Have you ever thought about sacrificing what you love most? How would you feel then? What if you lose that to gain a better thing; something that would make you a better person, more worthwhile? If you can sacrifice what you love most, to give it away or leave it behind, and if you do that to get near to your merciful sustainer, Allah, then you can feel the spirit of eid al-Adha with all your heart. In what follows, we will delve more into one of the most significant occasions in the Islamic calendar, eid al-Adha.
Eid al-Adha or eid al-Qurban is the second greatest feast among Muslims which is celebrated on the tenth of Dhu al-Hijjah every year around the world. This day, also marks a part of Hajj rituals at a place called Mina near Mecca, where the pilgrims are supposed to offer a sacrifice to commemorate Prophet Abraham’s (PBUH&HP) act in submitting to Allah’s will and sacrificing his son, Ishmael (PBUH), for His sake . We will recount Abraham’s (PBUH) moving challenge in the following paragraphs.
Doing Ghusl on the day of Eid al-Adha is highly recommended (mustahab).
This prayer is precisely the same as the Eid al-Fitr prayer [i].
It is compulsory upon those participating in Hajj whether Hajj al-tammattu or Umrah. This act is also recommended for the Muslims who haven’t been attended the Hajj rituals. It is also recommended to share the sacrificial meat with other people, especially those in need so that everyone would have a part in the joy of this day.
Those who are present in the desert of Mina on this day must recite these Takbirs after daily prayers, starting from the noon prayer on the day of Eid and ending in dawn prayer of the 13th of Dhu al-Hijjah. However, those who are not present in the desert of Mina on Eid's day should recite the Takbirs after ten daily prayers, starting from noon prayer of Eid's day, to the dawn prayer of the 12th of Dhu al-Hijjah. These Takbirs are as follows:
اَللهُ اَكْبَرُ اَللهُ اَكْبَرُ، لا اِلـهَ اِلاَّ اللهُ وَ اللهُ اَكْبَر اَللهُ اَكْبَرُ، و للهِ الْحَمْدُ اَللهُ اَكْبَرُ عَلی ما هَدانا ااَللهُ اَكْبَرُ عَلی ما رَزَقَنا مِنْ بَهیمَةِ الانعامِ وَ الْحَمْدُ لِلّهِ عَلی ما أبْلانا
"Allah is great, Allah is great, there's no god but Allah and Allah is great, To Allah be the praise, Allah is great for He has guided us, Allah is great for he has given us sustenance from cattle, Praise be to Allah for He has tested us." 
Some of the supplications recommended for this day include Du'a al-Nudba, 48th supplication of al-Sahifa al-Sajjadiyya, which starts with: “O God, this is a blessed and fortunate day …”, and the 46th supplication of this book as well.
Note that fasting (Sawm) on this day is forbidden (Haram), just like Eid al-Fitr.
The Arabic word “eid” literally means, “to go back” and generally is a name given to special Islamic celebrations, such as eid al-Fitr, eid al-Mab’ath, eid al-Ghadir, etc. In other words, the Islamic celebrations are in essence a reminder for Muslims to stop and look back at their actions so far, repent from their sins and promise to follow Allah’s lead which has been brought to them by Prophet Muhammad and his progeny (PBUTh).
Al-Adha roots back to the word “Dhuha” in Arabic meaning “the time when the sun is rising before noon.” This word refers to the time when the pilgrims are supposed to offer their sacrifices, which is at the sunrise. Al-Qurban, however, which means “sacrificing,” refers to the act of offering a sacrifice done by pilgrims on this day.
At his old age, Prophet Abraham (PBUH&HP) saw in a dream that he had been sacrificing his beloved son, Ishmael (PBUH), his first child, after many years of being deprived of one, for whose birth he married Hagar and dearly prayed to Allah. He knew that this dream was a message from Allah, and there was no way for him to disobey his Lord. He retold the dream to Ishmael, and he, despite his youth, surrendered to Allah’s will and said, “Father! Do whatever you have been commanded. If Allah wishes, you will find me to be patient” (37:102).
