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Acts of Worship New Muslims

Etiquettes and Rulings of `Eid Al-Adha

`Eid Al-Adha is the tenth day of Dhul-Hijjah, the last month of the Hijri or Islamic calendar. It is, as the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “The greatest day in the sight of Allah, may He be blessed and exalted, the Day of Sacrifice . . .” (Abu Dawud)

`Eid Al-Adha is the tenth day of Dhul-Hijjah, the last month of the Hijri or Islamic calendar.

`Eid Al-Adha is the tenth day of Dhul-Hijjah, the last month of the Hijri or Islamic calendar.

It is also the greatest day of Hajj, as the Prophet (peace be upon him) told us.

The reason why it is described as the greatest day of the year is that it combines so many acts of worship which are not combined on any other day, such as the `Eid prayer, offering the sacrifice, reciting Takbir (glorifying Allah), and widespread remembrance of Allah.[1]

The recommended acts of Sunnah on the day of `Eid are as follows:

1 – Taking a Bath before Going out to the Prayer

Al- Nawawi (may Allah have mercy on him) said that the Muslims were unanimously agreed that it is recommendable to take a bath for the `Eid prayer.

The reason why it is desirable is the same reason as that for taking a bath before Jumu`ah and other public gatherings. Rather, on `Eid the reason is even stronger.

2 – Eating after the Prayer on `Eid al-Adha

On `Eid al-Adha it is recommended not to eat anything until one comes back from the prayer, so he should eat from the udhiyah (sacrifice) if he has offered a sacrifice. If he is not going to offer a sacrifice, there is nothing wrong with eating before the prayer.

3 – Takbir on the Day of `Eid

This is one of the greatest Sunnahs on the day of `Eid because Allah says:

(He wants that you) must complete the same number (of days), and that you must magnify Allah [i.e. to say Takbir (Allahu Akbar: Allah is the Most Great) for having guided you so that you may be grateful to Him” (Al-Baqarah 2:185)

The time for Takbir on `Eid Al-Adha begins on the first day of Dhul-Hijjah and lasts until sunset on the last of the days of Tashriq.

The time for Takbir on `Eid Al-Adha begins on the first day of Dhul-Hijjah and lasts until sunset on the last of the days of Tashriq.

Al-Daraqutni and others narrated that on the morning of `Eid al-Fitr and `Eid al-Adha, Ibn `Umar would strive hard in reciting Takbir until he came to the prayer place, then he would recite Takbir until the imam came out.

Saying Takbir when coming out of one’s house to the prayer place and until the imam came out was something that was well known among the Salaf (early generations). Nafi’ ibn Jubayr used to recite Takbir and was astonished that the people did not do so, and he said, “Why do you not recite Takbir?”

Ibn Shihab al-Zuhri (may Allah have mercy on him) used to say, “The people used to recite Takbir from the time they came out of their houses until the imam came in.”

The time for Takbir on `Eid Al-Adha begins on the first day of Dhul-Hijjah and lasts until sunset on the last of the days of Tashriq.

4 – Offering Congratulations

The etiquette of `Eid also includes the congratulations and good wishes exchanged by people, no matter what the wording, such as saying to one another “Taqabbala Allah minna wa minkum” (May Allah accept (good deeds) from us and from you” or “`Eid mubarak” and other permissible expressions of congratulations.

It was narrated that Jubayr ibn Nufayr said: When the companions of the Prophet (peace be upon him) met one another on the day of `Eid, they would say to one another, “May Allah accept (good deeds) from us and from you.”

Undoubtedly these congratulations are among the noble characteristics among the Muslims.

5 – Adorning Oneself on the Occasion of `Eid.

It was narrated that Jabir (may Allah be pleased with him) said: The Prophet (peace be upon him) had a cloak which he would wear on the two `Eids and on Fridays. (Ibn Khuzaymah)

So a man should wear the best clothes that he has when going out for `Eid. With regard to women, they should avoid adorning themselves when they go out for `Eid, because they are forbidden to show off their adornments to non-Mahram men. It is also haram for a woman who wants to go out to put on perfume or to expose men to temptation, because they are only going out for the purpose of worship.

6 – Going to the Prayer by One Route and Returning by Another.

