I swear by the dawn, [89:1] and by the Ten Nights, [89:2].
10 Days of Zhul-Hijjah and their Injunctions
Allah (SWT) takes an Oath by the Ten Nights of Dhul-Hijjah:
وَٱلۡفَجۡرِ - وَلَيَالٍ عَشۡرٍ۬
I swear by the dawn, [89:1] and by the Ten Nights, [89:2]
قَالَهُ عَلِيّ وَابْن عَبَّاس وَعِكْرِمَة وَمُجَاهِد وَالسُّدِّيّ وَعَنْ مَسْرُوق وَمُحَمَّد بْن كَعْب الْمُرَاد بِهِ فَجْر يَوْم النَّحْر خَاصَّة
Some commentators, like Mujahid and 'Ikramah, refer this to the dawn of 'the Day of Sacrifice' on the tenth of Dhul Hijjah. A narration from Sayyidna Ibn 'Abbas (RA) concurs with this view. (Summarised from Tasfeer Maariful Qur'aan & Tafseer Ibn Katheer)
وَاللَّيَالِي الْعَشْر الْمُرَاد بِهَا عَشْر ذِي الْحِجَّة كَمَا قَالَهُ اِبْن عَبَّاس وَابْن الزُّبَيْر وَمُجَاهِد وَغَيْر وَاحِد مِنْ السَّلَف وَالْخَلَف
According Sayyidna Ibn 'Abbas , Qatadah, Mujahid, Suddi, Dahhak, Kalbi and other leading commentators, the 'ten nights' refers to the [first] ten nights of Dhul Hijjah. (Summarised from Tasfeer Maariful Qur'aan & Tafseer Ibn Katheer)
Rasul-ullah (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam) declares the good deeds of 10 days to be most Superior:
حدثنا هناد حدثنا أبو معاوية عن الأعمش عن مسلم هو البطين وهو ابن أبي عمران عن سعيد بن جبير عن ابن عباس قال قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم ما من أيام العمل الصالح فيهن أحب إلى الله من هذه الأيام العشر فقالوا يا رسول الله ولا الجهاد في سبيل الله فقال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم ولا الجهاد في سبيل الله إلا رجل خرج بنفسه وماله فلم يرجع من ذلك بشيء وفي الباب عن ابن عمر وأبي هريرة وعبد الله بن عمرو وجابر قال أبو عيسى حديث ابن عباس حديث حسن صحيح غريب
Narrated Ibn Abbas (RA): The Prophet said, "No good deeds done on other days are superior to those done on these (first ten days of Dhul Hijja)." Then some companions of the Prophet said, "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." (Reported by Tirmidhi)
Rasul-ullah (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam) used to fast all 9 days including Arafah:
حدثنا مسدد حدثنا أبو عوانة عن الحر بن الصباح عن هنيدة بن خالد عن امرأته عن بعض أزواج النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم قالت كان رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يصوم تسع ذي الحجة ويوم عاشوراء وثلاثة أيام من كل شهر
One of the wives of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: "Allah's Messenger used to fast the [first] nine days of Dhul-Hijjah, the day of 'Ashurah, and three days of each month." (Reported by Abu Dawud).
