A long wait for a year is finished, and we are in the auspicious month of Dhu al-Hijjah. Every Muslim knows how important this month is but little do they know about its actual significance. However, that is what this post is all about. You may be overloaded with the information relating to the deeds that you may have to do on these auspicious days. However, you get little information regarding the reason behind those deeds. In the following portion, a short and handy guide to Dhu al-Hijjah is given for your convenience.
What is Dhu al-Hijjah?
Unlike the Gregorian calendar, Hijri calendar depends on the movement of Moon. Each month of Hijri calendar is started with the new moon. Dhu al-Hijjah is the twelfth month of Hijri calendar. The name of the month, Dhu al-Hijjah, means ‘the month of the pilgrimage”. During this month, pious Muslim set their religious journey towards Makkah. Eighth to the twelfth day of Dhu al-Hijjah is marked for the various religious ceremonies, which collectively forms Hajj. Hajj is also considered as one of the five pillars of Islam. Additionally, it is mandatory for every adult Muslim who has enough money to make the trip.
Fasting allows people to instil God-fearing piety, righteousness, and mindfulness within us. These virtues help us to maintain good character, patience, generosity, purity of heart, and many more. Thus fasting serves the purpose of a shield that protects us from sin and finally retribution of Allah on the Day of Judgment in the Hereafter. Islam proposes three level of fasting that helps a true Muslim to attain “Taqwa”. These are abstention from drink and food, abstention from sins, and abstention from bad thoughts.
You can keep fast on any day but fasting on the ninth day of Dhu al-Hijjah is considered as the most significant fasting. This day is also marked as the day of Arafah. In accordance with Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him (PBUH), fasting on this day forgive the sins of the past year as well as the coming Islamic year. It is also important to be mentioned here that; fasting on the tenth day of Dhu al-Hijjah, the day of Eid al Adha also known as the Greater Eid, is prohibited.
Hajj is the representation of life events of Prophet Ibrahim, peace be upon him (PBUH), his two wives, Sarah as well as Hajar and two sons Ismail as well as Isaac. In order to understand the significance of sacrifice, you must know the story behind this act. Eid-ul-Adha is a festival to offer tribute the colossal sacrifice that was done by Prophet Ibrahim, peace be upon him (PBUH). Ibrahim was instructed by Allah to sacrifice his extremely beloved son, Ismail, as a test of submission. Ibrahim willingly follows to Allah’s command; however, Allah, by His compassion, swaps Ismail at the time of sacrifice with a lamb. Unlike Pagan ritual, Allah does not want the meat or blood of the sacrificing animal what Allah instructed to humankind is selfless obedience, it the essence of sacrifice.