The Month of Thul Hijjah
The Month of Thul Hijjah is the last month of the Islamic calendar. Literally it means “the Month of Hajj.” Obviously this name of the month indicates that the great annual worship of “Hajj” is performed in this month. For this reason it has a peculiar significance as compared to other months of the year. It is the Second of the four sanctified months (al-ashhur-al-hurum) mentioned in the Qur’an.
Narrated Abu Bakrah Radhiyallahu Anhu:
The Prophet (ﷺ) said, "Time has come back to its original state which it had when Allah created the Heavens and the Earth; the year is twelve months, four of which are sacred. Three of them are in succession; Thul Qa'dah, Thul Hijjah and Al-Muharram, and (the fourth being) Rajab Mudar (named after the tribe of Mudar as they used to respect this month) which stands between Jumaada (As-Saani) and Sha'baan." (Saheehul Bukhari, Saheeh Muslim)
Some days in this Month are called by descriptive names.
1) 8th day called Yawmuth tharwiya – The day of Tharwiya
2) 9th day is called Yawmu ‘arafah – The day of ‘Arafah
3) 10th day is called Yawmun Nahr – The day of Nahr
4) 11th, 12th & 13th days are called Ayyamuth Thashreeq – The days of Thashreeq
The Significance of the first 10 days
The first ten days of the month of Thul Hijjah are among the most magnificent days in Islamic calendar.
1. Allahu Ta’ala has promised by these ten days.
In the Soora Al Fajr Allahu Ta’ala says “By ten nights” (89:2), Most of the Mufassireen say these ten nights refer to the first ten days of Thul Hijjah.
2. The good deeds done during the first 10 days of Thul Hijjah are much more desired by Allahu Ta’ala.
Narrated Ibn 'Abbas Radhiyallaahu anhuma:
The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) as saying: There is no virtue more to the liking of Allah in any day than in these days, that is, the first ten days of Dhu al-Hijjah. They (the Companions) asked: Messenger of Allah, not even the struggle in the path of Allah (Jihad) ? He said: (Yes), not even the struggle in the path of Allah, except a man who goes out (in the path of Allah) with his life and property, and does not return with any of them. (Sunanu Abee Daud - 2440).
3. Within these there is a day called “Yawmuth tharwiya, which is the 8th day of Thul Hijjah. The deeds of Hajj is starting from this day onwards.
4. Within these there is a day called “Yawmu ‘Arafa”, which is the 9th day of Thul Hijjah. This day is the most glorified day. Because on this day all sins are forgiven and freed from the Hell.
'A'isha Radhiyallaahu Anha reported Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) as saying:
There is no day when God sets free more servants from Hell than the Day of 'Arafa. He draws near, then praises them to the angels, saying: What do these want? (Saheehu Muslim – 3354
5. Within these there is a day called “Yawmun Nahr”, which is the 10th day of Thul Hijjah. This day is the most excellent day out of all other days.
Narrated Abdullah ibn Qurt Radhiyallaahu anhu:
The Prophet (ﷺ) said: The greatest day in Allah's sight is the day of sacrifice and next the day of resting. (Sunanu Abee Daud – 1767)
6. These grand days, repeating as annual events, includes the basic Ibadahs together.
Ibnu Hajar Rahmathullahi Alaihi says: The reason for the first 10 days to be so much glorified is because Salah, Fasting, Sadaqa and Hajj are performed together within these 10 days. In other periods this does not happen together. (Fathhul Bari)
The Ibadahs to be performed particularly in the first 10 days
1. Performing Hajj and Umrah
Abu Hurairah Radhiyallaahu anhu reported Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) as saying: An Umra is an expiation for the sins committed between it and the next, and Hajj which is accepted will receive no other reward than Paradise. (Saheehul Bukhary – 1683. Saheehu Muslim - 3355)
Generally fasting during the first nine days of this month is Sunnah. And, fasting on the 9th day is Sunnah Muakkadah.
It was narrated from Hunaidah bin Khalid Radhiyallaahu anhu that his wife said:
"One of the wives of the Prophet said: "The Prophet used to fast on the day of 'Ashura, nine days of Dhul-Hijjiah and three days each month: The first Monday of the month, and two Thursday." (Sunanun Nasaai - 2372)
The Fast of Yawmu ‘Arafah
For those not performing Hajj, it is Mustahabb (desirable) to fast on this day according to their own calendar. It sometimes occurs that the date of 9th thul Hijjah falls on different days in different countries according to the sighting of the moon. In such cases, Muslims of each country should observe ‘Yawmu ‘Arafah according to the lunar dates of their own country.
The fast of ‘Yawmu ‘Arafah’ has been emphasized by the Holy Prophet (ﷺ) as a Mustahabb (desirable) act. According to a hadith,
It was narrated from Abu Qatadah Radhiyallaahu anhu that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said:
“Fasting on the Day of ‘Arafah, I hope from Allah, expiates for the sins of the year before and the year after.”
3. Participating more in Thahleel, Thakbeer and Thahmeeth –
It was narrated from Ibnu Omar Radhiyallahu Anhuma that the Prophet (ﷺ) said: “There are no days that are greater before Allaah or in which good deeds are more beloved to Him, than these ten days, so recite a great deal of tahleel, takbeer and tahmeed during them.” (Musnad Ahmad)
Thahleel: لاإله إلا الله
Takbeer: الله أكبر
Thahmeeth: الحمد لله
It was narrated from ’Aishah Radhiyallaahu anha that the Prophet (ﷺ) said:
“The son of Adam does not do any deed on the Day of Sacrifice that is dearer to Allah than giving Udhhiyyah. It will come on the Day of Resurrection with its horns and cloven hoofs and hair. Its blood is accepted by Allah before it reaches the ground. So be content when you do it.” (Sunanuth Thirmithi)