FRIDAY DISCOURSE

AKRA FM, March 17, 2000

Prof. Dr. Mahmud Es'ad COSAN

EID AL ADHA

As-salamu Alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuhu

My Dear Audience, May Allah's peace, mercy, and blessings be with you all. May Allah let you have a happy Eid al Adha. May he allow you to live many Eids with your family, friends and other loved ones in health and happiness. May He give you Eids in this world and in the hereafter.

After Prophet Muhammad emigrated to Madina al Munawwarah, he saw people celebrating Nawruz and Mihrejan (the equinoxes in spring and fall)--most probably influenced by the Persians. He said, "Almighty Allah has blessed you with two holidays instead of the ones that you observe. These two holidays are Eid al Fitr and Eid al Adha."

Yesterday, on March 16, 2000, we had the first day of Eid al Adha. The words Adha and udhiyya mean the sheep for sacrifice on this Eid. This is the Eid of Sacrifice. The name of the other holiday, Eid al Fitr, comes from the word fitr; it means no fasting, eating, or breaking the fast. The days and nights of these holidays are filled with blessings and rewards.

a. Enlivening the Nights of Eids with Prayers

According to the collections of Tabarânî, the Prophet was reported by Ubadat-ubnu Sâmit to have said:

RE. 398/6 (Man ahyâ leyletel-fitri wa leyletel-adhâ, lem yemut qalbuhû yawma temûtul-qulûb.) Sadaqa rasûlullàh, fî mâ kàl, aw kamâ qàl.

"If a person enlivens the nights of Eid al Fitr and Eid al Adha with prayers , dhikr, recitation of Qur'an, or similar activities, (lem yemut qalbuhû yawma temûtul-qulûb) his heart will be alive on a day when all hearts die."

The word "heart" has two meanings: First one is the physical organ in the chest that pumps the blood for circulation in the body. It is a piece of flesh. The other meaning is the feelings. In Arabic "taqallub" corresponds to changes in mood and feelings.

The "heart" sometimes "dies." That is, the person walks, eats, drinks, and works but his feelings and his spirituality is reduced to nil. He would be dead spiritually. Once the spirituality is missing, the physical life has no value. May Allah save all of us from such a situation.

Sometimes Almighty Allah ordains certain calamities, difficulties and tests for some of His servants. Some loses the test by tending to the worldly objects, unlawful entertainment, disobedience and alike. They forget about the religion, neglect the hereafter, and do not fear Allah. They may have the delusion that they are leading a happy life. In fact, their feelings and spirituality will be dead, their destination in the hereafter will not be a pleasant place. May Allah save us from such a state.

It would be hard for a person to realize the gravity of his state especially when a person lacks inner vision or religious knowledge. When he has plenty of money, a comfortable house, and some entertainment, he thinks that his life is full and well lived. Most materialists and non-Muslims are feel this way. They would not mind exploiting people, destroying civilizations, and demolishing countries to increase their income. They would produce arms and create markets for them by instilling enmity between nations and initiating a war between them. They make extensive plans to size the control of regions of the world that have precious reserves. They do everything to keep the disorder and chaos in areas where there are rich oil reserves, uranium, and other precious mines. That is what those so-called "super powers' have been doing. We all have witnessed the events unfolding in the Balkans and Caucuses. We saw people in despair, towns under destruction, and genocide of children and women.

If a European child hides in the attic of a house from the enemy and gets scared, it would be a topic for the movies. They emphasize the gravity of the war and appeal to the compassionate feelings of people. Yet they say nothing about millions of people being murdered in other parts of the world.

The Russians invaded places that did not belong to them. The great Sufi leader Shaikh Shamil put up a great jihad to defend his nation. Later on, the success was not achieved because the Russians were much greater in number and better equipped with arms, and the Muslim world was insensitive and disunited. Today, the Muslim world is still indifferent. Nations which have a large income from oil are after their comfort and fun. Other rich nations are preoccupied with this world and have forgotten about their responsibilities. They do not hear the cries of suffering Muslim brothers and sisters, and hence they lose the test.

