjaj (or next day?), and others will pray and sacrifice hours after the day of 10 D. Hijja is over in Makka.

Also, note that at the same time, however, one must appreciate that unity does not mean that the entire Muslim Ummah throughout the world should perform their acts of worship at one and the same time, because it is physically not possible.

It is evident that when people in Saudi Arabia are performing their Fajr prayers, those in North America may still have not completed their Isha prayers of the previous day. Similarly, when Muslims in Los Angeles offer their Fajr prayers, those in India and Pakistan are offering their Maghrib or Isha prayer of the same day.

Ruling of Eid

“Eid” is an Arabic word referring to something habitual that returns and is repeated. Eids or festivals are symbols to be found in every nation, including those that are based on revealed scriptures and those that are idolatrous, as well as others, because celebrating festivals is something that is an instinctive part of human nature. All people like to have special occasions to celebrate, where they can come together and express their joy and happiness.

The festivals of the kaafir nations may be connected to worldly matters, such as the beginning of the year, the start of an agricultural season, the changing of the weather, the establishment of a state, the accession of a ruler, and so on. They may also be connected to religious occasions, like many of the festivals belonging exclusively to the Jews and Christians, such as the Thursday on which they claim the table was sent down to Jesus, Christmas, New Year’s, Thanksgiving, and holidays on which gifts are exchanged. These are celebrated in all European and North American countries nowadays, and in other countries where Christian influence is prevalent, even if the country is not originally Christian. Some so-called Muslims may also join in these holidays, out of ignorance or hypocrisy.

The Muslims are distinguished by their festivals

The Prophet’s words “Every nation has its festival, and this is your festival” indicate that these two Eids are exclusively for the Muslims, and that it is not permissible for Muslims to imitate the kuffaar and mushrikeen in anything that is a distinctive part of their celebrations, whether it be food, dress, bonfires or acts of worship. Muslim children should not be allowed to play on those kaafir festivals, or to put up decorations, or to join in with the kuffaar on those occasions. All kaafir or innovated festivals are haraam, such as Independence Day celebrations, anniversaries of revolutions, holidays celebrating trees or accessions to the throne, birthdays, Labour Day, the Nile festival, Shimm al-Naseem (Egyptian spring holiday), teachers’ day, and al-Mawlood al-Nabawi (Prophet’s Birthday).

The Muslims have no festivals apart from Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha, because of the hadith narrated from Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) who said: “The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) came to Madinah and the people had two days when they would play and have fun. He said, ‘What are these two days?’ They said, ‘We used to play and have fun on these days during the Jahiliyyah. The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allaa be upon him) said, ‘Allah has given you something better than them, the day of Adha and the day of Fitr.’” (Sunan Abi Dawood, 1134)

These two Eids are among the signs or symbols of Allah which we must celebrate and understand the aims and meanings behind them.

There follows a discussion of some of the rulings and manners of the two Eids according to Islamic shari’ah

Ahkam al-Eid (Rulings on Eid)

Fasting

It is haram to fast on the days of Eid because of the hadith of Abu Sa’id al-Khudri (may Allah be pleased with him), who said that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) forbade fasting on the day of Fitr and the day of Sacrifice (Adha). (Reported by Muslim, 827)

Ruling on the Eid prayers

Some of the scholars say that Eid prayers are wajib (obligatory) – this is the view of the Hanafi scholars and of Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allah have mercy on him). They say that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) always prayed the Eid prayer and never omitted to do it, not even once. They take as evidence the ayah (interpretation of the meaning), “Therefore turn in prayer to your Lord and sacrifice (to Him only)” [al-Kawthar 108:2], i.e., the Eid prayer and the sacrifice after it, which is an instruction, and the fact that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) ordered that the women should be brought out to attend the Eid prayers, and that a woman who did not have a jilbab should borrow one from her sister. Some scholars say that Eid prayer is fard kifaya. This is the view of the Hanbalis. A third group say that Eid prayer is sunnah mu’akkadah. This is the view of the Maalikis and Shafa’is. They take as evidence the hadith of the Bedouin which says that Allah has not imposed any prayers on His slaves other than the five daily prayers. So the Muslim should be keen to attend Eid prayers, especially since the opinion that it is wajib is based on strong evidence. The goodness, blessings and great reward one gets from attending Eid prayers, and the fact that one is following the example of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) by doing so, should be sufficient motivation.

