16/10/12 Virtues of Dhul Hijjah
As a mercy to his slaves Allah swt has made times which are better then others, times in which rewards are multiplied, which encourages us to do good deeds and ibadah, and provides opportunity for us.
The first of dhul hijjah is tomorrow 17th October, this signifies the start of hajj, and that eid is near, but what else does it mean for us?
This season of worship brings many benefits, such as the opportunity to correct one’s faults and make up for any shortcomings or anything that one might have missed. Every one of these special occasions involves some kind of worship through which the slaves may draw closer to Allaah, and some kind of blessing though which Allaah bestows His favour and mercy upon whomsoever He will. The happy person is the one who makes the most of these special months, days and hours and draws nearer to his Lord during these times through acts of worship; he will most likely be touched by the blessing of Allaah and will feel the joy of knowing that he is safe from the flames of Hell. (Ibn Rajab, al-Lataa’if, p.8)
The Muslim must understand the value of his life, increase his worship of Allaah and persist in doing good deeds until the moment of death. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“And worship your Lord until there comes unto you the certainty.” [al-Hijr 15:99] The mufassireen (commentators) said: “‘The certainty’ means death.”
Among the special seasons of worship are the first ten days of Dhu’l-Hijjah, which Allaah has preferred over all the other days of the year.
These ten days are better than all the other days of the year, with no exceptions, not even the last ten days of Ramadaan. But the last ten nights of Ramadaan are better, because they include Laylat al-Qadr (“the Night of Power”), which is better than a thousand months. Thus the various reports may be reconciled. (See Tafseer Ibn Katheer, 5/412).
the virtue of these ten days is based on many things:
- Allaah swears an oath by them, and swearing an oath by something is indicative of its importance and great benefit. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “By the dawn; by the ten nights” [al-Fajr 89:1-2]. Ibn ‘Abbaas, Ibn al-Zubayr, Mujaahid and others of the earlier and later generations said that this refers to the first ten days of Dhu’l-Hijjah. Ibn Katheer said: “This is the correct opinion.” (Tafseer Ibn Katheer, 8/413)
- The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) testified that these are the best days of this world,
- The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) encouraged people to do righteous deeds because of the virtue of this season for people throughout the world, and also because of the virtue of the place – for the Hujjaaj (pilgrims) to the Sacred House of Allaah.
- The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) commanded us to recite a lot of Tasbeeh (“Subhan-Allaah“),Tahmeed (“Al-hamdu Lillaah“) and Takbeer (“Allaahu akbar“) during this time. ‘Abdullaah ibn ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him and his father) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:“There are no days greater in the sight of Allaah and in which righteous deeds are more beloved to Him than these ten days, so during this time recite a great deal of Tahleel (“La ilaaha ill-Allaah”), Takbeerand Tahmeed.” (Reported by Ahmad, 7/224; Ahmad Shaakir stated that it issaheeh).
- These ten days include Yawm ‘Arafaah (the Day of ‘Arafaah), on which Allaah perfected His Religion. Fasting on this day will expiate for the sins of two years. These days also includeYawm al-Nahar (the Day of Sacrifice), the greatest day of the entire year and the greatest day of Hajj, which combines acts of worship in a way unlike any other day.
- These ten days include the days of sacrifice and of Hajj.
ibn Abbaas, may Allah be pleased with him, reported that the Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam) said
: There are no days during which good deeds are more beloved to Allah than these days; meaning the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah. They inquired: Not even Jihad in the cause of Allah? He said: Not even Jihad in the cause of Allah, unless one goes out for Jihad sacrificing both his life and property and returning with neither. (Al-Bukhaari)
Ten Kinds of Observances In These Days
With regard to the types of worship to be performed during these ten days: one must understand that these days are a great blessing from Allaah to His slave, which is appreciated properly by the actively righteous. It is the duty of a Muslim to appreciate this blessing and make the most of the opportunity, by devoting these ten days to paying more attention to striving hard in worship. Among His blessings to His slaves, Allaah has given us many ways in which to do good and worship Him, so that the Muslim may be constantly active and consistent in his worship of his Lord.
First: Performing Hajj and Umrah, which are the best of all observances. Its excellence is signified by many Prophetic traditions. The Prophet (sallallaahualaihi wa sallam) said: Performing Umrah and following it with another expiates sins that are committed in between. And the perfect Hajj would be requited with nothing other than Jannah. There are also many
authentic traditions to that effect.
SUPPLICATE FOR THE HUJJAAJ
One should make du’aa (supplication) for the hujjaaj (pilgrims who have embarked upon the Hajj) that Allaah Subhana wa taa’ala keeps them safe from all evil and that He returns them to their countries. This is because the hujjaaj are the guests of Ar-Rahmaan, so they have a right upon us that we supplicate for them for ease in their affairs and their safe return.
Second: Observing fasting on all or some of these days, particularly on the Day of Arafah. There is no doubt that fasting is the best of observances; for it is one of the observances which Allah relates to Himself, according to the holy tradition (hadith Qudsi):
Fasting is for Me, and I shall requite it. My slave relinquishes his desires, food, and drink for My sake.
