Asalaamu’alaikum warahmatullaahi wabarakaatuh.
The first 10 days of Dhul Hijjah have great virtues associated with them. Allah – the creator of times has made some months, days and nights better than others, when rewards are multiplied many times, as a mercy towards His slaves. This encourages them to do more righteous deeds and makes them eager to worship him so that the Muslim renews his efforts to gain a greater share of reward, prepare himself for death and the Day of Judgment.
This season of worship brings many benefits, such as the opportunity to correct one’s faults and make up for shortcomings or anything that one might have missed. Every one of these special occasions of worship gives us a chance to come closer to Allah. The wisest of us all, is the one who makes the most of these special days and draws nearer to his Lord during these times through acts of worship.
The Muslim must understand the value of his life, worship Allah more and persist in doing good deeds until the moment of death. Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“And worship your Lord until there comes unto you the certainty.” [al-Hijr 15:99] Here, the certainty’ means death.
Narrated Ibn’ Umar: On the Day of Nahr (10th of Dhul-Hijja), the Messenger (S.A.W) stood in between the Jamrat during his Hajj which he performed (as in the previous Hadith) and said, “This is the greatest Day (i.e. 10th of Dhul-Hijjah).”
Among the special seasons of worship are the first ten days of Dhu’l-Hijjah, which Allah has preferred over all the other days of the year. Ibn ‘Abbaas (May Allah be pleased with him and his father) reported that the Prophet ((PBUH)) said: “There are no days in which righteous deeds are more beloved to Allah than these ten days.” The people asked, “Not even jihad for the sake of Allah?” He said, “Not even jihad for the sake of Allah, except in the case of a man who went out to fight giving himself and his wealth up for the cause, and came back with nothing.” (Reported by al-Bukhaari, 2/457).
Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allah be pleased with him and his father) also reported that the Prophet ((PBUH)) said: “There is no deed more precious in the sight of Allah, nor greater in reward, than a good deed done during the ten days of Sacrifice.” He was asked, “Not even jihad for the sake of Allah?” He said, “Not even jihad for the sake of Allah, except in the case of a man who went out to fight giving himself and his wealth up for the cause, and came back with nothing.” (Reported by al-Daarimi, 1/357; its isnaad is hasan as stated in al-Irwaa’, 3/398).
As indicated by these scriptures, these ten days are better than all the other days of the year, with no exceptions.
The virtue of these ten days is based on a lot of factors. Here is why these days are the most important ones in a Muslim’s life and should be taken seriously:
Most Superior Days To Perform Good Deeds:
Ibn Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) narrates that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said:
“No good deeds done on other days are superior to those done on these (first ten days of Dhul Hijjah).” Then some companions of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Not even Jihad?” He replied, “Not even Jihad, except that of a man who does it by putting himself and his property in danger (for Allah’s sake) and does not return with any of those things.” (Tirmidhi)
The Greatest Acts Of Worship Are Combined In These Days
Hafidh Ibn Hajar (may Allah have mercy on him) says in Fath al-Bari:
“The most apparent reason for the ten days of Dhul Hijjah being distinguished in excellence is due to the assembly of the greatest acts of worship in this period, i.e. salawat (prayers), siyam (fasting), sadaqah (charity) and the Hajj (pilgrimage). In no other periods do these great deeds combine.”
These ten days include Yawm ‘Arafaah (the Day of ‘Arafaah), on which Allah perfected His Religion. Fasting on this day will expiate for the sins of two years.
“This day I have perfected for you your religion and completed My favor upon you and have approved for you Islam as religion.” Surah Al Maidah, Verse 3
This day was the day of ‘Arafah which falls on the 9th of Dhul Hijjah.
Fasting One Day Is Equal To One Year
Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) relates that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said:
“Fasting any day during it is equivalent to fasting one year and to offer salatul tahajjud (late-night prayer) during one of its nights is like performing the late-night prayer on the night of power. [i.e., Lailatul Qadr].” [This is related by at-Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah, and al-Baihaqi]
It is Sunnah to fast on the ninth day of Dhu’l-Hijjah, because the Prophet sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam urged us to do good deeds during this time, among whom fasting is the best. Allah has chosen fasting for Himself, as is stated in the hadeeth qudsi: “Allah says: ‘All the deeds of the son of Adam are for him, except for fasting, which is for Me and I am the One Who will reward him for it.’” (Reported by al-Bukhaari, 1805).
