"Verily this Brotherhood of yours is a single Brotherhood and I am your Sustainer; therefore serve Me alone." (S.21, v. 92)

What is special about the Ten Days of Dhul Hijjah?

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“Allah guides to His Light whom He wills.” (Surah Nur)

Bismillah-ir Rahman-ir Raheem

The Blessing of the Ten Days of Dhul Hijjah

The life of a Muslim is very special as it is full of opportunities to get closer to Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) by doing the various forms of ibadah that Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) loves. These forms of ibadah turn the life of a Muslim into a life of righteous action, speech and continuous activity for the benefit and goodness of everyone. This means that the life of Mu’mins should be devoted to ibadah, obedience, righteous deeds and absolute connection with Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) in every part of their life, and in all their affairs. They do not need to go to the masjid, in particular, to approach Allah (subhana wa ta’ala), as He is with them all the time, as He said in the Qur’an (Surah Qaf: 16): “…and We are closer to him than [his]jugular vein.” From this we know that our life cannot be cut off from the Rahma of Allah (subhana wa ta’ala). So, from having this connection, during the five prayers that are spread over twenty-four hours, the special day of jummah once a week, fasting during the month Ramadan once a year, fasting the six days of Shawwal, fasting on Monday and Thursday every week, fasting the three bright days every month, and then, add to this, the ten days of Dhul Hijjah; those days in which every good deed we do, not only are we rewarded, but Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) loves good deeds in these days more than any other time of the year.

What is special about the Ten Days of Dhul Hijjah?

The special ibadah, hajj is particular to these ten days, and Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasalam) said if Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) accepted the hajj of someone, they go back from their Hajj as a new born baby. Umrah is also performed in these days. For those who do not go for hajj, they can fast for the first nine days, give sadaqah, and they can do a lot of forms of ibadah. Ibn Hajr (radiallah anhu) said that “during these ten days you can do all the major forms of ibadah, but this is not possible to gather in any other set of days.”

So our life and our striving does not stop anywhere, and neither does are ability to get closer to Allah (subhana wa ta’ala). There is no limit to qurb!

Speaking of having no limit to closeness with Allah (subhana wa ta’ala), Surah Alam Nashrahalludes to the maqam of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasalam):

· Did We not expand your breast? – Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasalam) is absolutely Rahma!

· And raised high for you your repute. – Whenever Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) is mentioned the name of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasalam) is mentioned

· And to your Lord direct [your]longing! Keep striving in your connection with Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) as there is no limit to closeness

The Virtues of the Ten Days of Dhul Hijjah in the Qur’an and Sunnah

Qur’an

In Surah Fajr (1-2), Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) swears by the time of fajr and by the ten days, and for Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) to swear by something is to make it great. Ibn Abbas, ibn Zubayr, Mujahid and others (radiallah anhum) all agree that the mention of the ten days is those first ten days of Dhul Hijjah.

In Surah Al-Hajj (28), Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) says: “…remember the name of Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) in the known days…” ibn Abbas (radiallah anhu) mentions that the days referred to in this ayah are the ten days of Dhul Hijjah.

Sunnah

In a Hadith narrated by ibn Abbas (radiallah anhu), Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasalam) said that “The best days that Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) loves good deeds the most in are these days, meaning the ten days of Dhul Hijjah.” (Abu Dawud 2438)

And in a Hadith narrated by Syedina Jabir (radiallah anhu), Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasalam) said: “[of]the ten best days, the tenth is the day of sacrifice (Adha), happy wheels and the uneven numbered day is the day of Arafah, and these are the ten days of Dhul Hijjah.” (Imam Ahmad)

And in another Hadith, Syedina Jabir (Radiallah anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasalam) said that there are “no days better than the ten days of Dhul Hijjah.” (ibn Hibban 3853)

Ibn Abbas (radiallah anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasalam) said: “the best of deeds to Allah (subhana wa ta’ala), that which He loves and rewards greatly and generously, are those actions performed in the ten days of Dhul Hijjah. (Sunan al Darimi 1774)

In a Hadith, the Sahaba (radiallah anhum) asked Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasalam) if the mujahid could compare to the one who worships in these ten days, to which Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasalam) responded that no one can compare to the person who worships in these ten days except for the mujahid who gives away everything he owns and takes what remains with him and leaves it all on the battlefield, including his life. Only this person can compare to the one who worships in these ten days!

Best Actions for the Ten Days of Dhul Hijjah

1) Nawafil: try to do as many nawafil salah as you can, as it is a mentioned in a Hadith that a person’s maqam is raised and that bad deeds are erased with each sujood.

2) Fast as much as you can. It is mentioned in a hadith, when a companion asked what the best of deeds was, Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasalam) said to fast.

3) Qiyam ul Layl. Night prayers should be encouraged in these ten days. Abdullah ibn Salam (radiallah anhu) mentioned that when Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasalam) came to Madinah with all his radiance he mentioned three things to the community: spread salam, feed people, and pray while others are asleep. Normally, after such a migration, people would be sceptical and cautions of others, but instead Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasalam) summarized the deen upon his arrival in Madinah al Munawarrah. The great tab’ee Said ibn Jubayr (radiallah anhu) said in the first ten nights of Dhul Hijjah, do not turn off your lights!

4) Tahlil, Tahmeed, Takbeer: To repeat La ilaha illallah, Alhamdulillah and Allahu Akbar – La ilaha illallah – wAllahu Akbar wa Lillaahi’l-hamd. Abdullah ibn Omar and Abu Hurrairah (radiallah anhum) were known for reciting takbeer in the market place. Abdullah ibn Omar (radiallah anhu) would keep reciting his dhikr, and would only return salam in these ten days.

5) Day of Arafah: The day of Arafah should be occupied with dua and tawbah. The life of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasalam) was dua, to remember Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) with every action in every moment.

Dua on Day of Arafah of Syedina Ali (radiallah anhu karamallah wajhah)

In making dua on the day of Arafah, Syedina Ali (radiallah anhu) used to repeat the following dua:

Oh Allah! Free me from the hellfire.

Ya Allah! Grant me abundant halal rizq.

Ya Allah! Keep away from me the disobedient ones, whether they be jinn or human.

Practically, on the day of Arafah, you should try to take off from work if possible, that way you can spend your day in dua. In addition, sleep directly after isha the night before, and wake up a hour before fajr in order to be present at the time Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) loves to accept dua. Make the intention to make this a different day of Arafah; make it a day that is different from all the rest.

In closing, it is important to remind ourselves of the purpose of our deen, as is stated in Surah Anbiya: “We did not send you other than to be a Mercy to all the Worlds,” speaking about Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasalam). So we can never stop striving, we must be that mercy.

May Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) grant His Mercy and the company of His Mercy (sallallahu alayhi wasalam), and may He make these ten days those of forgiveness and acceptance of our duas.

Shaykh Faid Mohammed Said
Scholar In Residence and Head Of Education

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