بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيْم

اَلْحَمْدُ لِلّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِيْن،وَالصَّلاۃ وَالسَّلامُ عَلَی النَّبِیِّ الْکَرِيم وَعَلیٰ آله وَاَصْحَابه اَجْمَعِيْن۔

First Ten Days of Dhul-Hijjah, Commandments and Matters of Sacrifice

First Ten Days of Dhul-Hijjah:

Allah has sworn by the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah in the Qur’an (By the Dawn. By the ten nights (i.e. the first ten days of month of Dhul-Hijjah) Sura Al-Fajr, Verses: 1-2). This shows that the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah are of great importance in Islam. The important rite of Hajj i.e. ‘Wuqufe Arafah’ is also performed in these ten days, which is the day of acquiring the greatest blessings of Allah. Thus, after Ramadan, there is the best chance to attain the success in the Hereafter in these days. Therefore, in these days, worship Allah as much as you can, do His Zikr, observe fast and offer sacrifice. There are special virtues of worshipping in these days which are mentioned in Ahadith, out of which I am describing some Ahadith below:

v  It is reported from Abdullah bin Abbas (RA) that the Prophet (PBUH) said: “On no other days are good deeds more liked by Allah than on these ten days (i.e. the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah).” (Sahih Bukhari)

v  It is reported from Abdullah bin Abbas (RA) that the Prophet (PBUH) said: “No other days are considered more virtuous by Allah than these ten days, therefore, you should recite Tasbeeh-o-Tehleel and Takbeer-o-Tahmeed in abundance.” (Tabraani)

v  In these days, everyone should try to recite Takbeer-e-Tashreeq as much as possible. The kalimaat (wordings) of Takbeer-e-Tashreeq are: Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar La Ilaha Illallahu Wallahu Akbar Allahu Akbar Wa lillahil Hamd.

Fasting On the Day Of Arafah:

It is reported by Qatada (RA) that the Holy Prophet (PBUH) said: “About the fasting on the day of Arafah, I surely hope that Allah will expiate the sins of the preceding year and the coming year because of it.” (Sahih Muslim)

From this Hadeeth, we come to know that fasting on the day of Arafah expiates the sins of the preceding year and the coming year. Therefore, fast on the 9th of Dhul-Hijjah.

Explanation: Due to difference in Matale' (the moon's rising places), it does not matter if the day of Arafah is different in different countries. Because similar to the day of Eid-ul-Fitr, the day of Eid-ul-Azha, Shab-e-Qadr and the day of Ashura, whatever day is considered to be the day of Arafah in terms of location, fasting on the same day would bring virtues and rewards, Insha Allah.

The Reality of Sacrifice:

Although, the process of sacrifice is ordained for every Ummah, as Allah said: “And for every nation We have appointed religious ceremonies, that they mention the name of Allah over the beast of cattle that He has given.” (Surah Al-Hajj, Verse: 34). But the sacrifice was named after the great offering of sacrifice from Ibrahim and Ismael (AS) as “Sunnat-e-Ibraheemi”. And due to this reason, it has become really important since that time. Therefore, sacrifice of animals is offered by the command of Allah, following the Sunnah of Prophet (PBUH) in order to remember the great sacrifice of Ibrahim and Ismail (AS) and this offering will continue till the Day of Judgment, Insha Allah. We get the lesson from this sacrifice that we are ready to sacrifice anything, our body, soul and time, in obedience to Allah.

The Holy Prophet (PBUH) offered the sacrifice of hundred camels on Hajjat-ul-Wida (the farewell pilgrimage) out of which he slaughtered sixty-three (63) camels by his own hands while the rest (37) camels were slaughtered by Ali (RA). (Sahih Muslim, Hajjat-un-Nabi). This is the practical demonstration of the saying of the Prophet (PBUH) (No deed is more beloved to Allah than sacrifice on 10th Dhul-Hijjah) and this practice is also an answer to those people who say after getting inspired by the western culture to distribute money among the needy instead of sacrificing animals. The way, in which Islam has always cared about the poor, we do not see such example in any other religion. Rather, it is the Islamic Shari’ah which is the first to make the mankind realise the pain and needs of poor and weak individuals. By always caring for the poor and the orphans, the Islamic Shari’ah demands from us to offer the sacrifice in the days of Eid-ul-Azha following the Sunnah of Prophet (PBUH) and in the remembrance of the great sacrifice of Ibraheem and Ismaeel (AS). As the Prophet of mankind (PBUH) said: “The wealth spent on anything is never superior to the wealth that has been spent on doing sacrifice on the day of Eid-ul-Azha.” (Sunan Dar Qutni, Sunan Kubra Lil Baihaqi)  