Essentials and timing of Eid prayer

Some scholars (the Hanafis and Hanbalis) say that the conditions of Eid prayer are that the iqamah should be recited and the prayer should be offered in jama’ah (congregation). Some of them said that the conditions of Eid prayer are the same as the conditions for Friday prayer, with the exception of the khutbah, attendance at which is not obligatory. The majority of scholars say that the time for the Eid prayer starts when the sun has risen above the height of a spear, as seen by the naked eye, and continues until the sun is approaching its zenith.

Description of the Eid prayer

‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “The prayer of Eid and al-Adha is two complete rak’ahs, not shortened. This is according to the words of your Prophet, and the liar is doomed.”

Abu Sa’id said: “The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used to come out to the prayer-place on the day of Fitr and al-Adha, and the first thing he would do was the prayer.”

The Takbir is repeated seven times in the first rak’ah and five times in the second, the Qur’an is to be recited after each.

It was reported from ‘Aa’ishah: the Takbeer of al-Fitr and al-Adhaa is seven in the first rak’ah and five in the second, apart from the takbir of ruku’. (Reported by Abu Dawud; sahih by the sum of its isnads)

If a person joining the prayer catches up with the imam during these extra takbirat, he should say “Allahu akbar” with the imam, and he does not have to make up any takbirat he may have missed, because they are sunnah, not wajib. With regard to what should be said between the takbirat, Hammad ibn Salamah reported from Ibrahim that Walid ibn ‘Uqbah entered the mosque when Ibn Mas’ud, Hudhayfah and Abu Musa were there, and said, “Eid is here, what should I do?” Ibn Mas’ud said: “Say ‘Allahu akbar’, praise and thank Allah, send blessings on the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and make du’a, then say Say ‘Allahu akbar’, praise and thank Allah, send blessings on the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him)…etc.” (Reported by al-Tabaraani. It is a saheeh hadeeth that is quoted in al-Irwaa’ and elsewhere).

Recitation of Qur’an in Eid prayers

It is recommended (mustahab) that in the Eid prayers the imam should recite Qaf [surah 50] and Aqtarabat al-sa’ah [al-Qamar, surah 54], as it is reported in Sahih Muslim that ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab asked Abu Waqid al-Laythi, “What did the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used to recite at [Eid] al-Adha and al-Fitr?” He said, “He used to recite Qaf. Wa’l-Qur’aan al-majid [Qaf 50:1] and Aqtarabat al-saa’ah wa anshaqq al-qamar [al-Qamar 54:1].

Most of the reports indicate that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used to recite Surat al-A’laa [87] and Surat al-Ghashiyah [88], as he used to recite them in the Friday prayer. Al-Nu’maan ibn Bishr said: “The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used to recite on the two Eids and on Fridays, Sabbih isma rabbika’l-a’laa [al-A’laa 87:1] and Hal ataaka hadith al-ghaashiyah [al-Ghaashiyah 88:1].” (Saheeh Muslim, 878).

Samurah (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used to recite on the two Eids, Sabbih isma rabbika’l-a’laa [al-A’laa 87:1] and Hal ataaka hadith al-ghaashiyah [al-Ghaashiyah 88:1].” (Reported by Ahmad and others; it is saheeh. Al-Irwaa’, 3/116)

The prayer comes before the khutbah

One of the rulings of Eid is that the prayer should come before the khutbah, as is reported in Musnad Ahmad from the had-th of Ibn ‘Abbaas, who testified that the Messenger of Allah clip_image002 (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) prayed before the khutbah on Eid, then he gave the khutbah.” (Musnad Ahmad, 1905. The hadeeth is also in al-Sahihayn).

