Labbyk Allahuma Labbayk!
- Published on 26 September 2010
- Tajuddin B. Shu'aib
The ninth day of Dhul-Hijjah (the 12th and final month of the Islamic calendar) is the Day of 'Arafah. It is the day when pilgrims stand on the plain of 'Arafah to pray. On this day, Muslims all over the world who do not witness the annual Hajj should spend the day in fasting, in preparation for the three days festivity following 'Eid ul-Adha (the celebration marking the end of the Hajj commemorating the Prophet Ibrahim's willingness of sacrifice).
Abu Hafsah, may Allah be pleased with him, reported that the Prophet, upon whom be peace, said:
"Fasting on the Day of 'Arafah absolves the sins for two years: the previous year and the coming year, and fasting on 'Ashura, (the tenth day of Muharram) atones for the sins of previous years." [Reported by all except al-Bukhari and at-Tirmidhi]
In another saying the Prophet's wife Hafsah, may Allah be pleased with her, said:
"Four things the Messenger of Allâh never neglected: Observing fast on the day of 'Ashura, 'Arafat, three days every month, and offering fajr sunnah prayers early in the morning." [Muslim]
These statements are proof that fasting on the ninth of Dhul-Hijjah, the day before 'Eid ul-Adha was a lifelong practice of the Prophet, peace be upon him, as his wife reported.
There are some reports that fasting is prohibited on the Day of 'Arafah. However, it must be understood that this refers to a person performing the Hajj. If a person is on the Hajj, there is no fast for him or her on the day of 'Arafah. That is undoubtedly a blessing for him because of the hardships of the pilgrimage. In a saying reported by Umm al-Fadl, may Allah be pleased with her, she said:
"The companions doubted whether the Prophet was fasting on 'Arafah or not. She decided to prove to them that he was not, so she said, 'I sent to him milk, which he drank while he was delivering the khutbah (sermon) on 'Arafah.' " [Recorded by al-Bukhari]
Prohibiting the pilgrims from fasting on these days is a great mercy for them, for fasting will exert undue hardship on the person performing the Hajj, while they are primarily concerned with their pilgrimage. Above all, the pilgrim would not be fasting anyway because he is travelling.
(p) Da'wah Enterprises International, Los Angeles, California, USA
- Published on 21 October 2010
- Ibn Al-'Uthaymin
All praise is due to Allah, Lord of the Worlds. May peace and blessings be upon the Chief of the Messengers, Muhammad.
Indeed it is a great favour and blessing from Allah that He has made for His righteous servants periods of time within which they can increase in good deeds to attain great rewards and one of these opportunistic periods is the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah (the final month of the Islamic Calendar, in which the Hajj is performed).
Superiority of the First Ten Days of Dhul-Hijjah
The excellence of these ten days have been mentioned in the Qur'an and the Sunnah.
1. Allah says in the Qur'an:
"By the dawn and by the ten nights … " [Al-Qur'an 89:1-2]
Ibn Kathir said that "the ten nights" referred to here are the ten days of Dhul-Hijjah, and this opinion was also held by Ibn Abbas, Ibn az-Zubair, Mujahid and others.
2. The Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, said:
"There are no deeds as excellent as those done in these ten days." They (the companions listening) said, "Not even Jihad?" He, peace be upon him, said, "No, not even Jihad except a man who goes forth endangering his life and wealth and does not return with anything." [Recorded by Imam al-Bukhari]
3. Allah says:
" … and remember the name of Allah in the appointed days." [Al-Qur'an 2:203]
Ibn Abbas and Ibn Kathir said this means in the ten days of Dhul-Hijjah.
4. The Messenger of Allah, upon whom be peace, said:
"There are no other days that are as great as these in the sight of Allah, the Most Sublime. Nor are there any deeds more beloved to Allah then those that are done in these ten days. So increase in tahlil (to say la illaha illallah), takbir (to say allahu akbar) and tahmid (to say alhumdulillah)." [Reported by at-Tabarani in al-Mu'jum al-Kabir]
5. With regards to the noble companion Sa'id bin Jubair, when the days of Dhul-Hijjah began he would strive to increase in good actions with great intensity until he was unable to increase anymore. [Reported by ad-Darimi]
6. Ibn Hajar says in Fath al-Bari:
"The most apparent reason for the ten days of Dhul-Hijjah being distinguished in excellence is due to the assembly of the greatest acts of worship in this period, i.e. salawat (prayers), siyam (fasting), sadaqah (charity) and the Hajj (pilgrimage). In no other periods do these great deeds combine."
- Published on 22 July 2013
Who are SAPTCO?
SAPTCO stands for Saudi Public Transport Company. It was established in 1399H (1979CE) and provides transportation services within the country. Importantly, SAPTCO provides a bus service between the cities of Jeddah, Makkah and Madinah, the three main cities visited by pilgrims.
