First 10 Days of Dhul-Hijjah

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.

"There are no days in which righteous deeds are more beloved to Allah SWT than these ten days."

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]

Blessings of Fasting

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. It is a very blessed month and we should strive to spend more time in prayer, reciting Quran, charity and doing good things during this month. We list out the main things that Muslims can and should strive to achieve during this blessed month:

1. Attain Taqwa

Allah SWT says: “O you who believe, fasting has been prescribed for you as it has been prescribed for people before you so that you will (learn how to) attain Taqwa,” [Al-Baqarah, 2:183]. Attainment of Taqwa (Piety) is the foremost requirement in the life of a believer. One who has attained Taqwa has attained excellence in the worship of the Lord. It is beyond doubt that fasting stands as one of the sublime means in attaining it. In many verses of the Qur’an Allah SWT says that the reward of the people of Taqwa is Paradise. “Be quick in the race for forgiveness from your Lord and for a garden whose width is that (of the whole) of the heavens and of the earth prepared for the Muttaqeen (people of Taqwa), [Al-Imran 3:133].

2. Seek Taubah

Making Taubah is a precursor to achieving Taqwa and what better time than the month of Ramadan to do this. The month of Ramadan provides a wonderful opportunity for accounting of ones’ sins and making repentance. Taubah is about reflecting on oneself and then taking note of the sins that one commits. As human beings, we are prone to making mistakes and it is incumbent upon us to repent for the mistakes that we commit. It should not become a ritualistic exercise but we should be sincere in our Taubah. In fact, the last few 10 days of Ramadan, when a lot of Muslims observe ‘Aetkaaf’ in the mosque, is one of the best times to reflect on ourselves and make Taubah.
Taubah is something that is between you and Allah SWT. Seeking Taubah is not only confined to Ramadhan, but is a continuous process. Allah SWT says: “Surely, Allah loves those people who constantly repent to Him (do Taubah to Him),” [Al-Baqarah 2:222]. One important point to take note of in this verse is that Allah SWT did not say: “Allah loves the Taa’ibeen (those who repent),” but he said ‘Tawwabeen’ which means “those who constantly, over and over, repent to Allah.”
The Messenger of Allah SWT said: “O mankind! Do Taubah (repent) to Allah and seek His forgiveness, for surely, I do so 100 times every single day.” [Saheeh Muslim]. In actuality Taubah is one of the purposes of our very creation as human beings. Human nature is submerged in sins. The month of Ramadan gives us a huge opportunity to do Taubah and draw ourselves close to Allah’s will.

3. Seek Forgiveness

None among us is perfect. We all have weaknesses and bound to indulge in wrongdoing. We commit sins out of ignorance or for fulfilment of desires and whims. Abu Hurairah narrated that Allah’s Messenger PBUH said: “Whoever observes fasts during the month of Ramadan out of sincere faith, and hoping to attain ALLAH’s rewards, and then all his past sins will be forgiven,” [Bukhari]. “Whoever establishes prayers during the nights of Ramadan (and that is called Qiyam) faithfully out of sincere faith and hoping to attain ALLAH’s rewards (not for exhibition), all his past sins will be forgiven.” [Bukhari]

4. Develop Relation with Quran

Recite Qur’an as much as you can

As this sublime truth, the glorious Quran was revealed in the month of Ramadan. It deserves more attention and thoughtfulness during this month. We should strive to come closer to Quran and it’s message during this blessed month. It is beyond doubt that whoever develops a connect with the Quran will surely attain the goal of Ramadan (i.e. attainment of self-restraint, piety and noble conduct). Allah SWT says: “And We have sent down to you the Book (the Qur’an) as an exposition of everything, a guidance, a mercy, and glad tidings for those who have submitted themselves (to Allah as Muslims),” [An-Nahl 16:89].

The days and nights of Ramadan should be spent in the recitation of the Qur’an and reflection on its meaning. The Prophet PBUH said: “Verily, Allah elevates some people with this Qur’an and humiliates others by it,” [Muslim].

Abdullah ibn `Amr reported that the Messenger of ALLAH PBUH said: “The fast and the Qur’an are two intercessors for the servant of ALLAH on the Day of Resurrection. The fast will say: ‘O Lord, I prevented him from his food and desires during the day. Let me intercede for him.’ The Qur’an will say: ‘I prevented him from asleep. Let me intercede for him.’ And their intercession will be accepted,” [Ahmad].

