Category Archives: Islamic Months

Six Fasts of Shawwaal

[Jamiatul Ulama Gauteng]

HOW TO GET THE REWARD OF FASTING FOR THE WHOLE YEAR!!!

The Month of Shawwal begins with one of the most auspicious days – Eid ul Fitr. Eid ul Fitr is a day of great ibaadah and a day of immense happiness.

The month of Shawwal is further enhanced by the six voluntary fasts which can be kept within it.

Nabi (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) reports that: “Whoever completes the fasts of Ramadan and then follows it with the six fasts of Shawwal, it will carry the thawaab (reward) of fasting for the whole year.” (Muslim)

Scholars have commented on the six fasts stating that every good deed is multiplied by ten, therefore the reward of 30 days of Ramadan amounts to the reward of 300 days of fasting.

The six fasts of Shawwal amounts to the rewards of 60 more days, hence raising the aggregate reward to 360 – a whole year’s reward of fasting!

This hadith has described the great thawab of six fasts of this month. Therefore, the Muslims should take this opportunity of acquiring such an enormous reward from Allah. It is more preferable to start these fasts from the 2nd of Shawwaal and keep fasting up to the 7th of it. However, if, they are kept in other days, it is hoped that the requirement of the above hadith may also be fulfilled.

The Islamic Month of Rabi’ul Thani

[Mufti Muhammad Taqi’ Usmani d.b]

This month is also called “Rabi ul-‘Aakhir”. No specific function or worship has been prescribed by the Shariah in this month. However, some people take the 11th of this month as the anniversary of Shaykh ‘Adb al Qadir al-Jilani (rahmatullah alayh), the great sufi and one of the most pious persons of our history. On these assumption, these people cook some special types of meals and distribute them among their acquaintants. Some of them believe that this practice  pleases the soul of the Shaykh and he will help us in fulfilling our worldly needs or in reaching our mundane or spiritual goals.

This practice is totally baseless for a number of reasons:

Firstly, it is not historically proved with certainity that the Shaykh (rahmatullah alayh), died on the 11th of this month. Some historians claim that he died on 9th and some of them hold that he died on 17th.

Secondly, even if it is proved that he had died on 11th of this month, the observations of anniversaries is not revognised by the Shariah, as we have explained it with more details in a separate post on Rabi al Awwal.

Thirdly, if the practice is based on the belief that the soul of the Shaykh will be pleased by it and help us in our worldly affairs, it is totally an erroneous idea and may amount to shirk.

Fourthly, even if these acts are performed for the purpose of Isal al thawaab only, there is no reason why a specific date is fixed for this purpose, and why the people not observing it are blamed and reproached.

Fifthly, the Isal al thawaab can be conceived where an ‘Ibaadah (act of worship) is done like Sadaqah, but here in this practice normally the meal is distributed among the well-off relatives or friends and not among the poor. It means that there is no intention to perform an ‘Ibaadah.

Sixthly, if some mundane benefits are sought by this practice, no thawaab is supposed to be achieved . How can it be an act of Isaal al-thawaab?

In short, looked at from any angle, this custom does not fit in the recognised principles of Shariah. Therefore, it should be abandoned in any case.

It must be remembered, however, that what we have said does not mean that one cannot make an Isal al-thawaab to the Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani. In fact the Isaal al-Thawaab is a recognized practice in Shariah. It becomes more commendable if it is done in favour of a pious person, like Shaykh ‘Abd al Qadir al-Jilani. But it should not be restricted to a particular date or a particular act. A Muslim can make Isaal al-Thawaab to the Shaykh any day and through any act of worship like salah, fasting, charity etc.

The Month of Rabi’ul-Awwal

[Mufti Muhammad Taqi’ Uthmani D.B]

From Superstitions into Light

Rabi’ul-Awwal is the most significant month in the Islamic history, because humanity has been blessed in this month by the birth of the Holy Prophet Muhammad, (SallAllahu alayhi wasallam). Before the birth of the Holy Prophet, (SallAllahu alayhi wasallam), not only the Arabian peninsula, but also the so-called civilized nations of Rome and Persia were drowned in the darkness of ignorance, superstitions, oppression and unrest. The Holy Prophet, (SallAllahu alayhi wasallam), came with the eternal truth of Tawhid (Oneness of Allah), the only faith which provides a firm basis for the real concepts of knowledge, equity and peace. It was this faith which delivered humanity from ignorance and superstitions and spread the light of true knowledge all over the world.

Islamic Celebrations

Thus the birth of the Holy Prophet, (SallAllahu alayhi wasallam), was the most significant and the most remarkable event in human history. Had there been room in Islamic teachings for the celebration of birthdays or anniversaries, the birthday of the Holy Prophet, (SallAllahu alayhi wasallam), would have undoubtedly deserved it more than the birthday of any other person. But that is against the nature of Islamic teachings. That is why, unlike Judaism, Christianity, and Hinduism, there are very few festivals in Islam, which provides for only two Eids (Eidul-fitr and Eidul-Adha) during the whole year. The dates of these two Eids do not correspond to the birthday of any of the outstanding persons of Islamic history, nor can their origin be attributed to any particular event of history that had happened in these dates.

Both of these two Eids have been prescribed for paying gratitude to Allah on some happy events that take place every year. The first event is the completion of the fasts of Ramadan and the second event is the completion of Hajj, another form of worship regarded as one of the five pillars of Islam.

The manner prescribed for the celebration of these two Eids (festivals) is also different from non-Islamic festivals. There are no formal processions, illumination or other activities showing formal happiness. On the contrary, there are congregational prayers and informal mutual visits to each other, which can give real happiness instead of its symbols only.