Fasting on Arafah day is an expiation for sins committed the year before and the year after:
حدثنا أحمد بن عبدة أنبأنا حماد بن زيد حدثنا غيلان بن جرير عن عبد الله بن معبد الزماني عن أبي قتادة قال قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم صيام يوم عرفة إني أحتسب على الله أن يكفر السنة التي قبله والتي بعده
Abu Qatadah (may Allah be pleased with him) is reported to have said that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: "Fasting on the day of 'Arafah is an expiation (of sins) for two years, the year preceding it and the year following it. (Reported by Ibn Majah)
Sacrificing an animal is an established Sunnah on Eid day:
حدثنا حجاج قال حدثنا شعبة قال أخبرني زبيد قال سمعت الشعبي عن البراء قال سمعت النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم يخطب فقال إن أول ما نبدأ من يومنا هذا أن نصلي ثم نرجع فننحر فمن فعل فقد أصاب سنتنا
Narrated Al-Bara' bin 'Azib (RA) that I heard the Prophet (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam) say when he gave a sermon (on the day of Idal-Adha), "The first thing we will do on this day of ours, is to offer the ('Id) prayer and then return to slaughter the sacrifice. Whoever does so, he acted according to our Sunna (tradition). (Reported by Bukhari)
Eating, drinking, enjoying and reciting Ayamul-Tashreeq: 11th, 12th & 13th of Dhul-Hijjah:
وَاذْكُرُوا اللَّهَ فِي أَيَّامٍ مَعْدُودَاتٍ فَمَنْ تَعَجَّلَ فِي يَوْمَيْنِ فَلَا إِثْمَ عَلَيْهِ وَمَنْ تَأَخَّرَ فَلَا إِثْمَ عَلَيْهِ لِمَنِ اتَّقَى وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّكُمْ إِلَيْهِ تُحْشَرُونَ
[2:203] Recite the name of Allah during the given number of days. Then whoever is early in leaving after two days, there is no sin on him, and whoever leaves later, there is no sin on him, if he is God-fearing. Fear Allah and be sure that you are going to be gathered before Him.
قَالَ اِبْن عَبَّاس : الْأَيَّام الْمَعْدُودَات أَيَّام التَّشْرِيق وَالْأَيَّام الْمَعْلُومَات أَيَّام الْعَشْر . وَقَالَ عِكْرِمَة " وَاذْكُرُوا اللَّه فِي أَيَّام مَعْدُودَات " يَعْنِي التَّكْبِير فِي أَيَّام التَّشْرِيق بَعْد الصَّلَوَات الْمَكْتُوبَات : اللَّه أَكْبَر اللَّه أَكْبَر . وَقَالَ الْإِمَام أَحْمَد : حَدَّثَنَا وَكِيع حَدَّثَنَا مُوسَى بْن عَلِيّ عَنْ أَبِيهِ قَالَ : سَمِعْت عُقْبَة بْن عَامِر قَالَ : قَالَ رَسُول اللَّه - صَلَّى اللَّه عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ - " يَوْم عَرَفَة وَيَوْم النَّحْر وَأَيَّام التَّشْرِيق عِيدُنَا أَهْل الْإِسْلَام وَهِيَ أَيَّام أَكْلٍ وَشُرْبٍ
Ibn Abbas (RA) said, "The given number of days are the Ayamul-Tashreeq And the known days are the ten. Ikramah (RA) said, "Remember Allah (SWT) in the given number of days i.e. recite the Takbeer (Allahu Akbarm Allahu Akbar) in Ayamul-Tashreeq after the Fardh (obligatory) Prayers). Uqbah Ibn Amir (RA) narrates that Rasul-ullah (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam) said that the day of Arafah, the day of Sacrifice and the Ayanul-Tashreeq are our days (for people of Islam) and eat and drink in these days. (Tafseer Ibn Katheer)
فَقَالَ عُمَر بْن الْخَطَّاب وَعَلِيّ بْن أَبِي طَالِب وَابْن عَبَّاس : ( يُكَبِّر مِنْ صَلَاة الصُّبْح يَوْم عَرَفَة إِلَى الْعَصْر مِنْ آخِر أَيَّام التَّشْرِيق
Umar Ibn Khattab (RA), Ali Ibn Abi Talib (RA) & Ibn Abbas (RA) said, "Recite the Takbeer from the Fajar of the day of Arafah until the Asar of the last day of Ayamul-Tashreeq (13th of Dhul-Hijjah). (Tafseer of Imam Qurtubi)
وَفِي الْمُخْتَصَر عَنْ مَالِك : اللَّه أَكْبَر اللَّه أَكْبَر , لَا إِلَه إِلَّا اللَّه , وَاَللَّه أَكْبَر , اللَّه أَكْبَر وَلِلَّهِ الْحَمْد
And in Summary it is narrated from Imam Malik (RA) [about the Takbeer] Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, La Ilaha Illallah, Wallahu Akbar Allahu Akbar Wallilahil Hamd
Takbeer Tashreeq is the recitation of Allahu akbar, La ilaha illa hu Wallahu akbar, Allahu akbar wa lillahil hamd after every fardh salaah commencing from the Fajr of the 9th of Dhul Hijah until after Asr of the 13th of Dhul Hijjah. (Shami vol. 1 pg. 406)
When Ibrahim (AS) began moving the knife on his beloved son, Ismaeel (AS), the angels sent by Allah with a ram exclaimed. Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar (Allah is the greatest, Allah is the greatest). Ibrahim (AS) heard the voice of the angels and replied, La illah illa Allahu Wallahu akbar (There is no god besides Allah, and Allah is the greatest).
