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Eid

How many Takbeerat do you make in the Eid Salat?

Questions & Answers

Takbeeraat of ‘Eid

 

Take my Salaam… I am a Sunni Muslim. In the prayer of the Eid I always give extra six takbeer. But some of my friends asked me  why do I do so. I told them that I have learnt from my father. But in case of Islam every rule has the basis of Qur’an and Hadeeth. They told me that there is no authentic evidence for giving extra six takbir in the Salat of Eid. They show me a Hadeeth of ‘Abu Daud Sharif’ that the number of extra takbeer is twelve. Then I am puzzled and want a solution. 

Badruddin, Bangladesh

 You are correct in making six extra takbeeraat. With regard to the number of extra takbeeraat in the Eid salâh, there is legitimate difference of opinion among the scholars. There is no one narration of hadeeth in this matter which can be considered as unquestionably more authentic than the others. Thus, Imam Shawkâni recorded ten different practices of the salaf (pious predescessors).

 The following is a summary of relevant sections from the discussion in several books of fiqh:

Imâm Shâfi’i holds that there are 12 extra takbeeraat – 7 in the first ra’kah, and 5 in the second. In both of the rak’ât, the takbeeraat are said before the recitation. A hadeethin this regard is narrated by Tirmidhi on the authority of Hadrat ‘Amr bin ‘Awf Muzni .

Imâm Mâlik and Imâm Hanbal hold that there are 11 extra takbeeraat – 6 only in the first rak’ah and 5 in the second, also said before the recitation. They similarly base this ruling on the ahâdeeth such as that narrated by Imâm Mâlik, Tirmidhi and Abu Dawood, but they consider the takbeer-e-tahreemah to be included in the initial seven – thus, there are only 6 extra takbeeraataccording to them.

The opinion of the Hanafiyyah is that there are 6 extra takbeeraat – 3 in the first rak’ah before the recitation, and 3 in the second rak’ah after the recitation of Qur’ân. (Fiqh-us-Sunnah)

The following are proofs of the Hanafi method:

In Sunan Abi Dawood it is narrated from Makhool, who said, “Abu ‘Âishah informed me that Sa’eed ibn al-‘Aas asked Abu Mûsâ al-Ash’ari and Hudhayfah ibn al-Yamaan how the Messenger of Allâh used to perform the takbeer in the (‘Eid of) al-Adhâ and al-Fitr. Abu Mûsâ said, ‘He used to perform 4 takbeeraat (in each rak’ah), just as in the janâzah (funeral prayer).’ Hadrat Hudhayfah confirmed this and Hadrat Abu Mûsâ said, ‘That is how I used to perform the takbeeraat in Basrah for as long as I lived there.’” In this hadeeth, the four takbeerat in the first rak’ah include the takbeer-e-tahreemah and in the second rak’ah, they include the takbeerfor bowing down into rukû’.

The second proof of the Hanafi method is the recorded practice of Hadrat Ibn ‘Abbâs , Mugheerah ibn Shu’bah , ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ood , and others of the Sahâbah. Also, a large number of the Tâbi’een followed this method. (As recorded in Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah, see Dars-e-Tirmidhi for citations.) For example, Sufyân ath-Thawri relates from Abi Ishâq, from ‘Alqamah and al-Aswad that: Ibn Mas’ood used to make 9 takbeeraat in the ‘Eid prayers; 4 before the recitation (i.e. including the takbeer-e-tahreemah), then he would say takbeer and perform rukû’. And in the second rak’ah, he would recite (the Qur’ân), then when he finished he would make 4 takbeeraat (including the one for going into rukû’), and then he would bow down. This hadeeth is recorded by Abdur-Razaaq in his Musannaf and its chain of narration is authentic. (see I’lâ-us-Sunan).

A third piece of evidence is the following narration from Ibraheem al-Nakha’i as recorded in Sharh Ma’âni al-Âthâr: The Messenger of Allâh passed away and the people were of different opinions regarding the takbeeraat of the janâzah (funeral prayer). … (after some part of the narration, he continues) … They remained in this state until Abu Bakr passed away. When ‘Umar assumed responsibility of leadership, he saw the differences of the people in this matter and it was unbearable for him. So he sent for some of the Companions of the Prophet and said to them, “O you assembly of the companions of the Messenger of Allâh ! As long as you have differences among the people, they will differ after you. And when you come together (i.e. form ijmâ – consensus) on a matter, the people after you will have a consensus. So look for a way to come to a consensus in this matter.” And it was as if he had awakened them and they said, “Yes! What do you think (about this matter), O Ameer-ul-Mu’mineen? Advise us!” ‘Umar said, “Nay, you must advise me (i.e. give me shurâ) for truly I am a mortal like yourselves.” So the issue was turned to them and they came to consensus that the takbeeraat of the janâ’iz should be as the takbeeraat of the Adha and Fitr: four takbeeraat (i.e. including the takbeer-e-tahreemah, etc.). So this issue was settled with that consensus.

This narration shows that by the time of Hadrat ‘Umar , the issue of the number of takbeeraat in Eidhad been settled (along with the funeral prayer) to be four – i.e. three extra in each rak’ah.

Again, with regard to the various narrations, there are differences of opinion as to the authenticity and reliability of their narrators. As Imam Hanbal said, “There is nothing related from the Prophet about the takbeeraat of ‘Eid that is an absolutely authentic (saheeh) hadeeth.” The difference of opinions in this matter is therefore legitimate and it is only a matter of which is the best practice to follow. The fuqahaa have stated that one may follow whatever method one’s imâm for the ‘Eid prayer practices, up to even 13 or 16 extra takbeeraat. (Dars-e-Tirmidhi)

Imâm Muhammad ibn al-Hasan ash-Shaybâni – the famous student of Imâm Abu Haneefah – says in his narration of Muwatta Imâm Mâlik: “The people have differed concerning the saying of Allâhu akbar in the two ‘Eids. Whatever you choose of that is fine. The best of it, in our opinion, is what has been related from Ibn Mas’ood , that he would pronounce Allâhu akbar in every ‘Eid nine times: five and four, including in them the takbeers for beginning the prayer, and on bowing. He would make the two recitations close to each other, placing it last in the first [rak’ah] and first in the second [rak’ah]. That is the verdict of Abu Haneefah.”

The practice of raising the hands with each of the extra takbeeraat has not been narrated directly from the Prophet . However, this practice has been definitely established from Hadrat ‘Umar and his son, ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar (Recorded in Naylul-Awtaar). The Mâlikiyyah hold that such a practice is makrooh, while the other a’immah hold that it is sunnah – since the Sahâbah would not engage in such a practice unless they had seen Rasulullâhperforming it.

References:

I’lâ-us-Sunan, Muhaddith Dhafar Ahmad Uthmâni at-Thanawi, Volume 8. (Idara-tul-Qur’ân wal-Uloom-il-Islâmiyyah, Karachi)

Dars-e-Tirmidhi, Maulana Muhammad Taqi Uthmâni, Volume 2. (Maktabah Darul Uloom, Karachi)

The Muwatta of Imam Muhammad, English trans. Mohammed Abdurrahman and Abdassamad Clarke. (Turath Publishing, London)

Fiqh-us-Sunnah, Muhammad ‘Âsim al-Haddâd. (Markazi Maktabah Islami Publishers, New Delhi)

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What can you tell me about the Eid Salat?

