Praise be to Allah, the Most Merciful and the Loving to His believing servants
Dhul Hijjah is one of the most glorious months in Islam. Allah says:
“Indeed, the number of months with Allah is twelve [lunar] months in the register of Allah [from] the day He created the heavens and the earth; of these, four are sacred. That is the correct religion, so do not wrong yourselves during them. And fight against the disbelievers collectively as they fight against you collectively. And know that Allah is with the righteous [who fear Him]”. (Surah At-Taubah: 9:36)
As narrated by Hazrat Abu Bakr (R.A.), Prophet Mohammad (S.A.W.) said:
” The division of time has turned to its original form which was current when Allah created the Heavens and the Earths. The year is of twelve months, out of which four months are sacred: Three are in succession Dhul Qadah, Dhul Hijjah and Muharram, and (the fourth is) Rajab of (the tribe of) Mudar which comes between Jumada Al-Akhirah and Shaban.” (Sahih Al-Bukhari: 3197)
In the month of Dzul Hijjah there are days selected by Allah as the best days of the year. God said:
“By dawn, and the tenth night” (Surah Al-Fajr: 89:1-2)
Scholars differ in opinion in determining the 10 nights that God meant in the verse. The interpretation of the scholars of the tafsir to the three opinions:
First: the first 10 days of the month of Dzul Hijjah.
Second: last 10 nights of Ramadan.
Third: the first 10 days of the month of Muharram.
Most Ulama (Scholars) agree that what is meant in this Aya is the first 10 days of the month of Dhul Hijjah.
Righteous Deeds during the month of Dhul-Hijjah:
Narrated Ibn Abbas (R.A.), who said that Prophet Mohammad (S.A.W.) said:
“No good deeds done on other days are superior to those done on these (first ten days of Dhul Hijja).” Then some companions (Sahaba) of the Prophet (S.A.W.) said, “Not even Jihad?” He replied, “Not even Jihad, except that of a man who does it by putting himself and his property in danger (for Allah’s sake) and does not return with any of those things.” (Sahih Al-Bukhari: 969)
The above Hadith shows how importance is for a Muslim to do good deeds during the first 10 days of Dhul Hijjah.
There have been many other narrations that indicate the worshipping efforts exerted by our predecessors during these days. Said ibn- Jubayr, one of the leading members of the Tabiin (companion of Sahaba), used to advise people not to sleep a lot during these nights and spend them in prayer.
Hajj is one of most important pillars of Islam and it is one of the greatest religious duties for Muslims around the world. Hajj is performed during the month of Dhul Hijjah (from 8th Dhul Hijjah to 13th of Dhul Hijjah).
Hajj is Fard (obligatory) for each Muslim who can afford it. As Allah says in Quran:
“And pilgrimage to the house is duty upon mankind owed to Allah for whoever can find a way there” (Surah Al-Imran: 3:97)
Fast on the Day of Arafah (9th of Dhul Hijjah):
Fasting is one of the best actions you can do as a form of worship. It is recommended to fast on the first nine days of Dhul Hijjah, especially on the 9th which is the blessed day of Arafah.
Fasting on the day of Arafah is a confirmed Sunnah of our beloved prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) for those who are not performing Hajj. If a person is on the Hajj, there is no fast for him or her on the day of Arafah.
Although it is not obligatory to fast on this day, it is highly recommended. Here are some reasons why you should try to fast on the day of Arafah:
1. Fasting on this day is a forgiveness for two years.The sins of the previous year and of the coming year. As narrated by Qatadah bin Numan (R.A.) that Messenger of Allah (S.A.W.) said: ‘Whoever fasts the Day of Arafah, his sins of the previous and following year will be forgiven.’” (Sunan Ibn Mahjah: 1731)
2. There is no day on which Allah frees more people from the Fire than the Day of Arafah. As narrated by Aisha (R.A.), Prophet Mohammad (S.A.W) said:
“There is no day when God sets free more servants from Hell than the Day of Arafa.” He draws near, then praises them to the angels, saying: “What do these want?” (Sahih Muslim 1348)
3. Supplication of a Fasting person will not be rejected as Abu Hurairah narrated that the Messenger of Allah (S.A.W.) said
“There are three whose supplication is not rejected: The fasting person when he breaks his fast, the just leader, and the supplication of the oppressed person; Allah raises it up above the clouds and opens the gates of heaven to it. And the Lord says: ‘By My might, I shall surely aid you, even if it should be after a while.’” (Tirmidhi: 3598)
4. The opportunity to follow the Prophet’s (S.A.W.) Sunnah: As mentioned above, fasting on the day of Arafah is a confirmed Sunnah of our Prophet (S.A.W.) and by observing fast, we will follow this Sunnah. As Narrated by Anas bin Malik,
“The Messenger of Allah (S.A.W) said to me: ‘Whoever revives my Sunnah then he has loved me. And whoever loved me, he shall be with me in Paradise.'” (Tirmidhi: 2678)
According to the hadith by observe the fast of day of Arafah, we will be reviving one of the Sunnahs of our Prophet’s (S.A.W). So the reward from Allah will be unlimited and we will be with our beloved Prophet (S.A.W.) in paradise which is our ultimate goal/destination.
