We are fast approaching Eid al Adha and many of us are already preparing for it by buying new clothes. But in all the mad rush to prepare we are neglectful of the importance of the first 10 days of Zul Hijjah. Today I would like to provide some information on the importance of these day and the actions that should be performed on these days.
Zul-Hijjah: There are so many virtues in this month, and more specifically the first 10 days, that we should hold on to tightly and practice with a passion, insha’Allah. Who can guarantee that we will be alive to see next year’s Zul Hijjah? For those of us who have been invited to Allah swt’s House (the Bayt Allah/Ka’bah in Makkah al Mukarramah) may Allah SWT facilitate our Hajj and make it a means to draw closer unto Him and allow us to return sinless and with a new level of reinvigorated Imaan! For those of us who will not be going for Hajj this year, we can still benefit from these blessed days if we prepare from now!
Virtues of these blessed 10 days are below from none other than Rasulullah (sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam.)
Ibn Abbas (radhiyallahu anhu) that Rasulullah(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) said: “There is no day wherein any good action is more beloved to Allah Ta’ala than these ten days (the first ten days of Zul Hijjah)”. The Sahaabah (radhiyallahu anhum) enquired: ” Not even Striving in the path of Allah ?”
“Not even Striving in the path of Allah,” replied Rasulullah(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) , “with the exception of that person who left with his life and wealth (in the path of Allah) and did not return with any of it (i.e. he is martyred)”. (Bukhari, Tabraani)
It is also narrated from Ibn Abbaas(radhiyallanhu) that Rasulullah(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) said: “No days are as weighty with Allah and so liked by Him for good deeds than the first ten days of Zul-Hijjah “. Therefore in these days increasingly recite: “La ilaha illallah, Allahu Akbar, Al-Hamdu-lillah, Sub-hanallah.” (Tabraani)
So sacred are the first ten days of Zul Hijjah that Allah swears an oath by them when He says in the Quran: “By the dawn; by the ten nights” [al-Fajr 89:1-2]. Swearing an oath by something indicates its importance and great benefit.
Fasts in the First 10 Days:
The Prophet (sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) has said, “One fast during these days is equal to the fasting of one complete year, and the worship of one night during this period is equal to the worship in the “Lailatul-Qadr”.(Tirmidhi)
Fast of Day of ‘Arafah (9th day of Zulhijjah is called ‘Youmul – “Arafah’)
Abu Qataadah (radhiyallahu anhu) reported that Rasullullah(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) said: ” I have hope in Allah Ta’ala that the fast of Arafaat will be an atonement for the sins of the past and the forthcoming year.” (Tirmidhi)
For Hajjis and Non Hajjis:
The Takbeer at-Tashreeq is wajib for men to recite, and mustahab for women, at least once after every fardh prayer from Fajr of the 9th of Zulhijjah until Asr time of the 13th of Zulhijjah. It is:
“Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar, la ilaha ill-Allah; wa Allahu akbar. Allahu akbar, wa Lillahi’l-hamd (Allah is Most Great, Allah is Most Great, there is no god but Allah; Allah is Most Great and to Allah be praise),”
Men are encouraged to recite these phrases out loud and women quietly.
Ibn ‘Umar and Abu Hurayrah, two of the Prophet’s Companions, used to go out in the marketplace during the first ten days of Zul-Hijjah, reciting Takbeer, and the people would recite Takbeer individually when they heard them.
Generally, all good deeds are rewarded highly at this blessed time. These actions include praying, reading Quran, making Dua (supplication), giving in charity and being good to our families.
In addition, seeking Allah’s forgiveness at this time is also encouraged. This means more than just a verbal expression of sorrow for past misdeeds. It also requires a firm resolution to avoid making the same mistakes in the future by giving up bad habits and behavior while sincerely turning to Allah.
Please don’t forget about the obligation on each of us to offer a qurbani (slaughtering of an animal) during the days of the 10th, 11th, 12th of Zul Hijjah. This is an obligation on each one of us and it represents the beautiful, complete submission of Prophet Ibrahim (as) when he chose to obey Allah Ta’ala fully and without question when it came to slaughtering his own son, Prophet Ismail (as). Before the knife was able to cut his son’s neck, Allah Ta’ala replaced Ismail (as) with a ram from Jannah. Ismail (as) was saved and Ibrahim (as)’s complete submission to God’s command was accepted !!
By slaughtering an animal during these days, we commemorate that great sacrifice and we are rewarded abundantly..insha’Allah!
Please note: This is wajib for those who follow the Hanafi School of Fiqh. For other schools this is Sunnah