What is the significance of the first ten days of Dhul Hijja?
- Allah honored them when he swears an oath by them in the Qur’an as well, and swearing an oath by something is indicative of its importance and great benefit.Allah says 89-1/2 (By the dawn; by the 10 nights). Ibn Abbas, Ibn al-Zubayr, Mujahid and others of the earlier and later generations said that this refers to the first ten days of Dhul Hijjah. Ibn Katheer said: “This is the correct opinion.”
- Allah completed our religion in our of its days, the day of Arafa, as He revealed to the Prophet peace be upon him: 5-3 (This day have I perfected your religion for you, completed My favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion.) It was a Friday and the Prophet peace be upon him was standing on mount Arafa.
- These ten days are the completion of the forty days that Allah appointed for Musa peace be upon him, Allah says: 7-143 (We appointed for Musa thirty nights, and completed (the period) with ten (more): thus was completed the term (of communion) with his Lord, forty nights.) Ibn kathir may Allah have mercy on him said: â??The scholars of tafseer have different opinions on the meaning of these ten days. The majority are of the opinion that the thirty days are the month of Dhul Qiada and the ten are the first of Dhul Hijja; Mujahid, Masrouq, and Ibn Jarij said this, it was also related to Ibn Abbas and others.
- These ten days complete the months of Hajj 2-197 (For Hajj are the months well-known. If any one undertakes that duty therein, let there be no obscenity, nor wickedness, nor wrangling in the Hajj and whatever good ye do, (be sure) Allah knoweth it.)
- These ten days are the appointed days that Allah prescribed for us to celebrate His name for the blessings He has bestowed upon us. Allah says: 22-28 (That they may witness the benefits (provided) for them, and celebrate the name of Allah, through the Days Appointed, over the cattle which He has provided for them.) Ibn Rajab may Allah have mercy on him said: “The majority of scholars agree that the ‘appointed days’ are the first ten days of Dhul Hijjah”.
- Good deeds in these ten days are more beloved to Allah than in the rest of the year. The Prophet peace be upon him said: â??There are no days during which good deeds are more beloved to Allah than these days; meaning the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah. They inquired: Not even Jihad in the cause of Allah? He said: Not even Jihad in the cause of Allah, unless one goes out for Jihad sacrificing both his life and property and returning with neither.
- These days are the greatest days of the year. The Prophet peace be upon him said: “The greatest days of the World are (these) ten days” Ibn Rajab may Allah have mercy on him said: “The apparent reason for the preference of the ten days of Dhul Hijja is that it all the main form of worship are performed in it; Prayer, Fasting, Zakah, and Hajj, and this does not happen in any other days”.
- These ten days are in the sacred months (The sacred months are Dhul Qiada, Dhul Hijja, Muharam, and Ragab.) 9-36 (The number of months in the sight of Allah is twelve (in a year), so ordained by Him the day He created the heavens and the earth; of them four are sacred: that is the straight usage. So wrong not yourselves therein)
- It has the day of Arafa in it. The Messenger of Allah peace be upon him said: “There is no day when Allah sets free more servants from Hell than the Day of Arafah. He draws near, then praises them to the angels, saying: What do these seek?”
- It has the day of Nahr. The Prophet peace be upon him said: “This is the greatest Day (i.e. 10th of Dhul Hijjah).”
What should we do in these days?
- Making remembrance of Allah, this is general, all kinds of dhikr, reading Quran, making salah and salam on the Prophet peace be upon him, Allah says: 22-28 (and celebrate the name of Allah, through the Days Appointed). There is also specific dhikr which should be done in these days, the Prophet peace be upon him said: “There is no day more honorable in Allah’s sight and no acts more beloved therein to Allah than those in these ten days. So say tahlil (There is no deity worthy of worship but Allah : La ilaha illAllah ), takbir (Allah is the greatest : Allahu Akbar) and tahmid (All praise is due to Allah : alhamdulillah) a lot [on those days].” Ibn Umar and Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with them) used to go out to the marketplaces during the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah and recite out loud the takbeer and people would repeat it after them. It is commended to recite them out loud (women should do it silently) in marketplaces, at homes, roads, mosques and elsewhere.
- Fasting the first nine days (the tenth day is the day of eid, and you are not allow to fast this day) especially the day of Arafa (the ninth day). It was related by the wives of the Prophet may Allah be pleased with them that the Prophet peace be upon him used to fast all of these nine days. The Prophet peace be upon him said: â??Any slave of Allah who observes fast of a day in the cause of Allah, Allah would separate between him and the Fire a distance of seventy years on account of observing that day. The Prophet also said about fasting the day of Arafa: “I expect Allah to expiate the sins that were committed during the preceding year, and the sins that will be committed in the year after”.
- Praying at night (qiyam). Saeid ibn jubair may Allah have mercy on him used to say: “do not turn out your lights during the ten night”, and he would do acts of worship until he was barely able to do any more.
- Sacrificing and slaughter of an animal on the 10th day of Dhul Hijjah. Some scholars say this is Wajib, but the jimhoor (vast majority) say it is Sunnah Mu’akadah (important sunnah). When you sacrifice you say “bismillah Allahu akbar Allahuma 3any wa3an ahl baity” (“In the name of Allah – Allahu akbar – oh Allah this is for me and my family.”) Reputable scholars all agree that doing the sacrifice is better than giving its equivalent, because sacrifice is a worship in and of itself. A leader of the household can sacrifice for himself and for his dependants such as children, women and men like the sahabah and salaf used to do. One planning on sacrificing should not cut his hair or nails until sacrifice is complete. This only applies to the head of the house who is paying for the sacrifice and not his dependants. It is not requested that you do it by hand however that is the best, you may oversee the sacrifice as well or if unable give the power to someone to do this for you. The sacrifice should be done after ‘Eid prayer and you have until three days after, the Prophet peace be upon him ordered those who sacrificed before prayer to do it again.
- The Muslim must make sure to observe Eid prayer in its designated place, and attend the khutbah of the Eid. Makhnaf ibn Seleem, who is counted as a companion, said: â??Going out to the prayer of the day Fitr is equivalent to (doing) Umrah and going out to the prayer of the day of Addha is equivalent to (doing) Hajj.
- One should generally try to do more good deeds and try to stop the evil deeds. Here are some examples of deeds that you can do: The Prophet peace be upon him said: “Whoever walks to a prescribed prayer in congregation it is like (doing) one Hajj” he also said “He who observed the Isha in congregation it was a if he prayed until the middle of the night and he who observes Fajr in congregation it is as if has prayed the whole night” he also said “A person can attain with his good manners the levels of the one who fasts (everyday) and stands (all night praying)”.
- Performing Hajj and Umrah, which are the best of all observances. Its excellence is signified by many Prophetic traditions. The Prophet peace be upon him said: “Performing Umrah and following it with another expiates sins that are committed in between. And the perfect Hajj would be rewarded with nothing other than Jannah”. He also said: “Whoever performs hajj to this Ka’ba and does not approach his wife for sexual relations nor commit sins (while performing hajj), he will come out as sinless as a new-born child, (just delivered by his mother)”.
These ten days will start on Thursday or Friday insha Allah. May Allah help us to use these days the best way we can, and may He accept from us our deeds and forgive our shortcomings.