EXCELLENCE OF THE FIRST 10 DAYS OF DHUL-HIJJAH
فضائل العشرة الأوائل من ذي الحجة
Swearing an oath by something is indicative of its importance and great benefit. Allah has preferred the first 10 days of Dhul Hijjah over all the other days of the year, with no exceptions, not even the last ten days of Ramadan. These days are so sacred that He swears by them, “By the dawn; by the ten nights.” [Al-Fajr 89:1-2]
Proof: Ibn Abbas (radiyallahu anhu) reported that the Prophet ﷺ 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.” [Bukhari, 2/457]
Another narration: Ibn Abbas (radiyallahu anhu) also reported that the Prophet ﷺ said: “There is no deed more precious in the sight of Allah, or 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.” [Ad-Darimi, 1/357; with Hasan Isnad as stated in Al-Irwa, 3/398]
Muslim scholars said that this refers to the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah. Ibn Kathir said: “This is the correct opinion.” [Tafsir Ibn Kathir, 8/413]
TYPES OF WORSHIP TO DO ON THESE DAYS
- Fasting during these days, esp. on the 9th day of Dhul-Hijjah, the day of Arafah (Yawm Arafah) when the pilgrims stand in worship in the plains of Arafah. It is the best day of the whole year.
- Allah has chosen fasting for Himself, as is stated in the Hadith 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.” [Bukhari, 1805]
- Abu Qatadah (radiyallahu anhu) reported that the Prophet ﷺ said: “Fasting the Day of Arafah will be credited with Allah by forgiving one’s sins of the previous year and the following year.” [Muslim]
- “Fasting the day of Arafah expiates the (minor) sins of two years: a past one and a coming one. And fasting the day of Ashura expiates the sins of the past year.” [Muslim]
- “There is no day on which Allah frees people from the Fire as He does on the day of Arafah. He comes close (to those standing on Arafah) and then revels before His angels, saying: ‘What are these people seeking?'” [Muslim]
- “When a person fasts for a day, for the sake of Allah, then Allah drives Hell away from him to a distance of 70 years of traveling.” [Bukhari and Muslim]
- The remembrance of Allah.
- “That they might witness things that are of benefit to them (i.e. reward of Hajj in the Hereafter, and also some worldly gain from trade, etc.), and mention the name of Allah on appointed days, over the beast of cattle that He has provided for them (for sacrifice)…” [Al-Hajj 22:28]
- Majority of scholars agree that the ‘appointed days’ are the first 10 days of Dhul-Hijjah, because of the words of Ibn Abbas (radiyallahu anhu), “The appointed days are the first 10 days (of Dhul-Hijjah).”
TAWBAH AND ISTIGHFAR
- To repent sincerely to Allah (Tawbah) and to seek His forgiveness (Istighfar).
- Not just a verbal statement of sorrow for sins but a firm resolution to avoid making the same mistakes in the future.
- By giving up bad habits and behavior and all kinds of disobedience and sin.
- Repentance means coming back to Allah and foregoing all the deeds, open and secret, that He dislikes, out of regret for what has passed, giving it up immediately and being determined never to return to it, but to adhere firmly to the Truth by doing what Allah loves.
- Hasten to repent at once, without delay, firstly because we do not know when we will die, and secondly because one evil deed leads to another.
- Repentance at special times is very important because in most cases people’s thoughts turn towards worship at these times, and they are keen to do good, which leads to them recognizing their sins and feeling regret for the past.
- Sincere repentance is obligatory at all times, but when combined with good deeds during the days of most virtue, this is a sign of success. Allah says: “But as for him who repented, believed and did righteous deeds, then he will be among those who are successful.” [Al-Qasas 28:67]
- It is a Takbir (proclamation of Allah’s Greatness) that is not restricted to specific time or form. It is Sunnah to say at all times, day and night, before and after prayer. Time: From Dhul Hijjah 1 to 13 [i.e. from sunset on the last day of Dhul Qi’dah to sunset on Dhul Hijjah 13]
- This Takbir should be pronounced loudly, in order to revive the Sunnah and as a reminder to the negligent. The Prophet ﷺ: “Whoever revives an aspect of my Sunnah that is forgotten after my death, he will have a reward equivalent to that of the people who follow him, without it detracting in the least from their reward.” [Tirmidhi, 7/443; Hasan Hadith because of corroborating Asanid]
- Sunnah to say a lot of Takbir (Allahu Akbar), Tahmid (Alhamdulillah), Tahlil (La Ilaha Illallah) and Tasbih (Subhanallah). Abdullah Ibn Umar (radiyallahu anhu) reported that the Prophet ﷺ said: “There are no days greater in the sight of Allah and in which righteous deeds are more beloved to Him than these ten days, so during this time recite a great deal of Tahlil, Takbir and Tahmid.” [Ahmad, 7/224; Ahmad Shakir stated that it is Sahih]
- Men are encouraged to recite these phrases loudly and women quietly… in mosques, houses, streets and every place where it is permitted to remember Allah.
