Eid al-Adha Etiquettes & Dhul-Hijja's Last Ten Days Benefits

Bismillahi rahmaani raheem.

Eid is a term used for a festival or celebration that occurs every year. It was reported from the Prophet (Sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam), as documented by Al-Imaam Al-Bukhari, that he said: Every sect has its festival, while our festival, the people of Islam, is Eid al-Fitr. In other narrations, it is referred to as Eid al-Adha.

Eid al-Adha is preceded by days of closeness to Allah. Ibn Abbas reported that the Messenger of Allah Sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam said: “There are no days in which good deeds are more rewarded by Allah than the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah” (Al-Bukhari). The Prophet (Sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam), in response to a question about the day of Arafah (the 9th day of Dhul-Hijjah), said that it erases all sins of the previous and next year (Muslim).

These ten days should be dedicated to worship, remembrance of Allah, and doing good deeds. The Prophet (Sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) encourages fasting for the first nine days of Dhul-Hijjah. It is also recommended to praise Allah, especially with the phrases: Subhaanallah (Glory be to Allah), Alhamdulillah (Praise be to Allah), Allaahu Akbar (Allah is the Greatest), and La ilaaha illallaah (There is no god but Allah).

One of the most recommended phrases to be recited during these days is: “Allaahu Akbar, Allaahu Akbar, La ilaaha illallaah Allaahu Akbar, Allaahu Akbar, wa lillaahil hamd.” When the sun sets on the day of Arafah, it is recommended to recite this remembrance after each prayer instead of the usual remembrance. Its recitation continues until the sun sets on the third day after Eid.

The Eid prayer is to be performed on the morning of the tenth day of Dhul-Hijjah. It comprises two units of prayer. During the first rak’ah, there are seven takbeers (saying Allaahu Akbar) following the opening takbeer. In the second rak’ah, there are five takbeers, in addition to the one said when rising from Sujood (prostration).

It is recommended for the Imam to recite Surat al-A’la (Chapter 87) in the first rak’ah and Surat al-Ghaashiyah (Chapter 88) in the second rak’ah, or Surat al-Qaaf (Chapter 50) in the first and Surat al-Qamar (Chapter 54) in the second. It was reported that the Messenger of Allah used these chapters of the Qur’an for prayer.

Eid al-Adha is named so because it includes the act of slaughtering a sacrifice. The main purposes of this sacrifice are:

Worshipping Allah
Giving to the poor and needy.
Showing love and affection towards friends and relatives by sharing the slaughtered animal with them.
Deriving personal joy. The Prophet (Sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) said: ” The three days after Eid al-Adha are days of eating, drinking, and remembrance of Allah .”

Demonstrating the components of Islam: prayer, slaughtering for Allah, and remembrance of Him.
Reflecting on the conditions of the pious predecessors on the pristine path of Islam, such as Ibrahim, Ismail, and those who followed them with their total submission to Allah and their patience.
Slaughtering a sacrificial lamb (Udhiyah) is compulsory for every capable and mature Muslim. Abu Hurayrah reported that the Messenger of Allah said: ” Whoever has the ability to slaughter but does not do so should not come close to our prayer ground .” He also said: “Whoever slaughters before observing the prayer should slaughter another in replacement for it .”

Only four-footed livestock are permitted to be slaughtered, with different criteria for each type: camel, cattle, and Al-Ganam (which comprises the ram, ewe, and goat). Both male and female animals are allowed, but they must be of domestic form, not wild ones.

Minimum Ages for Each of the Animals:
– The ram and ewe: 6 months
– The goat: Must be at least one year old and have entered its second year.
– The cow: Must have reached two years and entered its third year.
– The camel: Must be at least five years old and have entered its sixth year.

These are the minimum age requirements for the animals to be permissible for slaughter as an act of worship. Any animal younger than the minimum age is not suitable as a sacrificial lamb.

The animal must be free from any form of deficiency. It should not have obvious eye defects, sickness, broken limbs, or any missing body parts. The animal should also be in good condition. A ram is sufficient for a household, regardless of the number of people living there, as long as they are under the care of the person offering the sacrifice. If others from the member of the household are capable also, it is recommended for them to also slaughter a sacrifice.