It wasn’t a simple task for a father, for sure. But Abraham’s (PBUH) unbending faith in Allah gave him the strength to pull himself together and follow the command. He took Ishmael to an altar and was about to cut his throat when the glad tidings came from Allah that, “You have indeed fulfilled your vision! Thus indeed do We reward the virtuous! This was indeed a manifest test.”(37:105-106). Abraham’s (PBUH) submission, patience, and trust in Allah were, thus, rewarded and a heavenly ram was sent to him to sacrifice instead.
Therefore, every year, Muslims celebrate prophet Abraham’s (PBUH) success in sacrificing what he held dearest for the sake of his dear Lord, leaving no doubt in his sincere love and submission to Him.
Abraham (PBUH) made a sacrifice to remove any barrier between himself and Allah and get as close to Him as possible. Thus, Eid al-Adha is the day to sacrifice anything, which has separated us from Allah and has deprived us of feeling His presence in our lives. The reason behind the commemoration of this day and the significance of Abraham’s story is to remind us that one should ignore his/her whims, sacrifice his/her inclinations and attachments to this world, the dearest of which children and the loved ones, for the sake of Allah and His Will.
In other words, Abraham’s adherence in following Allah’s command, despite the pain he felt and all the fluctuations he might have faced on his way to perform this duty, shows us that for a person who desires to be among the chosen creatures in Allah’s regard, nothing gets in the way between him/her and his/her Lord’s decrees. Nothing is dearer for this person, not even his/her family and children than his/her beloved Creator, Allah. Thus, His will, no matter how hard and painful it may be, goes beyond the love for family and children. On the other hand, when Allah saw Abraham's (PBUH) utter submission to His will even at the expense of sacrificing his son, He considered the test done and granted them a high status in this world and the hereafter. That is the case with every other person who demonstrates the same attitude toward Allah.
In fact, we do not sacrifice for Allah, since He is self-sufficient and not in need of our sacrifices. About sacrificing an animal the Quran says: “It is not their flesh or blood that reaches Allah; rather, it is your piety that reaches Him. Thus has He disposed them for your benefit so that you may magnify Allah for His guiding you. And give good news to the virtuous.” (22:37)
We sacrifice for ourselves, to be a better version of ourselves, to reach perfection. On the path toward perfection, one is always faced with tests and hardships. Trials are signs for us to realize that Allah has seen us worthy of becoming one of His desired creatures. And in every trial, one is required to make a sacrifice; this can be sacrificing your wealth, your life, your selfishness, your grudges, anger, etc. .
[i] Eid prayer consists of two rak'as. After Sura al-Fatiha in each rak'a another sura from the Qur'an is recited; however, it is better to read Sura al-Shams in the former and Sura al-Ghashiya in the latter or Sura al-A'la and Surat al-Shams respectively. After reciting sura in the first rak'a, there are five takbirs followed by five qunuts and in the second rak'a, four takbirs with four qunuts. Any supplications or prayers will suffice in the qunuts, like the other prayer, but it is better to read a special supplication .
In answering questions about singing in Islam, we cannot say that singing is completely forbidden (Haram) in Islam. Like any other issue, we have to find out what kind of singing is allowed (Halal) and that if there is a prohibition, what is that makes it forbidden (Haram)?
In deriving the ruling of singing from the Quran, jurists usually refer to two main verses:
“Among the people is he who buys diversionary talk that he may lead [people] astray from Allah’s way without any knowledge, and he takes it in derision. For such, there is a humiliating punishment” (31:6).
Some interpreters have taken the phrase “diversionary talk” (Lahw al-hadith) as any sort of speech that deviates people’s minds from the righteous way and attracts the concentration of people to an unjust saying. Jurists have expanded the unjust saying to any sort of expression of mind which may contain poetry or singing or music .
Also, it is said in another verse: “So avoid the abomination of idols, and avoid false speech …” (22:30).
