Dhul Hijjah is the 12th and final month of the Islamic calendar and is a sacred time for Muslims as this is the month that Hajj and Eid ul-Adha take place. The first 10 days of Dhul Hijjah are considered to be the greatest days of the year, even above the month of Ramadan, with the annual Hajj pilgrimage taking place during these days and the festival of sacrifice, known as Qurbani (or Qurbani Eid).
When is Dhul Hijjah?
Since the Islamic Calendar follows the lunar year rather than the solar one, the dates shift within the Gregorian Calendar year after year. This year, Dhul Hijjah is set to begin on 19 June and end on 18 July.
The 10 Days of Dhul Hijjah
The 10 days of Dhul Hijjah also include the day of Nahr (Qurbani), the day of Arafah, and the day of Hajj. These are sacred events in the Islamic Calendar during which all Muslims are expected to demonstrate their gratitude towards Allah (SWT), giving thanks for all He has given to them.
Importance of Dhul Hijjah
The importance of these days cannot be understated amongst the Islamic community, with the first 10 days of Dhul Hijjah placed even above those of Ramadan. This is especially true for the ninth day of Dhul Hijjah, Arafah, which is considered to be the holiest day in the Islamic calendar.
Fasting During Dhul Hijjah
It is Sunnah to fast on the day of Arafah, the ninth day of Dhul Hijjah. In fact, fasting on this day will expiate the sins of two whole years. This is because Mount Arafah, where pilgrims make their way from Mina, is known as the Mountain of Mercy and is where the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) delivered his final sermon to all Muslims who followed him for Hajj.
Muhammad (PBUH) said: “There is no day on which Allah frees more people from the Fire than the Day of Arafah. He comes close and expresses His fulfilment to the angels, saying, 'What do these people want?’”
Only Muslims who are not taking part in Hajj should fast, as those who are present on the pilgrimage are not recommended to observe the fast.
It is Sunnah to say Takbeer during these days:
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.
Men should read these phrases out loud, and women should read them quietly.
One of the good deeds that will bring a Muslim closer to Allah (SWT) during these 10 days is Qurbani. By choosing and sacrificing a high-quality livestock animal and distributing its meat in three equal parts, Muslims commemorate the sacrifice made by Prophet Ibrahim (AS), who was willing to give his son, Ismail (AS), following the wishes of Allah (SWT).
What day of Dhul Hijjah is Eid?
Eid ul-Adha, the festival of the sacrifice, begins on the 10th day of Dhul Hijjah and ends at sunset on the 13th day.
Qurbani is obligatory upon every Muslim, regardless of gender, whose total annual wealth meets or exceeds the Nisab value. It is highly virtuous for one on whom Qurbani is not obligatory to offer sacrifice for the pleasure of Allah (SWT). He will be eligible for all the rewards mentioned in the Ahadeeth.
Once the sacrifice has been completed, the meat is shared in three equal parts – one for the person making the sacrifice, one for friends and/or family, and a final part for someone who is poor and/or needy. As an Islamic charity, UK Islamic Mission is permitted to accept Qurbani donations, where we will ensure that the sacrifice is completed as per tradition, as well as the distribution of meat shares.
If an individual does not offer Qurbani, they must then give the price of Qurbani as Sadaqah. However, this does not mean Sadaqah is an alternative to Qurbani.
Distribution of Qurbani
Small livestock animals (sheep and goats) count as one share per animal. Large livestock animals (cattle and camels) are divided into seven shares per animal. This means that the Qurbani of seven individuals is allowed with a single large animal.
This year, UK Islamic Mission will continue to reach out to support the ten days of Dhul Hijjah, make your donation and get involved.