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Dhu al-Hijjah

Dhu'l-Hijjah or alternatively Zulhijja (Arabic: ذو الحجة‎; also transliterated Zil-Hajj) is the twelfth and final month in the Islamic calendar. It is a very sacred month in the Islamic calendar, one in which the Hajj (pilgrimage) takes place as well as the Festival of the Sacrifice.

"Dhu al-Hijjah" literally means "Possessor of the Pilgrimage" or "The Month of the Pilgrimage". During this month Muslim pilgrims from all around the world congregate at Mecca to visit the Kaaba. The Hajj is performed on the eighth, ninth and the tenth of this month. Day of Arafah takes place on the ninth of the month. Eid al-Adha, the "Festival of the Sacrifice", begins on the tenth day and ends on sunset of the 13th.

In the Ottoman Empire times, the name in Ottoman Turkish was Zī-'l-Hìjjé, [1] or Zil-hig̃g̃e.[2] In modern Turkish the name is Zilhicce.


According to Islamic traditions, the first 10 days of Dhu al-Hijjah are the most blessed days in which to do good deeds:

حدثنا هناد حدثنا أبو معاوية عن الأعمش عن مسلم هو البطين وهو ابن أبي عمران عن سعيد بن جبير عن ابن عباس قال قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم ما من أيام العمل الصالح فيهن أحب إلى الله من هذه الأيام العشر فقالوا يا رسول الله ولا الجهاد في سبيل الله فقال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم ولا الجهاد في سبيل الله إلا رجل خرج بنفسه وماله فلم يرجع من ذلك بشيء وفي الباب عن ابن عمر وأبي هريرة وعبد الله بن عمرو وجابر قال أبو عيسى حديث ابن عباس حديث حسن صحيح غريب

Narrated Ibn Abbas: The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, "No good deeds done on other days are superior to those done on these (first ten days of Dhu al-Hijja)." Then some companions of the Prophet said, "Not even Jihad?" He replied, "Not even Jihad, except that of a man who does it by putting himself and his property in danger (for Allah's sake) and does not return with any of those things." (Reported by Tirmidhi)

Muhammad used to fast the first nine days of this month, owing to their perceived virtue:

حدثنا مسدد حدثنا أبو عوانة عن الحر بن الصباح عن هنيدة بن خالد عن امرأته عن بعض أزواج النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم قالت كان رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يصوم تسع ذي الحجة ويوم عاشوراء وثلاثة أيام من كل شهر

One of the wives[vague] of Muhammad said: "Allah's Messenger used to fast the [first] nine days of Dhul-Hijjah, the day of 'Ashurah, and three days of each month." (Reported by Abu Dawud)[3]


The Islamic calendar is a lunar calendar, and months begin when new moon is sighted. Since the Islamic lunar calendar year is 11 to 12 days shorter than the solar year, Dhu al-Hijjah migrates throughout the seasons. The estimated start and end dates for Dhu al-Hijjah, based on the Umm al-Qura calendar of Saudi Arabia, are:[4]

Dhu al-Hijjah dates between 2018 and 2023
AH First day (CE/AD) Last day (CE/AD)
1439 12 August 2018 10 September 2018
1440 02 August 2019 30 August 2019
1441 22 July 2020 19 August 2020
1442 11 July 2021 08 August 2021
1443 30 June 2022 29 July 2022
1444 19 June 2023 18 July 2023

Special Days of Dhu al-Hijjah

  • The first 9 days of Dhu al-Hijjah for fasting
  • The first 10 nights of Dhu al-Hijjah for standing (Qiyaam) in Tahajjud
  • The 8th, 9th and 10th of Dhu al-Hijjah as the days of Hajj
  • The 9th of Dhu al-Hijjah as the Day of Arafah
  • Takbirut Tashreeq is observed from the 9 Dhu al-Hijjah till 13 Dhu al-Hijjah
  • The 10th of Dhu al-Hijjah as the Night of Eid
  • Eid al-Adha (Festival of the Sacrifice) begins on the 10th day of Dhu al-Hijjah and ends on sunset of the 13th Dhu al-Hijjah

Prescribed acts of worship

The following acts have been prescribed for the first nine days of Dhu al-Hijjah

On the days of Qurbani, i.e. 10th, 11th and 12th Dhu al-Hijjah, the greatest action is the spilling of blood of a sacrificial animal (Qurbani).