In the interpretation of “false speech” (Qowl al-zur) in this verse, it is said that a false statement is any word that deviates people from the righteous way and remembrance of God .
When jurists want to define the forbidden (Haram) singing in Islam, they use the term “ghina”. In Islamic jurisprudence, singing is not forbidden (Haram) unless it is known to be ghina.
Ghina is the voice of a human, which is produced in a rise and fall pattern to create the effect of rapture that is suitable for frivolous and carouse gatherings. It is forbidden (Haram) to engage in this type of singing; as well as listening to it, even if it does not lead to rapture in the listener .
Any kind of singing that deviates a person from a moderate mood (may it be happy or sad) is referred to as ghina. The most visible sign of this deviation from a moderate mood is when the person loses his self-control; like the feeling that occurs to man after drinking wine. Islam has always prevented Muslims from being stuck in such moods.
Gatherings of merrymaking and sin are those kinds of gatherings that are formed for singing, dancing, debauchery, and sensuality.
Also, there might be some songs that do not deviate one from his/her moderate mood but are common for gatherings of merrymaking and sin. Those are also known as ghina.
Have you ever seen in some concerts, how the audience lose their mind and apart from dancing or crying with the song, they shout or faint out of rapture? This kind of singing is ghina, and those sorts of gatherings are referred to as gatherings of merrymaking and sin. Any kind of singing that changes the normal and rational mood of a person is ghina .
Ghina is the type of song that is branded for amusement gatherings and parties.
Ghina is related to the type of song; meaning that if the lyrics of a song convey positive messages to the listener but the music of the song is jaunty, it makes that music forbidden (Haram) .
Ghina is when the lyrics of a song are about describing the beauties of a woman (whether physical or erotic description), or it has been written about wine, or dance or other prohibited (Haram) things in Islam .
Ghina is any song that changes the mood of the listener; makes him/her either happy or sad; any music or song that makes a gap between the present moods of the listener with his/her “real self” and weakens the control of the person over her speech or behavior.
Ghina is the sort of song that has such hopeless content, which destroys the positive motivations of the listener.
Ghina is any kind of song that by content, lyrics, or the specific sound of the musical instrument can arouse sexual temptation.
Having mentioned the criteria of forbidden (Haram) singing, we can say that those songs which do not contain the conditions mentioned above are lawful (Halah).
Overall, if the listener maintains that as per common view they are not enraptured, there is no problem in listening to the songs (with or without music). Thus, neither the intention of the singer nor the content have anything to do with this ruling .
In the matter of listening to a woman reciting poetry and other material with rising and falling her voice to the accompaniment of music, if the vocalization does not amount to ghina, listening to it is not driven by lust, and does not lead to a bad consequence, there is no problem in listening to it for women. If a woman’s signing is sexually exciting or listening to it leads to vile consequences, it is not allowed to listen to it at all. 
Regarding women’s singing to be heard by men, if it is not ghina and is not intended for questionable purposes or does not lead to vile consequences, as long as it is not sexually erotic, it is not forbidden (Haram). But as it often happens that listening to the beautiful voice of women is joyful for men, it is better if women do not sing for men and for men not to listen to women singing.
- Ma’aref and Ma’arief, vol. 8, p. 283
- singing in Islam
- Rouhollah Khaleghi, An overview of music, p.4
- muslim singing
- Sayyid Mujtaba Husseini, Questions and Answers by Students (Rules regarding Music), pg. 40-42
- Art from the point of view of the supreme leader, p. 32-4
- Tafsir –e Qartabi, vol. 7, p. 5136
- Are Muslim allowed to sing?
There are many verses that mention Jews in the Quran. Quran recounts the story of the Children of Israel (Bani-Israel) who were children of Prophet Jacob (also known as Israel) and were waiting for a savior for many years. Prophet Moses (PBUH) was sent to them and rescued them from Pharaoh.
“[Remember] when We delivered you from Pharaoh’s clan who inflicted a terrible torment on you… And when We parted the sea with you, and We delivered you and drowned Pharaoh’s clan as you looked on” (2: 49 -50).
