DHUL HIJJAH – THE VIRTUOUS MONTH
Muslims have been favoured in many ways by Allah, and have been given opportunities to reap great blessings from the sacred days and months which have been highlighted in Islamic teachings.
The month of Dhul Hijjah is one of those blessed months which is known to be extremely virtuous in the sight of Allah. It is on account of this sanctity and holiness, Allah has ordered two great acts of worship, namely Hajj and Qurbani, to be done in this month. Millions of Muslims anxiously wait for the arrival of this blessed month, so that they may hasten to Allah’s beloved house in Makkah to perform the pilgrimage, and others prepare themselves to offer their Qurbani to Allah in their homeland.
The Messenger of Allah (S.A.S) has spoken highly of this month, and has mentioned the great virtues that lie in the first ten days of the month. In this regard, Abu Hurairah (R.A) narrated that the Prophet (S.A.S) said,
مَا مِنْ أَيَّامٍ أَحَبُّ إِلَى اللَّهِ أَنْ يُتَعَبَّدَ لَهُ فِيهَا مِنْ عَشْرِ ذِي الحِجَّةِ، يَعْدِلُ صِيَامُ كُلِّ يَوْمٍ مِنْهَا بِصِيَامِ سَنَةٍ، وَقِيَامُ كُلِّ لَيْلَةٍ مِنْهَا بِقِيَامِ لَيْلَةِ القَدْرِ
“There are no other days in which doing good actions are more beloved to Allah than the ten days of Dhul Hijjah, (i.e. the first 10 days), the fast of one day from it equals to the fast of one year and the standing by night in worship on any of these nights equals to the standing of Lailatul Qadr.”
Abdullah bin Abbas (R.A) also narrated that the Messenger of Allah (S.A.S) said, ‘There are no other days in which good deeds are more beloved to Allah than on these days (that is, the 10 days of Dhul Hijjah).’ Upon this, the companions asked, ‘O Messenger of Allah! Not even Jihad in the cause of Allah?’ He replied, ‘Not even Jihad in the cause of Allah, except that person who leaves with his self and wealth and does not return with any of it.’ One narration also states that the Prophet (S.A.S) said, ‘There is no deed that is purer in the sight of Allah, nor greater in reward than a good deed which a person does in the ten days of Dhul Hijjah.’
In another tradition, Jabir (R.A) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (S.A.S) said, ‘There are no days that are more superior in the sight of Allah than the ten days of Dhul Hijjah.’ A man asked, ‘O Rasulullah! Are these ten days more superior or a similar number of days in Jihad for the cause of Allah?’ The Messenger of Allah (S.A.S) replied, ‘They are more superior than a similar number of days in Jihad for the cause of Allah, except that a person whose face is begrimed in the soil.’
Abdullah bin Abbas (R.A) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (S.A.S) said, ‘There aren’t any days which are greater in the sight of Allah nor are good deeds more beloved to Allah in any days than the ten days (of Dhul Hijjah). Therefore, engage abundantly in reciting Subhanallah, Alhamdulillah, La ilaha il-lal-laah and Allahu Akbar during these days.’
These traditions show how virtuous and blessed the days and the nights of the first 10 days of Dhul Hijjah are in the sight of Allah. As such, Muslims should take maximum benefit of such precious and valuable time and do as much good deeds as possible.
In another tradition, it is recorded that ‘Aisha (R.A) said that there was a young man who at the sighting of the moon for Dhul Hijjah would begin to observe optional fast. The information reached the Prophet (S.A.S) who then summoned him and asked, “What is the reason you begin to fast (at the sighting of the Dhul Hijjah moon)”? The young man replied, “May my mother and father be sacrificed for you, O Prophet of Allah; these are the days of Hajj and other symbols of Islam. Is it not possible that through these acts of mine Allah will also include me in the supplications of those righteous people who are in the worship of Allah through their Hajj?” The Prophet (S.A.S) replied, “Certainly (Allah would include you), and for every day you have fasted, you will be rewarded by Allah as if you had freed 100 slaves, sacrificed 100 camels (for Allah in Qurbani) and given 100 horses to the Mujahideen to fight in the path of Allah.”
It is because of such virtues, which are promised for doing good actions during the course of the 10 days of Dhul Hijjah, Abu Darda (R.A) a great companion of the Prophet (S.A.S) used to say, “Pay special attention to the fast of the 10 days of Dhul Hijjah. During these days, supplicate much to Allah for His forgiveness and give much sadaqah, for I have heard the Prophet (S.A.S) saying, ‘Woe unto that person who is deprived of the blessings and goodness of these 10 days.” In another tradition reported by Abdullah Ibn Umar (R.A), he narrates that the Prophet (S.A.S) said, “There are no other days in which performing good actions are dearer and greater to Allah than the ten days of Dhul Hijjah. On these days, you should frequently recite such kalimahs as Laa ilaaha il-lal-laah, Alhamdu lil-laah and Al-laahu akbar.”
It is for this reason, the Sahabahs and pious predecessors engaged themselves constantly in these kalimahs whether they were walking, sitting, lying, in the market places or at home.
 Tirmidhi, Hadith No.758, Pg.357, Vol.1, Altaf and Sons
 Bukhari, Hadith No.969, Pg.263, Vol.1, Altaf and Sons
 Majma o Zawaaid, Hadith No.5553, Pg.562, Vol.3, Darul Fikr
 Tibrani in Al Kabeer, Hadith No.11116, Pg.2787, Vol.8, Muassasah Rayaan
 Tanbeehul Ghafileen
 Ahmad, Hadith No.5447, Pg.365, Vol.2, Maktabah Tijariyyah