What you would learn about the first 10 days of Dhul Hijjah:
- Virtues and Facts of the First Ten Days of Dhul Hijjah
- How to prepare for these days!
- Preferable deeds to perform in these 10 days
Verily, Islam and Muslims have been blessed by Allah[swt] with many merits and special characteristics. One of the special characteristics that Allah[swt] has blessed the Ummah with are the times of the year, during which, acts obedience are extremely beneficial.
Likewise, He has blessed us with special places where forgiveness and mercy may be sought and where righteous deeds may be performed. At these times and at these places, Muslims strive to obtain the pleasure of Allah[swt] and (perhaps even) compete with others in doing things that bring them closer to the Rahmah of Allah[swt].
These seasons or times of the year are (in fact) gifts from Allah[swt]. And He [swt] has given it to the Ummah since they are generously rewarded for relatively small good deeds. These are times of the year with great opportunities.
One of the times of opportunities is the first ten days of Dhul Hijjah. The virtues and importance of the first ten days have been mentioned in the Noble Quran and in the authentic Sunnah. Let’s explore them Insha-Allah[swt]!
Virtues and facts of the First Ten Days of Dhul Hijjah
Allah swore by those days in a clearly understood verse of the Holy Quran
“By the down. And by ten nights (of Dhul Hijjah)” – (Al-Fajr: 1-2).
Ibn Katheer in his commentary on this verse:
“The intending meaning of the ten nights is the first ten days of Dhul Hijjah as has been stated by Ibn ‘Abbas, Ibn Az-Zubair, Mujahid, as well as others from the pious Predecessors and those who came after them”
Allah Completed Islam during one of these ten days
“This day I have perfected for you, your religion and completed My favors upon you and have approved for you Islam as religion.” (Quran, Al-Maidah:3)
These 10 days fall at the end of the well-known months of Hajj
The first ten days of Dhul Hijjah fall at the end of the well-known months of Hajj.
Righteous are very beneficial in these first ten days.
Righteous deeds performed during the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah are, as we have already discussed, more beloved to Allah[swt] than those deeds performed during other regular days.
The first ten days of Dhul Hijjah are generally considered the best days of the year
The first ten days of Dhul Hijjah are considered the best days of the year because the Prophet[saw] said: “The best days in this worldly life are the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah.”
Pilgrimage to Mecca is performed during these days.
Another virtue of the first ten days of Dhul Hijjah is that the pilgrimage to Mecca is performed during them (which is one of the pillars of Islam).
Arafat also falls on one of the first ten days
The first 10 days of Dhul Hijjah also contains the blessed day of Arafat. This day is a great day during which Allah[swt] frees many of His worshippers from the fire of Hell.
Yoawm-un-Nahr also falls on one of these days
Another virtue of the first ten days of Dhul Hijjah is that Yawm-un-Nahr falls on one of them. Yawm-un-Nahr is also called “The greatest day of Hajj” (i.e. because several important rights of Hajj must be performed on that day such as slaughtering the sacrificial animal, shaving the head (for men) or shortening the hair (for women), stoning all their jamarat, and the Tawaf of Hajj)
First 10 days of Dhul Hijjah: How to prepare for it!
We should prepare for the times of the year, during which, acts of obedience are extremely advantageous by doing the following things:
We should prepare for this time with sincere repentance to Allah[swt].
Further Reading: How to repent sincerely: Step by Step guide
Learn the conduct and Act of Worship for that time of the year.
We should also prepare by learning about the conduct and various acts of worships for that time of the year. For example, learning about legal rulings concerning the first ten days of the month. This is such that every Muslim can worship Allah[swt] upon knowledge. It will prevent falling into bid’ah (newly invented matters in religion) which are now associated with certain seasons and times of the year.
Remembrance of Allah and Performing righteous deeds
Seek to get closer to Allah[swt] by remembering Him, obeying Him, worshiping Him, and reading the Quran. Also by serving Him and helping His religion (Islam) by defending the Quran and the Sunnah of His Prophet[saw], and helping Muslims as much as possible.
We should also welcome this blessed days by thanking Allah[swt] for providing us with such an opportunity to obtain the generous rewards for the righteous deeds performed during this season or time of the year. And for allowing us to live to see another season during which we may obtain a great mass of rewards, especially in light of the fact that many people were denied this opportunity either by death or illness or thru negligence.
Preferable deeds to perform in these days
As mentioned, it is preferable to increase all types of good deeds during these blessed days of the month, because of the superiority of performing righteous actions.
