The Ten Days of Dhul Hijjah
College Principal Shaykh Faid delivered a series of lectures on preparation for Dhul Hijjah and how to make the most of the ‘best ten days of the year’.
The Shaykh outlined how the best form of preparation for the first 10 days of Dhul Hijjah is to make sincere repentance, followed by a determination to fully capitalize on the blessed days through a combination of good deeds such as performing the Night Prayer, dhikr and increase in charitable acts.
Preparation also entails firm commitment to shun all that is forbidden and to be grateful to all those who do you good, especially parents, and to pray for them, because their goodness will have been facilitated by none other than Allah, the Shaykh said.
The significance of the first 10 days of Dhul Hijjah is easily deduced by the very fact Allah cited these days in a Divine Oath [Al Fajr, 89:2].
The ninth of Dhul Hijjah is the ‘Day of Arafat’, a day wholly given to prayer and seeking forgiveness of Allah, Who also frees many from the torment of hell-fire on that day. The tenth is completed by the ‘Day of An-Nahar (Sacrifice)’ and the Prophet, on him peace and blessings, described it as “the best day of the year”, when Muslims offer sacrifice for the sake of Allah (sacrifice can also be offered on any of the three consecutive days, but the Day of An-Nahar is held superior). The Shaykh exhorted his audience to capitalize on the benefits of a day described by the Prophet, on him peace and blessings, himself as “the greatest day in the Sight of Allah, Great and Glorious”.
The 10 days, the Shaykh further explained, encompass all five ‘pillars of Islam’ because the believers will be mindful of constant affirmation of their faith; engaged in compulsory and supererogatory salah; will fast; give zakat and sadaqa and of course, those able to do so, will perform the Hajj.
The Shaykh also expounded a hadith of the Prophet, on him peace and blessings, which stressed performance of good deeds in the 10 days and held to be more virtuous than even jihad. “By good deeds,” said Shaykh Faid, “is meant the best forms of salah, dhikr, sadaqa and fasting, especially on the Day of Arafat, on which occasion Allah, Great and Glorious, completed and forever approved the deen of Islam [Al Ma’ida, 5:3] and the day when the Prophet, on him the best of salutations, confirmed universal rights in his famous sermon. Allah, the All-Forgiving, All-Knowing, forgives the person who fasts on the Day of Arafat all ordinary sins committed in the past year as well as any that may be committed in the year ahead – and He knows best.
“Recommended deeds include constant dhikr, especially at the end of each salat and magnification of Allah from the first day of Dhul Hijjah to the thirteenth of the month, up to the‘Asr prayer on that day.” The Shaykh also enjoined increased Qur’an recitation and reflection on the meaning of the verses, to continually seek repentance, obey and treat kindly parents, maintain good relations generally and honour friends and neighbours – whether or not they be Muslims – and to visit the sick.
Shaykh Faid added: “There is great benefit to be had should you remain in a state of purity hence I recommend that you renew your wudhu as often as you can. Also, keep a clean heart and, most importantly, keep to your promises. And the greatest promise of all is the one we have made to Allah, Great and Glorious is He!”
The day of Eid al Adha was certain to be mentioned in lectures on the topic of Dhul Hijjah and Shaykh Faid enjoined ghusl, wearing one’s best clothes, men to apply scented oils, to fast until after the congregational Eid salat, and to eat of the sacrificial meat.
Shaykh Faid concluded the ‘Days of Dhul Hijjah’ open lectures with a dedication to the Hajj of the Prophet, on him peace and blessings, when he related a hadith by Jabir ibn Abdullah in connection with the Hajj of Muhammad al Baqir (may Allah be pleased with them). Al Baqir was a grandson of the Prophet, on him peace and blessings.