The holy month of Dhul Hijjah (Zilhajj), singular in its virtues and significance, marks the end of the Islamic Hijri Calendar. Dhul-Hijjah translates as the ‘Month of the Pilgrimage’ (Hajj) and indeed, this is the month Allah SWT has chosen for the implementation of Hajj, the fifth pillar of Islam that is mandatory on every sane Muslim adult (with conditions). Every year, hundreds and thousands of Muslims make the journey to Makkah and its adjoining cities to fulfill the rituals of Hajj in certain days of Dhul-Hijjah, commemorating the actions of certain Prophets عليه السلام as specified by Allah SWT. However, the importance of Dhul-Hijjah goes beyond being the month of pilgrimage. It is also among the Sacred months, the Ashurul Hurum, in which fighting has been forbidden by Allah SWT.

Religious Importance of Dhul-Hijjah

The 10 Blessed Days

The first 10 days of Dhul Hijjah are a time when the greatest acts of worship are performed. The virtues of these days of the Holy Month of Zilhajj have been highlighted in numerous Ahadith. It was narrated from Abu Hurairah that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said:

“There are no days in this world during which worship is more beloved to Allah, Glorious is He, than the (first) ten days (of Dhul- Hijjah). Fasting one of these days is equivalent to fasting for one year, and one night of them is equal to Lailatul-Qadr.” (Ibn Majah 1728)

Allah SWT has taken oath multiple times in the Quran to underscore the significance and virtue of something, and he has sworn by these 10 nights in the Quran. (interpretation of the meaning):

"By the dawn; by the ten nights" (89:1-2).

Ibn 'Abbas, Ibn al-Zubayr, Mujahid and others of the earlier and later generations said that this refers to the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah. Ibn Kathir said:

"This is the correct opinion." (Tafsir Ibn Kathir, 8/413)

An esteemed classical scholar has succinctly yet effectively encapsulated the strong attributes of Zilhajj when he says:

“The most apparent reason for the ten days of Dhul Hijjah being distinguished in excellence is due to the assembly of the greatest acts of worship in this period – salawat (prayers), siyam (fasting), sadaqah (charity) and the Hajj (pilgrimage). In no other periods do these great deeds combine.” Fath al-Bari

Days of Hajj

One of the reasons for the importance of Zilhajj is that it is the Month of Pilgrimage. It is mandatory to perform the major rituals of Hajj on the specific days of Dhul-Hijjah and the specified places as mentioned in the Quran and the Hadith. These days officially begin on the 8th Dhul-Hijjah and end on the 13th of the same month, thus marking these dates as among the most significant ones in the entire year. Allah SWT says in the Quran:

‘The Hajj is (during) well-known months, so whoever has made Ḥajj obligatory upon himself therein (by entering the state of Ihram), there is (to be for him) no sexual relations and no disobedience and no disputing during Hajj’ (2:197).

9th of Zilhajj

The 9th of Zilhajj is also referred to as The Day of Arafah as the pilgrims leave for the plain of Arafah just after dawn to spend the entire day standing or sitting around the Mount of Mercy, supplicating to Allah SWT and seeking forgiveness from Him.

While the 9th of Zilhajj is the highlight for those performing Hajj as they gather at the plain of Arafah to fulfill one of the mandatory requirements of Hajj, it is generally considered the greatest day of the year, much like Laylatul-Qadr is considered the greatest night of the year.

The day of Arafah also marks the completion and perfecting of Islam by Allah SWT as the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ received this verse from Surah Al-Ma’idah while he was Arafah on 9th of Zilhajj:

“This day I have perfected for you your religion and completed My favour upon you and have approved for you Islam as religion.” (5: 3)

How to Make the Most of the Blessed Days

With the salient features of the sanctity of the Holy Month highlighted above, it becomes apparent that this is a month of blessings that Muslims should avail to the best of their abilities. It is the wisdom of Allah SWT that this month follows a small break after Ramadan, the month where the Imaan levels are mostly at their highest. When Zilhajj comes, we are given a chance anew to refresh our dwindling levels of faith and to benefit from the extra bonus chance Allah SWT, through His infinite generosity, is granting us to earn His blessings.

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Hajj perhaps is the major and most rewarding form of worship that one can perform in this month. Hajj is the fifth pillar of Islam and is mandatory once in a lifetime on every sane adult Muslim who is financially, emotionally and physically able to do it (conditions apply). For the one who sincerely performs Hajj, the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ is reported to have said:

‘An accepted Hajj brings no less a reward than Paradise.’ Ibn Majah

The Prophet ﷺ said,

‘Whoever performs Hajj for Allah's pleasure and does not have sexual relations with his wife, and does not do evil or sins then he will return (after Hajj free from all sins) as if he were born anew.’ (Bukhari 1521)

While it is certainly true that Hajj is becoming increasingly difficult with the passage of time, DEENIN is constantly striving to introduce new products that facilitate believers in their worship. The ABDEEZ Journey of Faith Hajj Umrah ‘Essential Pack’ is especially curated for your specific needs for Hajj and Umrah and includes a folding prayer mat, a portable towel and a portable bidet, all to fulfill your travel worship needs so you’re good to go Insha’Allah!

1. Focus on Extra Good Deeds

Generally, all good deeds are greatly rewarded during the blessed 10 days of Dhul Hijjah. This is especially true on the 9th day of Dhul Hijjah, the Day of Arafah. As the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said:

“There is no day on which Allah frees people from the Fire more so than on the day of ‘Arafah.’ Sahih Muslim

Good deeds include praying, reading the Quran, making Dua (supplication), seeking Allah’s forgiveness (Istighfar), Tawbah (repentance), giving in charity and being good to our families, and other voluntary (nafl) righteous deeds of worship. Other than these, there are specific acts of worship and deeds that are mentioned in Quran and Hadith which Muslims are highly encouraged to practice in these blessed days.

