The 10-Days of Dhil-Hijjah/the Month of Hajj (the 12th-month on the Islamic [Lunar] Calendar) are finally upon us:
These days, are like a bonus/extra Last-3rd/Last-Days of Ramadhan, where we can capitalize upon Allah making it so ridiculously easy for us to get blessings & rewards from Him, by doing the simplest things, like: picking up trash on the streets/in the Subway, greeting other people, being kind & courteous to other people, fasting, asking for Forgiveness (of sins)/seeking Repentance (of sins), etc. We, as Muslims, have so many options, to collect good-deeds. Who are we to pass-up an opportunity, such as this: to right wrongs & get bonus-blessings during the best days of the year, the days most beloved to Allah?!!!(al-Bukhari)
During these 10-days, any/all positive actions, for Allah, the Creator/Lord o the Universe, are encouraged to do, based upon one’s ability, and this definitely includes making Hajj/Pilgrimage. However, if one isn’t able to make Hajj, they can most-definitely still do good works. Among the celebrated, encouraged, and most-highlighted good works, during these days, are Fasting. Now, unlike during the month of Ramadhan, Fasting is optional, unless there are days which must be made-up, for Ramadhan, or fasting because of a broken-oath, etc. One can easily use any/all of these days, from the 1st to the 9th of Dhil-Hijjah, to do make-up fasting.
There are some pretty-important things to note concerning fasting during the 1st 10-days of Dhil-Hijjah:
1. We have the option of fasting either all-10, or just the 9th of Dhil-Hijjah
2. However, the best day, among these 10-days are, obviously, the 9th of Dhil-Hijjah, which correlates/coincides with the 14th of October, 2013, this year. And, the reason why this day, the 9th of Dhil-Hijjah is such an important day to fast is because:
a. The 9th of Dhil-Hijjah is (typically) the day in which the Hujjaj/Pilgrims descend upon the plain of `Arafah, as one of the Manasik-il-Hajj/the Rituals (Rites) of Hajj.(Bulugh-ul-Maram)
b. Fasting on this day is the compensation for not being able to make Hajj/Pilgrimage.
c. Fasting on this day guarantees (for the one whose fasting is accepted by Allah of course) the respective Sa’im/Fasting-Person forgiveness of (Minor/Major) Sins, from the previous & following year.(Muslim)
So, with all of this being said: if you’re already on route, or in al-Makkah, al-Madinah, al-Jiddah, at-Ta’if, ready t perform Hajj, may Allah reward you for your efforts & accept for Hajj. And, for those of us, not performing Hajj, may Allah reward us, anyway, based upon the good that we have committed ourselves to doing…Amen