Dhul Hijjah is the 12th month of the Islamic calendar, and with it brings the 10 best days of the year! A month of increased spirituality, that encompasses two very special events in devotion to Allah (swt). Hajj, the day of Arafah and Eid al-Adha all take place; it is a blessed time for both pilgrims and non-pilgrims alike.
With the chance to grow closer to Allah (swt) and gain his many blessings, this month, and most importantly the first ten days of it, are vital to Muslims everywhere! While this year brings us an entirely different Dhul Hijjah and Hajj season as only 1,000 people from within Saudi Arabia will be performing Hajj, there are still countless ways we can make the most of this incredible time.
In this article, we tell you everything you need to know about Dhul Hijjah.
Typically, Muslims from all over the world come together in Makkah to start their Hajj on the 8th, 9th and 10th, circling the Kabba before heading to Mount Arafat, and participating in rites and prayers to humble themselves throughout Dhul Hijjah. This year, due to the Coronavirus pandemic, people from outside of Saudi Arabia are unable to enter the country and partake in the holy pilgrimage of Hajj. Instead, the pilgrimage is limited to those living in Saudi Arabia. This is extremely difficult and heartbreaking for Muslims all over the world, however, this is still a very sacred time of reflection, forgiveness and charity.
The 9th day of Dhul Hijjah is the day of Arafah, and the most crucial day of the Hajj! Muslims gather on Mount Arafah to pray for forgivness from Allah (swt) and ask for his blessings.
After this comes Eid al-Adha, the festival of sacrifice that begins on the 10th day of Dhul Hijjah and celebrates the Prophet Ibrahim’s (as) faith and devotion to Allah (swt). The three days of Eid is when Qurbani takes place, so make sure to give your Qurbani before or during this time. And we share the benefits of our Qurbani sacrifice. For the nutritious meat of the animal sacrificed is divided and shared among the poor and hungry, in the land of its sacrifice.
By donating Qurbani with SKT Welfare you will provide a very special food gift - precious meat -to help sustain, in body, and spirit, a vulnerable family for an entire week, this Eid ul Adha.
Dhul Hijjah is the 12th month in the Islamic calendar, but the exact start date of this blessed month can only be confirmed by the position of the moon. It is estimated that Dhul Hijjah 2021 will begin on the 11th of July.
The first ten days of Dhul Hijjah are special - even better than the holy days of Ramadan, and another chance to gain immense rewards, have our sins forgiven, and reach greater levels of piety, and these are the days of Hajj - for those who can do it, the annual holy pilgrimage to Makkah.
"There are no days in which righteous deeds are more beloved to Allah (swt) than these ten days.” The people asked, “Not even Jihad for the sake of Allah (swt)?” He said, “Not even Jihad for the sake of Allah (swt), except in the case of a man who went out, giving himself and his wealth up for the cause, and came back with nothing.” [Bukhari]
The Prophet (saw) himself declared the importance of the first 10 days of Dhul Hijjah, and the immense blessings that come along with this reverent time. Everyone, whether they are on their Hajj or not, should use this time to atone, supplicate and pray to Allah (swt).
It is not only the Prophet (saw) who regards these day as hallowed, but Allah (swt) himself in the Holy Qur’an: “By the Dawn; By the ten nights” [89:1-2].
These blessed days are met with great worship and regard, and acts of fasting, prayer, Hajj and charity should be carried out during this time with set intentions and steadfast hearts.
Fasting on the first 9 days of Dhul Hijjah is highly recommended, and is an act that the Prophet (saw) partook in and encouraged others to do as well. The most important day for fasting during Dhul Hijjah comes on the 9th day, the day of Arafah, where 2 years’ worth of sins will be forgiven in light of fasting.
“Fasting on the day of Arafah is an expiation for the preceding year and the following year.” [Muslim]
The only people who should not be fasting on the day of Arafah, are those who are on their pilgrimage and are actually at Arafah, for it is forbidden to fast while on the mountain plain.
Even though none of us are able to make the holy pilgrimage of Hajj this year, there are still many things we can do to make the most of the first 10 days of Dhul Hijjah 2021!
It is always a wonderful thing to recite dhikr, and it is indeed Sunnah to do so wherever you can to worship Allah (SWT). During the first 10 days of Dhul Hijjah, praise Allah (SWT) by reciting the tasbeeh, tahmeed, tahleel and takbeer often and with great love.
During this time, the good deeds you do are rewarded even more greatly. He encourages us to give charity and care for the poor because these are acts that he loves. Why not keep some change on hand to give to our brothers and sisters who have fallen on hard times, or check out our work to find a cause you’d like to donate to! If you don’t have money to give to charity, spread joy with a smile because even that is considered charity in Allah’s (SWT) eyes.
Reading and learning from the Qur’an is something many of us do on a daily basis, but during Dhul Hijjah is important to pay special attention to our recitation. Reading the Qur’an is one of the best ways to grow closer to Allah (SWT), try setting a recitation goal for the first 10 days of Dhul Hijjah or just enjoy reading with your family and friends.
Eid ul-Adha is on the 10th day of Dhul Hijjah, and it brings with it the conclusion of the Hajj. It honours the Prophet Ibrahim’s (as) devotion to Allah (SWT) and calls for us to remember this act by sacrificing an animal according to proper Islamic tradition. Qurbani is usually split into three portions, one for you and your family, one for friends and relatives, and the third for the poor and downtrodden.
Set your intentions early and make your Qurbani donations in preparation for Eid al-Adha, so you can rest easy knowing that the people who most need your donations are going to get them. For Dhul Hijjah 2021, SKT Welfare will be conducting Qurbani around the world in Pakistan, India, Somalia, Gaza, Shaam, Yemen, Tanzania, Sudan, Ethiopia, and Kashmir.