By Dunia Shuaib
[BONUS: Free downloadable “Dhul Hijjah – 10 Easy Good Deeds Tracker” (link at end of article)]
It is a great favor and blessing that Allah has made for His servants; periods of time in which good deeds are magnified and multiplied. All praise and thanks is due to Allah for gifting us with these glorious days in which rewards are multiplied and sins are forgiven. The days which are the most beloved to Him and the days that He prefers over all other days; where He gives us yet another chance to get closer to Him, to worship Him, to seek His forgiveness, and to try to make up for all of our shortcomings. Days that are so great that He swears:
“By the dawn, and by the 10 nights” [Surah Al-Fajr; 1-2]
Ibn Kathir said that “the ten nights” referred to in this ayah are the ten days of Dhul Hijjah. As narrated by Ibn Abbas , these are the ten days in which Rasulullah said, “There are no days in which good deeds done during them are more BELOVED to Allah than during these days!” The sahaba then asked, “Ya Rasulullah, not even struggle in the way of Allah ?” He replied, “Not even struggling in the way of Allah . Except [the struggle] of a man who goes forth in the Way of Allah with his life and his wealth, and does not return.” [Bukhari]
Allahu Akbar! Just imagine how amazing these days are! But what makes them so special? Ibn Hajar wrote in Fath al-Bari: “The most apparent reason for the ten days of Dhul Hijjah being distinguished in excellence is due to the assembly of the greatest acts of worship in this period, i.e. salawat (prayers), siyaam (fasting), sadaqah (charity) and the Hajj (pilgrimage). In no other periods do these great deeds combine.”
Oh Hajj! We all wish we could have gone this year. When we read all of our friends’ and families’ Facebook posts talking about how they are getting ready for Hajj, we get a little jealous (the halal type of course) and wish we could have gone as well. Who wouldn’t want to go? Especially when one knows the reward of a person who goes for Hajj: that they return without sins like the day they were born [Bukhari and Muslim] and, as mentioned in another hadith, that an accepted Hajj has no reward except Paradise [Bukhari and Muslim].
Unfortunately, we couldn’t make it to Hajj this year. Alhamdulillah, our beloved Prophet thought about us, thought about you and I, who couldn’t go to Hajj. What if I were to tell you that we can get a similar reward? Yes, a reward similar to the Hujjaj insha’Allah. “How?!” you ask.
But before we talk about the five easy good deeds that the Prophet told us we can do to get reward like that of Hajj/Umrah, there is a prerequisite:
Imagine that you find out on the Day of Judgment that none of your good deeds were presented to Allah : all those hot, long days of fasting, all your prayers, your sadaqa; that none of it was presented to Allah .
The Prophet said: “The deeds are presented on every Thursday and Monday and Allah , the Exalted and Glorious, grants pardon to every person who does not associate anything with Allah except the person in whose (heart) there is hatred/resentment against his brother. It will be said: ‘Put both of them off until they are reconciled.”” [Muslim]
I know it’s hard, and that’s why the reward is forgiveness and Jannah, insha’Allah. [If you would like to learn more about why you should forgive check out my article: “Heal Yourself with the Power of Forgiveness”]
So insha’Allah, let’s take a minute right now to forgive all those who have hurt us; not because they necessarily deserve it, but let’s forgive them for the sake of Allah , and for ourselves.
Now let’s get back to our Easy Good Deeds that will get us a reward like that of Hajj. Bismillah:
PURE AND SINCERE INTENTION
The Prophet said, “I will narrate a saying to you, so preserve it. Verily, the world is only for four kinds of people. There is one whom Allah has granted wealth and knowledge, so he fears his Lord regarding them, upholds family ties, and acknowledges the rights of Allah over him. He will be in the best position. There is one whom Allah has granted knowledge without wealth and he has a sincere intention and he says: ‘If I had wealth, I would have acted like this person. If that is his intention, then he will have the same reward as the other…’” [Al-Tirmidhi]
It is narrated by Anas bin Malik , “We were coming back from the battle of Tabuk with the Prophet when he remarked, ‘There are people whom we left behind in Al-Madinah who accompanied us in spirit in every pass and valley we crossed. They remained behind for a valid excuse.’” In another version he said: “They share the reward with you.” [Bukhari and Muslim]
We all have different reasons for why we couldn’t make it to Hajj this year, so keep your heart attached and your intentions sincere. Let us be like the one who was given the knowledge but not the ability to go for Hajj. Let us renew our intentions and make them pure and sincere, only for the sake of Allah . Let us think well of Allah the Most Generous, and let us make the intention to do as much as we can to please Allah and get closer to Him in these 10 blessed days.