It is worth emphasizing that children who are no longer under their father’s care and are capable of performing the sacrifice should also partake in it. This is because the sacrifice carried out by the father does not fulfill their obligation. Furthermore, if a woman possesses the capability to perform the slaughter, there is no obstacle to her doing so, as there are recorded instances of such actions among the companions.

Time to slaughter : The time for slaughtering the ram starts immediately after the Imam slaughters his ram following the Eid prayer. It extends until the third day after Eid. The Imam mentioned here refers to the overall leader of Muslims in a state or town, or those appointed by him to observe the Eid prayer. The ram can be slaughtered on the 10th day of Dhul-Hijjah after the Imam’s slaughter, the 11th day, the 12th day, and the 13th day. The permissibility of slaughtering ends with the setting of the sun on the 13th day.

Where to slaughter: It is permissible to slaughter the animal in the prayer ground or any other suitable place. Both occurrences were established in the sunnah of the Prophet (Sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam).

What to say while slaughtering:
بسم الله والله أكبر اللهم إن هذا منك ولك اللهم تقبل مني وأهلي

Bismillah, Walllaahu Akbar, Allahumo Inna haadha minka walaka Allahumo taqobbal minni wa ahli.
(In the name of Allah, Allah is the Greatest. O Allah, this is from You and for You and O Allah, accept it from me and my family.)

Permissibility of hiring a butcher: It is recommended that the owner slaughters the sacrificial animal. However, if for any reason the owner cannot do so, it is permissible to hire a Muslim to assist. It is impermissible for idolaters to slaughter an animal for a Muslim, while it is strongly discouraged to hire people of the scripture (Jews and Christians) to slaughter it. The specific mention of the person’s name in the supplication changes accordingly. The following supplication is recited:
بسم الله والله أكبر اللهم إن هذا منك ولك اللهم تقبل من فلان بن فلان وأهله
Bismillah, Walllaahu Akhbar, Allahumo Inna haadha minka walaka Allahumo taqobbal min fulaan bun fulaan and his family.
(In the name of Allah, Allah is the Greatest. O Allah, this is from You and for You. O Allah, accept it from [mention the name of the owner] and his family.)

Etiquettes of slaughtering: It is necessary to be kind to the animal and avoid causing it any harm or torture. The knife used for slaughtering should be sharp, and the animal should not witness the slaughter of other animals. The animal is placed facing the Qiblah (direction of prayer), lying on its left side to facilitate the slaughtering process. The left hand is used to hold its head, then the aforementioned supplication is recited, and the animal is slaughtered. It is mandatory to be patient and allow the animal to die completely before further processing.

What to do after the slaughter: It is advisable to consume a portion of the sacrificial meat and distribute some to the poor and needy. It is prohibited to give any part of it as a fee to the butcher; instead, the butcher should be provided a separate payment for their services. However, if the butcher falls into the category of those eligible for the meat, they can be gifted a portion or given it as charity.

Additionally, the Prophet (Sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) explicitly prohibited selling any portion of the sacrificial meat. Abu Hurayrah narrated that the Messenger of Allah (Sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) said: “Whoever sells any part of their sacrificial animal will not receive the reward for the sacrifice.”

It is recommended to invoke praises and glorifications to Allah after the slaughter, saying:
” Subhaanakallaahumo wabihamdik, ash-hadu allaa ilaaha illa anta, astaghfiruka wa atuubu ilayka .”
(Glory be to You, O Allah, and all praises are due to You. I testify that there is no deity that deserves to be worshiped except You. I seek Your forgiveness and repent to You.)

By following these guidelines and observing the acts of worship during Eid al-Adha and the benefits of the last ten days of Dhul-Hijjah, Muslims can deepen their spirituality, strengthen their connection with Allah, and fulfill their religious obligations. May Allah accept the worship and sacrifices of all believers during this blessed time.

In conclusion , Eid al-Adha is a significant festival for Muslims that marks the end of the Hajj pilgrimage and commemorates the sacrifice of Prophet Ibrahim and his son Ismail. The festival is preceded by the last ten days of Dhul-Hijjah, which are considered the most rewarding days for performing good deeds and seeking Allah’s blessings.

May the blessings of Eid al-Adha fill our hearts and homes with joy, unity, and spiritual growth. Eid Mubarak to all Muslims around the world!

About Us

UNIFEMGA – Obafemi Awolowo University Muslim graduate Association is an organisation that caters for the needs of OAU muslim graduates.