Significance of the Holy month Dhul Hajj
The month of Dhul Hijjah is one of the holiest periods of the Islamic year.It is the twelfth and the final month of Islamic calender.A month of increased spiritual bliss, we witness two very special events (Hajj and Eid ul Adha) – with full devotion to Allah (SWT). The meaning of Dhul al Hijjah is "Possessor of the Pilgrimage" or "The Month of the Pilgrimage".During this blessed month , Muslims from all over the world gathers at Mecca to visit Kabba.Hajj is performed on the ninth and tenth day of this month.The day of Arafah is the ninth day of this spiritual month and Eid ul Adha which is also called Festival of the Sacrifice , celebrated from the tenth to the sunset of thirteenth day of this month.
Blessings and Benefits of the First 10 days of Dhul Hajj :
Many people don’t know about the blessings of first ten days of Dhul Hajj.These are the most blessed and significant days in Islam.The Prophet Muhammad Peace be upon him once said,
“There are no days in which righteous deeds are more beloved to Allah than these 10 days.” The people asked, “Not even Jihad for the sake of Allah?” He said, “Not even Jihad for the sake of Allah, except in the case of a man who went out to fight giving himself and his wealth up for the cause, and came back with nothing” (Bukhari)
Few things Muslims should do in the first ten days of Dhul Hajj:
Reciting of Holy Quran :
Reading Quran, especially in this month is a good deed so we should read it as much as we can.If we read a letter of Holy Quran we will be rewarded and that reward will be multiplied by ten, I am not saying that Alif, Laam, Meem is collectively a letter, rather I am saying that Alif is a letter, Laam is also a letter and Meem is another letter so if one letter is equal to ten good deeds than just imagine how many good deeds you will get by reading the Book of Allah.Those who don’t know how to read Quran , should learn it and start reciting and those who know how to read it just recite as much as you can in order to gain rewards excessively.
It is sunnah to keep fast on the first nine days of Dhul Hajj.Fasting is a good deed and its also good for health.Fasting has countless health benefits.It improves your blood cell regeneration, heart functioning etc.Almighty Allah says,
“All the deeds of the son of Adam are for him, except fasting, which is for Me and I shall reward for it.”’ [Sahih Al-Bukhari]
If you are unable to keep fast the whole ten days, must try to keep fast on the day of Arafah which is the ninth day of Dhul Hajj.Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), said,
“Fasting the Day of ‘Arafah (ninth Dhul-Hijjah) is an expiation for (all the sins of) the previous year and expiation for (all the sins of) the coming year.”
Make lots of dhikr in these blessed days and seek forgiveness for all our wrong doings, Reciting the Takbeer from the 9th to the 13th of Dhul Hijjah:
Allahu Akbar,Allahu Akbar,Laa ilaaha illallahu Wallahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar,Wa lillahil Hamd.
Our Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “There are no days that are greater before Allah or in which good deeds are more beloved to Him, than these ten days, so recite a great deal of tahleel, takbeer and tahmeed during them.” [Ahmad]:
Do a lot of Sadqa as these are the most blessed days of the year, don’t waste your time and help the needy people around you. Give as much charity as you can so that you may be rewarded more from the simple good deeds. Many of us maximizes our Sadqa during the last ten nights of Ramadan but the first ten days of Dhul Hajj are as much valuable.Saying of our Prophet Muhammad (PBUH),“The believer’s shade on the Day of Judgement will be his charity.”
Maintain ties of kinship :
Maintaining the ties of kinship is one of the best deeds and its neccessory for a true Muslim to establish ties of affinity as saying of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (PBUH),
“Whoever would like his provision to be increased and his lifespan to be extended, let him maintain the ties of kinship.” [Bukhari]
Why do Muslims celebrate Eid ul Adha?
Muslims celebrate Eid ul Adha as a reminder of our beloved Prophet Ibrahim (AS) dedication and devotions to serving Allah obediently, this is the true Islam of oneself that Allah expects from us.
Story of Ibrahim (AS) behind Qurbani ritual :
Ibrahim (AS) saw a dream in which he was ordered from Allah Almighty to sacrifice his beloved son Ismail (AS).As this was a message from Allah, he took his son to mount Arafat without any hesitation.He carried a rope, a knife with him to perform this sacrifice.After reaching on the top of the mount Arafat, he told his son about his dream. In the obedience of Allah, Ismail (AS) accepted this command.He asked to tie his hands and legs so that his father would not face any difficulty in performing this sacrifice.He was aware of the countless love of his father for him so he also asked his father to blindfold himself to avoid witness the suffering of his son.As Ibrahim (AS) began to carry the sacrifice, Allah replaced Ismail (AS) with a ram and he was unharmed. Allah tested Ibrahim to see his dedication for Islam and Ibrahim (AS) successfully passed the test.
