WHAT IS DHUL HIJJAH?
Dhul Hijjah is the 12th and final month of the Islamic calendar. It is in this month when the pilgrimage to Makkah, Hajj, takes places. The 9th day of the month marks the Day of Arafat, and the 10th day of the month marks Eid ul-Adha.
THE FIRST 10 DAYS OF DHUL HIJJAH
There are certain times of the day and year that hold more reward than others. For example, Friday is the best day of the week; Ramadan, the best month of the year; and in the last ten nights of Ramadan, there is Laylatul Qadar, which is better than one thousand months. Similarly, the first 10 days of Dhul Hijjah are the best days of the year.
It was narrated from Ibn ‘Abbas that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said:
“There are no days during which righteous deeds are more beloved to Allah than these days,” meaning the (first) ten days of Dhul- Hijjah…” [Sunan Ibn Majah]
Therefore, we should take advantage of these blessed days and try to increase in our good deeds.
WHAT TO DO IN THIS MONTH
- Perform Hajj (Pilgrimage)
Hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam. It is mandatory for every able adult Muslim, male and female, to make the journey. The requirement is to perform the Hajj one time, but those who are able to can go multiple times.
- Fast on the 9th of Dhul Hijjah – Day of Arafah
Abu Qatadah Al-Ansari (RA) narrated, ‘The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) was asked about fasting on the day of Arafah (the 9th of the month of Dhul Hijjah). He replied:
Fasting on the day of Arafah is an expiation for the preceding year and the following year. [Muslim]
Note: The 10th of Dhul Hijjah is the day of Eid ul Adha, and fasting is prohibited on this day.
- Recite the Takbir Al-Tashriq:
The wording of the Takbir is as follows:
اللَّهُ أَكْبَرُ اللَّهُ أَكْبَرُ لَا إلَهَ إلَّا اللَّهُ وَاَللَّهُ أَكْبَرُ اللَّهُ أَكْبَرُ وَلِلَّهِ الْحَمْد
(Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest, there is none worthy of worship besides Him, and Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest, and to Allah belongs all Praise).
It is obligatory to recite the above after every fardh salaat from Fajr of the 9th of Dhul Hijjah until Asr of the 13th of Dhul Hijjah.
- Sacrifice an animal and distribute the meat
The sacrifice of a livestock animal during the 10th, 11th or 12th of Dhul Hijjah is the sunnah of Prophet Ibrahim (AS). It is obligatory upon every able adult, and it is a means of getting closer to Allah (SWT).
- Attend Eid prayer
It is obligatory for every male to attend the Eid prayer.
Alongside Eid al-Adha prayers and the annual ritual slaughter of an animal, one of the most well-known virtuous actions of Dhul-Hijjah is fasting the first nine days, or at least the 9th day. But one lesser-known fact is that even though a person may not do anything which outright nullifies one’s fast (such as eating or drinking), one still may do some sins which take away from some or nearly all of the reward of a fast. So, let us protect our efforts in each of these blessed days, by remembering that every sin will waste some of the reward of our fasts and being cautious to avoid sins as much as possible.
May Allah grant us all the capability to increase our good actions and make the most out of these blessed days. Ameen!