Thursday, August 24, 2017

'Korban' displays the beauty of Islam...

In the name of Allah, Most Merciful, Most Compassionate; blessings and peace be upon Prophet Muhammad s.a.w.

"Anyone who obeys the Messenger has obeyed God..." (Nisaa 4:80)


ALMOST every morning at 10:15, Radio IKIM would featured a renowned 'ustaz' (religious teacher) to discuss a specific topic; the one I liked most was by Ustaz Muhammad Abdullah Al-Amin (Ustaz Amin). He appeared on every Monday morning in 'Pesona D'Zahra' which focused on family matters.

Not long ago, the 'cheerful' ustaz gave a talk on 'korban' (sacrificing animals during 'Eid Adha'); among others he mentioned that sacrificing animals to God (Allah SWT) but distributing the meat to the needy, display and prove the beauty of Islam.

Muslims celebrate 'Eid Adha' on the 10, 11,12 and 13th of Dhul-hijjah (the last month of the Muslim calendar) commemorating the willingness of Prophet Ibrahim a.s. (peace be upon him) to sacrifice his beloved son, Prophet Ismail a.s. as an act of obedience to Allah SWT. Muslims who can afford are encouraged to sacrifice their best domesticated animals such as cow, sheep and goat as symbol of Prophet Ibrahim’s a.s willingness to sacrifice his only son to his second wife, Hajar (Hagar).

Thus during the festive of  'Eid Adha' worldwide, millions of animals were slaughtered by individuals and various groups which organized the events such as masjids' committee members. The meat of the sacrificed animals were then distributed to the poor and needy nevertheless the rich too were given the meat as presents. 

Ustaz Amin said: "We sacrifice the animals just to please Allah SWT, but Allah does not need the meat. We give away the meat for the benefit of fellow human beings. It is such a beauty; compare it with some 'praying rituals' carry out by men of other beliefs where the items 'sacrificed' such as food and fruits such as oranges and apples are left to rot under trees or are being washed away in waters of rivers and seas." 

Regarding the act of sacrificing animals, Allah SWT says: "Their meat will not reach Allah, nor will their blood, but what reaches Him is piety from you. Thus have We subjected them to you that you may glorify Allah for that (to) which He has guided you; and give good tidings to the doers of good." (Surah Al-Hajj 22: 37)

'Subhanallah' (Glory be to God), Allah SWT The Mighty Rich does not need the meat; is is meant to feed the poor. 'Alhamdulillah' nowadays Muslims of Malaysia have made themselves available almost everywhere at poor countries of the world to sacrifice animals there. 

Troops of Malaysian Malaysian volunteers and workers are having their arms busy in countries such as Cambodia, Philippines (southern part of the country), Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Thailand (southern part of it) and far away lands such as Sudan during the days of sacrificing the animals during the festival of 'Eid Adha'.

As we are about to celebrate 'Eid Adha' let us have a thought about refining our deeds when sacrificing animals. This also displays the beauty of Islam. The Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. said in a 'hadith' with the meaning: "Allah has decreed kindness or proficiency in all things. So when you kill, kill well, and when you slaughter, slaughter well. Let one of you sharpened his blade and spare suffering to the animals he slaughters." (Saheeh Muslim)

Regarding the sacrificing of animals during Eid Adha, the Holy Land is a place where hundred thousands of cows, camels and sheep are slaughtered; and during a hajj season a few years back, Saudi Arabia’s prestigious sacrificial meat utilization program sent the meat of one million heads of sheep and 10,000 cows and camels to the poor and needy in many poor countries, as well as Syrian refugees.

It was reported that its inception in 1983, the project has utilized and distributed meat of more than 16 million livestock, amongst the poor in Saudi Arabia and 27 other countries. Subhanallah, the sacrificing of animals by Muslims during Eid Adha truly benefited people through out the globe; it clearly points up to the 'beauty of Islam'.

While Muslims worldwide are celebrating Eid Adha, some four million very, very lucky men and women have been chosen by Allah SWT to be His guests performing hajj in the Holy Land.  Pilgrims are recommended to recite this verse: "Labbayk, Allahumma, Labbayk, Labbayk, La Shareeka laka, Labbayk Innal-hamda wan n’mata laka wal-mulk, La shareekala" – (Here I am at Your service, O Lord here I am, No partner do You have, Here I am, Truly the praise and the favour is Yours and the dominion. No partner do You have).

For Muslims who are not performing hajj in their homelands, they are encouraged to perform recommended deeds during the first nine days of Dhul-hijjah such as fasting especially on ‘Wukuf’ day (on the 9th Dhul-Hijjah) and giving charity. Then during Eid Adha (10th Dhul-Hijjah) when Muslims perform ‘solat’ (Eid prayers) and the days of Tashreek (11, 12, and 13th Dhul-Hijjah) they are recommended to do the slaughter or ‘korban’ (sacrifice) animals (such as sheep and cow).

