The Blessed Days of Dhu al-Hijjah

(It’s virtues and various acts to perform)
Adapted from Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali’s Lata’if al-ma’arif on the section of dhu al-hijjah Ustadha Bint Ahmad (Al-Zahra Institute, London)

With the name of Allah, the All-Merciful, the Very-Merciful. All praise belongs to Allah alone and blessings and peace be upon his beloved, Muhammad, his family, his companions, all of them. In the Qur’an, Allah takes oaths by various entities to highlight their importance. From amongst these entities, one aspect by which He takes an oath is time. Time is one of the greatest bounties of Allah bestowed upon mankind. In the pursuit of living a life in the obedience of Allah, it is essential that every individual continually reflects over this blessing. Time in and of itself is a great bounty. However, from amongst the twelve Islamic months of the year, Allah has made some times superior than others. Some times are golden times in which the reward of simple acts is multiplied abundantly. Examples illustrating this are in the following verses where Allah specifically makes mention of certain important periods in the Muslim calendar: Allah says: “Among them are four sacred months…”. (al-Tawbah: V26) And he says: “The hajj is known months”. (al-Baqarah: V197) And he says: “The month of Ramadhan in which the Qur’an was revealed”. (al-Baqarah: V185) These special days are full of virtues and acts of obedience by which one can draw close to Allah. During these virtuous days Allah unveils an extra compassion from his benevolent nature through which one can attain whatever he wishes from Allah’s favour and mercy upon him. The fortunate one is a person who enriches himself in these virtuous days, months and hours, by using them to attain the nearness of Allah and carrying out the acts of His obedience. It will surely be that such a person will acquire a moment from these virtuous times to have gained the fortune of everlasting success. One has the great potential to become from among those who are guaranteed a place in paradise and freedom from the fire of hell. (May Allah make us from amongst such people, Ameen) A common phrase used by time conscious individuals is ‘Time is of the essence’. A believer is ever more conscious about time as one is unaware of when they will breathe their last. For this reason every Muslim strives to live an obedient life and is constantly striving to increase in righteous deeds. There are certain times, days and months where the rewards of righteous deeds are multiplied and attaining salvation in these days becomes easier. From amongst these days are the first ten days of Dhu al-Hijjah, the last month of the Islamic calendar.

(Bukhari) Jabir narrates: The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said: “There are no days more virtuous to Allah than the ten days of Dhu al-Hijjah”. c.12th and 13th Dhu al-Hijjah (ayyam al-tashriq) Along with understanding the virtues it is equally important to know which acts should be performed to truly benefit and attain the nearness of Allah in these extra special days. This can be understood from the words of our beloved Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace).e the first ten days of Dhu alhijjah). After discussing the virtues of each of the four above. Mujahid and many from them state that the ten nights mentioned in this verse refer to the first ten days of Dhul al-Hijjah. and this is the correct opinion. The days in and of themselves are virtuous as are the performance of righteous deeds within them. With the days of Dhu al-Hijjah fast approaching. These acts are not carried out collectively in any other days. (Ibn Kathir) The ten nights by which Allah takes an oath are full of merits. Although this year every Muslim will not undertake the wonderful journey of hajj. THE VIRTUES OF THE FIRST 10 DAYS In the Qur’an Allah takes an oath: “And the 10 nights” (Al-Fajr: V 2) Many of the Qur’anic exegetes including Ibn ‘Abbas. salah. The virtues within this month can be divided into: a. d.e. the incidents which occurred within it and the virtuous acts in which to participate in order to attain the nearness of Allah. charity and hajj are carried out in conjunction with one another. The virtues of the first 10 days The virtues of the 9th Dhu al-Hijjah (yawm al-‘arafah) The day of ‘Id (yawm al-nahr) The 11th. fasting. Ibn ‘Abbas narrates: The Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace) said: “There are no days in which righteous deeds are more beloved to Allah than these days” (i. it is still important to be aware of the blessings of this month. it is necessary for each of us to understand its sacredness. b.DHU AL-HIJJAH The month of Dhu al-hijjah is named after the performance of the sacred pilgrimage (hajj) which occurs within it. a few acts to carry out will also be stated. (Ibn Hibban) Hafidh Ibn Hajr al-Asakalani mentions: The reason why the first ten days of Dhu al-Hijjah are distinguished is due to it being the time in which the foundational worships are collectively carried out i. (Sharh Bukhari: Fath al-Bari) .

