SOURCE : Quran For All Blog
Importance of the Month of ZulHajjah
- Hajj is performed in this month.
- The first ten days of ZulHajjah are extremely sacred and good deeds are most beloved to Allah in these ten days.
- 9th ZulHajja is a very sacred day. When asked about fasting on the of Zul Hajjaj (Yaum e Arafah) Rasool Allah saw said: “It expiates the sins of the preceding year and the coming year” (Muslim 6: 2603)
- The second Muslim festival Eid ul Adha falls on the 10th of ZulHajjah.
- An animal sacrifice, in memory of the sacrifice of Prophet Ibrahim (as) is offered on 10th ZulHajjah.
The Prophet said, “No good deeds done on other days are superior to those done on these (first ten days of Dhal Hajja).” Then some companions of the Prophet said, “Not even Jihad?” He replied, “Not even Jihad”, except that of a man who does it by putting himself and his property in danger (for Allah’s sake) and does not return with any of those things.”(Bukhari 15: 86)
Importance of Sacrifice:
Sacrifice has not been made obligatory by Allah Tala, however it has the status of being Obligatory Sunnah ( Sunnat e Wjiba). Through this act, pleasure of Allah is obtained and also results in atonement of sins!
Sacrifice has been commanded to the people in all the revealed laws (Shariat) since the time of Prophet Adam (as) to Prophet Muhammad (as).
Allah Tala mentioned this sunnah in beautiful words in Surah Safaat:
And he (Ibrhaim as) said (after his rescue from the fire): “Verily, I am going to my Lord. He will guide me!” “My Lord! Grant me (offspring) from the righteous.” So We gave him the glad tidings of a forbearing boy. And, when he (his son) was old enough to walk with him, he said: “O my son! I have seen in a dream that I am slaughtering you (offer you in sacrifice to Allâh), so look what you think!” He said: “O my father! Do that which you are commanded, Inshâ’ Allâh (if Allâh will), you shall find me amongst the patient ones.
Then, when they had both submitted themselves (to the Will of Allâh), and he had laid him prostrate on his forehead; And We called out to him: “O Abraham! You have fulfilled the dream” Verily! Thus do We reward the Muhsinûn (good-doers). Verily, that indeed was a manifest trial and We ransomed him with a great sacrifice and We left for him (a goodly remembrance) among generations (to come) in later times. Salâmun (peace) be upon Ibrâhim!”
After seeing the dream, Ibrahim (as) transcended all logic and sacrificed his most beloved possession, his own son, for the sake of Allah.
Wisdom of Sacrifice
Sacrifice is the symbol of full obedience and total submission to Allah
Ibrahim’s (as) obedience, loyalty and sacrifice greatly earned the pleasure of Allah Subhana Watala and he was declared as a Muhsin and Khalil Allah (Friend of Allah) and his name and his sacrifice is remembered till this day. Five times a day, Muslims send their blessings on Ibrahim (as) along with Muhammad (saw)
Allah Tala expects the same obedience and sacrifice from His slaves. In front of the command of Allah, there should be no excuses.
In remembrance of this sacrifice of Ibrahim (as), Muslims all over the world make a commitment that Oh Lord of the Worlds; We are your obedient slaves. Everything we possess belongs to you. If you command us, we will sacrifice our lives for the sake of Islam.
Thus sunnat of Sacrifice offered every year is actually the expression of a salve’s love for his Creator. The word Qurbani is derived from the word “Qurb”- nearness. Sacrifice is thus a form of worship through which love and nearness of Allah can be attained.
Allah Tala says in Surah Anam 162:
“Say (O Prophet Muhammad saw) Indeed my prayer, my sacrifice, my life and my death are all for the sake of Allah”
While sacrificing, if this state and if these feelings of love and total obedience to Allah are not there, then merely shedding the blood of animals and distributing meat are all activities without any spirit.
Allah Tala does not need blood of animals nor meat from animals. All that He requires from His slaves is the Taqwa, obedience and the feelings of self sacrifice for their Lord.
Allah Tala says in Surah Hajj:
“It is neither their meat nor their blood that reaches Allâh, but it is piety from you that reaches Him”
Thus the real spirit of sacrifice is that a man should leave his bad habits, stop following his wishes and desires and stop following traditions. Man should leave and sacrifice all those things in this world which stop him from attaining nearness to Allah.
What to do in the first ten days of ZulHajjah?
- Recite the masnoon dua when sighting the moon of ZulHajjah.
- Recite the Takbiraat as much as possible from the 1st ZulHajjah to the 13th of ZulHajjah.
