Don’t Miss Out on the Best Ten Days of the Year

As we enter the sacred month of Dhul Hijjah, we feel a pleasant energy; a buzz reminiscent of that Ramadan spirit which all of us, back in the routine of our quotidian slog, are missing.

While this year’s Hajj pilgrims, count down the days to their journey of a life time, the rest of us are preparing for Qurbani. But is the sacrifice all that we should offer in the days leading up to Eid? The Prophet (saw) was reported to have said: 

“There are no days in which righteous deeds are more beloved to Allah than these ten days [of Dhul Hijjah].” (Sunan Ibn Majah)

That’s right. The first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah are considered to be the best ten days of the year, more valuable for the believers, even than the last ten days of Ramadan! And yet so many of us, who strive so hard to make the most of the end of the fasting month, forget about the importance of the beginning of Dhul-Hijjah.

Every Muslim knows that our beloved Prophet Muhammad’s (saw) final sermon took place on Mount Arafat, on the Day of Arafah, the 9thof Dhul Hijjah 632. This was also the day that our religion was perfected by Allah (swt), as stated in the verse that was revealed at that time:

This day I have perfected for you your religion and completed My favour upon you. (The Holy Qur’an 05:03)

For this reason, and many more, believers, scholars and those most beloved to Allah (swt) dedicated themselves to engaging in voluntary acts of worship and fasting during this time. In fact, when the Prophet (saw) said there were no days in which righteous deeds are more beloved to Allah (swt) than these ten, his companions asked him:

“Not even Jihad for the sake of Allah?” And he said, “Not even Jihad for the sake of Allah, except in the case of a man who went out, giving himself and his wealth up for the cause [of Allah], and came back with nothing.” (Sahih Al-Bukhari) 

Here is a list of top tips to help you make the most of the firs ten days of Dhul Hijjah. We hope they help you reap the blessings of this time to the fullest.


Fast

There are endless blessings for fasting in the days before Eid ul-Adha, and particularly on the day of Arafah (the 9th of Dhul Hijjah). In a Tirmidhi narrated hadith, the Prophet (saw) was reported to have said that fasting on any of the first ten days of Dhul Hijjah was equivalent to fasting for one year. When his companions asked him about fasting on the day of Arafah he said:

Fasting on the day of Arafah is an expiation for the preceding year and the following year.” (Ibn Majah)


Wake up for the Night Prayer

Also known as Tahajjud – the voluntary Night Prayer is usually performed in the last third of the night, though its time extends between Isha and Fajr. There are numerous hadiths about the excellence of the Night Prayer, but performing it in in the first ten days of Dhul Hijjah comes with greater blessings. The Prophet (saw)said:

“To offer salatul tahajjud [night prayer] during one of its nights is like performing the late night prayer on the night of power. [Lailatul Qadr].” (Tirmidhi)


Recite Salawat

Salawat is the invocation of peace and blessings upon the Prophet Muhammad (saw)There are numerous hadith about the benefits of reciting Salawat, while its importance is highlighted in the Holy Qur’an as follows:

Verily, God and His angels bless the Prophet: [hence,] O you who have attained to faith, bless him and give yourselves up [to his guidance] in utter self-surrender! (The Holy Qur’an 33:56)


Takbeer Tashreeq

During this time, believers are instructed increase their remembrance of Allah (swt) and glorify Him excessively. The common practice is to recite the Takbeer Tashreeq after every Fardh prayer of our five daily prayers. We should start this practice at Fajr Prayer on the day of Arafah (9th of Dhul Hijjah), until after Asr Prayer on the last day of Eid (the 13th of Dhul Hijjah). The Takbeer Tashreeq goes as follows:

Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, laa ilaha ill-Allah, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, wa lillahi’l hamd.

Allah is the greatest, Allah is the greatest, there is no god but Allah, Allah is the greatest, Allah is the greatest, and to Allah belongs praise.


Give Charity

Sadaqah, meaning ‘charity’, is the concept of voluntary giving in Islam, fi sabillilah (for the cause of Allah). The term stems from the Arabic root word ‘sidq’, which means sincerity. So giving Sadaqah is considered a sign of sincere faith.

On these days when righteous deeds are more beloved to Allah (swt) than any other time, the rewards for giving charity in the form of Sadaqah must also be multiplied exponentially.

For those who give in Charity, men and women, and loan to Allah a Beautiful Loan, it shall be increased manifold (to their credit), and they shall have [besides] a liberal reward. (The Holy Qur’an 57:18)

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Perform Qurbani

Qurbani is the religious practice of sacrificing livestock during Eid ul-Adha. It is wajib –necessary for every mature Muslim who is financially able to perform Qurbani. In the event that you are unable to carry out the sacrifice during Eid, or in the two days which follow, you are obliged to donate the value of a sacrificial animal to the poor.The Prophet Muhammad (saw) said:

“A believer who preforms Qurbani in sincerity will reap a reward for every hair of the animal he/she sacrifices.” (Tirmidhi)

Offering Qurbani is a tradition that comes to us from the Prophet Ibrahim (as) and his son Ismail (as). It reminds us of the great sacrifice both were willing to make, their strength of faith, and of God’s favour and mercy upon the believers. Watch The Sacrifice of Ibrahim (as) – the Story of Qurbani

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