hence. “…and recite Allah’s name in specified days” (al-Hajj: V28). The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessing be upon him) said. 3. Nasa’i) 2. the tasbih (subhana al-Allah) and the tahlil (la ilaha illa al-Allah). it is essential that one does not let these day pass without performing righteous deeds and striving to attain eternal success. This can be done by saying the takbir (Allahu akbar). These are golden days where a believer can easily be forgiven and elevated as well as attain the pleasure of Allah. Most High. . Repentance. The specified days refer to the first ten days of Dhu al-Hijjah. 6. (Ahmad. one should set side time to repent for all sins.minor and major. One of the reasons why the ten days are so blessed is because they coincide with some of the days of hajj. Performing the ‘Umrah and Hajj. (Ibn Majah. the first nine days of Dhu al-Hijjah. to the rights of the creation of Allah. Hunaydah ibn Khalid narrated upon the authority of his wife who said. 4. Fasting the first nine days or as many as one can keep. By remembering Allah in these days one will be directly following the recommendation in this verse. it is essential to abstain from sins. This is only time in the year Muslims can undertake the journey of Hajj. Even if a person cannot perform any supererogatory acts. the least one should do is refrain from sin. This physical and spiritual journey entails one leaving behind many luxuries and totally submitting one’s self to Allah to be cleansed and elevated. “The one who repents from sins is like he who has no sin”. including sins of the physical body and sins of the tongue. and three days out of every month". the tahmid (al-hamdu li-Allah). Dhikr (the remembrance of Allah). Increase in supererogatory acts in general. During these blessed days there is a great opportunity to benefit from the extra benevolence unveiled from Allah. "Some of the wives of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) told me that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) used to fast the Day of ‘Ashurah. It is important that each Muslim acknowledges that in order to gain the maximum benefit from righteous actions. from the violation of the rights of Allah. One must be mindful of every type of sin. Some of the acts one can undertake are: 1. Allah says. Baihaqi) 5. Refraining from sins.ACTS ONE CAN PERFORM ON THE FIRST 10 DAYS After becoming aware of the various virtues the first ten days enjoy.

neighbours and friends becomes difficult. Giving in charity. a. Supplicating to Allah. c. This is the day the religion was perfected and the blessings of Allah were complete. The following verse was revealed to the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) on the day of ‘Arafah: Allah says: “Today. This is the day where the pilgrims assemble on the plain of ‘Arafah to complete one of the essential rituals of the Hajj. This brings to light the importance of being forgiven by Allah. Allah takes an oath by it twice in the Qur’an with the words shaf’ and shahid which some of the exegetes explained as both being the day of ‘Arafah. b. and chosen Islam as Dīn (religion and a way of life) for you”. and have completed My blessing upon you.These are days in which any righteous deed is more beloved in the eyes of Allah and more virtuous than if the very same acts were to be performed in the normal days of the year. When one becomes busy with work or studying maintaining good relationships with family. as without it the blessings of Allah cannot be complete. (Al Maidah: V3) The completion of Allah’s blessing refers to forgiveness for ones sins by Allah. This could include: Recitation of the Qur’an. a few are: 1. Maintain ties. From among the many merits of this day. thereby highlighting the importance of this day. THE VIRTUES OF THE 9TH DHU AL-HIJJAH (YAWM AL-‘ARAFAH) There are numerous virtues of the 9th of Dhu al-Hijjah which is known as yawm al-‘Arafah. Often after the month of the Ramadhan one loses the habit of reciting the Qur’an regularly. 2. These days are a prime time to maintain good ties. Use these days to increase in the recitation of the beautiful words of Allah to re-establish daily recitation. This is a believer’s link to conversing with Allah. Allah says: “And by the odd (shaf’)” (Al-Fajr: V3) And Allah says: “And by that which attends (al-shahid)…” (Al-Buruj: V3) . One should use these days to express ones gratitude and ask for ones lawful worldly needs as well as salvation in the hereafter. d. I have perfected your religion for you.