Another indication that the khutbah should be after the prayer is the hadeeth of Abu Sa’eed (may Allah be pleased with him): “The Prophet clip_image003 (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used to go out to the prayer-place on the day of al-Fitr and al-Adha, and the first thing he would do was to pray, then he would stand up facing the people, whilst they were still sitting in their rows, and would advise and instruct them. If he wanted to send out a military expedition, he would decide about the matter then, or if he wanted to issue a command, he would do it then.” Abu Sa’id said: “This is what the people continued to do until I came out [to the Eid prayers] with Marwan, when he was governor of Madinah, on either Adha or Fitr. When we reached the prayer-place, we saw the minbar, which had been built by Kathir ibn al-Salt. Marwan wanted to get on the minbar before the prayer. I pulled on his cloak, and he pulled on mine in return, then he got on the minbar and gave the khutbah before the prayer. I said, ‘You have changed it, by Allah!’ He said, ‘O Abu Sa’id, what you know is gone.’ I said, ‘What I know, by Allah, is better than what I do not know.’ He said, ‘The people will not remain sitting after the prayer, so we made it [the khutbah] before the prayer.’” (Reported by al-Bukhari, 956).

Anyone who wants to leave during the khutbah is allowed to do so

‘Abd-Allah ibn al-Sa’ib said: “I attended Eid with the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), and when he finished the prayer, he said: “We will give the khutbah, so whoever wants to sit (and listen to) the khutbah, let him sit, and whoever wants to leave, let him go.’” (Irwaa’ al-Ghalil, 3/96)

Not delaying the prayer for too long

‘Abd-Allah ibn Bishr, the companion of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), went out with the people on the day of Fitr or al-Adha, and objected to the fact that the imam came very late. He said, “At the time of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) we would have finished by now,” and that was at the time of al-Tasbih .” (Reported by al-Bukhari )

Nafil prayers in the prayer-place

There are no nafil prayers to be done either before or after the Eid prayer, as Ibn ‘Abbas reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used to come out on the day of Eid and pray two rak’ahs, with nothing before or after them.

This is the case if the prayer is offered in a prayer place or public place. If, however, the people pray the Eid prayer in a mosque, then they should pray two rak’ahs for Tahiyat al-Masjid (“Greeting the mosque”) before sitting down.

If people did not know about Eid until the next day

Abu ‘Umayr ibn Anas reported from his paternal uncles among the Ansar who said: “It was cloudy and we could not see the new moon of Shawwal, so we started the day fasting, then a caravan came at the end of the day and told the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) that they had seen the new moon of Shawwal the day before, so he told the people to stop fasting, and they went out to pray the Eid prayer the next day.” (Reported by the five. It is sahih; al-Irwa’, 3/102)

If someone misses the Eid prayer, the most correct view is that he may make it up by praying two rak’ahs.

Women’s attendance at Eid prayers

Hafsah said: “We used to prevent prepubescent girls from attending Eid prayers. Then a woman came and stayed at the fort of Banu Khalaf, and told us about her sister. Her sister’s husband had taken part in twelve campaigns with the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and [she said], ‘my sister was with him on six of them. She said, “We used to treat the wounded and take care of the sick. My sister asked the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) whether there was anything wrong with her not going out [on Eid] if she did not have a jilbab. He said, ‘Let her friend give her one of her jilbabs so that she may witness the blessings of Eid and see the Muslims gathering.’”’ When Um ‘Atiyah came, I asked her, ‘Did you hear the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) [say this]?’ She said, ‘May my father be sacrificed for him’ – and she never mentioned him without saying ‘may my father be sacrificed for him’ – ‘I heard him saying that we should bring out the young girls and those who were secluded, or the young girls who were secluded, and the menstruating women, so that they could witness the blessings of Eid and see the gathering of the believers, but those who were menstruating were to keep away from the prayer-place itself.” (Sahih al-Bukari, 324).

