Dhul Hijjah is fast approaching. If you’re a new Muslim you may not know the significance of this time but that’s what this post is all about! People may tell you to fast and do extra good deeds in the first 10 days but they often neglect to tell you why. So here’s my mini guide to Dhul Hijjah.
What is Dhul Hijjah?
Dhul Hijjah is the 12th month of the Islamic lunar calendar and marks the time of Hajj. It translates to “the month of the pilgrimage.” If you’re not aware, Hajj is one of the 5 pillars of Islam and is obligatory upon every same, adult Muslim who can afford to make the trip.
It’s a special time, especially the first 10 days which Allah swears by in the Quran:
By the dawn, and by the 10 nights – Surah Fajr: 1-2
Dhul Hijjah holds the best days for doing good deeds and the Prophet (saw) encouraged us to increase in them in this time. But you may be thinking, what about the last 10 nights of Ramadan? From the research I’ve done, the best 10 days are in Dhul Hijjah and the last 10 nights are those in Ramadan because they hold Laylatul Qadr (The Night of Decree). This is the opinion held by some of our earliest scholars in Islam like Ibn Abbas, Ibn al Zubayr and Ibn Kathir to name a few.
“There are no days in which righteous deeds are more beloved to Allah than these ten 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, giving himself and his wealth up for the cause (of Allah), and came back with nothing.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari]
Can I fast at this time?
It is highly recommended to fast the first 9 days of Dhul Hijjah but especially the 9th. This is the Day of Arafat. Fasting is encouraged because it is one of the BEST deeds and solely reserved for the pleasure of Allah. You could fast the entire YEAR (minus the days where it is prohibited) and no one would know unless you told them. That’s why Allah loves it so much.
But please take note, it is prohibited to fast on the 10th day of Dhul Hijjah which is the day of Eid al Adha (the Feast of Sacrifice), also know as the Greater Eid.
The Bonus of arafah
Abu Qatadah Al-Ansari (ra) narrated, “The Messenger of Allah (saw) 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.” He was also asked about fasting on the day of Ashura (the 10th of the month of Muharram). He replied, “Fasting on the day of Ashura is an expiation for the preceding year.” The Messenger of Allah (saw) was also asked about fasting on Monday, and he replied, “This is the day on which I was born and the day on which I was sent (with the Message of Islam) and the day on which I received revelation.” [Muslim]
You may not be able to fast the whole 9 days BUT I urge you to atleast fast the day of Arafah. We’re all in need of Allah’s undeniable mercy and forgiveness and what better day to get that than on the Day of Arafah. You can get your sins wiped from the previous year AND the year to come! Talk about a buy one get one free. Don’t leave it to chance getting in on this good deed. Plan ahead, set your alarm for before Fajr and hydrate properly.
silence of the lambs
So, let’s talk qurbani. Before becoming I knew about the sacrifice but not the significance or where the meat went afterwards. Like most non- Muslims, I didn’t know that the entire Hajj is based on the journey of the Prophet Ibrahim (as) and his wife Hajar (as). The sacrifice is also to commemorate the sacrifice the Prophet Ibrahim (as) was going to make. The sacrifice can be made on the 10th, 11th or 12th of Dhul Hijjah and no other time of the year.
And before you start thinking, but wait, why does Allah command us to sacrifice animals? Isn’t that what pagans do? Let me give you the following verse:
“It is not their meat, nor their blood, that reaches Allah, It is their piety that reaches Allah.” Surah Al-Haj:37
In the time before Islam (Jahiliyyah) the people would sacrifice animals and leave some of it’s meat on their idols and sprinkle it’s blood on them. Allah makes it clear to us that He is not in need of any of that. It is our taqwa (conciousness of Allah) that we give, not a dead animal.
STACK THEM GOOD DEEDS
Reading more Quran, giving extra charity, performing extra dhikr (remembrance of Allah) and extra prayers are all great deeds to incorporate into your life at the time of Dhul Hijjah. Make the most of these days as much as you can because we don’t know if we’ll see this time again.
The Prophet (saw) said: “There are no days in which righteous deeds are more beloved to Allah than these ten days (Dhul Hijjah).” [Sunan Ibn Majah]
We only get one shot at this life and Allah is offering us another great opportunity to increase ourselves in this life and the next. What’s your Dhul Hijjah plan? How will you be making the most of it?
Alhamdulillah, I’m working with some lovely ladies over at Muslimah Bloggers to arrange a “blog hop” about all things Dhul Hijjah and Hajj. Check out their articles which may include more information, arts, crafts and organisation ideas by clicking the link below (to be added when posts go live insha Allah)
This post is part of the Eid al Adha and Hajj Blog hop by Multicultural Motherhood. Join us as we share Eid and Hajj related posts. Hop over to see related posts from other Muslimah Bloggers.
Eid Party Crafts For Kids by Multicultural Motherhood
Ever Wonder why Hajj is Once in a Life Time by Jeddah Mom
Hajj/ Umrah Products by Ayeina.Com
Eid Ul Adha crafts/activities and celebrations in a homeschool by The Fire Fly
The activities of the big day of Eid al Adha we need to know by Ummu Kulthum
Get organised for Eid ul Adha – printables, activities and more! by And Then She Said
Free Download: My Dhull Hijjah Journal by Ilma Education
The first 10 days of Dhul-Hijjah could be your second shot at doing the last 10 days of Ramadan again with your kids by Dr Mumly