We are about to enter the blessed month of Dhu`l-Ḥijjah. The Messenger of Allah ﷺinformed us that there are no days in which righteous actions are more beloved to Allah than the first ten days of this month.1 For that reason some scholars have ruled that these days are better than the final ten days of Ramaḍān, although the nights of Ramaḍān are superior to these nights. Allah Himself swears by “the Ten Nights” in Sūrat al-Fajr, which is sufficient evidence of their greatness. Most of the scholars say that these are the first ten nights (and days) of Dhu’l-Ḥijjah.
The Prophet ﷺsaid that fasting one of these days is equal to the reward of fasting for a whole year and standing in one of these nights in prayer is equal to standing in prayer on Laylat al-Qadr.2 It has also been narrated that the reward for actions in these days is multiplied seven hundred times.
This is not to mention the Day of Arafat (the 9th of Dhu’l-Ḥijjah) which is the greatest day of the year. Fasting that day wipes out the sins of the previous year and the year to come. We will mention more about this day closer to the time inshallah.
If we are unable to fast the first nine days of the month, we should at least fast the Day of Arafat. If we are able to fast two or three days then by fasting Monday or Thursday or both we will gain the reward of following the Sunnah. Likewise by fasting three of these days we will have performed the Sunnah of fasting three days in every month.
These are days in which we should remember Allah abundantly. Allah says that they remember the name of Allah on well-known days.3 These “well-known days” according to the majority of scholars are the ten days of Dhu’l-Ḥijjah. This is why the Prophet said ﷺthat in these days we should make abundant tahlīl (saying lā ilāha ill’Allāh), takbīr (saying Allāhu akbar) and taḥmīd (saying alḥamdulillāh).4 Sayyidunā `Abdullāh Ibn `Umar and Sayyidunā Abū Hurayrah would go into the marketplace in these days and raise their voices with the takbīr. The people in the marketplace would then raise their voices with the takbīr in response. Thus the most hated place to Allah, a place where most people are heedless of Him, was filled with His remembrance.
Whether it be prayer, fasting, charity, remembrance, seeking knowledge, helping people, any righteous actions we do will be greatly rewarded and beyond that are beloved to Allah. This is also a time when prayers are answered by Allah.
Sayyidī al-Ḥabīb `Umar bin Ḥafīẓ (may Allah preserve him and benefit us by him) reminds us that the linguistic meaning of Ḥajj is seeking or intending. Thus the people of Allah are constantly performing Ḥajj because they are constantly seeking Allah. Just as their whole year is Ramaḍān, likewise their whole year is Ḥajj. Just as those performing Ḥajj respond to the call of Allah by saying “labbayk” they are swift to respond to the call of Allah. They take themselves to account and leave that which is disliked and dubious in all their states and actions. They reject the desires of their lower selves and they are the furthest of people from that which is prohibited. They constantly receive new blessings from their Lord so they constantly renew their iḥrām.5 Day and night they make ṭawāf around the House of their Lord, the One to Whom they turn themselves with absolute sincerity until nothing remains in them which is directed to other than Allah.
Actions that Carry the Reward of Ḥajj
Nothing of course can equal actually performing the Ḥajj and worshipping Allah in those blessed places. Allah knows that many people long to make Ḥajj every year but are unable to do so. Out of His generosity, He made the reward for certain actions similar to the reward of a supererogatory Hajj.
Remembering Allah from Fajr until Ishrāq. The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “Whoever who prays Ṣubḥ (Fajr) in congregation and then sits in the place where he prayed remembering Allah until the sun rises and then prays two rakats has the reward of a complete Ḥajj and `Umrah.” He repeated “complete” three times.6
Attending a gathering of knowledge. The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “The one who goes out to the mosque wanting only to learn good or teach it has the reward of a complete Ḥajj.”7
Going to the mosque for the congregational prayer. The Prophet ﷺ said: “Whoever performs ablution in his house and then goes out to perform the obligatory prayer in the mosque has a reward similar to the reward of a Hajj pilgrim. Whoever goes out to perform the mid-morning prayer (Ḍuḥā) has a reward similar to the reward of the one performing `Umrah.”8
Performing the Friday Prayer. Sa`īd Ibn al-Musayyib said performing the Friday Prayer is “more beloved to me than a supererogatory Ḥajj.”
Performing the `Īd Prayer. One of the Companions said: “Going out to pray `Īd al-Fiṭr is equal to performing `Umrah and going out to pray `Īd al-Aḍḥā is equal to performing Ḥajj.”
Fulfilling the needs of your brother or sister. Ḥasan al-Baṣrī said: “Going to fulfill the need of your brother is better for you than performing Ḥajj after Ḥajj.”
Being good to your parents. The Prophet ﷺ commanded one of the Companions to be good to his mother. If you do so, he said: “You are a Hajj pilgrim, a person performing `Umrah and someone striving for the sake of Allah (mujāhid).”
Performing obligatory actions. The slave can only draw near to Allah by performing supererogatory actions after first having performed that which is obligatory. This includes purifying one’s heart from forbidden attributes and guarding one’s tongue and limbs from committing forbidden actions. All of this is much harder on the lower self than many supererogatory acts of worship.
Finally there is no action more beloved to Allah on the Day of `Īd than making a sacrifice. The Messenger of Allah ﷺ told his beloved daughter Sayyidah Fāṭimah al-Zahrā’ that she would be forgiven for her previous wrongdoings with the first drop of blood to be shed from the sacrificed animal. She asked if this reward was specifically for the household of the Prophet and he replied: “For us and for all the Muslims.
If anyone wants to make a sacrifice (qurbani/uḍḥiyah) in Tarīm, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. The sacrifice is carried out by al-Ra`fah Charity.
Attached are some of the adhkār that many of the pious people would read during the first ten days of Dhu’l-Ḥijjah. Sayyidī al-Ḥabīb `Umar bin Ḥafīẓ (may Allah preserve him and benefit us by him) recommends reading them.
[Taken from: http://muwasala.org/the-first-ten-days-of-dhul-%E1%B8%A5ijjah/#sthash.4Axxzrjl.dpuf]
1 Narrated by al-Bukhārī, Abū Dāūd, al-Tirmidhī and Ibn Mājah
2 Narrated al-Tirmidhī and Ibn Mājah
3 Al-Ḥajj, 22:28
4 Narrated by Aḥmad
5 The state of sanctity in which the pilgrim approaches Allah
6 Narrated by al-Tirmidhī
7 Narrated by al-Ṭabarānī
8 Narrated by Abū Dāūd