Virtues of Dhul-Hijjah and Hajj
Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) has sworn by the 10 days of Dhul Hijjah in Surah Fajr when He said:
“ By the dawn;
By the ten nights (i.e. the first ten days of the month of Dhul-Hîjjah)”
It was narrated from Ibn ‘Abbaas (radiAllaahu anhu) that the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “There are no days on which righteous deeds are more beloved to Allaah than these ten days.” They said: “Not even jihad for the sake of Allaah?” He said: “Not even jihad for the sake of Allaah, unless a man goes out himself for jihad taking his wealth with him and does not come back with anything.” [Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 2/457]
So this means that if you take advantage of these ten days you will be on the same level as a Mujahid or even better!
The Prophet Muhammed (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) said “These are the greatest days of the Dunya”. There are no days greater than them with Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala).
If you really love Allah you would be longing for these days to arrive. You would not even miss a minute without remembering Allah because you know that every good deed will be recorded multiple times.
What should we do in these days?
1) Have good intentions
Before even starting to do an action, just talk to yourself and resolve to do good deeds. You will be rewarded for your intention even before doing an action! Even if you did not end up doing the act it will be written as one good deed for you.
The scholars said,“A believer may attain by his intention a rank which he could not attain through his good deed”
There are two kinds of intention:
1) Having an intention to do a good deed but not being able to do it. In this circumstance your intention will be recorded as one good deed and this deed would be greater in reward during Dhul-Hijjah.
2) Having an intention to do a good deed and doing it but never completing it. In this case you will get the reward of the complete deed.
For example: You intended to fast all the days of Dhul Hijjah and then you had your period on the fourth day, you will get the reward for full ten days. Nothing is lost with Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala). You are not in a business with the human being; you are in a business with Ash-Shakir Ash-Shakoor! Do not belittle your intentions, for Allah is watching your heart.
2) Increase in the remembrance of Allah.
It was narrated from ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Umar (radiAllaahu anhu) that the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “There are no days that are greater before Allaah or in which good deeds are more beloved to Him, than these ten days, so recite a great deal of tahleel, takbeer and tahmeed during them.” [Narrated by Ahmad, 7/224; its isnaad was classed as saheeh by Ahmad Shaakir.]
These are the days of the remembrance of Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala). The most important Dhikr is the Takbir. As long as your tongue is remembering Allah then your deeds will be reformed, and you will be guided to the righteous deeds.
We conclude this from Surah Ahzab verse 70 – 71:
O you who believe! Keep your duty to Allâh and fear Him, and speak (always) the truth.
He will direct you to do righteous good deeds and will forgive you your sins. And whosoever obeys Allâh and His Messenger (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) he has indeed achieved a great achievement (i.e. he will be saved from the Hell-fire and made to enter Paradise).
To speech the most correct speech includes every good statement. Just talk good during these days and you will receive acceptance of your deeds, for Allah only accepts from the Muttaqeen. And Allah will make your deeds righteous and will forgive your sins, while you did nothing but spoke good.
As soon as you hear the days of Dhul Hijjah have started then you should recite the Takbir. Ibn Umar and Abu Hurayrah (radhiAllaahu anhumma) used to go to the market place in the streets and loudly recite it, reminding people. And the people would recite with them to the extent that Mina was shaken by their takbir.
You will be a blessed person if you remind everyone and revive the symbol of Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala). And reviving the symbols of Allah indicates piety.
Saeed bin Jubayr (radhiAllaahu anhu) would exert his utmost during these ten days to that extent that his friends could not excel him.
3) Observing fast.
Based on hadith by ibn Abbas (radiAllaahu anhu) , The Prophet (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) said “there are no deeds more beloved to Allah than the deeds”. Righteous deeds include any deeds, like fasting.
Narrated by Hunayda on the authority of Hafsah (radhiAllaahu anha), she said that the Prophet Muhammed (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) used to observe fast during these ten days.
Some scholars said this hadith is weak as there is another hadith with Ayesha (radhiAllaahu anha) saying she never saw the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) fasting.
The scholars compared these two hadith’s. The hadith of Hafsah (radhiAllaahu anha) is an affirmation, and the hadith of Ayesha (radiAllaahu anha) is a negation and usually an affirmation is more correct than the negation. So, the hadith of Hafsah is more correct and is in tune with the hadith of Ibn Abbas (radhiAllaahu anhu). Therefore, observing fast is Sunnah during these ten days.
4) Offering the Sacrificial Animal
The scholars said that you will receive the reward for the sacrificial animal even before you slaughter the animal. Even though you slaughter it on the tenth day, you still will refrain from trimming your nails from the first day.