Status of Eid prayer in Islam

The Eid Prayer is wajib (obligatory) according to the majority of scholars. The Prophet (peace be upon him) performed it consistently and commanded all the people to go out for it.

He (peace be upon him) even specifically commanded all of the women to attend; Umm `Atiyyah (may Allah be please with her) narrated that the Prophet (peace be upon him) commanded:

Let the free women, the virgins, and the menstruating women go out to attend the Eid prayer, and witness the good and the supplications of the believers. As for the menstruating women, they should stay away from the musalla. (i.e., should not participate in the prayer itself).

Sheikhul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah said:

“… Thus we lean towards the opinion that Salatul-Eid is fard `Ayn (individual obligation) on each individual. This is the opinion of Abu Hanifah and others, and is one of the two reported opinions of ash-Shafi`i and of the school of Ahmad.
The opinion held by some people, that it is not wajib, it is extremely unlikely, because it is one of the greatest rites of Islam; more people gather for it than for Friday; and the Takbir has been legislated for its sake. The opinion of those who say that it is fard kifayah (communal obligation) is unjustified…”

Ash-Shawkani said:

“Note that the Prophet (peace be upon him) consistently performed this prayer on every Eid, never neglecting it. He commanded the people to go out for it; he even commanded the free women, the virgins, and the menstruating women to go out, instructing the latter to refrain from praying, in order for all of them to witness this good and the Muslims’ supplications. He (peace be upon him) further commanded the woman who did not own a jilbab (outer overall garment for women) to borrow her friend’s.
All of this proves that this prayer is wajib on every individual, not only a kifayah obligation. Commanding the people to go out for it entails the command to perform the prayer (for those who have no excuse). This is the content of his (peace be upon him) address, because going out is a means for performing the prayer (an end); if the means is obligatory, then the end is. And this obligation applies to men even more so that women.
Further evidence is that it overrides the Friday prayer when both occur on the same day. That which is not wajib cannot override that which is.
Furthermore, it is confirmed that the Prophet (peace be upon him) performed it consistently in Jama`ah (congregation) from the time that it was legislated until he died. To this is added his command to people to go out for it.”

Commenting on the Hadith of Umm `Atiyyah, our sheikh al-Albani states:

“The Prophet’s (peace be upon him) command mentioned here indicates obligation; when it is wajib to go out for it, it is wajib to pray it, because of its higher priority. Thus the truth is that it is an obligation – not a mere recommendation.” 
No sunnah prayer before or after the Eid prayer 

No sunnah prayer may precede or follow the Eid prayer – except if it is performed in a masjid instead of the musalla, in which case one must pray two Rak`at before sitting down. Ibn `Abbas narrated:

“The Prophet (peace be upon him) went out (of his house) on the day of Fitr, prayed two Rak`at, and did not pray before or after it.”

Ibnul-Qayyim said:

“Neither he (peace be upon him) nor his companions prayed when they arrived at the musalla – before the prayer or after it.”

And Ibn Hajar said:

“… In short, there is no confirmed sunnah prayer before or after the Eid prayer – contrary to those who compare it to the Jumu`ah prayer.”

But it is confirmed from Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri that:

“The Prophet (peace be upon him) would not pray at all before the Eid prayer; but when he returned to his house, he prayed.”

Al-Albani commented on this:

“So the negation of praying before and after the Eid prayer refers only to praying at the musalla.” 
Time of the Eid prayer

`Abdullah Bin Busr (may Allah be please with him) went out with some people to pray on a Fitr or Adha morning. He expressed his disapproval of the imam’s delay of the prayer beyond the time of tasbih, and said:

“We (at the time of the Prophet (peace be upon him)) used to be finished with the prayer by now.”

This is the most authentic report regarding this issue. There are other reports, but are not confirmed in terms of their chains of narrators. Ibnul-Qayyim said:

“The Prophet (peace be upon him) delayed the prayer of Eidul-Fitr, and was prompt with that of al-Adha. And Ibn `Umar, despite his extreme adherence to the Sunnah, would not go out until the sun had risen.”

Siddiq Hasan Khan said:

“The time of the two Eid prayers is after the sun has reached the height of a spear, and until noon. The consensus of the scholars about this is in agreement with the (related) Hadiths – despite their weakness.”

Abu Bakr al-Jaza’iri said:

“The time of the two Eid’s prayers is after the sun has reached the height of a spear, and until noon. However, it is best to pray al-Adha at the earliest time, to enable the people to slaughter their sacrifices; and is recommended to delay al-Fitr prayer, to enable the people to give out their Sadaqah (zakatul-Fitr).” 

Late report of the crescent sighting


If the day of Eid is not determined until late in the day (past the time of the Eid prayer), then the Eid prayer is held the next day. Abu `Umayr Bin Anas reported that some of his uncles, who were from the Ansar, and who were companions of the Prophet (peace be upon him), told him:

“The crescent of Shawwal was obscure to us. So we continued to fast that morning; later in the day, a group of travelers arrived and testified before Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) that they had seen the hilal (crescent) the previous day; so he (peace be upon him) commanded the people to break their fast on that day, and to go out to the musalla the following morning.” 

No Athan or Iqamah

The Eid prayer is not preceded with Athan or Iqamah. Jabir Bin Samurah reported:

“I prayed the Eid prayer with Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him), on more than one occasion, without Athan or Iqamah.”

Ibn `Abbas and Jabir (may Allah be please with him) said:

“Athan was never given (for the Eid prayer) on the day of Fitr, nor the day of Adha.”

Ibnul-Qayyim said:

“He (peace be upon him) would arrive at the musalla and start the prayer without Athan, Iqamah, or announcing, ‘Congregate for prayer’. The Sunnah is not to do any of that.”

Al-San`ani commented on the above reports:

“This provides evidence that it is not permissible to do that (announcing) for the Eid prayer. So, doing it is a bid`ah (innovation).” 

Description of the Eid prayer

Number of Rak`at

The Eid prayer consists of two Rak`at (full prayer units). `Umar (may Allah be please with him) reported:

“The travelers’ prayer is two Rak`at; the Adha prayer is two Rak`at; the Fitr prayer is two Rak`at; and the Jumu`ah prayer is two Rak`at; this is their full length as came upon the tongue of Muhammad (peace be upon him).”

Beginning It

Like any other deed in Islam, the prayer must be preceded with the true intention. The intention should be present in the heart before starting the prayer.

Like any other prayer, the first rak`ah (one prayer unit) must be started with Takbirul-ihram; this is followed by the opening supplication.

Additional Takbirs

The opening supplication is followed by seven Takbirs in the first rak`ah. Likewise, the Takbir when rising to the second rak`ah is followed by five more Takbirs. `A’ishah (may Allah be please with her) said:

“Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) would say Takbir in both Fitr and Adha: seven in the first, and five in the second – other than the two Takbirs of ruku` (bowing).”

Imam al-Baghawi commented:

“This is the opinion of most of the people of knowledge among the Companions and those after them: to say, before reciting Quran, in the first rak`ah of the Eid prayer, seven Takbirs other than the opening Takbir, and in the second, five Takbirs other than the Takbir of rising. This has been reported from Abu Bakr, `Umar, `Alee, and others.”

