Optional Worship for Dhu-l Hijja

Allah Most High has revealed:

“The number of months in the sight of Allah is twelve (in a year)—so ordained by Him the day He created the heavens and the earth; of them four are sacred: that is the straight usage. So wrong not yourselves therein,”—al-Qu’ran 9:36

Allah Most High has sworn:

“By the dawn, and the ten nights”—al-Qu’ran 89:1-2

(Many commentators of the Qur’an have concluded that the “ten nights” mentioned this ayat refer to the first ten nights of Dhu-l Hijja)

The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said:

“The year is twelve months, of which four are sacred: three consecutive months, Dhu-l Qa’da, Dhu-l Hijja and Muharram, and Rajab of Mudar which comes between Jumada and Sha’ban.”—related by Abu Bakra and found in Bukhari

The Messenger of Allah ﷺ has also said:

“The Chieftain of all months is the month of Ramadan and the mightiest of them in sanctity is Dhu-l Hijja.”

and:

“Of all the days of this world, the most excellent are the Ten Days of Dhu-l Hijja.”

In addition to establishing the sanctity of Dhu-l Hijja, there are Prophetic narrations that mention the virtues of specific days and nights therein and special acts of optional worship for them. Hajja Durriya mentions these in her work: al-Fawa’id al-Ilahiyya al-Warida ‘an khair al-Bariyya (كتاب الفوائد الإلهية الواردة عن خير البرية). Rizwana Sayed has translated them in her beautiful work: “The Sacred Months – Prayer & Worship for the Special Months”.

May Allah Most High bestow tawfiq to honour these special nights and days and accrue the resultant benefits.

1st Day of Dhu-l Hijja

It has been related that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ wed Lady Fatima to Imam ‘Ali on the first day of Dhu-l Hijja. The Prophet ﷺ said to Lady Fatima: “O Fatima, pray 4-rakats, in each rakat recite al-Fatiha once and Sura al-Ikhlas fifty times. Upon completion, say: ‘Transcendent is the One of Supreme and Sublime Honour. Transcendent is the One of Superior and Exalted Majesty. Transcendent is the Owner of the the pre-eternal Magnificent Kingdom. Transcendent is the One Who sees the tracks of the ants in rows. Transcendent is the One Who sees the location of the birds. Transcendent is the One Who is like this, and there is none other like Him!‘”

9th Day of Dhu-l Hijja (Day of Arafa)

The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said:

“There is no day more excellent than the Day of Arafa, on which Allah Most High invites the inhabitants of the heaven to vie in glory with the people of the earth, saying: ‘Look at my servants! See how they come to Me, dishevelled and covered with dust, from every deep ravine. They are hoping for My mercy and are afraid of incurring My chastisement, for no day ever witnessed more emancipation from the Inferno than the Day of Arafa‘”

» Fasting the Day of Arafa

Details to follow.

» The 4-Rakat Prayer

Details to follow.

» The 2-Rakat Prayer

Details to follow.

The 10 Nights of Dhu-l Hijja

If a worshipper prays during any night of the Ten Nights, performing 4-rakats of ritual prayer in the last third of the night, and includes the following recitations (in each rakat):

  • al-Fatiha once,
  • ayat al-Kursi thrice,
  • sura al-Ikhlas thrice, and
  • the 2 refuge-seeking surahs (i.e. sura al-Falaq and sura al-Nass) once each,

and upon completion raises his hands in entreaty and says: “Transcendent is the Owner of the Might and the Dominion. Transcendent is the Owner of the Power and the Kingdom. Transcendent is the Ever-Living Who never dies. There is no God but He, the One Who brings to life and Who causes death, while He is Ever-Living and never dies. Transcendent is Allah, the Lord of men and all the lands. Praise be to Allah, an abundant, fine and blessed praise, under all circumstance. Allah is Supremely Great, immensely so. Our Lord, splendid is His Majesty and His Power is in every place.”

And if he then pleads for whatever he wishes, he will be entitled to the same reward as someone who performs the pilgrimage to the Sacred House of Allah, visits the resting place of the Prophet ﷺ and strives in the cause of Allah. Whatever he asks of Allah, He will surely grant him his request.

If he perform this ritual prayer every night during the Ten Nights, Allah Most High will grant him lawful access to the Highest Paradise [al-firdaws al-a’la], and He will erase every bad deed from his record, and will be told: “Now set about your work from a new beginning.

If it happens to be the Day of Arafa. and he devotes the daytime to fasting and the night to ritual prayer, and he recites this invocation, and he offers many a humble entreaty in the presence of Allah Most High, Allah will say: “O My angels, bear witness that I have granted him forgiveness, and that I have equated him with the pilgrim to the House of Allah.” The angels will be delighted to learn what Allah Most High has bestowed upon that believing servant, as a reward for the above ritual prayer and invocation.

And Allah and His Messenger know best.

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