الحمد لله، الحمد لله الذي أحل الطيبات، وحرّم الخبيثات، نحمده تعالى ونستعينه، ونشكره تعالى ونستغفره ونستغيثه، نعوذ بالله من شرور أنفسنا ومن سيئات أعمالنا، من يهد الله فهو المهتد ومن يضلل فلن تجد له وليا مرشدا، ونشهد أن لا إله إلا الله وحده لا شريك له، له الملك و له الحمد، يحيي ويميت، بيده الخير، وهو على كل شيء قدير،  ونشهد أن سيدنا و مولانا محمداً عبده ورسوله، وحبيبه وصفيه، بلغ الرسالة وأدى الأمانة ونصح الأمة، النبي الأمي الذي أرسله الله بالهدى والدين الحق، بشيرا ونذيرا بين يدي الساعة، صلى الله عليه وسلم وعلى آله وأصحابه ومن تبعهم بإحسان إلى يوم الدين.

أما بعد! فيا عباد الله اتقوا الله حق تقاته ولا تموتن إلا وأنتم مسلمون. يأيها الذين ءامنوا اتقوا الله وقولوا قولا سديدا يصلح لكم أعمالكم ويغفر لكم ذنوبكم. ومن يطع الله ورسوله فقد فاز فوزا عظيما. اتقوا الله فيما أمر وانتهوا عما نها عنه وزجر.

 

Today is the seventh of Dhul’Hijja. We are in the midst of one of the most significant and illuminated periods in the entire year, a time so great that our Lord swears by it, for He  says,

وَالْفَجْرِ وَلَيَالٍ عَشْرٍ وَالشَّفْعِ وَالْوَتْرِ

 

the translation of which is, “By the dawn and ten nights, and the even and the odd,” According to the majority of the mufassirin, these ten nights are the first ten of Dhul-Hijja, while the odd is the day of Arafat and the even is the Day of Adha. This time is so special that our Lord loves it more than any other. The Prophet said,

 

إن أحبَّ الزمان اإلى الله الأشهرُ الحرمُ وأحبَّ الأشهر اإلى الله ذى الحجة وفضل الله فى ذى الحجة العَشَرَ الأوائل

 

“The most beloved times to Allah are the sacred months, the most beloved of the sacred months to Allah is Dhul Hijjah, and the part of Dhul Hijjah that He favours the most is its first ten days.” What does it mean when we say that our Lord loves a particular time? It means that He looks more favourably on good actions that are done during that period and rewards them more highly. The Prophet said,

 

ما من عمل أزكى عند الله ولا أعظم أجرا من خير يعمله في عشر الأضحى قيل: ولا الجهاد في سبيل الله؟ قال ولا الجهاد في سبيل الله إلا رجل خرج بنفسه وماله فلم يرجع من ذلك بشيء

 

“There are no actions more purified nor greater that good actions done during the ten days of al-Adha. ‘Not even jihad in the Way of Allah?’ he was asked. ‘Not even jihad in the way of Allah unless a man goes forth with his life and his wealth and does not come back with anything.” The effects of good actions are magnified and it becomes easier to do them and avoid bad action. There are untold riches within these days for those who have the desire and capacity to look. And our Lord gives extra strength to His friends and weakens their enemies significantly. All of these things are true throughout this period, but most especially on the ninth day, the Day of Arafat, which falls on this coming Sunday. The Prophet said,

 

ما رؤي الشيطان أصغر ولا أحقر ولا أدحر ولا أغيظ منه في يوم عرفة، وما ذاك إلا أن الرحمة تتنزل فيه فيتجاوز عن الذنوب العظام

 

“There is no day upon which Shaytan can be found so belittled, humiliated, defeated and frustrated as on the day of Arafat! And that is solely because of the mercy that is sent down during its course, providing forgiveness for the major wrong actions.” Even many of those who had previously been written for the Fire, find their fate revised and their final destination changed for the better by the end of this day. The Prophet said,

 