The ‘young girls’ (‘awatiq, sing. ‘atiq) are girls who have reached adolescence or are close to it, or have reached the age of marriage, or are very precious to their families, or who are spared from having to do humiliating work. It appears that they used to prevent these young girls from going out because of the corruption that arose after the first generation of Islam; but the Sahabah did not approve of that and they thought that the ruling should remain in their time as it had been during the time of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).

Where it says “My sister was with him” it seems that there is something omitted, probably “the woman said”. [This is reflected in the translation above. Translator].…

“Her jilbabs” – she should lend her some of her clothes that she does not need.

“Secluded” – they would have a curtain in the corner of the house behind which virgins would stay.

“Menstruating women” – huyyad, sing. ha’id – this may refer either to girls who have reached the age of puberty, or women who are having their period and are not tahir (pure).

“Menstruating women should avoid the prayer-place itself” – Ibn al-Munayyir said: “The reason why they should avoid the prayer-place is that if they stand with the women who are praying even though they are not praying, it may appear that they have no respect for the prayer or are careless, so it better for them to avoid that.”

It was said that the reason why menstruating women should avoid the prayer-place is as a precaution, so that women will not come near men for no reason if they are not praying, or so that they will not offend others with their blood or their odour.

The hadith urges everyone to attend Eid prayer, and to co-operate with one another in righteousness and piety. The menstruating woman should not forsake the remembrance of Allah or places of goodness such as gatherings for the purpose of seeking knowledge and remembering Allah – apart from mosques. The hadith also indicates that women should not go out without a jilbab.

This hadith tells us that it is not proper for young women and women in seclusion to go out except for a valid reason. It states that it is preferable (mustahabb) for a woman to wear a jilbab, and that it is permissible to lend and borrow clothes. It also indicates that Eid prayer is obligatory (wajib).

Ibn Abi Shaybah also narrated that Ibn ‘Umar used to take whoever he could of his household out to the Eid prayers.

The hadith of Umm ‘Atiyah also states the reason for the ruling, which is so that women may witness the blessings of Eid, see the gathering of the Muslims, and share the blessings and purification of this day.

Al-Tirmidhi (may Allah have mercy on him) said in his Sunan, after quoting the hadith of Umm ‘Atiyah: “Some of the scholars referred to this hadith and allowed women to go out to the Eid prayers, and some of them disliked this. It was reported that ‘Abd-Allah ibn al-Mubarak said: ‘I do not like for women to go out to Eid prayers nowadays. If a woman insists on going out, her husband should let her, if she goes out wearing her shabbiest clothes and not adorning herself. If she insists on adorning herself, then she should not go out. In this case the husband has the right to stop her from going out. It was reported that ‘Aa’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) said: ‘If the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) had seen what has happened to women, he would have stopped them from going to the mosques, just as the women of Bani Isra’il were stopped.’ It was reported that Sufyan al-Thawri did not like women to go to the Eid prayers in his day.” (Al-Tirmidhi, 495).

Umm ‘Atiyah gave her fatwa in the hadith mentioned above a while after the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) had died, and it is not reported that any of the Sahabah disagreed with this. The words of ‘Aa’ishah, “If the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) had seen what has happened to women, he would have stopped them from going to the mosques”, do not contradict this (provided that women are meeting the Islamic conditions attached to their going out)… It is better if permission is given only to those women who are not who are not going to look at men or be looked at, whose attendance will not lead to anything undesirable and who are not going to rub shoulders with men on the street or in the mosque. (i.e., women who are going out will not cause fitnah or temptation to her or to men).

