Out of the sum of twelve, there are four main sacred months in Islam, Zul Qa’dah, Zul Hijjah, Muharram and Rajab. As per Islamic beliefs the reward for any good deed done in this month is multiplied and so does the punishment for sins.
- Muslims should indulge themselves in ibadah, especially during the first 10 days of Zul Hajj as it helps in attaining great rewards from Allah.
The importance of Zul Hijjah in Islam can be signified by these words of the prophet of Allah, Muhammad (PBUH): “There is no virtuous deed carried out in any day of the year that can be equal to the reward of (that virtuous deed) carried out in these ten days of Zul Hijjah”. The Sahabah asked, “Not even Jihaad?” Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) replied, “Not even Jihaad, except for the one who endangers his life and wealth (in Jihad) and does not return with anything.”
This means that the Jihad conducted in the first 10 days of Zul Hijjah is considered to be more virtuous than Jihad carried out at any other time of the year, apart from for that Jihadi who attains martyrdom.
- Great rewards are reserved for the ones who fast during the first 10 days of Zul Hijjah (excluding the 10th). The significance of fasting on the day of Arafat (9th Zul Hijjah) can better be understood by the following hadith:
The importance of Zul Hijjah can also be gauged by the fact that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “Fasting the Day of ‘Arafah (ninth Zul Hijjah) is an expiation for (all the sins of) the previous year and expiation for (all the sins of) the coming year.” – Muslim
- If one is looking forward to earning the rewards for making Ibadat on Layla-tul-Qadaer, one should engross him/herself completely in Ibadat, in the first ten nights of Zul Hijjah.
Allah’s last prophet, Muhammad (PBUH)’s saying Hajj atul wada: “There are no days in the year wherein the worship of Allah Ta’ala is more beloved to Him than the ten days of Zul Hijjah. The fast during these days (excluding the tenth) is equivalent to the fast of an entire year and standing up in ‘ibaadah during these nights is equivalent to the reward of the night of Qadr (power)” Reinforces the importance of Zul Hijjah.
- In one of the places Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) mentions that whosoever worships Allah (especially) on these five nights (i.e. The night of Tarwiya (8th of Zul Hijjah), the night of Arafah (9th of Zul Hijjah), the night of nahr (10th of Zul Hijjah), the night of Eid ul Fitr and the night of the 15th of Sha’baan.), Jannah will become Waajib on him or her.
- To fast on the 9th of Zul Hijjah (1st day of Arafat) is Sunnah for the ones who are not in the state of Ihram. This fast not only makes you eligible for getting the reward of one year’s fast, but also two years’ sins will be forgiven of the ones who fast.
The importance of Zul Hijjah can be judged by fact that: Once a Sahabi questioned prophet Muhammad (PBUH), he said: “O Rasulullah (PBUH), what is the reward of the person who fasts on the day of Aashurah?” Prophet (PBUH) replied, “It carries the reward of fasting for an entire year. The Sahabi then inquired: “What is the reward of fasting on the day of Arafah. Prophet (PBUH) replied: “It expiates the (minor) sins of the present year and the previous year.”
- Those who intend to sacrifice the animal in the name of Allah, it is a sunnah practice for them to avoid clipping their nails or trimming their hair from the beginning of Zul Hijjah till the time they slaughter the sacrificial animal.
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “Whoever intends making Qurbaani, then he should refrain from cutting his hair and clipping his nails from the time the crescent (of Zul Hijjah) is sighted till he completes his Qurbaani (Holy Sacrifice).”
- The importance of Zul Hajj becomes evident with the fact that Muslims are commanded to recite Takbeer-e-Tashreeq from the Fajr of the 9th of Zul Hijjah till Asr time on 13th of Zul Hijjah. After every farz salah, males are ordered to recite Takbeer-e-Tashreeq, audibly, whereas the females are required to recite it gently.
Takbeer-e-Tashreeq is stated as follows:
Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar,
Lã ilãha illallãhu wallahu Akbar,
Allahu Akbar, Walil lahil hamd.
Translation: “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.”