His son Ismaeel (AS) heard this conversation and understood that Allah had relieved him from this great rial, thus he replied, Allahu Akbar Walillahil hamd (Allah is the greatest, and to Allah belongs all praise)(Ibid).
Mustahab (Prefferable) NOT to cut any hair or trim any nails if one is preparing to make a sacrifice for Eid:
حدثنا ابن أبي عمر المكي حدثنا سفيان عن عبد الرحمن بن حميد بن عبد الرحمن بن عوف سمع سعيد بن المسيب يحدث عن أم سلمة أن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم قال إذا دخلت العشر وأراد أحدكم أن يضحي فلا يمس من شعره وبشره شيئا قيل لسفيان فإن بعضهم لا يرفعه قال لكني أرفعه
Umm Salamah (May Allah be pleased with her) said: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "When anyone of you intends to sacrifice the animal and enter in the month of Dhul-Hijjah, he should not get his hair cut or nails pared till he has offered his sacrifice.'' (Reported by Muslim)
Note: Ulama have stated that this includes moustache and hair of the private parts etc. 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.
The Month of Zhul-Hijjah and its Injunctions
By Shaykh Mufti Taqi Usmani
Zulhijjah is the last month of the Islamic calendar. Literally, it means "hajj." Obviously, this name of the month indicates that the great annual worship of "hajj" is performed in this month, which gives it special significance. Some specific merits and rules relevant to this month are mentioned below:
First Ten Days
The first ten days of Zulhijjah are among the most magnificent days in Islamic calendar. The Holy Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, has said, "One fast during these days is equal to the fasting of one complete year, and the worship of one night during this period is equal to the worship in the "Lailatul-Qadr".
Every Muslim should avail of this wonderful opportunity by performing during this period as much Iba'dah (acts of worship) to Allah as he or she can.
The 9th day of Zulhijjah
The 9th day of Zulhijjah is called 'Youmul - "Arafah' (The Day of 'Arafah). This is the date when the Hujjaj (Haji pilgrims, plural of Haajj) assemble on the plain of 'Arafat, six miles away from Makkah al-Mukarramah, where they perform the most essential part of the prescribed duties of hajj, namely, the 'Wuqoof of'Arafat (the stay in 'Arafat).
The Fast of Youmul 'Arafah
For those not performing hajj, it is mustahabb (desirable) to fast on this day according to their own calendar. It sometimes occurs that 9th Zuihijjah falls on different days in different countries according to the sighting of the moon. In such cases, Muslims of each country should observe 'Youmul 'Arafah according to the lunar dates of their own country.
For example, if 'Youmul 'Arafah' is being observed in Saudi Arabia on Friday, and in Pakistan on Saturday, Pakistani Muslims should treat Saturday as 'Youmul 'Arafah' and should fast on that day if they desire to benefit from the fast of 'Youmul'Arafah'.
The fast of 'Youmul 'Arafah' has been emphasized by the Holy Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, as a mustahabb (desirable) act. According to a hadith, the fast of this day becomes a cause, hopefully so, of forgiveness for sins committed in one year.
Beginning from the Fajr of the 9th Zulhijjah up to the 'Asr prayer of the 13th, it is obligatory on each Muslim to recite the Takbir of Tashriq after every fard prayer in the following words.
Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar... La Ilaha Illallahu, Wallahu Akbar...Allahu Akbar wa lillahilhamd.
Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar... La Ilaha Illallahu, Wallahu Akbar...Allahu Akbar wa lillahilhamd.
(There is no god but Allah and Allah is the greatest, Allah is the greatest and to Allah belongs all praise.)