Allah mentions this blessing as a great gift for Jews in the Quran (Bani-Israel) and warns them not to forget God’s blessings:
“O Children of Israel! We delivered you from your enemy, and We appointed with you a tryst on the right side of the Mount … but do not overstep the bounds therein, so My anger should descend on you…” (20: 80- 1).
Now, let’s see what happens to them after they pass the sea by Moses’ miracle.
The Israelites crossing of the Red Sea, Second Half of the 19th cen. Found in the collection of the State Museum of History, Architecture and Art, Rybinsk.
“He (God) said, ‘O Moses, I have chosen you over the people with My messages and My speech. So take what I give you, and be among the grateful.” (7: 142) In this appointment, Moses was given the book which was “advice concerning all things and an elaboration of all things” (7: 145).
Moses had told his people that he would be going for a task for thirty days, but he came back after forty days. Ten days’ delay weakened Children of Israel’s (Bani-Israel) faith, and in Moses’ absence, they started to worship a calf made from their jewels. 
“The people of Moses took up in his absence a calf [cast] from their ornaments; a body that gave out a lowing sound.” (7: 148) However, when Moses returned and guided them again and they “realized they had gone astray, they said, ‘Should our Lord have no mercy on us, and forgive us, we will be surely among the losers’” (7: 149).
One of the most important points that have repeatedly been narrated about the Jews in Quran is the complaints that they used to make. In different orders that were given to them by Moses, Jews in the Quran kept questioning and complaining in different situations, some of which are as follows:
Asking to see God
After spending forty nights in seclusion and dedicated worship, Moses was given the Tablets in which there were guidance and mercy for the believers. One might expect that Prophet Moses’ companions were ecstatic to witness the unique historical moments of the revelation of the Torah. However, instead, they said, “O Moses, we will not believe [that] you [received the Tablets] unless we see Allah visibly” (2:55).
Naturally, Moses tried to convince the Children of Israel about the impossibility of seeing God visually. However, they insisted on that irrational demand and consequently, they were seized by a thunderbolt .
After the Israelites left the sea and started to march towards the promised land, Allah out of His mercy protected them from the blistering heat of the sun by sending clouds to move over their head, provided water for them from the miraculous stone, and sent the Mann and Salwa for them as food.
However, they complained to Moses that they no longer could put up with one kind of food. They asked him to call upon his Lord to make the barren land of Sinai produce edible vegetables such as green herbs, cucumbers, garlic, lentils, and onions.
Moses asked them which one would be better, to live free with honor and have one type of food or to live as slaves at the price of enjoying food variety?
“And when you said, ‘O Moses, ‘We will not put up with one kind of food. So invoke your Lord for us, so that He may bring forth for us of that which the earth grows—its greens and cucumbers, its garlic, lentils, and onions.’ He said, ‘Do you seek to replace what is superior with that which is inferior? Go down to any town, and you will indeed get what you ask for!’ So they were struck with abasement and poverty, and they earned Allah’s wrath. That, because they would deny the signs of Allah and kill the prophets unjustly. That, because they would disobey and commit transgressions” (2: 62).
After forty years of wandering in the wilderness, the Children of Israel eventually defeated the Amalekites under the leadership of Joshua and entered Jericho.
To thank this victory, Allah directed the Children of Israel to implore for divine forgiveness by entering with humbleness and by saying the word “hittatun.” The word “hittatun” was a plea for divine forgiveness. In return, Allah promised to accept their prayers out of His mercy and increase the rewards of the righteous. However, most of them refused to utter the word “hittatun” properly and instead changed it to “hintattun” which meant give us wheat. They were so materialized in their mindset that they were ready to exchange the mercy of God with a handful of wheat grains [i].
A mysterious murder happened among the Jews in the Quran. The murderer accused an innocent man and because the murdered person was his uncle he made a huge fitna over it.