ما من يوم أكثر من أن يعتق الله تعالى فيه عبداً من النار من يوم عرفة

 

“There is no day during which Allah frees more people from the Fire than the Day of Arafat.” All right actions are encouraged on the Day of Arafat, but the action that is most encouraged is fasting. The great Companion of the Messenger of Allah, Abu-d-Darda said,

 

عليكم بصوم التاسعِ خاصةً فإن فيه من الخيرات أكثرَ من أن يُحصيَها العادُّون

 

“You must fast the ninth day [of Dhul-Hijja] in particular because there are more good things in that one day than anybody could possibly count.’” Our own Prophet is never known to have missed the fast of this day, and for that reason, the ulama have classified it as a sunna mu’akadda, a strongly emphasised sunna. There is no higher course of action for the human being than to emulate the Messenger of Allah. His way is the only way for those who truly desire to please their Lord and attain His favour. And if that were not enough, it also wipes away two years worth of wrong action, for the Prophet said,

 

أحتسب على الله أن يكفر السنة التي قبله والسنة التي بعده

 

“I anticipate that [because of fasting it], Allah will forgive the wrong actions of both the past year and the coming year.” That is a lot of wrong action wiped away for just the fast of a single day. It basically gives you a complete fresh start.

The second major right action that is strongly emphasised on this day is dua. The Messenger of Allah said,

خير الدعاء دعاء يوم عرفة

 

“The best dua is that made on the Day of Arafat.” From its beginning until its end, the whole of this day is a time of istijaba, a time when our Lord answers our duas. It is narrated that while Salim, the grandson of Umar ibn al-Khattab was walking through the streets of Madina on the Day of Arafat, he saw a beggar asking people for alms. So he went up to him and said, “What are you doing? Why are you asking any other than Allah on this day?” In other words, “If you were but to ask Allah today, He would fulfil all your needs. So why waste your time asking others?”

Do not let these special moments pass you by. Take full advantage of the Day of Arafat and honour it in the manner that your Lord commanded it be honoured.

 

أقول قولي هذا وأستغفر الله لي ولكم ولسائر المسلمين من كل ذنب فاستغفروه إنه هو الغفور الرَّحيم

 

الحمد لله الحمد لله رب العالمين، وأشهد أن لا إله إلا الله وحده لا شريك له وأشهد أن محمداً عبده ورسوله، صلى الله وسلم وبارك عليه وعلى آله وصحبه، والتابعين وتابعي التابعين ومن تبعهم بإحسان إلى يوم الدين.

أما بعد! فيأيها الذين ءامنوا اتقوا الله ما استطعتم واسمعوا وأطيعوا وأنفقوا خيرا لأنفسكم. يا عباد الله أوصيكم وإياي بتقوى الله وطاعته وأحذركم وإياي عن معصيته ومخالفته

 

We have talked about greatness of the day of Arafat, but there is a day that is even greater than it in the eyes of Allah, and that is the day that follows it. The Messenger of Allah said,

يوم الجمعة أفضل أيام الأسبوع، ويوم النحر أفضل أيام العام

 

“The Day of Jumua is the best day of the week while the Day of Nahr is the best day of the year.” And he said,

إن من أعظم الأيام عند الله يوم النحر، ثم يوم القر

 

“The greatest of days with Allah is the Day of Nahr, then the Day of Qarr.” The Day of Nahr is the Eid al-Adha, the 10th of Dhul-Hijja, while the Day of Qarr is the second day of Eid, the 11th of Dhul-Hijja, for so great is this Eid that one day alone is not enough to encompass it, it overflows and spills out into the two days that follow. This Eid lasts three days, not one.

