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Taking Advantage of Dhul Hijjah Even If You’re Not on Hajj

Taking Advantage of Dhul Hijjah Even If You’re Not on Hajj

Eid is a very distinct holiday in the minds of most Muslims across the globe. It calls into focus images and memories of sparkling clothes, henna designs, high heels and brutal pre-celebration beauty regimens. But as we get older — or perhaps it’s simply my own personal case — we start to slow our strut across the Eid-prayer hall and begin to realize that there is actual rule and reason to this centuries-old celebration that brings together millions of people and forces them to become equal regardless of their differences.

The sight of millions of pilgrims moving in unity for Hajj is a powerful scene that cannot and will not ever be replicated by any other event created by mankind. And while we learn about the history of this pilgrimage, and it is mesmerizing and awe-inspiring to see images and videos of the incredible Hajj that takes place every year in Mecca, it can equally be disheartening and confusing to figure out what those of us who are not participating in it can do while at home. This is where Islam, once again, comes in to accommodate us in ways we can’t possibly begin to be thankful for.

Dhul Hijjah is the twelfth month of the Islamic calendar, and while we often hear that Ramadan is the most important month of the year in the Islamic faith, Dhul Hijjah is also far from ordinary. More specifically, the first ten days of Dhul Hijjah are considered to be the best days of the year to ask for forgiveness, to fast, and to remember Almighty Allah (SWT). Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said,

“No good deed done on other days is superior to what is done on these first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah.” tweet

So what can we do during these ten days? We can recreate our actions and intentions of this past Ramadan! In these ten days, we can increase our recitation of the Holy Qur’an, consciously pray all of the Sunnah prayers we can, increase our dhikr, ask for forgiveness and do as many good deeds according to the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad as we can. This can be as simple as smiling at people, moving something harmful from a path, picking up litter, giving a gift to someone, or saying thank you to the custodial staff or the office secretary. Every good deed, no matter how small it may seem, can have an incredible impact during these ten days.

These last ten days are ideal for making lots of dua’a, spreading knowledge and da’wah and going to Eid prayer (to actually pray, not just to participate in the unavoidable fashion show that takes place on the sisters’ side). Most importantly, it is recommended to fast from sunrise to sunset on each of these ten days. For fasting on the final day, the day of Arafat, the entirety of our previous year’s sins are erased.

The beauty of these ten days doesn’t end with the amount of opportunity for forgiveness that is offered to us. It continues on with the idea that all parts of the foundations of Islam and ‘ibadah are achievable during these last ten days. So although we may not be participating in Hajj this year, we are also at a comfortable advantage. Quite literally, these last ten days are a representation of Islam itself.

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Written by Tahira Ayub

Featured image from Flickr

View Comments (9)
  • On a somewhat light note – one of the reasons my Amma (mom) doesn’t like going to Ei’d Salah (when it’s often the main thing I look forward to), is because of the fashion show and noise (from all the talking after salah) on the sister’s side. She can’t hear the khutbah, so all the formality and pleasure is lost for her, sadly.

    Jazak’Allahu Khairan for the reminder about these 10 days.

    • I completely agree with you both! On the one hand, I love getting the chance to dress up and see my friends and take tons of pictures after Salah, but on the other hand, I understand the importance of the khutbah and salah itself in relation to Eid so the chatter of all the aunties has been a source of annoyance for me waaay too many times! I guess the best way to deal with it is just stay put after salah ends and try to serve as an examples to others around you to listen to The khutbah (while throwing some subtle shade if an auntie is particularly loud)! JazakAllah Khair! – Tahira A.

      • Thanks for the reply. Without sounding like a back-biter, my mom said that a particular segment of our Muslim community are loud and as we went to a different salah this time that had doughnuts outside, these young girls went and brought food sat in a circle and chatted during the khutbah. I know complaining workout action is fruitless. I wish we could gather some of the elder sisters and discuss the issues. Etiquette of E’id or something. Just like there are rooms for little ones to run around at weddings or other community events, I think something similar would be useful. Though in this case, if the girls wanted to chat and eat, there was plenty of room outside. Or maybe the sisters should be able to move closer up behind us guys after salah is over.

        • I completely understand! There’s a lot of people I wish I could go up to and just shush but unfortunately, acting upon anger or annoyance is never worthwhile or helpful! The fact that in your scenerio the issue seems to be youth girls actually gives you a really interesting advantage! I usually have an issue with aunties who can’t be bothered to change or be told their wrong, but girls are definitely more flexible. I really do think that a group with dialogue would be extremely beneficial! In my community, I started a girl’s youth program about two years ago and alhumdulillah I’ve seen these girls grow up and become so much more involved, intuitive and respectful in every setting masha’Allah! I think that when we reach out to the youth and begin teaching them what’s right and wrong through general discussions, fun activies, and get togethers where is doesn’t feel like they’re being lectured, they are so much more interested and likley to listen and be helpful. I know starting a group is not easy at all, and maybe that’s not something you’d be interested in, but just reaching out to these girls even on an individual basis and creating a relationship with them could be beneficial in ways you might not expect! Sometimes they don’t have anyone else in their life to tell them when things are wrong and you have the chance to be that person they look up to! 🙂

  • It’s said that those those fast on the 9th day of Dul hijja, their sin will be forgiven for 2 years . What about the girls who has personal problems? Those who can’t fast ? What should they do ?

    • Salam! Awesome question – I believe the hadith says its for a single year of forgiveness – which is still a huge opportunity for us Alhumdulillah! I was actually in the samee boat as you this year and was unable to fast or pray on the day of Arafat. What we can do in this situation is the same as what we can do during ramadan – make excessive du’a, dhikr and do good deeds while staying away from temptations such as music, movies, etc. 🙂 I hope this helps!

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