According to authentic Islamic sources, it is obligatory on each Muslim, to recite this Takbir after every fard salah. For women also, it is commendable though not obligatory. Whether you are performing salah with Jama'ah (collectively) or on your own (individually) makes no difference. You must recite the Takbir. However, male Muslims should recite it in a loud voice, while females should recite it in a low voice.
On the Eid day
The following acts are sunnah on the day of Eidul- adha:
1 To wake up early in the morning.
2 To clean one's teeth with a miswak or brush
3 To take bath.
4 To put on one's best available clothes.
5 To use perfume.
6 Not to eat before the Eid prayer.
7 To recite the Takbir of Tashriq in a loud voice while going to the Eid prayer.
How to Perform Eid Prayers (Hanafi School)
The Eid prayer has two raka'at performed in the normal way, with the only addition of six Takbirs, three of them in the beginning of the first raka'ah, and three of them just before ruku' in the second raka'ah. The detailed way of performing the Eid prayer is as follows:
The Imam will begin the prayer without Adhan or iqamah. He will begin the prayer by reciting Takbir of Tahrimah (Allahu Akbar). You should raise your hands up to the ears, and after reciting the Takbir, you should set your hands on your navel. The Imam will give a little pause during which you should recite Thana' (Subhanakallahumma .:.). After the completion of Thana', the Imam will recite Takbir (Allahu Akbar) three times. At the first two calls of Takbir you should raise your hands up to the ears, and after reciting Takbir (Allahu Akbar) in a low voice, should bring your hands down and leave them earthwards. But, after the third Takbir, you should set them on your navel as you do in the normal prayers.
After these three Takbirs, the Imam will recite the Holy Qur'an, which you should listen calmly and quietly. The rest of the raka'ah will be performed in the normal way.
After rising for the second raka'ah, the Imam will begin the recitations from the Holy Qur'an during which you should remain calm and quiet. When the Imam finishes his recitation, he will recite three Takbirs once again, but this time it will be just before bowing down for ruku'. At each Takbir you should raise your hands up to the ears, and after saying 'Allahu Akbar', bring them down and leave them earthwards. After these three takbirs have been called and completed, the Imam will say another takbir for bowing down into the ruku' position. At this takbir you need not raise your hands. You just bow down for your ruku' saying, 'Allahu Akbar'. The rest of the salah will be performed in its usual way.
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 is fard and is delivered before the salah. However, listening to the khutbah of Eid salah is wajib or necessary and must be listened to in perfect peace and silence.
It is a sunnah that the Imam begins the first Khutbah by reciting takbir (Allahu Akbar) nine times and the second Khutbah with reciting it seven times.
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, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam.
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, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, the sacrifice of an animal has been recognized as a form of worship only during three days of Zulhijjah, namely, the 10th, 1lth and 12th of the month. This is to commemorate the unparalleled sacrifice offered by the Prophet Sayyidna Ibrahim, Alayhi Salam, when he, in pursuance to a command of Allah conveyed to him in a dream, prepared himself to slaughter his beloved son, Sayyidna Isma'il, Alayhi Salam, and actually did so but, Allah Almighty, after testing his submission, sent down a sheep and saved his son from the logical fate of slaughter. It is from that time onwards that the sacrifice of an animal became an obligatory duty to be performed by every well to do Muslim.
Qurbani is a demonstration of total submission to Allah and a proof of complete obedience to Allah's will or command. When a Muslim offers a Qurbani, this is exactly what he intends to prove. Thus, the Qurbani offered by a Muslim signifies that he is a slave of Allah at his best and that he would not hesitate even for a moment, once he receives an absolute command from his Creator, to surrender before it, to obey it willingly, even if it be at the price of his life and possessions. When a true and perfect Muslim receives a command from Allah, he does not make his obedience dependent upon the command's reasonability' as perceived through his limited understanding. He knows that Allah is All-knowing, All-Wise and that his own reason cannot encompass the knowledge and wisdom underlying the divine command. He, therefore, submits to the divine command, even if he cannot grasp the reason or wisdom behind it.