The Sunnah is to say the Takbirs before the recitation, as in the Hadith of `Amr Bin Shu`ayb, from his father, from his grandfather (Ibn `Umar may Allah be please with him), who said:

“In the Eid prayer, Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) said seven Takbirs in the first rak`ah, recited (Quran), said the Takbir and bowed, prostrated himself; then he stood, said five Takbirs, recited, said Takbir, bowed, and prostrated.”

Ibnul-Qayyim commented that anything contrary to this is not true.

There are no authentic reports describing whether or not the Prophet (peace be upon him) raised his hands with these additional Takbirs. For this reason, al-Albani states:

“The reports from `Umar and his son do not make this a sunnah. Especially when we know that these reports are not authentic. As for the one from `Umar, it is recorded by al-Bayhaqi with a weak chain. As for his son’s, I have not been able to locate it now.”

However, based on various general Hadiths that report the raising of the hands with Takbir in the regular prayers, some scholars allow raising the hands with these additional Takbirs. In this regard, Ibnul-Qayyim said:

“Ibn `Umar, who is known to adhere closely to the Sunnah, used to raise his hands with every one of the Takbirs.”

And al-Albani commented on a similar issue:

“One may raise his hands if he believes that Ibn `Umar would not do this without an approval from the Prophet (peace be upon him).”

There are no authentic reports indicating that the people would raise their voice with Takbir when praying behind the imam. The Sunnah is to say all dhikr secretly, except in specific cases where the contrary was confirmed. This is enforced further in situations where raising the voice would disturb other people’s prayer. Therefore, it is not permissible for anyone other than the imam to raise the voice with Takbir in the prayer.

There is no dhikr (mention of Allah) confirmed from the Prophet (peace be upon him) between the Eid Takbirs. But it is reported that Ibn Mas`ood (may Allah be please with him) said:

“Between every two Takbirs is a praise of Allah and a salah upon the Prophet (peace be upon him).”

Ibnul-Qayyim said:

“The Prophet (peace be upon him) used to remain silent between every two Takbirs, and nothing is reported from him regarding dhikr between them.”

The Takbir is a sunnah (recommended act). Leaving it, whether intentionally or forgetfully, does not invalidate the prayer. There is no difference of opinion on this among the scholars. However, there is no doubt that anyone who neglects it intentionally would be violating the sunnah of the Prophet (peace be upon him).

The Recitation

After the Takbirs, one should utter ta`awwuth and basmalah.

This is followed by reciting al-Fatihah, which is a required pillar in every rak`ah of every prayer.

This is followed by reciting Surat Qaaf (50) in the first rak`ah, and Sooratul-Qamar (54) in the second.

Alternatively, one may recite: Suratul-A`laa (87) in the first, and Sooratul-Ghashiyah (88) in the second.

Ibnul-Qayyim said:

“Both of these have been authentically reported from the action of the Prophet (peace be upon him). Nothing else is authentic.”

There is surely wisdom in reciting these particular surahs in Eid. Some of this has been discussed by scholars like an-Nawawi and ash-Shawkani.

The Remainder Of The Prayer

The remainder of the Eid prayer is performed in the same manner as any other prayer, without any difference.
Missing The Eid Prayer

If one misses the Eid prayer in Jama`ah, he must pray two Rak`at. Imam al-Bukhari headed a section as, “Section: One Who Misses the Eid Prayer Should Pray Two Rak`at.” And he added that `Ata’ said:

“When one misses the Eid prayer, he prays two Rak`at.”

Al-Hafiz Bin Hajar commented on this:

“In this title are two important points:

The permission to make up the Eid prayer for the one who misses praying it with the Jama`ah – whether that happened by compulsion or choice.

That it is made-up as two Rak`at.”

Waliyyullah ad-Dahlawi said:

“This is the opinion of ash-Shafi`i – that if one misses the prayer with the imam, he should pray two Rak`at in order to at least attain the virtue of performing the Eid prayer, despite the fact that he missed the virtue of praying it in Jama`ah with the imam.
As for the Hanafis, there is no make-up for the Eid prayer. If one misses it with the imam, he has totally missed it.”

Imam Malik said:

“In my opinion, anyone who prays the Eid prayer individually, whether man or woman, should say seven Takbirs in the first rak`ah, before recitation, and five in the second, before recitation.”

And Ibn Qudamah said:

“The one who comes late to the Eid prayer should perform what he missed according to the way that he missed it. This is true for any prayer.” 

The Eid Khutbah

Its Time

The sunnah for the khutbah (speech) is to follow the Eid prayer. Ibn `Abbas (may Allah be please with him) said:

“I attended the Eid with Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him), Abu Bakr, `Umar, and `Uthman (may Allah be please with him); all of them would pray before the khutbah.”

Ibn `Umar (may Allah be please with him) said:

“The Prophet (peace be upon him), Abu Bakr, and `Umar prayed the Eid (prayers) before the khutbah.”

Al-Bukhari headed these Hadiths with the title, “The Chapter on Holding the khutbah after the Eid Prayer.” Waliyyullah ad-Dahlawi commented on this by saying:

“He means that this (performing the prayer before the khutbah) was the sunnah of Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him), and the practice of the Righteous Khulafa’ (Successors, may Allah be please with him) after him. The change that came later (switching the khutbah and the prayer) is an innovation done by Marwan.”

This is stated clearly by Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri (may Allah be please with him) who said:

“On the day of al-Fitr and al-Adha, the Prophet (peace be upon him) used to go out (from his house) to the musalla, and the first thing that he did was perform the prayer. Then he turned around and stood facing the people, while they were sitting in their rows. He admonished, advised, and commanded them.
After that, if he wished to send an expedition, or give some orders, he would do so; then he would depart.
The people followed this tradition until I went out with Marwan, when he was the amir (ruler) of al-Madinah, for the prayer of Eidul-Adha or Eidul-Fitr. When he reached the musalla, I found a minbar (raised steps to address people from), which was built by Kathir Bin as-Salt. Marwan started to mount the minbar before the prayer. I grabbed his shirt, but he yanked it back, ascended the minbar, and delivered the khutbah before the prayer. I said to him, ‘By Allah, you have changed (the sunnah).’ He replied, ‘O Abu Sa’eed, that which you know is gone!’ I said, ‘By Allah, that which I know is better than that which I do not.’ So he explained, ‘People would not sit to listen when it was after the prayer, so I made it before it.’ ”

Imam at-Tirmithi commented:

“This is the acceptable practice among the people of knowledge among the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) companions and others: that the Eid prayer should precede the khutbah. It is reported that the first one to offer the khutbah before the prayer was Marwan Bin al-Hakam.”

Takbir At The Beginning Of The Khutbah?

Some imams start this khutbah with Takbir. This does not have any basis in the Sunnah. There is a weak Hadith that some people use as their evidence. Al-Albani said in this regard:

“The Hadith reported from Sa`dul-Qarz that, “The Prophet (peace be upon him) would say Takbir often during his khutbah, and he said it more often during the Eid khutbahs.” – is a weak Hadith. Besides, it does not indicate starting the khutbah with Takbir, but only that he used to say it frequently during it.”

Thus, this khutbah, like any other one, should be started with praising and glorifying Allah. Ibnul-Qayyim said:

“Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) used to begin all of his khutbahs with al-hamdu lillah. Not even one authentic Hadith indicates that he started the Eid’s khutbah with Takbir.”

One Or Two Khutbahs?

There is no authentic Hadith indicating that the Eid khutbah is to be divided into two parts separated with a sitting (as for Jumu`ah). The only report in this regard is very weak.