This Eid is called the day of Nahr because it is the day that commemorates the sacrifice of Ibrahim. Allah relates the story in surat Saffat,

 

فَلَمَّا بَلَغَ مَعَهُ السَّعْيَ قَالَ يَا بُنَيَّ إِنِّي أَرَى فِي الْمَنَامِ أَنِّي أَذْبَحُكَ فَانظُرْ مَاذَا تَرَى قَالَ يَا أَبَتِ افْعَلْ مَا تُؤْمَرُ سَتَجِدُنِي إِنْ شَاءَ اللَّهُ مِنْ الصَّابِرِينَ فَلَمَّا أَسْلَمَا وَتَلَّهُ لِلْجَبِينِ وَنَادَيْنَاهُ أَنْ يَا إِبْرَاهِيمُ قَدْ صَدَّقْتَ الرُّؤْيَا إِنَّا كَذَلِكَ نَجْزِي الْمُحْسِنِينَ إِنَّ هَذَا لَهُوَ الْبَلاَءُ الْمُبِينُ وَفَدَيْنَاهُ بِذِبْحٍ عَظِيمٍ

 

the translation of which is, “When he was of an age to work with him, he said, ‘My son, I saw in a dream that I must sacrifice you. What do you think about this?’ He said, ‘Do as you are ordered, father. Allah willing, you will find me resolute.’ Then when they had both submitted and he had lain him face down on the ground, We called out to him, ‘Ibrahim! you have discharged your vision.’ That is how We recompense good-doers. This was indeed a most manifest trial. We ransomed him with a mighty sacrifice.” This act of sacrifice was emulated by our own Messenger in sacrificing one ram or two rams on this day every year. Thus, the sacrifice became a sunna muakadda, a strongly emphasised sunna for everyone who could afford it – and by able to afford it, we mean that the money they would use to buy it will not be needed by them or by their families during the course of the following year. You do not take out a loan to fulfil this sunna, for it is not a sunna for you if you do not have the means.

If you are satisfied that your family will be adequately provided for, then you should buy a healthy, unimpaired animal to sacrifice, one with no obvious defects or illnesses, the best being a ram according to the Maliki madhhab and a camel according to the Shafi’is.               This sacrifice is made on behalf of yourself and your family and dependents, one animal sufficing for everyone even if they are many in number. But even if they are many in number, only one, the master of the household should pay for it. It is not permitted to share in the cost of an udhiya, unless it is a cow or a camel. And even then, Imam Malik does not allow it.

This sacrifice must be done after the Eid prayer, which will take please here in the mosque at 8.30am on Monday, and after the Imam has completed his sacrifice. The Prophet was always the first to sacrifice and only when he had finished did any one else perform theirs.

Although it is not obligatory or essential, this sacrifice is best done by the one who has paid for it rather than a third party. And that is because the act of sacrifice itself, the spilling of the blood, is just as much an action fi sabilillah as the buying of the animal. Aisha narrated that the Prophet said,

 

مَا عَمِلَ ابْنُ آدَمَ يَوْمَ النَّحْرِ عَمَلًا أَحَبَّ إِلَى اللَّهِ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ مِنْ إرَاقَةِ دَمٍ وَإِنَّهُ لَيَأْتِي يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ بِقُرُونِهَا وَأَظْلَافِهَا وَأَشْعَارِهَا وَإِنَّ الدَّمَ لَيَقَعُ مِن اللَّهِ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ بِمَكَانٍ قَبْلَ أَنْ يَقَعَ عَلَى الْأَرْضِ فَطِيبُوا بِهَا نَفْسًا

 

“The son of Adam does no better deed on the Day of Sacrifice than spilling blood. The sacrificed animal will come forth on the Day of Rising with its horns, hooves and skin (all bearing witness on his behalf). And the blood that is spilt will find acceptance with Allah before it even touches the ground. So, slaughter readily with good grace.”

The udhiya is not just an act of sadaqa, it is an act of ibada, and by sending money for it to be done abroad you lose out on that part of it. And, you neglect to follow the advice of the Messenger of Allah that you keep some of it for your own family and partake yourselves in its baraka. He said,

فكلوا وادّخروا وتصدّقوا

 

“Eat of it, store it and give it away as sadaqa.” Keep a third for yourselves, store a third and give a third to the poor and needy among the Muslims, or keep a third and give away two thirds. Involve yourselves directly in the right actions of this deen, do not ship them out to third parties. And concentrate on your own communities first, they have most right to your sadaqa – the poor among your family, the needy Muslims of your neighbourhood. Strengthen your community and bring joy to your fellow Muslims on the day of Eid and Allah will strengthen you and fill your day with joy.

