Dhū al-Ḥijjah, ʿArafah, Uḍḥiyah, Takbīrāt, Ayyām al-Tashrīq, and Eid al-Aḍḥā

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

الحمد لله والصلاة والسلام على رسول الله

وعلى آله وصحبه أجمعين ومن تبعهم بإحسان إلى يوم الدين

اللهم اجعلنا منهم

With the Name of God, The Infinitely Caring, Eternally Compassionate. We sincerely praise and thank God to the highest extent, and ask Him to bless, protect, honor, and compliment our Prophet and Messenger Muḥammad, his family, his companions, and those that diligently follow them until the end of times. Dear God, please include us from amongst them.

We are about to enter the greatest days of the year.

The 12th Islamic Month, Dh Al-Ḥijjah, will start on Sunday, July 11th, in shāʾ Allāh. This is the month in which, normally, millions of Muslims set out to perform the Ritual Pilgrimage (Ḥajj). It is also the month in which we celebrate our 2nd Islamic Festival – Eid, ʿĪd Al-Aḍḥā. It is a month filled with following in the footsteps of the great grandfather of our Beloved Messenger ﷺ, Abraham (Ibrāhīm – May Allāh preserve his legacy[1]).

Dates[2]:

  • Start of Dh Al-Ḥijjah: Sunday, July 11th
  • 9th Day — ʿArafah: Monday, July 19th
  • 10th Day — Eid Al-Aḍḥā: Tuesday, July 20th

The key points of this article have been summarized in this video (note that the dates mentioned in the video are from last year): Shaykh Mudassir Mayet | Virtuous Acts #2: Dhul-Hijjah

 

Fasting on ʿArafah (9th of Dh Al-Ḥijjah) – Monday, July 19th

The Messenger of God ﷺ was asked about fasting on the day of ʿArafah[3]. He ﷺ answered: “It wipes away the sins of the past year and the coming year.”[4] ʿArafah will be on Monday, July 19th this year. If you are able to, you should definitely try your best to fast on this day.

In addition to the 9th, we also know that, at least some years, the Messenger of God ﷺ fasted each of the first nine days of Dh Al-Hijjah.[5] Anyone who is able to fast some, or all nine days, should try to do so.

 

Extra Reward for Extra Good Actions

The Messenger of God ﷺ said: “There are no days in which correct, righteous actions are more beloved to God than these ten days (first ten days of Dh Al-Ḥijjah). The companions asked: “Not even Jihād in the path of God?” The Messenger of God ﷺ responded: “Not even Jihād in the path of God, except for someone who goes out with his life and wealth, and returns with neither.”[6] Here is a simple, nonexhaustive list of some extra good actions we can do.

Learning the Religion Reciting Qurʾān Giving Charity
Ṣalawāt – Sending Blessings on The Prophet ﷺ Extra Prayers Volunteering
Dhikr – Remembering Allāh Going to the Masjid Fasting
Duʿāʾ – Asking Allāh Tawbah – Repentance Reflection

 

Ritual Slaughter (Uḍḥiyah) for The Festival of Sacrifice (ʿĪd Al-Aḍḥā)

Allāh informs us about the greatness of this act by saying, “Neither the meat nor the blood (of your sacrifice) reaches God. Rather, it is your piety and devotion that reaches Him…”.[7] The physical act of slaughtering an animal is not the end goal in and of itself. That is to say that God doesn’t need or benefit from our act of slaughter. Far from it! He is beyond Perfection! Rather, Allāh wants to see us striving hard and trying our best to please Him. To see us utilizing our effort, wealth, and beloved possessions in His obedience in a manner that He ﷻ has prescribed.

The ritual slaughter (uḍḥiyah) is an individual obligation (wājib)[8] for anyone who has ~$5,300 in extra possessions[9]. One is responsible for the purchase of the animal, but does not have to personally slaughter the animal or personally distribute the meat. The slaughter must take place after the Eid Prayer, and may be done up until before Maghrib on the 12th of Dh Al-Ḥijjah.[10] There are a handful of other rulings associated with this, but if you intend to outsource this act, you can assume that they will fulfill the rest of the criteria, in shāʾ Allāh.

