With the month of Ramadan behind us, another great opportunity for Muslims has arrived: the first 10 days of Dhul Hijjah.
Allah (SWT) swears by these days in the Qur’an:
“By the dawn; And [by] the ten nights.” (Surah Fajr – Chapter 89, Verses 1-2)
While this is the season of Hajj, there are many acts of worship Muslims around the world can perform if they are not performing Hajj.
(1) Fast During These Days
Fasting on the first nine days of Dhul-Hijjah is a practice encouraged for any Muslim not participating in Hajj this year. Fasting is one of the best of deeds.
عَنْ أَبِي سَعِيدٍ الْخُدْرِيِّ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ مَنْ صَامَ يَوْمًا فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ بَعَّدَ اللَّهُ وَجْهَهُ عَنْ النَّارِ سَبْعِينَ خَرِيفًا
2685 صحيح البخاري كتاب الجهاد والسير باب فضل الصوم في سبيل الله
In a hadith by Abu Sa’id al-Khudri reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Whoever fasts a day in the way of Allah, Allah will move his face away from the Hellfire by a distance of seventy years.” [Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī 2685, Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim 1153. Grade: Muttafaqun Alayhi (authenticity agreed upon) according to Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
The first 10 days of Dhul-Hijjah are the most blessed days in the year, making them the perfect opportunity to increase our ibaadah (worship) to Allah.
The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said: “Whoever observes fast for a day in the way of Allah, Allah will remove his face from the Hell to the extent of seventy years’ distance.” (Saheeh Muslim).
(2) Give Udhiya (‘Qurbani’)
A great act of worship to bring yourself closer to Allah (SWT) on ‘Eid ul-Adha is through the sacrificing of a livestock animal. This revives the sunnah of Prophet Ibrahim (AS). He was ready to give up everything for the sake of Allah and submitted unconditionally to Allah’s commands by even offering his beloved son Ismail as a sacrifice.
Eid ul-‘Adha is a unique opportunity for us to follow the sunnah of the Prophet (pbuh) and participate in a form of worship less common to us, sacrificing for the Sake of Allah.
There are two things you need to abstain from until after the sacrifice:
- Abstain from paring your nails
- Abstain from having your hair cut
Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is reported to have said:
“When any one of you intends to sacrifice the animal and enter in the month of Dhul-Hijjah, he should not get his hair cut or nails pared till he has offered his sacrifice.” (Saheeh Muslim)
(3) Increase in Dhikr (remembrance) and Good deeds in General
Our Prophet (pbuh) said: “There are no days that are greater before Allah or in which good deeds are more beloved to Him, than these ten days, so recite a great deal of tahleel, takbeer and tahmeed during them.” (Ahmad)
- Tahmeed: Al-hamdu Lillah (All praises be to Allah)
- Tahleel: Laa ilaha ill-Allah (There is no god but Allah)
- Tasbeeh: Subhaan-Allah (Glory be to Allah)
The takbeer can also be recited as follows:
Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar, laa ilaaha ill-Allah, Allahu akbar, wa lillaah il-hamd.
“Allah is Most Great, Allah is Most Great, there is no god but Allah; Allah is Most Great and to Allah be praise.”
The Companions were known to say the takbeer regularly. Let us follow in their footsteps and encourage others to recite the takbeer as well as an act of worship and a proclamation of the greatness of Allah.
(4) Make Dua & Fast on the Day of Arafah
The day of Arafat is the most important day of Hajj. It is the time when the Hujjaj (those performing hajj) are in a constant state of dua, and if accepted they are granted forgiveness for all of their past sins. For those of us who are not among to hujjaj, there are still opportunities for our forgiveness and for us to maximize this day:
Fasting on the Day of Arafah:
Our beloved Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said “Fasting on the Day of ‘Arafah absolves the sins for two years: the previous year and the coming year.” (Saheeh Muslim)
The Prophet (pbuh) said: “The best of supplications is the supplication of the Day of Arafah. And the best of what I and the Prophets before me have said is:
لَا إِلهَ إِلَّا اللهُ وَحْدَهُ لَا شَرِيكَ لَهُ، لَهُ الْمُلْكُ وَلَهُ الْحَمْدُ وَهُوَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ
‘None has the right to be worshiped but Allah, Alone, without partner, to Him belongs all that exists, and to Him belongs the Praise, and He has power over all things.’” (Tirmidhi)
(5) The Importance of Donating During these Days
The first 10 days of Dhul-Hijjah are not only the most beloved days to Allah – but He loves to be worshiped on them, and for us to put extra effort into doing good deeds during these days.
Ibn Abbas reported that the Prophet (pbuh) said, ‘There are no days in which righteous deeds are more beloved to Allah than in these (ten) days’. [Sunan Ibn Majah]
Simple actions such as helping your family, smiling in front of your fellow Muslim, and taking care of your parents become more valuable during the first ten days of Dhul Hijjah.
Many of us maximize our sadaqah (giving charity) during the last ten nights of Ramadan, but the first ten days of Dhul Hijjah are valuable too! This is an opportunity you want to take full advantage of to earn more reward for a good deed.
The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said that Allah (SWT) says in a hadith qudsi: ‘Spend (on charity), O son of Adam, and I shall spend on you.’
These 10 blessed days are an amazing time to give to charity because all the rewards you receive from giving sadaqah or paying your Zakat will be multiplied many, many times over.
The Prophet (pbuh) said, “Charity does not decrease wealth.” [Saheeh Muslim]
During this time, the good deeds you do are warmly received by Allah (SWT) and in turn are rewarded greatly. He encourages us to give charity and care for the poor because these are acts that He loves. Giving sadaqah is among the few actions that we are allowed to feel jealousy for, in order to encourage us to give more.
Allah’s Messenger (pbuh) said, “Envy is not permissible except of two men. A man whom Allah has given the knowledge of the Book and he recites it during the hours of the night, and a man whom Allah has given wealth, and he spends it in charity during the night and the hours of the day.”
You can donate to Masjid ar-Rahmah by visiting this link.