The month of Zulhijjah (Dhul-hijjah)
is here! We might know of it as the month where the Hajj pilgrimage
as well as the qurban
and Eid al-Adha (Hari Raya Haji)
festivities take place. But did you know that the days of Zulhijjah, especially the first 10 days, are so sacred that Allah (SWT) even made an oath by them in the Quran? 🤗
"By the dawn / And [by] ten nights " [Quran 89:1-2]
And the Prophet himself even said:
"There are no days in which righteous deeds are more beloved to Allah than those ten days" [Jami at-Tirmidhi]
Well, we might be a few days into the month (Zulhijjah officially started on the 30th June 2022 for this year!) but you can still make the most of the rest of these 10 days, as well as the remainder of Zulhijjah 😌 Here, are 7 ways to make the most of this important period!
1. Set your intentions for the month.
As with all that we do, it starts from making a strong and sincere niat (intention). Before you start any act, be it fasting or doing extra supplications, make sure your intention is to please and worship Allah (SWT).
2. Fast for the first 9 days if you can.
The first 10 days of Zulhijjah this year range from 30th June -9th July. We're already a few days in but you can still try to fast for the remaining days if you haven't yet! Fasting during this time (especially on the 9th day of Zulhijjah, also known as the Day of Arafah) is said to expiate your sins ❤️
3. Find more opportunities to make dhikr
Even the smallest actions can earn you great rewards, and one small action you can work into your daily routine is to do more dhikr. Particularly in saying the Tahlil (La Ilaha Illalah), Takbir (Allahu Akbar), Tahmid (Alhamdullilah).
4. Give more to charity
Islam teaches us that there is a great reward in helping others and that we should share what we have with the underprivileged. It is said that acts of sadaqah performed during the first 10 days of the month will be as if you had performed sadaqah to all of Allah's Prophets (PBUH) and Messengers (PBUH)! Don't just donate money, but time and effort as well in order to give thanks for what Allah (SWT) has blessed you with.
5. Fast and do supplications on the Day of Arafah
The 9th day of Zulhijjah is the Day of Arafah, and is said that fasting on this day expiates all of the sins of the preceding and current years! A supplication the Prophet (pbuh) made during the Day of Arafah was such:
"Laa ilaaha illaa Allah, Wahdahu laa Sharika Lahu, Lahulmulku walahul-Hamd, wahuwa 'ala kulli shay'in Qadir"
"There is no god but Allah, He is One, without partner, to Him belongs the all that exist and all praises, and He is powerful over all things."
Even if you're not able to pray on the Day of Arafah, you can recite this supplication to maximise the rewards you gain.
6. Seek forgiveness from Allah (SWT) and those around you
The entire month of Zulhijjah is when you should repent and seek forgiveness and mercy from Allah (swt), including the Day of Arafah in particular. In seeking repentance, look at your actions and make a sincere effort to stop the deeds you know are disliked by Allah (SWT). Make an intention to change your behaviour for the better, and to do more of the deeds that are beloved by Him instead.
7. Make qurban if you can
Performing the qurban is one way to give charity to the underprivileged. Though qurban rituals this year are a little different
due to health and safety precautions, the spirit of giving endures.
In fact, if you plan to perform qurban, one thing you shouldn't
do is to cut your hair or nails before the qurban is performed! It is sunnah to keep them from the first day of Zulhijjah until Eid al-Adha - similar to how pilgrims performing the Hajj cannot do these while in a state of ihram.
Zulhijjah is a month full of blessings for Muslims around the world, and as we celebrate our Eid-Al-Adha this year with circumstances quite out of the ordinary, it's a great opportunity to learn and reflect on its meaning and virtues. May you have a fulfilling month ahead, ameen!