What is Qurbani and When is it performed?
The word Qurbani is originated from the word Qurban which comes from the word Qurb meaning closeness.Ibrahim(AS) was ready to sacrifice his own son for Allah shows his closeness with Allah Almighty.Every year on Eid ul Adha, tenth of Dhul Hajj, after Eid prayer we sacrifice an animal for the sake of Allah and then we distribute its meat to the needy and the poor.Our Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) once said,
‘’I am the son of two sacrificed people’’
This shows that his father Abdullah and his ancestor Ismail (AS) both were almost sacrificed for the sake of Allah, emphasizing his connection with Ismail(AS).
What Animals are sacrificed at Qurbani?
Animals that can be sacrificed for Qurbani are goats, sheep and cows.They can be male or female.Goats and sheep must be at least one year old and cows must be at least two years old.The animals should be in good health.
Who should perform Qurbani?
Qurbani should be performed by adults, who can afford it. We can say that any person who meets the threshold for Zakat should perform Qurbani.However if you still have any doubts, contact your local Mosque.
Rewards for Qurbani
There are immense rewards for Qurbani and they are mentioned in Sunnah and Hadith.The most important thing is that you are doing it for just for Allah and to be true Muslim you have to forsake your pride and ego and dedicate yourself to Allah (SWT).
“For every hair of the Qurbani you will receive a reward from Allah, and for every strand of its wool you will receive a reward.” [Al-Tirmidhi]
Hadith reference: عَنْ جَابِرِ بْنِ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ، قَالَ ضَحَّى رَسُولُ اللَّهِ ـ صلى الله عليه وسلم ـ يَوْمَ عِيدٍ بِكَبْشَيْنِ فَقَالَ حِينَ وَجَّهَهُمَا " إِنِّي وَجَّهْتُ وَجْهِيَ لِلَّذِي فَطَرَ السَّمَوَاتِ وَالأَرْضَ حَنِيفًا وَمَا أَنَا مِنَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ إِنَّ صَلاَتِي وَنُسُكِي وَمَحْيَاىَ وَمَمَاتِي لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ لاَ شَرِيكَ لَهُ وَبِذَلِكَ أُمِرْتُ وَأَنَا أَوَّلُ الْمُسْلِمِينَ اللَّهُمَّ مِنْكَ وَلَكَ عَنْ مُحَمَّدٍ وَأُمَّتِهِ "
It was narrated that Jabir bin ‘Abdullah said: “The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) sacrificed two rams on the Day of ‘Eid. When he turned them to face towards the prayer direction he said: ‘Verily, I have turned my face towards Him Who has created the heavens and the earth, as a monotheist, and I am not of the polytheists. Verily, my prayer, my sacrifice, my living, and my dying are for Allah, the Lord of all that exists. He has no partner. And of this I have been commanded, and I am the first of the Muslims. O Allah, from You to You, on behalf of Muhammad and his nation.’”
Our moral duties being a Muslim?
Today, we are living in a society where wealth is given all the priority and people strive and struggle hard to achieve it by hook or by crook.However,wealth is something that is materialistically acquired and seen. Be it the size of our homes, the weight of our wallets, or the brand of our cars. Should one venture out in designer shoes, luxury clothing – as well as the latest accessories - they can often be perceived as being wealthy.The next generation has learnt that having a million dollars makes you feel a million dollars. Society competes to appeal to the wealthy.We forget that no matter how much wealthy we are but our final destination will remain same.We are all buried in ground with a simple piece of cloth.All our wealth will remain behind in this temporary world.The only thing that will matter are our good deeds especially the unspoken good deeds.In today's world, we call ourselves Muslims but it's a bitter reality that most of us lack the basic characteristics of being a Muslim.Just consider an example, for a wedding ceremony, we start preparing for it weeks before but we never prepare for a spiritual Islamic month.Our children, most of them don't even know about the Islamic calendar, they don't even know about the blessings of these Islamic months, we are responsibile for it.We should tell them about Islam from the beginning so that they can be good Muslims, it's our duty to tell our kids the Islamic trends, duties, morals, customs and why we are here in this world.
So if we want to be successful in real sense than we must do what we are commanded by Allah Almighty.In this blessed month of Dhul Hajj, we have many great opportunities to earn good deeds.We must prepare ourselves for this spiritual month and make ourselves ready to achieve heaps of good deeds.
