Top 9 tips for Dhul Hijjah!
Many people are eagerly awaiting the start of the 10 blessed days of Dhul-Hijjah.
They’ve probably read a dozen articles on the virtues and blessings of those Days.
But some still wonder: what exactly do I need to do to make the best of those days?
If you’re not going to Hajj and you’re looking for a To-Do List or an Action Plan to make the best of those blessed days, then here are a few ideas: (Make sure you share the URL above with friends and family via email, Facebook, Twitter and whatsapp so they can learn also)
1- Recheck the intention: We’re doing this out of Love!
Take a few moments and recheck your attention. Ask yourself “what exactly do I want to achieve, and why?
First and foremost, we want to do the best in those days because Allah loves for us to be in the best condition in them. And what’s beloved to our Beloved should be beloved to us.
Remember this hadith and note the word “beloved”…
Ibn Abbas narrated that:
The Messenger of Allah said: “There are no days in which righteous deeds are more beloved to Allah than those ten days.” They said: “O Messenger of Allah! Not even Jihad in Allah Cause?” The Messenger of Allah said: “Not even Jihad in Allah’s Cause, unless a man were to out with his self and his wealth and not return from that with anything.” [Jami` at-Tirmidhi]
So, Allah ‘loves’ good deeds during those days. Isn’t this an excellent opportunity to show the Owner of our souls, the Owner of Existence, The Owner of Jannah, The Most Merciful that we too love Him and love to be in a state that is beloved to Him?
Primarily, we’re doing this out of love to Allah (Glorified and Exalted), and we wish for Him to accept us and accept the little that we do that isn’t even worthy of the eternal rewards He has prepared for us… but we do what we do out of gratitude, sincerity and love to The One who deserves our ultimate love.
2- Desperately ask Allah for help with this
No success will happen without the Help of Allah.
So, recite this dua after every prayer and throughout the day to ask Allah to aid you in doing the best and earning the best rewards these days:
Mu’adh (May Allah be pleased with him) reported:
The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) took hold of my hand and said, “O Mu’adh! By Allah I love you, so I advise you to never forget to recite after every prayer: “Allahumma a’inni ala dhikrika, wa shukrika, wa husni ‘ibadatika (O Allah, help me remember You, to be grateful to You, and to worship You in an excellent manner).” [Abu Dawud].
So keep reciting this and especially when you feel weak or lazy:
“O Allah, help me remember You, to be grateful to You, and to worship You in an excellent manner.”
3- Seize the generous reward of fasting the 9 days of Dhul- Hijjah
“’Allah, the mighty and sublime, said: Every deed of the son of Adam is for him, except fasting; it is for me and I shall reward for it.” [Sunan an-Nasa’i]
The reward for fasting is too big in fact, that it is something that angels won’t be able to record, and instead they’ll refer it to Allah to set His generous reward for it!
In addition to that, fasting grants you a guaranteed answered dua!
It was narrated from Abu Hurairah that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said:
“There are three whose supplications are not turned back: A just ruler, and a fasting person until he breaks his fast. And, the supplication of one who has been wronged is raised by Allah up to the clouds on the Day of Resurrection, and the gates of heaven are opened for it, and Allah says, ‘By My Might I will help you (against the wrongdoer) even if it is after a while.’” [Sunan Ibn Majah]
So basically, by fasting, you’re getting unfathomable reward that you didn’t even think of PLUS you can ask for something that YOU want. Amazing Opportunity!
Definitely aim for fasting all 9 days, or as much as you can of them, or at the very least, the day of A’rafa.
It was narrated from Abu Qatadah that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said:
“Fasting on the Day of ‘Arafah, I hope from Allah, expiates for the sins of the year before and the year after.” [Sunan Ibn Majah] Who doesn’t want that? It’s an opportunity not to be missed, insha’Allah.
4- Start building Your House in Jannah
Praying on time is among the most beloved acts to Allah.
‘Abdullah bin Mas’ud (May Allah be pleased with him) reported:
I asked the Prophet (ﷺ), “Which of the deeds is loved most by Allah?” Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “Salat at its proper time.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].