No Birthdays

On the other hand, Islam has not prescribed any festival for the birthday of any person, however great or significant he may be. The prophets of Allah are the persons of the highest status amongst all human beings. But the Holy Prophet, (SallAllahu alayhi wasallam), or his noble companions never observed the birthday or anniversary of any of them. Even the birthday of the Holy Prophet, (SallAllahu alayhi wasallam), which was the most happy day for the whole mankind was never celebrated by the Holy Prophet, (SallAllahu alayhi wasallam), himself, nor by his blessed Companions.

The Companions of the Holy Prophet, (SallAllahu alayhi wasallam), remained alive after him for about a century, but despite their unparalleled and profound love towards the Holy Prophet, (SallAllahu alayhi wasallam), they never celebrated the birthday or the death anniversary of the Holy Prophet, (SallAllahu alayhi wasallam). Instead, they devoted their lives for promoting the cause of Islam, for bringing his teachings into practice, for conveying his message to the four corners of the world and for establishing the Islamic order in every walk of life.

The Origins of Christmas

In fact, commemorating the birth of a distinguished person has never been prescribed by any religion attributing itself to divine revelation. It was originally a custom prevalent in pagan communities only. Even Christmas, the famous Christian feast commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ finds no mention in the Bible or in the early Christian writings. It was only in the 4th century after the ascension of Jesus Christ that Christmas was recognized as a regular Christian feast. To quote the Collier’s Encyclopedia:

“It is impossible to determine the exact date of the birth of Christ, either from the evidence of the gospels, or from any sound tradition. During the first three centuries of the Christian era there was considerable opposition in the Church to the pagan custom of celebrating birthdays, although there is some indication that a purely religious commemoration of the birth of Christ was included in the feast of Epiphany. Clement of Alexandria mentions the existence of the feast in Egypt about the year A.D. 200 and we have some evidence that it was observed on various dates in scattered areas. After the triumph of Constantine, the Church at Rome assigned December 25 as the date for the celebration of the feast, possibly about A.D. 320 or 353. By the end of the fourth century the whole Christian world was celebrating Christmas on that day, with the exception of the Eastern Churches, where it was celebrated on January 6. The choice of December 25 was probably influenced by the fact that on this day the Romans celebrated the Mithraic feast of the Sun-god, and that the Saturnalia also came at this time.” [Collier’s Encyclopedia 1984 ed, v. 6, p. 403].

A similar description of the origin of Christmas is found in-the Encyclopedia Britannica with some more details. Its following passage will throw more light on the point:

“Christmas was not among the earliest festivals of the Church, and before the 5th century there was no general consensus of opinion as to when it should come in the calendar, whether on Jan. 6, March 25 or Dec. 25. The earliest identification of Dec. 25 with the birthday of Christ is in a passage, otherwise unknown and probably spurious, of the philos of Antioch (c.180), preserved in Latin by the Magdeburyg centuriators (i, 3, 118), to the effect that the Gauls contended that since they celebrated the birth of Lord on Dec. 25, so they ought to celebrate the resurrection on March 25. A passage, almost certainly interpolated, in ‘Hippelates’ (c. 202) commentary on Daniel iv, 23, says that Jesus was born at Bethlehem on Wednesday, Dec. 25, in the 42nd year of Augustus, but he mentions no feast, and such a feast, indeed, would conflict with the then orthodox ideas. As late as 245, Origin (hem. viii on Leviticus) repudiated the idea of keeping the birthday of Christ “as if he were a king Pharaoh”. [Britannica, 1953 ed. v. 5, p.642]

These two quotes are more than sufficient to prove the following points:

1. The commemoration of birthdays was originally a pagan custom, never recognized by a divine scripture or prophetic teaching.

2. The exact date of the Birth of Sayyidna ‘Isa is unknown and impossible to be ascertained.

3. The commemoration of the birth of Jesus Christ was not a recognized practice in the early centuries of the Christian history.

4. It was in the 4th or 5th century that it was recognized as a religious feast, and that, too, under the influence of the pagans who worshipped Sun-god.

5. There was a strong opposition against the commemorating of the birthday by the early Christian scholars like Origin, on the ground that it is originally a custom of pagans and idolaters.

Original Islamic Resources

In original Islamic resources, also we cannot find any instruction about the celebration of birthdays or death anniversaries. Many Companions of the Holy Prophet, (SallAllahu alayhi wasallam), passed away during his life-time. His beloved wife Sayyidah Khadijah, (RadhiAllahu anha), passed away in Makkah. His beloved uncle Sayyidna Hamzah, (RadiAllahu anhu) was brutally slaughtered during the battle of Uhud. But the Holy Prophet, (SallAllahu alayhi wasallam), never observed their birthday or their death anniversaries, nor did he ever advise his followers to celebrate his own birthday in Rabi’ul-Awwal.

What is Wrong with These Celebrations

The reason for abstinence from such celebrations is that they divert the attention of people from the real teachings of Islam towards the observance of some formal activities only. Initially, these celebrations may begin with utmost piety and with a bona fide intention to pay homage to a pious person. Yet, the experience shows that the celebration is ultimately mixed up with an element of merrymaking and rejoicing and is generally confused with secular festivals and the secular, and often sinful, activities creep into it gradually.

The Transformation of Christmas

The example of Christmas will again be relevant. This Christian feast was originally innovated to commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ and, of course, to remember his teachings. But once the occasion had been recognized as a feast, all the secular elements of public festivals crept in. The following quotation from the Encyclopedia Britannia is worth attention:

“For several centuries Christmas was solely a church anniversary observed by religious services. But as Christianity spread among the people of pagan lands, many of the practices of the winter solstice were blended with those of Christianity because of the liberal ruling of Gregory I, the great, and the cooperation of the missionaries. Thus, Christmas became both religious and secular in its celebration, at times reverent, at others gay.”

