Dhul Hijjah is one of the four sacred ” Al Ash-hur Al Hurom” months. Allah (SWT) says: “The number of months in the sight of Allah is twelve (in a year)- so ordained by Him the day He created the heavens and the earth; of them four are sacred: that is the straight usage.” (At-Taubah 36)
Dhul Hijjah means the Month of the Pilgrimage and it was connected to Hajj even before Islam. People used to stop wars, and killing, and dedicate themselves to pilgrimage.
In 2023, the 1st day of Dhul Hijjah is in June 19th. Youmul Arafah is on Tuesday 27th.
WHICH IS MORE VIRTUOUS: THE FIRST TEN DAYS OF DHUL HIJJAH OR THE LAST TEN DAYS OF RAMADAN
Ashr Dhul Hijjah are very important for all Muslims around the world. The days are even more virtuous than the last ten days of Ramadan because of the Day of ‘Arafah. However, the nights of the last ten days of Ramadan are more virtuous than the first ten days of Dhul Hijjah because of the Night of Al-Qadr.
VIRTUES OF THE FIRST TEN DAYS OF DHUL HIJJAH
- Allah (SWT) swears by them in Surrat Al-Fajr and says: “By the break of Day (1) By the Nights twice five (2)” Ibn Kathir said these days are the first ten days of Dhul Hijjah so the nights and the days very blessed.
- Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) made it clear to us that these ten days are more virtuous than the other days of the Sacred Months. It was narrated from Ibn ‘Abbas (RA) 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. They said: “O Messenger of Allah! Not even Jihad in the cause of Allah?” He said: “Not even Jihad in the cause of Allah, unless a man goes out with himself and his wealth and does not bring anything back.” (Reported by al-Bukhari, 2/457). Grade: Sahih (Darussalam) Reference: Sunan Ibn Majah 1727
- The Prophet (PBUH) also encouraged all Muslims to do righteous deeds because of the virtue of this season. In these days, we should remember Allah (SWT) with much remembrance, praise Him a lot, do Tahleel, and du’a. Fasting, doing voluntary deeds (Nawafel), reciting Qur’an, performing Hajj or Umrah, and giving charity are also very recommended in these days to gain the greatest rewards from Allah (SWT).
- Prophet (PBUH) commanded us to recite a lot of Tasbih (“Subhan-Allah”), Tahmid (“Al-hamdu Lillah”) and Takbir (“Allahu akbar”) during this time. ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar (RA) reported that the Prophet (PBUH) said: “There are no days greater in the sight of Allah and in which righteous deeds are more beloved to Him than these ten days, so during this time recite a great deal of Tasbih (“Subhan Allah”), Takbir (“Allahu Akbar”), Tahmid (“Al-hamdu Lillah”), Tahlil (“La ilaha ill-Allah”).” (Reported by Ahmad, 7/224; Ahmad Shakir stated that it is sahih).
- The first ten days of Dhul Hijjah also include Yawm ‘Arafah (the Day of ‘Arafah ). In the ninth day of Dul Hijjah, Allah perfected His Religion. Allah (SWT) says: “This day have I perfected your religion for you, completed My favor upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion.” (Al-Maeda 3). Fasting on this day will also expiate for the sins of two years. Abu Qatadah (RA) reported: The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) was asked about the observance of Saum (fasting) on the day of ‘Arafah. He said, “It is an expiation for the sins of the preceding year and the current year.” [Muslim]. Reference: Riyad as-Salihin 1250. So, Yawm al-Nahar (the Day of Sacrifice ) is the greatest day of the entire year and the greatest day of Hajj, which combines acts of worship in a way unlike any other day. Moreover, it was narrated from Ibn Musayyab that ‘Aishah said that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: “There is no day on which Allah ransoms more slaves from the Fire than the Day of ‘Arafah. He draws closer and closer, then He boasts about them before the angels and says: ‘What do these people want?’” Grade: Sahih (Darussalam) Reference: Sunan Ibn Majah 3014
BENEFITS OF SEASONS OF WORSHIP
These days encourage us to do more righteous deeds, Nawafil, and be eager to worship Allah (SWT), so Muslims should renew their efforts to gain the most significant share of Allah’s rewards and blessings, prepare themselves for death and supply themselves in readiness for the Day of Judgment.
