Dear brothers and sisters, as mentioned in last week’s khutba, we are now in the month of Dhul-Hijjah.
This is the month in which the Hajj is performed by millions of Muslims all over the world and followed by Eid.
We also mentioned last week how the Prophet SAWS spoke of the first ten days of this month leading up to Eid and that specifically they are days in which good deeds are worth more to Allah SWT.
The day of Arafa also holds great importance in Islam because this is the day when Allah SWT completed his revelation on his messenger SAWS. It was on the day of Arafah when the following verse from Sura Al-Maidah was revealed:
This day I have perfected your religion for you, completed my favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion.
The imam mentioned the hadith also of the prophet SAWS in which he explicitly revealed to us that the reward for fasting on the day of Arafah is that it removes the sins from the previous year and forgives the sins for the year ahead. And so, this is a day we cannot afford to treat like another.
Also, for many of us, we are making plans during this time for the Qurbani or Sacrifice as is the practice during these blessed days.
The Qurbani itself is an annual sacrifice of an animal offered to Allah during the days of Eid al-Adha, marking the completion of Hajj. By sacrificing an animal each year, we are confirming that we are willing to sacrifice whatever Allah asks of us and to submit to Him completely. This sacrifice commemorates the actions of the Prophet Ibrahim (as).
One point worth remembering about this is that the Sacrifice is to be done during the 10th and 12th days of this blessed month. Anything outside of this time is not considered a Sacrifice for the blessed month and is instead counted as a sadaqa.
The following translation of the Prophet SAWS confirms this as it is translated to say:
“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“.
Dear brothers and sisters, this leads us onto the difference of opinion regarding the Sacrifice itself during this blessed time. There are two schools of thought on this. One is that the sacrifice is Sunnah Mu’akadah which means it is a very highly recommended Sunnah act but not compulsory.
Others go one step further and add that this is a compulsory act and must be carried out by those who can afford to do so. An easy way to know this is that if Zakat is compulsory on you then so is the Sacrifice.
But whatever the opinion may be on the act, it is still considered an act of immense reward, an act that our beloved Prophet SAWS carried out diligently and an act that he encouraged others to do as well.
We live in a time and a place where the sacrifice can be arranged via a number of Islamic charities that specialise in this so make the most of this opportunity to reap the reward of this blessed act of worship.
And so, dear brothers and sisters, we conclude with 3 tips we can adhere to in order to make the most of the blessed day of Arafah:
- Fast. Our beloved Prophet SAWS recommended non-pilgrims to fast on this blessed day as it removes the sins of the past year and the sins of the upcoming year.
Dear brothers, what greater incentive do we need here? To fast next Friday for just under 13 hours will remove two years’ worth of sins.
- Pray. Try to perform even 2 units of obligatory prayer. Remember, this is the day in which the deeds weigh heavy and what is an extra 2 minutes or so in front of your Lord in comparison?
- Supplicate. There is no better day to ask from your Lord than this day. Just imagine dear brothers, you have fasted on the day of Arafat, performed obligatory prayers during your fast and on the moment, you open your fast you ask of your Lord. Wouldn’t you want that moment for you, your family and your afterlife?
Dear brothers and sisters, let us adhere to this reminder and be from amongst those who were referred to by the Prophet SAWS when he said that there isn’t a day in which Allah SWT forgives His slaves from the hellfire than the day of Arafah.