We ask Allah to give us the best of these coming days and enable us to honour them as He desires that they be honoured. And we ask that He give success and victory to His deen and foil the plots and machinations of all those who conspire against it.

 

إِنَّ اللهَ وَمَلَائِكَتَهُ يُصَلُّونَ عَلَى النَّبِيِّ، يَا أَيُهَا الذِينَ آمَنُواْ صَلُّواْ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلِّمُواْ تَسْلِيماً.

اللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ وَسَلِّمْ وَبَارِكْ عَلَيْهِ وَعَلَى آلِهِ وَصَحْبِهِ  أَجْمَعِينَ. وَارْضَ اللَّهُمَّ عَنِ الْخُلَفَاءِ الرَّاشِدِينَ أَبِي بَكْرٍ وَعُمَرَ وَعُثْمَانَ وَعَلِيٍّ، وعن أم المومنين عائشة التي أمرنا الله في سورة النور أن ندافع عنها، وَعَنْ سَائِرِ الصَّحَابَةِ أَجْمَعِينَ، خُصُوصاً اِلأَنْصَارَ مِنْهُمْ وَالمُهَاجِرِينَ، وَعَنِ التَّابِعِينَ وَتَابِعِي التَّابِعِينَ وَمَنْ تَبِعَهُمْ بِإِحْسَانٍ إِلَى يَوْمِ الدِّينِ.

اللَّهُمَّ اهْدِ وُلَاةَ أُمُورِ المُسْلِمِينَ لِمَا يُرْضِيكَ وَلِاتِّبَاعِ سُنَّةِ نَبِيِّكَ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ، وَثَبِّتْ أَقْدَامَهُمْ عَلَى الصِّرَاطِ المُسْتَقِيمِ، وَأَصْلِحْهُمْ يَا رَبَّ الْعَالَمِينَ.

اللَّهُمَّ بَارِكْ عَلَى شَيْخِنَا، وَعَلَى أَمِيرِنَا، وَعَلَى جَمِيعِ أُمَرَاءِ وَزُعَمَاءِ المُسْلِمِينَ.

اللَّهُمَّ بَارِكْ عَلَى المُسْلِمِينَ فِي هَذِهِ المَدِينَةِ، وَوَفِّقْهُمْ لِمَا تُحِبُّهُ وَتَرْضَاهُ يَا أَكْرَمَ الأَكْرَمِينَ.

اللَّهُمَّ أَعِزَّ الإِسْلَامَ وَالمُسِْلمِينَ، وَاخْذُلِ الْكُفْرَ وَالْكَافِرِينَ، وَانْصُرِ المُجَاهِدِينَ فِي سَبِيلِ اللهِ. وَاجْعَلْ كَلِمََتَكَ هِيَ العُلْيَا وَكَلِمَةَ الْكُفْرِ هِيَ السُّفْلَى.

رَبَّنَا ءَاتِنَا فِي الدُّنْيَا حَسَنَةً وَفِي الآخِرَةِ حَسَنَةً وَقَِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ.

إِنَّ اللهَ يَامُرُ بِالْعَدْلِ وَالإِحْسَانِ وَإِيتَاءِ ذِي الْقُرْبَى، وَيَنْهَى عَنِ الْفَحْشَاءِ وَالمُنكَرِ وَالْبَغْيِ، يَعِظُكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَذَّكَّرُونَ، وَلَذِكْرُ اللهِ أَكْبَرُ وَاللهُ يَعْلَمُ مَا تَصْنَعُونَ. وَقُومُواْ إِلَى صَلاتِكُمْ يَرْحَمُكُمُ اللهُ.