Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Haj - Dzulhijjah, The Month Of Many Virtues

Dzulhijjah is here again.
Today is the third of Dzulhijjah - after Maghrib now, so is the 4th, the 12th month of the Islamic lunar year month, the month of Haj, which gives Dzulhijjah a very special significance.

Dzulhijjah days are among the most magnificent days in Islamic calendar.
Dzulhijjah has many virtues, based on many things, particularly in its first ten days.
The first ten days of Dzulhijjah are the days of virtue and righteous deeds. Quranic verses and Hadith indicate that the first ten days of Dzulhijjah are better than all the other days of the year.

The first ten days of Dzulhijjah have been preferred by ALLAH s.w.t. over all the other days of the whole year, except that the last ten days of Ramadhan, which are considered better than them for they include Lailatul Qadr - the Night of Power - which is better than a thousand months.

"And remember ALLAH during the appointed Days. But whosoever hastens to leave in two days, there is no sin on him and whosoever stays on, there is no sin on him, if his aim is to do good and obey ALLAH (fear HIM), and know that you will surely be gathered unto HIM." - (Al-Baqarah: 203).

Celebrate the Praises of ALLAH s.w.t. during the appointed days - Takbir (Allahu Akbar), Tasbih (Subhaanallah), Tahmid (Alhamdulillah), and Talbiyah (Labbaikallah Humma Labbaik).
It is our duty to appreciate the blessed month of Dzulhijjah, having more concentration in our prayers, always on our very best.
Dzulhijjah is a wonderful moment immersing ourselves as much iba'dah, acts of worship, as possible.
Devotion and sincerity do have its reward.

Abdullah ibn Umar r.a., the son of Saidina Umar r.a., reported that The Prophet s.a.w. said: 
"There are no days greater in the sight of ALLAH and in which righteous deeds are more beloved to HIM than these ten days, so during this time recite a great deal of Tahlil (La ilaaha ill-Allah), Takbir and Tahmid." - (Reported by Ahmad: 7/224).

Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. commanded the believers to recite a lot of Tasbih, Tahmid and Takbir during these days.

Ibn Abbas r.a. reported that The Prophet s.a.w. said:
"There are no days in which righteous deeds are more beloved to ALLAH than these ten days." 
The people asked, "Not even jihad for the sake of ALLAH?" 
He said, "Not even jihad for the sake of ALLAH, except in the case of a man who went out to fight giving himself and his wealth up for the cause, and came back with nothing." - (Bukhari).

These ten days are a great blessing from ALLAH s.w.t. to all of us.

Even for us, who are not undertaking the Haj, the first ten days of Dzulhijjah are a special time to remember ALLAH s.w.t., the opportunity to sincerely correct oneself, bettering our deeds and seek HIM for forgiveness and guidance.

The Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. encouraged people to do righteous deeds due to the virtue of these days and the Haj season during which the Haj season is situated.
The Prophet s.a.w. said that the first ten days of Dzulhijjah are a special time for devotion, for during these ten days that most of the Haj rites occur.

i) - 9th Dzulhijjah is the 'Arafah Day (Yaumul 'Arafah), the date when all pilgrims assemble on the plain of 'Arafah, six miles away from Makkatul Mukarramah, where the pilgrims perform the most essential part of the prescribed duties of Haj - Wuquf  - the stay in 'Arafah. Yaumul Arafah is the day when the Mercy of ALLAH s.w.t. descends in Abundance.

Yaumul 'Arafah is the day when sins are Forgiven, and do'a Accepted, all through HIS Compassion and Mercy. Yaumul 'Arafah is the day which ALLAH sw.t. perfected one's Religion.

The Prophet s.a.w. was asked about fasting on Yaumul 'Arafah.
He s.a.w. said, "It compensates for the (minor) sins of the past and the coming year." - (Ibu Majah)

Fasting on this day will be forgiven the sins of two years - before and after the Arafah Day.
The 'Arafah fast has been emphasized by the Prophet s.a.w. as a desirable act. Fasting on these ten blessed days, or at least a day, on the 9th Dzulhijjah, will bring us closer to HIM.

Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. has said, "One fast during these days is equal to the fasting of one complete year, and the worship of one night during this period is equal to the worship in the "Lailatul-Qadr".
 For us not performing the Haj, it is desirable to fast on this day.

ii) - Beginning from the Fajr of the 9th Dzulhijjah up to the 'Asr prayer of the 13th, it is encouraged on us to recite the Takbir of Tashriq after each daily prayer. 
Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar,
La Ilaha Illallahu, Wallahu Akbar,
Allahu Akbar wa Lillahilhamd.
(There is no other God but ALLAH and ALLAH is the Greatest, 
Allah is the Greatest and to ALLAH belongs all Praise).

iii) - 10th Dzulhijjah is Eidul Adha. Unlike 'Eidul Fitr, the sunnah is not to eat before the 'Eid prayer.

iv) - The Qurban. An act of total submission to ALLAH s.w.t. and a complete obedience to HIM, without hesitation.
It is encouraged for all to make sacrifices for themselves and their dependents. The sacrifice of animals - goat, sheep, cow or camel - during the 10th, 1lth and 12th of Dzulhijjah.

Looking beyond its mundane benefits, its to understand the spirit of most superior qualities so necessary to keep humanity in a state of lasting peace and welfare.
Qurban is but a powerful symbol of the required human conduct vis-a-vis the DIVINE commands.
The spirit of total submission to HIM, irrespective of difference in our economy or society.

Pine not, whine not if we are unable to slaughter a sacrifice - for general qurban included all acts of charity too, all year round.
The purpose of charity is nothing but to seek ALLAH s.w.t.'s pleasure. And, sacrifices are in many forms too. Sincerity is always priorotised. Verily, good deeds remove small sins. A gentle reminder for the mindful, for those who accept advice.

Perform sincere prayers.
"And establish regular prayers at the two ends of the day and at the approaches of the night: for those things that are good remove those that are evil: be that the word of remembrance to those who remember (their LORD) - (Hud: 114).

Pray that HE Bless us with HIS Virtues. Pray that HE Bless us with spiritual gains
Pray that we are all Blessed in these magical moments of Dzulhijjah.

Reflecting of our past doings will have great benefits for us, and people around us, family, neighbours, relatives and friends.
Pray for the very best, for His Bounty of what's already in our possession, His Reward, not a burden:

"On no soul do ALLAH place a burden greater than it (the soul) can bear. It gets every good that it earns, and it suffers every ill that it earns. 
(Pray): "Our GOD, condemn us not if we forget or fall into error. 
Our GOD, lay not on us a burden like that which YOU did lay on those before us. 
Our GOD, lay on us not a burden greater than we have strength to bear. 
Blot out our sins, and grant us Forgiveness. Have Mercy on us. 
YOU are our PROTECTOR, Help us against those who stand against Faith." - (Al-Baqarah : 286)    

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