Many of us are unable to make the Hajj pilgrimage this year due to the pandemic of COVID-19. However, there are still many ways for us to reap the blessings of this month. The first ten days of Zil-Hijjah (Dhul-Hijjah) are often referred to as the best ten days of the year to do more good deeds and other forms of worship.
Zil-Hijjah is the last month of the Islamic and lunar year. Its dignified from day one and it is one of the four Holy months in Islam. This month is blessed and its virtue is proved by Quran and Hadith. There are some acts of worship in this month that cannot be performed in any other month or day of the year, such as Hajj and Qurbani (Sacrifice).
In the Holy Qur’an, Allah SWT’ has sworn by ten nights, “I swear by the dawn, and by the ten nights.” According to the majority of commentators (Mufasereen), these ten nights are the first ten nights of Zil-Hijjah. The swearing of something by Allah Almighty is a clear proof of its greatness and virtue.
Prophet Muhammad ﷺ has said about the first ten days of Zil-Hijjah, “There are no days on which righteous deeds are more beloved to Allah than these ten days.” – [Bukhari]
These are the deeds that are multiplied in the first ten days of Zil-Hijjah.
The verbal remembrance of Allah is one of the good deeds we should engage in during the first ten days of Zil-Hijjah.
Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said: “There are no days that are greater before Allah or in which good deeds are more beloved to Him, than these ten days, so recite a great deal of Tahleel (Laa ilaha ill-Allah), Takbeer (Allahu-Akbar) and Tahmeed (Alhamdulillah) during them.” – [Ahmad]
Prayer and Dua:
During the first ten days of Zil-Hijjah, we should aim to increase greatly in sunnah prayers and duas. Duas are also readily accepted during fasting, especially just before Suhoor ends and just before breaking the fast.
The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “The best supplication is the supplication on the day of Arafah.” – [Tirmidhi and Malik]
Read the Quran for it is the best form of Dhikr. Recite as much of the Quran as you can during these ten days and nights, even if it is a verse each day. Increase your recitation by adding a few minutes or pages to your usual recitation routine.
Use these blessed days to seek Allah’s forgiveness for all our wrongdoings.
“But as for him who repented, believed and did righteous deeds, then he will be among those who are successful.” – [Al-Qasas 28:67]
Allah promised forgiveness of our sins if we give in charity and give to the poor and needy. You can either give out money in public or just do online donation. Remember, even a smile is considered charity too.
Ibn ‘Umar narrated that the Prophet ﷺ said, “There are no days that are greater before Allah or in which good deeds are more beloved to Him, than these ten days, so recite a great deal of Tahleel (Laa ilaaha ill-Allah), Takbeer (Allahu akbar) and Tahmeed (Alhamdulillah) during them.” – [Ahmad]
Known in Arabic as Yawm Arafah, fasting is particularly encouraged on the ninth day of Zil-Hijjah which is the blessed day of Arafah. The Prophet ﷺ used to fast the first nine days of Zil-Hijjah – [Al-Nisai and Abu Dawud].
Abu Qatadah narrated that the messenger of Allah ﷺ said regarding the fast of the day of Arafah, “It expiates the sins of the past year and coming year.” – [Muslim]
The tenth of Zil-Hijjah is Eid-ul-Adha or the day of slaughtering (an-Nahr) and marks the conclusion of the major rites of Hajj. The sacrifice commemorates Allah’s bounty on Prophet Ibrahim (AS), when He gave him a sheep to sacrifice as ransom for his son Prophet Ismail (AS).
Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said, “The son of Adam does not perform any actions on the day of sacrifice which is more pleasing to Allah than the shedding of blood. The sacrificed animal shall come on the Day of judgment with its horns, hair, and hooves. The sacrifice is accepted by Allah before the blood reaches the ground.” – [Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah]
Maulana Intekhab is an Educationist and currently doing M.Ed from Maulana Azad National Urdu University Hyderabad. He is very fond of writing on Islamic and Social topics.