Dhul Hijjah is a time for prayer and strengthening your bond with Allah (SWT), and for those who complete their religious dues during this blessed month, there is the potential for great rewards.
With the 10 days of reward, the Day of Arafah, Hajj, Qurbani, and Eid ul-Adha, Allah (SWT) demonstrates great mercy and forgiveness during Dhul Hijjah, giving His obedient followers the opportunity to expiate their sins and rise to Paradise when the Day of Judgement comes.
There are a number of ways you can make the most of Dhul Hijjah and reap as many rewards as possible whilst fulfilling your Islamic duties and demonstrating great humility to those in need.
Dhul Hijjah Rules
Reciting the Qur’an
As Dhul Hijjah is a highly religious time of the year, Muslims should seek to recite the Qur’an and pray to Allah (SWT) even more so than at any other time of the year.
During Dhul Hijjah, it is Sunnah for Muslims to say Takbeer. The Takbeer goes:
“Allah is the greatest, Allah is the greatest, there is no God but Allah, and Allah is the greatest, Allah is the greatest, and all praise is for Allah.”
It’s customary for women to say Takbeer quietly, whilst men are to say it loudly.
Many Muslims choose to fast on the first nine days of Dhul Hijjah to bring them closer to Allah (SWT). Those on the Hajj pilgrimage should not fast, and it is forbidden for those on Hajj to fast on the Day of Arafah specifically. In contrast, those not on Hajj can fast on the Day of Arafah and, depending on the school of thought followed, may even be encouraged to.
It is believed that for Muslims not on Hajj, fasting will alleviate the sins of two years. Some prefer to fast for the eight days preceding the Day of Arafah as well as on the day itself. They believe this brings them closer to Allah (SWT) in the same way that fasting during Ramadan does.
It is important to note that Muslims are prohibited from fasting during the time of Qurbani and Eid ul-Adha. These are designated days of celebration, and therefore it is not permissible to fast on them. This is in a similar way to Muslims being forbidden to fast during Eid ul-Fitr following Ramadan.
The 10th day of Dhul Hijjah is one of the most important days – Qurbani. Typically, those who are eligible to pay Zakat are eligible to pay Qurbani, and they must give one share. Different animals are worth different shares, with larger livestock like cows and camels being worth seven shares. This means lots of eligible Muslims opt to buy one large animal on behalf of everyone in their household – even those who are not required to pay, such as children.
Here are the animals you may give for Qurbani with their share worth and minimum age:
- Sheep – worth one share, should be at least one year old
- Goats – worth one share, should be at least one year old
- Cows (including buffalos and bulls) – worth seven shares, should be at least two years old
- Camels – worth seven shares, should be at least five years old
There are multiple rules for giving Qurbani, with most of them concerning the condition of the animal being sacrificed. Animals should:
- Be fit and able to walk to the slaughter themselves
- Not be missing more than 1/3 of their ears or tail
- Not be blind or missing an eye
- Have most of their teeth
- Be a healthy weight
- Have in-tact horns
In addition, all meat is to be distributed in strict compliance with Sharia law, with one share being attributed to the donor, one share going to their friends and family, and one share going to someone in need. Despite this, when you make a Qurbani donation with UKIM, we will sacrifice the animal on your behalf and ensure all the meat goes to those most in need of a nutritious meal.
Qurbani must be carried out on the 10th, 11th, or 12th day of Dhul Hijjah. Anything after this does not count as Qurbani.
Cutting Hair and Nails
Those who intend to make a sacrifice for Qurbani should refrain from cutting their hair and nails from the first sighting of the Dhul Hijjah moon until the sacrifice has been made on the 10th day. This is because the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “When the 10 days begin – and any one of you wants to offer a sacrifice, let him refrain (from cutting) his hair and nails.” (Muslim)
Those who reach the Nisab threshold should give Qurbani, but it is common for parents to buy shares for their children or household members who are not eligible to give. With this in mind, only the person making the sacrifice needs to refrain from cutting their hair and nails – even if they have bought shares for others.
In the UK, most Muslims donate Qurbani to charity and therefore do not make the sacrifice themselves. This means they don’t need to refrain from cutting hair or nails, but many still choose to.
Making the Most of Dhul Hijjah
During Dhul Hijjah, particularly the first 10 days, Allah (SWT) descends from Paradise to the low skies to be closer to His people and to grant them Freedom from Fire, specifically on the Day of Arafah. This means you have a great opportunity to relinquish your sins by making dua. By saying, “Glory be to Allah (SWT) and praise Him” 100 times a day, you can expiate even the heaviest of sins.
Making dua 100 times a day sounds like a lot, but you can easily achieve this by reciting it alongside prayers, 10 times before and 10 times after each of the five prayers every day during the first 10 days. This will surely please Allah (SWT) and relinquish your sins.
To make the most of Dhul Hijjah, you need to make even more of a conscious effort to stick to your five daily prayers and pray even more often, if possible. Spending as much time as you can in prayer cement your bond with our Creator and allow you to draw closer to Him.
Every Muslim is expected to complete the Hajj pilgrimage at least once in their life, so long as they are physically and financially able to do so. It is the fifth pillar of Islam which makes it compulsory for everyone. It’s a highly religious pilgrimage to Mecca during which Muslims retrace the steps of the great prophets and enter a state of purity to pray to Allah (SWT) and strengthen their bond with Him.
The Hajj takes place over the Day of Arafah, during which Muslims gather on the plain of Arafah and spend hours in constant prayer, begging Allah (SWT) for forgiveness on what is known as Freedom from Fire Day.
Hajj also encompasses important rituals such as stoning the devil and performing Tawaf, all of which show complete submission to Allah (SWT) and dedication to His cause, for which you will be rewarded.
Perform Good Deeds
Charity is embedded deep into Islam, and all charitable acts (except those performed with Riba (interest) money) are rewarded. There are certain times of the year when good deeds are more rewarded than others, with the first 10 days of Dhul Hijjah being the most rewarded of all days in the year.
“There are no days during which the righteous action is so pleasing to Allah than these days” - Al-Bukhari
Many Muslims choose to donate to our 10 Blessed Days appeal, during which charitable donations are automated over the first 10 days, ensuring maximum blessings and rewards.
Others choose to give Prophetic Qurbani (giving one more share than is required on behalf of someone who can’t give Qurbani). This is a selfless act, but one that ensures those who are unable to give Qurbani also receive the reward of donating a share. This is something the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) did and therefore is something many Muslims replicate during this holy time.
Give to UK Islamic Mission
To find out more about maximising your Dhul Hijjah through charitable giving, please donate to our appeals. You can also donate your Qurbani with UK Islamic Mission, ensuring you fulfil your religious duty to Allah (SWT) and help a person in need this Dhul Hijjah.