Category: Holidays » Islamic holidays
Dhu al-Hijjah (Arabic: ذو الحجة; properly transliterated Dhū l-Hijjah/Ḏū l-Ḥiǧǧah, Arabic pronunciation: [ðʊl.ˈħɪʤa]) is the twelfth and final month in the Islamic calendar. It is a very sacred month in the Islamic calendar, one in which the Hajj (pilgrimage) takes place.
"Dhu al-Hijjah" literally means "Possessor of the Pilgrimage" or "The Month of the Pilgrimage". During this month Muslim pilgrims from all around the world congregate at Mecca to visit the Kaaba. The Hajj is performed on the eighth, ninth and the tenth of this month. Day of Arafah takes place on the ninth of the month. Eid al-Adha, the "Festival of the Sacrifice", begins on the tenth day and ends on sunset of the twelfth.
Narrated Ibn Abbas: The Prophet said, "No good deeds done on other days are superior to those done on these (first ten days of Dhu al-Hijja)." Then some companions of the Prophet said, "Not even Jihad?" He replied, "Not even Jihad, except that of a man who does it by putting himself and his property in danger (for Allah's sake) and does not return with any of those things." (Reported by Tirmidhi)
One of the wives[vague] of Muhammad said: "Allah's Messenger used to fast the [first] nine days of Dhul-Hijjah, the day of 'Ashurah, and three days of each month." (Reported by Abu Dawud)
The following acts have been prescribed for the first nine days of Dhu al-Hijjah:
- A person should give extra charity Sadaqah in these 10 days
- Increase Salaah in these days
- Spend time in the Masjid
- Perform voluntary Nafl prayer at home
- Recitation of the Qur’aan
On the days of Qurbani, i.e. 10th, 11th and 12th Dhu al-Hijjah, the greatest action is the spilling of blood of a sacrificial animal (Qurbani).
Great rewards have been mentioned in the Hadith for fasting the first nine days of Dhu al-Hijjah and standing in worship (Tahajjud) in the first 10 nights of Dhu al-Hijjah:
The Prophet of Allah said: There are no days more beloved to Allah that he be worshipped in them than the ten days of Dhu al-Hijjah, fasting every day of them is equivalent to fasting a year; and standing every night of them (in Salaah) is equivalent to standing on the Night of Qadr. [Tirmizi 758]
The reason for the 10 days being distinguished is due to the combination of worship in this period of Salaah, fasting, charity, Takbir and Hajj. In no other time do these great deeds combine.
From the first nine days of Dhu al-Hijjah, it is particularly recommended to fast the Day of Arafah (9th Dhu al-Hijjah) as expiation of the sin of two years: Abu Qatada narrates that Muhammad was asked about fasting on the Day of Arafah. He said: as for the fasting on the Day of Arafah, I anticipate that Allah will forgive the year (ie. the sins of the year) after it and the year before it [Tirmizi 749].
After sighting the moon of Dhu al-Hijjah one should not remove the hair of the head, under arms or below the navel and nor should the person trim their nails until having offered their Qurbani sacrifice. Once sacrifice has been completed, may one attend to these matters.
The Prophet has said: whoever sees the crescent of Dhu al-Hijjah and wants to slaughter a sacrifice, he should not take from his hair and nor his nails [Tirmizi 1523] This is regarded as a recommended (Mustahabb) action. A person's sacrifice (Qurbani) is deemed complete even if this injunction was not fulfilled.
A Muslim is legislated by the Sunnah to remove under arm hair and pubic hair on a weekly basis; not doing after a 40 day period is considered sinful in the Sharia. After 40 days , hair removal would be considered compulsory upon a person; in the 10 days of Dhu al-Hijjah such a person will be compelled to adhere to the Sunnah of hair removal rather than the Mustahabb action of non removal.
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