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October 31, 2010

Remember Ramadan Ramblings – Episode 2: Dhul Hijjah – Our Third Chance

by Umm Muawiyah

Assalamu Alaikum.

Yes, Ramadan was our second chance (remember?) and Dhul Hijjah is our third.

So, why should we stick to “remembering” (i.e. dreaming about) Ramadan? Why don’t we just take advantage of the ten best days* that are coming up in order to give ourselves another little Ramadan?

[*Actually, even the days of Tashreeq (11th-13th) have some virtues so we shouldn’t forget about them. Sadly, most people do exactly that because they’re too busy partying their brains out because it’s Eid.]

What should we do?

1) Aim for a fresh start (don’t wait for Dhul Hijjah, do it NOW). Seek Allah’s Forgiveness and ask Him to make things easy for you.

2) Read about the virtues of Dhul Hijjah and write down all the specific deeds that can be done during this time (e.g. fasting, takbeer, etc).

[Note: We need to read about Eid Al-Adha and the days of Tashreeq too as they are a religious celebration, not a 4 day party.]

Rather than waiting for next Ramadan to come, we need to pretend that it is already here and that we are in the last ten days (hey, there’s even an Eid after them!).

3) Bring out all those Ramadan Resolutions papers out from the bottom of your drawers. Oh yes.

However, now we’re going to call this “Dhul Hijjah resolutions”.

Look over those resolutions and then write down your goals for these 10 days.

4) Write down all the good things that you did in Ramadan and then aim to do them in Dhul Hijjah as well.

5) Write down where (and why) you messed up in Ramadan and take steps to rectify that in Dhul Hijjah.

6) Try to get the Eid shopping done before these 10 days.

7) Encourage everybody to participate in Dhul Hijjah.

See, one of the great things about Ramadan is that everybody is trying to be good, so it’s much easier for us to be good.

8) Try to prepare a checklist for Dhul Hijjah (we have so many Ramadan checklists but not even one Dhul Hijjah checklist!).

It’s always easier to remember things when you have a checklist (we’re not elephants, remember?)

[Note: To the menstruating women, remember that even though you can’t pray or fast, you can still do a lot.]

9) Try to prepare a dua list as well (remember the wonderful day of Arafah?)

10) Remember that ultimately the purpose of Ramadan is the same as Dhul Hijjah: to get closer to Allah.

Therefore, we should once again aim to continue the good deeds even after Dhul Hijjah. If we just intend them for Dhul Hijjah and don’t want to bother doing them after that, it means we have a problem with our sincerity.

So, let’s get going, insha-Allah. We don’t want to waste our third chance, would we?

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