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DHUL HIJJAH & 'EID AL-'ADHA - Zaytuna Institute
By Imam Zaid Shakir http://www.zaytuna.org/
"Zaytuna did not receive any reports of the new moon of Dhul-Hijjah being sighted anywhere in North America on Saturday evening, Dec. 31st. Thus the first day of Dhul-Hijjah was on Monday, and we will celebrate Eid ul-Adha (the 10th of Dhul-Hijjah) on Wednesday, January 11th (2006). "
Our decision to base our timing of ‘Eid al-‘Adha on confirmed North American crescent sightings stems from the following considerations:
The first ten days of Dhul-Hijja are blessed days, which we frequently neglect. The Noble Prophet, Peace and Blessings of God be upon him, said, “There are no days in which righteous deeds done during them are more beloved to God than these days, referring to the first ten days of Dhul-Hijja.” They said, “O Messenger of God! Not even struggling in the Way of God?” He said, “Not even struggling in the way of God. Except [thestruggle] of a man who goes forth in the Way of God with his life and his wealth, then he returns with neither.” 
During these blessed days we should try to exert ourselves in worship, for the ‘Ulama’ mention that the virtue of these days surpass even the virtue of the days Ramadan. Among the indications of the distinction of these days is the special mention made of them as a group or individually in both the Qur’an and the Sunnah. The above-mentioned Hadith suffices as an indication from the Sunnah, although we will mention other indications from that source shortly. As for the Qur’an, God says, “I swear by the Dawn, the Ten Nights, the Even and the Odd.” The Dawn, refers to the first or the tenth day of Dhul Hijja. The ten nights refer to the first ten nights of Dhul Hijja, as related by Ibn ‘Abbas and others. The even and the odd refer to the Day of Sacrifice and Jumu’ah. These ten days are also the well-known days mentioned in the verse, “…and they remember the Name of God during the well-known days over the beasts We have provided them.”
The religion was also completed during these days. Umar ibn al-Khattab, May God be pleased with him, relates that the verse, “This day have I perfected your religion for you, and completed My Favor unto you, and chosen Islam as your religion,” was revealed as the Prophet, Peace and Blessings of God be upon him, stood at ‘Arafa [ontheninthofDhulHijja] during the Farewell Pilgrimage.
Bearing these and many other virtues of these days in mind, we should be especially diligent in increasing our righteous acts during them. The following acts are especially recommended:
‘Eid al-Fitr commemorates the end of the struggle undertaken by the fasting believers. ‘Eid al-‘Adha commemorates the end of the struggle undertaken by the pilgrims to Mecca and the Sacred Precincts. The latter also commemorates the struggle of our father Abraham, Peace be upon him, and his family. Abraham’s struggle revolves around his pure devotion to God, and his willingness to sacrifice everything he possessed for his Lord, even his very son.
During this blessed season, let us all strive to renew our commitment to our faith. Let us commit ourselves to the great struggle of carving out for our community a dignified place in these Western lands. Let us renew the spirit of sacrifice and selflessness in this world of selfishness and egoism gone mad. However, let us also take time to enjoy ourselves during the coming holiday. But even as we enjoy ourselves, let us keep the remembrance of God ever present on our tongues and in our hearts. Our beloved Prophet described our great holiday best when he mentioned, concerning the three days which follow the ‘Eid day, “They are days of eating, drinking, and remembering God.”
May each year when these blessed days return find you all in the very best of states. May your life be dominated by the remembrance of God. In all that we do, May He be glorified.
On behalf of your servants at the Zaytuna Institute,
Imam Zaid Shakir
 The scholars differ as to the meaning of this expression (…will not both be incomplete). Ibn Hajar mentions in Fath al-Bari that one of the well-known meanings among the righteous forebears was that both months will not be 29 days in one year. This opinion is related from Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal. Imam Ahmad’s opinion is supported by a Prophetic tradition, “The two months [RamadanandDhulHijja] will not be 58 days.” See Ibn Hajar al-‘Asqilani, Fath al-Bari: Sharh Sahih al-Bukhari, (Damscus, Syria: Dar al-Fayha’, 1997) vol. 4, pp. 160-162.
 Related by al-Bukhari #1912; Muslim #2526, 2527; Abu Dawud #2323; al-Tirmidhi #692; and Ibn Majah #1659.
 Abu Dawud al-Sajistani, Sunan Abu Dawud, Al-Riyad, Saudi Arabia: Dar al-Salaam, 1999/1420) p. 170.
 Dr. Mustafa al-Bugha, et. al, al-Fiqh al-Manhaji, (Damascus, Syria: Dar al-Qalam, 1998/1419) p. 370.
 This Hadith is related by Imam al-Bukhari #1959; and Muslim #2496.
 Related by al-Tirmidhi #697. See Imam Abu ‘Isa Muhammad al-Tirmidhi, Jami’ al-Tirmidhi, (al-Riyadh, Saudi Arabia: Dar al-Salaam, 1999/1420) pp. 177-178.
 This is a paraphrase of al-Khattabi’s opinion mentioned in Muhammad Shams al-Haqq al-‘Adhim Abadi, ‘Awn al-Ma’bud: Sharh Sunan Abi Dawud, (Cairo, Egypt: Dar al-Hadith, 2001/1422) p. 411.
 See Prof. Ahmad Hasan, Trans., Sunan Abu Dawud, (Lahore, Pakistan: Sh. Muhammad Ashraf 1984) vol. 2, p. 635.
 Muhammad Ahmad al-Qurtubi, al-Jami’ li Ahkam al-Qur’an (Beirut: Dar al-Fikr, 1407/1987), vol. 2, p. 296.
 For a fuller discussion of this issue see Dr. Khalid Yahya Blankinship, “On The Moon Sighting of Ramadan.” Grassroots: The Journal of MANA, Fall 2004, p. 16.
 Ibn Hajar al-‘Asqilani, vol. 2, p. 589, #969.
 Al-Qur’an 89:1-2.
 See Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali, Lata’if al-Ma’arif (Damascus: Dar Ibn Kathir, 1416/1997), p. 470.
 Ibn Kathir, Tafsir al-Qur’an al-‘Adhim (Beirut, Sida: Al-Maktaba al-‘Asriyya, 1416/1996), vol. 4, p. 459.
 Ibn Kathir, vol. 4, p. 459.
 Al-Qur’an 22:28.
 Ibn Hajar, vol. 1, pp. 141-142, #45. Muslim, #3017.
 Muslim, #1162.
 Musnad Imam Ahmad, vol. 1, no. 329.
 The translation of this phrase is, “There is no God but Allah. He is alone without partners. His is the dominion, and unto Him is all praise. With Him is all good, and He over all things has power.”
 Al-Tirmidhi, #3585.
 Quoted in Ibn Rajab, p. 494.
 Muslim #1141.
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