Men should check on their womenfolk when they going out for the prayer to make sure that their hijab is complete, because they are the “shepherds” who are responsible for their “flocks”. Women should go out in shabby clothes, not adorned or wearing perfume. Menstruating women should not enter the mosque or prayer-place; they can wait in the car, for example, where they can hear the khutbah.

Aadab al-Eid (Etiquette of Eid)

Ghusl (taking a bath)

One of the manners of Eid is to take a bath before going out to the prayer. It is reported in a sahih report in al-Muwatta’ and elsewhere that ‘Abd-Allah ibn ‘Umar used to take a bath on the day of al-Fitr before coming to the prayer-place. (al-Muwatta’ 428)

It was reported that Sa’id ibn Jubayr said: “Three things are sunnah on Eid: to walk (to the prayer-place), to take a bath and to eat before coming out.” This is what Sa’id ibn Jubayr said, and he may have learned this from some of the Sahabah.

Al-Nawawi (may Allah have mercy on him) mentioned that the scholars were agreed that it is mustahabb to take a bath before the Eid prayer.

The reason why it is mustahabb to take a bath before Friday prayer and other public gatherings also applies in the case of Eid, only more so.

Congratulating one another

People may exchange congratulations and good greetings on Eid, no matter what form the words take. For example they may say to one another, “Taqabbal Allahu minnaa wa minkum” (May Allah accept [the fast and worship] from us and from you or “Eid mubarak” and other similar permissible greetings.

Jubayr ibn Nufayr said: “At the time of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), when people met one another on the day of Eid, they would say, ‘Taqabbal Allahu minna wa minka” (May Allah accepts from us and from you).” (Ibn Hajar. Its isnad is hasan. Fath, 2/446).

The practice of exchanging greetings was well-known at the time of the Sahabah and scholars such as Imam Ahmad and others allowed it. There are reports which indicate that it is permissible to congratulate people on special occasions. The Sahabah used to congratulate one another when something good happened, such as when Allah accepted a person’s repentance and so on.

There is no doubt that congratulating others in this way is one of the noblest kinds of good manners and one of the highest social qualities among Muslims.

At the very least, one can return Eid greetings when they are given to you, and remain silent if nothing is said, as Imam Ahmad (may Allah have mercy on him) said: “If someone congratulates me, I return the greeting, but I do not initiate it.”

Looking one’s best for Eid

‘Abd-Allah ibn ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “ ‘Umar picked up a jubbah (long outer garment) made of silk that was for sale in the market, brought it to the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and said, “O Messenger of Allah, buy this and wear it for Eid and when the delegations come.” The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, “This is the clothing of the one who has no share of the Hereafter…” (Reported by al-Bukhaari, 948).

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) approved of ‘Umar’s idea of looking one’s best, but he rejected and denounced the idea of buying this jubbah because it was made of silk.

Jabir (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) had a jubbah that he would wear on Eid and on Fridays.” (Sahih Ibn Khuzaymah, 1765).

Al-Bayhaqi reported that Ibn Umar used to wear his best clothes on Eid, so men should wear the best clothes they have when they go out for Eid.

Women, on the other hand, should avoid adornment when they go out for Eid, because they are prohibited from showing their adornment in front of non-mahrem men. A woman who wants to go out is forbidden to wear perfume or to show off in a tempting way in front of men, because she is only going out for the purpose of worship. Do you think that it is right for a believing woman to disobey the One Whom she is going out to worship and go against His commands by wearing attention-grabbing tight and brightly coloured clothes or by putting on perfume and so on?

Ruling on listening to the Eid khutbah

Ibn Qudamah (may Allah have mercy on him) said in his book al-Kafi (p. 234):

“When the imam has said the salaam (at the end of the prayer), he should give a khutbah in two parts, like the two Friday khutbahs, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did this. (The Eid khutbah) differs from the Friday khutbahs in four ways … the fourth of which is: that it is sunnah and it is not obligatory to listen to it, because it was reported that ‘Abd-Allah ibn al-Saa’ib said: “I attended Eid with the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), and when he had finished the prayer, he said: “We are going to give a khutbah, so whoever wishes to sit (and listen) to the khutbah, let him sit down, and whoever wants to leave, let him go.’”

