Bismillah ir Rahman ir Rahim Innal-Hamdalillah was-Salaatu was-Salaam `alaa Rasoolillah As-Salaamu o Alaikum wa-Rahmatullahi wa-Barakatuhu
Importance of the Month of ZulHajjah
Hajj is performed in this month.
The first ten days of ZulHajjah are extremely sacred and good deeds are most beloved to Allah in these ten days.
9th ZulHajja is a very sacred day. When asked about the fast of 9th ZulHajjah (Yaum e Arafah) Rasool Allah saw said: “It expiates the sins of the preceding year and the coming year” (Muslim 6: 2603)
The Prophet said Salal Lahu Alehi Wasalam, “No good deeds done on other days are superior to those done on these (first ten days of Dhal Hajja).” Then some companions of the Prophet said Salal Lahu Alehi Wasalam, “Not even Jihad?” He replied, “Not even Jihad”, except that of a man who does it by putting himself and his property in danger (for Allah’s sake) and does not return with any of those things.”(Bukhari 15: 86)
The second Muslim festival Eid ul Adha falls on the 10th of ZulHajjah.
An animal sacrifice in memory of the sacrifice of Prophet Ibrahim (as) is offered on 10th ZulHajjah.
(Importance of Sacrifice:)
Sacrifice has not been made obligatory by Allah Tala, however it has the status of being Obligatory Sunnah ( Sunnat e Wjiba). Through this act, pleasure of Allah is obtained and also results in atonement of sins!
Sacrifice has been commanded to the people in all the revealed laws (Shariat) since the time of Prophet Adam (as) to Prophet Muhammad (Salal Lahu Alehi Wasalam).
Allah Tala mentioned this sunnah in beautiful words in Surah Safaat: And he (Ibrhaim as) said (after his rescue from the fire): “Verily, I am going to my Lord. He will guide me!” “My Lord! Grant me (offspring) from the righteous.” So We gave him the glad tidings of a forbearing boy. And, when he (his son) was old enough to walk with him, he said: “O my son! I have seen in a dream that I am slaughtering you (offer you in sacrifice to Allâh), so look what you think!” He said: “O my father! Do that which you are commanded, Inshâ’ Allâh (if Allâh will), you shall find me amongst the patient ones.
Then, when they had both submitted themselves (to the Will of Allâh), and he had laid him prostrate on his forehead; And We called out to him: “O Abraham! You have fulfilled the dream” Verily! Thus do We reward the Muhsinûn (good-doers). Verily, that indeed was a manifest trial and We ransomed him with a great sacrifice and We left for him (a goodly remembrance) among generations (to come) in later times. Salâmun (peace) be upon Ibrâhim!”
After seeing the dream, Ibrahim (as) transcended all logic and sacrificed his most beloved possession, his own son, for the sake of Allah.
(Wisdom of Sacrifice)
Sacrifice is the symbol of full obedience and total submission to Allah
Ibrahim’s (as) obedience, loyalty and sacrifice greatly earned the pleasure of Allah Subhana Watala and he was declared as a Muhsin and Khalil Allah (Friend of Allah) and his name and his sacrifice is remembered till this day. Five times a day, Muslims send their blessings on Ibrahim (as) along with Muhammad (Salal Lahu Alhi Wasalam)
Allah Tala expects the same obedience and sacrifice from His slaves. In front of the command of Allah, there should be no excuses.
In remembrance of this sacrifice of Ibrahim (as), Muslims all over the world make a commitment that Oh Lord of the Worlds; We are your obedient slaves. Everything we possess belongs to you. If you command us, we will sacrifice our lives for the sake of Islam.
Thus sunnat of Sacrifice offered every year is actually the expression of a salve’s love for his Creator. The word Qurbani is derived from the word “Qurb”- nearness. Sacrifice is thus a form of worship through which love and nearness of Allah can be attained.
Allah Tala says in Surah Anam 162:
“Say (O Prophet Muhammad saw) Indeed my prayer, my sacrifice, my life and my death are all for the sake of Allah”
While sacrificing, if this state and if these feelings of love and total obedience to Allah are not there, then merely shedding the blood of animals and distributing meat are all activities without any spirit.
Allah Tala does not need blood of animals nor meat from animals. All that He requires from His slaves is the Taqwa, obedience and the feelings of self sacrifice for their Lord.
Allah Tala says in Surah Hajj:
“It is neither their meat nor their blood that reaches Allâh, but it is piety from you that reaches Him”
Thus the real spirit of sacrifice is that a man should leave his bad habits, stop following his wishes and desires and stop following traditions. Man should leave and sacrifice all those things in this world which stop him from attaining nearness to Allah.
(What to do in the first ten days of ZulHajjah?)
Recite the masnoon dua when sighting the moon of ZulHajjah.
Recite the Takbiraat as much as possible from the 1st ZulHajjah to the 13th of ZulHajjah.
After sighting the moon of ZulHajjah, do not cut or trim your hair and nails until you have offered the sacrifice. As Rasool Allah saw has ordered:
When any one of you intending to sacrifice the animal enters in the month (of Dhu’l-Hijja) he should not get his hair or nails touched (cut)” (Muslim 22: 4870)
Perform good deeds (Fasting, charity, voluntary prayers, zikr, etc) as much as possible.
Observe the fast of 9th ZulHajjah as it leads to expiation of sins of the previous year and the coming year.
(What to do on Eid Day?)
Do not eat anything on Eid ul Adha until after the Eid Prayer and the sacrifice; as this was the sunnah of Rasool Allah Salal Lahu Alehi Wasalam.
While on the way for Eid Prayer, recite the Takbiraat loudly.
Rasool Allah saw ordered all Muslim women, young girls and even women in monthly impurity to come out for Eid prayers. If they don’t have a veil, they should borrow it from someone while women in monthly impurity should stay away from the Musallah.(Bukhari 15:96)
It is masnoon to offer the sacrifice at the place of Eid Prayer.
(Self Analysis for ZulHajjah)
Did I recite the Masnoon dua when sighting the moon?
Did I excessively observe fasts in the first ten days of ZulHajjah?
Did I make sure I did not cut my hair and nails in the first ten days of ZulHajjah?
Did I excessively recite the Takbiraat?
Did I observe the fast of 9th ZulHajjah?
Was I well prepared for Eid?
Did I offer the Eid Prayer in congregation?
Did I offer the sacrifice on Eid and remember Ibrahim (as)’s sacrifice?
Did I take care of the poor and the needy?
Did I make sure to keep my neighborhood and surrounding area clean after the sacrifice?
Did I give up any bad habits?
Was I truthful in answering the above questions?