وَاعْبُدْ رَبَّكَ حَتَّىٰ يَأْتِيَكَ الْيَقِينُ
Sura Al Hijr 15:99
To show us the importance of these days, Allah (SWT) swears and says: “By one that witnesses, and the subject of the witness.” (Al-Burooj 3) Ibn Abi Hatim recorded from Abu Hurayrah that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, And by the وَمَشْهُودٍ Witnessed, this refers to the يَوْمُ عَرَفَة day of Arafah (in Hajj), one of the days of Dhul Hijjah.
So, as a Muslim, grab the opportunity of these holy days and be determined to do the best deeds because Allah (SWT) will help you and provide you with all the means and reasons that help you to complete your deeds. Whoever is truthful to Allah (SWT), Allah (SWT) will be truthful to him/her. Allah (SWT) says: “As for those who strive hard in Us (Our Cause), We will surely guide them to Our Paths (i.e. Allah’s Religion – Islamic Monotheism). And verily, Allah is with the Muhsinun (good doers).” (Al-‘Ankabūt 69)
WHAT TO DO IN DHUL HIJJAH
- Fasting. The Prophet (PBUH) used to fast on the first nine days of Dhul Hijjah. It was narrated from Hunaydah ibn Khalid from his wife, that one of the wives of the Prophet (PBUH) said: The Prophet (peace be upon him) used to fast on the first nine days of Dhul-Hijjah and the day of ‘Ashura, and three days each month, the first Monday of the month and two Thursdays. Narrated by al-Nasai, 4/205 and by Abu Dawud; classed as sahih by al-Albani in Sahih Abi Dawud, 2/46
Moreover, it was narrated that Hafsah (RA) said: “There are four things which the Prophet never neglected: Fasting ‘Ashura’, (fasting during) the ten days, (fasting) three days of each month, and praying two Rak’ahs before Al-Ghadah (Fajr).” Grade: Hasan (Darussalam)
Sunan an-Nasa’i, Vol. 3, Book 22, Hadith 2418
- Takbir. Muslims during these days say Takbir (“Allahu akbar”), Tahmid (“Al-hamdu Lillah”), Tahlil (“La ilaha ill-Allah”) and Tasbih (“Subhan Allah”) during the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah, and to say it loudly everywhere. It is Sunnah from our Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) to remember Allah (SWT) and mention His name out loud. “Abdullah ibn ‘Umar and Abu Hurayrah (radiyallahu ‘anhum) would go to the marketplace during the [first] ten days of Dhul Hijjah and say Takbir, and people would follow them in Takbir.” (Sahih Bukhari, before Hadith: 969. Also see Fathul Bari)
In this verse: “That they may witness things that are of benefit to them, and mention the name of Allah on appointed days over the beast of cattle that He hath bestowed upon them. Then eat thereof and feed therewith the poor unfortunate.” (Al-Hajj 28) Shu`bah and Hushaym narrated from Abu Bishr from Sa`id from Ibn Abbas that “The appointed days are the ten days (of Dhul-Hijjah).
- Performing Hajj and ‘Umrah. The first ten days of Dhul Hijjah are blessed and Allah chose them for Muslims to perform Hajj and Umrah. Allah (SWT) says: “And proclaim the Pilgrimage among men: they will come to thee on foot and (mounted) on every kind of camel, lean on account of journeys through deep and distant mountain highways;” (Al-Hajj 27)
Abu Hurairah (RA) reported: The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “(The performance of) ‘Umrah is an expiation for the sins committed between it and the previous ‘Umrah; and the reward of Hajj Mabrur (i.e., one accepted) is nothing but Jannah.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].
