Praise be to Allaah Who has created Time and has made some times better than others, some months, days and nights better than others, when rewards are multiplied many times, as a mercy towards His slaves.
Alhamdulilah, the blessed 10 days of Dhul Hijjah are upon us, the days in which the prophet (salallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) encouraged us to do righteous deeds. One of the best deeds one can do is to make the Hajj pilgrimage, but for those of us who won’t be able to be the guests of Allah in Makkah, we can still take advantage of these blessed days and earn rewards inshaa Allah. Here are some examples of things we can do in Dhul Hijjah.
There are many evidences in the Quran and the Sunnah that support the fact that the first ten days of the month of Dhul-Hijjah are better and more preferred by Allah than any other days of the year, including the last ten days of Ramadaan (although the last ten nights of Ramadaan are better).
Ibn ‘Abbaas (Radiyallaahu anhu) reported that the Prophet (salallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:
“There are no days in which righteous deeds are more beloved to Allaah than these ten days.” The people asked, “Not even jihad for the sake of Allaah?” He said, “Not even jihad 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.” (Bukhaari)
It is highly recommended for those who are not pilgrims to fast on the day of ’Arafah (9th of Dhul Hijjah) when pilgrims gather at the mount of ’Arafah, praying and supplicating to their Lord.
Abu Qatadah Al-Ansari narrated, “The Messenger of Allah was asked about fasting on the day of Arafah (the 9th of the month of Dhul Hijjah). He replied, “Fasting on the day of Arafah is an expiation for the preceding year and the following year.” He was also asked about fasting on the day of Ashura (the 10th of the month of Muharram). He replied, “Fasting on the day of Ashura is an expiation for the preceding year.” The Messenger of Allah was also asked about fasting on Monday, and he replied, “This is the day on which I was born and the day on which I was sent (with the Message of Islam) and the day on which I received revelation.” (Muslim)
There is no better time than Dhul Hijjah to increase in the dhikr (remembrance) of Allah.
The Prophet said (salallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam): “There are no days on which good deeds are greater or more beloved to Allah than on these ten days, so recite much Tahleel (saying Laa ilaaha ill-Allah), Takbeer (saying Allahu Akbar) and Tahmeed (saying Alhamdu Lillaah).” (Ahmad -Saheeh)
Reviving a Sunnah that have been forgotten is a deed that will bring a lot of reward. The Prophet (salallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “Whoever revives an aspect of my Sunnah that is forgotten after my death, he will have a reward equivalent to that of the people who follow him, without it detracting in the least from their reward.” (al-Tirmidhi)
It is from the Sunnah to say the Takbeeraat (Allaahu Akbar) From the day of ’Arafah (the 9th of Dhul-Hijjah), up until the ’Asr Prayer on the 13th of Dhul Hijjah.
Shaykhul-lslaam Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullaah) said, “All praise be to Allaah. The most correct saying concerning the takbeer – that which the majority of the Salaf (Pious Predecessors), and the Scholars from the Companions and Imams were upon – is to begin making the takbeer from Fajr (dawn) on the day of ’Arafah, up until the last day of at-Tashreeq (the thirteenth of Dhul-Hijjah), after every Prayer.” Majmoo’ul-Fataawaa (24/220). However, what seems more correct is not to restrict the takbeeraat to being just after every Prayer, as al-Haafidh Ibn Hajr pointed out in Fathul-Baaree (21/587).
The Messenger of Allaah (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) said:
“The best du’aa is the du’aa on the Day of ‘Arafah, and the best thing that I and the Prophets before me said is: ‘Laa ilaaha illallaah, wahdahu laa shareeka lah, lahul-Mulku wa lahul-hamd, wa huwa ‘alaa kulli shayin qadeer’.”
(There is nothing that deserves to be worshiped in truth except Allaah, He is Alone and has no partner, to Him belongs the dominion and to Him belongs all praise, and He is All-Powerful over all things) (At-Tirmidhee)
The day of an-Nahr (10th of Dhul Hijjah) marks the end of the Hajj pilgrimage and is also known as ’Eidul-Adhaa (the Festivity of Sacrifice) for those who are not pilgrims. It is also the day Ibrahim (alayhis-salaam) sacrificed a ram in place of Ismail (alayhis-salaam) and is considered the most excellent day of the year. The one who is able is obliged to sacrifice (ex: a cow, goat, or sheep) on this day.
The Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, “The greatest day of the Hajj (Pilgrimage) is the Day of an-Nahr (Slaughtering).”
While this might be a little harder for those of us living in countries where the only times there is a congregational prayer is on Fridays, it is worth mentioning that the reward for praying together in congregation is immense.
Anas bin Malik (Radiyallaahu anhu) narrated that : the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said:
“Whoever prays Fajr in congregation, then sits remembering Allah until the sun has risen, then he prays two Rak’ah, then for him is the reward like that of a Hajj and Umrah.”
He said: “The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said:
“Complete, complete, complete.” (Jami` at-Tirmidhi 586)
We should make an extra effort to try meet those around us for the sake of Allah and leave one another for the sake of Allah. Try to make your next meeting with friends a beneficial gathering, where you all benefit one another with the remembrance of Allah.
Abu Hurairah and Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri (Radiyallaahu anhuma) reported: The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) said, “When a group of people assemble for the remembrance of Allah, the angels surround them (with their wings), (Allah’s) mercy envelops them, Sakinah, or tranquillity descends upon them and Allah makes a mention of them before those who are near Him.” (Muslim).
With all that said I will leave you with these beautiful words of Imam Ibn Rajab to reflect upon:
For those not able to perform Hajj
“Whoever is not able to stop at Arafah, then stop at the limits of Allah He has set.
Whoever is not able to spend the night at Muzdalifah, let him spend the night in obedience to Allah to come close and attain nearness to Him.
Whoever is not able to slaughter at Minaa, then let him slaughter his desires so by it he can reach his objective.
Whoever was never able to reach the House because it is far, then proceed towards The Rabb of the Ka’ba, for He is closer to him than the jugular vein.”
(Al Lataa’if al-Ma’arif, p.633)
May Allah allow us to be of those who take advantage of these blessed days, ameen.
Image credit: Hajj and Umrah
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