Significance of Fasting in the Month of Zil Hajj
The month of Dhul-Hijjah is known as the month of the Pilgrimage. It is recommended to fast the first 9 days of the month specifically, on the 9th day (the Day of Arafah), it is more emphasized to fast on this day. Prophet Muhammad (SAW) says that: “Fasting on this day can expiates your sins from the preceding year and the current year” (Muslim).
Zil Hajj is the 12th month of the Islamic calendar. This holy month has importance because of Pilgrimage. According to our cherished Prophet Muhammad (SAW), the primary 10 days of Dhul Hijjah are a unique time for devotion. For folks that aren’t capable of the tour for the pilgrimage, that is a unique time to recollect Allah and spend more time in devotion and precise deeds.
Abu Hurairah (RA) said that the Prophet (SAW) stated: “There are no days more loved to Allah for you to worship Him therein than the (first) ten days of Dhul Hijjah. Fasting any day during these days is equivalent to fasting for one year. And to offer Salatul Tahajjud (late-night prayer) during one of its nights is like performing the late-night prayer on the night of Qadr.” (Tirmidhi)
Fasting in the ten days of Dul-Hijjah is one of such occasion in which if a Muslim fast, he or she can earn great reward for it compared to fasting in any other day of the Islamic year. As Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said in one of His hadiths: “Anyone who fasts for one day for Allah’s pleasure, Allah will keep his face away from the (Hell) fir for (a distance covered by a journey of) seventy years.” (Bukhari)
Ask Allah Almighty for His blessings and mercy go hand in hand with seeking forgiveness from Him. As humans we are full of errors and mistakes which translate into sins. Therefore, every wise Muslim tries to seek forgiveness from Allah Almighty whenever and wherever possible. The first ten days of Dul-Hijja undoubtedly are the ideal days for committing good deeds, however, it also seems natural that in these days a person asks for forgiveness from Him and try to make amends for whatever has happened in the past either intentionally or unintentionally. Allah says in Quran: “But as for him who repented, believed and did righteous deeds, then he will be among those who are successful.” (Quran, 28:67)
Our beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said in one of His hadith about the blessed days of Dhul Hijjah in these words: “There are no deeds as excellent as those done in these ten days.” They (the companions listening) said, “Not even Jihad?” He (SAW) said, “No, not even Jihad except a man who goes forth endangering his life and wealth and does not return with anything” (Bukhari).
It is clear from the above sayings that these 10 days possess tremendous blessings and excellence. Therefore, we should spend these 10 blessed days and nights in intensive worship and virtuous acts. One of the most important and virtuous acts is fasting during the first 9 days of Dhul Hijjah with prayer and other good deeds.
Fasting is one of the greatest deeds and is considered the best form of worship. The above hadith recommended that we should fast during the first 9 days of Dhul Hijjah having an extra significance of fasting on 9th Zil Hajj (The Day of Arafah). In another hadith, Hazrat Hafsah (RA) stated that: “The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) would fast the (first) nine days of Dhul Hijjah, the Day of Ashura and the three days of every month: The first Monday of every month and the following two Thursdays”. (Abu Dawud)
May Almighty Allah make us from those who are following the Sunnah of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAW)! Ameen