Nowadays, some people, inspite of this fact that they have acquired the concept of Islamic rites and Sunnat-e-Mu’akkada, have started to preach against this practice which is in continuation since more than 1400 years. They preach that one sacrifice is enough for the whole family and it is better to offer sacrifice as less as possible, which is against the injunctions of the Qur’an and Sunnah. Because the whole Muslim Ummah is of the opinion to sacrifice in these days as much as possible, in the light of the sayings of Prophet (PBUH).

Like other good deeds, the motive of offering sacrifice is the seeking of Allah’s pleasure. As Allah says: “Say (O Muhammad (PBUH)): ‘Verily, my Salaat (prayer), my sacrifice, my living, and my dying are for Allah, the Lord of the Worlds’.”(Sura Al-An’aam, Verse: 162). Thus Allah says:  “It is neither their meat nor their blood that reaches Allah, but it is the piety from you that reaches Him.” (Sura Al-Hajj, Verse: 37).

The Significance and Virtues of Sacrifice:

v  Abdullah Bin Umar (RA) says that the Holy Prophet (PBUH) stayed in Madina Munawwara for ten years (and during this period) he had been continuously doing sacrifice (Tirmidhi, Abwab-ul-Azahi). Thus, during his stay at Madina, Prophet (PBUH) never missed the sacrifice even at a single occasion, although nothing was being cooked in his home for months for lack of food.

v  It is reported by Zaid Bin Arqam (RA) that the Companions (RA) asked the Prophet (PBUH): “O Prophet! What is Sacrifice?”(It means what is the purpose of Sacrifice?) The Prophet (PBUH) said: “It is the practice and Sunnah of your father Ibrahim (AS). The Companions (RA) asked: “What will we benefit from Sacrifice?” The Prophet (PBUH) said: “For every hair, you’ll get one virtue.” The Companions (RA) asked: “What will we benefit in return of wool?” The Prophet (PBUH) said: “(even) for every hair of the wool, you’ll get one virtue.” (Sunan Ibne Maja, Baab Sawaabul Azhia)

v  It is reported by Ayesha (RA) that the Prophet (PBUH) said: “No deed is more beloved to Allah than shedding the blood of sacrifice on 10th Dhul-Hijjah and the person who sacrifices will bring the hair, horns and hooves of his sacrificed animals on the Day of Judgment (and these things will become the cause of his virtues) and the blood of the sacrificed animal is accepted by Allah before it falls on the ground, therefore, offer the sacrifice happily.” (Tirmizi. Baab Ma Jaa’ Fi Fazlil Azhia).

v  It is reported from Abdullah Ibne Abbas (RA) that the Prophet (PBUH) said: “The wealth spent in any other thing is never superior to the wealth that has been spent on sacrifice on the day of Eid-ul-Azha.” (Sunan Dar Qutni, Baabuz Zabaaeh, al-Sunan al-Kubra Lil Baihaqi Volume 9 Page 261). 

  

Sacrifice is Wajib:

 It has been a dispute since ages about considering the sacrifice as ‘Wajib’ or ‘Sunnat-e-Mu’akkada’, but this is the consensus of whole Ummah that sacrifice is an Islamic practice and whoever can offer the sacrifice, should not delay it; whether it is termed as Wajib or Sunnat-e-Mu’akkada or Islamic practice. The Holy Prophet (PBUH) always offered sacrifice in Madina, irrespective of this that there was no cooking for months in his home due to lack of food items. Imam Abu Hanifa (RHA), who was born in 80 Hijrah, declared sacrifice as “Wajib”. A narration of Imam Malik (RHA) and Imam Ahmed Bin Hanbal (RHA) also terms the sacrifice as Wajib. There is consensus among the scholars of Indo-Pak, who ascribe to the same opinions, as this statement is based on precaution. Allama Ibne Taimiyah (RHA) has also taken the same word of sacrifice as Wajib. Some of the reasons to justify sacrifice as Wajib are as follows:

v  Allah says in the Qur’an (Surah Al Kausar): “So pray to your Lord and offer sacrifice.” In this verse, it is ordered to sacrifice and an order is usually for a Wajib act, as the interpreters have written in the interpretation of this verse. Allama Abu Bakr Jasaas (RHA) (born in 305 Hijrah) writes in his book (Ahkaam-ul-Qur’an): Hassan Basri (RHA) says that the prayer mentioned in this verse (Sura Al-Kausar) is the Eid prayer and the sacrifice mentioned in the same verse is the sacrifice and slaughtering of animals. Mufassir-e-Qur’an Shaikh Abu Bakr Jasaas (RHA) says that it proves two things: 1) The Eid prayer is Wajib. 2) The sacrifice is Wajib.

v  Abu Huraira (RA) is reported to have said that the Prophet (PBUH) said: “If a person has the means to offer sacrifice, but still he does not sacrifice, he should not come near to our Eid-prayer grounds.” (Sunan Ibne Majah, Baabul Azahi Hiya Wajiba Am La & Musnad Ahmed Volume 2 Page 321, Al Sunan-Al-Kubra Volume 9 Page 260 Kitabuz Zahaya).

v  The Prophet (PBUH) has strictly warned on not doing sacrifice inspite of having the means, and such type of warning is always for leaving any Wajib, therefore, we came to know that sacrifice is a Wajib act.

v  Jundub bin Sufyan Al-Jabli (RHA) is reported to have said that I met Prophet (PBUH) on the day of Eid-ul-Azha. The Prophet (PBUH) said: “If a person has offered the sacrifice before the Eid prayer, so he should offer another sacrifice, and if a person has not sacrificed before Eid prayer so he should sacrifice after the Eid prayer.” (Sahih Bukhari. Baab Man Zabaha Qablas Salaat A’aada). The Prophet (PBUH) ordered for another sacrifice in case of sacrificing before the Eid-ul-Azha prayer, although the Companions (RA) were not financially wealthy at that time. This is a clear indication of sacrifice being a Wajib act.

On Whom Sacrifice is Wajib?

Every wealthy person should offer the sacrifice. As it is mentioned in the Hadeeth that Prophet (PBUH) said: “If a person has the means to offer sacrifice, but still he does not sacrifice, so he should not come near to our Eid-prayer grounds.” It is clear from this Hadeeth of Prophet (PBUH) that to offer in the sacrifice, one has to be wealthy. But there is no Sacrifice Wajib on a traveller; As Ali (RA) says that for a traveller, sacrifice is not Wajib (Almuhalla Bil Aasaar li ibne Hazam Volume 6 Page 37).

THE ANIMALS FOR SACRIFICE:

Sheep, goat, cow, buffalo and camel (male and female) can be slaughtered in sacrifice. As Allah says: “Eight pairs, of the sheep two (male and female) and of the goats two (male and female), And of the camels two (male and female), and of oxen two (male and female).” (Sura Al-An’aam, Verses: 143-144).

Buffalo is also included in the animals of sacrifice because it is also a type of cow. Therefore, it is allowed to sacrifice a buffalo. It is the Ijma’ (unanimous consensus) of the Muslim Ummah that the order of buffalo is similar to that of a cow. (Kitab-ul-Ijma’ Li ibne Munzir, Page 37) Hassan Basri (RHA) (died in 110 H) says that buffalo is in the same category of a cow (Musannaf Ibne Abi Shaibah Volume 7, Page 65). Imam Sufyan Suri (RHA) (died in 161 H) says that buffalo will be considered in the same category of a cow (Musannaf Abdul Razzak Volume 4, Page 23). Imam Malik (RHA) (died in 179 H) says that buffalo is also like a cow (It means that it has the same order as that of a cow) (Mu’atta Malik Baab Ma Jaa’a fi Sadaqatil Fitr). It is also the opinion of most of the scholars of Indo-Pak that buffalo has the same order as that of a cow. The famous scholar of Saudi Arabia Shaikh Muhammad Othaimeen has also included buffalo in the same order as that of a cow. Buffalo is not found among Arabs, that is why, its order is not given in detail in the holy Qur’an. (Majmu’a Fatawa wa Rasail Shaikh Othaimeen (RHA) 34/25).

Age of the Animal:

Among the animals to be sacrificed, the age of sheep and goat should be one year, cow and buffalo of two years and the camel should be of five years, but the sheep or lamb that seems to be of one year can also be sacrificed.