For anyone performing or purchasing the sacrifice (uḍḥiyah | qurbānī), it is religiously recommended (sunnah) to not trim one’s hair or nails during the first ten days of Dh Al-Ḥijjah, until one’s sacrifice has been slaughtered.[11]

The vast majority of scholars do not place any restrictions on how the meat should be distributed. If one chooses to keep all the meat for his or her family to consume, that is completely acceptable. If one chooses to donate all the meat to people who are in need, that is also completely acceptable. There are statements from the Ṣaḥābah[12] (raḍiy Allāh ʿanhum[13]) which state that one third of the meat should be kept for oneself and their family, another third should be given as a gift or ṣadaqah, and the last third should be given to those who ask and those in need.[14] This is a recommendation from the Ṣaḥābah (raḍiy Allāh ʿanhum) and many scholars, but by no means an obligation.

 

Acceptable Animals for Ritual Slaughter (Uḍḥiyah)

Allāh ﷻ and the Prophet ﷺ have given us guidelines in regards to what animals are suitable for ritual slaughter (uḍḥiyah). This is partly because we want our acts of worship to have quality and standards in a show of our effort before Allāh ﷻ. Animals that are suitable fall under the category of Anʿām or livestock. This is a technical term in both Arabic and English referring to domesticated animals, typically raised for agricultural purposes. In the Qurʾān, Allāh refers to them as “… what He has provided for them in terms of four-legged livestock (bahīmah al-anʿām)”.[15] The Prophet ﷺ specified that the animal should be old enough[16], healthy, and with no physical defects[17].

In sum, any of the following animals are appropriate if they are domesticated and healthy, regardless of whether they are male or female[18]:

  • (Ḍaʾn) Sheep[19] that are at least one year old.[20] Or if they are very healthy and above 6 months of age.[21]
  • (Maʿz) Goats that are at least one year old.[22]
  • (Baqarah) Cattle[23] that are at least two years old.
  • (Badanah) Camels that are at least 5 years old.

Lastly, we should know that the Prophet ﷺ has designated that a single lamb, sheep, ram, or goat will suffice for 1 person, and a single cow, bull, buffalo, or camel will suffice for 7 seven people.[24]

 

Chanting The Praises of The Almighty (Takbīrāt)

From Fajr on the 9th of Dh al-Ḥijjah (Monday, July 19th) until ʿAṣr on the 13th (Friday, July 23rd), EVERYONE should recite the following phrase aloud after every prayer; every man, woman, child, regardless if one prayed in congregation or alone:

اَللهُ أَكْبَرُ اَللهُ أَكْبَرُ اَللهُ أَكْبَرُ لَا إِلٰهَ إِلَّا اللهُ اَللهُ أَكْبَرُ اَللهُ أَكْبَرُ وَلِلَّهِ الْحَمْدُ

Allāhu Akbar, Allāhu Akbar, Allāhu Akbar, lā ilāha illā Allāh, Allāhu Akbar, Allāhu Akbar, wa li-llāh al-Ḥamd. God is Greater, God is Greater, God is Greater. There is no God except Allāh. God is Greater, God is Greater. Solely to God belongs the most perfect and complete praise and thanks.

 

The 11th-13th of Dh al-Ḥijjah — Days of “Drying Meat” (Ayyām Al-Tashrīq)

These are the days that were originally used to dry the freshly slaughtered meat, so that it could be preserved (i.e., turned into jerky) for later consumption.

It is absolutely prohibited (Ḥarām | Makrūh Taḥrīmā) to fast on these days, including the joyous day of ʿĪd. So do NOT fast from Tuesday, July 20th (10th) to Friday, July 23rd (13th).

 

Recommended Actions (Sunan) of Our Beloved Messenger ﷺ for The Festival (Eid)