Then, what kind of activities have been adopted to celebrate Christmas is mentioned in the next paragraphs of which the following quote is more pertinent here:

“Merrymaking came to have a share in Christmas observance through popular enthusiasm even while emphasis was on the religious phase. … In the wholly decked great halls of the feudal lords, whose hospitality extended to all their friends, tenants and household, was sailing, feasting, singing and games, dancing, masquerading and mummers presenting pantomimes and masques were all part of the festivities.” [Encyclopedia Britannica, 1953 v. 5, p. 643]

This is enough to show as to how an apparently innocent feast of reverence was converted into a secular festival where the merrymaking and seeking enjoyment by whatever means took preference over all the religious and spiritual activities.

Being fully aware of this human psychology, Islam has never prescribed, nor encouraged the observance of birthdays and anniversaries, and when such celebrations are observed as a part of the religion, they are totally forbidden.

The Religion is Complete

The Holy Qur’an has clearly pronounced on the occasion of the last Hajj of the Holy Prophet, (SallAllahu alayhi wasallam): “Today, I have completed the teachings of your religion.” [Al-Maida 5:3]

It means that all the teachings of Islam were communicated to the Muslims through the Holy Qur’an and the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet, (SallAllahu alayhi wasallam). No one is allowed after it to add any thing to them as a part of religion. What was not a part of religion during the lifetime of the Holy Prophet, (SallAllahu alayhi wasallam), can never become part of it. Such additions are termed by the Holy Prophet, (SallAllahu alayhi wasallam), as Bid’ah or innovation.

Thus, the observance of the 12th of Rabi’ul-Awwal as a religious feast is not warranted by any verse of the Holy Qur’an or by any teaching of the Holy Prophet, (SallAllahu alayhi wasallam). Had it been a part of the religion it would have been clearly ordered or practiced by the Holy Prophet, (SallAllahu alayhi wasallam), and his blessed companions or, at least, by their immediate pupils. But no example of the celebration of the occasion can be traced out in the early centuries of the Islamic history. It was after many centuries [Note: According to Maulana Yusuf Ludhinavi it was in the year 604 A.H.] that some monarchs started observing the 12th of Rabi’ul-Awwal as the birthday of the Holy Prophet, (SallAllahu alayhi wasallam), without a sound religious basis, and the congregations in the name of Maulood or Milad were held where the history of the birth of the Holy Prophet, (SallAllahu alayhi wasallam), used to be narrated.

Disagreement About the Date

The observance of the 12th of this month as the birthday of the Holy Prophet, (SallAllahu alayhi wasallam), is not only an innovation having no basis in the Islamic teachings, but the accuracy of this date as the real birthday of the Holy Prophet, (SallAllahu alayhi wasallam), is also very much doubted. There are different dates suggested in different traditions, and the majority of the authentic scholars is inclined to hold that the Holy Prophet, (SallAllahu alayhi wasallam), was born on the 9th of Rabi’ul-Awwal. This difference of opinion is another evidence to prove that the observance of the birthday is not a part of the religion, otherwise its exact date would have been preserved with accuracy.

The life of the Holy Prophet, (SallAllahu alayhi wasallam), is, no doubt, the most important source of guidance for all the Muslims, and every Muslim is under an obligation to learn and study the events of his life, and to follow the practical example set by him in every sphere of life. The narration of his pious biography (the Seerah) in itself is a pious act, which invites the divine blessings, but the Holy Qur’an and the Sunnah have not prescribed a particular time or method for it. This pious act should be performed in all the months and at all the times. The month of Rabi’ul-Awwal has not been designated by the Shariah as a special season for holding such congregations to commemorate the birth or life of the Holy Prophet, (SallAllahu alayhi wasallam). It is thus an innovation (Bid’ah) to restrict the Seerah meetings to the month of Rabi’ul Awwal only, or to believe that the meetings held in this month are worthy of more reward than the meetings held on any other date during the year. In fact, the Companions of the Holy Prophet, (SallAllahu alayhi wasallam), used to commemorate the life of the Holy Prophet, (SallAllahu alayhi wasallam), throughout the year, not only by studying and conveying his message to others, but also by following his way of life and acting upon his teachings in each and every branch of their activities, and this is exactly what a Muslim is required and supposed to do.

By this we do not mean that the Seerah meetings should not be held in the month of Rabi’ul-Awwal. The point is only that they should not be restricted to it, nor should it be believed that the Shariah has laid any kind of emphasis on holding such meetings in this particular month.

Another point that should always be kept in mind while holding such meetings is that they must be in complete conformity with the rules of Shariah. A Muslim is supposed to abide by the rules of Shariah in all his activities. But at least the meetings held in the memory of the Holy Prophet, (SallAllahu alayhi wasallam), should be free from all the acts forbidden by the Shariah.

Contemporary Seerah Meetings and Shariah

It is often observed, especially in the Western countries, that the people hold the Seerah meetings where men and women sit together without observing the rules of hijab prescribed by the Shariah. The teachings of the Holy Prophet, (SallAllahu alayhi wasallam), are obviously against such mixed gatherings. How can a Seerah meeting bring fruits where such fundamental teachings of the Shariah are openly violated?

In some meetings the Na’ts (poems) in the memory of the Holy Prophet, (SallAllahu alayhi wasallam), are recited by the women before the male audience, sometimes with music, which is totally against the instructions of the Holy Prophet, (SallAllahu alayhi wasallam). It is clearly prohibited by the Shariah to hold such meetings or to participate in them, because it is not only a violation of the Shariah rules, but it is an affront to the sanctity of the Seerah of the Holy Prophet, (SallAllahu alayhi wasallam).

All other activities, often practiced on the twelfth of Rabi’ul-Awwal, like holding processions, constructing the mock tombs of the Holy Prophet, (SallAllahu alayhi wasallam), and illumination of the buildings and the roads are not warranted by any rule of the Shariah. Rather they are based on conscious or unconscious imitation of certain other religions. No example of such activities can be traced out from the earlier Islamic history.