Thus, the khutbah should be kept as one unit, which is consistent with the original understanding and practice.

Standing On A Minbar?

It is not permissible to bring out a minbar to the musalla or to build a fixed one. This follows from the above mentioned Hadith of Abu Sa’eed (may Allah be please with him) where he said, “… Then he (peace be upon him) turned around and stood facing the people, while they were sitting in their rows. He admonished, advised, and commanded them,” which makes it clear that he did not mount a minbar. Also, he (May Allah be please with him) said to Marwan, “By Allah, you have changed (the Sunnah).” His objection here refers to two things: building the minbar, and delivering the khutbah before the prayer.

Also, Jabir Bin `Abdillah (may Allah be please with him) reported:

“I witnessed with Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) the prayer on an Eid day. He started with the prayer, before the khutbah, without Athan or Iqamah. Then he stood, leaning on Bilal, and commanded people to fear Allah…”

This clearly indicates that he was not standing on a minbar during the khutbah.

Listening To The Khutbah

Attending the khutbah is not wajib, as is the case for attending the prayer. `Abdullah Bin as-Sa’ib reported that he attended the Eid with the Prophet (peace be upon him); and when he (peace be upon him) finished the prayer, he said:

We shall have a khutbah; so let whoever wishes to sit for the khutbah do so, and whoever wishes to leave.

Ibnul-Qayyim commented:

“He (peace be upon him) gave choice for those who attended the Eid to either sit for the khutbah or leave.” 

When Eid falls on Friday

If the Eid occurs on a Friday, it becomes optional for men to attend the Jumu`ah prayer. Abu Hurayrah reported that, on such occurrence, Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) said:

Two Eids have coincided on this day of yours; thus, whoever wishes is exempted from attending the Jumu`ah prayer. Yet, we shall hold it.

And Iyas Bin Abi Ramlah ash-Shami said:

“I witnessed Mu`awiyah Bin Abi Sufyan asking Zayd Bin Arqam, ‘Were you with Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) when one of the Eids and Friday occurred on the same day?’ He said, ‘Yes.’ He asked, ‘What did he do?’ He answered, ‘He (peace be upon him) performed the Eid prayer, then gave the option concerning Jumu`ah, saying, Let whoever wishes to pray it do so.”

This is the way of the companions (May Allah be please with him). For example, it is reported that on such occasion `Alee (May Allah be please with him) said:

“Let the one who wishes to come for Jumu`ah do so, and the one who wishes to sit do so.”

A similar report is recorded by al-Bukhari in his Sahih regarding `Uthman (May Allah be please with him). It is also reported that `Abdullah Bin az-Zubayr (May Allah be please with him) said:

“These are two Eids that have come together on one day. Their coincidence makes them one (Eid).”

Then he prayed on that Friday two Rak`at in the morning as Eidul-Fitr prayer, and did not pray anymore until he prayed the `Asr prayer.

Ash-Shawkani commented on this report:

“The apparent understanding from this is that he did not pray zuhr. And that if the Jumu`ah prayer is cancelled for any acceptable reason, then the one for whom it was cancelled is not required to pray zuhr. This is the opinion of `Ata’…”

Referring to the above reports and other similar ones from `Umar and Ibn `Abbas (may Allah be please with him), Ibn Taymiyyah concluded:

“The scholars have three different opinions (in this regard):

That one is still obliged to pray the Jumu`ah – whether or not he prayed the Eid. This is the opinion of Malik and others.

That the Jumu`ah becomes optional for the people of the suburbs and villages. This was practiced by `Uthman (may Allah be please with him), and ash-Shafi`i took up this opinion.

That the Jumu`ah becomes optional for whomever prayed the Eid. However, the imam is required to establish the Jumu`ah, so that those who wish to attend it can do so…

This is what has been authentically reported from Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) and his successors and Sahabah (may Allah be please with him), and is the opinion of the later scholars who learned of these reports, such as Imam Ahmad. Those who disagreed with him did not learn about these Hadiths and reports.”

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What is the Sunnah for Eid?

The Sunnah of Eid

  1. Wake up early. 
  2. Prepare for personal cleanliness, take care of details of clothing, etc. 
  3. Take a Ghusl (bath) after Fajr.
  4. Brush your teeth.
  5. Dress up, putting on best clothes available, whether new or cleaned old ones. 
  6. Use perfume (men only). 
  7. Have breakfast on Eid ul-Fitr before leaving for prayer ground. On Eid ul-Adha, eat breakfast after Salaat or after sacrifice if you are doing a sacrifice. 
  8. Pay Zakaat ul-Fitr before Salaat ul-Eid (on Eid ul-Fitr). 
  9. Go to prayer ground early. 
  10. Offer Salaat ul-Eid in congregation in an open place except when whether is not permitting like rain, snow, etc. 
  11. Use two separate route to and from the prayer ground. 
  12. Recite the following Takbir on the way to Salaat and until the beginning of Salaat ul-Eid. On Eid ul-Adha, Takbir starts from Maghrib on the 9th Zdilhijjah and last until the Asr on the 12th Zdilhijjah: Allahu-Akber, Allahu-Akber. La ila-ha ill-lal-lah. Allahu-Akber, Allahu-Akber. Wa-lilahill hamd. (Allah is greater, Allah is greater. There is no god but Allah. Allah is greater, Allah is greater. And all praises are for Allah).

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If countries differ with regard to when Ramadaan begins and when the day of ‘Arafah is, with whom should I fast?

Praise be to Allaah.

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) was asked: what if the day of ‘Arafah is different because of the moon being sighted at different times in different countries? Should we fast according to the moon sighting in the country where we are or according to the moon sighting in al-Haramayn (the two Holy Sanctuaries)?

He replied: This is based on a difference of opinion among the scholars: Is there only one moon sighting for the whole world or does it vary according to when the moon rises in different places?

The correct view is that it varies according to when the moon rises in different places. For example, if the moon is sighted in Makkah, and today is the ninth, and it is sighted elsewhere one day before Makkah, and the day of ‘Arafah in Makkah is the tenth for them, it is not permissible for them to fast on this day because it is Eid. Similarly if it so happens that they sight the moon after Makkah, and the 9th in Makkah is the 8th for them, then they should fast the day that is the 9th for them, which is the 10th in Makkah. This is the correct view, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “When you see it (the new moon) fast and when you see it break your fast.” Those who did not see the moon in their own location have not seen it. Just as people are unanimously agreed that the times for dawn and sunset vary according to their own location, so too the months are also worked out by location, just like the daily timings.

Majmoo’ al-Fataawa, 20.

And he (may Allaah have mercy on him) was asked about some people who worked in the Saudi embassy in a foreign country, who said that they were having a problem concerning the fast of Ramadaan and the fast on the day of ‘Arafah. The brothers there had split into three groups:

One group said: we will fast with Saudi and break the fast with Saudi.

Another group said: we will fast with the country where we are living and break the fast with them.

The last group said: we will fast Ramadaan with the country where we are living, but we will fast the day of ‘Arafah with Saudi.

They asked the Shaykh to provide them with a detailed answer concerning the Ramadaan fast and fasting the day of ‘Arafah, whilst noting that for the past five years, in the country where they were living neither Ramadaan nor the day of ‘Arafah had been observed on the same days as in Saudi; their Ramadaan started one or two days after it had been announced in Saudi, and sometimes three days after.

