20 EASY & QUICK IDEAS TO MAXIMIZE THESE 10 BEST DAYS OF THE YEARJun 01, 2023
Hopefully by now you are well aware that we are among days of the year so holy that i they are even superior to the last 10 days of Ramadan.
If this is new knowledge to you, then don't be embarrassed. It's not entirely your fault. I myself did not appreciate the rank of these days until my mid 30s...
Many in the Ummah are unaware and are completely heedless of these 10 days until the day before Eid.... There is a cultural emphasis on worshipping in Ramadan but cultural ignorance on the vaule of these 10 days.
You can spend a few mins by searching for talks or articles on 'Virtues of Dhul Hijjah' to find out more, but the following hadith suffices us for now:
Ibn Abbas reported: The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “No good deeds are better than what is done in these first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah.” Some companions of the Prophet said, “Not even jihad in the way of Allah?” The Prophet said, “Not even jihad in the way of Allah, except for a man who goes out with his life and wealth at risk and he returns with nothing.”
So it behooves us to maximize our time and do as many good deeds as possible...
But there is a problem.
For Ramadan, you prepared mentally and practically. You took time off and the whole environment just felt more spiritual and motivated you to worship...
But now, you're swamped with work, cannot bear the thought of fasting on these long summer days and there is 0 inspiration from your immediate environment.
That's where Islamic Time Management comes in...
Below I give you 25 super tips, aligned with the Sunnah and advice from our scholars.
You don't have to do all of them - I recommend you pick at least THREE you can commit to...
It shouldn't be hard to honour these remaining blessed days by worhsipping just a little bit more.
And these work no matter how busy you are - there are ideas suitable for any situation:
- AVOID SINNING - Getting rid of haram takes precedence over doing good deeds. So abstaining from sins or actions you know are wrong is a perfect way to honour the best days of the year. And it actually saves you time! This could be as simple as praying on time, or avoiding praying Asr salah last minute.
2. FARD FIRST - Flipside of first strategy is to ensure you are doing what is obligatory. Praying your five prayers. If you are a sister considering wearing hijab, for instance, making that decision in these days would be superior to 1000s of nafl salah or other actions.
3. QURBANI - Part of what is obligatory (wajib) is to offer the animal sacrifice (Qurbani) on the days of 'Eid to commemorate the great sacrifce of Prophet Ibrahim (a.s.). This is best done in person, though if it's difficult to arrange one can find 100s of options to pay for online.
This takes some budgeting and organisation. Don't leave it till Eid day. Sort out today or ASAP as butchers get booked up fast this week!
4. DON'T FORGET THE WAJIB DHIKR STARTING ON 9th DHUL HIJJAH - Keeping in line with priority order, many Muslims forget the obligation to do the prescribed dhikr after every fardh salah "Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, La ilaha illa Llahu Wa Llahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar wa lillahi Lhamd" from Fajr of the 9th of Dhul Hijjah until Asr of the 13th.
If you're at the mosque for any of those salahs you'll be reminded by the whole congregation reciting in loudly. The trick is remembering to do it at home.
5. FAST AT LEAST ON YAWM UL ARAFAH - There are two types of fasters in my experience: those who find it easy and those who find it hard. If you are blessed to be of the former then fast as many of the first 9 days of Dhul Hijjah as possible (many Muslims customarily fast all 9).
At the very least, make an effort to fast on the day before Eid as it 'expiates for two years of sins, one prior and one forthcoming'.
6. BLOCK OFF AT LEAST 30-60 MINS DU'A TIME ON 'ARAFAH - The reason the 9th of Dhul Hijjah is so blessed is because it is the cornerstone of Hajj. Millions of pilgrims will be worshipping all day on the Plains of Arafah. And so we should end our day of fasting by joining with the whole Ummah in heartfelt, deep du'a in the half hour to one hour before Maghrib. Those blessed to have done Hajj will remember the hours spent on du'a that day; the least we can do back home is spend 30 mins before the Maghrib azan ushers in Eid ul-Adha.
7. MAKE A LOT OF ISTIGHFAR - Regularly asking Allah for forgiveness is one of the greatest acts of the worship and 'the soul of every spiritual station'. Do deep Istighfar in your prostrations of salah (sujud) for extra effect and reward.
8. PRAISE ALLAH A LOT MORE - You can do this whilst you are walking, sitting, lying, waiting and even during work. In the Qur'an, Allah praises those who '...remember Allah standing, sitting and on their sides and reflect on the creation of the heavens and the earth.' There are so may simple and easy phrases the Prophet (s.a.w.) taught us for this.
9. MAKE YOUR TONGUE MOIST WITH SIMPLE SUNNAH AZKAR - The ultimate dhikr for time management is that which is 'heavy on the Scales (on the Day of Judgement) and light on the tongue' In other words you get diproportionately more reward than the tiny effort merits. What are these words? 'SubhanAllahi wa bihamdihi, SubhanAllahi al-Azeem'. Say this 100 times a day to have your sins forgiven 'even if they are as much as the foam of the sea'.
Another most famous phrase - and a chorus to countless nasheeds - is the most beloved collection of words to Allah: 'SubhanAllah wa al-Hamdulillah, wa la ilaaha illa Allahu wa-Allahu Akbar'.
In other words, abundantly recite Tahlil (la ilaha illaLlah), Tahmid (SubhanAllah) and Takbir (Allahu Akbar).