SAPTCO's normal bus service
SAPTCO runs a regular bus service between the cities of Jeddah, Makkah and Madinah. The cost of travel between Makkah and Madinah (and vice versa) is 55 SAR (9 GBP / 15 USD). The regular bus service is fairly no frills, with limited leg room and no food or drink served (so you are advised to bring some with you!).
The journeys commence from the main bus station, the details of which can be found below in the VIP service detail. Bus tickets can be purchased from SAPTCO bus stations.
There are a total of 19 departures daily from Makkah to Madinah. The journey is timetabled to take around 4.5 hours.
The normal bus service departs from Makkah to Madinah at the following times all week: 00:38, 01:40, 07:10, 07:40, hourly from 08:10 until 12:10, 14:10, 15:10, 15:30, 16:55, 18:10, 19:40, 21:10, 21:40, 22:40, 23:40.
There are a total of 19 departures daily from Madinah to Makkah. The journey is timetabled to take around 7.5 hours (this includes a number of stops).
The normal bus service departs from Madinah to Makkah at the following times all week: 01:00, hourly from 06:30 until 11:30, hourly from 13:00 until 17:00, hourly from 19:00 until 23:00, 23:28 and 23:58.
SAPTCO's VIP bus service
The information below is correct as of February 2013 - you should check for the latest bus schedules at your local SAPTCO ticket office.
SAPTCO provide a VIP bus service (in addition to their normal bus service) between many destinations throughout the Kingdom. In particular they provide a VIP bus service between Jeddah, Makkah and Madinah.
VIP buses offer considerably better leg room, are direct journeys (the normal bus stops mid-journey) and include some complimentary food and drink. It is more expensive than the normal bus but for 170 SAR (~30 GBP / 45 USD) per adult for a return trip to Madinah from Makkah, it represents very good value.
Bus tickets can be purchased from SAPTCO's ticket offices in Jeddah, Makkah or Madinah. Please note that the ticket office is located at SAPTCO's normal bus station which may differ from the VIP bus locations.
- Published on 28 July 2010
Praise be to Allah.
Imam ibn al-Qayyim al-Jawziyyah, may Allah have mercy on him, said, "Zamzam water is the best and noblest of all waters, the highest in status, the dearest to people, the most precious and valuable to them. It was dug by Jibril and is the water with which Allah quenched the thirst of Isma'il."
It was reported in Sahih Muslim that the Prophet, sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam, said to Abu Dharr, who had stayed near the Ka'bah and its coverings for forty days and nights with no food or drink other than (Zamzam), "How long have you been here?" Abu Dharr said, "I have been here for thirty days and nights." The Prophet, sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam, said, "Who has been feeding you?" He said, "I have had nothing but Zamzam water, and I have gotten so fat that I have folds of fat on my stomach. I do not feel any of the tiredness or weakness of hunger and I have not become thin." The Prophet, sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam, said, "Verily, it is blessed, it is food that nourishes." [Narrated by Imam Muslim, 2473]
- Published on 17 January 2012
What is Hady?
Hady refers to the sacrificial animals that Hajj pilgrims offer for Allah's sake in the Haram (Makkah) between 10th and 13th of Dhul-Hijjah.
What is Udhiyah (Qurbani)?
Udhiyah refers to the sacrificial animals that non-pilgrim Muslims may offer, seeking Allah's pleasure during the days of 'Eid ul-Adha. Udhiyah is, in fact, offered in memory of the great sacrifice that Prophet Ibrahim and his son Prophet Isma'il, peace and blessings be upon both of them, were ordered to offer for Allah's sake — when Ibrahim was ordered in a vision to offer his son in sacrifice for Allah's sake, and Isma'il promptly consented. But Allah spared them the sacrifice and ordered them to sacrifice an animal instead. This is referred to in the Qur'an:
"And We ransomed him with a momentous sacrifice." [Al-Qur'an 37:107]
What is the Difference Between Hady and Udhiyah (Qurbani)?
Hady refers to the sacrifice offered by Hajj pilgrims in Makkah while Udhiyah refers to the sacrifice offered by non-pilgrims.
Is Udhiyah (Qurbani) Obligatory?
For those not performing Hajj wishing to offer Udhiyah there are two scholarly opinions:
- Published on 16 January 2012
- Ibn Al-'Uthaymin
Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Universe. May peace and blessings be upon Muhammad, the last of the Prophets and Messengers, and upon his family and esteemed Companions.
Hajj is one of the best forms of worship and is one of the most sublime deeds because it is one of the pillars of Islam that Allah sent Muhammad (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) with. A servant's religion is incomplete without it. A form of worship is only acceptable when the following is true:
- One devotes it to Allah alone, with a desire for the Hereafter. It cannot be done with the intention of being seen among men or for worldly gain.
- One follows the Prophet's example, in words deeds. This cannot accomplished except knowledge of the Sunnah.