FAJR IN THE MASJID UNTIL SUNRISE
The Prophet said, “Whoever prays Fajr in congregation, then sits remembering Allah until the sun rises, then prays two rak’ah, will have a reward like that of Hajj and Umrah.” The Messenger of Allah then said: “In full, in full, in full.” [Al-Tirmidhi]
So what are you waiting for? Set your alarms right now and make it to the masjid for Fajr tomorrow. Pray, stay in your spot, and recite Qur’an. We all know the hadith: “Whoever recites a letter from the Book of Allah, he will be credited with a good deed, and a good deed gets a tenfold reward. I do not say that Alif Laam Meem is one letter, but Alif is a letter, Laam is a letter and Meem is a letter.” [At-Tirmidhi] So imagine, during these blessed days, how much Allah will multiply that reward for you!
Make dhikr. The Messenger of Allah said: “There are no other days that are as great as these in the sight of Allah , nor are there any deeds more beloved to Allah than those that are done in these ten days. So increase in tahlil (la illaha illa Allah), takbir (Allahu akbar) and tahmid (Alhumdulillah).” [At-Tabarani]
Ibn Umar and Abu Hurairah used to go out in the marketplace during the first ten days of Dhul Hijjah, reciting takbeer, and the people would recite takbeer when they heard them. In addition to making dhikr while waiting for sunrise, make dhikr throughout your day. While you are driving, walking, or just sitting at your desk, make it a habit to constantly make dhikr. The beautiful thing about dhikr is that you can do it almost anywhere, and that you don’t need wudhu or need to be facing the qibla; so there are no constraints.
Make dua’. The Prophet said that the best dua’ is the dua’ on the day of Arafah. The Prophet said, “There is no day that Allah will free people more from the fire than on the Day of Arafah.” [Muslim]. Ali used to advise people to say, on the day of Arafah, “Oh Allah free my neck from the fire.” So make lots and lots of dua’, and I pray that Allah answers and gives you all the best in this dunya and the ahkira. Ameen.
Do all of these things until the sun rises, then wait about 15-20 minutes and pray two rak’ah. Now congratulate yourself because, inshaAllah, you just got the reward of a full Hajj and Umrah!
DHIKR AFTER SALAH
The poor emigrants came to the Messenger of Allah 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 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 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.” [Bukhari and Muslim]. How easy is that?! It takes about three minutes to do this, so don’t let Shaytan distract you after salah.
PRAY IN THE MASJID
The Messenger of Allah said, “If anyone goes out from his house after performing ablution for saying the prescribed prayer in congregation (in the mosque), his reward will be like that of one who goes for Hajj pilgrimage after wearing ihraam (robe worn by the Hajj pilgrims). And he who goes out to say the mid-morning (dhuha) prayer, and takes the trouble for this purpose, will take the reward like that of a person who performs Umrah. And a prayer followed by a prayer with no worldly talk during the gap between them will be recorded in Illiyyun.” [Abi Dawud Hasan Al-Albani]
“Whoever walks to [perform] an obligatory prayer in congregation, it is like Hajj [in terms of rewards], and whoever walks to [perform] a voluntary prayer, it is like a voluntary Umrah [in terms of rewards].” [Tabarani, Abu Dawud, and Ahmad Hasan]
LEARN/TEACH IN THE MASJID
“Whoever goes to the mosque not desiring except to learn or teach what is good has the reward of a pilgrim who completed his Hajj.” [Tabarani]
Those are the five easy, good deeds we can do everyday to insha’Allah get the reward like that of Hajj and Umrah (*Please note that doing these actions will bring great reward, but doesn’t mean it replaces the obligation of performing Hajj)
We’re not done yet! Here are five more easy good deeds we can do to maximize our reward and elevate our status in Jannah insha’Allah!
Let’s revive the sunnah of the dhuha prayer. A prayer that is performed about twenty-five minutes after the sun has risen until about twenty-five minutes before dhuhr. You can pray either two rak’ah, four rak’ah, or eight rak’ah.
