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Dhul Hijjah is an amazing month that is with us once again. The 12th and final month in the Islamic calendar falls this year at the beginning of September 2016 and is known as the time when Hajj and Qurbani should be performed.
The first 10 days of Dhul Hijjah are a time of great importance and excellence for Muslims.
Ibn ‘Abbaas reported that the Prophet (pbuh) said: "There are no days in which righteous deeds are more beloved to Allah than these ten days." (Bukhari)
This is a time when the story of Prophet Ibrahim (AS) and the sacrifice that he made is remembered as an example of his submission to Allah (swt). Although you may know that you need to perform Qurbani - the sacrifice of an animal and distribution of the meat to the poor - you may not know how or indeed some of the other important acts that should be performed at this time.
Special actions and deeds during Dhul Hijjah include:
1. Hajj (pilgrimage)
This is the time for Hajj, the annual pilgrimage to Makkah and to the Ka'ba to worship Allah. An obligatory pillar of Islam for all who can afford it and are able, this is an amazing journey of a lifetime.
2. Fasting the first nine days including the Day of Arafah
The Prophet (pbuh) used to fast on the ninth day of Dhul Hijjah and he said: "Fasting the Day of ‘Arafah (ninth Dhul Hijjah) is an expiation for (all the sins of) the previous year and expiation for (all the sins of) the coming year." (Muslim)
3. Increase in dhikr and du'a
These are the best ten days so increasing your remembrance of Allah and making du'a will bring extra reward insha'Allah.
Make some time each day to focus on dhikr and reciting His names. Just 5 minutes extra after each fard prayer is easy to achieve and will increase you in His blessings insha'Allah.
The Prophet said: "There are no days on which good deeds are greater or more beloved to Allah than on these ten days, so recite much Tahleel (saying Laa ilaaha ill-Allah), Takbeer (saying Allahu Akbar) and Tahmeed (saying Alhamdu Lillaah)." (Ahmad, Sahih)
4. Seeking forgiveness
This is the perfect time to make sincere repentance and to focus on your relationship with Allah (swt). Turning to him in extra prayer and asking for forgiveness for your sins will be of immense benefit to you.
5. Performing the Qurbani (sacrifice) and distributing the meat
During the days of Dhul Hijjah and prior to Eid Al Adha, you should make preparations to perform your Qurbani. This can be done through donation to a charity or can be performed yourself if local laws and conditions allow. The Qurbani is the act of sacrificing an animal and distribution of the meat to the poor and needy on the day of Eid Al Adha and following 2 days. Qurbani is a duty on all those who are eligible to perform Zakat.
Ibn Umar said: "The Prophet lived in Madinah for ten years and every year he slaughtered an animal." (Ahmad, Sahih)
Muslim Aid's 2016 Qurbani programme and price bands provide you with an easy, trustworthy and reliable way to ensure that you can fulfill this duty and be sure that those who need it most can benefit.
Visit muslimaid.org or call 020 7377 4200 to make your Qurbani donation now.