  1. Be extra clean. Shower (ghusl), brush your teeth, use miswāk, and smell good. The Prophet ﷺ compared Friday to Eid and told us: “This day [Friday] is a day of Eid and celebration. So whoever comes to the Friday prayer should bathe, apply perfume if they have any, and use the miswāk (tooth-stick).”[25] The Prophet ﷺ told us to be extra clean because it is an “Eid.” Therefore, on Eid al-Fiṭr, we should follow this sunnah.
  2. Wear nice, clean clothes. It does not have to be new, but it should be clean, ironed, and nicer than your daily outfit[26]. In following this recommendation, ʿUmar (raḍiy Allāh ʿanh) once bought a nice outfit to give to the Prophet ﷺ and said, “wear it to look nice on Eid.”[27]
  3. Eat after the Eid prayer. Buraydah (raḍiy Allāh ʿanhu) tells us that the Prophet ﷺ would not eat on Eid al-Aḍḥā until after he ﷺ had prayed the Eid prayer.[28]
  4. Recite the takbīrāt of Eid. That is to say — اَللهُ أَكْبَرُ اَللهُ أَكْبَرُ اَللهُ أَكْبَرُ لَا إِلٰهَ إِلَّا اللهُ اَللهُ أَكْبَرُ اَللهُ أَكْبَرُ وَلِلَّهِ الْحَمْدُ — Allāhu Akbar, Allāhu Akbar, Allāhu Akbar, lā ilāha illā Allāh, Allāhu Akbar, Allāhu Akbar, wa li-llāh al-Ḥamd. God is Greater, God is Greater, God is Greater. There is no God except Allāh. God is Greater, God is Greater. Solely to God belongs the most perfect and complete praise and thanks.[29] It should be recited happily and aloud.
  5. Return home from a different route. The companion, Jābir (raḍiy Allāh ʿanh), told us that the Prophet ﷺ would take a different route when going to and returning from the Eid prayer area.[30] Someone can make their way to the Prayer Area via the freeway, and return via surface streets, for example. Or they can head towards the Prayer Area from one direction, and return home via the opposite direction.
  6. Meet and greet others with phrases of acceptance. Some of the Companions (raḍiy Allāh ʿanhum), upon meeting each other on Eid, would say تَقَبَّل اللَّهُ مِنّا ومِنك — “May God accept from you and us.”[31] It is not necessary to say this in Arabic; one may convey greetings of acceptance in any language.

 

Congregational Eid Prayers

The Eid Prayers are a very special and unique act of worship that we only get to experience twice in a year, followed by a khuṭbah (sermon) addressing the entire Muslim Community. We often find our Eid Congregations, compared to our Friday Jumuʿah Congregations, being twice as large, if not tenfold in some communities. Normally, attending the Eid Prayer is something that every single person in a household should do[32]. Every man, woman, child, and elder should actively try to attend the Eid Ṣalāh.

 

Missing the Eid Prayer

If someone is unable to attend their communal Eid Prayer due to illness, health and/or capacity limits, or because they arrive late and miss the congregation, they have one of two options:

Option 1:

Nothing needs to be done to make up for the missed Eid Prayer. There is no blame or sin, and no extra prayers need to be performed as a substitute.[33]

Option 2:

The Eid Prayer can be prayed at home since the communal prayer was missed. It is not necessary to do so, but it is allowed.[34] For guidance on how to perform the Eid Prayer, see the following: How to Spend Eid in Quarantine. If someone does not feel comfortable performing the Eid prayers on their own at home, they do not have to. It is not required to make it up if it is missed.

It should be noted that the Eid prayer can only be performed at home by one if they were unable to make it to their communal Eid Prayer. According to the vast majority of scholars[35], it is not allowed to simply default to praying Eid Ṣalāh at home without having one of the valid excuses listed.

 

FAQs:

  1. I have to make up fasts from Ramaḍān. Can I fast them in the first ten days of Dhū al-Ḥijjah?
    1. Yes. One may fast the days of Dhū al-Ḥijjah with the intention of both Make-Up of Ramaḍān, and extra rewards of Dhū al-Ḥijjah.
  2. Can women slaughter the animal for uḍḥiyah (qurbānī)?
    1. Yes. Any muslim who is physically able to slaughter the animal is allowed to do so.