Look up the proper pronunciation of these phrases and their meanings so you say them with real presence.
10. RECITE A LITTLE MORE QUR'AN - Change can be simple and seamless. If you normally read half a juz a day, add a few pages; if your custom is to read several pages, just add a page a day; if you read a few lines a day, add one more ayah. Point is to increase your current habit - 'even if a little' to enter the realm of 'the most beloved of deeds' which are consistent habits.
11. BOOST YOUR MOTIVATION THROUGH TALKS/GATHERINGS - One of the greatest ways to boost your inspiration to maximize these days is attending gatherings or listening to talks by our honourable 'ulema. Check for local gatherings at the masjid or for events with visiting speakers: live events bring about the strongest change, barakah and reward as you are gathering for knowledge and dhikr for the sake of Allah.
At the very least, search Youtube for great talks on the merits, philosophy and actions of the 10 Days of Dhul Hijjah
12. TAKE A HOLIDAY - An easy solution which takes a bit of courage is to take time off for the sake of Allah. If you are an entrepreneur you have no excuse - at the very least make sure you are completely free for a few hours before Maghrib on the 9th of Dhul Hijjah. For most of us, Maghrib is after 9pm on Friday. Even outside these days, you shouldn't really be working then but be extra strict about protecting that time this week. No phones. No devices. Just raise your hands and connect with the One who has given you everthing you have.
1000s of working Muslims manage to get some time off on Arafah - see what's possible. When you are determined and creative, it's amazing what baraka you can find in your time.
And once you have that little extra time it becomes so much easier to worship.
13. PLAN YOUR 'EID SALAH & 'EID DAY EXPERIENCE - Many Muslims forget that the first day of Eid is actually part of the 10 days and is one of the meritorious days of the year. There are two major acts of worship: attendance of the Eid salah and feasting/festivities with family and friends. Both of these take preparation and planning. The better planned you are for Eid, the more educational it will be for your kids, and the more impactful for the whole family. Eid should be one of the funnest and most memorable days of the year. Anyone who has organised a big party or celebration knows that the key to a great event is how well it's planned. Don't do Eid a disservice - plan to make it the best of days.
14. EID SHOPPING - Good deeds are often fun! Buying gifts is a huge Sunnah and a wonderful tradition carried out by people of all faiths. Again, don't leave it to a Prime Next Day Amazon delivery on Yawm ul Arafah! Schedule time for some physical shopping if need be.
15. LEVEL UP WITH SPOUSE AND KIDS - Part of our obligations is our sacred duties to our spouse or children. WIth my coaching clients, one of the highest impact work I do is help them redirect their attention and focus to ways they can revive their relationships with their spouses and kids. No other relationships have more impact on the Deen of others than your marriage and parenting. Perhaps your marriage has gone stale in recent weeks or months. Maybe you haven't been spending quality time with your children. Honestly, repairing these relationships are worth 1000s of azkar.
16. HAVE IHSAN (excellence) AT WORK - For many of us we will be spending up to 8 hours a day on these days of Dhul Hijjah at work. So there's no point in firing blanks. Correct one's intentions for WHY you work (it is a huge act of worship), and make a special effort to be more excellent than normal. This is excellent dawah to non-Muslims and is certainly a good deed that will be multiplied.
17. GIVE MORE CHARITY - Sadaqa, on top of Qurbani, is also a massive act of worship. Scholars recommend giving a little each day of the days of Dhul Hijjah. Sadaqa can include smiling more and assisting people in any way.
18. RECONCILE WITH RELATIVES & FRIENDS - Another massive act of worship - which doesn't have to take much time - is forgiving and reconciling with other Muslims. One of the barriers to having our deeds accepted is a grudge or emnity to a fellow Muslim. So this is the perfect time to reach out to those you've had bitterness or bad blood with and ask for forgiveness - especially with relatives.
19. IMPROVE YOUR HEALTH - Many readers will acknowledge that their health is not where it should be. In fact, some of you have serious health conditions, self-inflicted over months and years of abuse to your own body. This abuse may be through poor dietary choices or neglect in terms of lack of exercise. 'Your body has a right over you' taught our supremely healthy Prophet (s.a.w.). Since a strong body and mind is a pre-condition to strong worship and service to humanity, it follows that any form of exercise or improvement in health is a powerful form of worship if it is intended to use your improved body and health for the sake of Allah.
20. LEVEL UP YOUR LIFE - Through my work with 1000s of students and clients in personal development, I honestly believe that working on improving your productivity and high performance is like an atom bomb of worship. Why? Because - like health - it is a HIGHLY LEVERAGED project. When you skill up in your time management, for example, EVERYTHING IMPROVES: your actual ritual worship (Deen), your family life, your health, your work, your fiannces, your clarity, your purpose. It all enhances one's intentions and feeds back into progress in all areas of your life which one progresses for the sake of Allah. So instead on one or two more good deeds, you end up having hundreds of more good deeds. The whole trajectory of your life changes - a bit like after going on a transformative Hajj/Umrah.
That's why I get some of my most sign-ups for Islamic Time Management coaching during times like Ramadan as ambitious Muslims realize that if they want to become better Muslims, they need to level up in all areas. It's all interlinked.
I pray the above 20 strategies are helpful and give you inspiration to maximize the remaining blessed days before Eid.
Let's make them count.
Comment below with 2-3 of your favourite strategies from above which you'll implement inshaAllah.