Real Message of Seerah

What is really important with regard to the Holy Prophet, (SallAllahu alayhi wasallam), is, first, to follow his teachings, and second to make his pious Seerah available to every Muslim, to preserve it in the hearts of the Muslims from the very childhood, to educate the family members to run their lives according to it and to hold it as the most glorious example of the human conduct the universe has ever witnessed — and all this with utmost love and reverence, not manifested by some formal activities only, but also through actual behavior of following the Sunnah. This cannot be done by merely holding processions and illuminating the walls. This requires constant and consistent efforts and a meaningful program of education and training.

Source: Albalagh.net

The Islamic Month of Safar

Remember that our deen is Islam which guides us about each and every aspect of life.

Get the truth about the month of Safar and know that there are no Superstitions, bad omens, unfortunate Calamities, Prohibition of marriage related to this month.

Month of Safar is the second month in Islamic calendar.

Safar literally means whistling of winds. This name was given because of the weather condition of that time.

What events took place in the history of month of Safar?

1. The Beloved daughter of Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) Fatima (radhiyallahu anha) married Ali (radhiyallahu anha) in this month.

2. Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) fell sick in the end of this month and died in the same sickness in the next month in 12th of Rabiul-Awwal.

3. Ghazwa-e- Khyber (battle) took place in the same month.

4. Battle of Abwaa also took place in month of Safar.

What is the misconception about Safar??

Unlucky happenings such as Diseases, curses, evils, loss in business and all the misfortunes are relayed to that month. People try to apply many tricks to protect themselves from all the misfortunes, but this concept is nothing more than a misconception based upon the poor knowledge of Islam.

No Muslim should fall into these conceptions which had no foundations on truth.

What Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) guides us about Safar?

Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said about Safar:

“No adwaa [transmission of infectious disease
without the permission of Allah], no tiyarah [superstitious belief in bird omens], no haamah [refers to a Jaahili Arab tradition described variously as: a worm that infests the grave of a murder victim until he is avenged; an owl; or the bones of a dead person turned into a bird that could fly], and no Safar [the month of Safar was regarded as “unlucky” in the Jaahiliyyah].”

[Translators notes are in square brackets]. (Reported by al-Bukhari, 5757, and Muslim, 2220)

What does the companions of Prophet Muhammad (sahabah) said about this month?

Jaabir (radhiyallahu anhu) very clearly mentions about the superstitions and the wrong concept of Safar:

“I have heard the Prophet saying, the descending of illness and evil superstition befalling in the month of Safar is untrue.” [Muslim]

What Qur’an says about month of Safar?

Qur’an explicitly rejects this concept of bad omen by saying;

And [for] every person We have imposed his fate upon his neck, and We will produce for him on the Day of Resurrection a record which he will encounter spread open. [It will be said], “Read your record. Sufficient is yourself against you this Day as accountant.”
[13,14 Surah Bani isra’eel]

What comes to you of good is from Allah, but what comes to you of evil, [O man], is from yourself. And We have sent you, [O Muhammad], to the people as a messenger, and sufficient is Allah as Witness.
[79 Surah An Nisa]

There is no bad omens, or calamities in any person or any month or any date or number in Islam. If some thing wrong happens with someone it is due to their evil deeds. We have to work on our self to remove calamities from our life.

And Allah knows best

The Month of Muharram

[By: Mufti Muhammad Taqi Uthmaani (Hafidhahullah)]

Muharram is the month with which the Muslims begin their lunar Hijrah Calendar. It is one of the four sanctified months about which the Holy Quran says,

“The number of the months according to Allah is twelve months (mentioned) in the Book of Allah on the day in which He created heavens and the earth. Among these (twelve months) there are four sanctified”.

These four months, according to the authentic traditions are the months of Dhul-Qa’dah, Dhul-Hijjah, Muharram and Rajab. All the commentators of the Holy Qur’an are unanimous on this point, because the Holy Prophet (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) in his sermon on the occasion of his last Hajj, has declared:

One year consists of twelve months, of which four are sanctified months, three of them are in sequence; Dhul-Qa’dah, Dhul-Hijjah, Muharram, and the fourth is Rajab.  

The specific mention of these four months does not mean that any other month has no sanctity, because the month of Ramadhan is admittedly the most sanctified month in the year. But these four months were specifically termed as sanctified months for the simple reason that their sanctity was accepted even by the pagans of Makkah.

In fact, every month, out of the twelve, is originally equal to the other, and there is no inherent sanctity which may be able which may be attributed to one of them in comparison to the other months. When Allah Almighty chooses a particular time for His special blessings, the same acquires sanctity out of His grace.
Thus, the sanctity of these four months was recognized right from the days of Sayyidina Ibrahim (Alayhis salaam). Since the Pagans of Makkah attributed themselves to Sayyidina Ibrahim (Alayhis salaam) they observed the sanctity of these four months and despite their frequent tribal battles, they held it unlawful to fight in these months.

In the Shariah of our Noble Prophet (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) the sanctity of these months was upheld and the Holy Quran referred to them as the “sanctified months”.

The month of Muharram has certain other characteristics peculiar to it which are specified below. 

Fasting During The Month:

The Noble Prophet (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) has said:

The best fasts after the fasts of Ramadhan are those of the month of Muharram.”
   
Although the fasts of the month of Muharram are not obligatory, yet, the one who fasts in these days out of his own will and choice is entitled to a great reward by Allah Almighty. The Hadith cited above signifies that the fasts of the month of Muharram are most rewardable ones among the Nafl fasts i.e. the fasts one observes out of his own choice without being obligatory on him.

