The amazing month of Dhul Hijjah is upon us! It is the month of pilgrimage, the Month of Hajj, the last Islamic month (12th) of the year and it’s one of the four sacred months in which fighting is forbidden.
You might have read about the great virtues of the first ten days of Dhul Hijjah, such as:
There are no days on which righteous deeds are more beloved to Allah than these ten days… (Al-Bukhari)
But do you feel like you don’t know what to do? You might not be able to read the Quran in Arabic, or even know many Prophetic supplications. Here are some easy, highly rewarding tips on how to benefit to the max in these first ten blessed days of Dhul Hijjah!
Your Mindset is Key!
A good and positive mindset is half the work. See these ten days as a blessed gift, a fresh opportunity to erase your sins and cleanse yourself. It is also a second chance, for those who felt Ramadan slip through their fingers.
Now, imagine it was raining money, you’d run outside, raise your hands and collect as much as you could, you wouldn’t take a break, you wouldn’t first finish your favorite tv-program, you would be out there!
These days are like the ultimate jackpot, but not with money but with enormous rewards up for grabs. Key is to make the best of your time, doing what you are able to do without worrying about what you can’t do!
1. Thank Allah
Start by taking a moment to connect and truly thank Allah, the Most High, from the bottom of your heart, in whatever language, for giving you these blessed days to repent, do good deeds, and be saved from the Fire!
How can you thank Allah?
By doing those deeds He loves in the most beautiful, beloved, respectful and humble way. This is what ibaadah (worship) is.
2. Ask for Help to Put Your Obligations First
Before talking about any voluntary actions (and bonuses), remind yourself to take care of all your obligations which can be hard in itself and that’s ok. Just make sure you ask Allah, the Most High, to help you!
– Focus on your five daily prayers (salat); pray them on time, do your best to concentrate and perfect them as well as you can.
– Supplicate to Allah to help you fulfil your obligations in the best way, use the beautiful dua’ the Prophet Muhammad said at the end of prayer:
Allahumma a’innee ‘alaa dhikrika wa shukrika wa husni ‘ibadatika (O Allah! Assist me in remembering You, in thanking You, and in worshipping You in the best of manners.) (Ahmad, Abu Dawud, An-Nasa’i)
3. Live by Your Dhikr (Remembrance)
The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) said:
There are no days during which good deeds are greater or more beloved to Allah than these 10 days. So recite more often the Tahleel (Laa Ilaaha Illallah), Takbeer (Allahu Akbar), Tahmeed (Alhamdulillah). (Ahmad)
– Put a note on the wall (or car windscreen) to constantly remind yourself to recite them (at home or on the go).
– Feel their meaning in your daily life. Use these trigger points:
Allah is greater than anything (Allahu akbar); put Him first.
He gave you everything you have (Alhamdulillah); complain less.
There is only One God (laa ilaaha ill-Allah); truly turn to Him for help and comfort.
Glorified is Allah (SubhanAllah); know this world is imperfect and our true happiness is with Him, in Paradise!
Teach the children and play this takbeer audio in your home or car: https://youtu.be/UnmzTfUfVkM and feel how great Allah is, how happy you should be to be Muslim and how grateful you should be for all He gave you.
4. Go for the ‘100x Dhikr!’
Ten days are 14 400 minutes and 864 000 seconds. On those moments too busy to perform other good deeds, revive the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad and say 100x each day:
– SubhanAllahi wa bihamdihi, subhanAllahil-Ádheem
– Astaghfirullah wa atoobu ilayh
– Laa ilaaha illal-laahu wahdahu laa shareeka lahu, lahul-mulku wa lahul-hamdu wa huwa ‘alaa kulli shay-in qadeer.
Seek forgiveness for the entire Ummah and you’ll get reward for each one of them by Allah’s will, say: Allahumma‘ghfir lil mu’mineena wal mu’minaat.
5. Master the Master of Seeking Forgiveness!
Learn to pronounce below best supplication for seeking forgiveness (Syed-ul-Istighfar or the master of seeking forgiveness), and use it every day and night with conviction!
The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) said:
The best supplication for seeking forgiveness is to say: Allahumma Anta Rabbi, la ilaha illa Anta, khalaqtanî wa ana ‘abduka, wa ana ‘ala ‘ahdika wa wa’dika mastata’tu, a’udhu bika min sharri mâ sana’tu, abu’u laka bini’maktika ‘alayya, wa abu’u bidhanbi, faghfir li, fa innahu la yaghfirudh-dhunuba illa Anta.
(O Allah! You are my Rabb. There is no true god except You. You have created me, and I am Your slave, and I hold to Your Covenant as far as I can. I seek refuge in You from the evil of what I have done. I acknowledge the favours that You have bestowed upon me, and I confess my sins. Pardon me, for none but You has the power to pardon.)
Whoever makes this dua’ during the day with firm belief in it and dies on the same day (before the evening) he will be one of the dwellers of Jannah (Paradise); and whoever makes this dua’ during the night with firm belief in it and dies before the morning, he will be one of the dwellers of Jannah (Paradise). (Al-Bukhari)
Nothing less than Jannah!
Note on the Takbeer (Allahu Akbar)
A way of saying takbeer is to say: Allahu akbar Allahu akbar Allahu akbar, laa ilaaha ill-Allah, Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar wa lillaahil hamd. There are two types of takbeer these days.
1. Takbeer first 10 days & days of tashreeq.
It is Sunnah to recite takbeer at any time during the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah and all the days of Tashreeq (11,12, 13th). This takbeer is prescribed until the end of the days of al-Tashreeq, which is when the sun sets on the thirteenth day of Dhul-Hijjah.
2. Special takbeer to be said after each obligatory prayer!
There’s also a specific time to say this takbeer, which is from fajr on the day of ‘Arafah until the sun sets on the last day of the days of Tashreeq, in addition to the takbeer that may be recited at any time.
– So you say the tasleem (salaam) at the end of the obligatory prayer
– You should pray for forgiveness (by saying: Astaghfir-Allah 3 times, and say, “Allaahumma antas-salaam wa minkas-salaam, tabaarakta yaa dhaa’l-jalaali wa’l-ikraam (O Allah, You are al-Salaam and from You is all peace, blessed are You O Possessor of majesty and honor)
– Then start the takbeer (like above one).
Check this article for super-effective worship tools to use: intention reminder strips, dhikr cards, daily worship schedule and the ultimate dua’ list! https://aboutislam.net/reading-islam/living-islam/top-6-tips-to-beat-ramadan-overwhelm/
Imagine in these first ten days you can finish Personal Lessons from the whole Quran in just ten minutes a day, see www.dailylifeknowledge.co.uk for an e-book, packed with daily life action points based on the verses of the Quran, suitable for all levels.
Now quickly make dua’ that Allah, the Most High, will give you the tawfeeq (ability) to make these days your best: give it your all!