The first ten days of Dhu’l-Hijjah are amongst the days which Allah has granted extra virtue and excellence over other days of the year, to the extent that many ulama are of the opinion that these days are more virtuous than the last ten days of Ramadan, and even the last ten nights of Ramadan, with the exception of Laylatul Qadr.
Rasulullah ﷺ said, “There are no days in which actions are more beloved to Allah than these days, i.e., the ten days (of Dhu’l-Hijjah).”
The Companions asked, “O Messenger of Allah, not even jihad in the path of Allah?” He ﷺ said, “Not even jihad in the path of Allah, except a person who goes out with his life and wealth, but does not return with anything.” (Bukhari, Tirmidhi and others)
These are also the ten nights which Allah swore oath by in Surah al-Fajr, according to some of the exegetes of the Qur’an:
“By the dawn, and ten nights” (Qur’an, 89:1-2)
These blessed days are for us to exert ourselves in the worship and remembrance of Allah, and all acts of obedience.
However, it is very easy for such days to pass by like any ordinary days if we are not focused and have not prepared a programme of action to take full benefit of these moments.
Below are ten steps we can all try to put into practice to maximise the benefit of this blessed season.
Abundant recitation of the Noble Quran. This can be done in three ways:
1. Recite one juz daily
2. Recite two juz daily
3. Recite three juz daily. This is the best option, as one will complete a whole Quran in these ten days.
Going early to the masjid for salah and spending time in du’a, especially asking Allah for well-being (‘aafiyah) in this life and the hereafter. Also, engaging in the remembrance of Allah until salah time.
Be more particular about the sunan before and after the five daily salah, and other nawafil, such as ishraaq, tahajjud etc.
Three times in particular should be spent in the remembrance of Allah, blessings on the Prophet, recitation of the Quran and du’a:
1. Before Fajr, especially through du’a and seeking forgiveness (istighfaar)
2. After Fajr Salah until sunrise
3. Between Asr and Maghrib Salah
Remind family, friends, colleagues, neighbours, and whoever you possibly can regarding the importance of good actions in these days, and you shall also get their full reward, without any decrease in their reward.
Fast on these days from 1st Dhu’l-Hijjah until the 9th Dhu’l-Hijjah, as there is extra reward for fasting on these days. And the fast of 9th Dhu’l-Hijjah, the best day of the year according to some hadiths, is a means of forgiveness of minor sins for the previous and coming year (Muslim).
Utilising one’s tongue in good things only, such as the remembrance of Allah, calling towards good, forbidding evil, reconciling between people and speaking to people in a nice manner. More importantly, it is necessary to withhold the tongue from all impermissible statements, such as backbiting, lying, swearing and offending others.
Safeguarding the tongue is an obligation at all times, but increases in importance during such blessed times.
In particular, the Prophet ﷺ encouraged that a person abundantly read the following in these ten days:
سبحان الله والحمد لله ولا إله إلاّ الله والله أكبر
Providing iftaar for those fasting is a means of getting the reward for their fast too, as taught to us by the Prophet ﷺ. So this is a perfect opportunity to gain this reward by feeding those who are fasting.
Remember, this reward is not just achieved by providing a full meal; even giving a sip of water or a date to a fasting person is sufficient to attain this virtue.
Charity, even to the extent of giving a date to a needy person, is a great act of virtue, and spending in the path of Allah during these blessed days will bring a person even closer to Allah.
Try to spend on every day of these blessed ten days. Charity is one of the best means for forgiveness of sins and repelling the anger of Allah.
Make the most of these days by doing any good action you have the opportunity to perform, be it through worship and remembrance, visiting the sick, helping the needy or even smiling at your Muslim brother; do not consider any action to be little, especially in these blessed days.
May Allah Ta’ala give us all the ability to realise the value of these blessed days of Dhu’l-Hijjah and to utilise them to the best of our ability. Aameen.