Offering the Qurbani or sacrifice of livestock during Eid al-Adha

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When the Day of Arafat is completed, and Allah has liberated His believing servants from Hell, all of the Muslims then celebrate a holiday. Then there is a common rite that they all undertake (the pilgrims and those back home) to draw near to Allah, slaughtering the hadiy (sacrificial animal).

The qurbani, also known as udh’hiya, as referred to in Shari’ah, is the sacrifice of a livestock animal during Eid ul Adha. It commemorates the supreme sacrifice offered by Prophet Ibrahim, peace be upon him, to show his total submission and gratitude towards Allah. The Holy Quran informs us that in a vision, Prophet Ibrahim, peace be upon him, saw that he offered his son Isma’eel, peace be upon him, in sacrifice to Allah. When he shared this vision with his son, Isma’eel said: “O my father! Do as you are commanded: you will find me, if Allah so wills, one practicing patience and constancy.” However, when Prophet Ibrahim, peace be upon him, carried out the commandment, Allah replaced him with a ram. In the Holy Quran, Allah mentions the firm faith and obedience of both father and son as follows: “You have already fulfilled the vision – thus indeed do We reward those who do right.”  (As-Saffat 37:105)

Once our beloved Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) said, “It is the sunnah of your father Ibrahim. For every hair of the Qurbani, you will receive a reward from Allah and for every hair in the wool you will receive a reward.” (Related Ibn Majah & Tirimidhi).

It is obligatory upon every sane adult who is not a traveller/pilgrim and can afford it (wealth equal to or more than nisab — the minimum amount for a Muslim net worth to be obligated to give zakat). Normally every person in the household, who are eligible to pay Zakat have to give a Qurbani. It is performed on the days of sacrifice, which is the 10th, 11th, or 12th of Dhul Hijjah. The first day is better than the second, and the second better than the last.

One may sacrifice a thousand animals on days other than these, but it will never be regarded or considered as udhhiya. Therefore, the qurbani is a sacred act which can only be done during the three days of Dhul Hijjah as specified.

Zaid bin Arkam reports that the Companions of the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) asked him: “O Messenger of Allah, what is this sacrifice?” He said: “It is the way of your forefather Ibrahim.” They asked: what (reward) is for us therein?” He replied: “There is a reward for every hair (i.e. the reward for meat and useful parts of the animal’s body will be very lofty in merit, but there will also be a great reward for the parts which are useless and thrown away such as the hair).” They asked: “For the wool, O Messenger of Allah?” He replied: “There is one reward for every strand of wool.” [Ahmad; Ibn Majah]

Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) said: The son of Adam does not do any action on the day of sacrifice which is more pleasing to Allah than the sacrifice of animals; the animal will come on the Day of Resurrection with its hair, horns, and hooves (for reward). The blood certainly reaches Allah before it falls to the ground. So make yourselves purified therewith. [Tirmidhi and Sunan ibn Majah]

Regarding the qurbani, Allah says is the Qur’an: “Their meat will not reach Allah, nor will their blood, but what reaches Him is piety from you.”  [Al-Haj 22:37]

Qurbani animals are goats, sheep, cow, and camels. It is necessary that the goat is one (full) year old, whether male or female. A cow, ox, bull, or buffalo will have to be two years old, and a camel five years. Animals that are younger are not suitable for Qurbani. A sheep (of any kind) not less than six months old, so strong and fat that it appears to be one year old will suffice for Qurbani, otherwise it will have to be one (full) year old. If an animal seller says that the animal has reached the required age, and outwardly there is no sign to disprove it, then it is permissible to rely on his statement. No other types of animals are allowed for Qurbani. The animal must be killed according to the prohibitions of halal sacrifice. In addition, the animals should be in good health.

While most of us are blessed with food and take our next meal for granted, spare a thought for the many children and families across the world whose lives are blighted by poverty and for whom basic food is a scarcity and meat a luxury.

It is recommended that the meat of the Qurbani sacrifice is shared equally in three parts between (1) the family members of the person performing Qurbani, (2) his/her relatives and friends, and (3) poor people. In developed countries, it is very difficult to perform Qurbani. Hence, it is permitted to arrange for Qurbani in a different country on one’s behalf. In this case, the whole Qurbani is distributed among the poor people.

When a pilgrim slaughters his/her animal in the place of sacrifice in Mina, he/she has followed the Sunnah. However, it is permissible for him/her to slaughter in any other part of Mina or Mecca (Makkah) as the Prophet (ﷺ) said: “I have slaughtered here and all of Mina is a place for slaughtering, and all of the mountain pass approaches, so slaughter on your place of stopping.”

