By Shaykh Abdul Qayum | 14 June 2024

Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem

Dear brothers and sisters in Islam,

As we approach the blessed Day of Arafat and the joyous occasion of Eid al-Adha, I wanted to take a moment to reflect upon the significance and virtues of these sacred days. In this week’s Friday sermon, I emphasised the importance of the Day of Arafat and the etiquette surrounding Eid al-Adha, and I wish to reiterate these points to ensure that we all make the most of these precious opportunities for spiritual growth and forgiveness.

The Day of Arafat, which falls on the 9th day of Dhu al-Hijjah, holds immense significance in our Islamic calendar, particularly for those undertaking the sacred pilgrimage of Hajj. However, it is crucial to understand that the blessings and opportunities for forgiveness on this day are not limited to those physically present in Arafat but extend to all Muslims worldwide.

Our beloved Prophet Muhammad  (peace be upon him) said, “There is no day on which Allah sets free more slaves from Hellfire than He does on the Day of Arafat.” This hadith underscores the magnitude of Allah’s mercy and forgiveness on this day. I urge all of you to seize this opportunity by dedicating the Day of Arafat to worship, remembrance, and sincere supplication.

Fasting is one of the most highly recommended acts of worship on the Day of Arafat. The Prophet  said, “I hope and pray that Allah will cause expiation of our sins of the past year and the next year by fasting on the Day of Arafat.” This hadith highlights the reward of fasting on this day, as it can lead to the forgiveness of sins from the previous and upcoming years. I encourage all members of our community, including our children, to observe this sunnah and experience the spiritual benefits it brings.

In addition to fasting, I cannot stress enough the importance of engaging in supplications (dua) and remembrance (dhikr) on the Day of Arafat. As mentioned by our Prophet (), “The best dua is the dua on the Day of Arafat, and the best thing that I and the Prophets before me have said is: Laa ilaaha ill-Allaah wahdahu laa shareeka lah, lahul-mulk wa lahul-hamd wa huwa ‘ala kulli shay’in qadeer (There is no god but Allah alone, with no partner or associate; His is the dominion, to Him be praise, and He has power over all things).” This powerful declaration of Allah’s oneness and supremacy serves as a means to open the doors of Allah’s mercy and acceptance of our supplications.

I also want to remind our congregation of the importance of maintaining Taqwa and avoiding sins on the Day of Arafat. This includes lowering our gaze, controlling our tongues, and being mindful of how we spend our time. I caution against excessive involvement in social media and urge our community to prioritise their spiritual growth and connection with Allah during this blessed day.

As the Day of Arafat is followed by Eid al-Adha, let us discuss the etiquettes and sunnahs associated with this joyous occasion. There are two types of takbir that should be recited: Takbirat al-Muqayyadah, [conditional takbir] which is recited after the daily prayers from the Fajr prayer on the Day of Arafat until the ‘Asr prayer on the last day of Tashriq (13th of Dhu al-Hijjah), and Takbirat al-Mutlaqah, [the unrestricted takbir] which is recited at any time during the first ten days of Dhu al-Hijjah.

The words recited for both are the same:

الله أكبر، الله أكبر، الله أكبر، لا إله إلا الله، الله أكبر، الله أكبر، ولله الحمد

Allahu Akbar, la ilaha illallah, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, wa lillahil-hamd
Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest, there is no deity but Allah, Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest, and all praises are for Allah.

I strongly encourage our congregation to attend the Eid prayer early in the morning, as it was the practice of the Prophet Muhammad  to pray Eid Salah early, which can be from approximately 20–30 minutes after sunrise. Let us not fall into the practice of sleeping in late and attending later congregations, as it contradicts the sunnah and displays a lack of enthusiasm for this blessed day.

Furthermore, let us remember the sunnah, such as taking a bath (ghusl), wearing our best clothes, using perfume, and walking to the prayer place on Eid day. It is also a sunnah to return home from the Eid prayer using a different route than the one taken to arrive at the prayer location.

Lastly, I want to emphasise the importance of strengthening our family bonds on Eid Day. In a society where family ties are increasingly strained, I urge parents to create a loving and nurturing environment at home, ensuring that our children feel a stronger connection to their family members than to their outside friends. By fostering a sense of togetherness and belonging within the family unit, we can safeguard our children from the challenges and distractions that may lead them astray.

Let us take this sermon as a reminder of the immense blessings and opportunities for spiritual growth that lie within the Day of Arafat and Eid al-Adha. By engaging in acts of worship, remembrance, and supplication while also strengthening our family ties and adhering to the sunnahs of our beloved Prophet , we can truly make the most of these sacred days and draw closer to our Rabb. May Allah grant us the ability to reap the rewards of the Day of Arafat and celebrate Eid al-Adha in a manner that pleases The Highest, and may He forgive our sins and grant us His infinite mercy and grace.

Ameen.

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