What should a Muslim do during the month of Dhul Hijjah?

Last revised:
Thursday, 04 November 2010


The Month of Dhul Hijjah – What a Muslim Should Do


What is Dhul Hijjah

Dhul Hijjah is the name of the last month in the Islamic lunar calendar. It literally means: “the time of Hajj”. Hajj is the fifth pillar of Islam and constitutes the pilgrimage to Makkah, which every Muslim must perform at least once in their lifetime, if they are able to afford it. That is what makes this month so special: it is the month in which the Pilgrimage takes place.

The First Ten Days

The first ten days are considered to be special in Islam. Allah created time, and made some times to be better than others, where rewards are multiplied. This encourages people to do more good deeds and renew their zeal to worship Allah. The Prophet said regarding these days, “There are no other days in which actions are better than in these ten days.”[1]

Fast on the 9th Day

The 9th day of this month is called “the day of ‘Arafah” because that is the day that the pilgrims performing Hajj gather in the plain of ‘Arafat, just outside Makkah. It is highly recommended for people who are not performing Hajj to fast on this day. This is a special fast that the Prophet Muhammad used to observe. So, one day before the Eid celebration, make sure to fast.

If You Plan on Offering a Sacrifice

The Prophet said, “If anyone wants to offer a sacrifice, they should not remove any of their hair or nails in the first ten days [of Dhul Hijjah].”[2] Cutting something out of a medical need is fine. The wisdom behind this is so that the person offering the sacrifice resembles someone in ihrām [pilgrim dress] in some aspects, so that they can feel something of what the pilgrims are going through in Hajj. If someone is delegated to sacrifice on your behalf, this prohibition applies to you, not them, because you are the one who intended to offer a sacrifice, while they are only physically performing the act for you.


[1] Al-Bukhārī

[2] Muslim