Remembrance of Allah (Dhikr and Takbir):
There are many ways in which you can increase in reward during Dhul Hijjah. Dhikr (remembrance of Allah) is one of the easiest ways to obtain reward from Allah. It is highly recommended Sunnah of our Prophet (S.A.W.) to recite following Dhikr during the first 10 days of Dhul Hijjah:
Tahleel (Laa ilaaha ill-Allah)
Takbeer (Allahu Akbar)
Abu Hurairah said that the “days well-known” are the first ten days of Dhul- Hijjah while the “prescribed number of days” are the Days of Tashriq (9th to 13th of Dhul-Hijjah) and these are days of eating and drinking. It means that you cannot fast on Eid-ul-Adha and following three days i-e 11th, 12th and 13th of Dhul-Hijjah. During days of Tashriq, Ibn-Omar and Abu-Hurairah used to go to the marketplace reciting Takbir (Allahu Akbar) and people followed their example.
During the days of Tashriq, it is necessary for every Muslim (male or female, whether praying in congregation or alone) to say the following Takbir (Takbirs of Tashriq) immediately after each obligatory (fard) prayer from the Fajr Prayer on the 9th of Dhul Hijjah to the Asr Prayer on the 13th of Dhul Hijjah. Thus, these takbirs last 5 days, and 23 prayers.
Celebrating Eid-ul-Adha and Sacrificing Animals (10th of Dhul Hijjah):
The month of Dhul Hijjah, apart from the month of Hajj, is also called the month of the sacrifice, due to the large number of sacrificial animals slaughtered during the month.
Muslims celebrate Eid-ul-Adha on 10th of Dhil Hijjah. Eid-ul-Adha is the celebration of sacrifice and remember the spirit of Prophet Abraham (A.S.) as how he was willing to sacrifice the person he loved the most, because it was Allah’s command which he had to obey no matter what.
It was narrated from Abu Huraira (R.A.) that the Messenger of Allah (S.A.W.) said:
“Whoever can afford to offer a sacrifice but does not do so, let him not approach our place of prayer.” (Ibn Majah: 3123)
The Hadith narrates that whoever does not offer a sacrifice in spite of being capable of doing so, does not have the right to participate in the joys of the Muslims. It does not mean that he is not required to perform the Eid prayer, but it is to warn him to avoid abandoning the sacrifice.
Sacrifice (Qurbani) can only be performed after the Eid-ul-Adha prayers from the 10th of Dhul Hijjah to the 12th of Dhul Hijjah.
It is necessary for the one who intends to offer the sacrifice that he/she does not remove any hair, nail or skin from the sunset on last day of Dhul Qadah until the sacrifice is done on the Eid day. The same is evident from following Hadith:
It was narrated from Ummm Salamah (R.A.) that the Prophet said:
“Whoever sees the new crescent of Dhul Hijjah and wants to offer a sacrifice, let him not remove any of his hair or nails until he has offered the sacrifice.” (Sunnan An-Nisai: 4366)
Thank Allah for His Blessings:
One of the biggest forms of worshiping Allah is to thank Him, deeply, sincerely and continuously. After all, it is Allah who blessed you with all that you have. So thank Him for the blessing of Islam, the blessing of life and every blessing you possess. Thank Him for the opportunity to experience these ten days. Ask Him for His mercy, forgiveness and guidance.
There is much to be gained in these coming days. So make the most of this perfect opportunity offered by these invaluable and irreplaceable ten days. Hasten to do good deeds and appreciate this blessing and make the most of it.
May Allah bless all Muslims with His blessings, have mercy on us and respond our every dua, forgive all our sins, multiply our good deeds, grant us and our family with good health, happiness at every step of our life and allocate a place for us in Jannah. AMEEN