Scholars said one of the special characteristics that Allah has blessed the Muslim ummah; are the times of the year, during which, acts of obedience and worship are extremely advantageous. These times of the years are in fact gifts from the Allah that He has given to Muslim ummah. Allah announces mercy, blessings and presenting gift of great rewards during these seasons.

Abu Hurairah relates that the Messenger of Allah. said, "There are no days more loved to Allah for you to worship Him therein than the 10 days of Dhul-Hijjah. Fasting any day during it is equivalent to fasting one year and to offer 'salatul tahajjud' (late-night prayer) during one of its nights is like performing the late night prayer on Lailatul Qadr'. 

Another virtue of the first 10 days of Dhul-Hijjah is that the Day of Arafah (9th day of Dhul-Hijjah). The Day of Arafah is a great day during which Allah frees many of His worshippers from the fire of Hell. The Messenger of Allah s.a.w. said: "There is no day during which Allah frees more worshippers from the fire of Hell than during the day of Arafah."

'Korban' or sacrificing of animal has great great rewards in the eyes of Allah SWT. Sayidatina Aisha' reports that the Prophet s.a.w. said,"The son of Adam does not perform any actions on the day of sacrifice which is more pleasing to Allah than the shedding of blood. The sacrificed animal shall come on the Day of Judgment with its horns, hair, and hooves. The sacrifice is accepted by Allah before the blood reaches the ground." (Tirmizi)

Hajj also reminded us about the sacrifice of Hajar. She was left alone with her infant son, Ismail a.s. in the desert (present day Makkah) by Prophet Ibrahim a.s. She 'surrendered' to Allah's order via her husband, Ibrahim a.s. Wives must emulate Hajar, please be 'sabar' (patience) with whats befalls your husbands such as he had to go to faraway places to do 'da'wah' works or he had been transfer far away from you during the course of his work. This is another aspect of the beauty of Islam, please always be 'sabar', 'insya-Allah' (God Willing) you would be rewarded handsomely just like Hajar! If this is the case, then why must be there women who were 'jealous' when their husbands 'spend to much time in the masjid'?

Writing about my own experience in the Holy Land, I loved to be ‘alone’ (without the presence of known companions near me) in places such as Majidil-Haram and while gathering in Plains of Arafah because I had the feeling of nearness to Allah SWT. 

Without the presence of ‘a known person’ close to me, I could ‘freely’ pour out my heart to Allah SWT. I was free to shed tears without the feeling of being ‘observed’ by ‘close relatives and friends’.

When you are ‘alone’ it is easy for you to talk and admitted about your past sins and then beg forgiveness from the Almighty. In one such occasion, I was sobbing, lost for words. 

I reached for my small du’aa book and read the supplications, among others: "O Allah! I ask of Your integrity and soundness in my religion, my life, my family, and my possessions.

O Allah! Cover my shame, pacify my fears, guard me from what is in front of me and behind me, from what is on my right and on my left, over my head and under my feet.

O Allah! Grant health to my body. O Allah grants health to my hearing.

O Allah! Grant heath to my sight. There is no deity except You.

O Allah! You are my Lord. There is no deity except You. You are my Creator and I am Your creature. I try to keep my covenant with You and to live in the hope of Your promise as well as I can. I seek refuge in You from my own evil deeds. I acknowledge Your favours to me, and I acknowledge my sins. Forgive me my sins, for there is no one who can forgive sins except You.

O Allah! I seek refuge in You from worry and sorrow. I seek refuge in You from impotence and sloth, from stinginess and cowardice, and I seek refuge in You from the burden of debt and from being humbled by men.

O Allah! Make the beginning of this day good, the middle prosperous, and the end successful. I ask You to grant me the good of this world and of the Hereafter. O Most Merciful of all Who show us mercy!

O Allah! You hear my words, You behold my situation, You know what is open and what is hidden within me; nothing is hidden from You. It is me alone who is in need, a humble seeker of Your forgiveness. I beseech You with humility in my heart, with trembling and fear, in prostration and utter helplessness.

O Allah! Grant me soundness of belief, goodness of character, forgiveness of my sins, and Your eternal pleasure in the Hereafter.

And to all Muslims especially readers during this Eid, please don't forget prayers and du'as for the safety of Muslims especially in the Palestine, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, the Rohingyas and of course the many in doing their hajj and in general in other countries where Muslims are persecuted and for the liberation of Masjid Al-Aqsa. And also too PAS in its struggle for the Islamic way of life - 'Membangun Bersama Islam'.

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