Charity for every joint in your body:
“When you get up in the morning, charity is due from every one of your joints. There is charity in every ascription of glory to Allah; there is charity in every declaration of His Greatness; there is charity in every utterance of praise of Him; there is charity in every declaration that He is the only true God (worthy of worship); there is charity in enjoining good; there is charity in forbidding evil. Two rak’ah of Dhuha (forenoon prayer) is equal to all this (in reward)”. [Muslim]
Allah will suffice you: “Son of Adam: Perform four rak’ah for Me in the beginning of the day; it will suffice you for the latter part of it.” [Al-Tirmidhi]
BUILD YOURSELF A HOUSE IN JANNAH
“He who observed *twelve voluntary rak’ah, a house will be built for him in Paradise.” [Sahih Muslim]
*Sunnah Prayers: two before Fajr, four before/two after Dhuhr, two after Maghrib, two after Ishaa
FAST THE NINE DAYS, ESPECIALLY THE DAY OF ARAFAH
Allah says: “The Fast is for Me and I will give the reward for it, as he (the one who observes the fast) leaves his sexual desire, food and drink for My sake. Fasting is a screen (from Hell) and there are two pleasures for a fasting person, one at the time of breaking his fast, and the other at the time when he will meet his Lord. And the smell of the mouth of a fasting person is better in Allah’s Sight than the smell of musk.” [Bukhari]
“Every slave of Allah who observes sawm (fasting) for one day for the sake of Allah , Allah will draw his face farther from Hell fire to the extent of a distance to be covered in seventy years.” [Bukhari and Muslim]
If you can fast all nine days, go for it! If you can’t, try every other day. If that’s too much, do Mondays and Thursdays. And if you can’t, then fast at least the day of Arafah, for which the Prophet said, “Be content with the fact that Allah will expiate for you your sins for the year before and the year after.” [Muslim]
Let’s all make our intention from now, so that even if something happens and we can’t fast, we still get the reward for our intention insha’Allah!
GIVE SADAQAH (CHARITY)
We all know the virtues of giving charity. Let’s try to give a sadaqa every day. Even if it’s a dollar, Allah knows our intentions. If you can, sponsor an orphan or feed someone who is hungry.
There are many forms of charity.
The Prophet said: “Charity is due upon every joint of the people for every day upon which the sun rises. Being just between two people is charity. Helping a man with his animal and lifting his luggage upon it is charity. A kind word is charity. Every step that you take towards the mosque is charity, and removing harmful things from the road is charity.” [Bukhari and Muslim]
Provide food for breaking of the fast. “Whoever provides food for breaking of the fast of a fasting person receives the reward of the fasting person, without the reward of the fasting person being reduced in any way.” [Al-Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah]
Smile, it’s Charity! “Your smile for your brother is charity.”
Alhamdulillah there are many reputable Islamic organizations to choose from and it’s very easy to go online and give. The best sadaqa, during these days, is to sacrifice an animal for Allah on the day of Eid.
HELP SOMEONE IN NEED
The Prophet said, “The most beloved of people according to Allah is he who brings most benefit, and the most beloved of deeds according to Allah the Mighty, the Magnificent, is that you bring happiness to a fellow Muslim, or relieve him of distress, or pay off his debt or stave away hunger from him. It is more beloved to me that I walk with my brother Muslim in his time of need than I stay secluded in the mosque for a month. Whoever holds back his anger, Allah will cover his faults and whoever suppresses his fury while being able to execute it, Allah will fill his heart with satisfaction on the Day of Standing. Whoever walks with his brother Muslim in need until he establishes that for him, Allah will establish his feet firmly on the day when all feet shall slip. Indeed, bad character ruins deeds just as vinegar ruins honey.” [Tabarani, Hasan]
I’ve created a 10 days 10 Easy Good Deeds tracker just for you so that you can track your progress and reach your goals. Download and print it now by clicking here.
May Allah accept all of our good deeds, make them heavy on our scales, forgive our shortcomings and sins, and may He grant us all paradise with the Prophet . Ameen!
Sr. Dunia is a certified marriage educator, host of Deen with Dunia, motivational speaker, lecturer and author. She combines the Qur’an, Sunnah and psychology to help Muslims who are striving to create and maintain a harmonious relationship between their deen and dunya. To learn more about her and her work visit her website: DuniaShuaib.com, and to catch her weekly livestream follow her on Facebook Facebook.com/DeenwithDunia or Twitter @DuniaShuaib