5. Strive to be amongst Siddeeqeen (true followers) and Shuhadaa (martyrs)

A man came to Prophet PBUH and said: “O Messenger of ALLAH PBUH, what if I testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah SWT and that you are the messenger of Allah and I observe the five daily prayers, and I pay the Zakaah, and I fast and stand in prayer in Ramadan, then amongst whom shall I be? He PBUH said, Among Siddeeqeen and the Shuhadaa,” [Ibn Hibban].

6. Cut sexual desires

Fasting also helps in restricting ones’ desires. Alqama said: ‘’While I was walking with ‘Abdullah he said, “We were in the company of the Prophet and he said, ‘He who can afford to marry should marry, because it will help him refrain from looking at other women, and save his private parts from looking at other women, and save his private parts from committing illegal sexual relation; and he who cannot afford to marry is advised to fast, as fasting will diminish his sexual power,” [Bukhari].

May Allah bless us all and help us in achieving the true virtues of Ramadan. Aameen


Holy Ramadan is the ninth month of Islamic lunar calendar. Each month of the lunar calendar is either of 29 or 30 days. Beginning of new month is based on sightation of new moon (like a crescent). Once the moon of Ramadan is sighted, then it is obligatory for all the Muslims who have attained the age of puberty to fast for the whole month except in few exceptional cases.

Arabic word for fasting is Sawm meaning a fast which begins with dawn and ends with sunset. Muslims wake up before dawn and have Suhur (Pre dawn meal). The next meal they have is only after the sunset which is called Iftaar (Post dusk meal). One must not forget that fasting in the month of Ramadan is among the five obligations which distinguish one as a Muslim.

The verse of the holy Quran clearly indicates that fasting is not a new obligation. Fasting was prescribed in the doctrines of other prophets who preached prior to Muhammed PBUH. ALLAH SWT says “O you who believe, fasting has been prescribed for you as it has been prescribed for people before you so that you will (learn how to) attain Taqwa” [Al-Baqarah, 2:183].

Muslims fast because ALLAH SWT has commanded them to do so. Many people have researched, discussed, debated and documented many virtues of fasting such as developing control over hunger, thirst, abstaining from any kind of sexual desires etc. Yes, all these are absolutely right but the primary goal should be achievement of Taqwa.

The companion of the Prophet PBUH Abu Umaamah (May ALLAH be pleased with him) asked: ‘O Messenger of ALLAH, tell me of an action by which I may enter Paradise’. He said: ‘Take to Fasting, there is nothing like it.’ [An-Nasaa’ee, Ibn Hibbaan, Al-Haakim, Saheeh]

Dear brothers and sisters the reality of our time is that our life span in this world is probably averaging between 60 or 70 years as Prophet Muhammed PBUH said that his ummah’s age would be anything between 60 and 70. Most of us have lived almost half the number. We have spent many Ramadans gaining nothing from it, though ALLAH SWT granted us this occasion year after year but we simply were not able to capitalize. We seldom utilized it to save our souls from the horrifying fire of Hell. On the other hand we are very uncertain that will we get this opportunity again? So let us all strive to make the most of this Ramadan by practicing all the deeds that bring the slave of ALLAH SWT closer to Him. Let us spend the forthcoming Ramadan as the last Ramadan of our lives.

Let me share a very thought provoking personal incident which shocked me. I was in my teens and the occasion was the first day of the holy month. I was about to enter the Masjid early to offer my first fajr of that Ramadan. As it was the first day my spirits were high which normally happens with most of us. Pity is that we become really enthusiastic during the beginning and as the month progresses the situation gets reversed. May Allah SWT forgive and help us all to be consistent. Aameen. Coming back to the incidence, an old man also entered Masjid along with me. Both of us performed ablution together. Soon the old man started crying out loud. I was thinking as to why the man is crying. He was asking forgiveness from his Lord and wept saying: You gave me a chance again so Oh! Lord accept the little deeds that I have done and forgive me for the sins that I have committed. Sadly, following year he passed away. Oh ALLAH! Forgive him and have mercy on him. Muslims! We must emulate this in our lives as well.

Oh believers! Let’s not waste this Ramadan in shopping, preparing for iftaar parties and various other activities killing precious moments of Ramadan that are gifted by our Lord. Kindly try as much as possible to utilize the opportunity to ask forgiveness, praise Almighty, thank HIM for everything, attain Taqwa, seek ALLAH’s pleasure, devote most of your time in prayers, Zikr, recitation of Quran and last but not least refrain from the acts that will displease our merciful lord – ALLAH SWT.

Humble request for prayers so that we can reap maximum benefit out of coming month of blessing – Ramadan. Aameen

Muharram and Aashura

Muslims follow the lunar calendar. All auspicious occasions, festivals, historic events, etc goes in accordance with the lunar calendar.