He replied:

In the name of Allaah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

The scholars (may Allaah have mercy on them) differed concerning the issue when the moon is sighted in one part of the Muslim world and not in another: do all the Muslims have to act on the basis of that, or only those who sighted it and the people who live in the same region, or only those who sighted it and the people who live under the same government? There are many different points of view.

The most correct view is that the matter should be referred to those who have knowledge of it. If the moon rises at the same point for two countries they become like one country, so if it is sighted in one of them that ruling applies to the other. But if the rising points differ, then each country has its own ruling. This is the view favoured by Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on him); this is the apparent meaning of the texts of the Qur’aan and Sunnah and what is implied by analogy.

In the Qur’aan it says (interpretation of the meaning):

“So whoever of you sights (the crescent on the first night of) the month (of Ramadan i.e. is present at his home), he must observe Sawm (fasts) that month, and whoever is ill or on a journey, the same number [of days which one did not observe Sawm (fasts) must be made up] from other days. Allaah intends for you ease, and He does not want to make things difficult for you. (He wants that you) must complete the same number (of days), and that you must magnify Allaah [i.e. to say Takbeer (Allaahu Akbar: Allaah is the Most Great)] for having guided you so that you may be grateful to Him”

[al-Baqarah 2:185]

What is implied by this verse is that whoever does not see it is not obliged to fast.

In the Sunnah, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “When you see it (the new moon) then fast, and when you see it, break your fast.” What is implied by this hadeeth is that if we did not see it we are not obliged to fast or to break the fast.

With regard to analogy, the times for starting and ending the fast each day should be worked out in each country on its own, according to the local times of sunrise and sunset. This is a point on which there is scholarly consensus. So you see the people in east Asia starting their fast before the people of west Asia, and breaking their fast before them, because dawn breaks for the former before the latter, and the sun sets for the former before the latter.

Once this is established with regard to the times for starting and ending the daily fast, it also applies to the start and end of the monthly fast. There is no difference between them.

But if many regions come under the same government, and the ruler gives the command for the fast to start or end, then his command must be followed, because this is a matter of scholarly dispute but the command of the ruler dispels that dispute.

Based on the above, you should fast and break your fast along with the people of the country where you are living, whether that is in accordance with your country of origin or not. Similarly on the day of ‘Arafah you should follow the country where you are living.

Written by Muhammad al-Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen, 28/8/1420 AH.

Majmoo’ al-Fataawa, 19.

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What are the stipulations on the animal used for sacrifice?

There are six conditions for the udhiyah: 

-1- 

It should be one of the an’aam class of animals, which are: camels, cattle, sheep and goats, because Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“And for every nation We have appointed religious ceremonies, that they may mention the Name of Allaah over the beast of cattle that He has given them for food”

[al-Hajj 22:34] 

Baheemat al-an’aam (translated here as “beast of cattle”) includes camels, cattle and sheep. This is what is well known among the Arabs, and this was the view of al-Hasan, Qataadah and others. 

-2- 

It should have reached the age stipulated in sharee’ah, which is six months  for a sheep and the age at which the animal is considered to be an adult for any other animal, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Do not sacrifice anything but an adult animal, unless it is difficult for you, in which case you may slaughter a six-month old lamb (jadh’ah).” Narrated by Muslim. 

A mature animal means one that is considered to be an adult.  
In the case of camels it means one that is five years old. 
For cattle, it means one that is two years old. 
For sheep it means one that is a year old. 

The jadh’ah is that which is half a year old. So it is not correct to sacrifice a camel, cow or goat that has not yet reached maturity, or a sheep that is less than six months old. 

-3-  

It should be free of any faults that would render it unsuitable for sacrifice, of which there are four: 

  1. An obvious defect in one eye, such as when the eye is sunken in its socket, or when it sticks out like a button, or is white and obviously defective. 
  2. Obvious sickness, whose symptoms are clearly apparent in the animal, such as fever that prevents it from grazing and causes loss of appetite; mange that obviously affects its flesh or its health; deep wounds that affect its health, and so on. 
  3. Obvious lameness, which prevents the animal from walking normally. 
  4. Emaciation that leaves no marrow in the bones, when the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was asked about what should be avoided in udhiyah, he gestured with his hand and said: “Four: a lame animal which is obviously lame, a one-eyed animal whose defect is obvious, a sick animal whose sickness is obvious, and an emaciated animal that no one would choose.” Narrated by Maalik in al-Muwatta’ from the hadeeth of al-Bara’ ibn ‘Aazib. According to a hadeeth narrated from him in al-Sunan, he said: “The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) stood up among us and said: ‘There are four which are not permissible for sacrifice,’” and he mentioned something similar. Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Irwa’ al-Ghaleel, 1148. 

These four faults render an animal unsuitable for sacrifice, and they include similar faults or more severe faults. So the following animals are also unsuitable for sacrifice: 

  1. One that is blind in both eyes.
  2. One that has eaten more than it can stand, until the danger has passed.
  3. One that has encountered difficulty in giving birth, until all danger has passed.
  4. One that has suffered something that could kill it, such as strangulation or a fall from high place, until the danger has passed.
  5. One that is unable to walk because of a defect.
  6. One that has had one of its forelegs or hind legs cut off. 

If these are added to the four defects mentioned in the text, the number of those that cannot be offered as sacrifices reaches ten – these six and the four mentioned above. 

-4- 

The animal should belong to the person who is offering the sacrifice, or he should have permission for that either on the grounds of sharee’ah or from the owner. The sacrifice is not valid if the animal slaughtered does not belong to the person who is sacrificing it, such as one that has been taken by force, stolen, or taken on the basis of a false claim, etc, because it is not permissible to draw closer to Allaah by means of sin. A sacrifice offered by the guardian of an orphan from the orphan’s property is valid if that is customary and if he feels sad about not offering a sacrifice. 

A sacrifice offered by a guardian from the property of the person under his care is valid, if done with permission. 

-5- 

No one else should have any rights to the sacrificial animal; the sacrifice of an animal that is held in pledge is not valid. 

-6- 

It should be slaughtered at the time specified in sharee’ah, which is from after the Eid prayer on the Day of Sacrifice until sunset on the last of the days of al-Tashreeq, which is the 13th of Dhu’l-Hijjah. So the days when the sacrificed may be offered are four: the day of Eid after the prayer, and the three days after that. Whoever slaughters it before the Eid prayer is over, or after sun sets on the 13th of Dhu’l-Hijjah, his sacrifice is not valid, because of the hadeeth narrated by al-Bukhaari from al-Bara’ ibn ‘Aazib (may Allaah be pleased with him), according to which the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever slaughters (his sacrifice) before the prayer, it is meat that he has brought to his family, but that is not the sacrifice.” And he narrated that Jundub ibn Sufyaan al-Bajali (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: “I heard the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) saying, ‘Whoever slaughters the sacrifice before he prays, let him replace it with another.’” And it was narrated that Nubayshah al-Hadhali (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: “The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: ‘The days of al-Tashreeq are the days of eating, drinking and remembering Allaah.’” Narrated by Muslim. 

But if he has an excuse for delaying it beyond the days of Tashreeq, such as if the animal ran away, without there being any negligence on his part, and he could not find it until after the time was over, or he appointed someone else to slaughter it and that person forgot until the time was over, then there is nothing wrong with slaughtering it after the appointed time. This is by analogy with the one who sleeps and misses a prayer, or forgets it – he should pray it as soon as he wakes up or remember it. 

