Yawm al-Arafat: The day of Arafat
The 9th day of Dhul-Hijjah is the day of Arafat. It is this day when the pilgrims gather on the mountain plain of Arafat, praying and supplicating to their Lord. The day of Arafat holds great importance in Islam since this is the Day when Allah completed his revelation on His Messenger (SAW).
It is reported in the Sahhayn (i.e. Sahh al-Bukhar and Sahh Muslim), from Umar Ibn al-Khattab (RA) that a Jewish man said to him:
O Amr al-Muminn (O head of the Muslims)! There is a verse in the Qur`an, which if was revealed on us, the Jews, we would have taken that day as an Eid (festival). Umar asked: Which verse? He said:
“This day I have perfected your religion for you, completed my favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion.” [Surah al-Maidah (5): 3]
Umar (RA) said: “We know on which day and in which place was this verse revealed to Allah’s Messenger (SAW). It was when he was standing in Arafat on a Friday.”
Arafat is the day on which Allah took the covenant from the progeny of Adam (alaihis-salm), it was reported that Ibn Abbas (radhi Allahu anhu) narrated: The Messenger of Allah (sallAllahu alaihi wa-sallam) related:
(When Allah created Adam (AS) Allah took covenant from him in a place Na’man on the day of Arafat, then He extracted from him all the descendants who would be born until the end of the world, generation after generation, and spread them out in front of Him in order to take a covenant from them also. He spoke to them face to face saying:
“Am I not your Lord?”
And they all replied: “Yes, we testify to it”. Allah then explained why He had all of mankind bear witness that He was their Creator and only true God worthy of worship. He said:
“That was in case you (mankind) should say on the Day of Resurrection, ‘Surely, we were unaware of this. We had no idea that You, Allah, were our Lord. No one told us that we were only supposed to worship you.”
[(Sahah by Shaikh al-Albana in Silsilah al-Ahadath as-Sahahah vol: 4, no: 1623]
Fasting on the day of Arafat
Fasting on the day of Arafat is a true blessing and a means of great forgiveness for all who undertakes it and there is no doubt that we should all try our best to fast on this blessed day which is Tomorrow (Sunday the 7th)
In the UK Sehri ends (20 mins before Fajr starts) at 5.55 am and Iftar will be at sunrise at 3:51 pm.
The Prophet (saw) says: “Be content with the fact that Allah will expiate for your sins for a whole year before the day of Arafat and the year after the day of Arafat”! [Saheeh Muslim]
“There is no day on which Allah frees more people from the Fire than the day of Arafat. He comes close and expresses His pride to the angels saying, ‘What do these people want?” [Saheeh Muslim]
However whoever is at Arafat as a pilgrim then fasting is not expected of him as the Prophet (SAW) stopped at Arafat to eat.
The tenth day of Dhul-Hijjah is the greatest day of Hajj. It is known as Yawm an-Nahr (the day of Sacrifice), since it marks the ending of the major rite of Hajj – the Sacrifice. And it is on this day that the Muslims commemorate the bounties and blessings of Allah. It was recorded in a Hadath by Imam Ahmad (in his Musnad vol: 4, no: 350) that the day of Nahr is the most virtuous day to Allah. The Messenger of Allah (sallAllahu alaihi wa-sallam) said:
“The greatestday of Hajj (Pilgrimage) is the Day of an-Nahr (Slaughtering).” [(Sahah) by Shaikh al-Albana in Irwa al-Ghalal (no: 1101). Abu Dawad no: 1945]
Imam Ibn Taymiyyah (d. 728H) said:
“The most excellent day of the week is the day of Jumuah (Friday), by the agreement of the Scholars. And the most excellent day of the year is the day of an-Nahr. Some of them said that it is the day of Arafat. However, the first opinion is the correct one, since it is related in the Sunan collections that the Prophet (SAW) said:
“The most excellent days with Allah is the day of an-Nahr, then the day of al-Qarr (the day that the Muslims reside in Mina).”
