Category: Comments Written by Philosofaith M. U. Ndagi Hits: 1567
We felicitates with Muslims in all parts of the world on the occasion of this year’s Eid-el-kabir. We pray to Allah to accept our sacrifices and guide us to emulate the unreserved and absolute nature of submission exhibited by Prophet Ibrahim (AS) and his son Ismail (AS) to the will of God. We have observed that many Muslims in this part of the Muslim world do not wait at the Eid ground to listen to the sermon (khutbah) of the Imam after observing the Eid prayer. Most often, worshippers depart as soon as the two raka’ats of the Eid prayer was over, leaving out an important aspect of it, which is listening to the sermon. It is in view of this that this column brings you an English translation of Eid-el-kabir sermon as adopted from Sheikh Uthman Danfodio’s text by many Imams and scholars in the northern part of Nigeria. The wording of the khutbah may differ from place to place, from one Imam to another. However, the central theme of all Eid-el-kabir sermons is virtually the same. Some worshippers, perhaps, leave before the sermon is read because it is traditionally read in Arabic language which they do not understand. Others do so probably to hurriedly slaughter and finish up from the dahiyyah exercise. The khutbah, which is usually in two parts, is as follows:
“Allah is the Greatest! Allah is the Greatest!! Allah is greatly the Greatest!!! Praise the lord in the morning and in the evening. Praise is to Allah who took the life of the dead and let live the living. Allah says “every soul shall taste of death’. Beware that every leader (emir, chief or prince) and every cabinet member (of a political structure) shall taste of death; the rich and the poor shall taste of death; the generous and the miser shall taste of death; criminal and the law-abiding shall taste of death; the believing man and woman and the unbelieving man and woman, the learned and the ignorant shall all taste of death; the healthy and the sick shall taste of death; the righteous and the lost shall taste of death; No one is immortal except Allah; the One, the Subduer who lacks equal in the heavens and on the earth; the All-Hearing and the All-Knowing”.
“Allah is greatly the Greatest; much gratitude is due to Allah; Praise the Lord in the morning and in the evening! O (you) people! Beware (may Allah have mercy on you) that the world is a home of vanities and never a permanent abode. Know that everything that is destined to come is close by, and only that which has not been predestined to come is far! Prepare for death because it is certain to come; know that today is the festival of sacrifice: (The sacrifice of) an un-castrated sheep is better (in reward) from both the female sheep and a castrated sheep; a castrated sheep is (also) better (in reward) from a camel and a cow in terms of dahiyyah. But in the case of sacrifices (hadyah) by pilgrims during hajj, a camel is preferred over a cow, a cow over a sheep, and a sheep over a goat. In any case, the sacrificial animal must not be one-eyed, or sick, or lame, or emaciated, or have torn ears (except if the cut is small), or have broken horn(s) from which blood gushed out. However, such can be used for dahiyyah if blood did not spurt out from the broken horn(s). Sacrifice (on this occasion) is a strong prophetic tradition that is obligatory upon every Muslim (who is) free-born, mature; it is not obligatory upon slaves and those on pilgrimage to Makkah. Know that (the dahiyyah sacrifice) is better than the alms of seventy (pieces of) gold. Do not neglect it if you possess the means to offer it because Allah does not withhold the reward of those who do good works. O Allah! Grant peace and blessings upon our leader, Muhammad, his household, as many times as the number of those who glorify Him; and as many times as the number of those who forget to glorify Him. He is the living; there is no deity worthy of worship except Him. Call upon Him while you offer Him sincere devotion; Praise is to Him, lord of the worlds”. This version of the Eid-el-Kabir khutbah as translated above centers around the nothingness of the life in this phenomenal world. It also reminds us of the great journey that awaits every living soul to the great beyond.
Prophetic sunnah recommends that believers should glorify Allah (SWT) after each of the five daily obligatory salat during the entire period of dahiyyah, which begins from the noon (zuhr) salat of the Eid day (10th Dhul-Hajj) and terminates at the early morning (subhi) salat of the fourth day of dahiyyah (13th Dhul-Hajj). The glorification reads as follows: “Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar; La ilaha illa-llah, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar; Wa lillah il-Hamdu”. This column urges Muslims to, in the spirit of religious harmony, tolerance and understanding, remember their non-Muslim neighbours while sharing their sallah meat. May Allah (SWT) accept our sacrifices and accept the worship of those on pilgrimage to Makkah, amin. Happy sallah!