Let’s think about it: when you call someone, you appreciate when they actually pick up the phone and answer you. Right? Imagine if they take 2-3-4 hours to get back to you… Not the best attitude, right? Might even reflect that you’re not really a priority to them.
Now, to Allah belongs the Highest Attributes and Most Noble Mention, when the call for prayer is made and we delay answering… it isn’t exactly the best deed.
So, these days, aim to make everything you can to pray on time.
This if for the obligatory prayer.
Now to start building your house in Jannah, follow this hadith:
The Prophet [saw] says:
‘Whoever persists in performing twelve Rak’ah from the Sunnah, a house will be built for him in Paradise: four before the Zuhr, two Rak’ah after Zuhr, two Rak’ah after Maghrib, two Rak’ah after the ‘Isha’ and two Rak’ah before Fajr.’” [Sunan Ibn Majah] These are voluntary prayers. These prayers complement the shortcomings in our main obligatory prayers. So, if you pray without enough concentration/khushoo’/if you’re not fulfilling the rights of prayers adequately, then the voluntary prayers complement the shortcomings in the obligatory prayers to help us earn better rewards and be in a better condition with regards to prayer—which is the first thing we will be asked about on the Day of Judgement.
The Prophet (ﷺ):
“The first thing about which the people will be called to account out of their actions on the Day of Judgment is prayer. Our Lord, the Exalted, will say to the angels – though He knows better: Look into the prayer of My servant and see whether he has offered it perfectly or imperfectly. If it is perfect, that will be recorded perfect.
If it is defective, He will say: See there are some optional prayers offered by My servant. If there are optional prayer to his credit, He will say: Compensate the obligatory prayer by the optional prayer for My servant. Then all the actions will be considered similarly.” [Sunan Abi Dawud]
5- Fulfil a primary rite of Dhul-Hijjah: Dhikr, remembrance, mentioning the name of Allah
Allah says in Surat Al Hajj:
“And proclaim to the people the Hajj [pilgrimage]; they will come to you on foot and on every lean camel; they will come from every distant pass –
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. So eat of them and feed the miserable and poor.” (Qur’an 22: 27-28)
And He says:
“And for all religion We have appointed a rite [of sacrifice] that they may mention the name of Allah over what He has provided for them of [sacrificial] animals. For your god is one God, so to Him submit. And, [O Muhammad], give good tidings to the humble [before their Lord]” (Qur’an 22: 34)
Mentioning the name of Allah and remembering Him is a main- if not THE main- component of those blessed days. It is all essentially about truly remembering and acknowledging Allah and connecting with Him and supplicating to Him.
So increase dhikr throughout those blessed days. Dhikr doesn’t take any effort really, but its reward is immense.
Make sure to:
1- Daily recite Tahmid (AlhamduliAllah), Tasbeeh (Subhan Allah), Takbeer (Allahu Akbar), Tahleel (la illah illah Allah). And internalize their meanings: internalize that truly all praise is due to Allah for all His blessings, that Allah is Greater than anything and anyone, that there is no deity worthy of worship but Him, that He is High Above any imperfection attributed to Him… This is the essence of true faith and worship.
Remember that saying “La illaha ila Allah” is the best dhikr, so increase in reciting it.
“I heard the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) say: ‘The best of remembrance is La ilaha illallah (None has the right to be worshipped but Allah), and the best of supplication is Al-Hamdu Lillah (praise is to Allah).'” [Sunan Ibn Majah]
2- Start incorporating the adhkar of morning and evening in your daily routine if it isn’t a part of it already. The reward of dhikr is really immense, additionally, it protects you from a lot of harm you’re not even aware of and it keeps you in close connection with Allah Almighty.
6- Spare an hour a day for Qur’an recitation
Reciting the Qur’an, the verbatim Words of Allah and remembering Him through His own Words is among the greatest acts one could do. In normal days, reciting the Qur’an brings immense barakah and rewards. Each letter you recite is equal to at least 10 hasanaat and Allah gives more to whom He wills. Now, in these days when rewards are multiplied even more and it’s more encouraged to do what’s beloved to Allah, it’s essential to engage with the Qur’an further- we shall at least give it our best try to the best of our ability.
