Q. It is mentioned in the Hadith that when Hadhrat Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) had completed hifz of Surah Baqarah, he sacrificed a camel out of happiness. On the basis of this will it be permissible to serve food when making khatam of the Qur’aan Shareef?
A. The act of Hadhrat Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) is not a basis for any of the customs in vogue among people. Hadhrat Umar’s act was not in fulfillment of a custom. It was done spontaneously as a result of his happiness when he had accomplished the hifz of Surah Baqarah in eight years. He did not organize a party nor was his act an ostentatious gathering of waste such as the jalsahs of the present day.
If a person wishes to gain thawaab and give Sadqah to the poor in gratitude to Allah Ta’ala for the Ni’mat of Hifz, he is free to do so. But what is the need to organize a party, have speeches, sing songs, invite wealthy and bloated people to participate, etc., etc. Such gatherings are far—very far—from the simple act of Sadqah of Hadhrat Umar (radhiyallahu anhu). There is no resemblance between the extravagant parties of show (riyaa) and Hadhrat Umar’s simple deed of Sadqah. By all means give Sadqah in abundance and unostentatiously. There is no need for publicity and advertisement. There is no need to feed people who eat five times a day. The nafs presents deceptive arguments to substantiate bid’ah and shaitaaniyat.
Numerable Sahaabah made hifz of the Qur’aan Shareef. Did anyone of them organize a jalsah, a party or any type of gathering? Did anyone of them follow the act of Hadhrat Umar (radhiyallahu anhu)? Hadhrat Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) was a Haafiz of the Qur’aan. Did he repeat his performance of sacrificing a camel when he completed hifz of the Qur’aan? Did he invite people to a feast? Did he organize a jalsah?
The sacrificing of a camel by Hadhrat Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) was a personal preference in a moment of extreme delight. It never was the intention to initiate a custom, hence no one ever followed him in this act. If there was a need for feasting and merrymaking on the occasion of a khatam, then such practices would have gained prominence during the Khairul Quroon. Hifz of the Qur’aan is not something new or peculiar to this age. Personal preferences of the Sahaabah were not transformed into regular customs to be observed by the Ummah.
At most it can be said that it is good to give Sadqah as an expression of gratitude to Allah Ta’ala for a ni’mat. But giving Sadqah is in many forms. No particular form may be established as a custom to be observed with incumbency, ostentation, waste, riya and pride which grace the jalsahs, gatherings and so-called Deeni ceremonies of our times. And, if someone is over-eager in the desire to emulate Hadhrat Umar (radhiyallahu anhu), then when he completes the Hifz of Surah Baqarah let him sacrifice a camel or its value in money. Let him give this amount in Sadqah to the poor and refrain from any jalsah when he completes Hifz. He will then have some resemblance with this Sunnat which was the peculiarity of Hadhrat Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) alone.


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