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Sermon of
Hazrat Amirul Momeneen
Zafrullah Domun

 
  Eid ul Adha

17 November 2010

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After reciting the Tashahhud, the Ta’uz and the first chapter of Al Fatiha Imam Zafrullah Domun said:

Today is Eid ul Adha and Muslims around the world will be celebrating this important festival with a desire to win the pleasure of Allah. On this auspicious occasion I send my Eid greetings to all those who profess the Islamic faith around the world. May Allah bring joy to the heart of everyone especially those who have gone to Mecca for the purpose of making the pilgrimage. May Allah help all the pilgrims to complete their Hajj in peace and without any incident. Let us hope that no untoward incident will mar the Hajj and may Allah derail the plans of all those who may intend to do evil in the Holy Land. The fact is that the Saudi Authorities are on the alert for an attack from Al Qaida during the Hajj. We pray that such an attack does not take place.

A haji shows a great determination when he leaves everything behind and resort to the House of Allah par excellence to show his love for Allah and to try to have his sins forgiven. Although the  rites for Hajj are only for five days but usually people leave on a journey of about fifteen to thirty days. We do not exaggerate at all when we say that the pilgrim leaves. In fact he washes his hands with the world and seeks only the pleasure of his lord by enduring the fatigue of journey and at times heat also. Even the rites of Hajj are not easy. Most often all the journeys from Mecca to Mina to Arafat and to Muzdalifa are done on foot for most of the pilgrims. So there is a lot of walking and it is not easy. Besides, there are lots of prayers to be performed. Most pilgrims stand in the valley of Arafat and pray between Zohr and Maghrib on the 9th day of Zul Hajj. Moreover at night also they take little time to rest and spend most of their time in the remembrance of Allah and in reading the Holy Quran or in prayers. However in future pilgrims will not need to walk the pilgrim’s path because the Saudis will put at their disposal a monorail that will ferry 20,000 passengers  hourly around the pilgrim’s route.

From the books of hadith we learn that the Holy Prophet Mohammad saw performed Hajj only once in his lifetime. On that occasion he established all the rites as they are to be performed and he pronounced the famous farewell speech. When we examine this speech we see that it is still relevant today as it was then. If all Muslims heeded what their leader had demanded of them there would have been less strife and harmony would have prevailed in homes and in societies at large. So I will again share with you the contents of this speech so that all of us might reflect about the last advices of the Holy Prophet of Islam, Hazrat Mohammad saw. There are several versions of this speech.This is the one that I have taken. On the 9th Zul Hajj 631, the Holy Prophet stood at Arafat and said:

“O people, hear me well: I explain to you. For I do not know; I may well not meet you again in this place where I now stand, after this year of mine.

O people: your lives and your property, until the very day you meet your Lord, are as inviolable to each other as the inviolability of this day you are now in, and the month you are now in. Have I given the message? -- O Allah, be my witness. So let whoever has been given something for safekeeping give it back to him who gave him it. Truly, the usury of the Era of Ignorance has been laid aside forever, and the first usury I begin with is that which is due to my father’s brother ‘Abbas ibn ‘Abd al-Muttalib. And truly the blood-vengeance of the Era of Ignorance has been laid aside forever, and the first blood vengeance we shall start with is that which is due for the blood of [my kinsman] ‘Amir ibn Rabi‘a ibn Harith ibn ‘Abd al-Muttalib. Truly, the hereditary distinctions that were pretensions to respect in the Era of Ignorance have been laid aside forever, except for the custodianship of the Kaaba [by Bani ‘Abd al-Dar] and the giving of drink to pilgrims [by al- ‘Abbas]. A deliberate murder is subject to retaliation in kind. An accidental death from a deliberate injury means a death resulting from [something not usually used or intended as a deadly weapon such as] a stick or a rock, for which the indemnity is one hundred camels: whoever asks for more is a person of the Era of Ignorance. O people: the Devil has despaired of ever being worshipped in this land of yours, though he is content to be obeyed in other works of yours, which you deem to be of little importance.

O people: postponing the inviolability of a sacred month [claiming to postpone the prohibition of killing in it to a subsequent month, so as to continue warring despite the sacred month’s having arrived] is a surfeit of unbelief, by which those who disbelieve are led astray, making it lawful one year and unlawful in another, in order to match the number [of months] Allah has made inviolable. Time has verily come full turn, to how it was the day Allah created the heavens and the earth. Four months there are which are inviolable, three in a row and fourth by itself: Dhul Qa‘da, Dhul Hijja, and Muharram; and Rajab, which lies between Jumada and Sha‘ban. Have I given the message? -- O Allah, be my witness.

O people: verily you owe your women their rights, and they owe you yours. They may not lay with another man in your beds, let anyone into your houses you do not want without your permission, or commit indecency. If they do, Allah has given you leave to debar them, send them from your beds, or [finally] strike them in a way that does no harm. But if they desist, and obey you, then you must provide for them and clothe them fittingly. The women who live with you are like captives, unable to manage for themselves: you took them as a trust from Allah, and enjoyed their sex as lawful through a word [legal ruling] from Allah. So fear Allah in respect to women, and concern yourselves with their welfare. Have I given the message? -- O Allah, be my witness.

O people, what I say to you, you must hear and remember. All Muslims are brothers. All of you are equal. All men, whatever nation or tribe they may belong to, and whatever station in life they may hold are equal.”

While he was saying this Holy Prophet saw raised his hands and joined the fingers of one hand with the fingers of the other and then said:


“Even as the fingers of the two hands are equal, so are human beings equal to one another. No one has any superiority to claim over another. You are as brothers.

