Question : What is the importance of the first ten days of Dzulhijjah and how should one prepare for it?
It is reported from the Holy Prophet (asws) that he used to fast in these ten days. Very Holy days. And the first ten days, to those ones also who are opposed to zikr, who is saying zikr is bida’at, it is haram and all these nonsense, Prophet (asws) is saying the first ten days you have to make especially more zikr of La ilaha ilallah, more zikr of Allahu Akbar and more zikr of Alhamdulillah. Fasting on these ten days, it is important. And so many people in the past, the scholars and the saints, they are putting these ten days to increase whatever worship that you have. You want to make more salawats, go ahead, you want to read more Quran, you want to make more nafila ibadah, good. Why? Why in the first ten days? What happens on the tenth day of Dzulhijjah? Ninth day, tenth day of Dzulhijjah, what happened then? What do we have?
You have Kurban.
What is the Kurban? Why is it important? You don’t know why? You only know how to eat Kurban? To eat meat every year, to eat as much meat as you want. That is your idea of Kurban, isn’t it? That’s what people’s idea of Kurban is. ‘Oh it’s the time where we are going to eat meat.’ They are not teaching from the young age what the Kurban means. Not telling the story of Ibrahim (as), or Ismail (as), to relate to it and to teach the young. No, they are teaching the young that Kurban, you are going to go to eat meat. So what is the Kurban? Of course it is sacrifice. But it is the fifth pillar of Islam: Hajj. You make Kurban when? During Hajj right? It’s Eid ul-Adha, isn’t it? So it is the fifth pillar, which is Hajj. After you finish the Hajj, then you come down and you make the Kurban. So it is Hajj. What is a Hajj?
It is the fifth pillar of Islam. Is there a sixth pillar? No. It is the last. It is the final one. So the ten days is like the final countdown to the fifth one, the last pillar that you are doing. From saying the Shahadat, which is personal, you are saying it with no one else; you are saying it, you declare by it. You don’t say, in Islam, you don’t say your Shahadat to a panel of priest or rabbi or Imams, that you have to take a course to understand and then you get the Shahadat. No. You say the Shahadat and you mean it with your heart. Individual. One.
What is the second? You make namaz, you pray, you make your salat. So, one you say, the other one you start doing. It is still a worship. Now you can do individually and you can do it in a group, you can do it in a jamaat. Isn’t it? So now, from individual, it starts spreading. It is a worship. The actions that we are doing, the Angels they are doing. The prayer, the namaz of this nation of the Prophet (asws) was only given to the Prophets. It is not given to their nations. We are praying the prayer of Prophets. After that what do we do? Fasting.
Now fasting, you start doing it one month in a year. Fitnah of Ahir Zaman, people doing it one day before, one day after. Some like benggalistan, they do it ten days after, or ten days before. I’m just joking but I’m not joking also. They are doing it all mixed up. But mostly the whole ummat are doing it once altogether. So now, it starts spreading. Now the actions, from just saying, to five times a day, you are doing it for one month continuously. And the worship now it moves away from just an action to something that involves the spirit, which is your ego. It involves your ego. You deny the animal side, the egoistic side. Correct? Then after you fast, what do you do?
You make the zakat. And the zakat now is giving up something, not to be too attached to whatever that you have and you start giving it. Then you move away from just speech to a prayer, and now it involves your whole body now. You stay away from food and drinks and relations in the month of Ramazan. You stay away from that, and now you have to, whatever that you are earning halal, to know it doesn’t belong to you. Allah has given it to you, it is an emanet and there is the right of others with what you are holding, and Islam is teaching now whatever that you have, it is a gift from Allah. It is a trust from Allah, and what you are holding now, actually belongs to so many other people. There are at least 8 categories of people who deserve to get the charity.
So now, the pillar of Islam moves away from something that you just worship and something spiritual to something that involves your body, to something that involves your what? What man is holding on strongly to, whatever he has earned, for himself, to say that, ‘No, it is part of your religion now to give.’ And finally, you have to give and you have to leave everything. And that is the fifth pillar. What is that? Hajj. And what is the Hajj in reality? What is the Hajj? A Hajj is a rehearsal, for what? For death. For judgment Day. That you say, ‘Labbaik Allah humma Labbaik – I leave everything. Here I am O my Lord, Here I am.’ In reality you a re repeating Allah’s words. Because when we say, ‘Ya Allah,’ that’s the time Allah is saying, ‘Labaik, I am here.’ Doesn’t He say, ‘Call on Me. Remember Me and I will remember you.’ He didn’t say, ‘thank Me and I will thank you.’ He says, ‘remember Me and I will remember you.’ Why Allah wants to thank us for? “Call on Me. I am near.” Allah says.
And this Hajj now is a rehearsal for our death, is a rehearsal for Judgement Day, is a rehearsal when you leave everything, not only now you are taking two and a half percent of whatever zakat that you are going to give, now everything you are giving up. Even the clothes that you are wearing. Your Hajj will not be considered ‘Sah’ will not be considered approved if you are not wearing the Ihram. What is the Ihram? The white cloth that is our funeral shroud. Of course there are so many other laws, and so many rules that you are supposed to carry before you go to the Hajj and while you are in the Hajj, but it is enough for you to understand that everyone is gathering and everyone looks the same. Everyone is in the same category.
So now, the Hajj, is the fifth pillar. It’s the combination and the culmination of your acts of worship. Now from something that is, you are saying individually your Shahadat, you are going back to it, you are saying the Shahadat again, but this time you are saying the Shahadat by leaving everything and leaving everything away and have only Allah. Which is when you say, ‘Labaikallah huma Labaik,’ that is a rehearsal for that, and not individually you are doing it, you are doing both individually and as a whole ummat that the Judgement day is going to happen when people of the past and the future they are going to come together, isn’t it?
So now, preparing for that fifth pillar is a very important action. We have to understand and we have to remember this so the days leading up to the Hajj, if we start to think a little bit more, start to worship a little bit more with this understanding, it will have more wisdom for us and it gives us more blessings. Otherwise, the most beautiful actions will become a ritual, will become robotic if you don’t put meaning into it. And meaning of those pillars, it is endless, endless Oceans of meaning to it. That for the people who have faith.
So you may fast. Fast in the day of Arafat is very important. You are thinking of the day of the kurban, the day of Hajj, where the Hajj has never been stopped, has never been interrupted. For 1400 years, never been interrupted. If it’s not people from outside coming, people at least in Mecca they are doing it and in reality, the Hajj has never been interrupted since the Holy Ka’abah came down from the Paradises. Hajj has been continuing for over seven thousand years. Never interrupted, always coming. Even during the time of the flood of Nuh, where the house of Allah, the original Ka’abah is lifted, the ship of Nuh that goes to Mecca it circles around seven times making the Tawaf, and go.
So, Holy times. Learn to live, learn to cut away all those ties and all those attachments, all those other Ilahs. Whether you say the Shahadat or you are not going to say the Shahadat, the time will come, guaranteed for everyone where they will understand that there is no ilahs except for Allah. Wa minaAllahu Taufiq. Al-Fatiha. SelamAleykum wr wb.
Sheykh Lokman Efendi Hz, Khalifah of SahibulSaif Shaykh Abdulkerim el Kibrisi (qs) * OSMANLI DERGAHI- New York
September 19, 2014