Significance of the First 10 Days of Dhul Hijja
Allah says in the Quran in Surah Al-Fajr:
“By the dawn; By the 10 nights”. [Surah al-Fajr 89 : 1-2].
Most scholars agree that these ten nights refer to the first ten nights of Dhul-Hijjah. Ibn Katheer also had validated that opinion by stating: “This is the correct opinþion.” [Tafseer Ibn Katheer, 8/413]
Hafsah reported, “There are five things that the Messenger pbuh never abandoned: Fasting the day of Ashura in the month of Muharram, fasting the [first] 10 [days of Dhul-Hijjah], fasting 3 days of every month and praying two rak’aah before the dawn prayer.”[ Ahmad and an-Nasa’i]
Zul Hijjah is from the four sacred months of the Islamic Calender. The four sacred months are Dhul Qa’dah, Dhul Hijja, Muharram and Rajab. The rewards of any good deed done in these months are multiplied.
The number of months in the sight of Allah is twelve (in a year), so ordained by Him the day He created the heavens and the earth; from among them four are sacred. One should exert oneself in ibaadat during the first ten days of Zul Hijjah. Great rewards have been mentioned regarding the ibaadat made during these ten days.
The excellence of good deeds in the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah :
Abdullah Ibn Abbas RA reported that the Prophet pbuh said: “No good deeds done on other days are superior to those done on these days [meaning the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah].” The companions asked: “O Messenger of Allah (saws), not even jihad in the way of Allah?” He said: “Not even jihad, save for the man who puts his life and wealth in danger [for Allah’s sake] and returns with neither of them (ie. he attains martyrdom).” [Bukhari]
Abu Hurairah RA reported that the Prophet pbuh said: “There are no days more loved to Allah for you to worship Him therein than the (first) ten days of DhulHijja. Fasting any day during it is equivalent to fasting one year and to offer salatul tahajjud (late-night prayer) during one of its nights is like performing the late night prayer on the night of Qadr. [Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah]
Abdullah Ibn Umar RA reported that the Messenger of Allah pbuh said: “There is no day more honorable in Allah’s Sight and no acts more beloved therein to Allah than those in these ten days (of Dhul-Hijjah). So say Tahleel [“There is no God but Allah”], Takbir [Allah is The Greatest] and Tahmid [“All praise is due to Allah”] a lot [in these days].” (Ahmad and Tabarani)
One should exert oneself in ibaadat during the first ten days of Zul Hijjah. As great rewards have been mentioned regarding the prayet, worshipping and good deeds made during these ten days. For those not performing the Hajj pilgrimage, one may observe fasts on the first nine days, engage themselves in the Remembrance of their Lord, substantially increase the declarations of the Tahleel, Takbeer and the Tahmeed of their Lord, spend in charity, and miss no opportunity to do any good deed for the Sake of their Lord Most Gracious. Whatever good they do in these blessed then days, they will find a multiple reward for their good deeds in the Presence of their Lord Most Gracious Most Merciful.
Among the deeds recommended during those ten days are observing voluntary fasting, offering animal sacrifices (lamb, goat, etc.), sincere repentance, recitation of the Quran, staying up the night and finally praying the Eid prayers on the tenth day of Dhul Hijjah.
May Allah accept the Hajj of all pilgrims..And accept our good deeds too. Ameen !