5. “The best of days is the day of ‘Arafah”. then he boasts about them (the servants) to the angels. Fast on the day of ‘Arafah. Jabir narrates: The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said. then he says: “What do these servants want?” (Muslim) ACTS ONE CAN PERFORM ON THE DAY OF ‘ARAFAH On the day of ‘Arafah every believer should strive to be forgiven from sin and emancipated from the fire of hell. and best is that which I and the prophets before me said: La ilaha illa-Allahu wahdahu la sharoka lahu. Abundant recitation of the testimony of the oneness of Allah with sincerity. However there are other scholars of the opinion that the day of sacrifice (10th Dhu al-Hijjah) is the best day on the Islamic calendar. 3.The odd day refers to the 9th of Dhu al-Hijjah. “The best supplication is the supplication of the day of ‘Arafah. (Ibn Hibban). (Ibn Kathir) Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) said: “The shahid is the day of ‘Arafah”. 4. One should be mindful of performing the following acts whereby this can be facilitated: 1. (AlTirmidhi. The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said. Abu Hafsah (May Allah be pleased with him) narrates: The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said: "Fasting on the day of 'Arafah absolves the sins for two years: the previous year and the coming year” (Muslim) 2. The fast of this day is expiation for a person’s sins of the previous and upcoming year. Verily Allah comes near. Musnad Ahmad) 3. Ibn Abbaas said: ‘… the odd is the Day of Arafah”. Fasting on this very day is expiation of two years of sin. (al-Tirmidhi) . lahu al-mulku wa lahu al-hamdu wa huwa ‘ala kulli shay’in qadir”. It is a day of forgiveness from sins and emancipation from the fire of hell. A’ishah (May Allah be pleased with her) narrates: The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said: “There is no day greater than wherein Allah frees slaves than the day of ‘Arafah. Prevent one’s self from engaging in sin. This is the view of ‘Ikramah and Dhahhak also. It is the best of all days.

Supplicate to be saved from the fire of hell and placed in paradise and to be blessed with the everlasting pleasure of Allah. . “This is the greatest day of Hajj. It is the best of days. Allah has taken an oath by the world al-Watr (the even).4. This once again accentuates the importance of yet another day from the blessed ten days of Dhu al-Hijjah. It is the greatest day of hajj. Nasa’i. Be sincere in repentance. THE VIRTUES OF THE 10TH DHU AL-HIJJAH (YAWM AL-NAHR) The tenth of Dhu al-Hijjah is known as the day of sacrifice (yawm al-nahr). ‘Abd Allah ibn Qurt (May Allah be pleased with him) narrates: The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said: “The best of days to Allah is the day of sacrifice (yawm al-nahr) then the day of qarr (11th Dhu al-Hijjah)”. This is the day where in Muslims across the world celebrate ‘Id al-Adhah. Ibn ‘Umar (May Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) stood between the jamarat (area pelted with stones) on the Day of Sacrifice during his Hajj and said. Ibn Hibban). (Abu Daud. another groups of scholars state that the best of all days in the year is the 10th of Dhu alHijjah. Ahmad. It is the day of ‘Id for all Muslims.” (Bukhari) On this day many acts are performed by the pilgrims performing hajj: a) b) c) d) e) Stoning Jamrah al-‘Aqabah Offering the sacrifice Shaving the head or cutting the hair Tawaaf (circumambulation of the Ka’bah) Sa’ie (running between al-Safa and al-Marwah) 4. Earlier it was discussed that the best of all days is the day of ‘Arafah. 3. 2. Some of the virtues found in the Qur’an and hadith are: 1. “…and by the even (al-watr)” (Al-Fajr: V3) Some Qur’anic exegetes state that the even refers to the 10th Dhu Al-Hijjah. 5.