The Hadith does not mean that the award promised for fasts of Muharram can be achieved only by fasting for the whole month. On the contrary, each fast during this month has merit. Therefore, one should avail of this opportunity as much as he can.
  
The day of ‘Ashurah’
  
Although the month of Muharram is a sanctified month as a whole, yet, the 10th day of Muharram is the most sacred among all its days. The day is named ‘Ashurah’.

According to the Holy Companion Ibn ‘Abbas (Radhiyallahu Anhu). The Holy Prophet (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam), when migrated to Madinah, found that the Jews of Madinah used to fast on the 10th day of Muharram. They said that it was the day on which the Holy Prophet Musa (Moses) (Alayhis salaam) and his followers crossed the Red Sea miraculously and the Pharaoh was drowned in its waters. On hearing this from the Jews, the Holy Prophet (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) said, “We are more closely related to Musa (Alayhis salaam) than you” and directed the Muslims to fast on the day of ‘Ashura’. [Abu Dawood]

It is also reported in a number of authentic traditions that in the beginning, fasting on the day of ‘Ashura’ was obligatory for the Muslims. It was later that the fasts of Ramadhan were made obligatory and the fast on the day of ‘Ashura’ was made optional.

Sayyidina ‘Aa’isha (Radhiyallahu Anha) has said:

“When the Holy Prophet (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) came to Madinah, he fasted on the day of ‘Ashura’ and directed the people to fast it. But when the fasts of Ramadhan were made obligatory, the obligation of fasting was confined to Ramadhan and the obligatory nature of the fast of ‘Ashura’ was abandoned. Whoever so desires should fast on it and any other who so likes can avoid fasting on it.” [Sunan Abu Dawud]

However, the Holy Prophet (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) used to fast on the day of ‘Ashura’ even after the fasting in Ramadhan was made obligatory. Abdullah ibn Musa (Radhiyallahu Anhu) reports that the Holy Prophet (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) preferred the fast of ‘Ashura’ on the fasts of other days and preferred the fasts of Ramadhan on the fast of ‘Ashura’. [Bukhari and Muslim]

In short, it is established through a number of authentic Hadiths that fasting on the day of ‘Ashura’ is Sunnah of the Holy Prophet (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) and makes one entitled to a great reward.

According to another Hadith, it is more advisable that the fast of ‘Ashura’ should either be prefixed or suffixed by another fast. It means that one should fast two days: the 9th and 10th of Muharram or the 10th and 11th of it. The reason of this additional fast as mentioned by the Holy Prophet (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) is that the Jews used to fast on the day of ‘Ashura alone, and the Holy Prophet (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) wanted to distinguish the Muslim way of fasting from that of Jews. Therefore, he advised the Muslims to add another fast to that of ‘Ashura’.

Some traditions signify another feature of the day of ‘Ashura. According to these traditions one should be more generous to his family by providing more food to them on this day as compared to other days. These traditions are not very authentic according to the science of Hadith. Yet, some Scholars like Bayhaqi and Ibn Hibban have accepted them as reliable.

What is mentioned above is all that is supported through authentic sources about Ashura. However, there are some legends and misconceptions with regard to ‘Ashura’ that have managed to find their way into the minds of the ignorant, but have no support of authentic Islamic sources, some very common of them are these:

This is the day in which Adam (Alayhis salaam) was created.

This is the day in which Ibrahim was born.

This is the day in which Allah accepted the repentance of Sayyidina Adam (Alayhis salaam)

This is the day on which the Qiyaamah (doomsday) will take place.

Whoever takes bath in the day of ‘Ashura’ will never get ill.

All these and other similar whims and fancies are totally baseless and the traditions referred to in this respect are not worthy of any credit.

Some people take it as Sunnah to prepare a particular type of meal in the day of ‘Ashura’. This practice, too, has no basis in the authentic Islamic sources.

Some other people attribute the sanctity of ‘Ashura’ to the martyrdom of Sayyidina Hussain (Radhiyallahu Anhu) during his battle with the Syrian army. No doubt, the martyrdom of Sayyidina Hussain (Radhiyallahu Anhu) is one of the most tragic episodes of our history. Yet, the sanctity of ‘Ashura’ cannot be ascribed to this event for the simple reason that the sanctity of ‘Ashura’ was established during the days of the Holy Prophet (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) much earlier than the birth of Sayyidina Hussain (Radhiyallahu Anhu).

On the contrary, it is one of the merits of Sayyidina Hussain (Radhiyallaahu Anhu) that his martyrdom took place on the day of ‘Ashura’.

Another misconception about the month of Muharram is that it is an evil or unlucky month, for Sayyidina Hussain (radhiyallahu anhu) was killed in it. It is for this misconception that people avoid holding marriage ceremonies in the month of Muharram. This is again a baseless concept which is contrary to the express teachings of the Holy Qur’an and the Sunnah. Such superstitions have been totally negated by the Holy Prophet (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam). If the death of an eminent person in a particular day renders that day unlucky for all times to come, one can hardly find a day, free from this bad luck, out of 360 days of the whole year, because each and every day has a history of the demise of some eminent person. The Holy Qur’an and the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) have made us free from such superstitious beliefs, and they should deserve no attention.  