[(Sahah) by Shaikh al-Albana in Irwa al-Ghalal (no: 2018). Related by Abu Dawad no: 1765].” [Majma al-Fatawa vol: 25, pp. 288]
The day of An-Nahr is also known as ‘Eid al-Adha’ meaning the festival of Sacrifice and it is one of the two festivals which Allah has granted to the Ummah of Prophet (SAW). Anas (RA) narrated, Allah’s Messenger (SAW) came to Medina and the people of Medina in the days of Jahiliyyah had two days of play and amusement. So, Allah’s Messenger (SAW) said:
“I came to you and you had in Jahiliyyah, two days of play and amusement. Allah has replaced something better for you. The Day of an-Nahr and the day of al-Fitr.” [(Sahah) by Hafidh Ibn Hajr in Bulagh al-Maram. Related by Musnad Ahmad vol: 3, no: 103]
The Messenger of Allah (SAW) said:
“The day of al-Fitr, and the day of an-Nahr, and the days of at-Tashraq (the three days after an-Nahr) are our days of Eid (festivity); and they are days of eating and drinking.” [(Sahah) by Shaikh al-Albana in Sahah al-Jama (no: 8192). Related by Musnad Ahmad (no: 1945)]
Glorifying Allah with Takbar: (Takbar al-Muqayyid):
From the day of Arafat until the Asr prayer of the 13th day of Dhul-Hijjah, one should make Takbar after every obligatory Salat. Ibn Aba Shaybah relates that Ala (RA) used to make the Takbar beginning after the Fajr prayer on the day of Arafat, until after the Asr prayer on the last day of at-Tashraq. [(Sahah) by Shaikh al-Albana in al-Irwa. Related by Ibn Aba Shaybah in al-Musannaf]
Shaikh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullah) said:
“The most correct saying concerning the Takbar – that which the majority of the Salaf (Pious Predecessors), and the Scholars from the Companions and Imams were upon – is to begin making the Takbar from Fajr (dawn) on the day of Arafat up until the last day of at-Tashraq (the thirteenth of Dhul-Hijjah), after every Prayer.” [Majma al-Fatawa (24/220)]
Imam al-Khattaba (rahimahullah) (d. 456H) said:
“The wisdom behind saying the Takbar in these days is that in the times of Jahiliyyah (pre-Islamic ignorance), they used to slaughter for their Taghats (false objects of worship). So the Takbars were prescribed in order to indicate that the act of slaughtering is directed to Allah alone, and by mentioning only His Name.” [Fath al-Bara]
As regards to the actual wording of the Takbars, then nothing authentic has been related from the Messenger of Allah. However, the following have been reported from the Sahabah:
1. Ibn Mas’ad (RA): Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, La ilaha illa Allah, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar wa lillahil-Hamd. [(Sahah) Irwa al-Ghalal (650), Daraqutne, Ibn Shaibah]
(Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest, 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): Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar wa lillahil-Hamd; Allahu Akbar wa-ajal, Allahu akbaru ala mahadana.
[(sahah) – Bayhaqa (3/315)] (Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest, 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) : Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar kabara.
[(sahah) – Bayhaqa (3/316)] (Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest)
“Increase in these days with Tahlil, Takbar and Tamhid. (Takbar al-Mutlaq). And mention the name of Allah on the appointed Days.” [Sarah al-Hajj (22): 28]
This verse has been explained (by some) to mean the ten days of Dhul-Hijjah. Scholars consider it desirable to increase Dhikr (remembrance of Allah) in these days, because the Messenger of Allah (SAW) is reported to have said:
“There are no days that are greater to Allah or in which deeds are more beloved to Him than these ten days, so increase your Tahlil, Takbar and Tamhid during these days.” [Musnad Ahmad]
Tahlil, Takbar and Tamhid mean saying ‘La ilaha illa Allah’, ‘Allahu Akbar’ and ‘al-Hamdu lillah’, respectively.
Ishaq narrates from the scholars of the Tabi’an that in these ten days they used to say: Allahu-Akbar, Allahu-Akbar; La-ilaha-ill-Allah; wallahu-Akbar, Allahu-Akbar; Wa-lillahil-hamd.
