Zhul Hijjah: The days of Hajj There are so many virtues in this month, and more specifically the first 10 days, that we should hold on to tightly and practice our Deen with a passion, InshaAllah. Who can guarantee that we will be alive to see next year's Zhul Hijjah?
For those who have been invited to Almighty Allah's House (the Bayt Allah/Ka'bah in Makkah al Mukarramah), may Allah Almighty facilitate your Hajj and make it a means to draw closer unto Him and allow you to return sinless and with a new level of reinvigorated Imaan!
However even for those not performing the pilgrimage, Hajj, the first ten days of this month are considered very sacred and a time for increased reflection, seeking Allah's forgiveness, doing good and various other forms of worship.
Ibn Abbas (radhiyallahu anhu) that Rasulullah(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) said: There is no day wherein any good action is more beloved to Allah Ta'ala than these ten days (the first ten days of Zhul Hijjah)". The Sahaabah (radhiyallahu anhum) enquired: " Not even Striving in the path of Allah ?" "Not even Striving in the path of Allah," replied Rasulullah(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) , "with the exception of that person who left with his life and wealth (in the path of Allah) and did not return with any of it (i.e. he is martyred)". (Bukhari, Tabraani)
So sacred are the first ten days of Zhul Hijjah that Allah swears an oath by them when He says in the Quran: "By the dawn; by the ten nights" [al-Fajr 89:1-2]. Swearing an oath by something indicates its importance and great benefit.
What kinds of worship should be performed? Generally, all good deeds are rewarded highly at this blessed time. These actions include praying, reading Quran, making Dua (supplication), giving in charity and being good to our families.
In addition, seeking Allah's forgiveness at this time is also encouraged. This means more than just a verbal expression of sorrow for past misdeeds. It also requires a firm resolution to avoid making the same mistakes in the future by giving up bad habits and behavior while sincerely turning to Allah.
While any good deed done for the sake of Allah according to the way He approves will be rewarded immensely during the first ten days, InshaAllah, some of the more specific actions mentioned in the Traditions of the Prophet are fasting and verbal Zikr (remembrance) of Allah.
Fasts in the First 10 Days and Spending the Nights of These Days In Prayer and Worship: The Prophet (sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) has said, "One fast during these days is equal to the fasting of one complete year, and the worship of one night during this period is equal to the worship in the "Lailatul-Qadr".(Tirmidhi)
It is especially recommended to spend some part of each of the nights of these ten days in prayer and worship.
Fast of Day of 'Arafah (9th day of Zhul Hijjah is called Yawmul - 'Arafah):
Abu Qataadah (radhiyallahu anhu) reported that Rasullullah (sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) said: "I have hope in Allah Ta'aala that the fast of Arafaat will be an atonement for the sins of the past and the forthcoming year." (Tirmidhi)
Takbeer-e-Tashreeq: The verbal remembrance of Allah is another meritorious act during these first ten days of Zhul Hijjah. It is narrated from Ibn Abbaas (radhiyallanhu) that Rasulullah (sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) said: "No days are as weighty with Allah and so liked by Him for good deeds than the first ten days of Zhul-Hijjah. Therefore in these days increasingly recite: "La ilaha illallah, Allahu Akbar, Al-Hamdu-lillah, Sub-hanallah." (Tabraani)
The Takbeer may also include the words "Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar, la-ilaha ill-Allah; wa Allahu akbar wa Lillahi'l-hamd (Allah is Most Great, Allah is Most Great, there is no god but Allah; Allah is Most Great and to Allah be praise),". This Takbeer is known as Takbeer-e-Tashreeq. The Takbeer at-Tashreeq is wajib for men to recite, and mustahab for women, at least once after every Fardh prayer from Fajr of the 9th of Zhul Hijjah until Asr time of the 13th of Zhul Hijjah. Men are encouraged to recite these phrases out loud and women quietly.
Ibn 'Umar and Abu Hurayrah, two of the Prophet's Companions, used to go out in the marketplace during the first ten days of Zhul-Hijjah, reciting Takbeer, and the people would recite Takbeer individually when they heard them.
Qurbaani/Udh-hiyyah: Last but not the least, not to for get forget about the obligation on each of us to offer a qurbani (slaughtering of an animal) during the days of the 10th, 11th, 12th of Zhul Hijjah. This is an obligation on each one of us and it represents the beautiful, complete submission of Prophet Ibrahim (as) when he chose to obey Allah Ta'aala fully and without question when it came to slaughtering his own son, Prophet Ismail (as). Before the knife was able to cut his son's neck, Allah Ta'ala replaced Ismail (as) with a ram from Jannah. Ismail (as) was saved and Ibrahim (as)'s complete submission to God's command was accepted!!
By slaughtering an animal during these days, we commemorate that great sacrifice and we are rewarded abundantly InshaAllah! However along with the sacrifice we should not forget the great lesson we are meant to learn, which is to show total submission to the command of Allah, no matter how unreasonable or difficult it may outwardly seem, for in it lies true success.
May Allah give us success in these blessed days and nights, and in every moment of our lives, to follow the path of the Prophet (Allah bless him & give him peace), and may He make us of those whom He loves and who love Him. Ameen.
"It is useless to have a learned tongue but an ignorant heart." - Shaykh Abd al Qadir al Jalani
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