Another wrong practice related to this month is to hold the lamentation and mourning ceremonies in the memory of martyrdom of Sayyidina Hussain (Radhiyallaahu Anhu). As mentioned earlier, the event of Karbala is one of the most tragic events of our history, but the Holy Prophet (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) has forbidden us from holding the mourning ceremonies on the death of any person. The people of jahiliyyah (ignorance) used to mourn over their deceased through loud lamentations, by tearing their clothes and by beating their cheeks and chests. The Holy Prophet (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) stopped the Muslims from doing all this and directed them to observe patience by saying “Innaa lillaahi wa innaa ilayhi raaji’oon”. A number of authentic Ahadith are available on the subject. To quote only one of them:

He is not from our group who slaps his checks, tears his clothes and cries in the manner of the people of jahiliyyah“. [Sahih Bukhari]

All the authentic jurists are unanimous on the point that the mourning of this type is absolutely impermissible.  
Even Sayyidina Hussain (Radhiyallahu Anhu) at shortly before his demise, had advised his beloved sister Sayyidah Zaynab (Radhiyallahu Anha) at not to mourn over his death in this manner. He said,

My dear sister, I swear upon you that you, in case I die, shall not tear your clothes, nor scratch your face, nor curse anyone for me or pray for your death”. [Al-Kamil, ibn Kathir vol. 4 pg. 24]

It is evident from this advice of Sayyidina Hussain (Radhiyallahu Anhu) that this type of mourning is condemned even by the blessed person for the memory of whom these mourning ceremonies are held. Every Muslim should avoid this practice and abide by the teachings of the Holy Prophet (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) and his beloved grand child Sayyidina Husain (Radhiyallahu Anhu).

The Month of Zulhijjah: Eidul-Adha, Hajj, Qurbani, etc.

By Mufti Taqi Uthmani d.b

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 (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam), 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 muchIba’dah (acts of worship) to Allah as he or she can.

The 9th day of Zulhijjah

The 9th day of Zulhijjah is called‘Yaum-alArafah’  (The Day of ‘Arafah). This is the date when the Hujjaj (Haji pilgrims, plural of Hajj) 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 Yaum al ‘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‘Yaum al ‘Arafah according to the lunar dates of their own country.

For example, if‘ Yaumul ‘Arafah’  is being observed in Saudi Arabia on Friday, and in Pakistan on Saturday, Pakistani Muslims should treat Saturday as‘Yaum al ‘Arafah’ and should fast on that day if they desire to benefit from the fast of ‘Yaum al’ Arafah’.

The fast of ‘Yaum al ‘Arafah’  has been emphasized by the Holy Prophet, (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam), 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 lillah ilhamd.

[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 Eid-al-adha:

1. To wake up early in the morning.

2. To clean one’s teeth with a miswakor 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 theTakbir 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 ofTakbir 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 threeTakbirs, 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.

Khutbah: The 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 isfard 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.

Note:

The way of Eid prayer described above is according to the Hanafi school of Muslim jurists. Some other jurists, like Imam Shafi’i, have some other ways to perform it. They recite Takbir twelve times before beginning the recitations of the Holy Qur’an in both the raka’at. This way is also permissible. If the Imam, being of the Shafi’i school, follows this way, you can also follow him. Both ways are based on the practice of the Holy Prophet, (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam).

Sacrifice or Qurbani: Philosophy 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, (SallAllahu alayhi wasallam), 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, (Alayhissalam), 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, (Alayhissalam), 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 (Alayhissalaam), did, and this is what every true Muslim is required to do.

Keeping this in view, we are giving here some rules governing the worship of Qurbani  in our Shari’ah according to the Hanafi School.

The Time of Qurbani

Qurbani can only be performed during the three days of Eid, namely the 10th, 11th 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 theEid 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.

Who is Required to Perform Qurbani?

Every adult Muslim, male or female, who owns 613.35 grams of silver or its equivalent in money, personal ornaments, stock-in-trade or any other form of wealth which is surplus to his basic needs, is under an obligation to offer a Qurbani. Each adult member of a family who owns the above mentioned amount must perform his own Qurbani separately. If the husband owns the required quantity, but the wife does not, the Qurbani obligatory on the husband only and vice-versa. If both of them have the prescribed amount of wealth, both should perform Qurbani separately.

If the adult children live with their parents, Qurbani is obligatory on each one of them possessing the prescribed amount.

The Qurbani offered by a husband for himself does not fulfil the obligation of his wife, nor can the Qurbani offered by a father discharge his son or daughter from their obligation. Each one of them should care for his own.

However, if a husband or a father, apart from offering his own Qurbani, gives another Qurbani  on behalf of his wife or his son, he can do so with their permission.

No Alternate for Qurbani

Some people think that instead of offering a Qurbani they should give its amount to some poor people as charity. This attitude is totally wrong. Actually, there are different forms of worship obligatory on Muslims. Each one of them has its own importance and none of them can stand for the other. It is not permissible for a Muslim to perform salah instead of fasting in Ramadan, nor is it permissible for him to give some charity instead of observing the obligatory Salah.

Similarly, Qurbani is an independent form of worship and this obligation cannot be discharged by spending money in charity.

However, if somebody, out of his ignorance or negligence, could not offer Qurbani on the three prescribed days (10th, 1lth and 12th Zulhijjah) then, in that case only, he can give the price of a Qurbani as sadaqah to those entitled to receive Zakah. But during the days of Qurbani no Sadaqah can discharge the obligation.

The Animals of Qurbani

The following animals can be slaughtered to offer a Qurbani:

1. Goat, either male or female, of at least one year of age.

2. Sheep, either male or female, of at least six months of age.

3. Cow, ox, buffalo of at least two years of age.

4. Camel, male or female, of at least five years of age.

One head of goat or sheep is enough only for one person’s Qurbani. But as for all other animals like cow, buffalo or camel, one head of each is equal to seven offerings thus allowing seven persons to offer Qurbani  jointly in one such animal.

If the seller of animal claims that the animal is of the recognized age and there is no apparent evidence to the contrary; one can trust his statement and the sacrifice of such an animal is lawful.

