Ramadan came and passed by. Some of us could make the most of it while some us wished Ramadan would have been our guest for a bit longer. Allah being our creator knows us the best. To help us and keep us motivated throughout the year and not just for a month, Allah has designated special importance to different times of the year. And now we have entered one of those months – The Month of Dhul Hijjah
Allah says in the Quran:
“By the Dawn;
By the ten nights”
Generally whenever someone swears per something that thing is deemed very important. Here we have Allah himself, the greatest and mightiest swearing by the ten nights. The importance and the rewards with it have to be so great that one can only imagine.
Our Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم also said regarding these blessed days:
“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, giving himself and his wealth up for the cause (of Allah), and came back with nothing.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari]
Jihad is one of the greatest acts of worship, yet our Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم told us that righteous deeds are even better unless a man loses everything.
But aren’t the last 10 days of Ramadan the best of the year? As I mentioned at the start Allah keeps giving us boosts throughout the year. Ramadan houses the Night of Divine Decree or Laylatul Qadr, a night better than a thousand months and so the last ten nights are the best of the year. Dhul Hijjah houses the Day of Arafat, one of the greatest days of the year where the sins of the previous year and the coming year can be forgiven by the will of Allah, the day hujjaj are pleading to their lord for mercy. Here the last ten days are the best in the year. Just like we went beast mode in the last ten days of Ramadan trying to please Allah as much as we could, we should not pass out on such a great opportunity either.
It may so be that many of our family and friends don’t know about the importance of this month. Allah likes to make things easy for us and loves us more than our own mothers. He has given us a cheat code in life. Want to know what that is? Pass on beneficial knowledge to others and if they act upon it then you also get the reward of the deed as if you did it yourself. Though this is ofcourse no excuse to leave what you are supposed to do.
So how exactly can we maximize and utilize these 10 days? Here are a few things that are highly recommended to do:
You know when you visit some big person and ask for help and they say don’t worry, I’m gonna sort you out mate. You know without a doubt that even though the person did not specify how its going to be something great. Keeping that in mind we see how Allah, the All Mighty, the All-Powerful, the Most Giving and the Most Merciful speaks about fasting.
Allah says in hadith Qudsi, “All the deeds of the son of Adam are for him, except fasting, which is for Me and I shall reward for it.”’ [Sahih Al-Bukhari]
This is one of those deeds that Allah will personally reward his slave for. Why? Because even though the person could eat and drink all that he wanted, he abstained from it just to please his Master. This is for the general days. How much more can we get if we combine it with the best ten days of the year. Just imagine…
This is another time that Allah has given us to revive our companionship with the Quran and feel the mercy through the words of Allah. Even if we cannot read as much as we could in Ramadan, try because to Allah, its never the quantity that counts, but the quality.
The Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم said, “Whoever reads a letter from the Book of Allah, he will have a reward. And that reward will be multiplied by ten. I am not saying that “Alif, Laam, Meem” is a letter, rather I am saying that “Alif” is a letter, “laam” is a letter and “meem” is a letter.” [At-Tirmidhi]
So technically if one letter of the Quran is equivalent to ten good deeds then imagine how much reward we can get for reading each letter during these blessed 10 days which are said to be the best days of the year! Again having a friend to help you out would make it both fun and easier at the same time.
It is highly recommended to fast on the first nine days of Dhul Hijjah, especially on the 9th which is the blessed day of Arafat. The blessing of Arafat is attaining forgiveness for 2 years of sins.
Abu Qatadah Al-Ansari narrated, “The Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه و سلم was asked about fasting on the day of Arafat. He صلى الله عليه و سلم replied, “Fasting on the day of Arafat is an expiation for the preceding year and the following year.” These days were so popular amongst the sahaba for fasting that the later scholar fell into doubt whether fasting these days is waajib. They classified fasting in these days as Sunnah Mu’kadah (Highly Recommended Sunnah)
Since the importance is stressed on the daytime, its better we try sleeping early and utilize the day as much as possible. Fasting during classes or work could be tough at times. What’s best and helps you to be motivated is have your friends also join you in keeping these fasts. It becomes like a flashback to the recent Ramadan times. What we can do while going about our work as well as fasting is up next.
Sheikh Saleh Al Munajjad rightly says about Takbeer when asked about it, “Takbeer at this time is an aspect of the Sunnah that has been forgotten, especially during the early part of this period, so much so that one hardly ever hears Takbeer, except from a few people. This Takbeer should be pronounced loudly, in order to revive the Sunnah and as a reminder to the negligent. There is sound evidence that Ibn ‘Umar and Abu Hurayrah used to go out in the marketplace during the first ten days of Dhu’l-Hijjah, reciting Takbeer, and the people would recite Takbeer when they heard them. The idea behind reminding the people to recite Takbeer is that each one should recite it individually, not in unison, as there is no basis in Sharee’ah for doing this.
