5 Dhul Hijjah Not-to-Miss Virtues
The special month of Dhul Hijjah starts in a few days time.
Prophet Muhammad (saw) said about the first ten days of Dhul Hijjah: ‘
‘There are no days in which righteous deeds are more beloved to Allah than these ten days.” The people asked, “Not even Jihad for the sake of Allah?” He said, “Not even Jihad for the sake of Allah, 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.” (Bukhari)
It is important that you maximise your time in those days by directing your energy fully into activities that will help you gain taqwa. And that goal of taqwa should rank the highest in the coming days as it did in Ramadan – yet another special month on the Islamic calendar.
Empower yourself by planning ahead to use your time for righteous deeds and to take personal empowerment lessons for your life.
Let the following virtues serve as reminders and a solid base of motivation beyond the special month.
Dhul Hijjah Virtues
1. Blessed Hajj
Dhul Hijjah is the last month of the Islamic calendar and one of the hajj months.
Every year millions of Muslims travel to Saudi Arabia – on pilgrimage to Allah’s Sacred House – to answer a call of duty and perform some prescribed rites in what is termed Hajj.
Hajj is the last pillar of Islam and compulsory on every able Muslim, at least once in their lifetime. This hajj period is one and same for Muslims around the entire world. For you to appreciate the significance of this journey, it is noteworthy that an accepted Hajj is expiation for past sins and transgressions. And the reward for an accepted hajj is paradise.
The Prophet (saw) said,
“Keep on doing Hajj and Umrah, because they both eliminate poverty and sins just like a furnace eliminates the dirty impurities of iron, gold and silver. And an accepted Hajj has no reward less than Paradise!” (Tirmidi, Nisaa’i, Ahmad)
It is not a journey for personal pleasure or fulfilment, rather it is one of fulfilment of a duty laid down by Allah (swt). Therefore it is worship (ibadah) and every phase of the journey is characterised by sacrifice.
2. Rewarding Deeds
All good deeds are rewarded much in these blessed days.
These deeds must be done for the sake of Allah (swt) and according to the sunnah which He has approved. And just as Prophet Muhammad (saw) is the leader of every Hajj group and his sunnah is the best Hajj guide – make the sunnah your life guide starting from these blessed ten days.
Such rewarding deeds include reading and reflecting on the Quran, giving charity and good treatment of others.
Ibn Hajar says in Fath al-Bari: “The most apparent reason for the ten days of Dhul-Hijjah being distinguished in excellence is due to the assembly of the greatest acts of worship in this period, i.e. salawat (prayers), siyam (fasting), sadaqah (charity) and the Hajj (pilgrimage). In no other periods do these great deeds combine.”
3. Reward from Fasting and Dhikr (Remembrance)
It is reported that the prophet (saw) used to fast on the first nine days of Dhu’l-Hijjah. It is also highly encouraged to fast on the ninth day of Dul-Hijjah (Day of Arafah) as the Prophet (saw) did.
Fasting on this day will expiate a Muslim’s sins for two years.
The Prophet (saw) also encouraged the Muslims to recite a lot of Tasbeeh (Subhan-Allaah), Tahmeed (Al-hamdu Lillaah) and Takbeer (Allahu Akbar) during this period.
Two of the Prophet’s companions, Ibn ‘Umar and Abu Hurayrah (ra) used to go out in the marketplace during the first ten days of dhul-Hijjah reciting Takbeer. And the people would recite Takbeer individually on hearing them.
4. Achieving Victory over Shaytan
Do you remember how shaytan tried to mislead Prophet Ibrahim (as) from following Allah’s commands? Yet Ibrahim (as) achieved victory over him.
What did Prophet Ibrahim (as) do?
He reproached him by throwing stones at him and shaytan went on his way, defeated.
Millions of Muslims follow in the same ritual while on hajj by stoning the 3 walls at the Jamaraat. You can defeat shaytan from your home, workplace or school today by seeking refuge against him and being aware of his evil plans to mislead you in your life. Don’t give him the chance – fortify yourself by striving towards Allah’s plans and promised rewards.
To further strengthen your taqwa, seek forgiveness for your wrong doings with remorse and make a firm commitment to change.
5. Celebration of Eid-ul-Adha
This a feast which marks the end of the pilgrimage, in remembrance of the submission of Ibrahim (as) who was ready to sacrifice his son Ismail (as). It is marked on the 10th day of Dhul Hijjah.
Muslims in large numbers attend the Eid prayers in the morning and after that, sacrifice an animal (typically goat, cow or a camel), following in the footsteps and example of Ibrahim (as).
It is a time to rejoice and be happy with your family and friends.
You can also share gifts, meals and distribute the sacrificial meat on that day.
Personal Growth Lessons
Sacrifice. Unity. Gratitude.
Embark on a spiritual journey this Dhul-Hijjah as the pilgrims on Hajj. Take time to reflect on your connection with Allah (swt).
Is it satisfactory, or can you do better?
Find ways to increase your taqwa by making it a top goal in these first ten days of Dhul Hijjah. How much can you sacrifice? In what ways can you bring about unity in your home or community? And how can you practice more gratitude in your life?
Here are just few questions you can ask yourself…
– Is there someone you can teach how to pray or read the Quran?
– Do you know of anyone who needs a loan or financial assistance in some way?
– Can you visit the sick and share some words of encouragement with them?
– Can you invite a new Muslim over to celebrate eid-ul-Adha with your family or friends?
– Do you remember to say alhamdulillah every day or do you complain instead?
You may not be among those embarking on Hajj this year, but you can be a model of sacrifice during this Hajj season.
Utilise your time, knowledge, money, desires and comfort just for Allah’s Pleasure. You can also awaken and bring together hearts purely for the love of Allah (swt) – establishing pure brotherhood/ sisterhood.
Finally, be grateful so that Allah (swt) will bless you with more. Be like the friend of Allah – Ibrahim (as) who built the Ka’abah purely for worship and prayers, with much gratitude in his heart. It was a barren land, but he prayed for provisions and for it to become a sanctuary of peace. Allah (swt) answered his prayers and you are a living witness.
Take action today. Leave a legacy so others may witness tomorrow.
- Jot down at least 5 ways you can make sacrifices in this special month.
- Identify 3 family members and 3 friends you can spend quality time with.
- List as many blessings as you can remember in every aspect of your life.
Use this Dhul Hijjah to make sacrifices, unite with others and practice gratitude.
How will you make the most of the first ten days of Dhul Hijjah?