The First Ten Days of Dhul-Hijjah: Virtues and Blessed Deeds

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3/06/2024 12:17 PM

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The virtue of the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah is indescribable and invaluable. These days are one of the great seasons of worship that Allah has favored over all other days of the year. Ibn Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) 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 for a man who went out with his life and wealth and returned with nothing" (Narrated by Bukhari).

Ibn Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) also narrated that the Prophet (peace be upon him) 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 Al-Adha." He was asked, "Not even jihad for the sake of Allah?" He said, "Not even jihad for the sake of Allah, except for a man who went out with his life and wealth and returned with nothing" (Narrated by Al-Darimi).

Its chain of transmission is considered good, as mentioned in Al-Irwa.

These texts and others indicate the immense virtue of the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah, and that these ten days are better than all other days of the year without exception, even the last ten days of Ramadan. However, the nights of the last ten days of Ramadan are better because they include Laylat al-Qadr, which is better than a thousand months. This way, the various evidences are reconciled. Refer to the commentary of Ibn Kathir.

 
 

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The Virtue of the First Ten Days of Dhul-Hijjah

The virtue of the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah is beyond description and priceless. These days are among the great seasons of worship that Allah has favored over all other days of the year. Ibn Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) 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 for a man who went out with his life and wealth and returned with nothing” (Narrated by Bukhari).

Ibn Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) also narrated that the Prophet (peace be upon him) 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 Al-Adha.” He was asked, “Not even jihad for the sake of Allah?” He said, “Not even jihad for the sake of Allah, except for a man who went out with his life and wealth and returned with nothing” (Narrated by Al-Darimi). Its chain of transmission is considered good, as mentioned in Al-Irwa.

These texts and others indicate the immense virtue of the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah, and that these ten days are better than all other days of the year without exception, even the last ten days of Ramadan. However, the nights of the last ten days of Ramadan are better because they include Laylat al-Qadr, which is better than a thousand months. This way, the various evidences are reconciled. Refer to the commentary of Ibn Kathir.

Reasons for the Virtue of the First Ten Days of Dhul-Hijjah

  1. Allah Swore by Them: Swearing by something indicates its importance and great benefit. Allah said: (By the dawn, and by the ten nights) [Al-Fajr: 1-2]. Ibn Abbas, Ibn Al-Zubair, Mujahid, and others from the early and later generations said: These are the ten days of Dhul-Hijjah. Ibn Kathir stated: “This is the correct view” (Tafsir Ibn Kathir 8/413).

  2. The Prophet Testified to Their Superiority: The Prophet (peace be upon him) testified that they are the best days in the world as mentioned in the authentic hadith.

  3. Encouragement for Righteous Deeds: Due to the honor of the time for the people in different lands, and the honor of the place for the pilgrims to the House of Allah.

  4. Encouragement for Remembrance: The Prophet (peace be upon him) encouraged the people to frequently recite “Subhanallah,” “Alhamdulillah,” “La ilaha illallah,” and “Allahu Akbar” during these days. Abdullah bin Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (peace be upon him) 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 recite a great deal of Tahleel, Takbeer, and Tahmeed during them” (Narrated by Ahmad 7/224, and its chain of narration is authentic according to Ahmad Shakir).

  5. Inclusion of the Day of Arafah: This is the witnessed day when Allah perfected the religion. Fasting on this day expiates the sins of two years. Additionally, the ten days include the Day of Sacrifice (Yawm an-Nahr), which is the greatest day of the year and the day of the major Hajj, combining acts of worship and good deeds in a way that is not found on any other day.

  6. Inclusion of the Act of Sacrifice and Hajj: These ten days also include the acts of sacrifice and Hajj.

Best Deeds During the First Ten Days of Dhul-Hijjah

Recognizing the virtue of these ten days is a great blessing from Allah to His servant. It is incumbent upon the Muslim to appreciate this blessing, seize this opportunity, and strive in acts of worship. Allah has granted His servants many avenues for good deeds and various paths of worship to maintain the Muslim’s energy and constant devotion to their Lord.