When slaughtering the animal, it is Sunnah to do the dhabh (slaughter by a horizontal cut through the throat) or Nahr (slaughter by a vertical movement of the spear to the lower part of the throat) with own hand if possible, and if not, then to depute someone else to do it.

The animal should be facing the Qiblah during the process, making it lie down on its left side and putting his right foot upon its right side. If the animal being sacrificed is a camel, then it should be slaughtered by means of Nahr while the animal is on a standing position, having its left leg tied, standing on its others with its face towards the Qiblah.

Before slitting the animal’s throat, the slaughterer should say: Bismillahi Wallahu Akbar Al-Lahumma Inna Hadha Minka Wa Laka Al Lahumma Taqabbal Minni (In the name of Allah and Allah is greater. O Allah, this is from You and for You. O Allah, accept it from me.)

The Sunnah is to slaughter the sacrifice on the day of Eid, which is the tenth of Dhu’l-Hijjah.

It was narrated from Saalim ibn ‘Abd-Allaah that Ibn ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with them both) said: “During his last Pilgrimage, the Messenger of Allaah (ﷺ) performed ‘Umrah and then Hajj. He drove a hadiy (sacrificial animal) along with him… then he went to Safa and Marwa and ran between them seven times and did not do any deed forbidden because ofIhraam, until he finished his Hajj and sacrificed his hadiy on the day of Nahr (the tenth day of Dhul-Hijjah). He then hastened onwards (to Makkah) and performed Tawaaf of the Ka’bah, and then everything that was forbidden because of Ihraam became permissible.” (Narrated by al-Bukhari, 1606, Muslim, 1227)

Then, the slaughterer may eat from the meat of his sacrificial animal and take some back with him to his land as the Prophet did. And he should give some it to feed the poor and the needy.

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Fasting on the day of Arafat expiates the sins of two years

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The first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah have been classified as the best 10 days of the year, and the Day of ‘Arafat, on which Allah perfected His religion has been classified as the best day of the year according to some scholars.

Imaam Ibn Taymiyyah (d. 728H) said: “The most excellent day of the week is the day of Jumuah (Friday), by the agreement of the Scholars. And the most excellent day of the year is the day of an-Nahr. Some of them said that it is the day of Arafat. However, the first opinion is the correct one, since it is related in the Sunan collections that the Prophet ﷺ said: “The most excellent days with Allah is the day of an-Nahr, then the day of al-Qarr (the day that the Muslims reside in Mina).”  [(Saheeh) by Shaikh al-Albanee in Irwa al-Ghaleel (no: 2018). Related by Abu Dawood no: 1765].” [Majmoo al-Fatawa vol: 25, pp. 288]

The ninth day of Dhul-Hijjah (the 12th and final month of the Islamic calendar) is the Day of ‘Arafat, since it is on this day that millions of pilgrims set out for the plains of Arafat after sunrise to attend the Khutba of Arafat and perform their Dhuhr and Asr salat combined as was the Sunnah of Rasool Allah (ﷺ). Thereafter they engage in supplication to Allah from Dhuhr to Maghrib, seeking forgiveness of their Lord before setting off for Muzdhalifah.

On this day of Arafat, Muslims all over the world who do not witness the annual Hajj should spend the day in fasting as it is mustahabb (highly recommended), in preparation for the three-day festivity following ‘Eid ul-Adha (the celebration marking the end of the Hajj commemorating the Prophet Ibrahim’s (willingness of sacrifice). When asked about the fasting on the day of ‘Arafah, the Prophet Muhammad said,

“It expiates the sins (Minor) of the past year and the coming year.”  [Muslim (no. 1162)]

Abu Hafsah, may Allah be pleased with him, reported that the Prophet (ﷺ) said:

“Fasting on the Day of ‘Arafah absolves the sins for two years: the previous year and the coming year, and fasting on ‘Ashura, (the tenth day of Muharram) atones for the sins of previous years.”  [Reported by all except al-Bukhari and at-Tirmidhi]

But, this does not mean that one can continue to commit sin in the upcoming year, rather it portrays the virtue of fasting on the day of ‘Arafat, and the blessings to be obtained therein.

In another saying the Prophet’s wife Hafsah, may Allah be pleased with her, said:

“Four things the Messenger of Allah never neglected: Observing fast on the day of ‘Ashura,‘Arafat, three days every month, and offering fajr sunnah prayers early in the morning.”  [Muslim]

These statements are proof that fasting on the ninth of Dhul-Hijjah, the day before ‘Eid ul-Adha was a lifelong practice of the Prophet (ﷺ) as his wife reported.

