The Month of Zul-Hijjah is the last month of the Islamic calendar. It means ‘the month of Hajj’. This name of the month indicates that the great annual worship of ‘Hajj’ is performed in this month. For this reason, it has a peculiar significance as compared to the other months of the year.
The first ten days of the month of Zul Hijjah are among the most significant days in the Islamic year. The Holy Prophet has said:
“One fast during these days is equal to the fasting of one complete year, and the worship of one night during this period is equal to the worship of ‘Laylatul Qadr’.
Every Muslim should take full advantage of this wonderful opportunity by offering as much Ibaadah to Allah as he or she can in this month.
The 9th day of the month of Zul Hijjah is called ‘Yaumal Arafah’ (The day of Arafah). This is the date when the Hujjaj (Hajj pilgrims) assemble with the plain of Arafat, six miles away from Makkah Mukkaramah, where they perform the most essential part of the prescribed duties of Hajj, namely, the ‘Wuqoof of Arafat’ (the stay in Arafat).
For those not performing Hajj, it is Mustahabb (desirable) to fast on this day according to their own calendar. It sometimes occurs that the date of 9th Zul Hijjah falls on different days in different countries according to the sighting of the moon.
The fast of ‘Yaumal Arafah’ has been emphasized by the Holy Prophet as a Mustahabb (desirable act). According to a Hadith, the fast of this day becomes a cause, Inshallah, of forgiveness for sins committed in one year.
From the Fajr of the 9th of Zul Hijjah upto the Asr prayer of the 13th, it is obligatory on each Muslim to recite the Takbir of Tashreeq in the following words:
Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar,
La Illaha Illallahu, Wallahu Akbar,
Allahu Akbar wa Lillahilhamd.
(Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest,
There is no God except Allah and Allah is the greatest,
Allah is the Greatest and to Him belongs all praise.)
According to authentic Islamic sources, it is obligatory on each Muslim, to recite this Takbir after every obligatory (fardh) Salaah. For women also, it is commendable though not obligatory. Whether you are performing Salaah with Jamaa’ah (collectively) or on your own (individually) makes no difference; you must recite the Takbir. However, males should recite it in a loud voice and females should recite it quietly.