In our time, we live the day on which the hearts die. Truly many hearts are deceased. We hear them pronouncing, "Alhamdilillah, I am a Muslim," yet they have no sign of Islam on them. Some are completely dead; their hearts are like black stones. They deny Islam and try distancing people from Islam. Their crime is two-fold: Not only they have gone astray themselves, but also they try to have people disobey. They are declaring war against Islam which is the current religion Allah prescribed for our time. They become pawns in the hands of the enemies of Islam, and gears in their organizations and schemes. They work against Islam and Muslims. This is a sign of the day on which hearts die.

The hearts of those who enliven the nights of these two holidays will not die. During times in which people are subject to difficult tests, confused, and at a position of making a choice between the spirituality and material benefits, those who enliven the nights of the holidays will not be misled and will make the right choice. They will prefer what is more beneficial for the hereafter. Their hearts will be "live," and they will be winners.

There are other ahadith on the subject. For instance,

RE. 398/5 (Men ahyel-leyâlil-erbaa wajabat lehul-jannah) "If a person enliven the four night, he will enter paradise for sure: (Laylatel arûbah) the night of tarwiya, the day before the arafa on which the pilgrims go to Mina, (wa laylatul arafa) the night of arafa, the day before Eid al Adha, (wa laylatun nahr) the night of Eid al Adha, (wa laylatul fitr) the night of Eid al Fitr," said our beloved Prophet (pbuh).

These nights are already passed for this year. If you take a note of it, you will not miss enlivening these nights to come.

b. Spending the Eid on Guard Duty

All kinds of worship performed in the night or day of the Eid day are very valuable. I would like to read a hadith which has a good news for the soldiers who are on the guard duty watching over the borders. This hadith is reported by Ibn-i Huzayma:

RE 425/9 (Man shahide 'iyden min àyâdil-muslimîne fî saghrin min thugh¯ril-muslimîn, kâne lehû minel-hasenâti adede rîshü külli tayrin fî harîmil-islâm.)

This is such a nice hadith; it should be printed on paper and sent to the soldiers on duty. Our beloved Prophet said, "If a person witnesses the Eid while he is on active duty guarding the borders of the Muslim country, his rewards will be so much that (adede rîshü külli tayrin fî harîmil-islâm) its number will be as large as the feathers of the birds living in the Muslim lands."

These soldiers are given these rewards because they are guarding the borders for the sake of Allah. They earn rewards according to their intentions. Even if they do not engage in any active battle, they will earn these rewards. Besides, there are always some conflicts between the Muslims and others in all parts of the world. The soldiers on active duty may be attacked any time.

c. The Importance of Sacrificing

The most important feature of this Eid is to sacrifice an animal. The rich should perform the sacrifice and not neglect it. Muslims have got to learn that leaving the comfort and pleasure for the sake of Allah would make a believer earn great rewards (thawaab). For instance, the salah (prayer) at least five times a day has fairly much hardship and difficulties. Wudhu (ablution) has difficulties too. So does abstaining from prohibitions. The way to Paradise has such hardship whereas the path to Hell is quite easy to follow, attractive and pleasurable. Satan further embellishes it with fun and entertainment. So, people go to Hell that much easily. On the other hand, it is difficult to sacrifice but one should prefer this virtuous and beautiful action.

Many people abstain from sacrificing an udhiyya on the day of Eid finding excuses like the difficulty to find an appropriate place to do it. Now, I would like to read two ahadith about this issue: Related from Ibn Abbaas (R.A) and also quoted in Tabarani, Dara Qutni and Baihaqi that Prophet (pbuh) said:

RE. 372/11 (Mâ unfiqatil-wariqu fî shey'in ehabbe ilallàhi teàlâ min nahîrin yunharu fî yawmi iyd.)

"Money is not spent on something more lovable to Allah than on an animal sacrificed on the day of Eid." The word of "wariq" in this part of the hadith means silver sheet or coin. In the Surah Kahf, this word is used in this meaning as in "fi wariqikum hàdhihi" while it is told that Ashab-ż Kahf (The People of Cave) spent money in the town after they woke up. In the hadith, all other alternatives of spending are discarded first, and then it is stated that spending money for buying an animal and sacrificing it is the most lovable spending to Allah (ST) and what He likes best. Therefore, one should try and perform sacrifice on the Eid al Adha.