The Prophet ((PBUH)) used to fast on the first nine days of Dhu’l-Hijjah. It was narrated from Hunaydah ibn Khaalid from his wife, that one of the wives of the Prophet ((PBUH)) said: The Prophet ((PBUH)) used to fast on the first nine days of Dhu’l-Hijjah and the day of ‘Ashoora’, and three days each month. Narrated by al-Nasaa’i, 4/205 and by Abu Dawood; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood, 2/462.
Abu Qatadah reported that the Messenger of Allah (S.A.W) said, “Fasting on the day of ‘Arafah is an expiation for two years, the year preceding it and the year following it.
Hafsah reported, “There are five things that the Messenger (sallAllahu’alaihi wa sallam) never abandoned: fasting the day of ‘Ashurah, fasting the [first] 10 [days of Dhul-Hijjah], fasting 3 days of every month and praying two rak’ah before the dawn prayer.” [This is related by Ahmad and an-Nasa’i]
Muslims have been instructed to glorify the name of Allah excessively through Takbeer.
Takbeer includes the words, “Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar, la ilaaha ill-Allah; wa Allahu akbar wa Lillaahil- hamd (Allahis Most Great, Allah is Most Great, there is no deity worthy of worship but Allah; Allah is Most Great and to Allah be praise),” as well as other phrases.
It is Sunnah to say Takbeer during the first ten days of Dhu’l-Hijjah, and to say it loudly in the mosque, the home, the street and every place where it is permitted to remember Allah and mention His name out loud, as an act of worship and as a proclamation of the greatness of Allah, may He be exalted.
Men should recite these phrases out loud, and women should recite them quietly.
Takbeer is an aspect of the Sunnah that has been long forgotten, especially during the early part of this period, so much so that one hardly ever hears Takbeer, except from a few people. The Takbeer should be pronounced loudly, to revive the Sunnah and as a reminder to the negligent. There is sound evidence that Ibn ‘Umar and Abu Hurayrah (may Allahbe pleased with them) used to go out in the marketplace during the first ten days of Dhu’l-Hijjah, reciting Takbeer, and the people would recite Takbeer when they heard them.
There is sound evidence that Ibn Umar and Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with them) used to go out in the marketplace during the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah, reciting Takbeer, and the people would recite Takbeer when they heard them.
Performing Hajj and ‘Umrah
One of the best deeds that one can do during these ten days is to perform Hajj to the Sacred House of Allah. In the words of the Prophet (PBUH): “An accepted Hajj brings no less a reward than Paradise.”
Doing more good deeds in general, because good deeds are beloved by Allah and will bring a great reward from Him. Whoever is not able to go to Hajj should occupy himself at this blessed time by worshipping Allah, praying (salaat), reading Qur’an, remembering Allah, making supplication (du’aa’), giving charity, honouring his parents, upholding the ties of kinship, enjoining what is good and forbidding what is evil, and other good deeds and acts of worship.
The main deed that brings a person closer to Allah during these ten days is offering a sacrifice, by choosing a high-quality animal and fattening it, spending money for the sake of Allah.
A Muslim should make sure that he does not miss any of these important occasions, because time is passing quickly. There is much to be gained, from the opportunity arising out of these invaluable and irreplaceable days. He should prepare himself for “Akhirah” through these deeds to earn reward when he is most in need of it, for no matter how much reward he earns, he will find it is less than he needs. The time of departure is at hand, the journey is frightening, delusions are widespread, and the road is long, but Allah is ever watchful, and to Him will we return and render account.
Therefore, we must hasten to do good works, before death strikes, before one can regret one’s negligence and failure to act, before one is asked to return to a place where no prayers will be answered, before death intervenes between the hopeful one and the things he hopes for, before one is trapped with his deeds in the grave.
He should prepare himself for “Akhirah”. The Qur’aan says (interpretation of the meaning):
“So, whosoever does good equal to the weight of an atom, shall see it,
And whosoever does evil equal to the weight of an atom, shall see it.”[al-Zalzalah 99:7-8]
— us-Sunnah Team