The first ten days of the month of Dhul Hijjah, Idd al adha

In shaa Allah, Idd al adha is upon us (31st July, 2020).

Four of the twelve Hijri months (Islamic calendar) are considered sacred that is Rajab (7), Dhūl-Qa’dah (11), Dhul-Ḥijjah (12) and Muḥarram (1).

"Indeed, the number of months with Allah is twelve [lunar] months in the 
register of Allah [from] the day He created the heavens and the earth; of these, 
four are sacred. That is the correct religion, so do not wrong yourselves during them…" [Qur’an, 9:36]

The month of Dhul Hijjah is especially special:

Ibn `Abbas (May Allah be pleased with them) reported: The Messenger of Allah 
(peace be upon him) said, "There are no days during which the righteous action is so 
pleasing to Allah than these days (i.e., the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah).'' He was asked: 
"O Messenger of Allah, not even Jihad in the Cause of Allah?'' He (PBUH) replied, 
"Not even Jihad in the Cause of Allah, except in case one goes forth with his life 
and his property and does not return with either of it.''
[Al-Bukhari

The day of Arafah is the ninth day of the ten days of Dhul Hijjah. The day of Arafah is the day the religion of Islam was perfected. Allah sent down this ayah on the day of ’Arafah:

"............This day I have perfected for you your religion and completed My favor upon 
you and have approved for you Islam as religion. But whoever is forced by severe 
hunger with no inclination to sin - then indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful. "
(Qur'an 5: 3
"It is on this day that the pilgrims gather at the mountain plain of 'Arafah, praying 
and supplicating to their Lord. In fact, one hadith says that ‘Hajj is Arafah'"
(Abu Dawud)
The Prophet (peace be upon him) also 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 reveals before His Angels saying, 
‘What are these people seeking." (Muslim)

Many are unable to make the blessed journey of pilgrimage of Hajj this year but there are still many ways for us to reap the blessings of this month. These include the following:

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “There are no days 
on which righteous deeds are more beloved to Allah than these ten days.” 
[Bukhari]
  1. FAST: It is Sunnah for Believers to fast the first nine days of Dhul-Hijjah.
Abu Qatadah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah
 (peace be upon him) was asked about the observance of Saum (fasting) on the 
day of `Arafah. He said, "It is an expiation for the sins of the preceding year 
and the current year.''
[Muslim]

2. RECITE THE QUR’AN: Recite the Qur’an as much as you can, even if it is a few verses each day.

3. PERFORM ALL YOUR PRAYERS: A Believer is obligated to perform the five daily prayers. There are also a number of extra Sunnah prayers that a believer can observe to increase their worship including the 2 rakats before Fajr, swalat Dhuha, the 4 rakats before Dhuhr, 2 rakats after Dhuhr, 2 rakats after Maghrib and 2 rakats after Isha and swalat Tahajjud/ Lail.

4. INCREASE DHIKR (REMEMBRANCE OF ALLAH):

Abu Hurairah reported that the Prophet said: He who repeats after every prayer: 
Subhan Allah (Glory be to Allah) thirty-three times, Al-hamdu lillah (praise be to Allah) 
thirty-three times, Allahu Akbar (Allah is Greatest) thirty-three times; 
and completes the hundred with: La ilaha illallahu, wahdahu la 
sharika lahu, lahul-mulku wa lahul-hamdu, wa Huwa `ala kulli shai’in qadir 
(There is no true god except Allah. He is One and He has no partner. His is the 
sovereignty and His is the praise, and He is Omnipotent) Will have all his sins 
pardoned even if they may be as large as the foam on the surface of the sea.” 
(Muslim)

5. PERFORM ISTIGFAR: Seek forgiveness from Allah.

6. MAKE PLENTY OF SADAKAH: Give in charity to the poor and needy in these blessed days, as much as you can and visit the sick.

7. PRESERVE THE TIES OF KINSHIP: The Prophet (peace be upon him) stressed the importance of of maintaining the ties of kinship.

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him): “Whoever would l
ike his provision to be increased and his lifespan to be extended, let him 
maintain the ties of kinship.” 
(Bukhari)

IDD AL ADHA: The first 10 days of Dhul Hijjah also include Yawm al-Nahar (the Day of Sacrifice). It marks the end of the pilgrimage of Hajj.

I heard the Prophet (peace be upon him) delivering a Khutba saying, 
"The first thing to be done on this day (first day of Idd al Adha) is to pray; 
and after returning from the prayer we slaughter our sacrifices 
(in the name of Allah) and whoever does so, he acted according to 
our Sunna (traditions)." (Sahih Bukhari)
Jundab bin Sufyan Al-Bajali reported, ‘I witnessed the Prophet (saw) on 
the Day of Nahr (or Eid day). He (saw) said, “Whoever slaughtered the sacrifice 
before offering the Eid prayer, should slaughter another sacrifice in its place; 
and whoever has not slaughtered their sacrifice yet, should slaughter now’“. 
(Bukhari)

Conditions of the sacrifice:

  1. A believer should not cut their hair or nails during the first ten days of the month of Dhul Hijjah if they are to sacrifice on Idd.
Umm Salamah (May Allah be pleased with her) said: The Messenger of Allah 
(peace be upon him) said, "When anyone of you intends to sacrifice the 
animal and enter in the month of Dhul-Hijjah, he should not get his hair cut 
or nails pared till he has offered his sacrifice.''
(Muslim)

2. The sacrifice has to be done after the Idd prayer:

"He who sacrifices (the animal) before offering the ('Eid) prayer, he should 
offer again in its stead, and he who did not sacrifice the animal should 
slaughter it by reciting the name of Allah " (Muslim)

3. The sacrificial animal should be from the livestock: cows, camels, sheep and goats.

4. The Idd sacrifice should be in a good state and fat enough so that its meat could be eaten as this is a symbol of Allah.

5. The Idd sacrifice should be more than six months old if it is a sheep.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "Only a Jaza'a of sheep can suffice as Idd 
sacrifice'' and the Jaza'a is the sheep that is at least six months old. (Ibn Maajah)

As for Idd sacrifice, the goat should be at least one year old, the cow should be two years old and the camel should not be less than five years old.

May Allah accept from us all. Idd mubarak

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