There are also rewards for the sacrifice on the Eid al-Fitr. No sacrifice is required in the Eid al-Fitr, but even then if somebody sacrifices an animal on the Eid al-Fitr just for the cheerfulness at home, he gets seven hundred-fold reward for this sacrifice, which is stated in various ahadith. In conclusion, Allah (SWT) loves the sacrifice, and we should not neglect it.

In another hadith related by Aisha and quoted by Ibn Mâjah, Tirmidî, Baihaqi and Hàkim, Prophet (pbuh) says:

R.E 376/7 (Mâ 'amile âdemiyyun min ameli yawmin-nahri ahabbe ilallàhi min ihrâqid-dem, wa innehâ lete'tî yawmel-qiyâmeti biqurûnihâ wa ash'àrihâ wa azlâfihâ wa inned-deme leyaqa'u minallàhi bimekânin qabla an yaqa'a 'alel-ardi fetayyibû bihâ nefsâ.)

"On the day of Eid, nobody can perform a deed or act more auspicious and more lovable to Allah (ST) than sacrificing an animal by shedding its blood." This is a very precious action which Allah (ST) is pleased with.

"And (innehâ lete'tî yawmel-qiyâmeti) on the Day of Judgment this animal comes out (biqurûnihâ wa ash'àrihâ wa azlâfihâ) with its horns, wool, skin and bones and is put on one's meezaan (balance, scale). (Wa inned-deme leyaqa'u minallàhi bimekânin) and the blood of the sacrifice reaches to an approved state in the sight of Allah (ST) (qabla an yaqa'a 'alel-ardi) before a drop of it touches the ground." The sacrifice receives such a state of acceptance by Allah (ST) at the speed of a lightening or even faster. Thus, (fetayyibû bihâ nefsâ) Prophet (pbuh) advises us to perform the sacrifice cheerfully, enjoy this occasion and not to miss this opportunity of worship.

d. Offering the Sacrifice with the Heart's Consent

Here is another hadith:

RE. 310/11 (Dahh¯ wa tayyibû bihâ enfusekum, fa innehû laysa min muslimin yuwajjihu udhiyyetehu ilel-qibleti illâ kâne demuhâ, ve qarnuhâ, ve s¯fuhâ hasenâtun muhdarâtun fi mîzânihî yawmel-qiyâmah.)

This hadith is reported by Aisha-i Siddiqa, the Mother of the Believers, and recorded by Daylami. (Dahh¯) "Offer your sacrifices, oh Muslims! (wa tayyibû bihâ enfusekum) and with this deed, make your souls pleased, benefited and merry. " Offer the sacrifices with your heart's consent with the awareness of its rewards. (Fa innehû laysa min muslimin yuwajjihu udhiyyetehu ilel-qibleti illâ kâne demuhâ, wa qarnuhâ, wa s¯fuhâ hasenâtun muhdarâtun fi mîzânihî yawmel-qiyâmah) "If a Muslim turns the sacrificial to the qibla and slaughters it, the blood, horns, and wool of the animal becomes rewards placed on the scale for him on the day of Resurrection."

This means all parts of the udhiye, even if it is not eaten, will be a benefit for the person who sacrifices it.

as you know, the deeds of a person will be put on a colossal scale on the day of Judgment. Even the angel will be startled with awe by this colossal scale. The good deeds of each person will be placed on one side; and the bad deeds, on the other side. The scarifies will be placed along with the good deeds.

There is another hadith on this issue:

RE. 428/5 (Man dahhà tayyibatan bihâ nafsuhû muhtesiben liudhiyyetihî kânet lehû hijâben minen-nâr.)

This hadith was reported by Hadrat Ali RA and Abdullah ibn-i Qurt ibn-i Hasen and recorded by Tabarani. (Man dahhà tayyibatan bihâ nafsuhû) "if a person offers his sacrifice with his heart's consent and (muhtesiben liudhiyyetihî) with the hopes that he will receive rewards for that, on the Day of Judgment (kânet lehû hijâben minen-nâr) the udhiye becomes a protection for him from the Hellfire." That means the person will enter the Paradise, not the Hellfire.

