How to Make the Most of Dhul-Hijjah 2020

Everything you need to know, from fasting to the first 10 days of Dhul-Hijjah 2020.

Dhul-Hijjah is the 12th month of the Islamic calendar, and with it brings the 10 best days of the year! During this sacred month, Hajj, the day of Arafah and Eid al-Adha all take place; it is a blessed time for both pilgrims and non-pilgrims alike.

With the chance to grow closer to Allah (SWT) and gain His many blessings, this month, and most importantly the first ten days of it, are vital to Muslims everywhere! This post goes over the ins and outs of Hajj season and answers all your questions about Dhul-Hijjah. Let your journey begin here.

What happens during Dhul-Hijjah?

The final month of the Islamic calendar is arguably the most important time of the year. Hajj, followed by Eid al-Adha, takes place during Dhul-Hijjah. And true to its namesake, Dhul-Hijjah is the month of the pilgrimage.  

Muslims from all reaches of the globe come together in Mecca to start their Hajj on the 8th, 9th and 10th, circling the Kabba before heading to Mount Arafat and participating in rites and prayers to humble themselves throughout Dhul-Hijjah.

For those who aren’t embarking on the pilgrimage, this is still a very sacred time of reflection, forgiveness and charity.

The 9th day of Dhul-Hijjah is the Day of Arafah, and the most crucial day of the Hajj! Muslims gather on Mount Arafat to pray for forgiveness from Allah (SWT) and ask for His blessings.

After this comes Eid al-Adha, the festival of sacrifice that begins on the 10th day of Dhul-Hijjah and celebrates the Prophet Ibrahim’s (AS) faith and devotion to Allah (SWT). The three days of Eid is when Qurbani takes place, so make sure to give your Qurbani before or during this time.

Donating your Qurbani with Penny Appeal USA is only $40, and will provide 57 meals to a family living in poverty.

When is Dhul-Hijjah?

Dhul-Hijjah is the 12th month in the Islamic calendar, but the exact start date of this blessed month can only be confirmed by the position of the moon. It is estimated that Dhul-Hijjah 2020 will take place on the 22nd of July.

What’s so important about the first 10 days of Dhul-Hijjah?

“There are no days in which righteous deeds are more beloved to Allah (swt) than these ten days.” The people asked, “Not even Jihad for the sake of Allah (swt)?” He said, “Not even Jihad for the sake of Allah (swt), except in the case of a man who went out, giving himself and his wealth up for the cause, and came back with nothing.” [Bukhari]

The Prophet (SAW) himself declared the importance of the first 10 days of Dhul-Hijjah and the immense blessings that come along with this reverent time. Everyone, whether they are on their Hajj or not, should use this time to atone, supplicate and pray to Allah (SWT).

It is not only the Prophet (SAW) who regards these day as sacred, but Allah (SWT) himself; “Allah (SWT) the Most High & Exalted says: “By the Dawn; By the ten nights” [89:1-2]. These days hold such importance that the almighty Allah (SWT) swore an oath on them, truly signifying the great benefit that the start of Dhul-Hijjah holds for all Muslims.

These blessed days are met with great worship and regard. Acts of fasting, prayer, hajj and charity should be carried out during this time with set intentions and steadfast hearts. Let’s keep the words of Allah (SWT) and the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) in mind as the first 10 days of Dhul-Hijjah 2020 get closer, and act in honor of them.

Fasting Dhul-Hijjah 2020

Fasting on the first 9 days of Dhul-Hijjah is highly recommended, and is an act that the Prophet (SAW) partook in and encouraged others to do as well. The most important day for fasting during Dhul-Hijjah comes on the 9th day, the Day of Arafah, where 2 years’ worth of sins will be forgiven in light of fasting.

“Fasting on the day of Arafah is an expiation for the preceding year and the following year.” [Muslim]

The only people who should not be fasting on the Day of Arafah are those who are on their pilgrimage and are actually at Arafah, for it is forbidden to fast while on the mountain plain.

How to make the most of Dhul-Hijjah 2020

Unfortunately, no one will be able to partake in the holy pilgrimage to Hajj this year, but there are still many things we can do to make the most of the first 10 days of Dhul-Hijjah 2020! We have already spoken about how beneficial fasting is during the first 9 days of Hajj, so here is a look at some other things you can do to make the most of Dhul-Hijjah 2020.

Recite Dhikr

It is always a wonderful thing to recite your dhikr, and it is indeed Sunnah to do so wherever you can to worship Allah (SWT). During the first 10 days of Dhul-Hijjah, praise Allah (SWT) by reciting the tasbeeh, tahmeed, tahleel and takbeer often and with great love.

Give Generously to Charity

During this time, the good deeds you do are warmly received by Allah (SWT) and in turn are greatly rewarded. He encourages us to give charity and care for the poor because these are acts that He loves. Why not keep some change on hand to give to our brothers and sisters who have fallen on hard times, or check out our campaign page to find a cause you’d like to donate to! If you don’t have money to give to charity, spread joy with a smile because even that is considered charity in Allah’s (SWT) eyes.

Recite the Qur’an

Reading and learning from the Qur’an is something many of us do on a daily basis, but during Dhul-Hijjah, it is important to pay special attention to our recitation. Reading the Qur’an is one of the best ways to grow closer to Allah (SWT). Try setting a recitation goal for the first 10 days of Dhul-Hijjah or just enjoy reading with your family and friends.

Give Qurbani

Eid al-Adha is on the 10th day of Dhul-Hijjah, and it brings with it the conclusion of Hajj. It honors the Prophet Ibrahim’s (AS) devotion to Allah (SWT), and calls for us to remember this act by sacrificing an animal according to proper Islamic tradition. Qurbani is usually split into three portions, one for you and your family, one for friends and relatives and the third for the poor and downtrodden.

Set your intentions early and make your Qurbani donations in preparation for Eid al-Adha, so you can rest easy knowing that the people who most need your donations are going to get them. For Dhul-Hijjah 2020, Penny Appeal USA will be performing Qurbani in India, Uganda, Pakistan, Cameroon, South Africa, Yemen, Lebanon, Palestine, as well as here in the US!