Footnotes

  1. The phrase “May Allāh preserve his legacy” is a translation for the common arabic phrase عليه السلام and refers to God honoring and preserving the legacy of His Prophets. Many people tarnish the names of Allāh’s Prophets, so this is a prayer said out of respect for them.
  2. Based on calculation, and tentative moon sighting predictions.
  3. Based on the assumption that one is not a pilgrim at Ḥajj.
  4. Muslim, Ṣaḥīḥ #1162, Al-Tirmidhī, Jāmiʿ: Kitāb al-Ṣawm ʿan Rasūl Allāh ﷺ Bāb Mā Jāʾ fī Faḍl Ṣawm ʿArafah #749
  5. Abū Dāwūd, Sunan: Kitāb al-Ṣawm Bāb fī Ṣawm al-ʿAshr #2437, Al-Nasāʾī, Sunan: Kitāb al-Ṣiyām Bāb Ṣawm al-Nabī ﷺ – bi abī huwa wa ummī – wa dhikr ikhtilāf al-nāqilīn li al-khabar fī dhālik #2372, and Bād Kayf Yaṣūm thalātah Ayyām fī kull shahr wa wa dhikr ikhtilāf al-nāqilīn li al-khabar fī dhālik #2417
  6. Al-Bukhārī, Ṣaḥīḥ: Kitāb al-ʿĪdayn Bāb Faḍl al-ʿAmal fī Ayām al-Tashrīq #969, Al-Tirmidhī, Jāmiʿ: Kitāb al-Ṣawm ʿan Rasūl Allāh ﷺ Bāb Mā Jāʾ fi al-ʿAmal fī Ayām al-Tashrīq #757, Abū Dāwūd, Sunan: Kitāb al-Ṣawm Bāb fī Ṣawm al-ʿAshr #2438, Ibn Mājah, Sunan: Kitāb al-Ṣiyām
  7. لَن يَنَالَ اللَّهَ لُحُومُهَا وَلَا دِمَاؤُهَا وَلَٰكِن يَنَالُهُ التَّقْوَىٰ مِنكُمْ ۚ كَذَٰلِكَ سَخَّرَهَا لَكُمْ لِتُكَبِّرُوا اللَّهَ عَلَىٰ مَا هَدَاكُمْ ۗ وَبَشِّرِ الْمُحْسِنِينَ – 22:37
  8. This is according to the Ḥanafīs. Below is a brief overview of the differences of opinion:Ḥanafīs: It is an obligation on each individual.Mālikīs: It is a highly recommended action (sunnah muʾakkadah) for each individual and can be done for a household with certain conditions.Shāfiʿīs and Ḥanbalīs: It is a highly recommended action (sunnah muʾakkadah) for an individual or a household.
  9. $5,300: This is based on the gold standard. This is the price of 3oz of gold, which was checked on 6/20/21. Extra possessions: i.e., one does not need to have this much in liquid cash, but only if one’s extra possessions — such as an extra car, laptop, phone, jewelry, etc — reach or exceed this amount. This, according to Ḥanafīs, is known as niṣāb ḥirmān al-zakāh, the amount of financial assets rendering an individual ineligible to receive Zakāh.
  10. Al-Bukhārī, Ṣaḥīḥ: Kitāb al-ʿĪdayn Bāb Kalām al-Imām wa al-Nās fī khuṭbah al-ʿĪd wa idhā suʾila al-Imām ʿan shayʾ wa huwa yakhṭub #985, Muslim, Ṣaḥīḥ #1960
  11. Muslim, Ṣaḥīḥ #1977, Al-Tirmidhī, Jāmiʿ: Kitāb al-Aḍāḥī ʿam Rasūl Allāh ﷺ Bāb tark akhdh al-shaʿr li man arād an yuḍaḥḥī
  12. Namely ʿAbd Allāh ibn Masʿud, ʿAbd Allāh ibn ʿUmar, and ʿAbd Allāh ibn ʿAbbas
  13. A prayer typically used for the companions of the Prophet ﷺ meaning “May God be pleased with them.”
  14. Al-Ḥāfiẓ Ibn Qudāmah, Al-Mughnī : Kitāb al-Aḍāḥī v. 9 p. 448-9.
  15. لِّیَشۡهَدُوا۟ مَنَـٰفِعَ لَهُمۡ وَیَذۡكُرُوا۟ ٱسۡمَ ٱللَّهِ فِیۤ أَیَّامࣲ مَّعۡلُومَـٰتٍ عَلَىٰ مَا رَزَقَهُم مِّنۢ بَهِیمَةِ ٱلۡأَنۡعَـٰمِۖ فَكُلُوا۟ مِنۡهَا وَأَطۡعِمُوا۟ ٱلۡبَاۤىِٕسَ ٱلۡفَقِیرَ- 22:28
  16. Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim #1963-5
