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No Hajj For Me This Year: What Can I Do At Home?

After experiencing "one of a kind" Ramadan, we Muslims come upon another great month of blessings and reward, the month of Dhul-Hijjah. Hajj 2020, comes with the news that the annual Hajj pilgrimage that hosts over two million people around the globe will only allow about a thousand local residents due to the coronavirus pandemic. This news comes with great disappointment for all Muslims and especially for the ones who were planning for months, saving for years, and preparing for days to perform the holy pilgrimage this year. It breaks our hearts when we see pictures or videos of the Hajj. Those of us who have been to the holy land before, with beautiful memories still vivid, yearn to go back and those of us who have been waiting to go on this amazing journey are saddened by the thought.

Nonetheless, it is by the infinite mercy that Allah (SWT) gives us these special days and nights in a year where rewards are multiplied. Those of us who are not able to go this year can still take great advantage of the blessed 10 days and nights of Dhul Hijjah. Read on to find out how!

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10 Very Special Days

It was narrated from Ibn 'Abbas (R) that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said:

"There are no days during which righteous deeds are more beloved to Allah than these days," meaning the (first) ten days of Dhul- Hijjah. They said: "O Messenger of Allah! Not even Jihad in the cause of Allah?" He said: "Not even Jihad in the cause of Allah unless a man goes out with himself and his wealth and does not bring anything back." (Sahih Bukhari)

The day of Arafah is the most blessed day. 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." (Muslim)

10 Ways to Benefit from These 10 Days

1. Dhikr - Remembrance of Allah (SWT):

The Prophet (peace and blessings upon him) 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)


2. Takbeeraat - Glorifications:

Recite the Takbeeraat whenever possible - at home, at work, while driving, at the mosque.

الله أكبر الله أكبر الله أكبر لا إله إلا الله
الله أكبر الله أكبر ولله الحمد

Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar Laa ilaaha ill-Allah
Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar - walillahil Hamd

Allah is Greater, Allah is Greater, Allah is Greater, There is no god worthy of worship except Allah
Allah is Greater, Allah is Greater - to Him belongs all Praise


3. Dua - Supplication:

Lots and lots of dua.

The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings upon him) said, "The most excellent dua is the dua on the Day of Arafah, and the best of what I and the prophets before me have said, is 'There is no god but Allah, alone, without partner.'"

لاَ إِلَهَ إِلاَّ اللَّهُ وَحْدَهُ لاَ شَرِيكَ لَهُ

Laa ilaaha ill-Allah


4. Fasting - Sawm:

Try to fast the first 9 days of Dhul-Hijjah. If not, try to fast Mondays and Thursdays. It is highly recommended for those not going for Hajj to fast on the day of Arafah (9th of Dhul-Hijjah)

The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings upon him) was asked about fasting on the day of Arafah (the 9th of the month of Dhul Hijjah). He replied, "Fasting on the day of Arafah is an expiation for the preceding year and the following year." (Muslim)


5. Obligatory (Fard) and voluntary (Nafl) prayers:

Stand before Allah (SWT) with humility. Seek forgiveness, make Dua, and pray extra voluntary prayers to attain closeness to Allah (SWT). Beg Him, especially in the last 3rd of the night.


6. Charity - Sadaqah:

More than ever, this year we see people in need around us. Let us spend on the needy even if it is a dollar. Let us make it a point to do a charitable deed daily in these 10 blessed days. Even a kind word or smiling is charity.


7. Read the Quran and spread knowledge:

In these blessed days, let us build a special bond with the book of Allah (SWT): the Quran. Along with reading, we must reflect on its meaning and implement its teachings in our daily life.


8. Repentance and seeking forgiveness - Tawbah and Istighfar:

Sincerely repent and ask for forgiveness with complete devotion and with the intention to never return to the sins that have blackened our hearts. Let us try to give up all the deeds that are disliked by our Creator, Allah (SWT).


9. Sacrifice - Qurbani/Udhiyah:

The 10th of Dhul-Hijjah is the first day of Eid-ul-Adha. We revive the great Sunnah of Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him), Prophet Ismail (peace be upon him) and our beloved Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings upon him) by sacrificing animals prescribed in the Sunnah (for those who are able).

Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings upon him) said, "The day of Al-Hajj Al-Akbar is the day of An-Nahr [the day of the Sacrifice]." (Sahih)

We must check our Niyyah and make sure that the sacrifice is for Allah (SWT) alone.

"Their meat will not reach Allah, nor will their blood, but what reaches Him is piety from you. Thus have We subjected them to you that you may glorify Allah for that [to] which He has guided you; and give good tidings to the doers of good." (Quran 22:37)


10. Make Intention (Niyyah) for Hajj and Umrah:

Pray that Allah (SWT) forgives our sins and enables us to perform Umrah and Hajj.


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Opportunities For Everyone

Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported:

The poor Emigrants came to the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings upon him) and said: "The wealthy have gone with the highest ranks and lasting bliss." He asked: "How is that?" They replied: "They offer Salat (prayer) as we offer it; they observe fast as we do; (and as they are wealthy) they perform Hajj and 'Umrah, and go for Jihad, and they spend in charity but we cannot, and they free the slaves but we are unable to do so." The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings upon him) said, "Shall I not teach you something with which you may overtake those who surpassed you and with which you will surpass those who will come after you? None will excel you unless he who does which you do." They said: "Yes, please do, O Messenger of Allah" He (peace and blessings upon him) said, "You should recite: Tasbih (Allah is free from imperfection), Takbir (Allah is Greatest), Tahmid (Praise be to Allah) thirty-three times after each Salat."

(Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

Abu Salih, the sub-narrator of the Hadith said, when Abu Hurairah (may Allah SWT be pleased with him) was asked about the manner of reciting Tasbih, Tahmid and Takbir, he said, "Recite: "Subhan-Allah, wal-hamdulillah, wallahu Akbar', till all are recited thirty-three times."

It is among the blessings of Allah (SWT) that He gives His slaves tremendous opportunities and times when they can earn multitudes of rewards, seek forgiveness, and attain closeness to their Lord, their Sustainer. Let us make the most of them.


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