VIRTUES OF DHUL-HIJJAH
By the Grace of Allaah we have start the month of Dhul-Hijjah (the month of Hajj or Pilgrimage), in which Allaah has marked out, for both the pilgrims and the non-pilgrims, some very blessed days. So we shall mention here some of the virtues and rewardful acts that are connected to these blessed days.
DOING GOOD DEEDS IN GENERAL
The first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah are the best and most virtuous days of the year. They are the days in which Allaah the Mighty and Majestic – most loves the doing of good deeds. About this the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلمsaid: “The best days in the world are the ten days.” [Saheeh – al-Bazzaar]
Imaam Ibn al-Qayyim said: “Indeed its days are the most excellent of all the days with Allaah. And it has been confirmed in Saheehul-Bukhaaree, from Ibn ’Abbaas رضي الله عنهما who said, that Allaah’s Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلمsaid: “There are no more days during which good deeds are more beloved to Allaah than these (ten) days.” He صلى الله عليه وسلمwas then asked: Not even jihaad in the path of Allaah? So he صلى الله عليه وسلمreplied: “Not even jihaad in the path of Allaah, except for a person who goes out with his self and his wealth, and comes back with nothing.” And it is these ten days that Allaah has taken an oath by in His Book, by His saying: (By the Dawn and by the Ten Nights.) [Soorah al-Fajr 89:1-2] This is why it is recommended to increase in making takbeer (saying Allaahu akbar), tahleel (saying Laailaaha illallaah) and tamheed (saying Alhamdulillaah) during these days …” [Zaadul-Ma’aad]
The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلمsaid: “There are no days that are greater with Allaah, and in which good deeds are more beloved to Him, than these ten days. So increase in making tasbeeh (saying Subhaanallaah), tamheed, tahleel and takbeer, during them.” [Saheeh- at-Tabaraanee]
FASTING 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, 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 وسلم was asked about fasting on the day of ’Arafah, so he صلى الله عليه وسلم said: “It expiates the sins of the past year and the coming year.” [Muslim] Likewise, the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said: “There is no day on which Allaah frees people from the Fire more so than on the day of ’Arafah. He comes close to those (people standing on ’Arafah), and then He revels before His Angels saying: What are these people seeking.” [Muslim]
Imaam Tirmidhee said: “The People of Knowledge consider it recommended to fast on the day of ’Arafah, except for those at ’Arafah.” [Tirmidhee]
SLAUGHTERING ON THE DAY OF AN-NAHR AND ’EIDUL-ADHAA OR THE FOLLOWING THREE DAYS
The tenth day of Dhul-Hiijah is known as the day of an-Nahr (slaughtering), since it marks the ending of the major rites of Hajj (Pilgrimage), and commemorates the bounty and mercy of Allaah – the Most High – in that He gave His beloved Prophet Ibraaheem عليه الصلاة والسلام a ram to sacrifice in place of his firstborn son Ismaa’eel عليه الصلاة والسلام. And out of the ten best days of the year, it is the day of an-Nahr which is the most excellent day of the year with Allaah.
Imaam Ibn Taymiyyah said: “The most excellent day of the week is the day of Jumu’ah (Friday), by the agreement of the Scholars. And the most excellent day of the year is the day of an-Nahr. And some of them said that it is the day of ’Arafah. However, the first opinion is the correct one, since it is related in the Sunan collections that the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said: “The most excellent days with Allaah is the day of an-Nahr, then the day of al-Qarr (the day that the Muslims reside in Minaa).” [Saheeh – Abu Daawood] ” [Majmoo’ Fataawaa]
The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said: “The greatest day of the Hajj (Pilgrimage) is the Day of an-Nahr (Slaughtering).” [Saheeh – Ahmad]
The day of an-Nahr is also known as ’Eidul-Adhaa(the Festivity of Sacrifice) and is one of the two major festivals that Allaah has granted to this Ummah. Anas said: The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلمcame to Madeenah and the people of Madeenah had – since the times of jaahiliyyah (Pre-Islaamic Ignorance) – two days which they marked out for play and amusement. So the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلمsaid: “I came to you, and you had two days of play and amusement in the times of jaahiliyyah. But Allaah has replaced them with something better for you: The day of al-Adhaa (sacrificing) and the day of al-Fitr (ending the Fast).” [Saheeh-Ahmad]
The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم also said: “The day of al-Fitr, and the day of an-Nahr, and the days of at-Tashreeq (the three days after an-Nahr) are our days of ’Eid (festivity); and they are days of eating and drinking.” [Saheeh-Ahmad]
’Eidul-Adhaa, is a day in which the Muslims slaughter a camel, cow, sheep or goat, in commemoration of the sacrifice of Ibraaheem عليه الصلاة والسلام. And this sacrifice is an obligation upon all those who have the means to do so – according to the most correct opinion of the Scholars. The basis of this is the Prophet’s صلى الله عليه وسلم saying: “One who has the ability to sacrifice, but chooses not to do so, should not approach our place of (’Eid) Prayer.” [Hasan – Ibn Majah]
And his صلى الله عليه وسلم saying: “Whosoever sacrificed before the Prayer, then let him do so again. But whosoever has not sacrificed, then let him sacrifice.” [Bukhaaree] So this order refers to those who have the ability to do so – and Allaah knows best.