Supplications for Dhul Hajj
” Among the special seasons of worship are the first ten days of Dhu’l-Hijjah, which Allaah has preferred over all the other days of the year. Ibn ‘Abbas (may Allaah be pleased with him and his father) reported that the Prophet () said: “There are no days in which righteous deeds are more beloved to Allaah than these ten days.” The people asked, “Not even jihad for the sake of Allaah?” He said, “Not even jihad for the sake of Allaah, except in the case of a man who went out to fight giving himself and his wealth up for the cause, and came back with nothing.” (Reported by al-Bukhari, 2/457)
وشهد النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم بأنها أعظم أيام الدنيا، وأن العمل الصالح فيها أفضل منه في غيرها، كما في حديث ابن عباس رضي الله عنهما، حيث قال صلى الله عليه وسلم: (ما من أيام العمل الصالح فيهن أحب إلى الله من هذه الأيام العشر، فقالوا: يارسول الله، ولا الجهاد في سبيل الله؟ قال: ولا الجهاد في سبيل الله، إلا رجل خرج بنفسه وماله فلم يرجع من ذلك بشيء) رواه الترمذي ، وأصله في البخاري ، وفي حديث ابن عمر : (ما من أيام أعظم عند الله ولا أحب إليه من العمل فيهن من هذه العشر، فأكثروا فيهن من التهليل والتكبير والتحميد) رواه أحمد
Ibn Abbas (may Allaah be pleased with him and his father) also reported that the Prophet () said: “There is no deed more precious in the sight of Allaah, nor greater in reward, than a good deed done during the ten days of Sacrifice.” He was asked, “Not even jihaad for the sake of Allaah?” He said, “Not even jihaad for the sake of Allaah, except in the case of a man who went out to fight giving himself and his wealth up for the cause, and came back with nothing.” (Reported by al-Daarimi, 1/357; its isnaad is Hasan as stated in al-Irwaa’, 3/398)
Ibn ‘Abbas, Ibn al-Zubair, Mujaahid and others of the earlier and later generations said that this refers to the first ten days of Dhu’l-Hijjah. Ibn Katheer said: “This is the correct opinion.” (Tafseer Ibn Katheer, 8/413)
“There are no days greater in the sight of Allaah and in which righteous deeds are more beloved to Him than these ten days, so during this time recite a great deal of Tahleel (“La ilaaha ill-Allaah”),
The Messenger (ﷺ) said: “The most excellent dua is the dua on the Day of Arafah, and the best of what I and the prophets before me have said, is ‘There is no god but Allah, alone, without partner.” [Muwatta Malik]
This particular dhikr, or way of remembering Allah, ‘There is no god but Allah’ is commonly known as the Tahlil (meaning rejoicing or jubilation). When you make dua during Dhul Hijjah, and especially on the Day of Arafah, face the Qibla and raise your hands in complete submission, ask Allah for all that you desire from Him, ask sincerely for His forgiveness and call out to Him. Be sure to repeat this dhikr frequently:
لا إلَهَ إلا اللَّهُ
Lā ilāha illā Allah
“There is no god but Allah.”
عن عبد الله بن عمر -رضي الله عنهما- عن النبي -صلى الله عليه وسلم- قال: "ما مِن أيَّامٍ أَعظَمَ عِندَ اللهِ، ولا أَحَبَّ إلَيهِ مِنَ العملِ فيهِنَّ مِن هذِه الأَيَّامِ العَشرِ؛ فأَكثِرُوا فيهِنَّ مِنَ التَّهليلِ، والتَّكبيرِ، والتَّحميدِ
Many of us fail to grasp the immense significance of the first ten days of Dhul Hijjah, despite the fact that our Beloved Prophet (ﷺ) described them as the greatest ten days of the entire year (yes, even greater than the days of Ramadan)!
The Prophet (ﷺ) used to fast on the ninth of Dhu’l-Hijjah. Hunaydah ibn Khalid reported from his wife that some of the wives of the Prophet (ﷺ) said:
“The Prophet (ﷺ) used to fast on the ninth of Dhu’lHijjah, on the day of ‘Aashooraa´, on three days of each month, and on the first two Mondays and Thursdays of each month.” (Reported by al-Nisaa’i, )
عن حفصة رضي الله عنها قالت : ( خمس لم يكن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم يدعهن : صيام يوم عاشوراء ، وعشر من ذي الحجة ، وثلاثة أيام من كل شهر ، وركعتين قبل الفجر...) رواه أحمد والنسائي