- Doing more good deeds in general. Allah (SWT) loves them and will bring great rewards and blessings from the one who does plenty of good deeds during the first ten days of Dhul Hijjah. Whoever is not able to go to Hajj should occupy himself during these blessed days by intense worshipping of Allah (SWT), praying (Salah) on time, reciting Holy Quran, remembering Allah (SWT), making supplication (Du’a), giving charity, honoring his parents, keeping good relations with relatives, maintaining orphans, doing kindness to neighbors, taking compassion on the poor, taking care to go to Eid Prayer at the mosques, enjoining what is good and avoiding what is evil, and doing more Nawafil and acts of worship.
Abu Hurairah (RA) reported: the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “Allah the Exalted has said: ‘And the most beloved thing with which My slave comes nearer to Me is what I have enjoined upon him, and My slave keeps on coming closer to Me through performing Nawafil (prayer or doing extra deeds besides what is obligatory) till I love him. When I love him I become his hearing with which he hears, his seeing with which he sees, his hand with which he strikes, and his leg with which he walks; and if he asks (something) from Me, I give him, and if he asks My Protection (refuge), I protect him”. [Al- Bukhari] Reference: Riyad as-Salihin 95
- Sacrifice. One of the good deeds that will bring a person closer to Allah (SWT) during these ten days is offering a sacrifice, by choosing a high-quality animal (sheep-cow-camel- goat) and doing the sacrifice on the 10th day of Dhul Hijja which is Eid Al Adha. Al Adha is an Arabic word that comes from the word Al Udhiya which means “Animal Sacrifice”. Narrated Abdullah ibn Qurt: The Prophet (ﷺ) said: The greatest day in Allah’s sight is the day of sacrifice and next the day of resting which Isa said on the authority of Thawr is the second day.” Grade: Sahih (Al-Albani) Reference: Sunan Abi Dawud 1765 It was also narrated from Nafi that: ‘Abdullah told him that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) used to offer the sacrifice at the prayer place.” Abu Ghuddah said: Hadith Sahih
- Sincere repentance. One of the most important things to do during these ten days is to repent sincerely to Allah (SWT) and to give up all kinds of disobedience and sins. Repentance means coming back to Allah (SWT) and leaving all the deeds, open and secret, that He dislikes, out of regret for what has passed, giving it up immediately and being determined never to return to it, but to adhere firmly to the Truth by doing what Allah (SWT) loves. Al-Agharr bin Yasar Al-Muzani (RA) narrated that: The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: “Turn you people in repentance to Allah and beg pardon of Him. I turn to Him in repentance a hundred times a day”. [Muslim] Reference: Riyad as-Salihin 14. Some of Allah’s (SWT) names are the Acceptor of Repentance and the Most Forgiving so don’t lose faith.
DEEDS FOR MULTIPLICATION
- Fasting Day of Arafah
- Fasting Ashura
- Fasting Ramadan
- Doing good deeds during Dhul Hijjah
- Praying (Salat) on time at specific mosques
- Da’wah to Non-Muslims
- Donating to a place of good education
- Raising righteous children
- Performing Hajj and ‘Umrah
- Beneficial knowledge like Science of Jurisprudence principles and Science of Hadith
USING YOUR POTENTIAL FOR THE SAKE OF DEEN
- Good use of technology (Websites, Q&A) like islamqa.info
- Continuous da’wah via emails, phones, and personal contact
- Teaching Quran and Hadith at the mosques or online
- Distributing Islamic books or brochures
- Writing an online publication
- Looking for opportunities to help the poor, the elderly, and the sick
- Mail Islamic books
- Creating and distributing Islamic videos with translations and subtitling
- Encouraging others to do good deeds
- Doing voluntary works that help Muslim community
- Memorizing the Holy Quran camps for children and adults
- Taking care of orphans, divorced women, and widows
- Good use of Social Media Apps like creating pages with Islamic content
- Visits to call others (teenagers, families)to repentance and to increase their Iman
- Organizing trips for families, children, girls or boys
- Helping & serving religious scholars
- Organizing competitions for (memorizing chapters of the Quran or Hadiths)
- Reviving with other Muslims some of the forgotten Sunnahs like Salat Al-Duha
- Greeting other Muslims with salaams [propagate greetings]
- Talking while gatherings about the stories of our Prophets (Peace Be Upon Them)
- Spreading some situations of our Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) with his Companions
- Talking about the best women in Islam like Maryam bint Imran and learn from their stories
- Sending charities during the difficult times like wars & pandemics
THINGS TO AVOID IN DHUL HIJJAH
Question: What must Muslims avoid during these ten days if they want to offer a sacrifice?