This is exactly what the Prophet Ibrahim, Alayhi Salam, did. Apparently, there was no reason why a father should slaughter his innocent son. But, when came the command from Allah, he never asked about the reason for that command, nor did he hesitate to follow it. Even his minor son when asked by his father about the dream he had seen, never questioned the legitimacy of the command, nor did he pine or whine about it, nor did he ask for one good reason why he was being slaughtered. The one and only response he made was:
'Father, do what you have been ordered to do. You shall find me, God willing, among the patient".
The present-day Qurbani is offered in memory of this great model of submission set before us by the great father and the great son. So Qurbani must be offered in our time emulating the same ideal and attitude of submission.
This, then, is the true philosophy of Qurbani. With this in mind, one can easily unveil the fallacy of those who raise objections against Qurbani on the basis of economic calculations and depict it to be a wastage of money, resources and livestock. Unable to see beyond mundane benefits, they cannot understand the spirit Islam wants to plant and nourish among its followers, the spirit of total submission to Allah's will which equips man with most superior qualities so necessary to keep humanity in a state of lasting peace and welfare.
Qurbani is nothing but a powerful symbol of the required human conduct vis-a-vis the divine commands, however "irrational" or "uneconomic" they may seem to be in their appearance. Thus, the distrustful quest for mundane economic benefits behind Qurbani is, in fact, the negation of its real philosophy and the very spirit underlying it.
No doubt, there are in every form of worship ordained by Allah, certain worldly benefits too, but they are not the main purpose of these prescribed duties, nor should they be treated as a pre-condition to submission and obedience. All acts of worship, including Qurbani, must be carried out with a spirit of total submission to Allah, irrespective of their economic, social or political benefits. This is what Ibrahim, Alayhi Salam, did, and this is what every true Muslim is required to do,
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, Ilth and 12th of Zulhijjah. It is only in these days that slaughtering of an animal is recognized as an act of worship. No Qurbani can be performed in any other days of the year.
Although Qurbani is permissible on each of the three aforesaid days, yet it is preferable to perform it on the first day i.e. the 10th of Zulhijjah.
No Qurbani is allowed before the Eid prayer is over. However, in small villages where the Eid prayer is not to be performed, Qurbani can be offered' any time after the break of dawn on the 10th of Zulhijjah.
Qurbani can also be performed in the two nights following the Eid day, but it is more advisable to perform it during daytime.
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 in Qurbani:
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 Quran:
I, being upright, turn my face towards 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 haram, 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.
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 books are available, 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 performing hajj, 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.)
10 Days of Zhul-Hijjah and their Injunctions
By Shaykh Maulana Saleem Dhorat
The first ten days of Zul Hijjah are full of virtues and great blessings. According to a large group of mufassireen(commentators of the Qur'aan), the ten nights mentioned in Soorah Al Fajr are the nights of the first ten days of Zul Hijjah. Allah says:
By the Dawn; By the ten Nights; (89:1-2)
This oath substantiates the greatness and sacredness of these ten nights in the eyes of Allah. This is an extra ordinary oath; it is very reliable and significant and the wise men can understand that by this oath, Allah too attaches great importance and value to the ten nights of Zul Hijjah.
The Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam too, has clearly mentioned the importance and the virtue of these blessed moments. It is reported by Abdullah Ibne Abbaas radhiyallahu anhuma that the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam said, "No good deeds done on other days are superior to those done on these (first ten days of Zul Hijjah)." Thereupon, some companions of the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam said, "Not even Jihadd ? " He replied, "Not even jihaad, 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 these things." Bukhaari V1 pp132
In another Hadeeth reported by Aboo Hurayrah radhiyallahu anhu, the Prophet 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 Laylatul Qadr." Tirmizi V1 pp58
Moreover, what other virtue can be greater for these blessed days than the fact that certain specific devotions cannot be performed but in these specified days. Allah Almighty has specifically chosen these days for the fulfilment of two of the most important devotions, viz. Hajj and Qurbaani.