  17. This can be in terms of a broken horn, missing ear, blindness, limp, sickness, etc. Al-Tirmidhī, Jāmiʿ: Kitāb al-Aḍāḥī ʿan Rasūl Allāh ﷺ Bāb fī al-Ḍaḥiyyah bi ʿĀḍbāʾ al-Qarn wa al-Udhun #1504, Abū Dāwūd, Sunan: Kitāb al-Ḍaḥāyā Bāb Mā Yukrah fī al-Ḍaḥāyā
  18. Al-Mawsūʿah Al-Fiqhiyyah Al-Kuwaytiyyah v. 5 p. 81-2.
  19. This includes lambs which is the term for a newborn/baby sheep, and rams which are mature male sheep. The term sheep is the name for the general genus of the animal.
  20. This is according to all 4 schools.
  21. This is according to the Ḥanafī’s and Ḥanbalīs.
  22. The Shāfiʿīs state that goats must be at least two years old.
  23. This includes cows, bulls, and buffalos.
  24. Al-Tirmidhī, Jāmiʿ: Kitāb al-Aḍāḥī ʿan Rasūl Allāh ﷺ Bāb Mā Jāʾ fī al-Ishtirāk fī al-Uḍḥiyah #1502 & Bāb fī al-Ḍaḥiyyah bi ʿĀḍbāʾ al-Qarn wa al-Udhun #1503
  25. Ibn Mājah, al-Sunan Kitāb Iqāmah al-Ṣalāh wa al-Sunnah fīhā, v.1 p. 349 #1098
  26. This is, of course, if a person already has nice clothes, or has the means to buy nice clothes. If a person does not have such means and can only wear their regular clothes on Eid, there is absolutely no blame on that person.
  27. al-Bukhārī, Ṣaḥīḥ Kitāb al-ʿĪdayn Bāb fī al-ʿĪdayn wa al-Tajammul fīh
  28. Al-Tirmidhī, Jāmiʿ: Abwāb al-ʿĪdayn ʿan Rasūl Allāh ﷺ Bāb mā jāʾa fī al-akl yawm al-Fiṭr qabl al-khurūj #542
  29. The Ḥanafīs prefer to only say Allāhu Akbar twice in both instances, as opposed to thrice and then twice. This is based on the the answer of the tābiʿī, Abū Isḥāq, who was asked by his student Sharīk, “How would ʿAli (raḍiy Allāh ʿanhu) and ʿAbd Allāh ibn Masʿūd (raḍiy Allāh ʿanhu) recite the takbīrāt of Eid?” Abū Isḥāq responded with the above phrase, with Allāhu Akbar repeated twice in both places. — Ibn Abī Shaybah, Muṣannaf, Ḥadīth #5653.
  30. al-Bukhārī, Ṣaḥīḥ Kitāb al-ʿĪdayn Bāb man khālfa al-Ṭarīq idhā rajaʿa yawm al-ʿĪd
  31. al-Bayhaqī, al-Sunan al-Kubrā Kitāb Ṣalāh al-ʿĪdayn Bāb m ruwya fī qawl al-nās yawm al-ʿĪd baʿḍuhum li baʿḍ taqabbal Allāh minnā wa mink
  32. According to the Ḥanafīs, the Eid Prayer is wājib (mandatory) for the one whom the Friday Prayer is obligatory (farḍ) upon. According to the Mālikīs and Shāfʿīs it is sunnah muʾakkadah (emphasized sunnah). According to the Ḥanbalīs it is a communal obligation (farḍ kifāyah) — Al-Mawsūʿah Al-Fiqhiyyah Al-Kuwaytiyyah v. 31 p. 114.
  33. This is according to the Ḥanafī school.
  34. This is according to the Mālikī, Shāfiʿī, and Ḥanbalī schools. This is based on a narration by ʿUbayd Allāh ibn Abī Bakr ibn Anas (raḥimahum Allāh), saying that if his grandfather, Anas ibn Mālik (raḍiy Allāh ʿanh) – the companion and servant of the Prophet ﷺ – missed the communal Eid Prayer, he would gather his family together and would lead them in Eid Ṣalāh just like the large communal congregations. Al-Bayhaqī, al-Sunan al-Kubrā Bāb Ṣalāh al-ʿĪdayn Sunnah Ahl al-Islām ḥayth kānū #6237, v. 3 p. 427.
  35. This is according to the Ḥanafī, Mālikī, and Ḥanbalī schools, and some Shāfiʿī scholars.