Dhul Hijjah, known as the month of Hajj, is the 12th and final month in the Islamic calendar . It is the month of pilgrimage, in which Muslims perform Hajj, as well as marking other events like the Day of Arafah , Eid Al-Adha , and giving Qurbani. Fighting during this month is forbidden to allow pilgrims to travel safely.
This month is one of the four sacred months, the others being Muharram, Rajab, and Dhul Qadah, in which good deeds are more virtuous than in other months. The first 10 days of Dhul Hijjah are particularly sacred: In a hadith, the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said, "There are no days on which righteous deeds are more beloved to Allah (SWT) than these ten days” (Bukhari).
The month of Dhul Hijjah begins with the sighting of the moon, which is expected to be on 19th June 2023. Hajj begins on June 26th 2023, followed by the Day of Arafah on the 27th and Eid Al-Adha on the 28th or 29th.
This month is often observed with lots of dhikr, increased worship, and Hajj. In addition, during this month, Muslims must give Qurbani, if they are able to, as a way of commemorating the sacrifice of Ibrahim (AS), who was ready to sacrifice his son, Ismail, for the sake of Allah (SWT).
Qurbani is the act of sacrificing an animal to distribute in three parts: to your family, your friends, and poor people. It must be given on the 10th, 11th, or 12th days of Dhul Hijjah, and must be after Eid Prayer for Eid Al-Adha. Any sacrifices before this will not be counted as Qurbani, so it is important to wait until after Eid salah.
Events in Dhul Hijjah
There have been a number of Islamic historical events that have taken place during the holy month of Dhul Hijjah.
During this month, Hamza bin Abdul-Muttalib (RA), the uncle of the Prophet (PBUH) accepted Islam, and three days later, Umar (RA) did the same. Both of these men were strong and courageous, and this meant the religion of Islam had gained two men who would spread its message without fear.
In 10 AH of this month, the Prophet (PBUH) gave his farewell sermon. When this was complete, Islam was perfected: Allah (SWT) revealed, “This day, I have perfected for you your religion and completed upon you my blessing and I have chosen for you Islam as (your) religion.”
In addition to these important events, Umar (RA) and Uthman (RA) were both killed during this month. Umar (RA) was stabbed while leading the Fajr prayer and died three days later, and Uthman (RA) was martyred in his home by assassins after praying and reading Qur’an.
Fasting in Dhul Hijjah
There is great reward in fasting in the first 10 days of Dhul Hijjah, as Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) 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 Laylatul Qadr” (Tirmidhi).
Fasting on the Day of Arafah
It is makruh (disliked) for pilgrims to fast on this day, but it is recommended for non-pilgrims to fast on the Day of Arafah. The Prophet (PBUH) said “Fasting the day of Arafah expiates the sins of two years: the past one and the coming one” (Muslim). This shows the importance of fasting on this day and should encourage us to make the most of it, as well as the sacred month of Dhul Hijjah, by asking for forgiveness from Allah (SWT) and increasing charitable deeds.
Giving Charity in Dhul Hijjah
Giving to charity during this month, particularly during the first 10 days, is especially important. Dhul Hijjah is a sacred month in which deeds are more virtuous than in other months, so giving charity will ensure you reap the rewards of Dhul Hijjah, Insha’Allah.
Donate to Orphans in Need here or sponsor an orphan to gain rewards during this month.