It was narrated that Jabir ibn `Abdullah (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “On the day of `Eid, the Prophet used to vary his route.” (Al-Bukhari)

It was said that the reason for that was so that the two routes would testify for him on the Day of Resurrection, for the earth will speak on the Day of Resurrection and say what was done on it, both good and bad.  And it was said that it was in order to manifest the symbols of Islam on both routes, or to manifest the remembrance of Allah.

[1] Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid

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Source: Islamqa.com.

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Acts of Worship New Muslims

Rulings and Conditions of Udhiyah

By Editorial Staff

Udhiyah refers to the animal slaughtered during the days of `Eid Al-Adha as an act of worship, intending to draw closer to Allah thereby. It is one of the rituals of Islam prescribed in the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger (peace be upon him), and according to the consensus of the Muslims.

The Muslims are unanimously agreed that it is prescribed in Islam, as was narrated by more than one of the scholars. But they differed as to whether it is Sunnah Mu’akkadah (a confirmed Sunnah) or it is obligatory and it is not permissible to omit it.

The majority of scholars are of the view that it is Sunnah Mu’akkadah. This is the view of al-Shafa`i, Malik and Ahmad according to his most well-known view. Others were of the view that it is obligatory. This is the view of Abu Hanifah and one of the views narrated from Ahmad.

Conditions of Udhiyah

There are six conditions for the Udhiyah:

1- It should be one of these kinds of animals: camels, cattle, sheep or goats, because Allah says:

And for every nation We have appointed religious ceremonies, that they may mention the Name of Allah over the beast of cattle that He has given them for food. (Al-Hajj 22:34)

The beast of cattle includes camels, cattle and sheep. This is what is well known among the Arabs, and this was the view of Al-Hasan, Qatadah and others.

2- It should have reached the age stipulated in Shari`ah, which is six months for a sheep, five years for the camels, two years for the cattle, and one year for the goat.

3- It should be free of any faults that would render it unsuitable for sacrifice, of which there are four:

  • An obvious defect in one eye
  • Obvious sickness whose symptoms are clearly apparent in the animal
  • Obvious lameness which prevents the animal from walking normally
  • Emaciation that leaves no marrow in the bones

These four faults render an animal unsuitable for sacrifice, and they include similar faults or more severe faults.

4- The animal should belong to the person who is offering the sacrifice, or he should have permission for that either on the grounds of Shari`ah or from the owner. The sacrifice is not valid if the animal slaughtered does not belong to the person who is sacrificing it, such as one that has been taken by force, stolen, or taken on the basis of a false claim, etc, because it is not permissible to draw closer to Allah by means of sin.

5- It should be slaughtered at the time specified in Shari`ah, which is from after the `Eid prayer on the Day of Sacrifice until sunset on the last of the days of At-Tashriq, which is the 13th of Dhul-Hijjah. So the days when the sacrificial animal may be offered are four: the day of `Eid after the prayer, and the three days after that. Whoever slaughters it before the `Eid prayer is over, or after sun sets on the 13th of Dhul-Hijjah, his sacrifice is not valid, because of the hadith narrated by Al-Bukhari from Al-Bara’ ibn `Azib (may Allah be pleased with him), according to which the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Whoever slaughters (his sacrifice) before the prayer, it is meat that he has brought to his family, but that is not the sacrifice.”

But if he has an excuse for delaying it beyond the days of Tashriq, such as if the animal ran away, without there being any negligence on his part, and he could not find it until after the time was over, or he appointed someone else to slaughter it and that person forgot until the time was over, then there is nothing wrong with slaughtering it after the appointed time. This is by analogy with the one who sleeps and misses a prayer, or forgets it – he should pray it as soon as he wakes up or remember it.

It is permissible to slaughter the Udhiyah at any time, night or day, but it is better to slaughter it during the day, and it is better to slaughter on the day of `Eid after the two sermons of `Eid.