The Israelites kept guessing who might be the killer. In a short time, the guessing became rumors, rumors became accusations, and those accusations led to serious dispute and hostility.
The elders came to Prophet Moses and asked him to resolve the case. Moses implored for God’s help. Honouring his request, Allah instructed him to ask the Children of Israel to slaughter a cow and strike a part of its body (the tongue) with the corpse of the murdered man. In this way, Allah would reveal the murderer’s identity.
“And when Moses said to his people, ‘Allah commands you to slaughter a cow,’ they said, ‘Are you mocking us?’ He said, ‘I seek Allah’s protection lest I should be one of the ignorant!’” (2: 67)
However, the Israelites started to ask ludicrous questions about the qualities of the cow they were supposed to slaughter to the extent that in the end, they barely found one cow with the exact attributes.
They kept making so many complaints, and most of them forgot their hard days and the blessings that God had sent down to them, as a result of which their hearts hardened “so they (their hearts) are like stones, or even harder...” (2: 74).
Therefore, many years after Prophet Moses had passed away, Jews started to use religion as a tool to gain power by deceiving ignorant people under the mask of religion. They did it using many ways, most importantly by distorting the words of God: “a part of them would hear the word of Allah and then they would distort it after they had understood it, and they knew [what they were doing]?” (2: 75)
They also started writing new books in the name of God’s book, in which they brought into the religion of Moses what they wished: “So woe to them who write the Book with their hands and then say, ‘This is from Allah,’ that they may sell it for a paltry gain. So woe to them for what their hands have written, and woe to them for what they earn!” (2: 79)
The huge amount of blessings and miracles that God gave exclusively to Bani-Israel made them believe that they are the higher race. Jews in the Quran were told in their book that the last prophet would be born in Saudi Arabia. Therefore, some of them migrated to that land to wait for him.
“Those who follow the Apostle, the untaught prophet, whose mention they find written with them in the Torah and the Evangel… they are the felicitous” (7: 157).
But when they saw that the last prophet was an Arab, they denied him. This racism existed among them from a long time ago and is remaining. They consider themselves as the superior race, “And they say, ‘The Fire shall not touch us except for a number of days.’ Say, ‘Have you taken a promise from Allah? If so, Allah will never break His promise. Do you ascribe to Allah what you do not know?’” (2: 80) “And they say, ‘No one will enter paradise except one who is a Jew or Christian.’ Those are their [false] hopes! Say, ‘Produce your evidence, should you be truthful’” (2: 111).
As they denied the last prophet out of ignorance and racist beliefs, God invited them to a challenge: “Say, ‘If the abode of the Hereafter was exclusively for you with Allah, and not for other people, then long for death, should you be truthful’” (2: 94).
Although the huge amount of racism among some of the Jews in the Quran is mentioned and is also observable these days worldwide, Allah excludes the real followers of Prophet Moses (PBUH) and emphasizes that “Among the people of Moses is a nation who guide [the people] by the truth and do justice thereby” (7: 159).
God would like the real Jews in the Quran who were not amongst the distorters of the book to know that their honest belief in God, His prophet, and the hereafter is accepted: “As for those who hold fast to the Book and maintain the prayer—indeed, We do not waste the reward of those who bring about reform” (7: 170).
In the next part of the article, we will see what happened to the religion of Moses (PBUH) that these days we face huge crimes and massacres in the name of Judaism. Is that Judaism or are a group of people, using the name of Judaism, trying to gain power using people’s purity and faithfulness?
[i] “And when We said, ‘Enter this town, and eat thereof freely whatever you wish, and enter while prostrating at the gate, and say, ‘‘Relieve [us of the burden of our sins],’’ so that We may forgive your iniquities and We will soon enhance the virtuous.’ But the wrongdoers changed the saying to other than what they were told. So We sent down on those who were wrongdoers a plague from the sky because of the transgressions they used to commit” (2: 58 -9).
- The Quran, Taha (20), 83-87
- The Quran, Al-Baqarah (2), 55