These days are the days of remembrance, celebrating the sacrifice of Hz. Ibrahim and Hz. Isma`il, commemorating the fact that one's readiness to sacrifice one's life, and that which is dearer to one than one's life, one’s child, for Allah's sake is the sign of total submission and the perfection of one's religion. This final sacrifice is a proof that one has rid one's self of all the sicknesses plaguing one's heart such as arrogance, ambition, envy, anger, lust, cowardice, gluttony, haste, miserliness, stubbornness, ignorance, impatience, willfulness, revolt against God, and others. The heart is cleansed and enlarged and ready to receive its Lord.
On that holy Friday, the day of `Arifah, of Mt. `Arafat, our beloved Prophet stood to deliver his final sermon. Allah Most High revealed to him the verse: "On this· day I have perfected your religion." So the day of `Arifah is the celebration of the perfected religion of Islam. Allah Most High revealed all other divine books, except the Blessed Qur'an, as a whole and at once. He sent the Torah as a whole, and the sons of Israel had to accept it as a whole. For awhile they followed it. When it became heavy for them to live with its commandments, they revolted. However, the Blessed Qur'an came verse by verse. Allah first commanded us to witness la ilaha ilallah, Muhammadun rasulullah, and promised us His paradise. Then He ordered us to praytwo times, two rak`ats before sunrise and two rak`ats after sunset; then five times a day. Only after the migration did Allah order the Friday congregation, then the zakat, then the three-day fasting on the day of `Ashurah, the day before and the day after; then the fast of the month of Ramadan,then the Jihad, then the Pilgrimage, then the completion of the thousand things forbidden and the thousand things ordained for us. Allah, the merciful, the generous, perfected and completed our religion on the day of `Arifah.
It was on the day of `Arifah, on Mt. `Arafat, that Adam (a.s.), who was sent to the island of Serendip in India, and Hawa (a.s.), who was sent to Jiddah, met and recognized each other, and it is in commemoration of their recognition that this day is called `Arifah, recognition, and the place where they met is called `Arafat.
Hz. Ibrahim (a.s.) received the first command of his Lord to sacrifice his son on the night of Tarwiyah, the night before `Arifah. Because he contemplated whether this command carne from his Lord or from the accursed Devil, that day is called Tarwiyah, or "Consideration". But when he received Allah's command for the second time in a dream on the night of `Arifah, he knew that the order was indeed from Allah. That day is called `Arifah, meaning "Knowledge."
The ones who know say that the root of the names `Arifah and `Arafat is patience and submission, because one becomes `arif, the "knower" of the right and the wrong, the true and the false, through patience and submission. The Prophet (s.a.w.s.) said, "There is no day more honorable that `Arifah; on no other day are believers saved from Hell as much as they are saved on this day." He also said, "On the day of `Arifah, Allah looks upon His servants, and whoever has a grain of faith in his heart will receive His forgiveness." He also said, "The day which is promised is the Day of last Judgment; the day which will witness is Friday; the day which is witnessed is the day of `Arifah."
Our beloved Prophet, the mercy upon the universe, says: "If someone fasts on the day of `Arifah, Allah will forgive him his sins of the past year and the sins which he may commit in the corning year."
The Messenger of Allah said, "If one made a prayer of four rak`ats between the noon and afternoon prayers on the day of `Arifah, and in each rak`at recited the Fatihah once and Surah Ikhlas fifty times, Allah Most High would give him a thousand times a thousand rewards, and each letter of the Holy Qur'an that he recited would shed such light upon him that that person would see the pilgrims making tawaf around the Kaaba. (This is the miracle of our beloved Hz. Pir Nurreddin Jerrahi (q.s.))