Muharram commemorates the first month of  Islamic calendar. Muharram means sacred and is among those months which have been mentioned as sacred in the Quran. Allah SWT says ‘’Verily, the number of months with Allah is twelve months (in a year), so was it ordained by Allah on the Day when He created the heavens and the earth; of them four are sacred. That is the right religion, so wrong not yourselves therein, and fight against the Mushrikin idolaters collectively as they fight against you collectively. But know that Allah is with those who have Taqwa.’’ (Taubah 9:36)

Three of these sacred months are in succession Dhul-Qa`dah, Dhul-Hijjah and Muharram, and (the fourth is) Rajab.

The 10th day of this month is of an immense importance. The day is called as Ashura. Prophet PBUH used to increase the performance of good deeds during this day. He used to fast on the day of Ashura. Below are few traditions which mark the importance of the day.

Hakam ibn Al-Arat RA relates: I went to Ibn Abbas RA… I said to him: Tell me about fasting on ‘Ashura’. He said, “When you seen the new moon of Muharram count the (days) and (begin to) observe fast on the 9th.” I said to him: “Is it how the Holy Messenger of Allah PBUH observed the fast?” He said, “Yes.” [Sahih Muslim]

Mu’awiyah ibn Abu Sufyan RA relates: I heard the Prophet PBUH saying: “It is the day of ‘Ashura’. Allah SWT has not made fasting obligatory for you. But I am fasting. He who likes to observe fast among you should do so, and he who likes not to observe it (does not have to) observe it.” [Sahih Muslim]. It becomes very clear that fasting on this day is not compulsory.

Another wonderful benefit of fasting on this day is it wipes out the sins (minor ones) of the preceding year as said: Abu Qatada RA relates that the Holy Prophet PBUH said that the fast on the 10th of Muharram atones for the sins of the preceding year. [Sahih Muslim]

Why we shall fast on the day of Ashura? The reason is explained very clearly in this tradition of Prophet as Ibn Abbas RA reports that the Holy Prophet PBUH arrived in Madinah and found the Jews observing fast on the day of ‘Ashura… They said: “It is the day of great (significance) when Allah bestowed mercy on Prophet Musa and his followers and drowned tyrant Pharoah and his people, and Musa AS observed fast out of gratitude. And we also observe it.” The Holy Messenger of Allah PBUH responded: “We have more right, and we have closer connection with Musa AS than you have”; so Allah’s Messenger PBUH observed fast (on the day of ‘Ashura) and gave us orders to observe it. [Bukhari and Muslim]

Ibn Abbas RA relates that when the Holy Prophet PBUH said: “If I survive till next year, I will definitely observe fast on the 9th of Muharram (as well).” [Sahih Muslim]. One important thing that needs to be analyzed here is all the traditions that come on this context are reported in either Bukhari or Muslim both of which are regarded as most authentic books on Hadith. From the above traditions we can understand that fasting on 9th as well as 10th is the best act.

Now let us look into the history of the day of Ashura. Ashura is a day of great historical significance. On this day: Allah SWT accepted the repentance of Prophet Adam AS after his exile from Paradise; Allah SWT saved Prophet Nuh AS and his companions in the ark; Allah SWT extinguished the fire in which Prophet Ibrahim AS was thrown by tyrant ruler Nimrod; And Allah SWT spoke directly to Prophet Musa AS and gave him the Commandments. On this same 10th of Muharram, Prophet Ayyub AS was restored to health (from the ailment of leprosy); Prophet Yusuf AS was reunited with his Prophet father Ya’qub AS, Prophet Yunus AS was taken out from the belly of the fish; and the sea was divided as the nation of Israel was freed from captivity and Pharoah’s army was destroyed. ‘Ashura is also the day when Prophet Dawud AS was forgiven; the kingdom of Sulaiman AS was restored; Prophet Isa AS was raised to Jannah and Husayn RA (the Holy Prophet’s PBUH grandson) achieved the honor of Martyrdom at Karbala.

As Muslims it is incumbent upon us to accord due respect to this month keeping in view the commandments of Quran and the sayings of the Prophet PBUH. We have seen people taking out processions and bringing injury to themselves during this month. As Muslims, we should not be doing anything that violates the spirit of Muharram and Ashura in any sense.

 O’ Allah! Bless us to perform good deeds and gain the maximum out of it. O’ Allah! Make this New Year a year of happiness; help us remain steadfast, mutual cooperation, blessing, success of both worlds for Muslims in every nook and corner of the world. Aameen