There are some reports that fasting is prohibited on the Day of ‘Arafah. However, it must be understood that this refers to a person performing the Hajj. If a person is on the Hajj, there is no fast for him or her on the day of ‘Arafah. That is undoubtedly a blessing for him because of the hardships of the pilgrimage. In a saying reported by Umm al-Fadl, may Allah be pleased with her, she said:

“The companions doubted whether the Prophet (ﷺ) was fasting on ‘Arafah or not. She decided to prove to them that he was not, so she said, ‘I sent to him milk, which he drank while he was delivering the khutbah (sermon) on ‘Arafah.'” [Recorded by al-Bukhari]

Prohibiting the pilgrims from fasting on these days is a great mercy for them, for fasting will exert undue hardship on the person performing the Hajj, while they are primarily concerned with their pilgrimage. Above all, the pilgrim would not be fasting anyway because he is travelling.

The fact that not all of the Muslims are required to go to Hajj every year is a mercy and source of ease from Allah to His servants. He has made Hajj binding once in a lifetime and not binding every year. However, it is a communal obligation occurring every year. This is different from fasting, which is an individually binding obligation on every Muslim, every year.

Because the month of Dhul-Hijjah is a season of worship, it bring along blessings, benefits and opportunities to correct one’s faith and make up for shortcoming. This special opportunity involves a kind of worship, which brings the slave closer to his Lord. And Allah bestows His blessings and Favours on whom He wills. The fortunate person is he who makes good use of these special months, days, and hours, while worshiping Allah. He is most likely to be touched by the blessings of Allah. Rewards of good deeds are multiplied in these days. [Ibn Rajab, al-Lataa’if pp. 8]

For non-pilgrims, it should be remembered that not only should you fast on this day, but make sure to ask Allah for all of your prayers. The Prophet (ﷺ) said: “The best dua is the dua of Arafat.” (Tirmidhi)

Only those who fast would enter the gate of Rayyan on the Day of Resurrection

 

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Sahl bin Sa’d (may Allah be pleased with him) reported Allah’s Messenger (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) as saying:

“In the Paradise, there is a gate called Rayyan, through which only the people who fast would enter on the Day of Resurrection. None else would enter along with them. It would be proclaimed: ‘Where are the people who used to fast so that they should be admitted into it?’ And when the last of them would enter, it would be closed and no one would enter it.” (Sahih Muslim (Eng. Trans.) Book 6, Hadith 2569)

A variation of this hadith of the same narrator is the following:

“In Paradise there is a gate called Rayyan. On the Day of Resurrection the call will go out saying: ‘Where are those who used to fast?’ Whoever is among those who used to fast will enter it, and whoever enters it will never thirst again.” (Sunan Ibn Majah (Eng.) Vol. 1, Book 7, Hadith 1640 – Graded Hasan (Darussalam))

 

There is healing in black cumin for all diseases except death

[throughbitsnpcs] black cumin

A native to south and southwest Asia, the seeds of the Fennel flower (Nigella sativa) or black cumin, as it is often called, is one of the most revered medicinal plants/seeds in history.

One of black cumin’s most popular and effective uses is the treatment of diseases related to the respiratory system: including asthma, bronchitis, rheumatism and cold symptoms. The seeds help increase body tone, stimulate menstrual period, and increase the flow of breast milk in nursing mothers.

Black cumin seed oil helps calm the nervous system, quells colic pain, stimulates urine production, helps treat pertussis, improves digestion and helps prevent and lower high blood pressure.

The seeds are very effective in curing abscesses and tumors of the eye, abdomen and liver, probably due in great part to the anti-tumor compound beta-sitosterol found in the seeds.

Black cumin seed helps stimulate energy and helps in recovery from fatigue and low spirits. It is also an effective cure for skin conditions such as allergies, eczema, acne, psoriasis and boils. It is anti-parasitic and helps in the treatment of flatulence, diarrhea, hemorrhoids, constipation and dysentery. [source]

Although most formal research and studies of Nigella sativa benefits were conducted recently, this amazing botanical has already been used and mentioned in the hadith. Here is one from Sahih al-Bukhari (5687):

Narrated Khalid bin Sa`d:

We went out and Ghalib bin Abjar was accompanying us. He fell ill on the way and when we arrived at Medina he was still sick.

