The month of Dhu al-Qa’dah’s virtues and deeds
The month of Dhu al-Qa’dah is a month of sanctity and greatness
The month of Dhu al-Qa’dah is the eleventh month of the Islamic lunar calendar. It is one of those four blessed months which Allah Almighty has bestowed with immense respect, honor, virtue, and significance since the creation of the universe. As Allah mentions in Surah At-Tawbah:
إِنَّ عِدَّةَ ٱلشُّهُورِ عِندَ ٱللَّهِ ٱثْنَا عَشَرَ شَهْرًۭا فِى كِتَـٰبِ ٱللَّهِ يَوْمَ خَلَقَ ٱلسَّمَـٰوَٰتِ وَٱلْأَرْضَ مِنْهَآ أَرْبَعَةٌ حُرُمٌۭ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ ٱلدِّينُ ٱلْقَيِّمُ ۚ فَلَا تَظْلِمُوا۟ فِيهِنَّ أَنفُسَكُمْ ۚ وَقَـٰتِلُوا۟ ٱلْمُشْرِكِينَ كَآفَّةًۭ كَمَا يُقَـٰتِلُونَكُمْ كَآفَّةًۭ ۚ وَٱعْلَمُوٓا۟ أَنَّ ٱللَّهَ مَعَ ٱلْمُتَّقِينَ
Surely, the number of months according to Allah is twelve (as written) in the Book of Allah on the day He created the heavens and the Earth, of which there are Four Sacred Months. That is the right faith. So, do not wrong yourself therein. And fight the Mushriks all together, as they fight you all together, and be sure that Allah is with the God-fearing. (9:36)
This blessed verse makes it clear that Allah Almighty Himself has determined the twelve months of the Islamic lunar calendar, which establishes the value, worth, and significance of the lunar Islamic year and its months. Similarly, it becomes evident that out of these twelve months, four months hold sanctity, greatness, and respect. These months are…(اَشْہُرُ الْحُرُم)It is mentioned in various hadiths that determine the significance of these four months. For example, in Sahih Bukhari, it is narrated from Hazrat Abu Bakr (رضي الله عنه) that during the occasion of Hajjat al-Wida (Farewell Pilgrimage), the Holy Prophet (ﷺ) said, “Time has come back to its original state and appearance which it had when Allah Subhanahoo Wata’ala created the heavens and the earth” (This statement aims to refute the false beliefs and practices of the polytheists at that time, as mentioned in verse 9:37 of Surah At-Tawbah).
The year consists of twelve months, out of which four months hold sanctity, greatness, and respect. Three of these months are consecutive, namely Dhu al-Qa’dah, Dhu al-Hijjah, and Muharram. The fourth month is Rajab, which falls between Jumada al-Thani and Sha’ban.
حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ اللَّهِ بْنُ عَبْدِ الْوَهَّابِ، حَدَّثَنَا حَمَّادُ بْنُ زَيْدٍ، عَنْ أَيُّوبَ، عَنْ مُحَمَّدٍ، عَنِ ابْنِ أَبِي بَكْرَةَ، عَنْ أَبِي بَكْرَةَ، عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ “ إِنَّ الزَّمَانَ قَدِ اسْتَدَارَ كَهَيْئَتِهِ يَوْمَ خَلَقَ اللَّهُ السَّمَوَاتِ وَالأَرْضَ، السَّنَةُ اثْنَا عَشَرَ شَهْرًا مِنْهَا، أَرْبَعَةٌ حُرُمٌ، ثَلاَثٌ مُتَوَالِيَاتٌ، ذُو الْقَعْدَةِ وَذُو الْحِجَّةِ وَالْمُحَرَّمُ وَرَجَبُ مُضَرَ الَّذِي بَيْنَ جُمَادَى وَشَعْبَانَ.