Firstly, Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) warned those who leave the sacrifice even though they can. It was narrated from Abu Hurairah that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: “Whoever can afford it, but does not offer a sacrifice, let him not come near our prayer place.” Grade: Hasan (Darussalam) Reference: Sunan Ibn Majah 3123
Secondly, Muslims who want to offer a sacrifice mustn’t cut his hair or nails or remove anything from his skin, from the beginning of the ten days until after he has offered his sacrifice. Prophet (ﷺ) said: “When you see the new moon of Dhul-Hijjah, if any one of you wants to offer a sacrifice, then he should stop cutting his hair and nails until he has offered his sacrifice.” According to another report he said: “He should not remove (literally, touch) anything from his hair or skin.” (reported by Muslim with four isnads, 13/146)
Thirdly, Muslims can do the sacrifice on the tenth day of Dhul Hijjah or on the days of Al Tashreeq, the three days following Eid. Prophet (ﷺ) said “Slaughtering (of animals as a sacrifice) is permissible in all the days of Al Tashreeq (11th, 12th, and 13th of Zul-Hijjah)” (Declared authentic by Al-Albani) After that, the one can’t do the sacrifice.
- Don’t belittle the small deeds and you don’t always have to be the best sheikh. Allah (SWT) is watching, knowing your intention, and He will give you the reward depending on that. Allah (SWT) says: “Be quick in the race for forgiveness from your Lord, and for a Garden whose width is that (of the whole) of the heavens and of the earth, prepared for the righteous.” (Aal-e-Imran 133)
- Focus on at least one good deed during your life until you meet Allah (SWT). Choose one good deed and stick to it to win paradise with other Muslims and don’t be like the hypocrites who haven’t decided yet whether to go to hellfire or to paradise.
- Paradise has 8 doors for Muslims to enter so try to be one of the Muslims who enter at least one of these doors. Make sure to do the good deeds that help you enter any door like praying perfect prayers, fasting, restraining your anger, jihad in the way of Allah (SWT), performing hajj, and giving more charity (Sadaqah). Abu Huraira (RA) reported: The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “If a woman prays her five prayers, fasts her month of Ramadan, guards her chastity, and obeys her husband, she will enter Paradise from any gate she wishes.” Source: Ṣaḥīḥ Ibn Ḥibbān 4163 Grade: Sahih (authentic) according to Al-Arna’ut
- Every day think of yourself in Jannah and rest in pleasures. Every day think “What if you missed Jannah (I seek refuge in Allah)?. Every day think about how short the life of this world is and that it is worthless.
- Every day read even a little bit of the Qur’an and Hadith to remind yourself of the paradise or the hellfire and the torture in the grave. Unless you do this, you will be deluded by this mortal Dunya.
- Three you need to provide yourself with:
- Allah’s (SWT) help and support by dependence on Allah (SWT) and placing trust in Him.
- Great efforts from you. That means a strong commitment for a long time.
- Knowing how and what good deed fits you to guarantee paradise.
May Allah (SWT) give us a long life to witness these ten days every year and be with those who are released from Hell.
And Allah knows best.