On July 11, 2021, we will soon approach the blessed days in the month of Zulhijjah, Insha’Allah. The first ten days of Zulhijjah is the most important period for us to maximise our capacity in performing good deeds and sincere ‘ibadah. Muslim scholars unanimously agree on the great significance and merit of the first 10 days of Zulhijjah.
On the authority of Ibn ʿAbbās RA that the Prophet ﷺ said: “There are no days in which [good] actions are superior than in these days.” It was asked, “Not even fighting for the sake of God?” He replied, “Not even fighting for the sake of God, except that a person sets out with his life and his wealth and returns with neither.” [Musnad al-Imam Aḥmad]
- It is Sunnah to fast on the first nine days of Zulhijjah
Did you know that the rewards for fasting on these nine days are equal to one year? It is also important to note that the Day of The Arafah (9th Zulhijjah) is known to be the greatest day of the year. Whoever fasts on this blessed day, Allah the Merciful will expiate all your sins of the previous year and the upcoming year, Insha’Allah.
- Stand at night in prayer
If you’ve missed the opportunity to perform qiyamullail or the night vigil prayer during Ramadan, you still have the chance to redeem yourself by standing in one of these nights in prayer. The merits of qiyam during this blessed period is equal to standing in prayer on Laylatul al-Qadr!
Abu Hurairah narrated that:
The Prophet ﷺ said: “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.” [Sunan at-Tirmidhi]
- Busy yourself with the remembrance of Allah the Glorious
Remembering Allah should not be a seasonal routine, but in these blessed days, the Prophet ﷺ himself advised that we should make abundant of adhkar which includes Tahlil (La ilaha ill’Allah), Takbir (Allahu Akbar) and Tahmid (Alhamdulillah).
Abdullah ibn `Umar (may Allah be pleased with him and his father) reported that the Prophet ﷺ said: “There are no days greater in the sight of Allah and in which righteous deeds are more beloved to Him than these ten days, so during this time recite a great deal of Tahlil (saying: ‘there is no god but Allah’), Takbir and Tahmid.” [Ahmad]
- Perform the Qurban (udhiyah/sacrifice)
Udhiyah or Qurban is one of the great forms of ‘ibadah in Islam, in which we remember the Oneness of our Creator, Allah the Almighty, and the obedience of our blessed Prophet Ibrahim, may Allah be Pleased with him.
Qurban is derived from the word ‘Qurb’, which means ‘nearness’. Sacrifice or Qurban is thus a form of worship through which the love and nearness of Allah can be attained. It is also a Sunnah Mu’akkadah – a greatly encouraged Sunnah. The Prophet ﷺ used to offer rams as sacrifices as mentioned in the hadith below:
The Prophet (ﷺ) used to offer as sacrifices, two horned rams, black and white, and used to put his foot on their sides and slaughter them with his own hands. [Sahih al-Bukhari]
- Pray for and assist those going for Hajj.
If you do not plan to go for Hajj this year, it does not mean that you can’t pray for those who went for pilgrimage. As a person who is concerned about the welfare of his brothers, let us make du’a for those who are doing their Hajj.
Habib Umar bin Hafiz said, “We should pray for those performing Hajj and thereby receive a portion of the reward which they are receiving.” The travel they are undertaking is one of the most spiritually significant ones they will ever undertake in their lives. Pray for all pilgrims worldwide, whether we know them or not.
- Increase in all good deeds.
Like any other blessed day, the easiest thing we can do is to do good deeds sincerely, whether it is giving charity or sadaqah, helping your parents, preparing meals for your family, we should be encouraged to perform as many good deeds as we can, as they are magnified in the first 10 days of Zulhijjah. So, seek out the deeds you can do and strive to do them with utmost sincerity and effort.
The point of it all is to encourage ourselves to keep on doing good despite the problems we have, the demotivation we endure, so these blessed days exist to motivate us to do better as Muslims. May Allah Bless us in the days of Zulhijjah, answer all our prayers, forgive all our sins and keep the Hajj pilgrims safe and accept their Hajj, and for those performing the Qurban, accept it from them, Insha’Allah.