Dhul Hijjah is the last month of the Islamic lunar year, and it is a month filled with great blessings for those who seek its rewards and follow the teachings outlined in the Holy Qur’an.
Indeed, Dhul Hijjah brings many lessons that we can learn from and reflect upon – especially as the month draws to a close and we prepare to enter the Islamic New Year.
As with all significant times in the Islamic calendar, it is important to make sure that you are fully prepared in order to maximise the benefit that this auspicious month can bring. That’s why the team here at Muslim Aid has put together four of our top tips to help you make the most of Dhul Hijjah and reap the rewards that this blessed month can offer.
However, before we discuss the tips themselves, it is important to understand exactly what the benefits of Dhul Hijjah are.
As the final month of the Islamic calendar, Dhul Hijjah plays a key role in multiple different Islamic duties. In particular, the first ten days of Dhul Hijjah remain one of the most important times of the year and should be considered as the perfect period to truly embrace faith and worship.
Each of the first ten days offers countless opportunities to gain benefits and rewards, ranging from the erasing of sin through to the completion of Hajj and preparing oneself spiritually through the act of fasting. By focusing on one’s faith throughout Dhul Hijjah, we are opening the door for Allah (SWT) to recognise our dedication and graciously grant us his approval.
Below are four of the techniques you can use to maximise this recognition and truly make the most of this holy month.
All eligible Muslims must offer Qurbani during Dhul Hijjah in order to remember the ultimate sacrifice made by Prophet Ibrahim (A.S) and follow the wishes of Allah (SWT). The Qurbani donation of a livestock animal must be split into three equal parts – one of which should be given to the poor. Here at Muslim Aid, we can distribute your Qurbani on your behalf, allowing the Qurbani meat to go to wherever the need is greatest. You can learn more about making your Qurbani donation with Muslim Aid here.
Offering Qurbani reminds us of the importance of following Allah’s (SWT) wishes and putting trust in our faith. As you prepare to perform Qurbani this year, take a moment to reflect on your own relationship with Allah (SWT) and consider what you can do to strengthen it moving forward.
It is narrated that the Messenger of Allah (SWT) 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."
Although fasting during Dhul Hijjah is not compulsory, many Muslims choose to fast during the first nine days of the month. The Day of Arafat falls on the ninth day of Dhul Hijjah, and this is a day for prayer and reflection.
Even if you do not fast on the first eight days of Dhul Hijjah, it is recommended to fast on the Day of Arafat if you can. This day allows us to focus on fasting in order to adhere to the wishes of Allah (SWT) and as a result, fasting on the Day of Arafat can bring forgiveness for two years of minor sins.
Hajj is the fifth Pillar of Islam and every able Muslim must make the pilgrimage to Mecca at least once during their lifetime. If you are fortunate enough to be undertaking the pilgrimage this year, the chances are that you will already have put most of your plans in place to guarantee the most productive, rewarding trip possible. However, if you are yet to complete Hajj or are already a ‘Hajji’, this does not mean that you can grow complacent.
Since Hajj is such an important part of the Islamic faith, if you have not yet completed the pilgrimage, Dhul Hijjah is the perfect time to focus on making preparations for your blessed journey. If you are a Hajji, why not see if you can help a friend, family member, or someone in your community to plan their own pilgrimage? Your knowledge and wisdom could prove invaluable in helping a brother or sister to maximise the rewards of their own pilgrimage.
Although studying and reciting the Holy Qur’an is always a good deed to carry out, it brings increased reward during Dhul Hijjah. During this blessed month, set aside some time for yourself where you can read, study, and recite the Holy Qur’an.
Reflecting on the verses that you are reading or reciting will help you to strengthen your bond with your faith, supporting you as you follow the teachings narrated in the Holy Qur’an.
By following these top tips throughout Dhul Hijjah, we can actively work to strengthen our relationship with Allah (SWT) and reflect on our faith and our own lives.
Make sure that you are following the guidance narrated in the Holy Qur’an in order to seek the countless rewards and blessings that this auspicious month can bring.
With your support this Dhul Hijjah, we can continue to provide invaluable support and nutrition to struggling communities around the globe. Learn more about how you can give Qurbani during Eid ul-Adha today and together we can make a difference.