Sunnah Acts in the Month of Dhulhijjah

by Ustaz Abdul Rahman Rahuni

The month of Dhulhijjah, when Muslims perform the Hajj, is one of the holy months. This month contains ten days that are specifically mentioned in the Quran.

Allah said: “By the dawn, and the ten nights.”

[Al Fajr: 1-2]

Ibn ‘Abbas stated that the night was the tenth of the first month of Dhulhijjah. Regarding the privilege of the ten days, Syaikh Ibn Assyur said, “There are no ten consecutive nights in a year that are as great as the ten beginnings of Dhulhijjah, during which there is a pilgrimage, ihram, entry into Mecca, tawaf, on the eighth day there is tarwiyah, on the ninth day there is the wuquf in arafah, and on the tenth day there is a nahr (slaughter).”

In addition, the following sunnah practices are encouraged during this month:

Performing Good Deeds

pexels alena darmel 8164752 Sunnah Acts in the Month of Dhulhijjah 

Reading Quran [Photo: Pexels/Alena Darmel] 

This month, it is recommended to perform all good deeds, whether a good word, a good action or avoiding the forbidden. It takes the form of all acts of righteousness.

The Prophet ﷺ addressed this issue when he said, “There is no day in which good deeds are performed that Allah prefers more than these ten days – the first ten days of Dhulhijjah.”

His companion inquired, “Not even jihad fi sabilillah?” “Nor is jihad fi sabilillah unless a person goes out (on jihad) with himself and his property and no one returns (killed on the battlefield),” the Prophet responded. 

[Hadith Narrated by at-Tirmizi]

This indicates that Allah loves all good deeds performed at the time, such as Quran recitation, alms, qiyamullail, etc.

Fasting is a component of the general practice of righteousness mentioned previously. Muslims are encouraged to fast during the first nine days, with the most important fast occurring on the Arafah day of 9 Zulhijjah, the wuquf day for Hajj pilgrims in Mecca.

For those who do not perform Hajj, it is sunnah to fast on that day. However, for those who perform Hajj, it is sunnah not to fast during wuquf as done by the Prophet ﷺ. Among the lessons is that it energises them to worship and pray all day during the wuquf.

The Prophet ﷺ mentions the advantages of fasting on the day of Arafah: “The reward for Fasting on the day of Arafah in the sight of Allah is he is forgiven for his sin of a year ago and a year later.”

[Hadith Narrated by Muslim]

Recite Zikir

During this month, Zikir is also among the sunnah of the Prophet ﷺ Therefore, companions and salafussoleh performed Dhikr throughout the first ten nights of the month, day and night. Zikir consists of tahlil, which is to recite la ilaha illallah, takbir, which is Allahu akbar, and tahmid, which is alhamdulillah.

Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said: “There are no days greater in the sight of Allah and in which righteous deeds are more beloved to Him than these ten days (Zulhijjah), so during this time, recite a great deal of Tahlil (La Ilaha Illallah), Takbir (Allahu Akbar) and Tahmid (Alhamdulilllah).”

[Hadith Narrated by Ahmad]

Ibn Umar and Abu Hurairah did this when they were in the marketplace. The two of them performed takbir on those days, as did the rest of the community. Similarly, the Zikir was recommended after the dawn prayer on the ninth Zulhijjah (Arafah day) until the sunset of the thirteenth Zulhijjah.


Slaughtering Qurban animals is worship performed this month. The ruling is sunnah muakkad, one of Islam’s eminences. It is highly demanded of those who have the sustenance and ability to perform this worship.

The Prophet ﷺ encouraged to perform Qurban: Whoever has the breadth of sustenance but does not slaughter the Qurban animals, then let him not approach our place of prayer.”

[HR Ibn Majah]

The four-day period begins on the day of Nahr (ten Dhulhijjah) following the Eid al-Adha prayer. It continues through the tasyrik days (11, 12, and 13 Zulhijjah). It is sunnah to select the healthiest and finest animal for the Qurban.

Not Cutting Nails and Body Hair

It is sunnah for a person who wishes to perform Qurban to refrain from cutting their nails and removing body hair until they have completed slaughtering the Qurban animal. It began when someone planned to perform the ritual after the month of Zulhijjah. The spilling of the sacrificed animal’s blood and cutting off its claws and hair symbolises the fall of the sins of the person performing the Qurban.

Rasulullah  ﷺ said: When you see the moon of Dhulhijjah and one of you wants to slaughter the Qurban animal, he shall hold from cutting his hair and nails.”

However, those who do not intend to slaughter the Qurban animals that year may trim their nails and body hair without restriction.

Hajj and Umrah

pexels konevi 4346403 Sunnah Acts in the Month of Dhulhijjah 

Performing hajj [Photo: Pexels/Konevi]

Hajj is a once-in-a-lifetime obligation that can only be performed once per year. The pilgrimage accumulated during the month of Dhulhijjah, predominantly in the early tens. To obtain a Mabrur pilgrimage, those who are able to perform Hajj and have had the opportunity should make the most of their ability by learning Hajj according to what the Prophet has taught.

According to the Prophet  ﷺ, the reward of Hajj Mabrur is heaven: “And there is no reward for the pilgrimage except heaven.” Muttafaqun’ alaih.

The same holds for the umrah ritual, which is included among the month’s good deeds. Ibn Umar stated, “I prefer performing umrah in the first ten days of Zulhijjah over the other final ten days.”


Contibuted by Abdul Rahman Rahuni

Abdul Rahman Rahuni is a graduate of the Islamic University of Madinah studying in the field of Islamic Sharia. He is currently an instructor at Sekolah Menengah Ugama Islamiah, Tawau, Sabah.