Do you know what month is this? What territory we are in? What day of the year it is today?”

The Muslims said in reply, they knew it was the sacred month, the sacred land and the day of Hajj. Then the Holy Prophet said:


“Even as this month is sacred, this land inviolate and this day holy, so has God made the lives, property and honour of everyman sacred. To take any man’s life or his property or attack his honour is as unjust and wrong as to violate the sacredness of this day, this month, this territory. What I command you today is not meant for today, it is meant for all time. You are expected to remember it and to act upon it until you leave this world and go to the next to meet your Creator. What I have said to you, you should communicate to the ends of the earth. Maybe those who have not heard me may benefit by it more than those who have heard” ( Sihha Sitta, Tabari, Hisham).

 This is not the first time that most of us are hearing this hadith. But we need to repeat it so that we might all remember it and understand what a powerful message of the equality of man and how women should be treated have been reinforced in this farewell address of the Holy Prophet of Islam. Throughout Islamic history there have been some rare and exceptional men who have implemented what the Holy Prophet saw said. But there have been many others who thought that they were practicing virtue by ignoring these instructions of the Holy prophet saw. Muslims have a tendency to quote their teachings whenever they want to prove the superiority of the message of Islam and its prophet. But unfortunately the deeds of Muslims speak so loudly that others do not hear what they have to say. Even today in many Muslim countries women continue to suffer and they are not given their full rights. Anyhow this is another story.

 Now let us speak about some other aspects of Eid ul Adha. It is a time for all Muslims around the world to remember the example of Hazrat Ibrahim, Hazrat Ismail and Hazrat Hajra, the mother of Ismail. Among the rituals of Hajj there is the running on the hills of Safa and Marwa. This is in commemoration of the running of Hazrat Hajra ra.  As you all know following divine instructions Hazrat Ibrahim left Hazrat Hajra and her newborn son Ismail with only some water in a recipient in the desert of Mecca. When she asked him why he was leaving them in such a place, he could not answer because he was overcome with grief. She asked him if he had received divine instructions to do this. He lifted his eyes to the sky. She then said if that were so then she and her son would not be lost or destroyed. I am relating this story from memory. Some words and actions might not be as exactly reported in the Hadith. So after some time the water which they brought was used up and Hajra did not have any water to drink or to give to her son Ismail. So in her anguish and in search of some people she run on the one side on the hilltop of Safa and came down and ran again on the other side to the hilltop of Marwa. She did it several times. Eventually she will find a source of water near her son’s feet. This is the beginning of the story of Zam Zam which still flows today. But Hajjis have to repeat this action at least seven times in remembrance of what Hazrat Hajra did.

Hazrat Ibrahim came to visit his family from time to time. Eventually when Hazrat Ismail will be a young boy he would help his father with the construction the Mosque which is known in the Holy Quran to be the first mosque of mankind. It was at this time that Hazrat Ibrahim will tell Hazrat Ismail that he had seen in a dream that he was slaughtering him. The Holy Quran speaks about this incident thus:

 And when he was old enough to work with him, he said, ‘O my dear son, I have seen in a dream that I am slaughtering thee. So consider, what thou thinkest of it!’ He replied, ‘O my father, do as thou art commanded; thou wilt find me, if Allah please, of those who are patient.’(37:103)

And when they both submitted to the Will of God, and he had thrown him down on his forehead,

We called to him: ‘O Abraham, ‘Thou hast indeed fulfilled the dream.’ Thus indeed do We reward those who do good.

That surely was a manifest trial.

And We ransomed him with a great sacrifice.

And We left for him a good name among the following generations —(37:104-9)

Hazrat Ibrahim was ready to sacrifice his son for the sake of Allah. It shows how obedient and submissive he was to Allah. All those who are fathers of children can easily have an idea what a great sacrifice Hazrat Ibrahim was ready to do. Here we can also appreciate the obedience of his son Ismail to him. As soon as the father said something he was ready to submit to his father’s will. What a great Father and what a great son. Both were ready to sacrifice what was precious to them for the sake of the Lord. If today we celebrate Eid it is in remembrance of that holy family Ibrahim, his wife and his son Ismail. Since that time Allah has ordained that sacrifices of animals should be performed in remembrance of what Ibrahim was prepared to do to please His Lord. So whoever has means and offers sacrifices he should remember this example and be ever ready to do the same to please Allah. In fact the Muslim is not being called to offer his son. He is called to sacrifice his ego to please Allah. The slaughtering of animals is symbolic of the slaughtering of the animal ego in the path of Allah. Unfortunately how many animals are sacrificed but yet how few egos are sacrificed! This is a matter of concern for every Muslim. We boast of having the best teachings, the best concept of Allah, the best prophet that has been sent to mankind. But can we also say that our conduct is so good that we are really qualified to bear the epithet “the best people raised for the guidance of mankind”. On this sacred day of Ei dul adha it is important for all of us to think about how far we have improved our conduct, how far we have changed ourselves to reflect real Islamic morals to be called  the true followers of the Holy Prophet Mohammad saw.

 If our thoughts on Eid is concerned only by our clothes, our food and drink, about talking and cracking jokes or by watching films to entertain ourselves , then we are far from the Eid of the Muslim, the one who submits himself to Allah. But if our main concern is how far we are ready to improve our morals and become a good Muslim in the real sense of the word then even if we participate in merrymaking, we put beautiful clothes and we enjoy good food, we have understood the meaning of Eid ul adha. May Allah help each one amongst us and every Muslim to understand the real meaning of Eid and to strive to get it in our life. Ameen