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Published On: Mon, Jul 27th, 2020

THE DO’S AND DON’TS IN THE MONTH OF DHUL-HIJJAH

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By: Huseyn Zakaria
All praise is due to Allah who has chosen for us the divine path of Islam. We are ever grateful to Him for this nonpareil and matchless bountifulness. The dynamism of Islam is peerless to all previous and modern religions. It is a very invigorating and enlivening set of divine ordinances and injunctions to both the inner fulfillment and outer vivacity of every believing soul.
In this segment, I intend to discuss something very old but, ever anew matter because of its reoccurrence every year around this time; the Sunnah of Dhahayyah; animal sacrifices in every month of Dhul-hijjah. I will also mention few virtues of this great and sacred month which enhances one’s portfolio of good deeds before Allah, the Almighty.
The hadith of Abdullah Ibn Abbas has taken over stage in regulating the ethics of intending animal sacrifices offeror. For the purpose of updating the Ummah and putting the records straight concerning the etiquettes of elayya, let me refer to the tradition for easy understanding.
The Apostle of Allah said: “When you see the new moon of Dhu’l-Hijjah, if any one of you wants to offer a sacrifice, then he should stop cutting his hair and nails until he has offered his sacrifice.” In another report he said: “He should not remove (literally, touch) anything from his hair or skin.” (Reported by Muslim)
This authentic hadith indicates that the one who wants to offer animal sacrifice must stop cutting his hair and nails and removing anything from his skin, from the beginning of the month of Dhul-Hajj until he or she has offered his sacrifice on the allowable days.
Some scholars have even gone to the extent of making any of the prohibition as haram; unlawful act. Others maintained a gentler position by making the observation of the don’ts as mere facultative or non-mandatory only.
The Hadith, like the Qur’an is distinctive among revered scriptures in accepting the principles of abrogation in which later pronouncements of the Prophet, outrightly declare null and void his earliest declarations. Thus, the authority of Abdullah Ibn Abbas narration has suffered the fate of abrogation by that of the Mother of the Believers; A’ishah (RA) in which she authoritatively declared that his narration has been obsolete by the more recent actions and pronouncements of the Messenger of Allah. She narrated thus:
‘’Allah’s Apostle used to send the Hadi (sacrificial lambs) from Medina, and I used to twist the garlands for the Hadis and he did not keep away from any of these things which a Muhrim keeps away from’’. [Bukhari: Vol 2, Book 26. Pilgrimage (Hajj). Hadith 755.]
Additionally, in the Book of Muslim, ‘Aishah (RA) narrated that Allah’s Messenger (saw) sent his sacrificial animals
from Medina to Mecca. I wove garlands for his sacrificial animals (and then he would hung them round their necks), and he would not avoid doing anything which the Muhrim ( an intending pilgrim) avoids. [Book 7. Pilgrimage. Hadith 3033.] Another hadith similar this has been transmitted on the authority of Ibn Shihab.
The hadith which was earlier reported by Ibn Abbas had a very wider spread even amongst the Sahabas because it was the first promulgation by the Prophet of Allah on the very onset of the sunnah of dhahayyah; animal sacrifices. The following hadiths which I have selected from many on my submission will put our discussion into a better perspective:
Narrated by ‘Abdullah bin Abu Bakr bin ‘Amr bin Hazm: That ‘Amra bint ‘Abdur-Rahman had told him, “Zaid bin Abu Sufyan wrote to ‘Aisha that ‘Abdullah bin Abbas had stated thus, ‘Whoever sends his Hadi (to the Ka’ba), all the things which are illegal for a (pilgrim) become illegal for that person till he slaughters it (i.e. till the 10th of Dhul-Hijja).'” ‘Amra added, ‘Aisha said, ‘It is not like what Ibn Abbas had said: I twisted the garlands of the Hadis of Allah’s Apostle with my own hands. Then Allah’s Apostle would put them around their necks with his own hands, then send them with my father; Yet nothing permitted by Allah was considered illegal for Allah’s Apostle till he slaughtered the Hadis.’ “[ Vol 2, Book 26. Pilgrimmage (Hajj). Hadith 757.]
