Introduction to Dhul-Hijjah
Dhul-Hijjah is the twelfth and final month of the Islamic lunar calendar, distinguished by the Hajj pilgrimage and the festival of Eid al-Adha. This month is marked by significant spiritual opportunities and observances that hold great merit in Islam.
The First Ten Days of Dhul-Hijjah
The first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah are considered the most sacred days of the year, where good deeds are highly rewarded and sins are forgiven.
- Quranic Reference:
- “وَالْفَجْرِ / وَلَيَالٍ عَشْرٍ”
- “By the dawn; By the ten nights” (Quran 89:1-2). While “the ten nights” are not explicitly mentioned as those of Dhul-Hijjah, the majority of scholars interpret them as such, highlighting their significance.
- “مَا مِنْ أَيَّامٍ الْعَمَلُ الصَّالِحُ فِيهَا أَحَبُّ إِلَى اللَّهِ مِنْ هَذِهِ الْأَيَّامِ الْعَشْرِ”
- “There are no days in which righteous deeds are more beloved to Allah than these ten days.” (Bukhari)
Day of Arafah
The 9th day of Dhul-Hijjah, known as the Day of Arafah, is the day when the pilgrims stand in prayer on the plain of Arafah.
- Quranic Reference: There is no direct reference to the Day of Arafah in the Quran, but it is the pivotal point of the Hajj, as mentioned indirectly through the rites of Hajj.
- “صِيَامُ يَوْمِ عَرَفَةَ أَحْتَسِبُ عَلَى اللَّهِ أَنْ يُكَفِّرَ السَّنَةَ الَّتِي قَبْلَهُ وَالسَّنَةَ الَّتِي بَعْدَهُ”
- “Fasting on the Day of Arafah, I expect Allah to expiate for the sins of the year before it and the year after it.” (Muslim)
Eid al-Adha and Qurbani
The 10th day of Dhul-Hijjah marks Eid al-Adha, the festival of sacrifice, commemorating the willingness of Prophet Ibrahim (AS) to sacrifice his son in obedience to Allah.
- Quranic Reference:
- “فَلَمَّا أَسْلَمَا وَتَلَّهُ لِلْجَبِينِ”
- “So when they had both submitted and he put him down upon his forehead,” (Quran 37:103), highlighting the moment of sacrifice that is commemorated.
- “عِيدُ الْأَضْحَى يَوْمُ النَّحْرِ”
- “The day of Eid al-Adha is the day of sacrifice.” (Abu Dawud)
The Act of Sacrifice (Qurbani/Udhiyah)
The act of sacrifice is performed from after the Eid prayer on the 10th day until before sunset on the 13th day of Dhul-Hijjah.
- Quranic Reference:
- “لَن يَنَالَ اللَّهَ لُحُومُهَا وَلَا دِمَاؤُهَا وَلَٰكِن يَنَالُهُ التَّقْوَىٰ مِنكُمْ”
- “Their meat will not reach Allah, nor will their blood, but what reaches Him is piety from you.” (Quran 22:37)
- “مَنْ وَجَدَ سَعَةً فَلَمْ يُضَحِّ فَلَا يَقْرَبَنَّ مُصَلَّانَا”
- “Whoever can afford it but does not offer a sacrifice, let him not come near our prayer place.” (Ibn Majah)
Dhul-Hijjah is a month of profound spiritual significance, offering numerous opportunities for worship, reflection, and renewal of faith. Through the rituals of Hajj, the fast of Arafah, the celebration of Eid al-Adha, and the act of Qurbani, Muslims worldwide connect with the divine, commemorate the faith of their forebearers, and engage in acts of worship and charity. The teachings of the Quran and Hadith serve as a guiding light, emphasizing the importance of this blessed month and the myriad ways believers can seek closeness to Allah during this sacred time.
Day 1 out of the virtuous 10 Days
Who are the fortunate ones whose worship will be accepted by the Lord in these blessed ten days?
The first ten days and nights of Zil Haj are especially auspicious, spiritually significant and blessed.
This is one of ten short clips, reminding us to reap maximum benefit on each of these ten days. In these short clips, we will share with you, the significance of each of these days and explain specific forms of worship in these days, to gain nearness to our Lord and to acquire His pleasure, which is the foremost objective of our lives.
We really hope you will join us to view these short clips in order to gain inspiration and acquire maximum spiritual gains.
The Quran records a statement of Allah:
وَمَا خَلَقْتُ الْجِنَّ وَالإِنسَ إِلاَّ لِيَعْبُدُونِ
We have only created man and the jinn to worship me.
However, due to the nature of our lives, we at times become pre-occupied with other demands of life and forget our core objective of existence in this world.
Thus, Allah provides certain days of extra virtue to enable us to compensate and guide us back to what really matters, which is pleasing Him.
The ten days of Zil Haj hold significant virtue over other days of the year.
Allah takes an oath of these ten days in Surah Fajr, to indicate their virtues and importance.
وَالْفَجْرِ وَلَيَالٍ عَشْرٍ والشَّفْعِ وَالْوَتْرِ َاللَّيْلِ إِذَا يَسْرِ
By the dawn, by the ten nights, by the even and the odd…
According to Imam Qurtubi, ‘by the dawn is meant the morning of Eidul Adha, by the ten nights is meant the ten nights of Zil Haj and by the odd and the even is meant the day of Arafah and the day of Eid. There is a narration of Jabir (RA), referenced by Imam Qurtubi, which specifically alludes to this too.
In the Arabic language an oath is generally taken to affirm, consolidate and emphasise the statement which is to follow the statement.
According to some experts of the Quran exegesis, the statement Allah is emphasising through the oaths at the beginning of ‘The Dawn’ chapter, is
إِنَّ رَبَّكَ لَبِالْمِرْصَادِ
Your Lord is most certainly Ever-in-Wait.
Allah is providing opportunities for us in order to turn towards Him, to worship Him and to grasp the moment. He is, then certainly Ever-in-Wait to either reward or reprimand. May Allah grant us the ability to maximise these virtuous moments.
In a Hadith narrated by Abu Hurairah referenced by Imam Tirmidhi, The Prophet states,
The most beloved of days to worship Allah, are the ten days of Zil Haj. A fast of each day from these ten days, is equal (in reward and virtue) to the fasts of a year and standing in qiyam (meaning tahajud) in these ten days is equal to standing in qiyam in the Night of Power (Lailatul Qadr).