Among the best deeds a Muslim should strive for during these ten days are:

  1. Fasting: It is recommended to fast the first nine days of Dhul-Hijjah. The Prophet (peace be upon him) encouraged righteous deeds during these days, and fasting is among the best deeds. Allah has chosen fasting for Himself as stated in the hadith qudsi: “Allah says: All the deeds of the son of Adam are for him except fasting; it is for Me and I shall reward (the fasting person) for it” (Narrated by Bukhari 1805).

    The Prophet (peace be upon him) used to fast the first nine days of Dhul-Hijjah. Hunaydah ibn Khalid reported from his wife that one of the wives of the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “The Prophet (peace be upon him) used to fast the first nine days of Dhul-Hijjah, the day of Ashura, and three days each month, the first Monday of the month and two Thursdays” (Narrated by An-Nasa’i 4/205, Abu Dawood, and authenticated by Al-Albani in Sahih Abi Dawood 2/462).

  2. Recitation of Takbeer: It is recommended to frequently recite Takbeer (saying “Allahu Akbar”), Tahmeed (saying “Alhamdulillah”), Tahleel (saying “La ilaha illallah”), and Tasbeeh (saying “Subhanallah”) during these days. This should be done loudly in mosques, homes, streets, and every place where it is permissible to remember Allah, as a sign of worship and declaration of the greatness of Allah. Men should say it loudly, while women should say it quietly.

    Allah says: “That they may witness benefits for themselves and mention the name of Allah on known days over what He has provided for them of [sacrificial] animals” [Al-Hajj: 28]. Most scholars say the known days are the ten days of Dhul-Hijjah as narrated from Ibn Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him): “The known days are the ten days” (Narrated by Ibn Abbas).

    The form of Takbeer: “Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, la ilaha illallah, Allahu Akbar, wa lillahil-hamd” (Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest, there is no god but Allah, Allah is the Greatest, and to Allah belongs all praise). There are other forms of Takbeer as well.

    Nowadays, Takbeer during these ten days has become a neglected Sunnah, especially at the beginning of the ten days. It is rarely heard except from a few people. Therefore, it should be revived to remind the heedless and revive the Sunnah. It is reported that Ibn Umar and Abu Huraira (may Allah be pleased with them) used to go to the marketplace during the ten days and recite Takbeer, and the people would recite Takbeer because of their Takbeer. This means that people remembered to recite Takbeer individually, not in unison, as collective recitation is not prescribed.

    Reviving a forgotten Sunnah has a great reward as indicated by the saying of the Prophet (peace be upon him): “Whoever revives a Sunnah of mine that was abandoned after me will have a reward similar to that of those who follow it, without detracting from their rewards in the least” (Narrated by Tirmidhi 7/443, and it is a good hadith due to its supporting evidence).

  3. Performing Hajj and Umrah: One of the best deeds to perform during these ten days is Hajj to the Sacred House of Allah. Whoever Allah blesses to perform Hajj and completes its rituals in the correct manner will, insha’Allah, share in the reward mentioned by the Prophet (peace be upon him): “An accepted Hajj brings no less a reward than Paradise.”

  4. Increase in Righteous Deeds in General: Because righteous deeds are beloved to Allah and their rewards are magnified during these days. Those who cannot perform Hajj should fill these blessed days with acts of worship such as prayer, recitation of the Quran, remembrance of Allah, supplication, charity, honoring parents, maintaining family ties, enjoining good, and forbidding evil, among other forms of good deeds and paths of obedience.

  5. Offering Sacrifice (Udhiyah): Among the righteous deeds during these ten days is to draw closer to Allah by slaughtering a sacrificial animal, choosing the best and fattest one, and spending money in the cause of Allah.

  6. Sincere Repentance: It is crucial to repent to Allah sincerely and abstain from all sins and misdeeds. Repentance is to return to Allah, abandon what He dislikes outwardly and inwardly, regret what has passed, stop the sin immediately, and resolve not to return to it while remaining steadfast in truth by doing what Allah loves.

    A Muslim must hasten to repent immediately without delay because:

    • Firstly, one does not know when death will come.
    • Secondly, sins lead to more sins.

    Repentance in virtuous times is of great importance as souls generally incline towards goodness and desire it, leading to acknowledgment of sins and regret for the past. However, repentance is obligatory at all times. If a Muslim combines

 

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