Dhul-Hijjah, the month of Hajj has approached. Alhamdulillah, we are fortunate enough to have these blessed days in front of us. The first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah are full of virtues and great blessings. According to a large group of mufassireen (commentators of the Qur'aan), the ten nights mentioned in Surah Al Fajr are the nights of the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah. Allah says:
By the Dawn; By the ten Nights; (89:1-2)
This oath substantiates the greatness and sacredness of these ten nights in the eyes of Allah. This is an extra ordinary oath; it is very reliable and significant and the wise men can understand that by this oath, Allah too attaches great importance and value to the ten nights of Dhul-Hijjah.
The Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam too, has clearly mentioned the importance and the virtue of these blessed moments. It is reported by Abdullah ibn ‘Abbâs radiallahu anhu that the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم said,
“There is no deed more precious in the sight of Allâh, or greater in reward, than a good deed done during the ten days of Sacrifice.” He was asked: “Not even jihâd for the sake of Allâh?” He said: “Not even jihâd for the sake of Allâh, except in the case of a man who went out to fight giving himself and his wealth up for the cause, and came back with nothing." (Bukhaari)
It is a great chance to collect uncountable hasanat. It is a great chance to renew our relation with Allah. Therefore, we should be very vigilant and not waste these precious moments. Here are a few tips to keep us engaged:
1. Perform obligatory Prayers in time -
We all know that the best deed in the sight of Allah is Salah in its appointed time. Perform wudu well, make complete ruku & sujood with much fear and devotion.
2. Read the Qur'an daily -
Recite the Qur'an daily even if it is only one page. Make sure you understand what you read.
3. Pray Sunnah and Nawafil Prayers -
Umm Habiba radiallahu anha reported, “I heard the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه و سلم saying, ‘A house will be built in Jannah for every Muslim who prays twelve Raka'ah other than the obligatory Salah in a day and night.' " [Muslim] These twelve Raka'ah are called Sunnah Mu'akkadah and refer to the two raka'ah before Fajr, four before Dhuhr and two after it, two after Maghrib and two after Isha' prayers. If you already perform these prayers, try to increase your Nawafil prayers.
4. Salât at-Tawbah:
It could be any bad deed, any sin, you hear something bad, you see something bad, you feel your heart constricted because of something you have done and you didn’t mean it, etc, you can erase it immediately with your prayer of repentance. Make a good wudhû’ and offer two sincere rak’ât of repentance. Ask Allâh to forgive you. If it’s from your heart, then know that Allâh will cancel your sin.
5. Make lots of Dhikr and Dua:
While walking, reclining, working, driving, just keep doing dhikr with Subhanallah, Alhamdulillah, Allahu Akbar, Astagfirullah, La ilaha illallah, Subhanallahi wabi hamdih, La hawla wala quwata illa billah. Send a lot of durood and salâm upon the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم. Make enough supplications too.
6. Istighfar for all Muslims:
Know that in these days the Hajj pilgrims ask Allah to forgive all the Muslims. How many Muslims are there today? 1.5 billion? In one minute it is possible to gain 1.5 billion hasanât. Allâhu Akbâr! How generous is Allâh subhâna wa ta’âlâ. No one will give you like Allâh gives. The Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم is reported to have said that when a person seeks forgiveness for all believers, Allâh will write for him a hasanât for every one of those believers. The following dua could be read:
O our Lord! Forgive me and my parents and all the Muslims on the Day when the Reckoning will be established. (Surah Ibrahim: 41)
7. Fast on the day of Arafah:
The ninth day of Dhul-Hijjah is the day of ‘Arafah, since it is on this day that the pilgrims gather at the mountain plain of ‘Arafah, six miles away from Makkah al-Mukarramah, praying and supplicating to their Lord. It is mustahabb (highly recommended) for those who are not pilgrims to fast on this day, since the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم was asked about fasting on the day of ‘Arafah, so he said, “It expiates the sins of the past year and the coming year.”
The day of 'Arafah is on Monday, 15th November 2010. It sometimes occurs that 9th of Dhu‘l-Hijjah (Day of Arafah) falls on different days in different countries according to the sighting of the moon. In such cases, Muslims of each country should observe 'Day of ‘Arafah according to the lunar dates of their own country.