- It is a Takbir that is restricted to specific times and done in a particular manner and is said after Salawat (obligatory prayers).
- For pilgrims, Takbir starts after Duhr on the 10th (for non-pilgrims, after Fajr on the 9th) and ends after Asr on the 13th.
- Time: After Taslim, after saying Astaghfirullah, Astaghfirullah, Astaghfirullah. Allahumma Antas Salam Wa Minkas Salam, Tabarakta Ya Dhal Jalali Wal-Ikram (O Allah, You are the Peace, and from You is peace, blessed are You, O Possessor of Majesty and Honor)… then say the Takbir.
- There is no specific form for the Takbir, but the most common may include the words “Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, La Ilaha Illallah, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Wa Lillahilhamd (Allah is the greatest, Allah is the greatest, Allah is the greatest, there is no god but Allah; Allah is the greatest, Allah is the greatest, and to Allah be praise).
PERFORMING HAJJ AND UMRAH
- Narrated Abu Hurairah (radiyallahu anhu) that the Prophet ﷺ said: “Performance of Umrah is expiation for sins committed between it and the previous one, and the reward of Al-Hajj Al-Mabrur (one accepted by Allah) is nothing but Paradise.” [Bukhari, Book of Umrah #863]
- Abu Hurayrah (radiyallahu anhu) narrated that the Prophet ﷺ said: “He who performs pilgrimage with no obscenity or evil practices will come out as a new born baby (free from all sins).” [Bukhari and Muslim]
- The one whom Allah helps to go on Hajj to His House and to perform all the rituals properly is included in the words of the Prophet ﷺ: “An accepted Hajj brings no less a reward than Paradise.”
SACRIFICIAL ANIMAL (UDHIYA)
- Offering a sacrifice, by choosing a high-quality animal and fattening it, spending money on it for the sake of Allah.
- The slaughtering of a sacrificial animal is also legislated for the Day of Sacrifice (10th) and the Days of Tashriq (11th, 12th and 13th).
- The 10th of Dhul-Hijjah is Eid Al-Adha or the day of An-Nahr (The Day of Sacrifice). It marks the conclusion of the major rites of Hajj.
- Commemoration of Allah’s bounty on Prophet Ibrahim, when He gave him a ram to sacrifice as ransom for his son Ismail.
- It is reported that the Prophet ﷺ sacrificed with his own hands two horned rams which were white with black markings, mentioned Allah’s name, and placed his foot on their sides (while slaughtering them). [Sahih Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
- “The day of Al-Fitr [Eid Al-Fitr], the day of An-Nahr, and the days of Tashriq are Eid days for us Muslims. They are days of eating and drinking.” [Ahmad, An-Nasa’i, Sahih Al-Jami’ #8192]
- For the one offering Udhiya: Sunnah to stop cutting hair and nails and removing anything from skin, from the beginning of the 10 days until after he has offered his sacrifice.The Prophet ﷺ said: “When you see the new moon of Dhul-Hijjah, if anyone of you wants to offer a sacrifice, then he should stop cutting his hair and nails until he has offered his sacrifice.” [Muslim with 4 Asanid, 13/146]
- Wisdom behind this prohibition: So that he may resemble those in Ihram in some aspects of the rituals performed, and so that he may draw closer to Allah by offering the sacrifice. If a person has cut his hair or nails during the first 10 days of Dhul-Hijjah because he was not planning to offer a sacrifice, then he decides later, during the ten days, to offer a sacrifice, then he must refrain from cutting his hair and nails from the moment he makes this decision
- Prohibition applies only to the one offering the Udhiya, not to his wife and children, unless any of them is offering a sacrifice in his or her own right because the Prophet ﷺ used to sacrifice on behalf of his family and there are no reports that he forbade them to cut their hair or nails at that time.
- If the one planning to offer Udhiya then decides to go for Hajj, he should not cut his hair or nails if he wants to enter Ihram, because the Sunnah is only to cut hair and nails when necessary. But if he is performing Tamattu (where he performs Umrah, comes out of Ihram and enters Ihram anew for Hajj), he should trim his hair at the end of his Umrah because this is part of the ritual.
GOOD DEEDS IN GENERAL
- Any righteous deed done for the sake of Allah according to the way He approves will be rewarded immensely because of the virtue of the season and the place.
- Generally, all good deeds are beloved by Allah and are rewarded highly at this blessed time
- Whoever is not able to go to Hajj should occupy himself by worshipping Allah.
- Salah, reading Qur’an, making supplication (Dua), giving charity, honoring parents, upholding the ties of kinship, enjoining what is good and forbidding what is evil, and other voluntary (Nafl) righteous deeds and acts of worship.
To be continued… Miqat, Ihram, Talbiyah