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Devotional Practice: Month of Dhu al-Hijjah

by Imam Zaid Shakir

The first ten days of Dhul-Hijja are blessed days, which we frequently neglect. The Noble Prophet, Peace and Blessings of God be upon him, said, "There are no days in which righteous deeds done during them are more beloved to God than these days," referring to the first ten days of Dhul-Hijja.

During these blessed days we should try to exert ourselves in worship, for the 'Ulama' mention that the virtue of these days surpass even the virtue of the days of Ramadan. Among the indications of the distinction of these days is the special mention made of them as a group or individually in both the Qur'an and the Sunnah. In the Qur'an, God says, "I swear by the Dawn, the Ten Nights, the Even and the Odd."

Bearing these and many other virtues of these days in mind, we should be especially diligent in increasing our righteous acts during them. The following acts are especially recommended:

  1. We should try to fast as many of the first nine days as possible. We should make an extra effort to fast the Day of 'Arafah. It is related in Sahih Muslim that the Noble Prophet, Peace and Blessings of God be upon him, said, "I anticipate that Fasting the Day of 'Arafah will atone for the sins of the previous and coming year."
  2. We should carefully monitor our speech, what we listen to, and what we allow our gaze to fall on during these days, again, especially on the Day of 'Arafah. The Noble Prophet, Peace and Blessings of God be upon him, said, "[Concerning] the Day of 'Arafah, whoever controls his hearing, gaze, and speech on that day, he will be forgiven."
  3. We should be excessive in repeating the declaration of Tawhid, with special emphasis on the phrase, "La ilaha ilallah, Wahdahu La Sharika lah, Lahul Mulk, wa lahul Hamd, biyadihi Khayr, wa Huwa 'ala kulli Shayin Qadir: There is no God but Allah. He is alone without partners. His is the dominion, and unto Him is all praise. With Him is all good, and He over all things has power." Imam Tirmidhi relates that this was the supplication the Prophet, Peace and Blessings of God be upon him, repeated more than any other on the Day of 'Arafah.
  4. We should pray for forgiveness and liberation from the Hellfire during these days, especially the Day of 'Arafah. Imam 'Ali, May God be pleased with him, related, "God liberates people from the Hellfire everyday. And there is no day when more people are liberated from the Hellfire than the Day of 'Arafah."

During this blessed season, let us all strive to renew our commitment to our faith. May each year when these blessed days return find you all in the very best of states. May your life be dominated by the remembrance of God. In all that we do, May He be glorified.

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Source: New Islamic Directions

And hold fast, all together, by the rope which Allah (stretches out for you), and be not divided among yourselves; and remember with gratitude Allah's favour on you; for ye were enemies and He joined your hearts in love, so that by His Grace, ye became brethren; and ye were on the brink of the pit of Fire, and He saved you from it. Thus doth Allah make His Signs clear to you: That ye may be guided.

Quran: 3:103
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