It is permissible to slaughter the udhiyah at any time, night or day, but it is better to slaughter it during the day, and it is better to slaughter on the day of Eid after the two khutbahs. Each day is better than the day that follows it, because that means that one is hastening to do good.

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What is meant by udhiyah / qurbani (sacrifice)? Is it obligatory or Sunnah?

Praise be to Allaah.  

The word udhiyah means an animal of the ‘an’aam class (i.e., camel, cow, sheep or goat) that is slaughtered during the days of Eid al-Adha because of the Eid and as an act of worship, intending to draw closer to Allaah thereby. 

This is one of the rituals of Islam prescribed in the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of His Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), and according to the consensus of the Muslims. 

In the Qur’aan:  

1 – Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):  

“Therefore turn in prayer to your Lord and sacrifice (to Him only)” [al-Kawthar 108:2] 

2 – Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“Say (O Muhammad): Verily, my Salaah (prayer), my sacrifice, my living, and my dying are for Allaah, the Lord of the ‘Aalameen (mankind, jinn and all that exists).

He has no partner. And of this I have been commanded, and I am the first of the Muslims” [al-An’aam 6:162] 

The word nusuk (translated here as sacrifice) means sacrifice; this is the view of Sa’eed ibn Jubayr. And it was said that it means all acts of worship, including sacrifice, which is more comprehensive.  

3 – Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“And for every nation We have appointed religious ceremonies, that they may mention the Name of Allaah over the beast of cattle that He has given them for food. And your Ilaah (God) is One Ilaah (God Allaah), so you must submit to Him Alone (in Islam). And (O Muhammad) give glad tidings to the Mukhbitoon [those who obey Allaah with humility and are humble from among the true believers of Islamic Monotheism]” [al-Hajj 22:34] 

In the Sunnah: 

1 – It was narrated in Saheeh al-Bukhaari (5558) and Saheeh Muslim (1966) that Anas ibn Maalik (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: “The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) sacrificed two white rams speckled with black. He slaughtered them with his own hand, said ‘Allaahu akbar’ and put his foot on their necks.” 

2 – It was narrated that ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: “The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) stayed in Madeenah for ten years, offering sacrifice (every year on Eid).” Narrated by Ahmad, 4935; al-Tirmidhi, 1507; classed as hasan by al-Albaani in Mishkaat al-Masaabeeh, 1475. 

3 – It was narrated from ‘Uqbah ibn ‘Aamir (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) shared out sacrificial animals amongst his companions, and ‘Uqbah got a sheep that was six months old. He said, “O Messenger of Allaah, I got a sheep that is six months old.” He said, “Offer it as a sacrifice.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 5547. 

4 – It was narrated from al-Baraa’ ibn ‘Aazib (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever offers a sacrifice after the prayer has completed his rituals (of Eid) and has followed the way of the Muslims.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 5545. 

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) offered sacrifices, as did his companions (may Allaah be pleased with them). And he said that sacrifice is the way of the Muslims. 

Hence the Muslims are unanimously agreed that it is prescribed in Islam, as was narrated by more than one of the scholars. 

But they differed as to whether it is Sunnah mu’akkadah (a confirmed Sunnah) or it is obligatory and it is not permissible to omit it. 

The majority of scholars are of the view that it is Sunnah mu’akkadah. This is the view of al-Shaafa’i, Maalik and Ahmad according to his most well-known view.

Others were of the view that it is obligatory. This is the view of Abu Haneefah and one of the views narrated from Ahmad. This was also the view favoured by Ibn Taymiyah who said: “This is one of the views narrated in the madhhab of Maalik, or it appears to be the view of Maalik.”

From Risaalat Ahkaam al-Udhiyah wa’l-Dhakaah by Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him).

Shaykh Muhammad ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: “Udhiyah is Sunnah mu’akkadah for the one who is able to do it, so a person should offer the sacrifice on behalf of himself and the members of his household.”

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Athan

Why is there an additional phrase in the Fajr Athan?

Questions & Answers

Additional Phrase in Adhan of Fajr

For the past three or four months I have been hearing a lot of Muslims say that the phrase “as-salaatu khayrum-minan-nawm” of the morning adhân is an innovation created by ‘Umar Ibn al-Khattâb (may Allâh be pleased with him). However, I am familiar with a hadîth in which the Messenger of Allâh ordered Bilâl to say this for the Fajr, and forbade him to say it for the ‘Ishâ. Now, the problem is that our library here at the institution is limited and I cannot present this jamaat with my proof. I am hopeful that you can quickly reference this hadîth and/or others like it to help us through this fitnah. Thank you for any assistance you can provide.

D. Mujahid W.

Answer:

   It is related by ‘Abdur-Rahmân ibn Abi Laylâ on the authority of Bilâl  that the Messenger of Allâh  said, “Do not do make tathweeb for any of the prayers except for the Fajr prayer.” [Recorded by Imâm Tirmidhi in his Jâmi’. A similar narration recorded also in Sunan Ibn Mâjah specifically prohibits tathweeb during the ‘Ishâ prayer.]

   As explained by Imâm Tirmidhi himself and by commentators on his collection, the literal meaning of the word tathweeb is ‘an announcement (repeated) after (a prior) announcement.’ In the usage of the Sharî’ah, this word has two technical meanings: one is to say the phrase ‘as-salâtu khayrum-minan-nawm’ (‘the prayer is better than sleep’) after the two ‘hayya ‘ala’s of the adhân. This is limited to the Fajr prayer only and is not permissible in the adhân for other prayers, as mentioned by the hadîth above. (Although Imâm Tirmidhi mentioned weaknesses in the chain of the above hadîth, this ruling is well-supported by more authentic ahâdîth which are quoted below.)

   The second technical meaning of tathweeb is to make a separate call between the adhân and iqâmah, saying something like,

    i.e. “The prayer is gathering! Come to the prayer! etc.” According to the majority of ‘ulamâ, such a practice of making a call besides the adhân and iqâmah is makrûh (reprehensible) and a bid’ah (innovation). Such a practice is not established from the time of the Holy Prophet . However, Imâm Yûsuf mentions that for those who are extremely busy in the affairs of the religion, such as a sultân (leader), mufti, or di (judge), it is permissible to remind them when the time for prayer approaches. In fact, such a practice of reminding someone about the prayer in between the adhân and iqâmah is mubâh (allowed) in itself because the proofs of the Sharî’ah neither forbid it nor order it. However, in some places, people become so particular about this practice that they begin to consider it as having some specific basis in the sunnah, at which point the ‘ulamâ rule it as being an innovation. Thus, there is no harm if due to some necessity, and with the understanding that it is not a particular sunnah, such a form of tathweeb is engaged in.

   As for the first technical meaning of ‘tathweeb’, more ahâdîth establishing the practice are quoted below:

     On the authority of Anas  who said, “It is from the sunnah that when the mu’adhdhin says in the adhân of Fajr, ‘Hayya ‘ala-salâh; Hayya ‘alal-falâh’ he (should then) say ‘As-salâtu khayrum-minan-nawm.’” [Recorded by Ibn Khuzaymah in his Sahîh and by Daruqutni and Bayhaqi in their Sunan and Bayhaqi says its chain is authentic (sahîh).]