Narrated Abu Bakr: The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “Time has come back to its original state which it had when Allah created the Heavens and the Earth; the year is twelve months, four of which are sacred. Three of them are in succession; Dhul-Qa’da, Dhul-Hijja and Al-Muharram, and (the fourth being) Rajab Mudar (named after the tribe of Mudar as they used to respect this month) which stands between Jumad (ath-thani) and Sha’ban.”(Sahih al-Bukhari)
The consequence and demand of the virtue of “اَشْہُرُ الْحُرُم” (the sacred months) are as follows
Due to the honor, greatness, and respect of these four months (namely Dhu al-Qa’dah, Dhu al-Hijjah, Muharram, and Rajab), the rewards and blessings for the acts of worship performed during these months increase, while the consequences and punishment for sins also intensify. The demand of this virtue is to diligently engage in acts of worship and strive to refrain from sins during these months. Scholars advise that those who maintain a devotion to worship during these four months will be granted success in performing acts of worship throughout the rest of the year, and those who make a sincere effort to avoid sins during these months will be granted the ability to refrain from sins for the remainder of the year. This guidance is mentioned in the first verse.(إِنَّ عِدَّةَ الشُّهُوْرِ عِنْدَ اللّٰهِ اثْنَا عَشَرَ شَهْرًا)The term “عِدَّةَ” in this context refers to the specified number. And “شُھُور” is the plural of “شَھر,” which means “months.” The meaning is that according to Allah Almighty, the number of months is fixed at twelve, and no one has the authority to increase or decrease them. After this(فِىْ كِتٰبِ اللّٰهِ)
The term has been elaborated upon to indicate that this matter was written in the Preserved Tablet (Lawh-i Mahfuz) since eternity. Then, by saying (يَوْمَ خَلَقَ السَّمٰوٰتِ وَالْأَرْضَ) (the day He created the heavens and the earth), a reference is made to the divine decree that, although it had been ongoing since eternity, the order and determination of these months came into effect at the time when the heavens and the earth were created. Then, it is stated: (مِنْهَآ أَرْبَعَةٌ حُرُمٌ) Meaning, out of these twelve months, four months are considered sacred. The term “sacred” is used with two connotations: firstly, because in these months, killing and fighting are prohibited, and secondly, because these months are blessed and deserving of utmost respect. The rewards for acts of worship are multiplied during these months. The first aspect of the command has been abrogated in Islamic law, but the second aspect regarding respect, etiquette, and dedication to worship remains in Islam.
In the sermon of Hajjat al-Wida (Farewell Pilgrimage) on the day of Sacrifice, the noble Messenger (ﷺ) explained the significance of these months by stating that three months are consecutive: Dhu al-Qa’dah, Dhu al-Hijjah, and Muharram, while one month is Rajab. However, regarding the month of Rajab, there were two popular opinions among the Arab tribes. Some referred to this month as Rajab, which we now know as Ramadan, while the tribe of Mudar considered the month between Jumada al-Thani and Sha’ban as Rajab. Hence, the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) clarified by saying that the month between Jumada al-Thani and Sha’ban is the intended Rajab.(ذٰلِكَ الدِّينُ الۡقَيِّمُ) this is the religion of righteousness, meaning the determination and arrangement of months, and specifically within them, each month. (اَشْہُرُ الْحُرُم) the religion of righteousness entails adhering to the commands related to it according to the eternal decree of Allah Subhanahoo Wata’ala. Introducing any alterations, additions, or modifications from one’s own side is a sign of ignorance and deviation from the right path. (فَلَا تَظْلِمُوْا فِيْهِنَّ أَنْفُسَكُمْ) it means not to incur any loss during those sacred months by violating their specific commands and showing disrespect, nor to diminish devotion and worship within them.
The Virtue and Sanctity of the Month of Dhul-Qadah
Out of these four months, the month of Dhul-Qadah holds significance as well. Therefore, it demands respect and honor. During this month, special attention should be given to acts of worship, and efforts should be made to abstain from sins.
General Acts in the Month of Dhul-Qadah
As mentioned earlier, the detailed explanation of general acts of worship in the month of Dhul-Qadah clarifies its significance and importance. The essence of its virtue and importance lies in actively avoiding sins and engaging in acts of worship. These acts of worship can be performed during the day and night, without any specific time or designated rituals. Each person can dedicate their time and effort according to their capacity and perform obligatory acts, recommended acts, voluntary acts, recitations and recitals, supplications, charity, fasting, and other righteous deeds throughout the entire month. This is indeed a great blessing.
’’اَشْہُرُ الْحُرُم‘‘Encouragement to observe fasting
The Holy Prophet (ﷺ) said to a companion, “Observe the fasts of the month of Ramadan and also keep fasting for one day in each month.” The companion expressed his desire for an increase in fasting, saying that he had the strength to observe more fasts. The Prophet (ﷺ) then advised him, “Keep fasting for two days in each month.” The companion once again requested for more, and the Prophet (ﷺ) instructed him, “Keep fasting for three days in each month.” The companion persisted and asked for further increase, to which the Prophet (ﷺ) finally responded, “Observe fasting during the sacred months (Ashhur al-Hurum) and also leave fasting for some days.” This instruction was repeated three times, and the Prophet (ﷺ) gestured with his three fingers, joining them together and then separating them, indicating that the pattern should be followed. This means to fast for three days in the month, then abstain from fasting for three days, and continue in this manner. (Sunan Abu Dawood)
This is the narration of the hadith.
