11 Jul The Month of Dhul Hijjah
We have entered into very blessed days. It is the last month of the Islamic calendar. The month in which the holy pilgrimage of Hajj is performed. Now, there will be many who have not yet been able to go Hajj, and perhaps even had plans to go this year, but due to the unforeseen circumstances, were unable to go. What now? Just because we are not performing Hajj, does that mean we can’t do anything extra? The answer is, no. The first 10 days of dhull hijjah are extremely important and blessed. According to the exegetes of the Qur’an,Allah has taken an oath by them:
“By the ten nights” [Quran 89:2]
When the days are so special, how can we make the most of them?
The Prophet (PBUH) said
“There is no deed that is better in the sight of Allah or more greatly rewarded than a good deed done in the (first) ten days of Al-Adha” [Al Bukhari]
This shows the great importance and blessings of these few days. Allah has gifted us such blessed days in which we may increase our good deeds so we cannot let them passby without taking any benefit!
There are a number of good deeds we can engage ourselves in, one of which is fasting.
The Prophet (pbuh) said: “Allah said: ‘Every deed of the son of Adam is for him except fasting; it is for Me and I shall reward for it…’” [Al Bukhari, Muslim].
Fasting is an action which is extremely beloved to Allah, and what better way to increase good deeds than by this? Fasting is such an action in which ostentation is difficult because it is a hidden act of worship. People can’t see us fasting. Only Allah sees it, hence why it is so beloved to Him. It is also the way of the Prophet (pbuh), he said:
“Fasting the day of `Arafah expiates the sins of two years: the past one and the coming one.” [Muslim]
So let us engage in this beautiful act of worship and feel the closeness to our Creator Insha’Allah.
Furthermore, giving charity is another beautiful way to gain closeness to Allaah in these blessed days. In a hadith, it is narrated
“All created beings are Allah's dependents, and the most beloved of creation to Allah is the one who is good to His dependents” [Bayhaqi, Shu'ab al-lman]
If we want to be the most beloved to Allah, then we must be good to His slaves. Especially those who are in need. Allah does not like stinginess. Let us extend our hands towards those who are less fortunate than us by spending in charity. We are not promised tomorrow. We may go to sleep and not wake up. Therefore, wouldn’t sadaqah jaariyah be of much benefit to us when we leave this world? We don’t take our money with us when we go, but if our money was spent in the right way in the dunya, then this spending will continue to benefit us in the grave and Afterlife also, inshaaAllaah. So, spend in charity, give to those less fortunate, help build the masaajid, invest in Islamic-education institutes, there are many beautiful ways to do charity! And the rewards of such actions will be multiplied during these days Insha’Allah!
Many will also be participating in the sacred act of Qurbani – sacrificing an animal for Allah – an act of true devotion and obedience to Allah. This is an act which dates back to the time of Ibrahim AS. Participating in the action of qurbani and distributing it for the poor honours the tradition of Ibrahim AS and Ismail AS and their story of devotion and sacrifice. A beautiful way to show our obedience to Allah, also.
These are just a few ways to try to gain closeness to Allaah in these blessed days. There are many actions we should try to engage in such as extra recital of the Qur’an, extra tasbeehaat (Allaahu akbar, La ilaaha illallaah, subhaanAllaah etc), standing for extra voluntary prayers during the night, making lots of du’aa, and the list goes on. But it all depends on one thing – how much do we WANT it? How much do we WANT to gain closeness of Allah in these special days? The more the desire, the more the actions, the more the fruits, Insha’Allah
May Allaah grant us all tawfeeq, aameen
Wal hamdulillaahi rabbil aalameen
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The Prophet (Pbuh) has taught us the best of deeds are those that done consistently, even if they are small.