Islam, May 1996


Halil Necatioglu

Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala has given us two feasts: Eid-al-Fitr and Eid-al-Adha. The former follows the month of fasting, Ramadhan, and the latter falls on the tenth day of Dhul-Hijjah, the last month of the Hegira calendar.

Muslims, who perform the pilgrimage (Hajj), go to Mina near Makkah and perform the dhuhr, asr, maghrib and isha prayers on the 8th day of Dhul-Hijjah as well as the fajr prayer on the day of Arafa (the ninth day of Dhul-Hijjah). Reciting "Labbayk allahumma labbayk--O Lord, I am complying with your order and submitting to your will," they go to the mount Arafat with tears, diligence, and love.

Day or Arafa is such a blessed day that Allah Almighty forgives many disobedient servants and bestows mercy on them. He frees them from the hellfire and places them among the people of paradise. It is such a great forgiveness, a great gift, a great happiness and fortune. May He bless all of us with it.

After the magrib prayer on the day of Arafa, the pilgrims move to the plains of Muzdalifa. They spend the night there and perform the fajr on the day of the Eid, make waqfa, and move to Mina. They perform the Jamra-i Aqaba (stoning the great satan), slaughter the udhiyes and trim or shave their hair, and take their ihram off. This is called tahallul-i awwal--first partial release from the limitations of ihram. The total release from the limitations of ihram takes place only after the obligatory (fardh) circumambulation (tawaf) of the Ka'ba. Pilgrims should know this and pay attention to it.

The days of Eid in Mina and Makkah are different from that of other places. There is a continuous rush, in an immense flood of hundreds of thousands of Muslims who are trying to perform the same obligations at the same locations. It reminds the day of resurrection. There are so many people from every corner of the world. It is a time of trial, a time of testing. One has to be gentle, patient, and aware and pay attention nut to hurt anybody. One has to pay utmost attention to his worship and duties and not listen to the satan. One has to keep up the common sense, and not endanger his life or the life of others. One has to try to earn the love and the pleasure of Allah. It is a difficult task, but it is very rewarding.

A pilgrim should not have ill intentions, commit sins, or quarrel with other pilgrims. He or she must be generous, god conscious, well mannered, well meaning, and sincere. He or she must be sensitive and have tears in the eyes. The reward for a complete Hajj is nothing but paradise!

A pray that Allah Almighty provide you the opportunity for such pilgrimages and umrahs.

May Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala bless your Eid, let you live many more Eid days with health and happiness among your loved ones. May Allah the most Merciful bless you all and make you neighbors to His beloved prophet Muhammad Mustafa (pbuh). May Allah make you attain His pleasure, for it is the true Eid.