2. Pray Tahajjud: Strengthen your Bond with Allah SWT

Many Muslims find themselves in a slump when it comes to continuing Ibadah of the night after the ‘spiritual high’ of the last ten nights of Ramadan. The virtue of praying in these nights is so great SubhanAllah that praying at night for the first ten nights of Dhul-Hijjah is equivalent to praying on Laylat al-Qadr. It was narrated from Abu Hurairah that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said:

‘There are no days in this world during which worship is more beloved to Allah, Glorious is He, than the (first) ten days (of Dhul- Hijjah). Fasting one of these days is equivalent to fasting for one year, and one night of them is equal to Lailatul-Qadr.’ Sunan Ibn Majah 1728

This is the time to turn to your Lord and thank him for everything, talk to him, plead to him and converse just about anything with the strong conviction that He is listening to every single word that you utter.

3. Fasting on 9th Zilhajj

Fasting in the month of Dhul Hijjah is greatly encouraged during the first nine days, especially on the Day of Arafah. The Prophet ﷺ himself used to fast in the first nine days as it comes in a hadith narrated by one of his wives.

‘The Prophet ﷺ used to fast on the first nine days of Dhul-Hijjah and the day of ‘Ashura, and three days each month, the first Monday of the month and two Thursdays.’ (Al-Nasai, 4/205 and Abu Dawud).

About the fast of 9th in particular, the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said:

“Fasting the day of Arafah expiates the [minor] sins of two years.” Sahih Muslim

4. Increasing Dhikr and Remembrance of Allah

Dhikr, the verbal remembrance of Allah (SWT), is another rewarding act of worship. This includes Istighfar for repentance as well as praise of Allah SWT. The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ also encouraged Muslims to recite a lot of Tasbeeh (SubhanAllah), Tahmeed (Alhamdulillah) and Takbeer (Allahu-Akbar) during this time.

There are no days that are greater before Allah in which Good Deeds are more beloved to Him, than these ten days, so recite a great deal of tahleel, takbeer and tahmeed during them.” Ahmad

Tahmeed: Alhamdulillah (All praises be to God)
Tahleel: Laa ilaha ill-Allah (There is no God but Allah)
Tasbeeh: SubhaanAllah (Glory be to God)
Another important zikr to be recited on specific days and specific times is the Takbeer. It is necessary (wajib) for every Muslim (male or female, whether praying in congregation or alone) to say the following Takbir (Takbirs of Tashriq) immediately after each obligatory (fard) prayer from the Fajr Prayer on the 9th of Dhul Hijjah to the Asr Prayer on the 13th of Dhul Hijjah.
اللَّهُ أَكْبَرُ اللَّهُ أَكْبَرُ، لَا إلَهَ إلَّا اللَّهُ وَاَللَّهُ أَكْبَرُ، اللَّهُ أَكْبَرُ وَلِلَّهِ الْحَمْدُ
Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest, there is no god except Allah, And Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest, for Allah is all praise. (Fath-ul-Qadeer)

5. Sacrifice (Qurbani)

The 10th day of Dhul-Hijjah is the first day of Eid Al-Adha and is also known as the Day of Sacrifice. Muslims all over the world sacrifice an animal (goat, sheep, cow or camel) to commemorate the devotion and love of Prophet Ibrahim AS and his son Prophet Ismael AS for Allah SWT. Ibrahim AS was ready to sacrifice his son for the sake of Allah SWT and Ismael AS was ready to lay down his life because of Allah’s command. Allah SWT rewarded their devotion by replacing Ismael AS with a ram which was slaughtered instead.

Thus, on Eid Al-Adha, the festival of the sacrifice, Muslims slaughter their animals to reflect this great act of worship after Eid prayer, distributing the meat in such a way that At least one-third of the meat goes to the poor or vulnerable. Sacrifice (Qurbani) can only be performed after the Eid-ul-Adha prayers from the 10th of Dhul Hijjah to the 12th of Dhul Hijjah.

The importance of Qurbani can be seen from the hadith narrated by Abu Hurairah RA: the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said:

‘Whoever can afford to offer a sacrifice but does not do so, let him not approach our place of prayer.’ (Ibn Majah: 3123)

It is strongly encouraged for the one who intends to offer the sacrifice that he/she does not remove any hair, nail or skin from the sunset on last day of Dhul Qadah until the sacrifice is done on the Eid day. It was narrated from Ummm Salamah (R.A.) that the Prophet ﷺ said:

"Whoever sees the new crescent of Dhul Hijjah and wants to offer a sacrifice, let him not remove any of his hair or nails until he has offered the sacrifice." (Sunnan An-Nisai: 4366)

6. Sadaqah and Giving for the Sake of Allah SWT

While distributing meat from Qurbani is in itself a greatly rewarding act of giving, it is also recommended to increase your sadaqah as much as possible to take the most advantage of these blessed days. Sadaqah also includes spending on your family.

As we draw closer to 10th Zilhajj, let’s take this opportunity to spend the rest of the days benefiting from all that Allah SWT is promising and more. Let us all strive to make the most of these blessed days and pray to Allah to make the coming year one of blessings, joy and hidayah for all. Ameen.


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Wahab, A. (2019, July 12). Significance and masnoon acts for the month of Zil Hajj. Islamic Articles.

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