Al-Nawawi (may Allah have mercy on him) said in his book al-Majmu’ Sharh al-Muhadhdhab, p. 23: “It is mustahabb for people to listen to the khutbah, although the khutbah and listening to it are not essential conditions of the Eid prayer. But al-Shafa'i said: ‘If someone does not listen to the khutbah of Eid, at the time of an eclipse, when prayers for rain are offered, or during Hajj, or he speaks during one of these khutbahs, or leaves, I would not like this, but he does not have to repeat the prayer.”

In al-Sharh al-Mumti’ ‘ala Zad al-Mustanfi’ by Ibn ‘Uthaymin, 5/192, it says:

“[Ibn Qudamah’s] words, ‘like the two Friday khutbahs’ means that he should give two khutbahs, even though there is a dispute in this matter, as we have referred to above. The Eid khutbah is subject to the same rulings as the Friday khutbah, even to the point that speaking during it is haram, but it is not obligatory to attend, whereas attendance at the Friday khutbah is obligatory, because Allah says (interpretation of the meaning): “O you who believe! When the call for prayer on the day of Jumu’ah (Friday) is given, come to the remembrance of Allaah [Jumu’ah khutbah and prayer], and leave off business …” [al-Jumu’ah 62:9]. Attendance at the Eid khutbahs is not obligatory, and a person is allowed to leave, but if he stays he must not talk to anyone. This is what the author is referring to when he says ‘like the two Friday khutbahs’.”

One of the scholars said: “It is not obligatory to listen to the Eid khutbahs, because if it was obligatory to attend and listen to them it would be haram to leave. But as it is permissible to leave, it is not obligatory to listen.”

Nevertheless, if talking disturbs those who are listening, it is haram to talk because of this disturbance, not because of not listening. On this basis, if a person has a book with him during the imam’s Eid khutbah, it is permissible for him to read it, because this does not disturb anyone. But according to the madhhab followed by this author, it is obligatory to listen to the khutbah if one is present.

To go out one by one route and come back by another

Jabir ibn ‘Abd-Allah (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used to vary his routes on the day of Eid. (Reported by al-Bukhari, 986)

It was also reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used to go out walking, and he prayed without any adhan or iqamah, then he would come back walking by a different route. It was said that this was so that the two different routes would testify in his favor on the Day of Resurrection, because on that Day the earth will speak about everything that was done on it, good and evil. It was also said that this was done in order to demonstrate the symbols and rituals of Islam along both routes; to pronounce the remembrance of Allah; to annoy the hypocrites and Jews and to scare them by the number of people who were with him; to meet the people’s needs by giving fatwas, teaching them and setting an example for them to follow; to give charity to those in need; or to visit his relatives and uphold the ties of kinship.

Warning against wrongdoing

Some people think that Islam tells us to stay up and pray on the night of Eid, quoting an unsound hadith which says that “whoever stays up and prays on the night of Eid, his heart will not die on the day when hearts die.” This hadith was reported with two isnads, one of which is da’if (weak), and the other is very da’if. Islam does not tell us to single out the night of Eid for staying up and praying; if, however, a person habitually stays up and prays at night (qiyam), there is nothing wrong with him doing so on the night of Eid as well.

Mixing of men and women in some prayer-places, streets, etc. It is a pity that this happens not only in mosques but even in the most sacred of places, al-Masjid al-Haraam [in Makkah]. Many women – may Allah guide them – go out uncovered ,wearing make-up and perfume, flaunting their adornment, when there is such serious overcrowding in the mosques – the dangers of this situation are quite obvious. So those who are in charge must organize the Eid prayers properly, by allocating separate doors and routes for women and delaying the men’s departure until the women have left.

