Dhul Hijjah Month: Significance and Fasting
Dhul Hijjah is the twelfth and the last month of the Islamic lunar calendar is Dhul Hijjah. Being one of the sacred months of Islam, it holds great importance for Muslims. This is the month of embarking on the annual pilgrimage to Hajj and visiting the holy Kaaba in Makkah. Dhu al-Hijjah is also spelled as Zu al-Hijjah. It means the ‘possessor of the pilgrimage’. The Hajj journey is performed during its eighth, ninth, and tenth days. The ninth day of the month is marked as the Day of Arafat.
The festival of sacrifice is also held this month, in addition to Hajj. It is believed by Muslims that the first 10 days of Dhul Hijjah possess tremendous power and spending them in worship and virtuous deeds earn favour from Allah. Hence, they spend time remembering the Almighty during the blessed days of this month to get abundant rewards from him. Since fasting is considered one of the greatest deeds and the best form of worship, in the month of Dhul Hijjah fasting is recommended. Fasting during this month is considered to be the most virtuous act of this month.
Dhul Hijjah Significance
The virtuous acts and the holy events highlight the significance of the month of Dhul Hijjah. The importance of the month comes from fact that many holy events such as the pilgrimage of Hajj and the festival of the blessed sacrifice, Qurbani Eid ul-Adha fall in this month. The benefits of the virtuous acts in the first ten days of Dhul Hijjah hold a is better than any days within the whole year. The first ten days of Dhul Hijjah are considered to be the most blessed days of the year. Islamic scholar Bukhari also stated there are no days on which righteous deeds are more beloved to Allah than these ten days. The significant events that follow in this virtuous month are.
The holy journey of Hajj begins on the eighth, ninth, and tenth days of the month Dhul Hijjah. Hajj is an opportunity for pilgrims to visit the house of God. It allows those who can go on the pilgrimage an opportunity to walk the blessed path established by the Prophet.
Eid ul-Adha is celebrated in remembrance of Prophet Ibrahim (AS) and his sacrifice. It is another significant virtue that is associated with Dhul Hijjah. Eid ul-Adha is that time of the month when Muslims celebrate and remember their devotion and submission to God. Muslims also engage in the animal scarification known as Qurbani.
- The Day of Arafah
A significant ritual of the pilgrimage journey of Hajj is performed on the Day of Arafah. On the ninth day of Dhul Hijjah month, pilgrims gather together on Mount Arafah in complete devotion to Allah on this day. This event is considered the concluding event for Muslims on pilgrimage in Mecca This day is viewed by Muslims as the best day of the year. It is believed that it is at this location Adam and Eve were reunited with each other after being sent down to Earth. As per Islamic traditions at this significant location, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) gave his final sermon to the believers before passing away.
Dhul Hijjah Fasting
Several rewards can be earned by fasting during the blessed days of Dhul Hijjah. Some of the benefits of observing fast during this time of the year have been listed hereunder:
- Equal to fasting for a whole year
It is believed in Islam that Prophet has mentioned that the 10 days of Dhul Hijjah are more beloved to the almighty than any other time of the year. The rewards gained by fasting during the first ten days are similar to that of fasting for the whole year.
- Leads to the abolishment of the sins
The reward for practicing fasting on the auspicious day of Arafah is great. Fasting on the Day of Arafah results in expiation from the sins of the past and upcoming year.
- Protects soul from hellfire
It is believed by the avid followers of Islam, that the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) had said that Allah sets many souls free from the fire of hell on the day of Arafah.
Suggested deeds for the month of Dhul Hijjah
It is believed that Prophet used to fast during the ninth day of Dhul Hijjah. And he urged his followers also to do so. Hence, it is recommended to perform the good deed of fasting.
It is considered to be traditional practice to say takbir, tahmid, tahlil, and tasbih during the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah. And it is suggested to say loudly in the mosque, the home, the street, and every place where it is permitted to remember Allah and mention His name out loud.
- Hajj or Umrah
The righteous act to perform during the first ten days is Hajj to the Sacred House of Allah. Muslims performing Hajj during the blessed 10 days of the month should remember that they do not need to observe Dhul Hijjah fasting.
To please Allah, it is recommended to offer a sacrifice to God and earn his blessing. Prophet’s third wife Aishah has narrated that Prophet had explained that offering a sacrifice is the best action that a Muslim can perform on Eid.
A very significant thing to do during these ten days is to repent sincerely to Allah and to give up all kinds of disobedience and sin.
This 12th month of the Islamic calendar is an ideal time for seeking the blessings of Allah by practicing Dhul Hijjah fasting, undertaking the holy journey of Hajj, and praying to the Almighty during the night. This month is an opportunity given by Allah to his followers to continue to prosper, even after the holy month of Ramadan. With virtuous acts, the follower of the religion continues to get immense rewards, gain spiritual growth, increase devotion to Allah (SWT), and the forgiveness of sins.