Abu Saeed al-Khudri (radiallahu anhu) reported that the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam) said: Any slave of Allah who observes fast of a day in the cause of Allah, Allah would separate between him and the Fire a distance of seventy years on account of observing that day. (Agreed upon).
Abu Qataadah (radiallahu anhu) narrated that the Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam) said: Observing fasting on the Day of Arafat; I expect Allah to expiate the sins that were committed during the preceding year, and the sins that will be committed in the year after. (Imam Muslim)
Third: Reciting takbeer, and Dhikr in these days according to the words of Allah, the Exalted:
And mention the name of Allah in certain days [Al-Baqarah 2:203].
These certain days are said to be the first ten days of Dhul Hijjah. Therefore, scholars recommend Dhikr more often during these days, according to a tradition which is reported by Ibn Umar (radiallahu anhumaa): Therefore, recite more often, takbeer, and tahmeed. Ibn Umar and Abu Hurairah (radiallaahu anhum) used to go out to the marketplaces during the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah and recite out loud the takbeer and people would repeat it after them.
According to the commands of Allaah: That you may exalt Allah for having guided you, and that you may be grateful to Him. [Al-Baqarah 2:185]
Fourth: Repentance and relinquishing acts of disobedience and all sins, in order to acquire forgiveness and mercy. Acts of disobedience are means of banishing, while acts of obedience are means of gaining favour with Allaah.Sincere repentance. One of the most important things to do during these ten days is to repent sincerely to Allaah and to give up all kinds of disobedience and sin. Repentance means coming back to Allaah and foregoing all the deeds, open and secret, that He dislikes, out of regret for what has passed, giving it up immediately and being determined never to return to it, but to adhere firmly to the Truth by doing what Allaah loves.
If a Muslim commits a sin, he must hasten to repent at once, without delay, firstly because he does not know when he will die, and secondly because one evil deed leads to another.
Repentance at special times is very important because in most cases people’s thoughts turn towards worship at these times, and they are keen to do good, which leads to them recognizing their sins and feeling regret for the past. Repentance is obligatory at all times, but when the Muslim combines sincere repentance with good deeds during the days of most virtue, this is a sign of success, in sha Allaah. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“But as for him who repented, believed and did righteous deeds, then he will be among those who are successful.” [al-Qasas 28:67]
Fifth: Accomplishing more good deeds of voluntary observances, such as: salaat, charity, Jihad, Qur’ânic recitation, enjoining the good and forbidding the wrong, and the like; for the rewards of such observances are multiplied during these days. Observances during these days are unsurpassed in
excellence and they are better and more beloved to Allaah than other excellent observances including Jihad, which is the best of deeds, unless one sacrifices both, his life and his steed.
Sixth: It is legal during these days the recitation of the takbeer in general at all times, day or night until Eid prayer. The restricted takbeer is that which is to be recited after the obligatory prayers. As for the non-pilgrims, the takbeer begins from the Day of Arafah, and for pilgrims it begins from the noon
prayer of the Day of Sacrifice and continues until Asr prayer of the last of the days of Tashreeq.
Seventh: Offering the sacrificial animal during the day of sacrifice and the Days of Tashreeq. It is the sunnah of our father Ibraheem, may Allaah exalt his mention, in commemoration of the occasion when Allaah ransomed Ibraheems son with a large ram. It has been authentically confirmed that the Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam) sacrificed two black and white rams with horns. He killed them with his own hand, and invoked the name of Allaah upon them, recited the takbeer, and placed his foot on their sides, when he
killed them. (Agreed upon.)
Eighth: Umm Salamah, may Allah be pleased with her, said: When you see the new moon of Dhul Hijjah, and one of you wants to sacrifice an animal let him refrain from cutting or shaving his hair or clipping his finger nails, or toenails. In another version: Let him not cut his hair or his fingernails until he has slaughtered his sacrificial animal. This perhaps is enjoined on non-pilgrims to have something in common with the pilgrims who bring along with them their sacrificial animals. Allaah, the Exalted, says: And do not shave off your heads until the sacrificial animal is slaughtered. [Al-Baqarah 197] This prohibition seems to apply only to a person who is making the offering, not his dependents, unless one of them has his own sacrificial animal. There is no harm in washing the head even if some hairs fall off.
Ninth: The Muslim must make sure to observe Eid prayer in its designated place, and attend the khutbah of the Eid. He should also know the purpose of the Eid, and that its a day of giving thanks and a chance for accomplishing good deeds. He should not turn it into a day of mischief, disobedience, or an excuse for violating the prohibited things; such as singing music, illegitimate amusements, consuming liquor, or the like. All of these things are detestable and nullify the good deeds that one may have accomplished during the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah.
Tenth: After knowing all the above observances, every Muslim, male or female, must utilise these days in obedience to Allaah, remembering Him, expressing gratefulness to him, fulfilling all the obligatory observances, avoiding the reprehensible things and taking advantage of this season to acquire His mercy and the pleasure. It Allah alone who grants success and guides to the right path. May He exalt the mention of Muhammad, and his household, and Companions, and may He render them safe from every derogatory thing.