The month of Zil-Hijjah
The 12th and last month of the Islamic calendar is Zil-Hijjah, commonly called Zil-Hajj.
This month is filled with blessings and as its name indicates, during this month the famous Hajj the pilgrimage in Makkah shareef is achieved.
In this blessed month, make a maximum of ibaadats, namaz nafils, tilaawat-ul-quraan, roza, tasbeeh, takbeer, swadaqa, etc… there are many thawaabs (rewards) especially during its first 10 days.
Hazrat Hafsah (r.a) said that there are 4 things which the holy prophet ( peace be upon him ) never missed, among the following:
Huzour Nabi-e-Kareem showed the virtues of the 10 first days of Zil-Hijjah. The very day of the visibility of the moon, read after namaz Isha, 2 raka'ats of namaz nafils, in each raka'at, after sourah al-Faatihah, read sourah al-Kaafiroun. After the salaam, read 21 times Aayat-ul-Kursi, 21 times sourah al-Ikhlaass and 21 times Daroud shareef. Then make your du'as.
- To fast (roza) the of Yawm-e-Aashourah (10th Muharram)
- To fast (roza) from the 1st to the 9th day of Zil-Hijjah
- To fast (roza) three days every month: 13th, 14th and 15th
- To achieve before the faraz namaz of Fajar, 2 raka'ats of namaz (this is what we observe as Sunnat-ul-Mu'aqiddah in the namaz Fajar).
Also, in the month of Zil-Hijjah, there is a great and noble day named Yawm-ul-`Arafah, it is the 9th day. On this day the Haajees (those who perform Hajj) are in the sacred plain of `Arafaat (Maÿdaan-e-`Arafaat), that day is considered as the climax of Hajj (great pilgrimage). On that day, it is recommended to observe the roza (to fast) and to do many namaz nafils and tasbeehs, among which the 4th kalimah (kalimah tawheed) and other tasbeehs which you know.
The 10th day of the month of Zil-Hijjah is the festival day of Eid-ud-Duha celebrated by the Muslims all over the world and who perform also the famous Qurbaani, in the souvenir of the sacrifice of Hazrat Ibraaheem (a.s) [prophet Abraham].
In addition, we practise Takbeer-e-tashreeq after the faraz namazs, starting from the namaz Fajar of the 9th day till the namaz Assar of the 13th day of Zil-Hijjah, which makes a total of 23 Takbeers. The takbeer-e-tashreeq consist of reading 3 times the formulae "Allaahu akbar, Allaahu akbar, laa ilaaha illallaahu wallaahu akbar, Allaahu akbar wa lillaahil hamd" (Allah is Great, Allah is Great, there is no other deity but Allah, and Allah is Great, and praise be to Allah). We remind you that men read it aloud (and in jama'at in the masjids), but the ladies read it lonely with low voice.
(from The Jummah Masdij, Mauritius)