It is a beloved act to raise the voice when saying the Takbar in the markets, the houses, the streets, the masjids and other places, because of the saying of Allah Most High in Sarah al-Hajj verse 37:
“…that you may magnify Allah for His Guidance to you…”
Imam Bukhara (rahimahullah) said in the book of al-Idayn in the chapter of the Virtue of good) deeds during the days of Tashraq, Ibn Umar and Abu Hurayrah (RA) would go out in the marketplace during the ten days and say Takbar, and the people would say Takbar when they said Takbar. [Sahah al-Bukhara]
The Sunnah is to say the Takbar individually. The saying of Takbar in congregation, i.e., everyone pronouncing the Takbar 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. This is applicable for all Dhikr and supplications, except if the person doesn’t know what to say. In that case he may repeat after someone else until he learns (the words to be said).
Narrated al-Bara (Allah be pleased with him) that he heard the Prophet (Sallallaahu Alayhi wa sallam) delivering a khutbah saying: “The first thing to be done on this day (first day of Eid-ul-Adha) is to pray; and after returning from the prayer we slaughter our sacrifices (in the name of Allah), and whoever does so, he has acted according to our sunnah. (Kitaabul-Eidayn, Bukhari)
Eid-ul-Adha is celebrated on the 10th through 12th day of Dhil Hijjah, the 12th month of the lunar calendar. Many of the rituals related to the Eid directly commemmorate the sacrifices of Hadrat Ibraham (alayhis-salaam) and his family for the sake of Allah. On the way to the Eid prayer, while waiting for it and on the way back from the prayer one should recite the following takbeer as much as possible:
Allaahu akbar – Allaahu akbar – Laa ilaaha illallaahu – wal-laahu akbar Allaahu akbar wa lil-laahil-hamd
(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.)
It is the tradition of the Prophet (Sallallaahu Alayhi wa sallam) to go to the prayer by one way and return by another. The takbeer-e-tashreeq above is also to be recited after every fard prayer beginning from the Fajr prayer of the 9th to the Asr prayer of the 13th of Dhil Hijjah (23 times in all).
The following actions are also sunnah on the day of Eid:
- To clean the teeth with miswaak;
- To take a bath;
- To adorn oneself and dress in the best clothes that are available and are permitted in Shariaah;
- To use perfume;
- To rise early and go to the prayer grounds early;
- To walk to the prayer grounds if possible and to recite the takbeer above;
- Nothing is to be eaten before the prayer of Eid-ul-Adha, unlike Eid-ul-Fitr;
- No (nafl) prayers should be prayed at the Eid prayer ground, neither before or after the Eid prayer.
Procedure of the Eid Prayer
Eid-ul-Adha prayer consists of two rakaaah in congregation. The procedure of the prayer is as follows:
First, make the niyyah for the Eid salaah:
Nawaytu an usallee rakaatayil-waajibi salaata eidil-adhaa maaa takbeeraatin waajibatin
(I intend to pray 2 rakaaah of waajib prayer of Eid-ul-Adha with the (extra) waajib takbeeraat )
Then the Imam says Allahu akbar (and the followers do so after him). Then the hands are folded as in other prayers and the thanaa is recited:
Subhaanakal-laahum-ma wa bi hamdika wa tabaarakas-muka wa taaaalaa jad-duka wa laa ilaaha 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 3 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 Taaawwudh and Bismillah quietly and then recites Surah Fatiha and another Surah. Then rukua and sujood are performed as in other prayers. In the second rakaaah, the Imam recites Bismillah quietly and then Surah Fatiha and another Surah loudly and then says Allahu akbar 3 times, each time raising the hands to the ears and dropping them. Then Allahu akbar is said a fourth time and the congregation goes into rukua and finishes the prayer as any other. After the Eid prayer is completed, the Imam stands up and gives two khutbah in Arabic, sitting between them, as was the practice of the Prophet (Sallallaahu Alayhi wa sallam).
An alternate method of performing twelve extra takbeeraat during the prayer, instead of the six extra that are described above, is also permissible: 7 and then 5 extra takbeeraat are performed during the first and second rakaaah respectively (Umdatus-Saalik, Shafia madhhab).
