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]
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Miraculous ZAMZAM


Zamzam is a sacred well encompassing Masjid-e-Haram at Makkah found thirty-eight cubits away from the holy Ka’bah. It is a living miracle of ALLAH and there is no second opinion about its existence and sustenance. Just being 5 feet deep, it is able to cater to the requirements of billions of pilgrims in the past and will continue to do so until the Day of Judgment. It is a demonstrated fact that the water of Zamzam is devoid of any biological contamination such as formation of algae etc. The Prophet PBUH said: “The best water on the surface of the earth is the water of Zamzam; it is a kind of food and a healing from sickness.” (Saheeh al-Jaami)                                

 

Zamzam is a well through which ALLAH SWT quenched the thirst of infant Ismail, son of prophet Ibrahim (peace and blessings of ALLAH be upon them both). When the mother-son duo of Hajira (peace and blessings of ALLAH be upon her) and Ismail exhausted the meager food supplements on a barren desert, the latter desperately sought water to smother the bursting thirst of her son, but could not find any. She climbed up the Mount al-Safaa, praying ALLAH to bless her with water for Ismail, and then she climbed up the Mount al-Marwah repeating her plea. She ran across both mountains Safaa and Marwah for seven times. Her faith and prayers justified ALLAH’s mercy and thus angel Jibreel (peace and blessings of ALLAH be upon him) on HIS command struck the earth, for water to gush out.

The scholars (may ALLAH have mercy on them) are in agreement that it is Mustahabb (recommended) for pilgrims on Hajj and Umrah in particular, and for all Muslims in general, to drink Zamzam water to their fills. Prophet PBUH is reported to have drunk the water of Zamzam [Bukhaari]. According to the hadith of Abu Dharr (may ALLAH be pleased with him), the Prophet said concerning the water of Zamzam, “It is a blessing, and it is food that satisfies.” [Muslim]. Al-Tayaalisi added, in a version that he narrated: “and a cure for the sick. But this is when one drinks it with faith and sincerity, as proven in the hadith of Abu Dharr.

The blessed water of Zamzam was used by the two angels to cleanse the heart of the Prophet PBUH during his childhood. This is established by the hadith of Abu Dharr who reported that the Prophet PBUH said: “My roof was opened when I was in Makkah, and Jibreel came down and opened my chest and washed it with Zamzam water. He then brought a gold basin full of wisdom and faith, poured it into my chest, and closed it up again. Finally, he took me by the hand and ascended with me into the first heaven,” [Bukhaari].

Al-Haafiz Al-Iraaqi (may ALLAH have mercy on him) said: The rationale of cleansing Prophet’s chest with Zamzam water was to make him stronger so that he could visualise the kingdom of heaven and earth, and Paradise and Hell; and also that one of the special qualities of Zamzam is that, it strengthens the heart and calms the soul.

It is advised that people carry holy Zamzam water back to their homes since it is a catalyst for cure for those who seek healing. Aa’ishah(R.A) reported that she took Zamzam water home with her in bottles, and said, “The Messenger of ALLAH PBUH took some of it away with him, and he used to pour it on the sick and give it to them to drink,” [Tirmidhi].

Ibn al-Qayyim (may ALLAH have mercy on him) said: Myself and others tried seeking healing with Zamzam water and witnessed wondrous things. I sought healing with it from a number of illnesses, and I was healed by the permission of ALLAH. I saw someone who nourished himself with it for a number of days, half a month or more, and he did not felt hunger; he performed Tawaaf along with the other people just as they did. And he told me that he consumed nothing but Zamzam water for forty days and he had the strength to have intercourse with his wife, to fast and to perform Tawaaf numerous times. [Zaad al-Ma’aad]

The Messenger of ALLAH (peace and blessings of ALLAH be upon him) said: “The water of Zamzam is for whatever it is drunk for.” [Ibn Maajah]. Undoubtedly Zamzam water serves whatever purpose and intention for which it is drunk; provided it is dealt with sincerity. The scholars and the righteous have attempted this and they drank with the intention of fulfilling their needs and seeking cure for the sick or relief from poverty or catastrophe and surely ALLAH simplified their needs for them. So if one gets the opportunity to drink Zamzam, one should grab the opportunity to pray for: a healthy body, sharp mind, forgiveness for sins, life in Jannah after death, an honorable death with the kalima on one’s lips, and everyone’s physical and spiritual needs of this world and Hereafter.