Reviving aspects of the Sunnah that have been virtually forgotten is a deed that will bring an immense reward, as is indicated by the words of the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم, “Whoever revives an aspect of my Sunnah that is forgotten after my death, he will have a reward equivalent to that of the people who follow him, without it detracting in the least from their reward.”
الله أكبر، الله أكبر، الله أكبر، لا إله إلا الله . والله أكبر ، الله أكبر ، ولله الحمد
Translation: “Allah is the greatest, Allah is the greatest, Allah is the greatest. There is no deity besides Allah and Allah is the greatest. Allah is the greatest and all praises are for Allah only.”
The best part about this is that the rewards are abundant and yet it requires hardly any work. We can do this while driving/walking to work, school etc. We can do this while working around here and there, housework, chores, homework anywhere and anytime. Its only when you do this that you feel something inside you click, as if you have found what you had been looking for all this time, like why you are here for and you are actually doing it. Enlightening experience I tell you. If you are going to be proclaiming takbeer often throughout the day, personal advice would be to try and be as hydrated as possible. Drink loads and loads of water the night before, its going to be of great help.
The Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم said: “There are no days in which righteous deeds are more beloved to Allah than these ten days (Dhul Hijjah).” [Sunan Ibn Majah]
We should take advantage of this blessed time where good deeds are multiplied significantly. Charity is one thing I personally believe after fasting could be a game changer for our book of deeds on the Day of Judgement. The amount of stress laid upon it by Allah and his Messengerصلى الله عليه و سلم is just too much to not take notice.
“The likeness of those who spend their wealth in the way of Allah, is as the likeness of a grain (of corn); it grows seven ears, and each ear has a hundred grains. Allah gives manifold increase to whom He wills. And Allah is All-Sufficient for His creatures’ needs, All-Knower.
Allah says in the Quran: “Those who spend their wealth in the Cause of Allaah, and do not follow up their gifts with reminders of their generosity or with injury, their reward is with their Lord. On them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve” [Surah Al-Baqarah 2:261-262]
It was narrated that Abu Hurayrah said: The Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه و سلم said: “Whoever gives charity equal to a date from good (halal) earnings – for Allah does not accept anything but that which is good – Allah will take it in His right hand and tend it for the one who gave it as any one of you tends his foal, until it becomes like a mountain.” (Sahih Al Bukhari)
I think I for one will definitely be needing some mountains of good deeds later on.
In these ten days, the one thing that should motivate our nafs to let go and give out money to our needy brothers is this hadith. It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah that the Messenger of Allah said: “Allah said: ‘Spend, O son of Adam, and I shall spend on you.’” (Sahih Al-Bukhari)
Right now I can only imagine and yet fail again and again thinking of just what Allah will provide for those who spend in his sake. Literally anything that comes to your head, it will be better than that.
They might pester us at times, scold us at times, advice us at times and worst of all ask about our results and salaries at times but at the end of the day Allah has made us in families so we can look after and support each other. In these 10 days it is way better to make an extra effort to be good to your family whom you haven’t spoken to in a while, and don’t forget your extended family that is your neighbors. Smile for even smiling is charity. Just smiling and greeting a fellow brother/sister could brighten up their day. It could be the very thing they needed at that time. A happy family and neighbourhood can boost you iman and productivity levels to make a difference for our Ummah which is much needed. It is such acts such as these which may seem small, but its these small stones which start an avalanche.
Last but not the least make dua. Cry like a baby does for his mother for even though the kid has done mistakes the mother might lock him up in the room for some time but on hearing him cry eventually he will be forgiven and embraced in her love. What if it is the case with Allah when his Messenger صلى الله عليه و سلم has told us that Allah loves us 70 times more than our very own mothers. Ask Allah not just for yourself but for others too because when you ask something in dua for someone else without them knowing then the angels make dua that you get the same thing too. Make dua for your parents, teachers, scholars and the Ummah as a whole. Who knows that it maybe your dua that Allah accepts and allows this Nation to rise again from its deep slumber.Its a win win deal showing at the end of the day how much Allah loves us and wants to make it easy for us on the road to him.
Its not Allah who needs our charity, money, fasts and duas. He is way above all that. It is us who are always in need of him. Even while giving charity don’t think that WE are helping someone, instead we should just be happy that Allah chose us to be a means to spread his blessings as all good is only from Allah.
May Allah enable us to make the best of these blessed days and make accept from us our meager deeds for his sake and make it a means of our success in this world and in the Hereafter