By: Olalekan Murisiku, Makkah

THE first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah (the 12th Islamic calendar month) carry a special status during the blessed month of “Pilgrimage.”
The above Hadith of the Prophet SAW spells out the importance of these ten days in the sight of Allah SWT and the amplified reward for all good deeds during this blessed season.

Just like the last ten nights of Ramadan are the best ten nights out of the year, these first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah are the best days of the year and the most beloved to Allah as they combine acts of worship in a way unlike any other time.

It is in line with this that the Amirul Hajj of Lagos State, Dr Abdulhakeem Abdullateef, has called on Nigerians most especially those performing this year’s hajj to take advantage of the period to pray for themselves, relatives and the country at large.

Dr. Abdul-Lateef made the call at a lecture in Makkah, Saudi Arabia, to unveil arrangements for the movement of pilgrims to Muna, Muzdalifah and Arafah for the Hajj rites.

The Amirul Hajj who is also the Lagos Commissioner for Home Affairs implored the pilgrims to pray for peaceful coexistence and religious tolerance, saying that Nigeria is in dire need of prayers so that God will touch the minds of political leaders to govern the country with the fear of God.

“Nigerian should intensify their efforts now by praying for the country, the president and others at the helm of affairs at all levels of governance. After praying , let us work collectively and complement government efforts to ensuring sustainable development,” he said.

According to the Amirul Hajj, Hajj is one of the best deeds that one can do during these ten days explaining that fasting all nine days and especially on the ‘Day of Arafah keeps ones face away from (Hell) fire for a distance covered by a journey of seventy years.

He however noted that those performing Hajj are exempted from fasting on the day of Arafah.

Quoting Prophet Muhammad, the Amirul Hajj said anyone who wishes to offer a sacrifice must stop cutting his/her hair and nails and removing anything from their skin, from the beginning of the ten days until after the sacrifice has been offered.

“When you see the new moon of Dhu’l-Hijjah, if any one of you wants to offer a sacrifice, then he should stop cutting his hair and nails until he has offered his sacrifice,” he said.

He said, “According to the sayings of Prophet, peace be upon him, Fasting on the Day of ‘Arafah (ninth day of Dhul-Hijja) for those who are not performing Hajj is an expiation for (all the sins of) the previous year and expiation for (all the sins of) the coming year.”

Dr Abdullateef enumerated virtuous acts that people could engage in during the period to include, constant chanting of words of exhortations, standing in prayers at Night, Making sincere Repentance, reading the glorious Quran and spreading good deeds.

The Amirul Hajj announced to the pilgrims that Lagos State Government has secured Tent B Plus for the use of pilgrims at Mina during the hajj exercise.

Tent B, he said, has desert air conditioners with additional three hundred fans for comfortability of the pilgrims when they are in the state of Ihram.

“We have made adequate arrangement for the provision of beds space within the tent,” he noted.

Dr Abdullateef commended Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos for his consistent supports for the pilgrims.

“Securing Tent B plus for pilgrims from Lagos State didn’t come as a magic but as a result of doggedness of Governor Ambode in ensuring that our people perform Hajj rites with ease. May Allah continue to be with him,” the Amirul Hajj prayed.

Olalekan Murisiku
Media Assistant to the Commissioner for Home Affairs and the State’s Amirul Hajj

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