Having read all of these ahadith, my brothers and sisters, we must realize how great the Eid al Adha is. We should keep its importance in our minds and act accordingly.

May Allah let you live many Eids with health and joy. You should remind your relatives and friends about the rewards of Eid al Adha so that they offer their sacrifices with their hearts' consent and be rewarded with the Paradise. The Eid days are very precious days. Go and visit your relatives, neighbors and friends with pleasure. Meet and serve your guests with pleasure even if you fall tired or sleepy. Be aware that it is a very rewarding deed.

Here, brothers and sisters who are performing Hajj are experiencing difficulties in dust and crowd in Mina, Muzdalifah and Arafat. The reward for the hardship of Hajj is the Paradise. The path to the Paradise is not easy; you have to give up your comfort when necessary.

Our Prophet has appraised the sacrifice and the Eid al Adha as such and informed us about the rewards for the worship during days and nights of Eid. He used to spend his Eid in prayers, takbir, and other dhikr. He would recite prayers, takbir and dhikr as he walked to the Eid prayer and as he returned home.

e. Taking the Household to the Eid Prayer

As I read about the traditions of the Prophet (pbuh), one point attracted my attention:

RE 547/11 (Kâna lâ yakâdu yede'u ahadan min ahlihî yawma 'iydin illâ akhrajahû.)

"He used to take all of his family members, wife, children, workers and whoever present in the house, to Eid prayer."

The prophet would want everyone to join the prayer; therefore, they used to pray in an open area which could accommodate large number of people if the weather permitted.

Taking the whole family to the Eid prayer is not an established tradition in Turkey despite the tradition of the Prophet. However, in some other countries, all the family members go to Eid prayer. For example, we are in Mecca now, and everyone in each household comes to prayer for Eid. Obviously, the Prophet (pbuh) wanted to increase the number of Muslims and wanted to make the Eid prayer a memorable and splendid event for everybody. He (pbuh) wanted everyone to take advantage of the blessings in these gatherings.

The Prophet (pbuh) would take one route to the prayer place and come back from a different route. As you know, if someone makes a good or bad deed, his environment, places, organs, and angels will become witness for him or against him. Yes, the roads, mountains, trees, everything present there -- even if we do not notice them -- will become witnesses on the day of Judgment. That is why he (pbuh) would use different routes on the way to and back from the prayer so that number of witnesses will increase.

We are in very blessed days nowadays; therefore, we need to spend these days and nights in appropriate ways to seek the pleasure of Allah.

Spending Eid in compliance with Islam is very important for us. We have to prepare for this in advance. For example, wherever you are, you can visit the places where you will remember Allah the most. If you are in Istanbul, for instance, you can take your family to visit Abu Ayyub al Ansarî, a great and famous companion of the Prophet (pbuh). Other great personages may be visited. There is Yahya Efendi Dargah in Besiktas, also Yushâ Alayhissalam in Beykoz. I am sure each locality has some great spiritual leaders worth visiting.

On these Eid day, we also need to make dua for those Muslims who are persecuted around the world. The non-Muslims have joined together and are attacking Muslims everywhere. Muslims are separated and "loosing blood" everywhere like an injured lion lying on the ground. If Muslims do not get together, join hearts, and support each other, the result will be severe. Allah's help will come to those who work together and support each other with brotherly love. Therefore, we should think about the problems of the Muslims around the world and help every Muslim as much as we can.

As you know, last year there was a major earthquake disaster in Turkey. Also, I heard it was snowing in those affected areas last night. This means that many people are struggling with the cold weather, hunger, and lack of a warm shelter. Therefore, you should give your sacrifice meat to those who are in need and try to get their dua.

May your nights and days pass with good deeds. May Allah accept your deeds and place you among those whom He loves the most.

Again, I congratulate your Eid, EID MUBARAK TO ALL OF YOU. Peace and blessings of Allah be with you my dear brothers and sisters. As-salamu 'alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh.

March 17, 2000 -- Mecca