Reward for Fasting and Tahajjud

According to the hadith, great rewards have been mentioned for fasting the first nine days of Dhu al-Hijjah and standing in worship (Tahajjud) in the first 10 nights of Dhu al-Hijjah:

The Prophet of Allah said: There are no days more beloved to Allah that he be worshipped in them than the ten days of Dhu al-Hijjah, fasting every day of them is equivalent to fasting a year; and standing every night of them (in Salaah) is equivalent to standing on the Night of Qadr. [Tirmizi 758]

The reason for the 10 days being distinguished is due to the combination of worship in this period of prayer, fasting, charity, Takbir and Hajj.

Fasting on 9 Dhu al-Hijjah

From the first nine days of Dhu al-Hijjah, it is particularly recommended to fast the Day of Arafah (9th Dhu al-Hijjah) as expiation of the sin of two years:

Abu Qatada narrates that Muhammad was asked about fasting on the Day of Arafah. He said: as for the fasting on the Day of Arafah, I anticipate that Allah will forgive the year (i.e. the sins of the year) after it and the year before it [Tirmizi 749].

General Islamic Events

Islamic Events for Sunni

Islamic Events For Shi'ah

  • 01 Dhu al-Hijjah, Nikah (marriage) of Ali and Fatimah – 2 years before Hijra
  • 07 Dhu al-Hijjah, martyrdom of Shī‘ah Imām, Muhammad al-Bāqir ‐ 114 A.H.
  • 08 Dhu al-Hijjah, Husayn ibn ‘Alī began his journey to Karbalā from Mecca
  • 09 Dhu al-Hijjah, martyrdom of Muslim ibn ‘Aqīl and Hani ibn Urwah in Kufa. It is also a day of supererogatory fasting. – 60 A.H.
  • 15 Dhu al-Hijjah, birth of Twelver Imām, ‘Alī al-Naqī - 214 A.H. [Disputed date]
  • 18 Dhu al-Hijjah, Shī‘ah Muslims celebrate the event of Ghadir Khumm - 10 A.H.
  • 19 Dhu al-Hijjah, Fatimah went to Ali's house after their marriage
  • 23 Dhu al-Hijjah, martyrdom of Meesam Tammar – friend of Ali – 60 A.H.
  • 23 Dhu al-Hijjah, martyrdom of two sons of Muslim ibn ‘Aqīl in Kufa. 60 A.H.
  • 24 Dhu al-Hijjah, event of al-Mubahalah took place. (Eid al-Mubahila)
  • 24 Dhu al-Hijjah, some historians mention that the Hadith, Ahl al-Kisa, event was also on the same day prior to Muhammad setting out for Mubahila
  • 24 Dhu al-Hijjah, supplication day and giving of alms with the ring by Ali, In reply verse, "Verily your Walee is Allah; and His Messenger and those who establish Salaat, and pay Zakaat while they be in Rukoo. (Maa-Idah: 55)" was revealed
  • 25 Dhu al-Hijjah, Sura Al-Insan or Hal Ata, or Dahar, which records the giving of alms to orphan's, the destitute and travellers by Fatima Hassan and Hussain was revealed.
  • 25 Dhu al-Hijjah, Ali becomes the Caliph of Islam – 35 A.H.



  1. ^ Redhouse, J.W. (1880). REDHOUSE'S TURKISH DICTIONARY. p. 470.
  2. ^ Youssof, R. (1890). Dictionnaire portatif turc-français de la langue usuelle en caractères latins et turcs. Constantinople. p. 642.
  3. ^ "Ten Blessed Days of Dhul Hijjah | Soul". Retrieved 2013-09-26.
  4. ^ Umm al-Qura calendar of Saudi Arabia

External links