The Best Udhiyah

A sheep is good enough as a sacrifice for one man and the members of his household and his children, because of the hadith of Abu Ayyub: “At the time of the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him), a man would sacrifice a sheep on behalf of himself and the members of his household, and they would eat from it and give some to others.” (Ibn Majah)

However, a camel or cow is enough for seven people, because of the report narrated by Jabir (may Allah be pleased with him) who said: “We sacrificed at Al-Hudaybiyah with the Prophet (peace be upon him), a camel for seven and a cow for seven.” According to one version: “The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) commanded us to share camels and cattle, each seven men sharing one animal.” According to another version: “So a cow would be sacrificed on behalf of seven men and we would share it.” (Muslim)

Honoring the Udhiyah

The Sunnah for one who wants to slaughter the Udhiyah is to say when slaughtering it:

Bismillah, wa Allahu akbar, Allahumma hadha minka wa laka. (In the name of Allah, Allah is most great. O Allah, this is from You and to You.)

Al-Bukhari and Muslim narrated that Anas said: The Prophet (peace be upon him) sacrificed two horned rams that were white speckled with black. He slaughtered them with his own hand and said “Bismillah wa Allahu akbar,” (In the Name of Allah, Allah is the Greatest) and put his foot on their necks.

It is preferable for the one who has made a sacrifice to not eat anything on that day before he eats from it, if this is possible, because of the hadith, “Let every man eat from his sacrifice.” This eating should be after the `Eid prayer and sermon. This is the opinion of the scholars, including `Ali, Ibn `Abbas, Malik, Al-Shafa`i and others.

It is better for a person to slaughter the sacrifice himself, but if he does not, it is recommendable for him to be present when it is slaughtered.

The scholars agreed that it is not permissible to sell anything from the meat, fat or skin of the sacrifice.  In an authentic hadith, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Whoever sells the skin of his Udhiyah, there is no Udhiyah for him (i.e., it is not counted as Udhiyah).” (Sahih Al-Jami`) The butcher should not be given anything of it by way of reward or payment, because `Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) commanded me to take care of the sacrifice and to give its meat, skin and raiment (covering used for protection) in charity, and not to give anything of it to the butcher as a compensation. He said, ‘We will give him something from what we have.’” (Agreed upon).

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Source: Islamqa.com.

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Fasting New Muslims

Excellence and Rulings of the Last Ten Days of Ramadan

Ramadan is the best of all the months because of the many blessings, favours, mercies, forgiveness and protection from the Hell-fire bestowed upon worshippers during it. One of the best favours ever bestowed upon people is, however, the revelation of the Gracious Quran.

It was the month of Ramadan in which the Quran was first sent down

The best book, the Gracious Quran, was revealed to the best of all messengers, Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) through the best of all angels, Gabriel (peace be upon him) in the best of all the months, Ramadan. Hence, Prophet Muhammad’s Ummah (Community) is the best of all people. Allah says,

“You (believers) are the best Community ever brought forth for (the good of) humankind: You enjoin what is right. And you forbid what is wrong. And you believe in God.” (Quran 3:110)

Having known that Ramadan is the best of all months, you should know that the last ten days and nights of it are the best of these days and nights of the month. On the other hand, there are the first ten days of the last month in the lunar calendar, the month of Dhul-hijjah. The virtues of these days are very well-known in the Gracious Quran and The Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).

Which is better, the last ten days of Ramadan or the first ten days of Dhul-hijjah?

In reply to this question, Shaikh al-Islam, Ibn Taimiyah said,

“The daylight time is better in the first ten days of Dhul-hijjah than the last ten days of Ramadan. However, the nights are better in the last ten days of Ramadan than those of Dhul-hijjah.”

The nights are better in the last ten days of Ramadan because there is Lailat al-Qadr (the Night of Decree). On the other hand, the daylight is better in the first ten days of Dhul-hijjah because of the 9th day, the Day of Arafat, and the 10th day, Eid Al-Ad-ha. On these two days, Muslims perform most rites of Hajj (Pilgrimage).

The last ten nights of Ramadan

It is highly recommended that people spare no effort in worship during these nights so that they can be among those who worship Allah at the Lailat al-Qadr. The worship of Allah during this night is better than the worship during a thousand months without that night.  Also, it is a sunnah of the Prophet (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) to increase worship during those nights.

‘A’ishah (May Allah be pleased with her) reported:

The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) used to strive more in worship during Ramadan than he strove in any other time of the year; and he would devote himself more (in the worship of Allah) in the last ten nights of Ramadan than he strove in earlier part of the month. (Muslim)

It is also recommended that family members encourage each other to spend most of the night worshipping Allah.

