Zulhijja

Zulhijja

Zulhijjah is the last month of the Islamic calendar. Literally, it means "hajj." Obviously, this name of the month indicates that the great annual worship of "hajj" is performed in this month, which gives it special significance. Some specific merits and rules relevant to this month are mentioned below: 

 


First Ten Days

The first ten days of Zulhijjah are among the most magnificent days in Islamic calendar. The Holy Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, has said, "One fast during these days is equal to the fasting of one complete year, and the worship of one night during this period is equal to the worship in the "Lailatul-Qadr". 

Every Muslim should avail of this wonderful opportunity by performing during this period as much Iba'dah (acts of worship) to Allah as he or she can. 

The 9th day of Zulhijjah

The 9th day of Zulhijjah is called 'Youmul "Arafah' (The Day of 'Arafah). This is the date when the Hujjaj (Haji pilgrims, plural of Haajj) assemble on the plain of 'Arafat, six miles away from Makkah al-Mukarramah, where they perform the most essential part of the prescribed duties of hajj, namely, the 'Wuqoof of'Arafat (the stay in 'Arafat). 

The Fast of Youmul 'Arafah 

For those not performing hajj, it is mustahabb (desirable) to fast on this day according to their own calendar. It sometimes occurs that 9th Zuihijjah falls on different days in different countries according to the sighting of the moon. In such cases, Muslims of each country should observe 'Youmul 'Arafah according to the lunar dates of their own country. 

The fast of 'Youmul 'Arafah' has been emphasized by the Holy Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, as a mustahabb (desirable) act. According to a hadith, the fast of this day becomes a cause, hopefully so, of forgiveness for sins committed in one year. 

Takbir-ut-tashriq 

Beginning from the Fajr of the 9th Zulhijjah up to the 'Asr prayer of the 13th, it is obligatory on each Muslim to recite the Takbir of Tashriq after every fard prayer in the following words. 

Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, 

La Ilaha Illallahu, Wallahu Akbar, 

Allahu Akbar wa lillahilhamd. 

(There is no god but Allah and Allah is the greatest, Allah is the greatest and to Allah belongs all praise.) 

According to authentic Islamic sources, it is obligatory on each Muslim, to recite this Takbir after every fard salah. For women also, it is commendable though not obligatory. Whether you are performing salah with Jama'ah (collectively) or on your own (individually) makes no difference. You must recite the Takbir. However, male Muslims should recite it in a loud voice, while females should recite it in a low voice. 

On the Eid day

The following acts are sunnah on the day of Eidul- adha

1. To wake up early in the morning.

2. To clean one's teeth with a miswak or brush 

3. To take bath. 

4. To put on one's best available clothes. 

5. To use perfume. 

6. Not to eat before the Eid prayer. 

7. To recite the Takbir of Tashriq in a loud voice while going to the Eid prayer. 

How to Perform Eid Prayers (Hanafi School) 

The Eid prayer has two raka'at performed in the normal way, with the only addition of six Takbirs, three of them in the beginning of the first raka'ah, and three of them just before ruku' in the second raka'ah. The detailed way of performing the Eid prayer is as follows: 

The Imam will begin the prayer without Adhan or iqamah. He will begin the prayer by reciting Takbir of Tahrimah (Allahu Akbar). You should raise your hands up to the ears, and after reciting the Takbir, you should set your hands on your navel. The Imam will give a little pause during which you should recite Thana' (Subhanakallahumma .:.). After the completion of Thana', the Imam will recite Takbir (Allahu Akbar) three times. At the first two calls of Takbir you should raise your hands up to the ears, and after reciting Takbir (Allahu Akbar) in a low voice, should bring your hands down and leave them earthwards. But, after the third Takbir, you should set them on your navel as you do in the normal prayers. 

After these three Takbirs, the Imam will recite the Holy Qur'an, which you should listen calmly and quietly. The rest of the raka'ah will be performed in the normal way. 

After rising for the second raka'ah, the Imam will begin the recitations from the Holy Qur'an during which you should remain calm and quiet. When the Imam finishes his recitation, he will recite three Takbirs once again, but this time it will be just before bowing down for ruku'. At each Takbir you should raise your hands up to the ears, and after saying 'Allahu Akbar', bring them down and leave them earthwards. After these three takbirs have been called and completed, the Imam will say another takbir for bowing down into the ruku' position. At this takbir you need not raise your hands. You just bow down for your ruku' saying, 'Allahu Akbar'. The rest of the salah will be performed in its usual way. 

KhutbahThe Address of Eidul-Adha

In this salah of Eid, Khutbah is a sunnah and is delivered after the salah, unlike the salah of Jumu'ah where it is fard and is delivered before the salah. However, listening to the khutbah of Eid salah is wajib or necessary and must be listened to in perfect peace and silence.