- After sighting the moon of ZulHajjah, do not cut or trim your hair and nails until you have offered the sacrifice. As Rasool Allah saw has ordered:
“When any one of you intending to sacrifice the animal enters in the month (of Dhu’l-Hijja) he should not get his hair or nails touched (cut)” (Muslim 22: 4870)
- Perform good deeds (Fasting, charity, voluntary prayers, zikr, etc) as much as possible.
- Observe the fast of 9th ZulHajjah, as this leads to expiation of sins of the preceding year and the year to follow.
What to do on Eid Day?
- Do not eat anything on Eid ul Adha until after the Eid Prayer and the sacrifice; as this was the sunnah of Rasool Allah saw.
- While on the way for Eid Prayer, recite the Takbiraat loudly.
- Rasool Allah saw ordered all Muslim women, young girls and even women in monthly impurity to come out for Eid prayers. If they don’t have a veil, they should borrow it from someone while women in monthly impurity should stay away from the Musallah.(Bukhari 15:96)
- It is masnoon to offer the sacrifice at the place of Eid Prayer.
Audio Lectures in Urdu by Dr. Farhat Hashmi on Zil Hajj, Sacrifice and Eid
Hajj Resources from Quran For All Blog
Flash Presentation:Practical Guide To Hajj
Audio Lectures: Hajj Mubarak by Dr.Farhat Hashmi
Invocations -Duas for Hajj
Urdu Book: Hajj Baitullah
FACT : The most involuntary fasts (nafil fasts) kept by Rasool Allah sallalahu alayhe wasallam were in the month of shabaan.
A’isha (Allah be pleased with her) reported: The Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) did not observe fast in any month of the year more than in the month of Sha’ban, and used to say: Do as many deeds as you are capable of doing, for Allah will not become weary (of giving you reward), but you would be tired (of doing good deeds) ; and he also said: The deed liked most by Allah is one to which the doer adheres constantly even if it is small.( Muslim :: Book 6 : Hadith 2582 )
MISCONCEPTION: Fasting on 15th of Shaban is a deed of great reward.
FACT: Fasting ONLY on 15th of Shabaan is an innovation and not according to the sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). Thus should be totally avoided. Fasting frequently in Shabaan was the Sunnah of Rasool Allah However; Rasool prohibited his ummah from fasting after 15th of Shabaan due to fear of becoming too weak to be able to fast in Ramadan.
Rasool Allah Sallaalahu alayhe Wasallam said : “When half of shaban has passed, do not fast” (Abu Dawood Bab 12: Hadith 2337- Classed Hasan Sahih by Albani)
Therefore the Muslims should fast frequently in the first half of Shabaan and avoid fasting in the second half of Shabaan.
MISCONCEPTION: Shab e Baraat i.e. the 15th of Shabaan is a Special Night for prayers in Islam.
FACT: There is no such thing as Shab e Baraat. Word Shab e Baraat never appears in the Quran or Hadith. Shab e Baraat is infact NOT an Arabic Word.
Shab e Barat is actually Persian for lailatul qadr:
The night on which the Quran was revealed is termed “Lailatul Qadr” in Surah al Qadr in the Quran. When Lailtul Qadr is translated in Persian Language : Lailatul became Shabb and Qadr became “Baraat”. Thus Shab e Baraat is the Persian translation of Lailatul Qadr.
This is the night on which Quran was revealed, it is a night of great blessing and it falls in the last 10 days of Ramadan.Thus there is no reality in celebrating the night of 15th of sha’baan, because Shab e Baraat actually falls in Ramadan.
(Reference:Translation of Tafsir Surah Dukhaan, Taiseer ul Quran , Vol 4, pg. 176 by Molana Abdul Rehman Kelani.)
MISCONCEPTION: On this blessed night Allah Tala descends down to forgive people
FACT: Allah Tala descends down EVERY night to forgive the people who repent.
Allah’s Apostle said, “When it is the last third of the night, our Lord, the Blessed, the Superior, descends every night to the heaven of the world and says, ‘Is there anyone who invokes Me (demand anything from Me), that I may respond to his invocation; Is there anyone who asks Me for something that I may give (it to) him; Is there anyone who asks My forgiveness that I may forgive him?’ “Bukhari, Volume 8, Book 75, Number 333:
MISCONCEPTION: This is the blessed night on which the taqdeer is decided. Who will live…who will die. Who will get how much rizq…
The following verses of the Quran are presented as evidence stating that this verse is talking about a blessed night on which everything is decreed and that night is 15th of Shaban.
بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
إِنَّآ أَنزَلۡنَـٰهُ فِى لَيۡلَةٍ۬ مُّبَـٰرَكَةٍۚ إِنَّا كُنَّا مُنذِرِينَ (٣) فِيہَا يُفۡرَقُ كُلُّ أَمۡرٍ حَكِيمٍ (٤) أَمۡرً۬ا مِّنۡ عِندِنَآۚ إِنَّا كُنَّا مُرۡسِلِينَ (٥) رَحۡمَةً۬ مِّن رَّبِّكَۚ إِنَّهُ ۥ هُوَ ٱلسَّمِيعُ ٱلۡعَلِيمُ (٦)
Veriy We Sent it down on a blessed night Verily,We are ever warning (3) There in is decreed every matter of ordainments(4) As a Command from Us. Verily, We are ever sending , (5)(As) a Mercy from your Lord. Verily! He is theAll-Hearer, the All-Knower. (6)
Surah Dukhaan Chapter 44 Verse 4
FACT: The verse is being misquoted.
This Verse is about a Night in Ramadan NOT Shab e Baraat. The verse is talking about revelation of Quran on a blessed Night. Read the first 2 ayats of Surah Dukhaan again!
Indeed we sent IT (i.e. The Quran) on a blessed Night (Lailtul Qadr in Ramadan)
Allah has informed us in Surah Baqarah that the Quran was revealed in the month of Ramadan.
شَہۡرُ رَمَضَانَ ٱلَّذِىٓ أُنزِلَ فِيهِ ٱلۡقُرۡءَانُ
The month of Ramadan in which was revealed the Qur’an.( Surah Al Baqarah. Chapter 2:185)
So which night is Surah Dukhaan talking about? It is indeed Lailatul Qadr of Ramadan
The night of revelation of Quran in Ramadan is none other than Lailtul Qadr.
On Lialatul Qadr… angels descend and taqdeer is decided.. not on 15th Shabaan. Proof is in Surah Qadr
بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
إِنَّآ أَنزَلۡنَـٰهُ فِى لَيۡلَةِ ٱلۡقَدۡرِ (١)
وَمَآ أَدۡرَٮٰكَ مَا لَيۡلَةُ ٱلۡقَدۡرِ (٢)
لَيۡلَةُ ٱلۡقَدۡرِ خَيۡرٌ۬ مِّنۡ أَلۡفِ شَہۡرٍ۬ (٣)
تَنَزَّلُ ٱلۡمَلَـٰٓٮِٕكَةُ وَٱلرُّوحُ فِيہَا بِإِذۡنِ رَبِّہِم مِّن كُلِّ
سَلَـٰمٌ هِىَ حَتَّىٰ مَطۡلَعِ ٱلۡفَجۡرِ (٥
Indeed, We sent the Qur’an down during the Night of Decree. (1) And what can make you know what is the Night of Decree?(2) The Night of Decree is better than a thousand months(3) The angels and the Spirit descend therein by permission of their Lord for every matter.(4) Peace it is until the emergence of dawn(5)(Quran 97: Surah Qadr)
Lailtul Qadr is the night on which decree is decided.
Please re-read verse four: “On that night is made distinct every precise matter.”
This is the verse which is talking about deciding of fate. and in Surah Qadr, the name itself is self explanatory, ” Qadr” – Taqdeer” The night of decree – \decree means “to decide”
also Allah says in this surah Qadr:
The angels and the Spirit descend therein by permission of their Lord for EVERY MATTER.
Please visit the following link and read the tafsir of Surah Qadr from Tafsir Ibn Kathir.
And we all know that Laitul Qadr isa night which falls in the odd nights of last 10 days of Ramadan.So the Night of Decree is NOT 15th Shabaan but Lailatul Qadr.
MISCONCEPTION : Souls of the dead visit the earth and therefore one should go to cemeteries.
FACT: Once a person dies, if the soul is good, it is sent to IleeYeen and if it is bad it is sent down to Sijeyeen. There is a barzakh / a barrier between the souls and this world and they can never ever return to this world or contact us.
Until, when death comes to one of them (those who join partners with Allâh), he says: “My Lord! Send me back, (99) “So that I may do good in that which I have left behind!” No! It is but a word that he speaks, and behind them is Barzakh (a barrier) until the Day when they will be resurrected.(Surah Mominoon -100)
Woodrow Wilson Women’s Studies Fellow examines transnational Islamic women’s academy
They gather in local classrooms and in each other’s homes; in rural villages and in urban centers; around kitchen tables and computer screens; in Karachi, Toronto, and Tempe. Many, though lifelong Muslims, are reading tafsir (exegesis) of the Qur’an for the first time to understand what it actually says about everything from hygiene to civil society. And many students of the Al-Huda Academy for Women, according to khanum Shaikh (WS ’07), find the experience freeing.
