Virtues of Dhul Hijjah
The first ten days of Dhul Hijjah are often referred to as the best ten days of the year, and a second chance after Ramadan. For those of us not performing the Hajj pilgrimage this year, this is still a great time of blessing and immense reward.
August 12th is the first day of the month Dhul-Hijjah. Our hearts and prayers are with those undertaking the holy pilgrimage of Hajj during these days. While many of us are unable to make the blessed journey this year, there are still many ways for us to reap the blessings of this month.
In Surat Al-Fajr, Allah says:
“By the dawn; And [by] the ten nights.” (Qur’an 89:1-2)
According to many scholars of the Qur’an, the days mentioned as significant enough for Allah to swear by them are the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah.
Whoever is not able to go to Hajj should use this blessed time to complete even more righteous deeds than usual. These can include anything such as giving charity, honouring one’s parents, upholding the ties of kinship, and enjoining what is good and forbidding what is evil. It is also important to enhance our obligatory acts of worship by being mindful of our prayers and ensuring we pay our zakat on time. For those of us who have not yet completed the pilgrimage of Hajj, this is an ideal time to make duaa that Allah grants us the opportunity to do so soon.
Fasting and remembrance are particularly recommended.
Fasting Nine days, especially on the Day of Arafah
It is Sunnah for the Muslim to fast on the first nine days of Dhul-Hijjah, because fasting is one of the best of deeds. In a hadith qudsi, 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.” (Bukhari, 1805)
It is reported that “The Prophet 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.” (Abu Dawood, 2/462)
The ten days of Dhul-Hijjah include Yawm al-Arafah (the Day of Arafah), on which Allah perfected His Religion. The Prophet said: “Fasting the day of `Arafah expiates the sins of two years: the past one and the coming one.” (Muslim)
Our Prophet 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)
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)
While there are different versions, the takbeer can also be recited as follows:
Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar, laa ilaaha ill-Allah, Allahu akbar, wa Lillaah il-hamd.
Allah is Most Great, Allah is Most Great, there is no god but Allah; Allah is Most Great and to Allah be praise.
The companions would go to the marketplace and recite the takbeer out loud and people would also recite after hearing them. Let us follow their footsteps and encourage others to recite the takbeer as well, as an act of worship and a proclamation of the greatness of Allah.