[What is “takbeer”? It means saying Allahu Akbar i.e it means to magnify Allah.]
Before I link to the articles, let me a present a simplified explanation of this topic:
The first 13 days of Dhul Hijjah have certain virtues, as does the month itself.
The 8th of Dhul Hijjah is called the Day of Tarwiyah (the rites of Hajj begin on this day).
The 9th is the Day of Arafah.
The 10th is the Day of Eid or the Day of Nahr (Sacrifice).
The 11th-13th are known as the Days of Tashreeq.
So, one should do lots of takbeer (the format is mentioned below) during these 13 days.
When do you do the takbeer?
1. Any time.
Just do as much as you can. This is for all 13 days.
2. In addition to being able to do it at any time, you should also do it after the obligatory prayers (after the adhkar that is recited).
This is for the 9th-13th of Dhul Hijjah only, not for the first 8 days. [Also, this is for those who are not doing Hajj.]
A word of advice: The last 4 days are the days that everyone is celebrating Eid, visiting family, etc. It’s easy to forget which is precisely why we should make every effort possible to remember.
Here are a few articles that provide more information:
Yes, some more….
So, here we go:
1. The Blessed Days of Dhul Hijjah by Muhammad Al-Jibaaly
2. The Three Days of Tashreeq by Muhammad Al-Jibaaly
The Days of Tashreeq are the 11th, 12th and 13th of Dhul Hijjah.
3. Virtues of and Deeds Legislated in the First Ten Days of Dhul Hijjah by Shaikh ibn Jibreen (rahimahullah)
4. Virtues of the Ten Days of Dhul Hijjah by Shaikh Muhammad Salih Al-Munajjid
5. The Final Research into the Issue of Slaughtering on the Days of Tashreeq by Shaikh Muhammad Raees Nadwee
6. The Day of Arafah Falling on a Friday by Dr. Saleh As-Saleh (rahimahullah)
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?
Yes, the best days of the year are about a week away.
Are we ready? Or are we going to let another opportunity slip through our hands?
We’ll be ready, insha-Allah.
So, here’s another lecture on the best days so we can continue to be motivated:
Merits of the First 10 Days of Dhul Hijjah by Mutasim Al-Hameedee (Download)
It’s true, you know.
Best Days of the Year = The First Ten Days of Dhul Hijjah.
And we’re still in Dhul Qaaidah.
[Oh, you thought that I meant something else? Sorry.]
So, what do we do? Well, how about if we start preparing for it? You know, so that we can squeeze these 10 days for all they are worth?
See, these 10 days are almost like a mini-Ramadan (talk about recovering Ramadan, huh?). The only reason that we don’t think that way is because they’re not as heavily advertised as Ramadan.
What’s the first thing to do? Well, we need to read about the virtues of these great days, of course.
Here’s a really nice treatise on this matter that discusses their virtues as well as the recommended deeds to be done during them (no, Hajj is not the only recommended deed that can be done in them):
It seems people have started to prepare for Ramadan – with 15 more days to go.
Alright, here’s another lecture on how to prepare for Ramadan
Preparing for Ramadan by Yasir Qadhi (Download)
What I liked about the lecture: He made some points that I haven’t heard mentioned elsewhere.
What I did not like: He messed up on two points*. But that’s okay. I think he was jet lagged (he sounds tired in the lecture). And everyone has an off-day.
[* This is what I recall. If I made a mistake, please let me know.]
Point # 1: He states that Ramadan is one of the four sacred months.
No, it isn’t. Ramadan is the greatest month of the year (hey, that sounds like a great title for a website) but it is NOT one of the four sacred months. Proof? Here you go:
Narrated Abu Bakra: The Prophet said (salallahu alaihi wasallam): “The division of time has turned to its original form which was current when Allah created the Heavens and the Earths. The year is of twelve months, out of which four months are sacred: Three are in succession Dhul-Qa’ da, Dhul-Hijja and Muharram, and (the fourth is) Rajab of (the tribe of) Mudar which comes between Jumadi-ath-Thaniyah and Shaban.” [Saheeh Al-Bukhari, Volume No. 4, Hadeeth No. 419]