The month of Dhul ‘Hijjah has already started and we need to take advantage of it before it fades away yet another year without benefitting from the fruits it provides us. So that we can benefit from this holy month the most, we need to take a deeper look at what makes it special.

There are many virtues in this holy month, but the first thing that comes to mind is that the Hajj pilgrimage is during this month. That alone should be enough to make the month stand out. Hajj is a pillar of Islam and is an obligation for those who are able to. There is plenty to talk about the virtues and blessings that are involved in performing the Hajj Pilgrimage, but that is not our topic at the moment. One of the biggest blessings that performing Hajj can bring for the believers is mentioned in the following Hadith: The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “Whoever performs Hajj (pilgrimage) and does not have sexual relations (with his wife), nor commits sin, nor disputes unjustly (during Hajj), then he returns from Hajj as pure and free from sins as on the day on which his mother gave birth to him.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

One of our two Eids is also during this Holy month. Eid is a day of commemoration, remembrance and celebration. It is the day that we remember our Prophet Ibraheem Alaihi Assalam by Sacrificing an animal which is a well-established Sunnah. Ibn Umar said: “The Prophet (ﷺ) lived in Madeenah for ten years and every year he slaughtered an animal.” (Ahmad-Saheeh by al-Albaani). The sacrifice is the act that we Muslims do as a symbol of sacrifice and this act of worship was chosen to be during this Holy month for reasons only Allah Ta’ala knows.

There is much discussion between the ‘Ulama about which nights are best and which days are best. However, it is believed that the first ten days of Dhul Hijjah are the best of days. The Prophet (ﷺ) said: “There are no days on which good deeds are greater or more beloved to Allah than on these ten days, so recite much Tahleel (saying Laa ilaaha ill-Allah), Takbeer (saying Allahu Akbar) and Tahmeed (saying Alhamdu Lillaah).” (Ahmad -Saheeh). Since these days are the best of days, we need to increase in all good deeds in hopes that they are most likely to be accepted. Another act that is recommended during these days is fasting, and especially fasting on the day of arafat. The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “There is no day on which Allah sets free more slaves from Hell than He does on the Day of ‘Arafah.”

There are many more virtues that can be mentioned about this Holy month, but the last virtue I would like to mention is that the last sermon was during this month. The last time the Prophet     (ﷺ) addressed the Muslim Umma as a whole with the presence of thousands of Sahaba during the last year before his departure (ﷺ) was chosen to be during this month, during the day of Arafat as well. Everyone should know what was said in the Khutba, but it starts like this: “O People, lend me an attentive ear, for I know not whether after this year, I shall ever be amongst you again. Therefore listen to what I am saying to you very carefully and TAKE THESE WORDS TO THOSE WHO COULD NOT BE PRESENT HERE TODAY.” So read the Khutba and imprint the meanings into your hearts and minds.

Only Allah Ta’ala knows all the virtues of this month, and I was only able to list a few that make the month Holy based on my limited knowledge. What everyone should take from this is if they are not performing Hajj, they should be increasing in good deeds, in hopes that our deeds are elevated, magnified and accepted. May Allah Ta’ala accepted our good deeds and increase us in sincerity.