If you managed to dedicate an hour to the Qur’an every day, you can actually do khatm (completing the recitation of the entire Qur’an) by the end of the 10th day of Dul-Hijja!
We have 30 parts in the Qur’an. Each part is around 20 pages. If you have an hour, you can read 60 pages (3 parts a day) and finish the entire Qur’an in 10 days.
We ALL have an hour or more to spare a day. But it’s a matter of time management and priorities. We do surf the Internet and our social media for hours—which are probably acts that won’t bring us much reward. So what really prevents us from dedicating an hour or 2 to complete reading the Qur’an during those days which will bring us immense rewards?
“And indeed We have made the Qur’an easy for remembrance, so is there any who will remember?” [Qur’an 54: 17] Let’s aim to be among those who remember…
7- Revive the night with the ultimate source of peace
One of the most praiseworthy acts to do also is to recite Qur’an during the night prayer.
“And from [part of] the night, pray with it as additional [worship] for you; it is expected that your Lord will resurrect you to a praised station.” (Qur’an 17: 79)
If you can’t seem to find an hour to spare for reading the Qur’an during the day, then make it an hour of the night.
Leave your bed for an hour, make wudu purifying yourself and your body, wear clean and beautiful clothes, get onto your prayer mat and start reciting the Qur’an… slowly, in humility and peace.
You have no idea how this will bring immense peace, serenity and tranquility into your heart and mind, and how this will energize you and put a lot of barakah in your time.
It is worth trying.
Narrated Abdullah ibn Amr ibn al-‘As:
The Prophet (ﷺ) said: “If anyone prays at night reciting regularly ten verses, he will not be recorded among the negligent; if anyone prays at night and recites a hundred verses, he will be recorded among those who are obedient to Allah; and if anyone prays at night reciting one thousand verses, he will be recorded among those who receive huge rewards.” [Sunan Abi Dawud]
Note: the highest reward mentioned at the end of the hadith for reciting a thousand verses can be easily accomplished by reciting the last 2 chapters of the Qur’an (Juz’ Tabarak 29 and Juz’ ‘Amma 30).
8- Dua, Dua, Dua
Throughout the 10 days and especially on the Day of ‘Arafa: MAKE DUA!
The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings upon him), said:
“The most excellent dua is the dua on the Day of Arafa, and the best of what I and the prophets before me have said, is ‘There is no god but Allah, alone, without partner.'” [Muwatta Malik]
9- Sacrifice with ihsan, feed the poor and bond with your family
Of course “audhiya” or “qurbani” is a main ritual that we follow. But it is important to do that with ihsan (excellence).
On the authority of Abu Ya’la Shaddad bin Aws (may Allah be pleased with him), that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said:
“Verily Allah has prescribed ihsan (proficiency, perfection) in all things. If you slaughter, then slaughter well. Let each one of you sharpen his blade and let him spare suffering to the animal he slaughters.” [Muslim] Allah gave us blessings to benefit us and help us benefit others and bond with our families.
So, let this be about the gratitude to Allah Almighty who provides for us from the heavens and the earth, and let this be with mercy and excellence befitting to His Mercy and Excellence.
Now, you might look at this list and feel overwhelmed. But remember a few things:
We were created to worship Allah. These things are part of our purpose in life. We do not lose anything by doing them. These are acts we start here, they bring benefit, peace and barakah in our lives here, and then later they earn us eternal rewards, eternal peace, safety and nearness to The Creator.
So, remember the intention; we do this with love and out of love to Allah.
Also remember that if Allah wills, He can make anything possible, if He knows of your true desire and sincerity, He WILL enable you to do these acts and more, so easily in fact that you will not understand how you did it. Trust Allah!
Now, BismAllah… enjoy the most blessed days of the year!
By Dina Mohamed Basiony