Number of Participants in a Sacrificial Animal:

If the animal to be sacrificed is one goat or sheep (male or female) then it would be from just one person. Abdullah Bin Umar (RA) says that “one goat is sacrificed from just one person.” (I’laaus Sunan, Baab innal Badana ‘an Sab’a).

If the animal of sacrifice is a camel, cow or buffalo then seven people can participate in it. (Sahih Muslim. Baab Jawaz-Al-Ishtirak Alakh).

Explanation: On the occasion of the farewell pilgrimage and treaty of Hudaibiya, seven persons each participated in a camel and cow. By inferring from this example, the scholars say that seven people can participate in the sacrifice of a camel or cow.

THE DAYS OF SACRIFICE: There are three days of Sacrifice 10th, 11th, and 12th Dhul-Hijjah.

v  Abdullah Ibne Umar (RA) said in the interpretation of this Qur’anic verse(“and recite Allah‘s name in specified days” Surah Al-Hajj, Verse: 28) that the “specified Days” mean Yaum-un-Nahar (10th Dhul-Hijjah) and the two days after it (Tafseer Ibne Abi Haatim al Razi Volume 6, Page 261).

v  Salma Bin Akwa’ (RA) narrates that the Prophet (PBUH) said: If a person offers sacrifice, so there must not be any sacrificed meat left in his home after the third day.” (Sahih Bukhari, Baab Ma Yukalu Min Luhumil Azaahi). It is taken from this Hadeeth that there are just three days for sacrifice, so, when the sacrificed meat in not allowed to be kept on the fourth day, then how there would be the permission to sacrifice the whole animal?

v 

EXPLANATION: In the early days of Islam, it was not allowed to keep the sacrificed meat after three days. Later, it was permitted that it can be kept even after three days (Mustadrak Hakim Volume 4, Page 259). No one should misunderstand from this, that if it is allowed now to keep the sacrificed meat after three days, so we can sacrifice after three days, as the sacrificed meat can be kept for the whole year, so can we offer the sacrifice the whole year too? Never! It was never allowed to sacrifice after the third day and the order is still the same.

Ali (RA) is also reported to have said the same that there are just three days of sacrifice. (Mu’atta Malik, Kitabuz Zahaya).

Abdullah Bin Abbas (RA) says that the days of sacrifice are 10th Dhul-Hijjah and two days after it. However, it is preferable to sacrifice on the first day (i.e. 10th Dhul-Hijjah) (Ahkaam-ul-Qur’an Lit-Tahawi, Volume 2, Page 205).

Explanation: Some scholars are of the opinion on the basis of this Hadeeth of Musnad Ahmed (sacrifice is in all the days of Tashreeq), that if a person was unable to sacrifice till 12th Dhul-Hijjah, he can offer the sacrifice on the 13th Dhul-Hijjah. But Imam Abu Hanifa (RA), Imam Malik and Imam Ahmed bin Hanbal (RA) have explained in the light of the above justifications that sacrifice can be offered in only three specified days. Imam Ahmed bin Hanbal (RA) had himself explained about the stated Hadeeth in his book that this is a weak Hadeeth. And, the rule of the Hadeeth is, that we cannot prove any commandment from a weak Hadeeth. Imam Ahmed bin Hanbal (RA) has written that many companions (RA) for example Abdullah bin Umar (RA) and Abdullah bin Abbas (RA) had the same opinion. It is also safe to consider this, that the days of the sacrifice should be limited to only three days because it is also not proved from Prophet (PBUH) or any of his companions (RA) to sacrifice on 13th Dhul-Hijjah.

The person who has to sacrifice should neither clip nails nor trim hair:

Mother of the faithful, Umme Salma (RA) is reported to have said that the Prophet (PBUH) said: “When the month of Dhul-Hijjah starts and whoever intends to offer the sacrifice should not trim his hair or nails.” (Sahih Muslim). In the light of this Hadeeth and other Ahadeeth, it is Mustahab (desirable) for the person who has to sacrifice that they should not trim his hair of any part of his body and should not trim his nails after the sighting of the moon of Dhul-Hijjah. Therefore, if he needs to trim his hair or nails, he should do so in the end of Dhul-Qa’da.

Mohammad Najeeb Qasmi (www.najeebqasmi.com)