Wednesday July 22, 2020

Written by Tufail Hussain

 

SubhanAllah, many people don’t know that the first ten days of Dhul Hijjah are better in the sight of Allah (SWT) than all the other days of the year.

In fact, they are even better than the days of Ramadan!

Prophet Muhammad (SAW):

No good deeds are better than those done in first ten days of Dhul Hijjah…” (Bukhari)

Maybe you feel that you could have done more during Ramadan? Perhaps you’ve let go of that Ramadan feeling?

Well, these beloved ten days offer another chance to gain immense rewards, have our sins forgiven and reach great levels of piety, insha’Allah.

Take a look at our top 10 ways you can reap the rewards of this blessed month!

 

1. Prepare for Hajj

 

One of the best deeds that one can do during these ten days is to perform Hajj.

Those who’ve been on Hajj know the beauty of entering Ihram (the sacred state), the journey to Mina and the blessed prayers on the day of ‘Arafah in the sight of Allah (SWT). They’ve experienced the joy of collecting pebbles, the stoning of the Jamarat and in offering the farewell tawaf.

When you decide to go on Hajj, it’s important to learn each of the obligatory stages of ibadah, the Sunnah actions and blessed invocations.

Sadly, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, undertaking Hajj will not be possible for many people this year. However, we can learn about how to fulfil this sacred pillar and prepare for the future insha’Allah — as well as maximise on the first ten days of Dhul Hijjah.

Whilst we’re in lockdown, why not:

  • Learn about all the conditions of Hajj
  • Start a Hajj fund

2. Give Sadaqah

 

Anyone who was associated with Prophet Muhammad (SAW) could not help but also be kind and generous. So, his companions could not help but also be kind and generous.

Abu Bakr (RA) gave everything he had to help those in need. As Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said:

“None of you will believe until you love for your brother what you love for yourself” (Bukhari).

It’s relatively easy to give what we have, or to spare what we don’t want. But what about instead of buying something we want this month, like a new gadget or some clothes, giving that money to those in need instead?

Your giving doesn’t have to be big. Allah (SWT) knew that when the light of Islam enters the heart, we look to how we can benefit others. So, He made it possible for anyone to contribute – even if it’s simply with a smile!

What counts is your intention, so give whatever you can, for example:

 

3. Fast

 

As Muslims, we’re advised to fast during the first nine days of Dhul Hijjah, especially on the ninth day – the blessed day of ‘Arafah.

Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said:

There are no days more beloved to Allah that He be worshipped in them than the ten days of Dhul Hijjah, fasting every day of them is equivalent to fasting a year; and standing every night of them (in Salah) is equivalent to standing on the Night of Qadr.“  (Tirmidhi)

The blessing of fasting on the Day of ‘Arafah in particular is that Allah (SWT) removes our wrongdoings from the previous year and the year to come, subhanAllah!

If we abstain from eating, drinking and engaging in sexual relations from dawn to sunset, then our fast will be accepted, insha’Allah. We should also guard our tongues from backbiting, spreading gossip, obscenity and lies.

Likewise, we must guard our ears and avoid listening to such things. When we break our fast, we shouldn’t overeat so we can avoid becoming lethargic and ensure that we can get up and pray late-night prayers such as Tahajjud.

Finally, when we’ve finished our fast, we shouldn’t simply expect that it was ‘good enough’, but rather we should feel grateful to Allah. We should approach all our ibadah (acts of worship) with balance: between fear and hope – having hope in Allah, but also not taking His mercy for granted, so that we continue to strive to please Him.

 

4. Repent

 

We all sin. None of us are perfect. And that means that we should call ourselves to account regularly and ask Allah (SWT) for forgiveness.

Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said:

Every son of Adam commits sin, and the best of those who commit sin are those who repent.”  (Ibn Majah)

We should therefore take some time to ask Allah (SWT) to forgive all our sins and mistakes – including both those we know of and those we aren’t aware of.

The Hujjaj (pilgrims undertaking Hajj) will be standing on the Day of ‘Arafah begging Allah for forgiveness and we can do the same from home. Just as the Hujjaj try their best to change their lives for the better after returning from Hajj, we too should commit to changing for the better.

We should sincerely ask Allah (SWT) for forgiveness (istighfar). We should also turn back to Allah with a sincere intention not to return to the original wrongdoing (tawbah).

It’s also important that if we have wronged an individual, we ask them for forgiveness and try to right the wrong. For example, if we have taken something, we should return it.

Remember Allah’s love and strive for a more righteous future: “Surely Allah loves those who turn much (to Him)” (Qur’an, 2:222).

 

5. Give Zakat

 

Make the most of the beloved days of Dhul Hijjah and fulfil your obligation to Allah (SWT) by purifying your wealth and giving Zakat.

As Muslims, Allah (SWT) calls upon us to purify our wealth and give Zakat to our brothers and sisters in need:

Who establish prayer and give zakat, and they, of the Hereafter, are certain [in faith].”  (Qur’an, 31:4)

Right now, millions of people all over the world are in desperate need of care. Vulnerable men, women and children are going cold, hungry and thirsty each and every day.

Without a safe, warm home, hundreds of thousands of families will struggle to survive.

Your Zakat can help transform and save their lives. Find out more about how we can help you fulfil this sacred pillar.

 

6. Read the Qur’an

 

Let’s make the most of these beloved days by reading and reciting as much of the Holy Qur’an as we can, insha’Allah.

Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said:

Whoever recites a letter from the Book of Allah, he will receive one good deed as ten good deeds like it. I do not say that alif-lam-meem is one letter, but rather alif is a letter, lam is a letter, and meem is a letter.” (Tirmidhi)

SubhanAllah! Imagine, if one single letter of the Qur’an equals ten good deeds, then picture how great the reward is for reading these blessed letters during the beloved days of Dhul Hijjah – the best days of the year!

Once this blessed month ends, we should also strive to read and recite the Qur’an throughout the rest of the year. It’s such a wonderful form of worship to Allah (SWT).

Remember: These sacred words that we utter will either testify for or against us. Let’s read and embody the Qur’an, insha’Allah.

The benefits are immense. By reading the Qur’an you can:

  • See guidance from Allah (SWT)
  • Calm your soul
  • Improve your Arabic (you’ll even be rewarded if you struggle!)
  • Gain intercession on the Day of Judgement

So, make the Qur’an your blessed friend this Dhul Hijjah!

 

7. Do dhikr

 

Did you know that it’s sunnah to recite takbeer (Allahu Akbar), tahmeed (Alhamdulillah), tahleel (Laa ilaaha ill-Allah), and tasbeeh (SubhanAllah) in the first ten days of Dhul Hijjah?

Yes! We should recite these blessed words in our homes, on the street – in fact, in every place where it’s halal to worship Allah!

Recite tasbeeh, tahmeed, tahleel and takbeer abundantly and reap the rewards:

 “That they may witness benefits for themselves and mention the name of Allah on known days over what He has provided for them of (sacrificial) animals.” (Qur’an, 22:28)

It’s especially important to recite the Takbeer of Shariq (9th -13th Dhul Hijjah).

This takbeer should be recited after your daily prayers, from the time following Fajr salah on the 9th of Dhul Hijjah, up until Asr salah on the 13th of Dhul Hijjah:

Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar. Laa ilaaha illallahu wa Allahu Akbar. Allahu Akbar, Laa lillahil Hamd

Allah is The Greatest, Allah is The Greatest. There is no god besides Allah and Allah is The Greatest. Allah is The Greatest and to Allah belongs all praise.

No matter what you’re doing, try and remember to glorify Allah (SWT). Whether you’re working, relaxing or looking after your children – it’s a simple and immensely beneficial form of ibadah.

 

8. Remember a loved one

 

When we lose a loved one, we want to remember them and increase their good deeds for when they meet Allah (SWT) on the Day of Judgement.

By offering Sadaqah Jariyah, you can carry on the blessed memory of a loved one and increase their record of good deeds, SubhanAllah!

Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said:

When a person dies, his deeds come to an end except for three: Sadaqah Jariyah (a continuous charity), knowledge from which benefit is gained, or a righteous child who prays for him.” (Muslim)

What better gift is there than the source of all life – water? Without water, we can’t survive. Yet each and every day, a staggering 785 million people go thirsty.

All over the world communities are facing drought, children are being forced to drink dirty water and young girls are denied an education as they have to spend hours at a time collecting water from far-off locations.

Help provide them with the gift of life by providing a source of safe, clean water for life and honour the memory of your loved one during this blessed month.

Take a look at how your Sadaqah is already providing a source of safe, clean water for communities in need.

 

9. Do good deeds

 

Good deeds are more beloved to Allah (SWT) in the first ten days of Dhul Hijjah than ANY other days in the year. So, why not build on this blessing and strive to increase our good deeds every day of the month and beyond, fisabillah?

Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said:

Allah said: ‘… the most beloved things with which My slave comes nearer to Me, is what I have enjoined upon him’” (Bukhari)

Just as we strive for the best of deeds in Ramadan or on Hajj, we should try to implement these values every day, in preparation for these sacred days.

Make sure you’re doing your fardh (obligatory acts) before embarking on voluntary good deeds. We of course should make sure that we are fulfilling all of our obligations to Allah.

There are plenty of ways to earn the rewards of this month. Why not:

  • Pray in congregation with others
  • Increase your du’a and pray for those in need
  • Call an elderly or unwell friend, relative or neighbour
  • Babysit your siblings so your parents can have some free time
  • Help more around the house and garden
  • Have a clear-out and donate your unwanted clothes and books to charity

There are so many ways we can help ourselves and each other, all for the sake of Allah (SWT). Just remember, to follow Covid-19 social distancing guidelines to keep each other safe!

 

10. Give Korban

On the day of Eid al-Adha, there’s no deed more beloved to Allah (SWT) than making a sacrifice. Give a Prophetic Korban and help people in need the globe.

Prophet Muhammad (SAW) a role model for mankind and what better way to follow his teachings than to give a Korban fisabilillah, just like he did. You could even give two:

For every hair of the Korban you will receive a reward from Allah, and for every strand of its wool you will receive a reward.” (Tirmidhi)

The Prophet (SAW) sacrificed for the one who could not sacrifice from his Ummah, one who bore witness to the Oneness of Allah and (his) Prophethood.”  (Tabarani, Ahmad)

Remember, your Korban might be the only meat that someone living in poverty eats all year.

Here at Islamic Relief, we’re offering Korban to some of the world’s most vulnerable communities in over 30 countries across the globe. By donating Korban to Islamic Relief, you can support people in need in places such as:

  • Somalia
  • Bangladesh (Rohingya refugees)
  • Turkey (Syrian refugees)
  • Gaza
  • Yemen

Your sacrifice will make a critical difference to a family in need during the blessed days of Eid. Take a look at how your Korban last year help provide halal high-quality meat to families all over the world.

 

SubhanAllah, such a blessed month! Make sure you make the most of these sacred days.

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