Ibn Abi ‘Atiq came to visit him and said to us, “Treat him with black cumin. Take five or seven seeds and crush them (mix the powder with oil) and drop the resulting mixture into both nostrils, for `Aisha has narrated to me that she heard the Prophet (ﷺ) saying, ‘This black cumin is healing for all diseases except As-Sam.’

Aisha said, ‘What is As-Sam?’ He said, ‘Death.”

However, when buying black cumin seed oil, one should check the labels and product information carefully. Black cumin is commonly referred to as black seed oil, black onion seed, black caraway, black sesame seed, and other names, but only Nigella sativa is true black cumin.

Man Becomes Lowly Even Though He Was Created in the Best Form

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Malik and Shu`bah narrated from `Adi bin Thabit, who narrated that Al-Bara’ bin `Azib said, “The Prophet used to recite in one of his Rak`ahs while traveling ‘At-Tin waz-Zaytun’ (Surat At-Tin), and I have never heard anyone with a nicer voice or recitation than him.” The Group has recorded this Hadith in their books.

{ By At-Tin and Az-Zaytun.}  At-Tin 95:1

{ By Tur Sinin. }  95:2

{ By this city of security.}  95:3

{ Verily, We created man in the best form. }  95:4

{ Then We reduced him to the lowest of the low. }  95:5

{ Save those who believe and do righteous deeds. }  95:6

{ Then they shall have a reward without end. }  95:7

{ Then what causes you to deny after this the Recompense? }  95:8

{ Is not Allah the best of judges? }  95:9

Al-`Awfi reported from Ibn `Abbas that what is meant by At-Tin is the Masjid of Nuh that was built upon Mount Al-Judi. Mujahid said, “It is this fig that you have.”

{ By Az-Zaytun. } Ka`b Al-Ahbar, Qatadah, Ibn Zayd and others have said, “It is the Masjid of Jerusalem (Bayt Al-Maqdis).” Mujahid and `Ikrimah said, “It is this olive which you press (to extract the oil).”

{ By Tur Sinin. } Ka`b Al-Ahbar and several others have said, “It is the mountain upon which Allah spoke to Musa.”

{ By this city of security. } meaning Makkah. This was said by Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid, `Ikrimah, Al-Hasan, Ibrahim An-Nakha`i, Ibn Zayd and Ka`b Al-Ahbar. There is no difference of opinion about this.nt

Some of the Imams have said that these are three different places, and that Allah sent a Messenger to each of them from the Leading Messengers, who delivered the Great Codes of Law. The first place is that of the fig and the olive, which was Jerusalem, where Allah sent `Isa bin Maryam. The second place is Mount Sinin, which is Mount Sinai where Allah spoke to Musa bin `Imran. The third place is Makkah, and it is the city of security where whoever enters is safe. It is also the city in which Muhammad was sent.

They have said that these three places are mentioned at the end of the Tawrah. The verse says, “Allah has come from Mount Sinai — meaning the one upon which Allah spoke to Musa bin `Imran; and shined from Sa`ir — meaning the mountain of Jerusalem from which Allah sent `Isa; and appeared from the mountains of Faran — meaning the mountains of Makkah from which Allah sent `Isa; and appeared from the mountains of Faran — meaning the mountains of Makkah from which Allah sent Muhammad .”

Thus, He mentioned them in order to inform about them based upon their order of existence in time. This is why He swore by a noble place, then by a nobler place, and then by a place that is the nobler than both of them.

And the Result of that Allah says:

{ Verily, We created man in the best form. } This is the subject being sworn about, and it is that Allah created man in the best image and form, standing upright with straight limbs that He beautified.

{ Then We reduced him to the lowest of the low. } meaning, to the Hellfire. This was said by Mujahid, Abu Al-`Aliyah, Al-Hasan, Ibn Zayd and others. Then after this attractiveness and beauty, their destination will be to the Hell-fire if they disobey Allah and belie the Messengers.

This is why Allah says, { Save those who believe and do righteous deeds. }

Some have said, { Then We reduced him to the lowest of the low. } “This means decrepit old age.” This has been reported from Ibn `Abbas and `Ikrimah. `Ikrimah even said, “Whoever gathers the Qur’an (i.e., he memorizes it all), then he will not be returned to decrepit old age.” Ibn Jarir preferred this explanation. Even if this was the meaning, it would not be correct to exclude the believers from this, because some of them are also overcome by the senility of old age. Thus, the meaning here is what we have already mentioned (i.e., the first view), which is similar to Allah’s saying,

{ By Al-`Asr. Verily man is in loss, except those who believe and perform righteous deeds. } (103:1-3)

Concerning Allah’s statement, { Then they shall have a reward without end. } meaning, that will not end, as we have mentioned previously.