“There’s an incredible enthusiasm and excitement, a transformation among [Al-Huda’s] members,” says Ms. Shaikh, a doctoral candidate in women’s studies at the University of California at Los Angeles. “Many talk about how unaware Pakistani women have historically been of what religion really means in daily life—raising children, being a citizen, forging a relationship with Allah. Al-Huda opens up a wealth of information for people to reformulate their lives, while …”Read More here
A Man decided to become a wood cutter, he bought for himself a brand new saw and started his wood cutting business. He did extremely well in his new business and was able to fell many trees and earn a lot of profit. Time passed by but his business started declining.. the number of tress he was able to fell declined day by day…he was confused.. he was perturbed that what in the world was happening! How come he was so successful in the start?
Then a man came to him and told him..Look at your saw…it has become blunt due to constant usage.. you need to sharpen your saw, you need to revive it back to its previous glorious state of sharpness. This is your tool , your key to success. If your tool is blunt and weak how can you be successful?
This is the Principle of Self-Renewal. This is one of the Keys To Success, this is the 7th Habit of Highly Effective People as mentioned by Stephen R. Covey.
The 7 Habits are:
- Habit 1: Be Proactive: Principles of Personal Vision
- Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind: Principles of Personal Leadership
- Habit 3: Put First Things First: Principles of Personal Management
- Habit 4: Think Win/Win: Principles of Interpersonal Leadership
- Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood: Principles of Empathetic Communication
- Habit 6: Synergize: Principles of Creative Communication
- Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw: Principles of Balanced Self-Renewal
About 7th Habit Stephen Covey says
Sharpen the Saw is the unique endowment of continuous improvement or self-renewal to overcome entropy. If you don’t constantly improve and renew yourself, you’ll fall into entropy, closed systems and styles. At one end of the continuum is entropy (everything breaks down), and the other end is continuous improvement, innovation, and refinement. On the continuum, you go from a condition of entropy to a condition of continuous renewal, improvement, innovation, and refinement.
It seems that the Muslims of today are struck in this Entropy. They are imprisoned in ritualistic worship and merely verbal declaration of Emaan.There is no improvement, no purification , no refinement and no increase of Emaan.
Fourteen hundred years ago, Allah Tala gave us the Glorious Quran and Muslims were expected to keep increasing their faith by it and therefore keep increasing and improving their Self and to keep purifying themselves.
Allah Tala says in Surah Tawbah Ayat 124:
And whenever there comes down a Sûrah (chapter from the Qur’ân), some of them (hypocrites) say: “Which of you has had his Faith increased by it?” As for those who believe, it has increased their Faith, and they rejoice.
Allah Tala says in Surah Al-Lail Ayat 17-18
And Al-Muttaqûn will be far removed from it (Hell). He who spends his wealth for increase in self-purification
Allah Tala also gave us this month of Ramadan to Sharpen up our emaan, to revive our souls and to re-energize our faith and connection with Allah and to purify ourselves. Prophet Muhammad saw gave us the wisdom of Sayaam during the day and Qayaam during the night to keep us on our toes and to Renew Our Self totally by being on a training program day and night for 30 days. Allah Tala imprisoned the Shayateen to make it easy for us to do so.
Before the Start of Ramadan, i mentioned about a “Welcome Ramadan” lecture by Safiya Khan here.
I also introduced Safiya Khan in the following words:
Safiya Khan is one of the most talented students of Dr. Farhat Hashmi. Due to her great interest and knowledge in the subject of Psychology, she beautifully and eloquently explains the concepts of the Quran based on the human psychology. Being an avid reador of she explains how the Qur’an gave the best concepts about Successful people fourteen hundered years ago which, the success literature of today provides after years of research. She brings in a unique dimension in understanding the Qur’an..
Alhamdullilah, this lecture is now available as a small booklet called “Welcome Ramadan A Self Renewal Plan.For this lecture and booklet, She has used this concept of Self Renewal from Stephen Covey
This booklet gives us the practical guidelines to implement this Self renewal Process Effectively in Ramadan. The Self Renewal Process by Stephen Covey incorporates 4 dimensions Soul Mind Body Heart..
“Human beings are not things needing to be motivated and controlled; they are four dimensional�body, mind, heart, and spirit.” (Stephen Covey)
Safiya Khan has discussed these four dimensions with respect to Ramadan. What practical steps need to be taken to Renew these four dimensions in Ramadan. Read through the pdf booklet for more details. A very brief summary of the renewal plan is shown in the slide below taken from her Presentation.
Just like cutting trees with a blunt knife is impossible…similarly entering Jannah is impossible with a blunt, dead Emaan. If we refuse to utilize Ramadan for renewing our selves and our emaan, we are worst than a stupid wood cutter cutting trees with a terribly blunt knife.
Coming Soon: Audio Lecture: Welcome Ramadan by Safiya Khan
Reminder: There is a Dora e Quran by Safiya Khan going on at Mehran Hall Creek Club, D.H.A, Karachi, Pakistan from 9:45 – 12:30 daily during Ramadan. All ladies are cordially invited.
This article first appeared as a guest post here