Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Dhul-Hijjah: The Days of Hajj!

Zul-Hijjah: There are so many virtues in this month, and more specifically the first 10 days, that we should hold on to tightly and practice with a passion, insha'Allah. Who can guarantee that we will be alive to see next year's Zul Hijjah? For those of us who have been invited to Allah swt's House (the Bayt Allah/Ka'bah in Makkah al Mukarramah) may Allah swt facilitate our Hajj and make it a means to draw closer unto Him and allow us to return sinless and with a new level of reinvigorated Imaan! For those of us who will not be going for Hajj this year, we can still benefit from these blessed days if we prepare from now!

Virtues of these blessed 10 days are below from none other than Rasulullah (sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam.)

(note: Thurs. 21st December 2006 C.E - Saturday 30th December 2006 C.E correspond with the 1st - 10th of Zul-Hijjah. *There is a small probability of one day error. Please check with your local masjid.)

Ibn Abbas (radhiyallahu anhu) that Rasulullah(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) said: "There is no day wherein any good action is more beloved to Allah Ta'ala than these ten days (the first ten days of Zul Hijjah)". The Sahaabah (radhiyallahu anhum) enquired: " Not even Striving in the path of Allah ?"

"Not even Striving in the path of Allah," replied Rasulullah(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) , "with the exception of that person who left with his life and wealth (in the path of Allah) and did not return with any of it (i.e. he is martyred)". (Bukhari, Tabraani)

It is also narrated from Ibn Abbaas(radhiyallanhu) that Rasulullah(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) said: "No days are as weighty with Allah and so liked by Him for good deeds than the first ten days of Zul-Hijjah ". Therefore in these days increasingly recite: "La ilaha illallah, Allahu Akbar, Al-Hamdu-lillah, Sub-hanallah." (Tabraani)

Fasts in the First 10 Days:

The Prophet (sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) has said, "One fast during these days is equal to the fasting of one complete year, and the worship of one night during this period is equal to the worship in the "Lailatul-Qadr".(Tirmidhi)

Fast of Day of 'Arafah (9th day of Zulhijjah is called 'Youmul - "Arafah')

Abu Qataadah (radhiyallahu anhu) reported that Rasullullah(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) said: " I have hope in Allah Ta'ala that the fast of Arafaat will be an atonement for the sins of the past and the forthcoming year." (Tirmidhi)

For Hajjis and Non Hajjis:
The Takbeer at-Tashreeq is wajib for men to recite, and mustahab for women, at least once after every fardh prayer from Fajr of the 9th of Zulhijjah until Asr time of the 13th of Zulhijjah. It is:

"Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar, la ilaha ill-Allah; wa Allahu akbar. Allahu akbar, wa Lillahi'l-hamd (Allah is Most Great, Allah is Most Great, there is no god but Allah; Allah is Most Great and to Allah be praise),"

Men are encouraged to recite these phrases out loud and women quietly.

ps--Please don't forget about the obligation on each of us to offer a qurbani (slaughtering of an animal) during the days of the 10th, 11th, 12th of Zul Hijjah. This is an obligation on each one of us and it represents the beautiful, complete submission of Prophet Ibrahim (as) when he chose to obey Allah Ta'ala fully and without question when it came to slaughtering his own son, Prophet Ismail (as). Before the knife was able to cut his son's neck, Allah Ta'ala replaced Ismail (as) with a ram from Jannah. Ismail (as) was saved and Ibrahim (as)'s complete submission to God's command was accepted !!

By slaughtering an animal during these days, we commemorate that great sacrifice and we are rewarded abundantly..insha'Allah!

pps Please remember us in your du'aas!


The first 10 days of Zul Hijjah: Why They Matter
by Sound Vision Staff Writer

Even for those not performing the pilgrimage, Hajj, the first ten days of this month are considered very sacred and a time for increased reflection, seeking Allah's forgiveness, doing good and various other forms of worship.

Prophet Mohammed (peace and blessings be upon him) has said about the first ten days of Zul Hijjah: There are no days in which righteous deeds are more beloved to Allah than these ten days." The people asked, "Not even Jihad for the sake of Allah ?" He said, "Not even Jihad for the sake of Allah, except in the case of a man who went out to fight giving himself and his wealth up for the cause, and came back with nothing (Bukhari).

So sacred are the first ten days of Zul Hijjah that Allah swears an oath by them when He says in the Quran: "By the dawn; by the ten nights" [al-Fajr 89:1-2]. Swearing an oath by something indicates its importance and great benefit.

What kinds of worship should be performed?

While any good deed done for the sake of Allah according to the way He approves will be rewarded immensely during the first ten days, Insha Allah, some of the more specific actions mentioned in the Traditions of the Prophet are fasting and verbal Zikr (remembrance) of Allah.

In terms of fasting, it is particularly encouraged to fast on the ninth day of Zul-Hijjah, known in Arabic as Yawm Arafa. The Prophet used to fast on this day (al Nisai and Abu Dawud). Fasting on this day will expiate a Muslim's sins for two years.

The verbal remembrance of Allah is another meritorious act during these first ten days of Zul Hijjah. The Prophet upon him) encouraged Muslims to recite a lot of Tasbeeh ("Subhan-Allaah"), Tahmeed ("Al-hamdu Lillaah") and Takbeer ("Allahu akbar") during this time.

The Takbeer may include the words "Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar, la ilaha ill-Allah; wa Allahu akbar wa Lillahi'l-hamd (Allah is Most Great, Allah is Most Great, there is no god but Allah; Allah is Most Great and to Allah be praise)," as well as other phrases.

Men are encouraged to recite these phrases out loud and women quietly.

Ibn 'Umar and Abu Hurayrah, two of the Prophet's Companions, used to go out in the marketplace during the first ten days of Zul-Hijjah, reciting Takbeer, and the people would recite Takbeer individually when they heard them.

Generally, all good deeds are rewarded highly at this blessed time. These actions include praying, reading Quran, making Dua (supplication), giving in charity and being good to our families.

In addition, seeking Allah's forgiveness at this time is also encouraged. This means more than just a verbal expression of sorrow for past misdeeds. It also requires a firm resolution to avoid making the same mistakes in the future by giving up bad habits and behavior while sincerely turning to Allah.
It is useless to have a learned tongue but an ignorant heart.

-Shaykh Abd al Qadir al Jalani