Alhamdulillah for witnessing the month of Dhul Hijjah – one of the scared months in Islam.

Indeed, the number of months with Allah is twelve [lunar] months in the register of Allah [from] the day He created the heavens and the earth; of these, four are sacred.

(At-Taubah, 9:36)

The month of Dhul-Hijjah is the 12th month in the Islamic Calendar and it is symbolic because Muslims engaging in a special form of worship – Hajj (pilgrimage to the Kaabah). The end of the Hajj season is commemorated by Eid Al-Adha festival on the 10th day of Dhul-Hijja

Due to the Pandemic it is sad that many people are not engaging in pilgrimage this year. We pray Almighty Allah ﷻ alleviates this pandemic from the earth and allow the Pilgrimage take place next year. But there are other forms of worship we can engage in apart from going for Pilgrimage.

The sacredness of this months makes good deeds more meritorious, and at the same time committing sins attract more punishment from Allah عَزَّ وَجَلَّ. Even the Arabs in the period of jahiliyyah (ignorance) recognised these months to be sacred. (The sacred months are Dhul-Qa’dah, Dhul-Hijjah, Muharram and Shaban) This is another blessed season given to us after Ramadan. Click to read a previous post that addresses various forms of worship we can engage in during this month!

The slaughtering of sacrifice in this month is manifested through the obedience of Prophet Ibrahim عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ to Allah. The story goes thus. Prophet Ibrahim عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ dreamt that he was sacrificing his son. Prophet Ismail عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ.  (Prophet’s dream are genuine because they are a form of revelation and are not affected by Shaytan.) He عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ told his son: “O my son, indeed I have seen in a dream that I [must] sacrifice you, so see what you think.” The son (Prophet Ismail عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّل responded: “O my father, do as you are commanded. You will find me, if Allah wills, of the steadfast.”  (As-Saffat, 37:102) Thereafter, he عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ took his son to Mount Arafah and was ready to put the knife across his son (subhannallah). Allah عَزَّ وَجَلَّ says: ‘And when they had both submitted and he put him down upon his forehead, We called to him, “O Abraham, You have fulfilled the vision.” Indeed, We thus reward the doers of good. Indeed, this was the clear trial. And We ransomed him with a great sacrifice, And We left for him [favorable mention] among later generations: “Peace upon Abraham.” Indeed, We thus reward the doers of good. (As-Saffat, 37:103-110).

Engaging in the sacrifice is something that is heavy to carry out (This is a Prophet that did not have any other child at the time) but there was no point of question because it was a divine instruction. They both submitted to the will of Allah without hesitation and Allah replaced it with a Ram. This was a trial from Allah عَزَّ وَجَلَّ!

Just as Prophet Ibrahim عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ was prepared to engage in the sacrifice to please Allah عَزَّ وَجَلَّ, it is now a recommended tradition that a person who is able, offers Qurbani/Udhiya. Qurbani means an act performed to draw closer and seek Allah’s عَزَّ وَجَلَّ pleasure while Udhiya means ‘blood sacrifice’. This is a practice that the Prophet ﷺ engaged in – ‘The Prophet ﷺ lived in Madinah for 10 years and every year he slaughtered an animal’. [Albani] An animal is slaughtered as a sacrifice with the intention to draw closer to Allah عَزَّ وَجَلَّ.

Relating the story of Prophet Ibrahim عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ to our lives. The story informs us to live our lives in obedience to Allah. We should acknowledge that there is wisdom behind every order of Allah and must obey Allahعَزَّ وَجَلَّ without hesitation. Further, we learn that Allah عَزَّ وَجَلَّ will tests the believers (based on their level of Iman) So, when test comes in our direction we should bear in mind the sprit from the sacrifice of Prophet Ibrahim عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ that if he عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ could put a knife to his son in order to please Allah عَزَّ وَجَلَّ and it was replaced with a Ram. When we sacrifice something for the sake of Allah عَزَّ وَجَلَّ we will definitely get immeasurable reward and a replacement. For this to happen, we must have tawakkul (complete reliance) in Allah عَزَّ وَجَلَّ and accept that if we forsake anything for the sake of pleasing Allah عَزَّ وَجَلَّ it is for our own benefit and for the greater good. We may not be able to obey Allah عَزَّ وَجَلَّ like the Prophets, but we must continually strive to please Allah عَزَّ وَجَلَّin all our actions and by obeying Him in our lives.

Prophet Ibrahim عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ (and Prophet Muhammed ﷺ) are Khalilullah (friends of Allah عَزَّ وَجَلَّ). Allah says: ‘And who is better in religion than one who submits himself to Allah while being a doer of good and follows the religion of Abraham, inclining toward truth? And Allah took Abraham as an intimate friend. (An-Nisa 4:125)  We can become close servants of Allah by obeying Allah عَزَّ وَجَلَّ and fulfilling the obligations He عَزَّ وَجَلَّ has enjoined upon us. The Prophetic ﷺ narration reads: Abu Hurairah رضي الله عنه reported that the Messenger of Allah, , said: “Allah the Almighty has said: ‘Whosoever acts with enmity towards a closer servant of Mine (wali), I will indeed declare war against him. Nothing endears My servant to Me than doing of what I have made obligatory upon him to do. And My servant continues to draw nearer to Me with supererogatory (nawafil) prayers so that I shall love him. When I love him, I shall be his hearing with which he shall hear, his sight with which he shall see, his hands with which he shall hold, and his feet with which he shall walk. And if he asks (something) of Me, I shall surely give it to him, and if he takes refuge in Me, I shall certainly grant him it.’” [Sahih Al- Bukhari]

POINT OF REFLECTION: This life is a journey which has an end and we were created with the purpose to worship Allah عَزَّ وَجَلَّ. Allah عَزَّ وَجَلَّ says: ‘And I did not create the jinn and mankind except to worship Me.’ (Adh-Dhariyat 51:56)  We are going to be tried and tested the way Prophet Ibrahim عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ was and by being obedient to Allah عَزَّ وَجَلَّ we pray to pass the test and be rewarded with Jannah! Have the reassurance that whatever you leave for the sake of Allah will be recompensed with something better. You may not see it now but have the certainty it is being replaced. I leave you with an Hadith Qudsi: ‘And if he draws near to Me an arm’s length, I draw near to him a cubit, and if he draws near to Me a cubit, I draw near to him a fathom. And if he comes to Me walking, I go to him at speed.’ [Sahih Al-Bukhari] So, know that whenever you leave something to draw closer to Allah عَزَّ وَجَلَّ,  Allah عَزَّ وَجَلَّ draws closer to you too.

Share this post if you found it beneficial. Any good thing I have said is from Allah عَزَّ وَجَلَّ and any wrong is from myself and I seek His forgiveness. In Sha Allah I will catch up in my next post to talk about… Till then

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