In the religion of Islam, there are 12 lunar months in every year. Almighty Allah in his wisdom however made 4 of them sacred (special) over others. Allah says in Suratul Tawbah “Verily, the number of months with Allah is twelve months (in a year), so was it ordained by Allah on the day He created the heavens and the earth, of them 4 are scared. (Qur’an 9:36) In an authentic hadith, Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said:“The year is twelve months of which four are sacred, the three consecutive months of Dhu’l-Qa’dah, Dhu’l-Hijjah and Muharram, and Rajab Mudar which comes between Jumaada and Sha’baan.” (Reported by al-Bukhaari, 2958).
Dhul Hijjah is the 12th month of the Islamic calendar. The first 10 days of this sacred month are the best days of the year! But why? Allah has a special love for muslims who worship and do righteous deeds in these days. The evidence is found in an Hadith reported by Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him and his father) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “There are no days in which righteous deeds are more beloved to Allaah than these ten days.” The people 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-Bukhaari, 2/457). So as we gradually approach this period, it is important we prepare and plan on how to move closer to Allah by increasing our worship, giving alms, mending kinship ties, asking for forgiveness, visiting the sick etc. According to Ibn Rajab, “a happy person is one who maximizes sacred periods to draw closer to his Lord and and maybe touched by Allah’s blessing and will feel the hope and excitement that he is safe from hell” (Ibn Rajab, al-Lataa’if, p.8)
VIRTUES OF THE FIRST 10 DAYS OF DHUL HIJJAH
- Allah swears by them: Scholars believe that if Allah swears by a creation of his, it is an evidence of how great such creation is.Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “By the dawn; by the ten nights” [al-Fajr 89:1-2].
- Arafat day: This is the 9th day of the month on which Allaah perfected His Religion. Fasting on this day will expiate for the sins of two years. Abu Qatadah reported: The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, was asked about fasting the day of Arafat. The Prophet said, “It will expiate the sins of the previous and upcoming years.” Then he was asked about fasting the day of Ashura. The Prophet said, “It will expiate the sins of the year.”
Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim 1162
- Day of Sacrifice: This is the 10th day of Dhul Hijjah, otherwise referred to as the best day on earth. According to an authentic tradition, the prophet was reported to have said “The greatest of days before Allaah is the Day of Sacrifice Sunan Abi Dawood (1765). It is also the greatest day of Hajj because the greatest Hajj rituals are performed on this day
- It contains the Eid day (Feasting festival) for muslims “The day of ‘Arafah, the day of Sacrifice, and the days of al-Tashreeq are our festival, us Muslims, and they are days of eating and drinking.” Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 773; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi.
What should I do once Dhul Hijjah Moon is sighted
- Refrain from cutting your nails and hair if you are offering sacrifice as reported by Muslim 13/146). If you are engaging someone to offer the sacrifice on your behalf, only you must refrain from cutting hairs and nails, not the slaughterer except if he is also doing the same
- Increase in recitation of Qur’an, alms giving, praying (salat), remembering Allaah, making supplication (du’aa), honouring parents, upholding the ties of kinship, enjoining what is good and forbidding what is evil, offering a sacrifice and all forms of worship.
- Frequent recitation of Takbeer Takbeer (ALLAHU Akbar), Tahleel (Laailaaha IlaLLAH), Tahmeed (AlhamduliLLLah). “and mention the name of Allaah on appointed days, over the beast of cattle that He has provided for them (for sacrifice)…” [al-Hajj 22:28]
- Perform Umrah and Hajj
- Fasting “The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to fast on the first nine days of Dhu’l-Hijjah and the day of ‘Ashoora’, and three days each month, the first Monday of the month and two Thursdays. Narrated by al-Nasaa’i, 4/205 and by Abu Dawood; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood, 2/462.
Conclusively, as the holy month of Dhul Hijjah approaches, it is imperative that we prepare ourselves in the best possible way in order to maximize the opportunities that come with it. We must strive to seek the pleasure of Allah by drawing closer to him in this short period.