However, there are some preferable deeds to perform during these days, or on some of them. They are as follows:
Increasing the Remembrance of Allah[swt]
In surah Al-hajj, Allah[swt] encourages the believing once to remember Him during the first 10 days of Dhul Hijjah as stated below:
“… and mention the name of Allah[swt] on known (specific) days…”
Frequently saying ‘Al-hamdu Lillah’, ‘La ilaaha illAllah’, ‘Allahu Akbar’
It is Sunnah to say the Takbeer during the first ten days of Dhul Hijjah and to say it loudly in the mosque, the home, the street and every place where it is permitted to remember Allah[swt] and mention His name out loud, as an act of worship and as a proclamation of the greatness of Allah[swt].
Fasting during the first 10 days.
It has been authentically narrated that the Prophet[saw] used to fast the first nine days of Dhul-Hijjah. Hunaydah Ibn Khalid narrated upon the authority of his wife who said:
“Some of the wives of the Prophet[saw] told me that the Prophet[saw] used to fast the Day of Aashoorah, the first nine days of Dhul Hijjah, and three days out of every month”
Standing the Nights in Prayer.
This is one of the righteous deeds that is preferable to perform during these 10 days of Dhul Hijjah. However, it is important not to specifically choose the night of Eid for night prayers while not doing so for the other nights of the first ten days of the month.
Fasting the day of Arafat.
If you can fast all the nine first nine days of the month, then you automatically will fast on this day. But if you can’t fast all the days, then it is preferred to include the day of Arafat in your fasting days among the 10. The Prophet[saw] said:
“… fasting the day of Arafat is an expiation for (all of the sins of the previous year, and an expiation for all the sins of the coming year.”
So, my beloved brothers and sisters, if it difficult for you to fast all the nine days of the first 10, then at least do not deny yourself the great and generous reward for fasting the Day of Arafat!
Attending the Eid Prayer
The Prophet[saw] always attended the Eid prayers and never left them off. Likewise, he [saw] commanded all the people to attend the Eid prayers, even elderly women, widows still in their period of seclusion after the death of their husbands, and even menstruation women, although he [saw] ordered them not to pray and to stay away from the place of prayer.
All of which is evidence that attending the Eid prayer is either a stressed Sunnah or an obligatory act of worship.
Slaughtering and distributing the meat of a Sacrificial Animal
Sacrificing an animal on the day of Eid-ul-Adha which is the last of these ten days is a Sunnah of Prophet[saw] Ibraheem (peace and blessings of Allah[swt] be upon him) and a Sunnah of Prophet[saw] Muhammad [saw]. Every Muslim whom Allah[swt] has given the ability should fulfill this duty as Allah[swt] says: “Therefore turn in prayer to your Lord and sacrifice.” (Al-Kawthar 108:2)
It is reported that “the Prophet[saw] never missed slaughtering a sacrificial animal. He always slaughtered two rams, always sacrificing them after the Eid prayer, and he said: “Whoever slaughters before the Eid prayer then it is not a sacrifice, it is simply considered meat that he has given to his family.”
And Abu Hurayrah (may Allah[swt] be pleased with him) reported that Allah[swt]’s Messenger[saw] said, “Whoever can afford to offer a sacrifice but does not do so, let him not approach our place or prayer.” (Reported by Ahmad and Ibn Majah).
It is necessary for the one who intends to offer the sacrifice that he/she does not remove any hair, nail or skin from the sunset on last day of Dhul- Qa’dah until the sacrifice is done on the Eid day.
This hadith is reported by all the famous Muha-dit Heen apart from al-Bukhari.
Further Reading: The Sacrifice of “Eid al-Adha”
Performing Hajj and Umrah
It is preferable for anyone who has already performed the obligatory Hajj and Umrah to again perform as often as it is easy for him to do so, because of what has been mentioned (in the authentic Sunnah) about the reward for frequently performing Hajj and Umrah. Ibn Mas’ood [ra] said that the Messenger of Allah [saw] said:
“Make the Hajj and the Umrah follow each other closely for they remove poverty and sins just as a blacksmith’s furnace remove impurities from iron, gold, and silver. And there is no reward for a Hajj which is accepted except Jannah.”
So, part of the greatest deeds that you can spend your time doing during the first ten days of Dhul Hijjah, is to join the ranks of those performing Hajj and Umrah.
Contained in the last 10 days are lots of acts of worship, remembrance, submissiveness, and so many open displays of our complete dependence upon Allah[swt]. May Allah[swt] enable us to make the best of these blessed days and nights and make it a means of our success in this world and the next!