Rules about Defective Animals

The following defective animals are not acceptable in Qurbani:

1. Blind, one eyed or lame animal.

2. An animal so emaciated that it cannot walk to its slaughtering place.

3. An animal with one-third part of the ear or the nose or the tail missing.

4. An animal that has no teeth at all, or the major number of its teeth are missing.

5. An animal born without ears.

The following animals are acceptable inQurbani:

1. A castrated he – goat. (Rather, its Qurbani is more preferable).

2. An animal that has no horns, or its horns are broken. However, if the horns of an animal are uprooted totally so as to create a defect in the brain, its Qurbani is not lawful.

3. An animal the missing part of whose ear, nose or tail is less than one third.

4. A sick or injured animal, unless it has some above mentioned defects rendering its Qurbani  unlawful.

The Sunnah Method of Qurbani

It is more preferable for a Muslim to slaughter the animal of his Qurbani  with his own hands. However, if he is unable to slaughter the animal himself, or does not want to do so for some reason, he can request another person to slaughter it on his behalf. In this case also, it is more preferable that he, at least, be present at the time of slaughter. However, his absence at the time of slaughter does not render the Qurbani  invalid, if he has authorized the person who slaughtered the animal on his behalf. It is a Sunnah  to lay the animal with its face towards the Qiblah, and to recite the following verse of the Holy Qur’an:

I, being upright, turn my facetowards the One who has created the heavens and the earth, and I am not among those who associate partners with Allah. [Al-An’am, 6:79]

But the most essential recitation when slaughtering an animal is: Bismillah, Allahu Akbar. (In the name of Allah, Allah is the greatest). If somebody intentionally avoids to recite it when slaughtering an animal, it does not only make his Qurbani  unlawful, but also renders the animal haraam, and it is not permissible to eat the meat of that animal. However, if a person did not avoid this recitation intentionally, but he forgot to recite it when slaughtering the animal, this mistake is forgiven and both the Qurbani and the slaughter are lawful.

If somebody is unable to recite “Bismillah Allahu Akbar” in the Arabic language, he can recite the name of Allah in his own language by saying, “In the name of Allah“.

Distribution of the Meat

If an animal is sacrificed by more than one person, like cow or camel, its meat should be distributed equally among its owners by weighing the meat strictly and not at random or by mere guess. Even if all the partners agree on its distribution without weighing, it is still not permissible according to shari’ah.

However, if the actual weighing is not practicable due to some reason, and all the partners agree to distribute the meat without weighing, distribution by guess can be done with the condition that each share necessarily contains either a leg of the animal or some quantity of its liver.

Although the person offering a Qurbani can keep all its meat for his own use, yet, it is preferable to distribute one-third among the poor, another one-third among his relatives and then, keep the rest for his personal consumption.

All parts of the sacrificed animal can be used for personal benefit, but none can be sold, nor can be given to the butcher as a part of his wages. If somebody has sold the meat of the Qurbani or its skin, he must give the accrued price as sadaqah to a poor man who can receive Zakah.

Hajj

The most important way of worship performed in this month is hajj, one of the five pillars of Islam. The Muslims from every part of the world assemble in Arabia to perform this unique way of worship. Hajj  is a worship, which requires at least five days to be performed in its proper way. There are detailed rules for different acts of hajj for which separate article is available ➡ Hajj Encyclopedia, and the present article does not aim at explaining all these details. However, some basic information about its obligation is being given here:

1. Hajj is obligatory on every adult Muslim who can afford to go to Makkah during the hajj season, whether on foot or by any other carriage.

2. If a person can travel to Makkah to perform hajj, but he cannot travel to Madinah, hajj is obligatory on him also. He can perform hajj without visiting Madinah.

3. A Muslim woman cannot travel for hajj  unless she is accompanied by a mahram (i.e. husband or relative of a prohibited degree like son, father, brother etc.) If she does not find any mahram to accompany her, hajj is not obligatory on her until she finds one. However, she must make a will that in case she dies before performinghajj, his heirs should arrange for her hajj-e-badal out of her left over property.

4. Hajj is obligated only once in one’s life. After performing the obligatory hajj; one is not required to perform it again. However, he can perform the nafl (optional hajj as many times as he or she wishes.)

Article source: albalagh.net

Virtues & Queries related to the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah

It is desirable for the one who will be sacrificing an animal for Qurbani to avoid cutting their hair or nails until after the animal is slaughtered. Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:

When the ten days (of Zul-Hijjah) begin and a person has an animal for sacrifice which he intends to slaughter, then let him not cut his hair or trim his nails.”  [Muslim]
 
Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said in another Hadith:

Whoever has an animal for slaughtering, once the crescent of Zul- Hijjah has been declared he should not cut his hair or trim his nails until he has sacrificed (the animal)”  [Muslim]
  
It is a recommended act due to the Hadith. However, if one did cut his hair and/or nails during the first ten days of Zul-Hijjah before sacrificing, it will not affect the validity of making Qurbani.
 
Allah Ta’ala has taken oath of the night in Surat-al-Fajr of the Qur’aan.

Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) has said:

There is no better time to perform Ibaadah (devotion) to Allah that on the (first) ten days of Zul Hijjah. A Day’s fast in it, equals the fast of a year, and a night’s Ibaadah in it, equals the Ibaadah of Laylatul Qadr”. [Tirmizi Ibn Majah].

According to the majority, the ten nights are those of the ten days of Zul-Hijjah, especially the ninth, which is the day of Arafah and night preceeding the eid day. All these days are filled with special virtues.
 
The observance of the fast of the ninth of Zul-Hijjah is a atonement of the past and coming year, and to remain awake on the night of Eid and perform Ibaadah is a source of great virtue and thawaab.

(Article taken from jamiat.org.za via daruliftaa.net)

 Few Q & A related to first ten days & fasts of Dhul-Hijjah:

Q.1. Is abstaining from trimming nail, cutting hair etc for the one who is doing Qurbani Sunnah? Or Mustahab?..