It is a reminder of the Prophet Ibrahim’s (May Allah be pleased with him) total submission to Allah when asked by Allah to slaughter his son. You will find me.And We ransomed him with a great sacrifice. We gave him the good news of a forbearing boy. and he laid him on his forehead (to slaughter him). Allah’s request to the Prophet Ibrahim was a test of his submission. “I am going to my Lord. he (Ibrāhīm) said. (if Allah wills) one of those who endure patiently. “O my dear father.’ Then he said. Allah says: “And he (Ibrahim) said. do what you have been ordered to do. This is an act that pilgrims and many non-pilgrims throughout the world participate in. ‘What are these two days?’ The people of Medina replied. It is the day of the offering of the sacrifice of an animal.Thereafter.(that is. when he (the boy) reached an age in which he could work with him.”So. Upon success. (it was a great episode) when both of them submitted themselves (to Allah’s will). Allah substituted his son’s body (the Prophet Isma’il) with a ram. and it is a reminder to be grateful for the blessings of Allah unto . On this ‘Id (the ‘Id of sacrifice) Muslims are encouraged to participate in the act of slaughtering an animal for the sake of Allah alone. This was indeed a trial that clearly demonstrated (their obedience). you did make the dream come true. and then We called out to him. dedication and devotion to Allah.” This is how We reward those who are good in their deeds. This act symbolises submission to Allah. O my Lord.”So.The Companion Anas (Allah be pleased with him) said.” (Surah al-Saffat: V99-110) ACTS ONE CAN PERFORM ON THE DAY OF SACRIFICE (‘ID AL-ADHAH) The day of ‘Id is can often confused with many celebratory days of other religions and cultures. so consider. ‘They were days of festivities in the pre-Islamic era (jahaliyya). inshā’allah . it promotes selflessness (as a portion of the meat is encouraged to be distributed to family and the poor). By sacrificing an animal Muslims demonstrate their willingness to carry out rituals for the sake of Allah and making sacrifices to demonstrate utmost submission to Allah. Therefore. ‘Verily Allah has replaced these two days with (what) is better for you—the day of Adha and the day of Fitr” (Abu Daud) 5. This incident is mentioned in the Quran. I have seen in a dream that I am slaughtering you. what is your opinion?” He said. “O my little son. “The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) migrated to the city of Medina and saw the people celebrating two days of festivities. He said. bless me with a righteous son (Isma’il).) “Salām be on Ibrāhīm! This is how We reward those who are good in their deeds. it is necessary for each Muslim to understand the day of ‘Id thoroughly. He will show me the way.and We left for him (a word of praise) among the later people. “O Ibrāhīm. It is not a break from the worship or obedience of Allah.

Allah says. Refraining from sin. Being extra mindful of this if one normally forgets to do so. Remembering Allah with the basamalah (bi-Smillah) and with the takbir (Allahu akbar) at the time of slaughtering the animal. There is no God but Him. Allah is the Greatest. wa li-Allahi ‘Lhamd. they still entail reward and blessings. It is important that on this day one does not neglect the obligatory acts like the five mandatory prayers. Although these days are not a part of the first ten days. Being charitable. It is to be understood that this day is yet another great opportunity to attain the nearness of Allah. This can be attained by the following: 1. And Allah is the Greatest. That is: ‘Allahu akbar. “And remember Allah in the appointed days” (Al-baqarah: V203) The ‘appointed days’ refers to these very three days in which Muslims are commanded to remember Allah. this is a reminder to Muslims that even the rewards of virtuous deeds are dependent on when Allah has intended for them to be meritorious. Slaughtering an animal (one who is required in the shari’ah must offer the sacrifice) Maintaining family ties.’ 2. One should always try to engage in the remembrance of Allah. La ilaha illa-Allah. And to Allah belongs all praise. Allah is the Greatest. drinking and remembering Allah”. Within these days one is not allowed to fast. ACTS ONE CAN PERFORM ON THE DAYS OF TASHRIQ The days of tashriq are the appointed as the days wherein one should abundantly remember Allah.mankind. Allahu akbar. . 2. “The days of Mina are days of eating. THE VIRTUES OF THE 11TH. 3. Remembering Allah at the time of eating and drinking by mentioning his name to begin and finishing by praising him.’ ‘Allah is the Greatest. wa-Allahu akbar. The Messenger of Allah said. in these days this should be increased. 12TH AND 13TH DHU AL-HIJJAH (AYYAM AL-TAHSRIQ) The days of tashriq are the three days that follow the day of sacrifice. After every obligatory prayer (from the fajr of the 9th till the asr of the 13th Dhu al-Hijjah) the takbir of tashriq should be recited. (Muslim) In this hadith again reference is being made to the days of tashriq. 4. 3. The acts that can be performed are: 1. Allah akbar.

This article was for the purpose of stating the virtues and suggesting beneficial acts to perform on these special days. .4. Being abundant in all forms of remembering Allah. -----------------------------The fiqh of ‘Id. Each reader is advised to read on these issues too. May Allah grant us all the ability to understand the virtue of these blessed days and the ability to do righteous deeds to attain His everlasting pleasure. Ameen. the slaughter and the takbir of tashriq has not been mentioned.

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