    On the authority of Ibn ‘Umar (may Allâh be pleased with both of them), “The call after ‘Hayya ‘alal-falâh’ (in the Fajr prayer) is ‘As-salâtu khayrum-minan-nawm.’” [Recorded by Tabarâni and Bayhaqi with a good (hasan) chain and Ya’muri said its chain is authentic (sahîh).]

    On the authority of ‘Â’ishah (may Allâh be pleased with her), she said, “Bilâl came to the Prophet  to call him for the morning prayer and he found him sleeping so he said, ‘As-salâtu khayrum-minan-nawm’ (i.e. ‘the prayer is better than sleep’). Then it (that phrase) was instituted (i.e. under the approval of the Prophet ) in the adhân of the Fajr.” [Recorded by Tabarâni in his Awsat.]

    These are a few of the narrations in this regard as listed in I’lâ-us-Sunan by Muhaddith Zafar Ahmad ‘Uthmâni.

    It should be clear from the above that the practice of adding the phrase ‘As-salâtu khayrum-minan-nawm’ in the adhân of Fajr is soundly established to be a part of the sunnah of the Holy Prophet . There remains the allegation that it was an innovation of ‘Umar ibn al-Khattâb . This is based upon a misunderstanding of a hadîth recorded by Imâm Mâlik in his Mu’atta:

     On the authority of Mâlik that it reached him that the mu’adhdhin came to ‘Umar ibn al-Khattâb to call him for the morning prayer and he found him sleeping, so he said, ‘As-salâtu khayrum-minan-nawm.’ Thereupon, ‘Umar ordered him to put it (i.e. that phrase) in the call for the morning (prayer).

   As discussed by the commentators on this hadîth: There is some difficulty on understanding this statement of ‘Umar  because the inclusion of this phrase in the morning adhân has been established by numerous narrations from the Holy Prophet  and, being a continuous, common practice from that time onwards, it is not possible to think that ‘Umar  would have not known about it. The most reasonable explanation is that he (‘Umar ) meant that the proper usage of this phrase is only in the adhân for the Fajr, not at the ameer’s door. (The practice of tathweeb in the second technical meaning discussed at the beginning had become prevalent in the time of ‘Umar’s  khilâfah.)

   And Allâh knows best.

 References:

  Dars-e-Tirmidhi (commentary on Jami’ Tirmidhi). Maulânâ Muhammad Taqi ‘Uth­mâ­ni.
  Ma’ârif-us-Sunan (commentary on Jami’ Tirmidhi). Muhaddith Muhammad Yûsuf al-Binnori.
  I’lâ-us-Sunan. Muhaddith Allâmah Zafar Ahmad ‘Uthmâni.
  Awjaz-ul-Masâlik ilâ Mu’atta’ Mâlik. Shaykh-ul-Hadîth Maulâna Muhammad Zakariyyâ (Kandhalvi) Muhâjir-e-Madani.

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Occasions

Special Occasions

What is the significance of the month of Muharram?

Praise be to Allaah.  The month of Muharram is the first month of the Arabic year, and it is one of the four sacred months of Allaah. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“Verily, the number of months with Allaah is twelve months (in a year), so was it ordained by Allaah on the Day when He created the heavens and the earth; of them four are Sacred (i.e. the 1st, the 7th, the 11th and the 12th months of the Islamic calendar). That is the right religion, so wrong not yourselves therein” [al-Tawbah 9:36] 

al-Bukhaari (3167) and Muslim (1679) narrated from Abu Bakrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The division of time has turned to its original form which was current the day Allaah created the heavens and earth. The year consists of twelve months of which four are sacred: three consecutive months, Dhu’l-Qa’dah, Dhu’l-Hijjah and Muharram, and Rajab of Mudar which comes between Jumada and Sha’baan.” 

It was proven from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) that the best fasting after Ramadaan is fasting in the month of Muharram. It was narrated that Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The best fasting after Ramadaan is the month of Allaah Muharram, and the best prayer after the obligatory prayer is prayer at night.” Narrated by Muslim, 1163. 

With regard to the phrase “the month of Allaah”, mentioning the month in conjunction with Allaah is a sign of its great status. Al-Qaari said: it seems that what is meant is all of the month of Muharram. 

But it was proven that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did not fast any month in full apart from Ramadaan, so this hadeeth is to be understood as meaning that it is it is encouraged to fast a lot in the month of Muharram, not to fast the whole month. 

And Allaah knows best.

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What is Dhul-Hijjah?

The Month of Dhul-Hijjah

By the Grace of Allah we have started the month of Dhul-Hijjah (the month of Hajj or Pilgrimage), in which Allah has marked out, for both the pilgrims and the non-pilgrims, some very blessed days. So we shall mention here some of the virtues and rewarding acts that are connected to these blessed days.

DOING GOOD DEEDS IN GENERAL:

The first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah are the best and most virtuous days of the year. They are the days in which Allah the Mighty and Majestic – most loves the doing of good deeds. About this the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) said,

“The best days in the world are the ten days.” [1]

Imam Ibnul-Qayyim (d.751H) – rahimahullaah – said,

“Indeed, its days are the most excellent of all the days with Allah. And it has been confirmed in Sahih al-Bukhari (2/382), from Ibn ’Abbaas (radiyAllahu ’anhumaa) who said, that Allah’s Messenger (Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) said, “There are no days during which good deeds are more beloved to Allah than these (ten) days.” He was then asked, ‘Not even jihad in the path of Allah?’ So he replied, “Not even jihad in the path of Allah, except for a person who goes out with his self and his wealth, and comes back with nothing.” And it is these ten days that Allah has taken an oath by in His Book, by His saying, “By the Dawn and by the Ten Nights.” [Surah al-Fajr 89:1-2]
This is why it is recommended to increase in making takbeer (saying Allahu Akbar), tahleel (saying Laa ilaaha illAllah) and tamheed (saying Alhamdulillah) during these days…”[2]

The Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) said,

“There are no days that are greater with Allah, and in which good deeds are more beloved to Him, than these ten days. So increase in making tasbeeh (saying SubhaanAllah), tamheed, tahleel and takbeer, during them.”[3]

FASTING THE DAY OF ’ARAFAH:

The ninth day of Dhul-Hijjah is the day of ’Arafah, since it is on this day that the pilgrims gather at the mountain plain of ’Arafah, praying and supplicating to their Lord. It is mustahabb (highly recommended) for those who are not pilgrims to fast on this day, since the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) was asked about fasting on the day of ’Arafah, so he said,

“It expiates the sins of the past year and the coming year.” [4] Likewise, the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) said, ‘There is no day on which Allah frees people from the Fire more so than on the day of ’Arafah. He comes close to those (people standing on ’Arafah), and then He revels before His Angels saying, ‘What are these people seeking.” [5]

Imam at-Tirmidhee (d.275H) – rahimahullaah – said,

“The People of Knowledge consider it recommended fasting on the day of ’Arafah, except for those at ’Arafah.” [6]

SLAUGHTERING ON THE DAY OF AN-NAHR AND EID UL-ADHA OR THE FOLLOWING THREE DAYS:

The tenth day of Dhul-Hijjah is known as the day of an-Nahr (slaughtering), since it marks the ending of the major rites of Hajj (Pilgrimage), and commemorates the bounty and mercy of Allah – the Most High – in that He gave His beloved Prophet Ibrahim – Alayhis-salaam – a ram to sacrifice in place of his firstborn son Ismaa’eel – Alayhis-salaam. And out of the ten best days of the year, it is the day of an-Nahr which is the most excellent day of the year with Allah.
Shaykhul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah (d.728H) – rahimahullaah – said,

