As the month of October has started, you might have realized that the last month of the Islamic calendar is also beginning. This month is Dhul-Hijjah, an exciting month because it brings together millions of Muslims to Mecca for Hajj and has 'Īd! Of course, you're very excited for 'Īd, planning all the fun things you'll do to celebrate on the special day. And if you have close family or friends who are doing Hajj this year, you will probably be paying special attention to the different parts of Hajj and counting down the days until the Hajjis will come home.
Today is the first day of Dhul-Hijjah, and as the month has started, so have the greatest days of the entire year! Did you know that the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah are better than any other days in the year? And you know how awesome Ramadan is, right? The first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah are even better than the days of Ramadan. Imagine that! Any good deed you do during these ten days counts so much more in your scale of good deeds because these days are so blessed. You might think that if you aren't performing Hajj this year, then you can't benefit from the month of Dhul-Hijjah. This is far from true. There are many things you can do to take advantage of these ten days and become a Dhul-Hijjah Super-Hero!
1. Do Good Deeds
Good deeds count so much more during these days, so take advantage of every opportunity to do something good. It could be helping your little brother with his homework, reading a book to your sister, or picking up litter from the grass. Make a goal for these ten days and attempt to do a new good deed every day.
2. Remember Allāh
Do lots of dhikr throughout the day. This is a very easy way to get tons of good deeds.
3. Make Sacrifices
Remember that 'Īd al-Aḍḥa is the Day of the Sacrifice. During this time, we are supposed to remember when Ibrahim (A) was about to sacrifice his only son Ismail (A). He loved his son dearly, but he was willing to go through with the sacrifice because Allāh ordered him to do so. Ibrahim (A) was ready to make such a big sacrifice, so we should be willing to make some sacrifices during the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah. Maybe you can sacrifice a little sleep or play time to read Qur'an or help out a family member. Giving up something you love (like computer time) for the sake of Allāh will earn you lots of good deeds and will leave you with a special feeling that you did something good.
4. Improve Prayers
Make this the time to improve your prayers. If you do not already pray five times a day, try doing so now. Also, work on improving your khushoo' during prayers. If you pray very fast without thinking much about what you are saying, try memorizing the meaning of Surah Fatiha so you understand what you are saying. Recite the surahs you have memorized recently so you have to think harder while saying them. Make a prayer group with your siblings or friends in which you take turns leading the prayer. Maybe after each prayer you can talk about what good deeds you have been doing!
5. Avoid Fighting
Since this is the time to be the best person ever, you should definitely make an attempt to avoid fighting. Try smiling at the people you normally fight with. It can be kind of funny, but it's hard to fight if you're too busy smiling at the person in front of you.
These are some of the best days in the year to fast. Also, the days are much shorter than they were in Ramadan so it won't be that hard. Choose a day with your family to fast and have suhoor and iftar together. The day before 'Īd, Yawmul Arafah, is the best day to fast. Abu Hafsah (R) narrates: The Messenger of Allāh (S) said: “Fasting on the day of 'Arafah absolves the sins for two years: the previous year and the coming year” (Muslim). Now isn't that just awesome? Fasting on this day will forgive your sins from the year before and the year after! So definitely try fasting on that day.
7. Give to Those Less Fortunate
'Īd al-Aḍḥa is also a time to remember those less fortunate. Don't forget to help out others any way you can during these days. Now that you know why Dhul-Hijjah is so special and what you can do to take advantage of the first ten days, don't waste any time becoming a Dhul-Hijjah Super-Hero. Don't let the ten days go by without using this opportunity to get good deeds.