We want your stories!
The first nine days of Dhul Hijjah (the twelfth month in the Muslim calendar) are nearly upon us, a most blessed time leading up to the annual Hajj pilgrimage. Millions are converging in Makkah and its surrounding areas for the pilgrimage. You may someone who is performing holy pilgrimage this year and may have received messages asking for forgiveness or invitations to send in prayers to be uttered in Makkah, Muzdalifah, Mina, Arafat and Madinah.
For other Muslims worldwide, the first nine days of Dhul Hijjah are blessed as well, with promises of multiplied rewards for good deeds done during these days. We are encouraged to fast, especially on the ninth day of Dhul-Hijjah – the day of Arafat, with the promise that our sins of the past year and of the year to come will be forgiven by fasting on this day. The Day of Arafat is when pilgrims performing the Hajj gather on the plains of Arafat outside Makkah to pray, which is considered to be the heart of the Hajj.
The days leading up to the Hajj and the holiday of Eid ul Adha are some of the most important holy days of the year for Muslims, though often the world’s attention is captured more by Ramadan. Eid ul Adha commemorates the story of the Prophet Abraham, who was asked by God to sacrifice his son as a testament of his belief and loyalty. That son was replaced by a sheep at the last minute.
Whereas in Ramadan, Muslims gather worldwide as a community to fast, pray, meet for iftaars and Tarawih prayers and extoll the beauty and importance of Ramadan in social media, that sense of community online and offline can feel less in Dhul Hijjah, when the worship may not center around congregational activities. But why should it be so? Let’s come together to reflect upon the blessings of these days.
We can’t promise to publish everything we receive, but we will do our best to provide a compelling literary (and video) Dhul Hijjah/Eid ul Adha experience culling from previously published submissions and new ones.
The Stuff You Need to Know
Send your submissions to Dilshad D. Ali (managing editor of the Muslim Channel and editor of Altmuslim at Patheos) at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also tweet at her @DilshadDAli. Submissions should be 800 words or less. We will be editing your pieces as needed. We will also need a short two-line bio about you (with any relevant links or social media links). If the piece you submit has been published elsewhere, please provide the original link. We welcome art with your piece, but it must not violate any copyright laws.
May your days of Dhul Hijjah and Eid ul Adha be blessed and beautiful!