Devotional Practice: Month Of Dhu Al-Hijjah

Devotion_Month_of_Hajj

Devotional Practice: Month Of Dhu Al-Hijjah

By Imam Zaid Shakir

The first ten days of Dhul-Hijja are blessed days, which we frequently neglect. The Noble Prophet, Peace and Blessings of God be upon him, said, “There are no days in which righteous deeds done during them are more beloved to God than these days,” referring to the first ten days of Dhul-Hijja.During these blessed days we should try to exert ourselves in worship, for the ‘Ulama’ mention that the virtue of these days surpass even the virtue of the days of Ramadan.

Tasbihnquran

Among the indications of the distinction of these days is the special mention made of them as a group or individually in both the Qur’an and the Sunnah. In the Qur’an, God says, “I swear by the Dawn, the Ten Nights, the Even and the Odd.”Bearing these and many other virtues of these days in mind, we should be especially diligent in increasing our righteous acts during them. The following acts are especially recommended:

  • We should try to fast as many of the first nine days as possible. We should make an extra effort to fast the Day of ‘Arafah. It is related in Sahih Muslim that the Noble Prophet, Peace and Blessings of God be upon him, said, “I anticipate that Fasting the Day of ‘Arafah will atone for the sins of the previous and coming year.”
  • We should carefully monitor our speech, what we listen to, and what we allow our gaze to fall on during these days, again, especially on the Day of ‘Arafah. The Noble Prophet, Peace and Blessings of God be upon him, said, “[Concerning] the Day of ‘Arafah, whoever controls his hearing, gaze, and speech on that day, he will be forgiven.”
  • We should be excessive in repeating the declaration of Tawhid, with special emphasis on the phrase, “La ilaha ilallah, Wahdahu La Sharika lah, Lahul Mulk, wa lahul Hamd, biyadihi Khayr, wa Huwa ‘ala kulli Shayin Qadir: There is no God but Allah. He is alone without partners. His is the dominion, and unto Him is all praise. With Him is all good, and He over all things has power.” Imam Tirmidhi relates that this was the supplication the Prophet, Peace and Blessings of God be upon him, repeated more than any other on the Day of ‘Arafah.
  • We should pray for forgiveness and liberation from the Hellfire during these days, especially the Day of ‘Arafah. Imam ‘Ali, May God be pleased with him, related, “God liberates people from the Hellfire everyday. And there is no day when more people are liberated from the Hellfire than the Day of ‘Arafah.”

During this blessed season, let us all strive to renew our commitment to our faith. May each year when these blessed days return find you all in the very best of states. May your life be dominated by the remembrance of God. In all that we do, May He be glorified. Source: New Islamic Directions

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Shahadah


 to testify that there is no god except the One and Only God, Lord, and Creator

Salah


To establish the five daily prayers

Zakat


To pay the annual charity to assist the less fortunate and those in need

Sawm


To observe fasting throughout the Month of Ramadan

Hajj


To make the pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in a lifetime

Assad Koshul

Assad Koshul is originally from Pakistan and grew up in New York Metro area.

He Is an Accounting/Finance, Organizational Development, Change Management, Leadership and Human Capital Development Professional with experience in diverse industries in developed and emerging markets.

He has been a community activist since an early age and has worked with diverse groups for social justice causes. He is a board member of Challenge Foundation, Inc., a member of the Advisory Board for The Humanity Project Orphanage in Haiti, President of ICW Toastmasters, and served as President of Rutgers University MSA.

He has been involved in several projects to benefit his ancestral home of Pakistan, including: East West Consulting and Training Lead Facilitator In Pakistan, Lahore Women’s College and University Workshop and Training Sessions for professors and department heads, and the Ansar Management Corporation, where he developed a financial model for the largest low income housing development projects in Pakistan.

His diverse professional experience and cross cultural competency equips him to create intellectual and emotional alignment in diverse environments and situations.

His current work focuses on knowledge integration, concept and framework development for professionals and activists. He also focuses on bridging the gap between academia and industry for young professionals as well as curriculum and workshop development for diverse audiences.

He is a graduate of Rutgers University, a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Certified Scrum Master (CSM) and PROSCI Change Management Certified.

Zaid Shakir

Imam Zaid Shakir was born in Berkeley, California, in 1956, one of seven siblings. He was raised in Atlanta, Georgia and New Britain, Connecticut. During his school years he was active in sports, focusing on football and track. He converted to Islam in 1977 while serving in the United States Air Force.

Even before converting to Islam, he was concerned about communal change, leading him to briefly embrace communism and working on the cases of Joan Little and the Wilmington Ten. His desire to effect meaningful change after converting led to his assisting in founding three masjids in New Brunswick, New Jersey, New Haven, Connecticut, and Oakland, California, as well as other organizations such as the Connecticut Muslim Coordinating Committee and the Tri-State Muslim Educational Initiative.

Imam Zaid is a spiritual philosopher, aligns different intellectual traditions and creates intellectual frameworks, with which to harmonize individuals, families, and societies. He is a visionary leader who is a change agent who places emphasis on spiritual, mental and physical health.

He is a graduate of the US Air Force Supervisory Training Program, ESL Teacher’s Training Program, American University, and Rutgers University Graduate School, where he obtained a Masters Degree (MA) in Political Science.

Imam Zaid is passionate about education and writing, having authored four books and a plethora of articles dealing with various subjects. He is a cofounder of Zaytuna College, the country’s first accredited Muslim College liberal Arts college.

He is a signatory of a declaration in support of the Paris Climate Agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and authored the Muslim response to Pope Francis’ Encyclical on Climate Change, Laudato si’. He is an urban gardener as well as an artist and poet. His goal is to see a strong and viable Muslim community, whose roots are firmly planted in the soil tilled by the African Muslims whose sacrifices were so instrumental in building this country, and whose branches provide shade for the entire community in all of its diversity.

hamza_abdul_malik

Hamza Abdul Malik

Imam Hamzah was born and raised Muslim in New Haven, Connecticut and has a passion for maintaining the intergenerational continuity of Islam.

He is al Azhar graduate who has studied and taught Islam for over 15 years. He has memorized the Holy Quran, and served as a teacher for Islamic schools and Masjids in Georgia, Ohio, South Dakota, Tennessee, and in the Middle East. He also obtained a Master’s degree in Islamic Studies and Leadership from Bayan Claremont.

He founded Miraaj Academy in 2017 to teach Qur’an, and leadership skills to Muslim American youth within an American context. He conveys knowledge and religious teaching through experiential learning with focus on internalization of concepts learned. Experiential learning projects include urban gardens, food pantry, Youth Leadership Institute and Islamic Studies Curriculum Development.

He also co-founded Midtown Mosque in 2015 as an effort to revitalized blighted areas in Memphis, Tennessee and with the aspiration of creating a model of spiritual-based activism, in which sacred knowledge and application are cultivated and harmonized.

Imam Hamzah is also a founder of UMMAH (United Masjids Making American History) which is a national collaborative of Imams from inner-city masjids that collaborate to uplift grassroots communities. He is currently the President of Mirage Academy and Imam of Midtown Mosque in Memphis, Tennessee.