As regards those who intend to sacrifice – normally the head of the household – then they are prohibited from cutting their hair or nails, starting from the first day of Dhul-Hijjah until the sacrifice. Allaah’s Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم said: “When the ten days start, and one of you intends to sacrifice, then let him not cut his hair or his nails.” [Muslim]
GLORIFYING ALLAAH WITH THE TAKBEER
From the day of ’Arafah (the 9th of Dhul-Hijjah), until the ’Asr Prayer on the thirteen day, are days in which the takbeers (saying Allaahu Akbar) should be said.
Imaam al-Khattaabee said: “The wisdom behind saying the takbeers in these days is that in the times of jaahiliyyah (pre-Islaamic ignorance), they used to slaughter for their taaghoots (false objects of worship). So the takbeers were prescribed in order to indicate that the act of slaughtering is directed to Allaah alone, and by mentioning only His – the Mighty and Majestic’s – Name.”[Fathul Baree]
’Umar رضي الله عنه used to say the takbeer in his tent at Mina, so the people in the masjid heard him, and they also said the takbeer, and then the people of the market places also said the takbeer, until Mina echoed with everyone’s takbeer. [Bukhaaree]
And Ibn ’Umar رضي الله عنهما used to say the takbeer at Mina on these days: after the prayers, on his bed, in his tent, in his sittings, and while walking throughout these days. [Bukhaaree]
And Maymoonah رضي الله عنها used to say the takbeer on the day of Nahr; also, the women would say the takbeer behind Abbaan ibn ’Uthman and ’Umar ibn ’Abdul ’Azeez on the night of Tashreeq with the men in the masjid.” [Bukhaaree]
Also, it is reported that: “When Ibn ’Umar رضي الله عنهما, went out (of his house) on the morning of the day of Fitr and the day of Adhaa, he would say the takbeer aloud until he reached the musalla, then he would say it until the imam arrived (for the prayer).” [Saheeh – ad-Daraqutani]
As regards the actual wording of the takbeers, then nothing authentic has been related from the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم. However, certain wordings have been authentically related from a group of Companions.
Ibn Mas’ood رضي الله عنهما would say: “Allaah is the greatest, Allaah is the greatest. None has the right to be worshipped except Him. And Allaah is the greatest, Allaah is the greatest. And to Him belongs all praise. [Allaahu akbar, Allaahu akbar, Allaahu akbar, Laa ilaahaa illallaah, wallaahu akbar, Allaahu akbar wa lillaahil-hamd.]” [Saheeh – Ibn Abee Shaybah]
Ibn ’Abbaas رضي الله عنهما said: “Allaah is the greatest, Allaah is the greatest, Allaah is the greatest, and to Allaah belongs all praise. Allaah is the greatest and most majestic. Allaah is the greatest for guiding us.”Allaahu akbar, Allaahu akbar, Allaahu akbar, wa lillaahil-hamd. Allaahu akbar wa ajalla. Allaahu akbar ‘alaa maa hadaanaa.]” [Saheeh – al-Bayhaqi]
Salman said: “Allaahu akbar, Allaahu akbar, Allaahu akbaru kabeeraa”[Saheeh – al-Bayhaqi]
Unfortunately, many Muslims have neglected the takbeer established from our Salaf (Pious Predecessors) and have instead resorted to additions which have no basis at all.
Ibn Hajr said: “Indeed additions have been invented on this day, which have no basis at all.” [Fathul Bari]
And may Allaah have mercy upon the one who said: “Every good is in following the Salaf; and every evil is in the innovations of the late-comers.” And all praise is for Allaah, Lord of the worlds. And may Allaah extol and send the choicest blessings of peace upon our Leader, Muhammad, and upon his Family, his Companions, and all those who follow them.
Du’a While Sacrificing
بِسْمِ اللهِ وَاللهُ أَكْبَرُ
اَللّهُمَّ مِنْكَ وَلَكَ اَللّهُمَّ تَقَبَّلْ مِنِّي
In The Name of Allaah, and Allaah is the greatest. O Allaah, (it is) from you and belongs to you. O Allaah, accept this from me.