“The most excellent day of the week is the day of Friday, by the agreement of the Scholars. And the most excellent day of the year is the day of an-Nahr. And some of them said that it is the day of ’Arafah. However, the first opinion is the correct one, since it is related in the Sunan collections that the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) 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 Minaa).” [7]” [8]

 The Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) said,

“The greatest day of the Hajj (Pilgrimage) is the Day of an-Nahr (Slaughtering).” [9]

The day of an-Nahr is also known as ’Eid ul-Adha (the Festivity of Sacrifice) and is one of the two major festivals that Allah has granted to this Ummah. Anas (radiyAllahu ’anhu) said,

‘The Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) came to al-Medina and the people of al-Medina had – since the times of jaahiliyyah (Pre-Islamic Ignorance) – two days which they marked out for play and amusement. So the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) said, ‘I came to you, and you had two days of play and amusement in the times of jaahiliyyah. But Allah has replaced them with something better for you: The day of al-Adha (sacrificing) and the day of al-Fitr (ending the Fast).” [10]

The Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) also said,

“The day of al-Fitr, and the day of an-Nahr, and the days of at-Tashreeq (the three days after an-Nahr) are our days of ’Eid (festivity); and they are days of eating and drinking.” [11]

’Eid ul-Adha, is a day in which the Muslims slaughter a camel, cow, sheep or goat, in commemoration of the sacrifice of Ibrahim – Alayhis-salaam. And this sacrifice is an obligation upon all those who have the means to do so – according to the most correct opinion of the Scholars. [12] The basis of this is the Prophet’s (Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) saying,

“One who has the ability to sacrifice, but chooses not to do so, should not approach our place of (’Eid) Prayer.” [13] And his (Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) saying, “Whosoever sacrificed before the Prayer, then let him do so again. But whosoever has not sacrificed then let him sacrifice.” [14] So this order refers to those who have the ability to do so – and Allah knows best.

As regards those who intend to sacrifice – normally the head of the household – they are prohibited from cutting their hair or nails, starting from the first day of Dhul-Hijjah up until after the sacrifice. Allah’s Messenger (Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) said,

 “When the ten days start, and one of you intends to sacrifice, then let him not cut his hair or his nails.” [15]

GLORIFYING ALLAH WITH THE TAKBEER:

From the day of ’Arafah (the 9th of Dhul-Hijjah), up until the ’Asr Prayer on the thirteen day, are days in which the takbeeraat (saying Allahu Akbar) should be said. Imam al-Khattaabee (d.456H) – rahimahullaah – said, “The wisdom behind saying the takbeeraat in these days is that in the times of jaahiliyyah (pre-Islamic ignorance), they used to slaughter for their tawaagheet (false objects of worship). So the takbeeraat were prescribed in order to indicate that the act of slaughtering is directed to Allah alone, and by mentioning only His – the Mighty and Majestic – Name.” [16]

Shaykhul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah – rahimahullaah – said,

“All praise be to Allah. The most correct saying concerning the takbeer – that which the majority of the Salaf (Pious Predecessors), and the Scholars from the Companions and Imams were upon – is to begin making the takbeer from Fajr (dawn) on the day of ’Arafah, up until the last day of at-Tashreeq (the thirteenth of Dhul-Hijjah), after every Prayer.” [17]

Ibn Abee Shaybah relates,

“That ’Alee (radiyAllahu ’anhu) used to make the takbeer beginning after the Fajr Prayer on the day of ’Arafah, up until after the ’Asr Prayer on the last day of at-Tashreeq.” [18]

As regards the actual wording of the takbeeraat, nothing authentic has been related from the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam). However, certain wordings have been authentically related from a group of Companions. From them:

Ibn Mas’ood (radiyAllahu ’anhu) would say, “Allah is great, Allah is great. None has the right to be worshipped except Him. And Allah is great, Allah is great. And to Him belongs all praise. [Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar, Laa ilaahaa illAllah, wAllahu akbar, Allahu akbar Wa lillaahil-hamd.]” [19]

Ibn ’Abbaas (radiyAllahu ’anhu) said,

“Allah is great, Allah is great, Allah is great, and to Allah belong all praise. Allah is greater and Sublime. Allah is greater to what He has guided us to. [Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar, Wa lillaahil-hamd. Allahu akbar Wa ajalla. Allahu akbar ’alaa maa hadaanaa.]” [20]

Unfortunately, many Muslims have neglected the takbeer established from our Pious Predecessors and have instead resorted to additions which have no basis at all.

Footnotes:
[1] Saheeh: Related by al-Bazzaar (1/234). It was authenticated by Shaykh al-Albaanee in Saheehul-Jaami’ (no. 1133).
[2] Refer to Zaadul-Ma’aad (1/56).
[3] Saheeh: Related by at-Tabaraanee in al-Kabeer (3/110/1) It was authenticated by al-Mundharee in at-Targheeb wat-Tarheeb (2/24).
[4] Related by Muslim (no. 1162), from Aboo Qataadah (radiyAllahu ’anhu).
[5] Related by Muslim (no. 1348), from ’Aa‘ishah (radiyAllahu ’anhaa).
[6] Refer to Jaami’ut-Tirmidhee (3/377).
[7] Saheeh: Related by Aboo Daawood (no. 1765), from ’Abdullaah Ibn Qart (radiyAllahu ’anhu). It was authenticated by al-Albaanee in Irwaa‘ul-Ghaleel (no. 2018).
[8] Refer to Majmoo’ul-Fataawaa (25/288).
[9] Saheeh: Related by Aboo Daawood (no. 1945), from Ibn ’Umar (radiyAllahu ’anhu). It was authenticated by al-Albaanee in al-lrwaa‘ (no. 1101).
[10] Saheeh: Related by Ahmad (3/103).it was authenticated by al-Haafidh Ibn Hajr in Bulooghul-Maraam (no. 398).
[11] Saheeh: Related by Ahmad (no. 1945), from ’Uqbah Ibn ’Aamir (radiyAllahu ’anhu). It was authenticated by al-Albaanee in Saheehul-Jaami’ (no. 8192).
[12] As explained by Ibn Taymiyyah in Majmoo’ul-Fataawaa (23/162-164).
[13] Hasan: Related by Ibn Maajah (no. 3123), from Aboo Hurayrah (radiyAllahu ’anhu). It was authenticated by Shaykh al-Albaanee in Takhreej Mushkilatul-Fiqr (no. 398).
[14] Related by al-Bukhaaree (no. 5562) and Muslim (no. 1960), from Jundub Ibn ’Abdullaah al-Bajalee (radiyAllahu ’anhu).
[15] Related by Muslim (no. 1977), from Umm Salamah (radiyAllahu ’anhaa).
[16] Quoted from Fathul-Baaree (21/586).
[17] Majmoo’ul-Fataawaa (24/220). However, what seems more correct is not to restrict the takbeeraat to being just after every Prayer, as al-Haafidh Ibn Hajr pointed out in Fathul-Baaree (21/587).
[18] Related by Ibn Abee Shaybah in al-Musannaf (2/1/2). It was authenticated by al-Albaanee in al-lrwaa‘ (31/125).
[19] Related by Ibn Abee Shaybah with an authentic chain of narration
[20] Related by al-Bayhaqee (3/315) with an authentic chain of narration.

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