Following this salat, if one recites this prayer of Rasulullah (s.a.w.s.), Allah will show that person to His angels and make them witness that his prayers are accepted, his sins are forgiven, and abundant rewards are shed upon him. Opening your hands, recite three times the talbiyah: Labbayk Allahumma labbayk, labbayk, la sharika laka, labbayk. Innal-hamda wa ni`mata laka wal-mulk. la sharika lak. Then recite one hundred times: La ilaha ilallahu wahdahu la sharika lah, lahul-mulku was lahul-hamdu, yuhyi wa yumitu, biyadihil-khayr, wa huwa `ala kulli shay'in qadir. Then recite one hundred tines:La hawla wa la quwwata ila billah il-`Aliyy il-`Azim. Ashhadu an Allaha `ala kulli shay'in qadir wa an Allaha qad ahata bi kulli shay'in `ilma. Say once: A`udhu billahi min ash-shaytan ir-rajim. Then recite three times: Innallaha huw-as-Sami`ul-`Alim. Starting with the Basmalah and ending with “Amin,”recite three times the Fatihah, then one hundred times Surah Ikhlas, then one hundred tines Bismillah ir-Rahman ir-Rahim. Allahumma salli `ala an-Nabi il-Ummi wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu. Follow this with your private prayers.
Allah Most High, in Surah Kawthar, orders us to sacrifice a ram, a symbol and exchange for our ultimate sacrifice. This tradition originated when Ibrahim (a.s.) was protected from the fire and tyranny of Nimrod, and wished to migrate to the safety of a holy place. He prayed to Allah to guide himto purity and grant him a pure son, and Allah rewarded him with a gentle and wise son, Isma`il.
When Isma`il (a.s.) came to an age when he could walk with his father to the place of his sacrifice, Allah, in dreams on three consecutive nights, commanded Ibrahim (a.s.) to sacrifice his son. When he asked his son his opinion about Allah's command, his son only said, "Beloved father, do what you were told, obey your Lord. Inshallah you will find me patient." Hz. Ibrahim fasted the day- of `Arifah, did his `Id prayers and took his son. When the son was ready to give up his head for his father and his father submitted for Allah's sake to give up his son, and bent him down upon his foreheadto cut his neck, Allah Most High sent a ram in exchange and said, "We respond to the gifts of Our good servants who love and obey Us thus. This is a clear test which separates the pure from the impure." The ones who know say that the purpose of this was to lessen the love of Isma`il (a.s.) in the heart of Ibrahim (a.s.). For Allah is jealous in His love and does not accept partners in the love of His lovers. Wasn’t Yaqub (a.s.) prevented from seeing his son Yusuf, whom he loved, for forty years? Haven’t the beloved lambs of Muhammad (s.a.w.s.), Hz Hasan and Hz. Husayn (r.a.), been martyred? Tosacrifice is to give one's heart to nothing and no one but Allah Most High, and to love none but Truth.
There are many hadiths about the importance of this sacrifice. The strongest one is, "The ones who can not and do not sacrifice a ram, let them not come to our masjid." The Prophet (s.a.w.s.) himself chose two large rams with big horns, black and white in color, turned to the qiblah, and made them lie on their sides. Over the first he recited the Basmalah, said "Allahu akbar," and prayed, "O Lord, this is from Muhammad and his household." He sacrificed the second in the same way but said, "O Lord, this is from Muhammad and his people." Then he said, “When a ram is thus slaughtered, Allah Most High forgives the sins of the one who sacrifices, and with the first drop of blood, gives him rewards, as many as the hairs in the wool of the ram, and makes that animal his beast of burden on the Day of last Judgment."
It is indicated that one should go to the `Id prayer by one road and come back by another. The ones who know say that the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s.) did this because going to the masjid he was going with his Lord to his Lord, while coming back from the masjid his intention was to return home to his family, and he felt that it was not befitting to use that sacred path on his return.
May Allah make us steadfast in our faith and our obedience to Allah. One who obeys Allah remembers Allah. The one who disobeys Allah forgets Allah. When we remember Allah, Allah is with us; when we worship and remember Allah in a crowd, Allah remembers us and praises us among His elect. When we come close to Allah, He comes closer to us. We go to Him carrying mountains of sin. Allah forgives whoever takes refuge in Him.
Ghaffarallahu lana wa lakum. Amin.
al-faqir tosun muhibb al-Jerrahi