One may argue and say that there are other forms of devotions too, which are fixed to specific days and moments; hence what is the speciality of these particular days ? The answer to this argument is simple. Although there are other devotions too, which are also fixed to specific time, such as fasting in the month of Ramadhaan; but one may, if he desires, fulfil the devotion of fasting in days other than Ramadhaan i.e. as an optional devotion. On the contrary, the wuqoof of Arafaat (which is the essence of Hajj), the wuqoof of Muzdalifah, etc., cannot be performed but in these specified days.
If one was to remain in Arafaat for many months after the 9th Zul Hijjah, he will not receive any reward whatsoever and it will never be considered an act of ibaadah.
Similarly, Qurbaani is performed only in three days one of which is 10th Zul Hijjah. There is no possibility whatsoever of a nafl Qurbaani once these days have lapsed, so much so that qazaa Hajj or qazaa Qurbaani is not even possible. It is because of these distinguishing characteristics that the ulamaa have stated, in the light of Qur'aan and Hadeeth that after the days of the month of Ramadhaan, the greatest days in virtue are the first ten days of Zul Hijjah.
The reward of ibaadah in these days increases abundantly and the results are honoured with specified blessings and mercies by the Creator.
ACTS OF VIRTUE
There are certain specific acts of virtue in these blessed days of Zul Hijjah which are enumerated and explained below:
1 Upon sighting the moon of Zul Hijjah, those people intending to perform Qurbaani should neither cut their hair nor clip their nails until the Qurbaani is performed. This is a mustahab (desirable) act derived from Hadeeth of the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam wherein he has said:
"A person should neither clip his nails nor cut his hair until he performs qurbaani". [Ibne Maajah]
Some ulamaa have explained the reason and wisdom behind this order of the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam thus that in this month, hundreds of thousands of people are blessed with the opportunity of visiting the sacred house of Allah in Makkah.
They enjoy the spiritual atmosphere of the holy places and acquire maximum benefit from the blessed moments.
Whilst they are there in the state of ihraam certain acts become impermissible for them. Amongst them is clipping of nails and cutting the hair. The Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam instructed those of his followers who could not reach the blessed places, to imitate the pilgrims by not cutting the hair and clipping the nails so that the mercy of Allah can enshroud them too together with the pilgrims.
2 These days are so blessed that a day's fast is equivalent to a year's fast and a night's devotion is equivalent to the ibaadah of Laylatul Qadr. The indication is towards the fact that we should endeavor to perform as many virtuous acts as possible in these days.
3 9th Zul Hijjah is the day of Arafah in which the main fardh of Hajj is performed i.e. wuqoof Arafah. This is a great moment for the pilgrims when the Mercy of Allah descends upon them in abundance and their sins are forgiven and du'aa accepted. Allah, through His Compassion and Mercy, has not deprived the non-pilgrims of his mercy, but rather, shown the way to His Pleasure. The Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam was asked about the fast of the day of Arafah. He said, "It compensates for the (minor) sins of the past and the coming year." [Ibne Maajah]
Note: One should take note that the sins forgiven are minor sins. The major sins are not forgiven without tawbah.
4 The reciting of Takbeeraate Tashreeq after every fardh Salaat from the Fajr of 9th Zul Hijjah to the Asr of 13th Zul Hijjah (i.e. total of twenty three fardh Salaat). It is waajib upon men to recite this takbeer once after every fardh Salaat audibly. The women should recite it silently.
5 The Sunnah of Ibraahem alayhi salaam - the Qurbaani. It is to be performed on 10th, 11th or 12th Zul Hijjah. One may sacrifice a thousand animals on days other than these, but it will never be regarded or considered a Qurbaani.
Here, a believer is taught a great lesson that an action or a place or a time does not hold any virtue in itself; but rather it is Allah's command and order that changes the status, level and grade of things. Regarding Qurbaani, the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam said:
"There is nothing dearer to Allah during the days of Qurbaani than the sacrificing of animals. The sacrificed animal shall come on the Day of Judgement with its horn, hair, and hooves (to be weighed). The sacrifice is accepted by Allah before the blood reaches the ground. Therefore sacrifice with an open and happy heart." Tirmizi V1 pp275, Ibne Maajah V1 pp226
May Allah ta'aalaa bless us with spiritual gains and His Pleasure in these blessed moments. Aameen.