I will be honest and say, for the most part of my life I never knew the significance of Dhul Hijjah except for the Hajj, sacrifice and Eid. Little did I know that we can do so much to try reaping the benefits of the first ten days of Dul Hijjah even when we are not performing Hajj itself.
As someone who is just learning and coming back to the deen, I have truly been awe inspired by all the things we can do to gain benefits in this month.
1. The importance of learning the Islamic calendar.
If we know the Islamic months then we can take benefit of the virtues surrounding the blessed month and conduct ourselves accordingly.
2. Dhul Hijjah just isn’t for the pilgrims.
There are many things we can do to increase our rewards. The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم advised us to recite a great deal of :
Tahmeed: Al-hamdu Lillah (All praises be to God)
Tahleel: Laa ilaha ill-Allah (There is no god but Allah)
Tasbeeh: Subhaan-Allah (Glory be to God).
3. Good deeds are the most beloved to Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى in these 10 days.
Ibn ‘Abbaas رضي الله عنه reported that the Prophet صَلَّى اللّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ said: “There are no days in which righteous deeds are more beloved to Allaah than these ten days.”
Reported in Bukhari, 2/457
4. The history of 10 days of Dhul Hijjah:
To truly feel the depth of the importance of these days, we need to delve into the history which stretches way back to the time of Ibrahim عليه السلام., way before Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم and the Sahabah. Ibrahim عليه السلام and his son, Ismaeel عليه السلام embodied the spirit of sacrifice which we still commemorate to this day.
Besides this, something which was very new and fascinating for me: Moses عليه السلام fasted the first 10 days of Dhul Hijjah. These are the extra 10 days Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى gave him after fasting for thirty days before. Which means the thirty days he fasted coincided with the days of Dhul Qa’ada. After this, according to most scholars, Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى spoke to Moses
عليه السلام directly after this and that day was what coincides with Eid-ul-Adha today.
5. The significance of Day of Arafah:
- On this day Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى perfected the deen of Islam as a way of life for the entire humanity. Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى says in the Qur’an:
“This day I have perfected for you your religion and completed My favor upon you and have approved for you Islam as religion.”Qur’an [5:3]
- It’s the best day in the sight of Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى . It’s a day of acceptance of dua and He frees more people from the hellfire on this day than any other day:
It was narrated by Jaabir رضي الله عنه
that the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم
said: “There is no better day in the Sight of Allah than the Day of ‘Arafah. Allah The Almighty descends [on that day] to the lowest heaven, and boasts about the people of the earth to the dwellers of heaven, saying: ‘Just look at My slaves! They have come to Me with dishevelled hair and covered in dust, standing in the forenoon. They have come from every distant pass. They seek My Mercy although they have not seen My punishment.’ There is no day when Allah sets free more slaves from Hell than the Day of ‘Arafah.’”
- The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said the day of Arafah is Hajj!
- All humans that have and that will pass through the earth were extracted from Adam عليه السلام on this day. On that day they all testified to the Oneness of Allah.
- The best supplication on day of Arafah:
‘Amr ibn Shu’ayb reported: The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said, “The best supplication is that which is made on the day of Arafat. The best of it is what was said by myself and the prophets before me: There is no god but Allah alone, without any partners, unto him belong the dominion and all praise and he has power over all things.”
Source: Sunan al-Tirmidhī 3585
Grade: Hasan according to Al-Albani
- Importance of fasting on the day of Arafah: Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم used to fast the first 9 days of Dhul Hijja but for the 9th Dhul Hijja it was specifically said that:
Abu Hafsah رضي الله عنه reported that the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said:
“Fasting on the Day of ‘Arafah absolves the sins for two years: the previous year and the coming year, and fasting on ‘Ashura, (the tenth day of Muharram) atones for the sins of previous years.”
- The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم gave his farewell sermon giving critical advice to the Muslim Ummah.
6. The sacrifice:
The sacrifice offered is solely for the pleasure of Allah, to gain closeness with Him. Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى says in the Qur’an:
Their meat will not reach Allah, nor will their blood, but what reaches Him is piety from you. Thus have We subjected them to you that you may glorify Allah for that [to] which He has guided you; and give good tidings to the doers of good.
Besides, it’s a Sunnah to distribute and share the meat. Especially with those who are not able to afford it through the year..
Apart from all mentioned above, another thing I find really beautiful is the instruction to not clip our nails or remove hair from any part of the body to make that special connection with the pilgrims.
InshaAllah we are able to make the most of these days. Racing to do all the good with our hearts open in front of Him, asking whatever we want in this life and the next!
May Allah accept all that we were able to do! And have hopes of doing better the next year. Ameen