Another relevant hadith was reported by Imam Muslim was reported by Masruq: I heard ‘Aisha (RA) clapping her hands behind the curtain and saying: I used to weave garlands for the sacrificial animals of Allah’s Messenger (saw) with my own hands, and then he would send them (to Mecca), and he never avoid doing anything which a Muhrin avoids until his animals were sacrificed. [ Book 7. Pilgrimage. Hadith 3044]
These aforementioned Hadiths, therefore, should put to final rest any further interpretation and counter interpretation regarding the earlier ruling of the hadith of Ibn Abbas, or any other scholar who has contrary information from that of the Mother of the Believers or not fortunate to accessing the tradition during his life time. The ruling is very clear and distinct, leaving no further room for in-depth jurisprudential analysis or abreaction. That means as far these Hadiths portray there is absolutely nothing which is haram or forbidden to both men and women who are willing to sacrifice animal for the sake of Allah on the 10th. day of Dhul-hijjah, such as shaving, barbing, clipping of nails, bodily manicure, plaiting, shampooing or setting the hair. Thus, everything which is halal before the month of Dhul-Hijjah, remains absolutely lawful.
The significance of the first ten days of the month of Dhul-Hijjah cannot be over emphasis in Islam. In fact, there is no day on which Allah frees more people from the hell-fire than on the day of Arafah. On this day all accumulated minor sins are forgiven and all major repented offences that are violation of the rights of Allah are completely pardoned. On that day, Allah turns out to be closer to His servants than any other day in readiness to answering all prayers and requests of his servants as He wishes. Abu Qataadah (RD) narrated that the Prophet (SAW) said: ‘’Observing fasting on the Day of Arafat; I hope Allah to expiate all the sins that were committed during the previous year, and the sins that will be committed in the year after’’. ( Muslim)
So fasting on the day of Arafah is highly recommended in line with the Sunnah of our beloved Apotle; Muhammad (saw) but it’s only for all non-hajjis even if they reside in the Holy Land.
On the 10th. Day, and that is on Eid day, it is recommended to be rehearsing aloud the takbir i.e. ‘Allahu Akbar’ (Allah is Great)! Rehearsal aloud of takbeer, tasbih, the tahlil and tahmid in these days are loved by Allah and are highly rewarding. Allah, the Exalted says: ‘’And mention the name of Allah in certain days’’ [Qur’an, 2:203].
We find in the Hadith of Abdullah ibn Umar, “Make tahlil, takbir and tahmid much on these days.” Imam al-Bukhari while commenting on this Hadith, said that Ibn Umar and Abu Hurayrah would go into the market places in the first ten days and shoutout the takbir and the people would repeat after them.
The `Eid day is a day of thankfulness to Allah to be indicated in the increase of our deeds of righteousness. Therefore, it should not be considered as a day of wildness, smugness and narcissism. Our youngsters must understand that Eid day it is not a season of disobedience, uncontrolled amusements or indulging in intoxications, and the transgression of the bounds of Allah. It is the day of the Great Pilgrimage (al-Hajj al-Akbar); the day of praise for Allah and of His remembrance as well as of repentance.
Generally, accomplishing good deeds of obligatory and voluntary statuses such as: Salaat, Charity, Jihad, Qur’an recitation, enjoining good and forbidding wrongs during these days, are unsurpassed in excellence and rewards and as in the first ten days before Allah. In fact, good deeds in these days are better and more beloved to Allah than other righteous observances including physical Jihad, except for one who has completely perished along with his or her possessions in the glorious engagement.
Finally, those who are blessed to offering of animals sacrifices on the 10th. day, they should not bathe or comb them as that will decrease their rewards due to the falling hairs. Also they should never engage them into beat hollow
of competition with other animals as that may harm or cause bodily defects to them thereby making them unfit for the sacrifice!
Those who slaughtered their animals are at discretion to either share all the meats to their friends and families as gifts, gave it out as charity to the indigents and the needy or hoard and preserve all of it for their personal future usages. Whatever one chooses, he or she is without blame!
May Allah accept our good deeds and forgive our shortcomimngs, amin! Barka da Sallah!
Huseyn Zakaria

 

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