Welcoming the Blessed Guest: Dhul-Hijjah


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Friday (October 28th) is the first day of the month known as Dhul-Hijjah. Our hearts and prayers are with those undertaking the difficult pilgrimage during these days. For those of us who are not performing the Hajj, there are still many ways to make the most of this blessed time!

Virtues of the first 10 Days of Dhul-Hijjah

 

How many times have we heard Surat Al-Fajr recited, be it in our homes, while memorizing, or in the mosque? As a shorter surah, it may be a frequent part of our prayers, but taking the time to reflect on even a part of the first verse reveals a treasure of meaning. In the first two ayahs (verses) of Surat Al-Fajr, Allah says:

“By the dawn; And [by] the ten nights.” (89:1-2)

According to scholars of the Qur’an, the days mentioned as significant enough for Allah to swear by them are the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah.

Describing how these ten days are among the best, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “There are no days on which righteous deeds are more beloved to Allah than these ten days.” They said: “Not even jihad for the sake of Allah?” He said: “Not even jihad for the sake of Allah, unless a man goes out himself for jihad taking his wealth with him and does not come back with anything.” [Bukhari, 2/457]

The Prophet (peace be upon him) also said: “There is no deed that is better before Allah or more greatly rewarded than a good deed done in the (first) ten days of al-Adha.” He was asked: “Not even jihad for the sake of Allah?” He said: “Not even jihad for the sake of Allah, unless a man goes out himself for jihad taking his wealth with him and does not come back with anything.” [Al-Daarimi, 1/357]

Thus, the ten days are better than all other days of the year, with no exception, even the last ten days of Ramadan. (The last ten nights of Ramadan, however, are understood to be better than the nights of Dhul-Hijjah, because they include Laylat al-Qadr (the night of power), which is better than a thousand months. (Qur’an 97:3)

Therefore, whoever is not able to go to Hajj should use this blessed time to complete even more righteous deeds than usual. These can include anything such as giving charity, honouring one’s parents, upholding the ties of kinship, and enjoining what is good and forbidding what is evil. Fasting and remembrance are particularly recommended:

1. Fasting Nine days, especially on the Day of ‘Arafah

It is Sunnah for the Muslim to fast on the first nine days of Dhul-Hijjah, because fasting is one of the best of deeds. In a hadith qudsi, Allah says: “All the deeds of the son of Adam are for him, except fasting, which is for Me and I shall reward for it.” [Bukhari, 1805]

The Prophet (peace be upon him) used to fast on the first nine days of Dhul-Hijjah. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “The Prophet used to fast on the first nine days of Dhul-Hijjah and the day of Ashura, and three days each month, the first Monday of the month and two Thursdays.” [Abu Dawood, 2/462]

The ten days of Dhul-Hijjah include Yawm al-`Arafah (the Day of `Arafah), on which Allah perfected His Religion. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Fasting the day of `Arafah expiates the sins of two years: the past one and the coming one. And fasting the day of Ashura expiates the sins of the past year.” [Muslim]

2. Remembrance

It is Sunnah to recite remembrances known as the takbeer, tahmeed, tahleel, and tasbeeh during the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah, saying these words out loud in the mosques, homes, streets and every place in which it is permissible to remember Allah:

    • Takbeer: Allahu akbar (God is most great)
    • Tahmeed: Al-hamdu Lillah (All praises be to God)
    • Tahleel: Laa ilaha ill-Allah (There is no god but Allah)
    • Tasbeeh: Subhaan-Allah (Glory be to God),

The Prophet (peace be upon him) explained how, “There are no days that are greater before Allah or in which good deeds are more beloved to Him, than these ten days, so recite a great deal of tahleel, takbeer and tahmeed during them.” [Ahmad, 7/224]

While there are different versions, the takbeer can also be recited as follows:

Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar, laa ilaaha ill-Allah, Allahu akbar, wa Lillaah il-hamd.

Allah is Most Great, Allah is Most Great, there is no god but Allah; Allah is Most Great and to Allah be praise.


The compilation of Hadiths and content used for this article can be found at:
http://islamqa.com/index.php?ref=49042&ln=eng&txt=Ðí%20ÇáÍÌÉ
http://islamqa.com/index.php?ref=1699&ln=eng&txt=dhul%20hijjah

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22 Comments

  1. Ali Hussayni says:

    Can you please comment on the Baha’i Faith?

    jazaka Allah khayran,
    Ali

  2. adm says:

    =)))))))))))))))))))

  3. María M says:

    Assalamualaikom,

    Alhamdulillah! Thank you for all this information, God bless you.

  4. Yasmine S. says:

    Jazak’Allahu khair for posting this!