Then Allah says, { Then what causes you to deny } meaning, ‘O Son of Adam!’

[Tafsir ibn Kathir, Surat at-Tin (95), verses 1-9]

One-third portion each for food, drink, and breathing

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Miqdad bin Ma`dikarib (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: I heard Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) say: “No man fills a container worse than his stomach. A few morsels that keep his back upright are sufficient for him. If he has to, then he should keep one-third for food, one-third for drink and one-third for his breathing.”
[At-Tirmidhi].

Commentary:  This Hadith dissuades us from overeating as this causes laziness and affects one’s health.

[Riyad us-Saliheen, Book of Miscellany, Chapter 56, No. 516]

Even in the planted tree, there is charity

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Jabir (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “When a Muslim plants a tree, whatever is eaten from it is charity from him and whatever is stolen is charity and whatever is subtracted from it is charity.”
[Muslim].

Another narration says: “If a Muslim plants a tree, or sows a field and men and beasts and birds eat from it, all of it is charity from him.”

Commentary:   This Hadith highlights the importance of gardening and agriculture. It is also one of the merits of these two occupations that if someone patiently bears the loss that he suffers due to pilferage or theft of their produce, he is rewarded for it.

[Riyad us-Saliheen, Book of Miscellany, Chapter 13, No. 135]

Fasting on the Day of Ashura

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‘Ashura’ commemorates the day that Allah saved the Children of Israel from Pharaoh.

Fasting on Muharram 10, known as the Day of ‘Ashura’, expiates for the sins of the past year. When the Prophet (ﷺ) arrived in Madinah, he found that the Jews there fasted on Muharram 10 and asked them the reason for their fasting on this day. They said: “This is a blessed day. On this day, Allah saved the Children of Israel from their enemy [in Egypt] and so Prophet Musa (Moses) fasted on this day giving thanks to Allah.”

The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “We are closer to Musa than you are.”

He fasted on that day and commanded Muslims to fast on this day. (Al-Bukhari)

The following year, Allah commanded the Muslims to fast the month of Ramadan, and the fasting of ‘Ashura’ became optional. It is also reported that the Prophet (ﷺ) intended to fast on the ninth and tenth.

Ibn ‘Abbas reported: The Messenger of Allah fasted on the day of ‘Ashura’ and ordered the people to fast on it. The people said, “O Messenger of Allah, it is a day that the Jews and Christians honor.” The Prophet said, “When the following year comes, Allah willing, we shall fast on the ninth.” The death of the Prophet came before the following year. (Muslim and Abu Dawud)

Thus, according to scholars, you may choose to fast ‘Ashura’ on three days (ninth, tenth, and eleventh); two days (ninth and tenth); or one day only (the tenth). The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “Fasting the day of ‘Ashura’ (is of great merits), I hope that Allah will accept it as an expiation for (the sins committed in) the previous year.” (Muslim)

But this expiation of minor sins comes only if you avoid major sins. It is a big mistake to rely on fasting a single day to “wipe your slate clean.” If you neglect your daily Prayers or the fast of Ramadan, or if you backbite, lie, commit adultery or other major sins, fasting on ‘Ashura’ alone will not atone for your sins.

The great scholar Ibn Al-Qayyim Al-Jawziyya (b. 691 AH/1292 CE) wrote: This misguided person does not know that fasting in Ramadan and praying five times a day are much more important than fasting on the Day of Arafah and the Day of ‘Ashura’, and that they expiate for the sins between one Ramadan and the next, or between one Friday and the next, so long as one avoids major sins. But they cannot expiate for minor sins unless one also avoids major sins; when the two things are put together, they have the strength to expiate for minor sins. Among those deceived people may be one who thinks that his good deeds are more than his sins, because he does not pay attention to his bad deeds or check on his sins, but if he does a good deed he remembers it and relies on it.


Note: You may hear of some customs associated with ‘Ashura’ such as cooking and eating certain foods on that day, wearing kohl or henna, or even merrymaking. Others consider this a day of mourning and wailing in honor of the Prophet’s grandson Al-Husayn, who was killed in battle on that day. The scholar Ibn Taymiyah (b. 661 AH/1263 CE) stated that all of these are bid’ahs (reprehensible innovations) that should be avoided.

Take advantage of this opportunity to bring yourself closer to Allah on ‘Ashura’ by fasting and praying for forgiveness.