The month of the Dhul-hijjah is one of the most precious months in Islam and we are sure that by now, you are either in Hajj or at home looking forward to Eid. This is the month of Eid al-Adha, and the month of Hajj – the month whose first ten days are better than the days of Ramadan.
“There are no days more beloved to Allah that He be worshipped in them than the ten days of Dhul-Hijjah, fasting every day of them is the equivalent of fasting a year, and standing every night of them (in prayer) is the equivalent of standing on the Night of Qadr.” (Tirmidhi)
These days have been described as blessed and glorious, so whether you are in Hajj or not, there are definitely many things you can do to max out the rewards of these days.
These first nine days are a really good time to fast. That’s every day up until the day of Eid (fasting on the day of Eid is not permitted). Even if you cannot fast all the nine days, it’s especially recommended to fast on the 9th day of Dhul-hijjah. Because according to the Prophet (SAW), fasting on this day erases our sins from the previous year and the next.
Remember how good deeds get rewarded multiple times in Ramadhan? In the first nine days of Dhul-hijjah, it is the same. Go out of your way to give in charity, help your colleague, help your neighbour, give money to the poor, spend time with your family, or help your parents.
In these days, anything you do to make another person happy is an act of charity that will be rewarded in multiple ways.
Just make sure you make the right intention before doing your charitable deed!
Read the Qur’an
This is a good time to read more Qur’an. We don’t have many days like Ramadhan, so every minute needs to be used well. Challenge yourself to see how many chapters of the Qur’an you can read during these first nine days.
There are people who are gunning to read the whole Qur’an in these nine days. If that’s not you, don’t feel bad. Just do your best.
Do More Adhkar
Muslims on pilgrimage will be reciting the talbiyah during the rites of Hajj. If you are in Hajj, get used to saying the talbiyah so that it becomes a part of you when the rites of Hajj start. If you are not, recite the dhikr that we have been encouraged to recite in the first ten days of Dhul-hijjah
“Allaahu akbar, Allaahu akbar, Allaahu akbar, laa ilaaha ill-Allaah, Allaahu akbar, Allaahu akbar, Allaahu akbar, wa lillaahi’l-hamd
(Allah is Most Great, Allah is Most Great, Allah is Most Great, there is no god but Allah, Allah is Most Great, Allah is Most Great, Allah is Most Great, and to Allah be praise).”
Remember Allah (SWT) as often as you can as you leave the house, while in commute, while watching your kids at the playground, grocery shopping, heading to a meeting, going to the library, etc. Whatever you are doing, keep your tongue moist with remembrance of Allah (SWT).
Do a Good Deed for Your Parents
Many people may not focus on this but how many times do we do things solely because of our parents? This is not talking about taking the chicken out of the freezer to thaw, or picking up laundry. But how many times have you said a prayer for them, donated money on their behalf, or planted a tree and gave charity on their behalf?
One of the best things that a person can have is a righteous child who prays for them. In these blessed nine days, make your parents a priority and dedicate a good deed to them. Remember, you also get the reward of that good deed. So, win win!
Give Salam to a Stranger
We get cautious these days of interacting with people especially when they know we are Muslims. We don’t want to be the target of ridicule, or of a stranger not answering your greeting because they don’t know you.
But these first days of Dhul-hijjah, renew your intentions and give salam to someone you don’t know. Give salam to that fellow Muslim that you meet on the train or that lady down the street. Respond when a stranger gives you the salam and even give them a smile. Spread the spirit of brother/sisterhood in these holy days.
Wake Up for Tahajjud
If you find it difficult to wake up for the midnight prayers before, now is a good time to motivate yourself. Think how blessed but short these nine days are and think of all the things that you want to ask Allah (SWT) for.
Get a tahajjud buddy if you need to, but don’t miss out on the great rewards of spending the night in prayers.
Pray in the Masjid
The reward for praying in the masjid is greater than that of praying at home and now is a good time to get more of those rewards. If you have the opportunity to observe your salah in the masjid, do so. Even if you are a woman who prays at home, in the spirit of Dhul-hijjah, observe some of your salah in the masjid, take the kids along and share the spirit of Dhul-hijjah with them.
Teach the Kids about Dhul-hijjah
Many kids already know that granny went to Hajj, and Eid is coming. But they may not understand the whole beauty of the month of Dhul-hijjah. This is a good time for parents to connect the kids with our Islamic traditions by teaching them about this month. You can tell them the story of Prophet Ibraheem (AS) and his son, the story of Ibraheem’s wife, Hajar, and the Zamzam water, etc.
Help them makes these stories into arts and crafts so that they feel the connection and the significance of the blessed month of Dhul-hijjah.
Spread the Message of Islam
As the spotlight focuses on Hajj and our shopping sprees for Eid begin, do a good deed by telling people about Islam.
It could be as simple as telling your non-Muslim family member about Dhul-hijjah when they come visiting for Eid dinner, or telling your colleague about your reasons for fasting outside of Ramadhan. Whatever method you use, help people see the beauty of Islam in this blessed month.
So…do you have any more acts of worship that you’ve done, or thought about doing in Dhul-hijjah? Share with us in the comments below.