Answer

Wa ‘alaykum as-Salaam wa raḥmatullahi wa barakatuhu,

1) It is Sunnah for those who intend to slaughter that during the first ten days of Dhil Hijjah they should not cut their nails or hair. It is narrated in Sahih Muslim:

قال الإمام مسلم حدثنا ابن أبى عمر المكى حدثنا سفيان عن عبد الرحمن بن حميد بن عبد الرحمن بن عوف سمع سعيد بن المسيب يحدث عن أم سلمة أن النبى –صلى الله عليه وسلم- قال « إذا دخلت العشر وأراد أحدكم أن يضحى فلا يمس من شعره وبشره شيئا » (أخرجه مسلم في صحيحه

(83ج 6 / ص)

When the ten days of Dhil Hijjah set in and any of few wish to make Qurbani, then he should not cut his hair or nails.”

Commentators of Hadith suggest that the primary reason for this is that we can resemble those who are in Ihraam.

And Allah Ta’aala knows best
Wassalaam,
Ismail Moosa (Mufti)

Q.2. Is it prohibited to cut one’s hair in the first ten days of Dhul Hijjah?

Answer

Umm Salma (Radhiyallaahu Anha) narrates that Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) said: Whosoever intends slaughtering an animal, should not clip his hair or nails upon sighting the crescent of Dhul-Hijjah. [Abu Dawud, pg.386; Rashidiyya].

In view of the above Hadith, it is Mustahabb (commendable) for a person making Qurbaani not to cut the hair and finger nails from the 1st of Zul Hijjah until after slaughtering the Qurbaani animal. However, if the hair under the arms and in the pubic region is very long (which renders the Salaat Makrooh i.e. more than forty days), then it will become compulsory to remove such hair. However, if a person forgets to clip the nails before the 1st of Dhul Hijjah and the nails have grown so long that they may cause injury, then he may clip them.

and Allah Ta’ala Knows Best

Mufti Ebrahim Desai

Q.3. Will I earn the same reward if I fast during the last 10 days instead of the first 10 days of Dhul Hajj.. ?

Answer

It is the system of Allah Ta’ala that He has awarded added virtue and reward to some Ibaadat (worship) observed in specific portions of the year as the first 10 days of Dhul-Hijjah. The observance of these fasts other than the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah will not be rewarding as the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah.

and Allah Ta’ala Knows Best

Mufti Ebrahim Desai
FATWA DEPT.

Q.4. What is the importance of the ‘Day of Arafaat’, for people who are not in Hajj, and how should they observe it?..

Answer

Hajj with all its rituals is restricted to the specific places, e.g. Mina, Arafaat, etc.

However, one should involve himself in Ibaadat and Dhikr keeping the greatness of the day in mind. Nabi (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) mentions in Hadith on the authority of ibn Abaas (Radhiyallaahu Anhu) that, ‘There is no days greater in the sight of Allah and there are no days in which actions are beloved to Allah Ta’ala than 10 days of Dhul Hijjah. Hence, increase in it Tasbeeh (recitation of Subhaanallah), Tahmeed (recitation of Alhamdulillah), Tahleel (recitation of Laa ilaaha illallaah) and Takbeer (recitation of Allaahu Akbar). [Mutajirur raabih pg.418]

In another Hadith, Hadhrat Abu Hurayrah (radhiyallahu anhu) narrates Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) as saying, ‘There are no days more beloved to Allah in which he is worshipped than the 10 days of Dhul Hijja – the fast of each day is equivalent to the fast of a year and standing up in worship of the night of Laylatul Qadr. [Ibid]

The day of Arafaat should be spent in condition of fasting and involved in the Dhikr of Allah Ta’ala. Nabi (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) said, ‘Fasting on the day of Arafaat is a means of wiping off the previous years as well the coming year’s sins.’

Also Nabi (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) said, ‘Fasting on the day of Arafaat is equal to fast of 1000 days.’

All days of the Islamic calendar, e.g. Eid, Hajj, etc. should be observed as per local calendar. The respective days should be observed according to the sighting of the moon in your area.

and Allah Ta’ala Knows Best

Mufti Ebrahim Desai

Q.5. Combining Qadha fasts with fasts of Zul Hijjah..

Answer

Sayyiduna Abu Hurairah  (Radhiyallahu Anhu) narrates that the Prophet of Allah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said, ‘On no days is the worship of Allah desired more than in the first ten days of Zul Hijjah.  The fast of each of these days is equal to the fast of a whole year and the worship of each of these nights is equal to the worship of Lailatul Qadr’. [Sunan Tirmizi p.158 v.1]

Saaidah Hafsah (Radhiyallahu Anha) reports that the Prophet of Allah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) used to fast the (first) nine days of Zul Hijjah.   [Sunan Abi Dawud p.338 v.1]

With regards to your question, it is preferable that during the first nine days of Zul Hijjah one keeps the fast with the intention of Zul Hijjah and keeps the qadha fasts later as some scholars are of the view that one does not receive the reward of optional fasting when combining with qadha fasts.   [Fatawa Darul Uloom Deoband p.495 v.6]

However, if a person fasts during these first nine days of Zul Hijjah with a primary intention of qadha and makes intention of Zul Hijjah or Arafah as a secondary intention, then hopefully by the mercy of Allah Ta’ala, both intentions will be accepted.

Only Allah Knows Best

Mohammed Tosir Miah

Darul Ifta Birmingham.

Q.6. Prohibition of fasting on 10th, 11th, 12th & 13th of Dhul-Hijjah..

Answer

It is Mustahabb (preferable) to fast on the day of Arafaat.

It is prohibited to fast on the 10, 11, 12 and 13 of Dhul-Hijjah.

and Allah Ta’ala Knows Best

Moulana Imraan Vawda
FATWA DEPT.

CHECKED AND APPROVED: Mufti Muhammad Kadwa