Dhul Hijjah is the 12th and final month of the Islamic lunar year. It is a sacred month for Muslims, with the first 10 days of the month of Dhul-Hijjah being thought of as especially holy when good deeds are particularly rewarded by God.
Dhul Hijjah means ‘month of pilgrimage’ and the Hajj pilgrimage takes place in this month, followed by Eid-ul-Adha (the feast of sacrifice).
As with a number of major faiths, Muslims use a lunar calendar for their festivals. The lunar month starts this year on 03 August, with the Hajj being performed on the 8th, 9th and 10th days of the lunar month (10-14 August), and Eid-ul-Adha lasts from the 10th to 13th day of the month (12-16 August).
According to the Prophet Muhammad, the first 10 days of this month are a special time for devotion. During these days, preparations are underway for those who are undertaking the Hajj pilgrimage. Even for those who are not travelling to Mecca for the pilgrimage, this is a special time to remember Allah and spend extra time in devotion and good deeds.
The significance of the first 10 days of Duhl Hijjah is that followers of Islam get the opportunity to sincerely repent, get closer to God, and combine acts of worship in a way that is thought impossible at any other time of the year. The Quran is read every day, and there are increased prayers at the mosque. Many Muslims fast in these 10 days, and all aim to increase their giving to charity, as well as trying to perform as many good deeds as possible.