‘Dhul Hijjah’-to take part in the journey
لَبَّيْكَ اللَّهُمَّ لَبَّيْكَ،لَبَّيْكَ لَا شَرِيكَ لَكَ لَبَّيْكَ،انَّا الْحَمْدَ، وَالنِّعْمَةَ، لَكَ وَالْمُلْكَ، لا شَرِيكَ لَكَ
Labbayk Allaahumma labbayk, labbayk laa shareeka laka labbayk, ‘innal-hamda, wanni’mata, laka walmulk, laa shareeka lak
Here I am at Your service Allah, here I am. Here I am You have no partners, here I am. Indeed, all praise and the favours are Yours and the dominion. You have no partners.
As we approach the last month of the Islamic calendar, it is a very sacred month of increased spirituality in which the ‘Ḥajj’ or Pilgrimage takes place as well as the Festival of the Sacrifice. There are certain times of the year when even small acts of worship are rewarded in abundance. And from those blessed times are the first ten days of Dhul Hijjah.
Virtues of Hajj
While there are several benefits and virtues of performing the holy pilgrimage, here are some of the rewards, The pilgrims are guests of Allah. (Ibn Majah: 2892) Hajj is one of the best acts of worship and is one of the Pillars of Islam. (Sahih Bukhari: 8) Hajj purifies sins and the pilgrim becomes sinless as a newborn child. (Sahih Bukhari: 1521)
Reward of Hajj Mabroor (the one accepted by Allah) is Paradise. (Sahih Bukhari: 1773) Hajj is jihad; the virtue of jihad is great, and it is the height of the hump of Islam. In the hadith of al-Tabarani regarding the weak man who cannot strive: “Come to a jihad with no thorn: Hajj”.
Likewise, there is humility. The narration of Ahmad stated that Allah boasts of the people of Arafat to the angels saying, “Look at my servants who have come to me disheveled, dusty and crying out from every deep valley. I call you to witness that I have forgiven them.”
Furthermore, there is a connection with the cradle of prophecy. It is a remembrance of valuable past incidents, as it is also a factor of unity among Muslims.
The 7 rituals
The rituals officially begin on the 8th day and end on the 13th of Dhul-Hijjah, where the pilgrims complete the 7 essential steps each serving a purpose,
Wearing the Ihram (attire), making the Intention and Tawaf (rounding Holy Kaaba 7 times)
Arrive at Mina aka “City of Tents” and rest there for the day praying
Mina to Arafat, on the 9th Day where our beloved Prophet (SAW) delivered the final sermon
The pilgrims move on to Muzdalifah arriving at sunset, spending one whole night under the open sky, and collecting 49 pebbles of similar sizes leaving on the morning of 10th
Heading back to Makkah they perform Tawaf al-ifadah and Sa’I (the act of running between the Safa and Marwa hills)
Muslims then go back to Mina to perform the acts of Rami (Stoning the Devil) where the Stoning is performed in the memory of the act of Prophet Ibrahim (AS) when the devil tried discouraging him from following Allah (SWT) command.
After the completion of Rami, on the 12th, pilgrims are advised to perform the sacrifice of an animal followed by Halq (shaving the head for men) and Taqsir (shortening or clipping of hair for women) symbolizing a Muslim’s complete devotion to Allah (SWT) and detachment from worldly appearances.
Farewell Tawaf officially marks the end of Hajj
How to benefit (For those who are not going for Hajj)
Do plenty of Dhikr (and Takbeer) seeking repentance
Stand in night prayers: This offers a perfect opportunity to utilize long hours of the night, reciting the Quran
Increase any and all types of good deeds, give Sadaqa
Fast in the first 9 Days or at least on the 9th day, according to a hadith in Sahi Bukhari fasting on this day expiates our sins of previous years and the next
Make plenty of Dua and read Allah’s names try to know their meaning
Perform the sacrifice if you can afford as stated in another hadith that each hair of the qurbani’s animal removes sin and distribute the meat evenly