Some people get together on Eid for the purpose of singing and other forms of idle entertainment, and this is not permitted.

Some people celebrate on Eid because Ramadhan is over and they no longer have to fast. This is a mistake, the believers celebrate at Eid because Allah has helped them to complete the month of fasting, not because the fasting, which some people regard as a heavy burden, is over.

We ask Allah to accept our worship and our repentance. May Allaah bless our Prophet Muhammad.

Takbeerat of Eid

اللّهُ أكبر اللّهُ أكبر
Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar
Allah is Great, Allah is Great

اللّهُ أكبر
Allahu Akbar
Allah is Great

لا إلَهَ الا اللّه
La illaha il Allah
there is no God, but Allah

اللّهُ أكبر اللّهُ اكبر
Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar
Allah is Great, Allah is Great

و لِلّه الحمدَ
walilahil Hamd
to Him belongs all Praise

اللّهُ أكبرُ كَبيِرَا
Allahu Akbaru Kabeera
Allah is the Greatest

وَالحَمدُ لِلّهِ كَثِيرا
wal-Hamdulilahi katheera
And all Praise is due to Him
وَ سُبحَان اللّهِ
wa Subhan allahi
And Glory to Allah

بُكرَةً وَأصْيِلا
bukratan wa aseila
eventide and in the morning

لا إلَهَ الا اللّه
La illaha il Allah
there is no God, but Allah the Unique

صَدَقَ وَعدَه
sadaqa wa'dah
He has fulfilled His Promise

وَنَصَرَ عبده
wa nasara abda
and made Victorious His servant

وأعزَ جُنَده
wa a'azza jundahu
and made Mighty His soldiers

وَهزم الأحْزَابَ وحْدَه
wa hazamal-ahzaaba wahdah
and defeated the confederates

لا إلَهَ الا اللّه
La illaha il Allah
there is no God, But Allah

وَلا نَعبُد الا أياه
wa laa na'budu illa iyyah
He alone we worship

مُخلِصِّينَ لَهُ الدّيِنَ
mukhlessena lahud-deena
with sincere and exclusive devotion

وَلوْ كَرِهَ الكَافِروُن
walaw karehal-Kafeeroon
even though the idolaters hate it

اللّهمَ صَلِّ على سيْدنَا مُحَمد
Allahumma salli ala sayyedna Muhammad
O Allah, have Mercy on our Prophet Muhammad

وَعَلى آلِ سيْدنَا مُحَمد
wa ala aalie sayyedna Muhammad
and on the family of our Prophet Muhammad

وَعَلى اصْحَابِ سيْدنَا مُحَمد
wa ala as-haabie sayyedna Muhammad
and on the companions of our Prophet Muhammad

وَعَلى أنصَارِ سيْدنَا مُحَمد
wa ala ansari sayyedna Muhammad
and on the helpers of our Prophet Muhammad

وَعَلى أزوَاجِ سيْدنَا مُحَمد
wa ala azwajie sayyedna Muhammad
and on the wives of our Prophet Muhammad

وَعَلى ذُرِّيَةِ سيْدنَا مُحَمد
wa ala dhurreyatie sayyedna Muhammad
and on the progeny of our Prophet Muhammad

وَ سَلّم تَسْلِيماَ كَثّيرا
wa sallim tasleeman katheera
and Bestow upon them much peace.

The Issue of Sacrifice

Sacrifice means slaughter of an animal in the name of Allah on the 10th, 11th or 12th of the Islamic month of Dhu’l-Hijjah.

Sacrifice, as practiced by Holy Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) is an essential religious rite in memory of the sacrifice performed by Prophet Abraham. God put Abraham to a most difficult trial, the details of which are described in the Quran.