It is a sunnah that the Imam begins the first Khutbah by reciting takbir (Allahu Akbar) nine times and the second Khutbah with reciting it seven times.

Sacrifice or QurbaniPhilosophy and Rules

The Urdu and persian word Qurbani (Sacrificial slaughter) is derived from the Arabic word Qurban. Lexically, it means an act performed to seek Allah's pleasure. Originally, the word Qurban included all acts of charity because the purpose of charity is nothing but to seek Allah's pleasure. But, in precise religious terminology, the word was later confined to the sacrifice of an animal slaughtered for the sake of Allah. 

The sacrifice of an animal has always been treated as a recognized form of worship in all religious orders originating from a divine book. Even in pagan societies, the sacrifice of an animal is recognized as a form of worship, but it is done in the name of some idols and not in the name of Allah, a practice totally rejected by Islam. 

In the Shari'ah of our beloved Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, the sacrifice of an animal has been recognized as a form of worship only during three days of Zulhijjah, namely, the 10th, 1lth and 12th of the month. This is to commemorate the unparalleled sacrifice offered by the Prophet Sayyidna Ibrahim, Alayhi Salam, when he, in pursuance to a command of Allah conveyed to him in a dream, prepared himself to slaughter his beloved son, Sayyidna Isma'il, Alayhi Salam, and actually did so but, Allah Almighty, after testing his submission, sent down a sheep and saved his son from the logical fate of slaughter. It is from that time onwards that the sacrifice of an animal became an obligatory duty to be performed by every well to do Muslim. 

Qurbani is a demonstration of total submission to Allah and a proof of complete obedience to Allah's will or command. When a Muslim offers a Qurbani, this is exactly what he intends to prove. Thus, the Qurbani offered by a Muslim signifies that he is a slave of Allah at his best and that he would not hesitate even for a moment, once he receives an absolute command from his Creator, to surrender before it, to obey it willingly, even if it be at the price of his life and possessions. When a true and perfect Muslim receives a command from Allah, he does not make his obedience dependent upon the command's reasonability' as perceived through his limited understanding. He knows that Allah is All-knowing, All-Wise and that his own reason cannot encompass the knowledge and wisdom underlying the divine command. He, therefore, submits to the divine command, even if he cannot grasp the reason or wisdom behind it. 

This is exactly what the Prophet Ibrahim, Alayhi Salam, did. Apparently, there was no reason why a father should slaughter his innocent son. But, when came the command from Allah, he never asked about the reason for that command, nor did he hesitate to follow it. Even his minor son when asked by his father about the dream he had seen, never questioned the legitimacy of the command, nor did he pine or whine about it, nor did he ask for one good reason why he was being slaughtered. The one and only response he made was: 

'Father, do what you have been ordered to do. You shall find me, God willing, among the patient". 

The present-day Qurbani is offered in memory of this great model of submission set before us by the great father and the great son. So Qurbani must be offered in our time emulating the same ideal and attitude of submission. 

This, then, is the true philosophy of Qurbani. With this in mind, one can easily unveil the fallacy of those who raise objections against Qurbani on the basis of economic calculations and depict it to be a wastage of money, resources and livestock. Unable to see beyond mundane benefits, they cannot understand the spirit Islam wants to plant and nourish among its followers, the spirit of total submission to Allah's will which equips man with most superior qualities so necessary to keep humanity in a state of lasting peace and welfare. 

Qurbani is nothing but a powerful symbol of the required human conduct vis-a-vis the divine commands, however "irrational" or "uneconomic" they may seem to be in their appearance. Thus, the distrustful quest for mundane economic benefits behind Qurbani is, in fact, the negation of its real philosophy and the very spirit underlying it. 

No doubt, there are in every form of worship ordained by Allah, certain worldly benefits too, but they are not the main purpose of these prescribed duties, nor should they be treated as a pre-condition to submission and obedience. All acts of worship, including Qurbani, must be carried out with a spirit of total submission to Allah, irrespective of their economic, social or political benefits. This is what Ibrahim, Alayhi Salam, did, and this is what every true Muslim is required to do, 

The Time of Qurbani

Qurbani can only be performed during the three days of Eid, namely the 10th, Ilth and 12th of Zulhijjah. It is only in these days that slaughtering of an animal is recognized as an act of worship. No Qurbani can be performed in any other days of the year.

Although Qurbani is permissible on each of the three aforesaid days, yet it is preferable to perform it on the first day i.e. the 10th of Zulhijjah.

No Qurbani is allowed before the Eid prayer is over. However, in small villages where the Eid prayer is not to be performed, Qurbani can be offered' any time after the break of dawn on the 10th of Zulhijjah.

Qurbani can also be performed in the two nights following the Eid day, but it is more advisable to perform it during daytime.