  5. Jeremiah says:

    I always enjoy your writing, mashaAllah. May Allah reward you. Just wondering what countries declared tomorrow (11/7/10) is first of Dhul Hijjah? I think today is 28th of Dhul Qi’dah right? Just wondering because the date is important for those that want to fast.

    wassalam,
    Jeremiah

  6. Alia says:

    Jazak Allah kheir for this important reminder!
    wasalaam,
    Alia

  7. Layla says:

    Salam alaikum Imam Suhaib,

    Can you make up your missed days of Ramadan in
    the 9 days of Dhul-Hijjah?

  8. Kelly says:

    Alsalamu 3laikum

    Thank you Suhaib for posting this content. As a recent convert, I just found out about Dhul-Hijjah and Eid Al-Adha, and this will provide a good guide for my activities during this time.

    You briefly mentioned giving charity, but donating a sacrificed animal to the poor appears to be a primary activity for Muslims at this time. What is your opinion on this activity? For Eid Al-Adha – is there a way to respectfully adhere to the intentions of sacrificial giving but in a more local (in the U.S.) and culturally-relevant way for us American converts? Here in the US we are very separated from the animal slaughter and distribution process – here we end up with de-boned, packaged, frozen meat that has traveled on highways and visited warehouses and ends up in mega-supermarkets with a “best by” date on it! On one hand I would say – couldn’t we donate money to a food bank or shelter and volunteer? But I can see how that is not keeping with the symbolic sacrifice that Abraham was willing on making. Please let me know your thoughts.

    Thank you
    - Kelly

    • Imtiaz says:

      You should probably contact your local Masjid on how to perform Qubani (sacrifice). They would know of local businesses that will assist you with all that you need. :)

  9. Yasmin says:

    Jazakallah khair for this very informative post! May Allah (swt) grant us the oppurtunity to make the most of these blessed days!

  10. Osman says:

    Assalaamualaykum,

    I researched the fasting of the Prophet in Dhul Hijjah and did not find the narration you mentioned in Abu Dawud. I found a narration that it says he fasted “the ninth of Dhul Hijja” and the rest of the hadith is the same.

    Could you please provide any additional information you may have on the subject?

    May Allah reward you for your efforts.

    • HadithCheck says:

      Wa Alaikum Alsalam Warahmatullah akhi,

      This hadith you are referring to is authentic and is also found in Musnad Ahmad. It is hadith number 2437 in Abu Dawud, but if you are looking in the English translation of Abu Dawud which is available online, then it probably has a different number, and there is the possibility that it might not be there at all because to my knowledge the translation of Abu Dawud which is available online is not complete and is missing some ahadith.

      The only thing I will point out to is the typo in the hadith above which says:

      The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “The Prophet used to fast…

      This hadith was narrated by one of the wives of the Prophet (peace be upon him), she (may Allah be pleased with her) said: “The Prophet used to fast…

  11. Tehmina says:

    Salaams,

    Thank you for this very informative post. May Allah (SWT) reward you all for your efforts.

    Please advise when the day of Ashura and Arafat fall for those residing in Canada so that we may keep fast.

    Also, is it sunnah to keep fast for the full 9 days or can one keep the final three days as well? Please advise.

    JazakAllah

  12. Fadzuli says:

    Assalammualaikum wr wb,

    We would like to seek permission to republish this article on our site >> http://www.islamicevents.sg

    May I know the procedure for this. Thank you.

    • WebbStaff says:

      That should be fine as long as it adheres to our article reposting policy.

      - The author’s name must be prominently place at the beginning of the article
      - SuhaibWebb.com must be cited as the original source of the article at the beginning and a hyperlink to the website must be active
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      For more information about our reposting policy, please visit this page: http://www.suhaibwebb.com/miscellaneous/announcements/article-reposting-policy/

  13. Fadzuli says:

    Noted and thank you for the info.

  14. Greene says:

    Salaam, if it means the first ten days then why in the ayah it says by the ten NIGHTS?
    Are the nights more important than the days?

  15. umm ibraheem says:

    Assalaamoalaikum

    Thanku for posting this beneficial article may Allah reward you immensely for it.

    PLZ NOTE: THIS ARTICLE IS DATED 2011….DHUL HIJJAH STARTED ON THE 17TH OF OCTOBER 2012 !!!

  16. Abdulaleeem says:

    Asa. Brother jazzahkallahkhairun for this.great article is it allowed to fast on the Friday of dhul hijja? W.salam from germany

  17. Khadijah says:

    Can I still fast 9 days, because I didn’t know what eid al hijjah was until 5 minutes ago (8:30 in uk)
    I was completely unaware that we was suppose to fast

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