The season of hajj is upon us, as the month of Dhul-Hijjah commences. The first ten days of this month are priceless, and are a golden opportunity for Muslims to seek the pleasure of Allah Almighty and receive innumerable blessings.
These days are so significant that the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:
No good deeds done on other days are superior to those done on these days.
And when his Companions asked:
“O Messenger of Allah, not even jihad in the way of Allah?”
Prophet Muhammad replied:
Not even jihad, except for the man who puts his life and wealth in danger returns with neither of them. (Al-Bukhari)
These 10 days of Dhul-Hijjah are a chance for Muslims to seek forgiveness from Allah Almighty and become closer to their Creator. And while the extra worship is Sunnah, these precious days should not be squandered or wasted in idleness.
These days should be seized like an overripe mango ready to burst from a tree. Allah has bestowed upon mankind so many opportunities to achieve salvation and success in this world as well as the next.
Unfortunately, the hustle and bustle of daily life costs many Muslims dearly, as they sometimes put worldly preoccupations above the sincere worship of Allah Almighty.
Claim the prize of Dhul-Hijjah and spend these first 10 days in devout worship of Allah Almighty.
There are several ways to make every hour, minute, and second of the 10 days of Dhul-Hijjah count.
It was not long ago that the month of Ramadan bid farewell. Yet once again, Muslims have an excellent opportunity to engage in fasting for their own benefit.
Prophet Muhammad fasted during the first nine days of Dhul-Hijjah, especially on the day of Arafat. It was narrated by Hafsah, Prophet Muhammad’s wife, that:
“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 Dawud, 2437)
Encourage your family members to fast with you and create special meals to share with your Muslim friends and neighbors. Remember that good deeds are multiplied during the first 10 days of Dhul-Hijjah, so try to perform as many as you can.
2- Remembrance of Allah
The Muslim’s tongue should always be in remembrance of his Cherisher and Sustainer. No matter if you are driving down the highway or standing in line at the grocery store, keep Allah Almighty in your thoughts as much as you can.
Recite the takbir (Allahu Akbar), tahmid (Alhamdulillah) and tahlil (la illaha illa Allah) as often as possible.
Prophet Muhammad said:
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 tahlil, takbir, and tahmid during them. (Ahmad)
When remembering Allah at the mosque, home, or even the office, men should speak aloud in a strong voice while women should do the opposite, thus reciting in a quiet voice. Engage the tiniest Muslims in your home in the remembrance of Allah Almighty and encourage them to recite alongside you.
3- Performing the Umrah or Hajj
What better place to worship Allah Almighty than at His very own house of worship in the city of Makkah? If you can afford it, why not book a flight while there is still time, or help someone in need to attend umrah or hajj by paying for his or her journey? Remember that the reward for a perfect hajj is no less than Paradise.
The sacrifice of an animal on the day of Arafat, in remembrance of Prophet Abraham’s willingness to slaughter his beloved son Ismail simply because Allah Almighty ordered him to do so, is one of the most righteous deeds in the sight of Allah.
Spend your money on a quality animal and share the meat with the less fortunate in your community. It’s preferable that whoever chooses to fulfill the Sunnah act of sacrificing an animal should not cut his hair or trim his nails during the ten days of Dhul-Hijjah so that he is similar to the Muslims who are in Ihram (state of consecration) and are attending hajj.
The 10 days of Dhul-Hijjah will be over in a flash. Reach out and seize the moment by increasing your good deeds and acts of worship as much as you can.
Forsake your bed and stand in awe of Allah Almighty so that you may reap the countless benefits and immeasurable blessings.
(From Reading Islam’s archive.)