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The Blessed Days of Dhul-Hijjah (& Fasting on the Day of ‘Arafah)

22/10/12

The month of Dhul-Hijjah is one of those four sacred months mentioned in the Quran. It was the tradition of the companions of the Prophet (S.A.W.W) and those pious Muslims who came after them, to observe intensely acts of worship as soon as the moon of this month was sited. As a matter of fact, the first ten days of this month are very important and have been specifically singled out in the

Quran in verse 89:12 as stated below:

“I swear by the day break, and by the ten nights.”

Over and above that, the Prophet (S.A.W.W), is reported to have described the significance of these days in the following words:

“There are no days when Allah is as pleased with good deeds as He is in these ten days.”

 

A summary of acts of worship strongly recommended:

  • Fasting: Fasting in the first nine days of this month earns the “Thawab” (reward) of fasting for the entire life time. The culmination of these days comes on the Ninth Day: the DAY of ARAFA.
  • Remembrance of Allah: Several “duas”, supplications, recommended to be recited after regular daily prayers.
  • The tenth day is the DAY of EID UL ADHHA.
  • The month of Dhul-Hijjah is a season of worship, and seasons of worship bring along blessings, benefits and opportunities to correct one’s faith and make up for shortcoming.

 

17th to 26th Oct 2012
The first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah are marked blessed for both, the pilgrims and the non-pilgrims. Rewards of good deeds are multiplied in these days. Imâm Ibn Qayyim (rahimahullah) (d. 751H) said:

“Indeed, its days are the most excellent of all the days with Allâh. It has been confirmed in Sahîh al-Bukharî from Ibn Abbas (radhi Allâhu anhu) that the Messenger of Allâh (sallAllâhu alaihi wa-sallam) said:

“No deed are more virtuous than deeds on these days.”

The companions asked: ‘Not even Jihad (fighting in Allâh’s Cause)?’ He (sallAllâhu alaihi wa-sallam) replied:

“Not even Jihad for the sake of Allâh, unless a man goes out risking himself and his wealth for the sake of Allâh, and does not come back with anything.”

[Sahîh al-Bukharî vol: 2, no: 457]

And it is these ten days, of which Allâh takes an oath saying:

“By the dawn; by the ten nights. [Sûrah al-Fajr (89): 1-2]

This is why it is recommended to increase in making Takbîr, Tahlil and Tamhid during these days.” [Zâd al-Ma’âd vol: 1, pp: 56]

Yawm al-Arafat (25th October 2012)

The ninth day of Dhul-Hijjah (the 12th and final month of the Islamic calendar) is the Day of ‘Arafah. It is the day when pilgrims stand on the plain of ‘Arafah to pray. On this day, Muslims all over the world who do not witness the annual Hajj should spend the day in fasting, in preparation for the three days festivity following ‘Eid ul-Adha (the celebration marking the end of the Hajj commemorating the Prophet Ibrahim’s willingness of sacrifice).

Abu Hafsah, may Allah be pleased with him, reported that the Prophet, upon whom be peace, 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]

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

“Four things the Messenger of Allâh 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,peace be upon him, 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 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.

Arafat is the day on which Allâh took the covenant from the progeny of Adam (alaihis-salâm), it was reported that Ibn Abbas (radhi Allâhu anhu) narrated: The Messenger of Allâh (sallAllâhu alaihi wa-sallam) related:

“(When Allâh created Adam (alaihis-salâm) Allâh took covenant from him in a place Na’mân on the day of Arafat, then He extracted from him all the descendants who would be born until the end of the world, generation after generation, and spread them out in front of Him in order to take a covenant from them also. He spoke to them face to face saying:

 

Yawm an-Nahr

The tenth day of Dhul-Hijjah is the greatest day of Hajj. It is known as Yawm an-Nahr (the day of Sacrifice), since it marks the ending of the major rite of Hajj – the Sacrifice. And it is on this day that the Muslims commemorate the bounties and blessings of Allâh. It was recorded in a Hadîth by Imâm Ahmad (in his Musnad vol: 4, no: 350) that the day of Nahr is the most virtuous day to Allâh. The Messenger of Allâh (sallAllâhu alaihi wa-sallam) said:

Imâm Ibn Taymiyyah (d. 728H) said:“The greatestday of Hajj (Pilgrimage) is the Day of an-Nahr (Slaughtering).” [(Sahîh) by Shaikh al-Albanî in Irwa al-Ghalîl (no: 1101). Abu Dawûd no: 1945]

Imâm Ibn Taymiyyah (d. 728H) said:Imâm Ibn Taymiyyah (d. 728H) said:“The greatestday of Hajj (Pilgrimage) is the Day of an-Nahr (Slaughtering).” [(Sahîh) by Shaikh al-Albanî in Irwa al-Ghalîl (no: 1101). Abu Dawûd no: 1945]

Imâm 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 (sallAllâhu alaihi wa-sallam) said:

“The most excellent days with Allâh is the day of an-Nahr, then the day of al-Qarr (the day that the Muslims reside in Mina).”
[(Sahîh) by Shaikh al-Albanî in Irwa al-Ghalîl (no: 2018). Related by Abu Dawûd no: 1765].” [Majmû al-Fatawa vol: 25, pp. 288]

The day of An-Nahr is also known as ‘Eid al-Adhâ’ meaning the festival of Sacrifice and it is one of the two festivals which Allâh has granted to the Ummah of Prophet (sAllâhu alaihe wa-sallam). Anas (radhi Allâhu anhu) narrated, Allâh’s Messenger (sallAllâhu alaihi wa-sallam) came to Medina and the people of Medina in the days of Jahiliyyah had two days of play and amusement. So, Allâh’s Messenger (sallAllâhu alaihi wa-sallam) said:

“I cameto you and you had in Jahiliyyah, two days of play and amusement. Allâh has replaced something better for you. The Day of an-Nahr and the day of al-Fitr.” [(Sahîh) by Hâfidh Ibn Hajr in Bulûgh al-Marâm. Related by Musnad Ahmad vol: 3, no: 103]

The Messenger of Allâh (sallAllâhu alaihi wa-sallam) said:

“The day of al-Fitr, and the day of an-Nahr, and the days of at-Tashrîq (the three days after an-Nahr) are our days of Eid (festivity); and they are days of eating and drinking.” [(Sahîh) by Shaikh al-Albanî in Sahîh al-Jamî (no: 8192). Related by Musnad Ahmad (no: 1945)]

Glorifying Allâh with Takbîr: (Takbîr al-Muqayyid)

From the day of Arafat until the Asr prayer of the 13th day of Dhul-Hijjah, one should make Takbîr after every obligatory Salât. Ibn Abî Shaybah relates that Alî (radhi Allâhu anhu) used to make the Takbîr beginning after the Fajr prayer on the day of Arafat, until after the Asr prayer on the last day of at-Tashrîq. [(Sahîh) by Shaikh al-Albanî in al-Irwa. Related by Ibn Abî Shaybah in al-Musannaf]

Shaikh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullah) said:

“The most correct saying concerning the Takbîr – that which the majority of the Salaf (Pious Predecessors), and the Scholars from the Companions and Imams were upon – is to begin making the Takbîr from Fajr (dawn) on the day of Arafat up until the last day of at-Tashrîq (the thirteenth of Dhul-Hijjah), after every Prayer.” [Majmû al-Fatawa (24/220)]

Imâm al-Khattâbî (rahimahullah) (d. 456H) said:

“The wisdom behind saying the Takbîr in these days is that in the times of Jahiliyyah (pre-Islamic ignorance), they used to slaughter for their Tâghûts (false objects of worship). So the Takbîrs were prescribed in order to indicate that the act of slaughtering is directed to Allâh alone, and by mentioning only His Name.” [Fath al-Barî]

As regards to the actual wording of the Takbîrs, then nothing authentic has been related from the Messenger of Allâh. However, the following have been reported from the Sahabah:

1. Ibn Mas’ûd (radiyAllâhu anhuma): Allâhu Akbar, Allâhu Akbar, La ilaha illa Allâh, Allâhu Akbar, Allâhu Akbar wa lillahil-Hamd. [(Sahîh) Irwâ al-Ghalîl (650), Daraqutne, Ibn Shaibah]

(Allâh is the Greatest, Allâh is the Greatest, There is none worthy of worship except Allâh. Allâh is the Greatest, Allâh is the Greatest and to Allâh belongs all praises)

2. Ibn Abbas (radiyAllâhu anhuma): Allâhu Akbar, Allâhu Akbar, Allâhu Akbar wa lillahil-Hamd; Allâhu Akbar wa-ajal, Allâhu akbaru ala mahadana.

[(sahîh) – Bayhaqî (3/315)] (Allâh is the Greatest, Allâh is the Greatest, Allâh is the Greatest and to Allâh belongs all praises. Allâh is the Greatest to that which He has guided us to)

3. Salman (radhi Allâhu anhu) : Allâhu Akbar, Allâhu Akbar, Allâhu Akbar kabîra.

[(sahîh) – Bayhaqî (3/316)] (Allâh is the Greatest, Allâh is the Greatest, Allâh is the Greatest)

“Increase in these days with Tahlil, Takbîr and Tamhid. (Takbîr al-Mutlaq). And mention the name of Allâh on the appointed Days.” [Sûrah al-Hajj (22): 28]

This verse has been explained (by some) to mean the ten days of Dhul-Hijjah. Scholars consider it desirable to increase Dhikr (remembrance of Allâh) in these days, because the Messenger of Allâh (sallAllâhu alaihi wa-sallam) is reported to have said:

“There are no days that are greater to Allâh or in which deeds are more beloved to Him than these ten days, so increase your Tahlil, Takbîr and Tamhid during these days.” [Musnad Ahmad]

Tahlil, Takbîr and Tamhid mean saying ‘La ilaha illa Allâh’, ‘Allâhu Akbar’ and ‘al-Hamdu lillah’,respectively.

Ishâq narrates from the scholars of the Tâbi’în that in these ten days they used to say: Allâhu-Akbar, Allâhu-Akbar; Lâ-ilâha-ill-Allâh; wâllâhu-Akbar, Allâhu-Akbar; Wa-lillâhil-hamd.

It is a beloved act to raise the voice when saying the Takbîr in the markets, the houses, the streets, the masjids and other places, because of the saying of Allâh Most High in Sûrah al-Hajj verse 37:

“…that you may magnify Allâh for His Guidance to you…”

Imâm Bukharî (rahimahullah) said in the book of al-Idayn in the chapter of the Virtue of good) deeds during the days of Tashrîq, Ibn Umar and Abu Hurayrah (radhi Allâhu anhuma) would go out in the marketplace during the ten days and say Takbîr, and the people would say Takbîr when they said Takbîr. [Sahîh al-Bukharî]

The Sunnah is to say the Takbîr individually. The saying of Takbîr in congregation, i.e., everyone pronouncing the Takbîr with one voice, is not permissible since this has not been transmitted (to us) from the early generations of the Sahâbah and those who followed their ways. This is applicable for all Dhikr and supplications, except if the person doesn’t know what to say. In that case he may repeat after someone else until he learns (the words to be said).

Source: From Islamic Newsletter ‘As-Sunnah’ Issue no: 10 Compiled by Shawana A. Aziz

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