So Ramadan has finally departed us and – while we may be suffering a bad case of post-Ramadan blues – here's some news to cheer you up. 👇
The best and most beloved 10 days to Allah are upon us!
Dhul Hijjah (the last month of the Islamic calendar) is a very sacred and special as it is the time in which millions of Muslims go to perform Hajj — one of the pillars of Islam.
And the first ten days of this month are known as the best ten days of the entire year.
Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) said: “There are no days on which righteous deeds are more beloved to Allah than these ten days [meaning the (first) ten days of Dhul-Hijjah].” [Bukhari]
So if a part of you feels you didn't reach some of your goals during Ramadan, this is the time to immerse yourself into worship and perform as many good deeds as possible!
The Importance of Dhul Hijjah
Allah SWT created 12 months in a year and, out of these, there are four months that are considered the 'sacred months':
Dhul Hijjah is the twelfth and final month of the Islamic calendar in which the annual pilgrimage of Hajj takes place, allowing millions of Muslims to fulfil the fifth pillar of Islam.
The first nine days of Dhul Hijjah are the most sacred and then the 10th day is the beginning of Eid al-Adha.
How Should We View These First 10 Days of Dhul Hijjah?
A great way to think of these 10 days is to see it as a gift from Allah.
Our emaan is like the clothes we wear. It gets worn out from time to time as a result of our environment, outside places, and our interactions with others. It's natural to experience dips in our emaan in the midst of day to day life.
That's when Allah blesses us with golden days – like Dhul Hijjah – to give us the chance to boost our emaan and increase in good deeds.
Because we know how amazing these days are, we are motivated to obey Allah and perform acts of worship, just like how we do in Ramadan!
We should view the first 10 days of Dhul Hijjah as a mercy from Allah and a huge opportunity to our sins to be forgiven.
Which Good Deeds Are Good to Perform During Dhul Hijjah?
From fasting to increasing your Qur'an reading and giving sadaqah, there are lots of different ways you can earn reward in these blessed days.
But how can we know which deeds are the best for us? There's two approaches to this:
- Look at the needs of the people
- Focus on what Allah has made easy for you
While every good deed, including Qur'an recitation and fasting, is extremely important during this time (and is not something that should be overlooked) – it is upon us to look the needs of the people.
What does this mean, exactly?
Well, when we look at the state of our society, what's something that stands out as a big issue?
Perhaps many people are struggling financially right now due to hyper-inflation and cost of living.
So when we think about which deeds are the best to perform, we should consider what the major problems are amongst the people around us and then do deeds in relation to that e.g.
Helping someone out with money or donating to a local community cause.
Your Dhul Hijjah To-Do List
- Reciting Constant Dhikr
- Increasing Your Qur'an Reading
- Giving More Generously
- Reflect on the Amazing Story of Hajar
- Call on Allah Through Dua
- Give Qurbani
Giving Qurbani/ Udhiyah
Qurbani is the obligatory sacrifice offered during the first ten days of Dhul Hijjah by Muslims that can afford it. The meat is then distributed to the community and those living in poverty.
Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said: “The Companions of the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: ‘O Messenger of Allah, what are these sacrifices (Qurbani)?’ He said: ‘The Sunnah of your father Ibrahim.’ They said: ‘What is there for us in them, O Messenger of Allah?’ He said: ‘For every hair [on the sacrifice], one reward.’ They said: ‘What about wool, O Messenger of Allah?’ He said: ‘For every hair of wool, one reward.’” [Ibn Maajah, 3127]
The one who intends to sacrifice should not cut their hair and nails until the sacrifice has been completed.
Fasting in the First Nine Days
Although many Muslims choose to fast for the entire first nine days of Dhul Hijjah, a golden opportunity to do so is the Day of Arafah.
From Allah's endless mercy, we witness a chance to have our sins wiped away on the Day of Arafah (the ninth day of Dhul Hijjah).
The Sunnah for those not performing Hajj is to fast on this day as a means of having yours sins forgiven and expiated.
All of the sins of this year and the previous year are forgiven, by the will of Allah.
Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) said: “Fasting on the day of ‘Arafah is an expiation for two years (of wrongdoings), the year preceding it and the year following it.” [Muslim]
Reciting Constant Dhikr
From the best ways to utilise your time in these days is to recite constant dhikr including:
- Allahu Akbar (takbir)
- Subhanallah (tasbeeh)
- La Ilaha Ila Allah (tahleel)
- Alhamdulilah (tahmeed)
It is Sunnah to keep your tongue moist with these words of remembrance as much as possible in these 10 days, and it is the best kind of worship we can do right now.
This takbeer should be recited after each of the daily prayers from the 9th of Dhul Hijjah until the 13th.
Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar. La ilaha illa Allah.
Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Wa lilahil Hamd.
“Allah is The Greatest, Allah is The Greatest. There is no God besides Allah and Allah is The Greatest. Allah is The Greatest and to Allah belongs all praise.”
Reflect on the Story of Hajar (AS)
Hajar, the second wife of Prophet Ibrahim (AS), has an incredible tale that is deeply rooted into the rituals of Hajj.
Hajar experienced feelings of helplessness and immense challenge in her life. She gave birth to Prophet Ismail, but it was in this time as a new mother that she was severely tested.
When left alone in the desert with her son, Hajar frantically searched for water and ran seven times between the two mountains, Safaa and Marwaa.
Allah SWT then gifted her a miraculous water fountain of ZamZam that appeared at the feat of baby Ismail.
The journey between Safaa and Marwaa has now become a ritual performed by those completing Hajj.
We should reflect on the true strength of Hajar (AS), her pursuit in saving her child, and the extreme patience she had through her trials and tribulations.
May Allah grant us all the ability to rely on Him during our hardships.
Call on Allah Through Dua
These few days, as we mentioned above, is a gift from Allah SWT so we should take advantage of this time and beg Allah for His forgiveness.
How often in a day do we communicate to Allah? How often do we ponder on the blessings that Allah has bestowed upon us?
From the pure fact that these ten days are the best of the entire year, focus on those conversations with Allah and increase in them to draw closer to Him.
Ask Allah for what you desire and put your trust in Him that He will do that which is the absolute best for you!
We ask Allah SWT to allow us to benefit from this beautiful opportunity and to enable us to see many more Dhul Hijjah's to come so that we may be forgiven for our sins.