O my Lord! Grant me (Abraham) a righteous (son)! So We gave him the good news of a boy ready to suffer and forbear. Then, when the son reached the age to work with him, he said: O my son I see in a vision that I offer you in sacrifice: Now say what is your view! (The son) said: O My father! Do as you are commanded: You will find me if God so wills, one practicing patience and constancy! So when they had both submitted their wills (to God), and he had made him prostrate on his face (for sacrifice), We called out to him: O Abraham! You have 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: and We left (this blessing) for him among generations (to come) in later times

(37:100-109)

This is the origin of the Islamic precept of sacrifice in fulfillment of God’s command provided in the Quran:

... to your Lord turn in prayer and sacrifice.

(108:2).

The aim of sacrifice, like all other fundamentals of Islam, is to seek piety and self righteousness. It also promotes the spirit of sacrifice for a right cause. To explain its purpose, God says in the Quran.

It is not their meat, nor their blood, that reaches God, It is their piety that reaches God

(22:37)

Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) said: “On the 10th of Dhu’l-Hijjah, there is no better act in the view of Allah than shedding the blood (of slaughtered animals). And verily sacrifice earns the approbation of Allah even before the drop of blood (of the slaughtered animal) falls on the ground. Hence you should offer it in good spirit. For every hair of the sacrificial animal, there is a blessing.”

The Sahaabah enquired from Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) about the Qurbaani practice. Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said: “It is the way of your father, Ibraheem (alayhis salaam).” The Sahabah asked: “What will we acquire by it?” Rasullullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) replied: “A good deed (is recorded for you) in return for every hair (on its body).” The Sahaabah asked: “O Rasulullah! If there is wool on the body?” Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said: “A good deed in return for every strand (of wool on its body).”

Here are the precepts and practices pertaining to Sacrifice, according to Hanafi Fiqh.

Sacrifice is Fardh for

Sacrifice, like Zakat, is essential for one who has the financial means and savings that remain surplus to his own needs over the year. It is essential for one’s own self.

However, a slaughter of animal can also be offered for each member of one’s family. It may be offered, though it is not essential, for one’s deceased relations, too, in the hope of benediction and blessings for the departed souls.

What to Sacrifice

All the permissible (halal) domesticated or reared quadrupeds can be offered for Sacrifice. Generally, slaughter of goats, sheep, rams, cows, and camels is offered. It is permissible for seven persons to share the sacrifice of a cow or a camel on the condition that no one’s share is less than one seventh and their intention is to offer Sacrifice.

Age of Sacrificial Animals: Sacrifice of goat or sheep less than one year old (unless the sheep is so strong and fat that it looks to be a full one year old) is not in order. Cow should be at least two years old. Camels should not be less than five years old.

Disqualifying defects

Sacrifice of an animal will not be in order if it is one eyed, or blind, or has lost one third or more of its eyesight, or one third or more of its tail, or its ear has been cut off, or it is lame, or its bones have no marrow, or it has no ears by birth or its horns have been broken from their roots, or it has no teeth at all. If the number of teeth intact exceeds the lost ones, it is permissible. If it has no horns by birth, or has less than one third broken horns, it is permissible.

Distribution of meat

One should eat the meat of the sacrifice, give it to relations and friends, (to non-Muslims also) and also to the poor in charity. One third should be given in charity, but if it be less it will not be a sin.

Injunctions on the use of skin

It is not permissible to give a portion of meat or the skin of the slaughtered animal as wages. They should instead be given to the needy in charity. Even the rope and cover of the sacrificed animal should be given away as charity.

Intention

It is commendable that one who intends to offer a sacrifice should refrain from having a haircut, a shave, and pruning of nails, from the 1st of Dhu’l-Hijjah (up to the time he has performed the sacrifice).

Intention In the first instance, one who proposes to offer sacrifice must make an intention to that effect.

Method of Sacrifice

The animal for slaughter should be laid on its left side facing Kaabah and its throat cut open with a sharp knife, and its blood allowed draining. In the case of a camel, it should be allowed to remain standing after its left fore leg has been stringed. A sharp spear should then be thrust in its breast and on both sides of its neck, and the blood allowed draining.

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