حَدَّثَنَا مُوسَى بْنُ إِسْمَاعِيلَ، حَدَّثَنَا حَمَّادٌ، عَنْ سَعِيدٍ الْجُرَيْرِيِّ، عَنْ أَبِي السَّلِيلِ، عَنْ مُجِيبَةَ الْبَاهِلِيَّةِ، عَنْ أَبِيهَا، أَوْ عَمِّهَا أَنَّهُ أَتَى رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ثُمَّ انْطَلَقَ فَأَتَاهُ بَعْدَ سَنَةٍ وَقَدْ تَغَيَّرَتْ حَالَتُهُ وَهَيْئَتُهُ فَقَالَ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ أَمَا تَعْرِفُنِي قَالَ ” وَمَنْ أَنْتَ ” . قَالَ أَنَا الْبَاهِلِيُّ الَّذِي جِئْتُكَ عَامَ الأَوَّلِ . قَالَ ” فَمَا غَيَّرَكَ وَقَدْ كُنْتَ حَسَنَ الْهَيْئَةِ ” . قَالَ مَا أَكَلْتُ طَعَامًا إِلاَّ بِلَيْلٍ مُنْذُ فَارَقْتُكَ . فَقَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ” لِمَ عَذَّبْتَ نَفْسَكَ ” . ثُمَّ قَالَ ” صُمْ شَهْرَ الصَّبْرِ وَيَوْمًا مِنْ كُلِّ شَهْرٍ ” . قَالَ زِدْنِي فَإِنَّ بِي قُوَّةً . قَالَ ” صُمْ يَوْمَيْنِ ” . قَالَ زِدْنِي . قَالَ ” صُمْ ثَلاَثَةَ أَيَّامٍ ” . قَالَ زِدْنِي . قَالَ ” صُمْ مِنَ الْحُرُمِ وَاتْرُكْ صُمْ مِنَ الْحُرُمِ وَاتْرُكْ صُمْ مِنَ الْحُرُمِ وَاتْرُكْ ” . وَقَالَ بِأَصَابِعِهِ الثَّلاَثَةِ فَضَمَّهَا ثُمَّ أَرْسَلَهَا .
Narrated Abdullah ibn al-Harith ; or Uncle of Mujibah al-Bahiliyyah:
The father or Uncle of Mujibah al-Bahiliyyah visited the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ). He then went away and came to him (again) after one year when his condition and appearance had changed.
He said: Messenger of Allah, do you not recognize me? He asked: Who are you? He replied: I am al-Bahili who came to you last year. He said: What has changed you? You were looking well, then you were good in appearance? He said: I have only food at night since I departed from you.
Thereupon the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: Why did you torment yourself? Fast during Ramadan (the month of patience) and fast for one day every month. He said: Increase it for me, for I have (more) strength. He said: Fast two days. He again said: Increase it for me. He said: Fast three days. He again said: Increase it for me. He said: Fast during the inviolable months and then stop; fast during the inviolable months and then stop; fast during the inviolable months and then stop. He indicated by his three fingers, and joined them and then opened them.(Sunan Abi Dawud)
Evidence from some noble companions and their followers regarding fasting during the sacred months (اَشْہُرُ الْحُرُم)
Hazrat Salim (رضي الله عنه) narrates that Hazrat Abdullah bin Umar (رضي الله عنه) used to observe fasting during the sacred months (اَشْہُرُ الْحُرُم).This narration is mentioned in the book of Abdul Razzaq, Hadith number 7856: Abdul Razzaq narrated from Ma’mar from Al-Zuhri from Salim (أن ابن عمر كان يصوم أشهر الحرم) this narration is also found in the book of Ibn Abi Shaybah.
9316- حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو دَاوُدَ عَنْ خَالِدِ بْنِ أَبِي عُثْمَانَ، عَنْ أَيُّوبَ، عَنْ عَبْدِ اللهِ بْنِ يَسَارٍ وَسَلِيطٍ أَخِيهِ قَالا: كَانَ ابْنُ عُمَرَ بِمَكَّةَ يَصُومُ أَشْهُرَ الْحُرُمِ.
Hazrat Yunus (رضي الله عنه) narrates that Imam Hasan al-Basri (رضي الله عنه) said (اَشْہُرُ الْحُرُم) i used to observe fasting.
This is mentioned in the book of Ibn Abi Shaybah
9315- حَدَّثَنَا ابْنُ عُلَيَّةَ عَنْ يُونُسَ، عَنِ الْحَسَنِ أَنَّهُ كَانَ يَصُومُ أَشْهُرَ الْحُرُمِ.
Although(اَشْہُرُ الْحُرُم) Since the month of Dhul-Qadah is also included, these narrations indicate the encouragement to observe fasting in the month of Dhul-Qadah as well.
The month of Dhul-Qadah is the month of Hajj
One significant reason for the virtue of Dhul-Qadah is that it is one of the months of Hajj, known as “اَشہُرِحَج” It should be noted that there are three months of Hajj: Shawwal, Dhul-Qadah, and Dhul-Hijjah.
5329- عَنْ أَبِي أُمَامَةَ قَالَ: قَالَ رَسُولُ اللهِ ﷺ فِي قَوْلِهِ: «الْحَجُّ أَشْهُرٌ مَعْلُومَاتٌ» [البقرة: 197] قَالَ: «شَوَّالٌ وَذُو الْقَعْدَةِ وَذُو الْحِجَّةِ».
وَقَالَ ابْنُ عُمَرَ رَضِيَ اللهُ عَنْهُمَا: أَشْهُرُ الْحَجِّ شَوَّالٌ وَذُو الْقَعْدَةِ وَعَشْرٌ مِنْ ذِي الْحَجَّةِ. صحيح البخاري