Praise be to Allah SWT who has bestowed on HIS slaves certain moments that carry more rewards and some days/nights better than others. These are the times, wherein the rewards are multiplied as leniency by Allah SWT towards His slaves. These unique seasons of worship brings many benefits, and opportunity to rectify one’s faults and make up for any shortcomings, offer repentance to Allah for the sins that one might have committed and do acts which please Allah SWT. These special occasions are the month of Ramadan, specifically the last 10 nights of Ramadan, Day of Aashura, and first 10 days of Dhul-Hijjah. Each one of these special occasions involves some kind of worship through which the slaves may draw closer to Allah, and some kind of blessing through which Allah bestows His favours and mercy upon whomsoever He will. Fortunate is the one who makes the most of these special times and draws himself nearer to His Lord by performing genuine acts of servitude.
In this brief write-up, we intend to shed some light on the importance of first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah, which Allah SWT has preferred over all the other days of the year. Allah SWT swears an oath by them, and swearing an oath by something is indicative of its importance and great benefit. Allah SWT says: “By the dawn; by the ten nights,” [Al-Fajr 89:1-2]. Ibn Kathîr said that “the ten nights” referred to here are the ten days of Dhul-Hijjah, and this opinion was also held by Ibn Abbâs, Ibn az-Zubair, Mujâhid and others.
The Prophet PBUH testified that these are the best days of the year. Ibn Abbas RA reported that the Prophet PBUH said: “There are no days in which righteous deeds are more beloved to Allah SWT than these ten days. The people asked, “Not even jihaad for the sake of Allah? He said, “Not even jihaad 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].
The afore mentioned texts are sufficient enough to indicate the significance of these ten days and their preference over all the other days of the year, with no exceptions, not even the last ten days of Ramadan. Scholars view that the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah are better in terms of days and the last ten nights of Ramadan are better in terms of nights, as they embrace Laylat al-Qadr, a night which is better than a thousand months.
Now having mentioned the significance of these ten days let us ponder as to how Prophet PBUH used to spend these days.
- The Prophet PBUH encouraged people to do righteous deeds because of the virtue of this season.
- The Prophet PBUH commanded us to recite a lot of Tasbeeh (“Subhan-Allaah“), Tahmeed (“Al-hamdu Lillaah“) and Takbeer (“Allaahu akbar“) during this time. Abdullaah ibn Umar RA reported that the Prophet PBUH 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 Tahleel (“La ilaaha ill-Allaah“), Takbeer and Tahmeed,” [Ahmad].
- These ten days include Yawm ‘Arafaah (the Day of Arafaah) on which Allah SWT perfected His Religion. Allah SWT said to His noble messenger PBUH, “ This day I have perfected for you your religion and completed My favour upon you and have approved for you Islam as religion,” [Maidah 5:3].
- It was reported from Abu Qutaadah RA that the Prophet PBUH was asked about fasting on the Day of Arafaah (9th Dhul Hijjah). He said, “It expiates for the sins of the previous year and of the coming year.” [Muslim]