Selected Traditions from Sahih-al-Bukhari: The Chapter of the Two Eids.
-> Narrated Aisha (Radiyallaahu anhaa) that Allahas Messenger (Sallallaahu Alayhi wa sallam) said: “There is an Eid for every nation and this is our Eid.”
-> Narrated Abdullah bin Umar (Radiyallaahu anhu) that Allahas Messenger (Sallallaahu Alayhi wa sallam) used to offer the prayer of Eid-ul-Adha and Eid-ul-Fitr and then deliver the khutbah after the prayer.
-> Narrated Ibn Abbaas (Radiyallaahu anhu) that the Prophet (Sallallaahu Alayhi wa sallam) said: “No good deeds done on other days are superior to those done on these (first 10 days of Dhil Hijjah).” Then some companions of the Prophet (Sallallaahu Alayhi wa sallam) said, “Not even jihaad?” He replied, “Not even jihaad, except that of a man who does it by putting himself and his property in danger (for Allahas sake) and does not return with any of those things.”
-> Narrated Jaabir ibn Abdullah (Radiyallaahu anhu): On the day of Eid, the Prophet (Sallallaahu Alayhi wa sallam) used to return (from the prayer) through a way different from that by which he went.
-> Narrated Urwa on the authority of Aisha (Radiyallaahu anhaa) that on the days of Minaa (11th, 12th and 13th of Dhil Hijjah) Abu Bakr (Radiyallaahu anhu) came to her while two girls were beating the tambourine and the Prophet (Sallallaahu Alayhi wa sallam) was lying covered with his clothes. Abu Bakr (Radiyallaahu anhu) scolded them and the Prophet (Sallallaahu Alayhi wa sallam) uncovered his face and said to Abu Bakr, “Leave them, for these days are the days of Eid and the days of Minaa.”
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. 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 doesnat, then let him not come near our prayer area.” So Abu Hanifa took from this hadith that it was a wajib. If we canat consider it as a wajib, at least it is a sunnah muakkadah and in it is a great bounty.
Its time of occurrence is after Salat al-Eid, meaning the earliest salat ul-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 (blessings of Allah and peace be upon him) commanded the one who performs the slaughtering before the Eid prayer to consider his sheep as a “sheep of meat” and not as a “sheep of worship”. Even if he gave all of it in charity he will only be rewarded for it the reward of charity, not the reward for slaughtering for the Eid. For slaughtering is a an act of worship and the acts of worship if they have a fixed time and condition then it is not befitting for it to be performed early or late, like the daily prayers. Is it permissible for you to pray Dhuhr before its appointed time? So it is with the slaughtering of the Eid, it has its specified time too.
Some people in certain places slaughter 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 days of the Eid.
It is best to slaughter before the sun reaches its zenith. If the time for Dhuhr comes and he has not performed the slaughter it is better to wait till the second day to do it. Some of the Imams have said that it is permissible after that during the day or even the night. For this reason I see that it is not absolutely necessary that everybody slaughters on the first day because there will be a lot of crowding at the site of the slaughtering. So, it is possible that some people can delay their slaughtering until the second or third day.
What is the Proper Animal for Slaughter?
Camels, cows, sheep and goats are the proper animal to use for slaughtering because they are considered livestock (anaam). So it is permissible to slaughter from any of these types. The sheep can be used for onea, meaning a man and the members of his household. As the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “This is on behalf of Muhammad and his family.”
Abu Ayyub has said, “During the time of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) a man used to slaughter one sheep for himself and his family until it came to the point that people competed with each other and they became what you now see.” This is the Sunnah.
As for cows and camels, 1/7 of either of them is sufficient for one person, so it is possible that 7 people could share one camel or one camel or one cow with the condition that the cow is not less than 2 years old or the camel less than 5 years old.
The better the quality of the animal that is used for slaughtering, with regards to its size and condition, the better. That is because it is a gift to Allah, Mighty and Majestic. 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, “It is not their meat nor their blood that reaches Allah, rather, it is the piety of the hearts that reaches Him.”