‘A’isha (RAA) narrated, ‘With the start of the last ten days of Ramadan, the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) used to tighten his waist belt (i.e. keep away from his wives) and used to stay up praying all night, and he would also wake his wives (to pray and recite Qur’an etc..).” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

Lailat al-Qadr (the Night of Decree)

Lailat al-Qadr is one of the last ten nights of Ramadan. It’s not known which specific night it is. Allah concealed it to test people so that it can become clear who is keen on seeking its virtues and blessings. To pass the test, Muslims strive to do more acts of worship during these nights. These acts of worship include performing the night prayer, reciting the gracious Quran, making du’a (supplication), etc.

Moreover, Allah concealed it to shower His servants with His Mercy. This means that if people increase their worship during these blessed nights, this will bring them closer to Allah besides the greater reward they shall get.  The reward for worship and the virtues of this night is the greatest of all the year. Allah says,

“I swear by the Quran, the clear Book! Indeed, it is We (alone) who have sent it down in a blessed night. For, indeed, it is We (alone) who are giving (humanity) forewarning (of a nearing Judgment). In that (blessed night) every wise affair is determined.” (Quran 44:2-4)

The Quran describes Lailat al-Qadr as a blessed night because of the many virtues and blessings bestowed upon the believers on this night. Moreover, the revelation of the gracious Quran is one of the blessings of this night.

The meanings of “al-Qadr

First, al-Qadr means decree. So, on Lailat al-Qadr, every wise affair or decree is transferred from the Preserved Tablet of Heaven- the timeless record of all things- to the angelic scribes who write down the decrees of the coming year including life span, provision, and what will happen until the end of the year.

Second, it also means very valuable. Hence, the reward for worship on that night is better and has more value than any other night of the year. It is even much better than the worship during over 83 years.

The reward for performing night prayer on lailat al-Qadr

Muslims spend more time praying on the last ten nights. They perform night prayers after Salat al-‘isha’ (the evening prayer). Because it usually takes a long time, they take a break before they continue to perform Salat Al-Tahjjud (another name for night prayer) usually after midnight.

Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported:

The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “Whosoever performs Qiyam (night prayer) during Lailat al-Qadr (Night of Decree), with Faith and being hopeful of Allah’s reward, will have his former sins forgiven.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

Surat al-Qadr

Allah says,

“Indeed, (it is) We (who) have sent this (Quran) down (from on high) on the Night of (Empowering) Decree. And do you realize what the Night of (Empowering) Decree is. The Night of (Empowering) Decree is better than a thousand months! Therein do the angels and the Spirit (Gabriel) descend, by the permission of their Lord, with every (divine) commandment. Peace it is till the rise of dawn!” (Quran 97)

This is the 97th chapter of the Gracious Quran which also stresses that the Quran was first revealed on that night. The angels descend on this night with goodness, blessings and mercies. Lailat al-Qadr is a night of peace to the believers as a great number of them are freed from the punishment in the Hell-fire. This continues till dawn.

The best du’a (supplication) made during those nights

Du’a is one of the best acts of worship made especially during those nights. Everyone can make his own du’a or plea. However, the following du’a should be made often:

‘Aishah (May Allah be pleased with her) reported:

I asked: “O Messenger of Allah! If I realize Lailat-ul-Qadr (Night of Decree), what should I supplicate in it?” He (ﷺ) replied, “You should supplicate:

Allahumma innaka ‘afuwwun, tuhibbul-‘afwa, fa’fu ‘anni (O Allah, You are Most Forgiving, and You love forgiveness; so forgive me).” [Al-Tirmidhi].

Going on a ritual retreat in a mosque (I’tikaf)

I’tikaf is one of the recommended acts of worship observed for the last ten days of Ramadan. People remain in the mosque to worship Allah. They do not go out of the mosque except for necessary needs. It starts when the sun sets on the 20th day of Ramadan till the end of the month.

‘Aishah (May Allah be pleased with her) reported:

The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) used to seclude himself (in the mosque) during the last ten nights of Ramadan. He would say, “Search for Lailat al-Qadr (Night of Decree) in the last ten nights of Ramadan.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

If a person cannot observe I’tikaf, they should spend as much time as they can in the mosque especially during the night.

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