The Prophet (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) said, “Whoever can afford offering an Udhiyah and he didn’t do so let him not approach our musallah”. This is a threat.
It is sunnah to offer it in the country you are in.
5) Performing Hajj and Umrah.
Narrated by Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) was asked about the best deed one could perform. The Prophet (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) said “Belief in Allah and His messenger” then he was asked came next “Jihad for the sake of Allah” and then he said “Hajuj mabroor”
What is Hajjun mabroor? It is the hajj accepted by Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala).
What are the conditions to be fulfilled for your Hajj to be accepted?
There are three conditions:
2) It is required from the person to act upon the obligatory acts and the pillars of Hajj.
3) It is required from the person to avoid all kinds of sins by his tongue or actions.
The winner with Allah is the person who fulfilled all three conditions.
Remember that even if you don’t have a mahram to go with you, you will be rewarded for your intention. You may reach with your intention a reward that the pilgrims may not attain.
Story: A lady went with her brother for Hajj. The brother’s wife could not make it and stayed behind. The brother told the sister that they should leave earlier after throwing the pebbles because his wife was waiting. The sister said, “Who is she to spoil our Hajj?” The wife saw in a dream that the sister came from Hajj giving her a present, inside of which was the reward of her Hajj.
We are dealing with Allah; therefore it’s very important to be firm. This is an advice for everyone going for hajj. Don’t be deceived by the millions going for hajj, maybe you at your home may reach the reward of the pilgrim, no one knows.
One of the good deeds that one can come closer to Allah is to enable someone to go for hajj. The Hanbali school scholars said that it is permissible to pay zakah to the poor person to perform hajj. Some of the Saudi scholars are of this opinion. You can also pay for someone to make hajj on your behalf if you have no mahram.
A Hadith regarding the benefits related to Hajj
It is narrated on the authority of Ibn Umar – (radhiAllaahu anhuma) who said: I was sitting with the Prophet ( sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam) in the masjid in Mina when a man from the Ansaar came and a man from the Thaqeef, they gave Salaam and said,“O Messenger of Allaah, we came to ask you questions.” So the Messenger said: “If you want I can inform you why you came and what you want to ask, and I will do so, and if you want I will hold back and you can ask me and I will answer you.”
They said: “Tell us O Messenger of Allaah!”
The man from Thaqeef said to the Ansaari: “Ask.” So the Ansaari man said:
“Inform me O Messenger of Allaah!”
The Messenger of Allaah said: “You came to me, to ask about leaving your house and aiming for the Bait-ul-Haraam and the reward for it; about praying two Rakah after Tawaaf and the reward for it; going between as-Safa and Marwa and the reward for it; your staying the evening in Mina, and the reward for it; stoning the Jamarah and the reward for it; slaughtering an animal and the reward for it; and the Tawaaf of al-Ifaadh.” The man said: “I swear by the One who sent you with the truth! This is what I came to ask you about.”
The Prophet (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “As for you leaving your homes aiming for the Bait-ul-Haraam: then your she-camel does not place its foot nor does it raise it except that Allaah writes for you a reward due to it, and wipes off one of your sins.
As for the two Rakah after the Tawaaf, then it is equivalent to freeing a slave from the Children of Ismaeel.
As for your circuiting of as-Safa and al-Marwa, then it is the same as freeing 70 slaves.
As for you staying till the evening in ‘Arafah, then Allaah descends to the sky of the Dunya and He boasts about you to the Angels, and says: ‘My slaves have come to Me, looking rough, from every deep valley hoping for My mercy, so if your sins were equivalent to the amount of sand or the drops of rain or like the foam on the sea I will forgive them. So go forth My slaves! Having forgiveness and for what or who you have interceded for.’
As for stoning the Jamaar (the pillars), then for every stone that you throw, it removes a big sin from the deadly sins.
As for your slaughtering, then it is saved for you with your Lord. As for shaving your head, then there is a reward for every strand of hair that you shaved, and a sin is wiped off by it.
As for you performing Tawaaf of the House after all this, then by this time your are performing Tawaaf with no sin upon you and an Angel comes and places his hand between your shoulders saying: “Perform good deeds in what you face of the future for verily your past sins have been forgiven.”
[Reported by at-Tabarani in his book “al-Kabeer” and by al-Bazaar. Shaykh Al- Albani graded it Hassan. Taken from ‘Saheeh al-Targheeb wa Tarheeb’. Volume 2, Page 9-10, hadeeth no. 1112]
This is a grace from Allah. The person will come back as a new born baby!.
But who will get these rewards? The person who has an attentive heart, acting upon Allah’s command, hoping for the reward.