The importance of the first ten days of Dhul Hijjah

The first ten days of Dhul Hijjah have special relevance for Muslims and are days when it is recommended to increase our worship and good deeds. Many Muslims know this, but aside from the fact that it is the time of Hajj, do we know why?

1. These are ten reasons that make these days special

Allah mentions them in the Qur’an:

By the Dawn! For ten nights! (The Dawn, 89:1-2)

According to the famous scholar and exegete of the Qur’an, Ibn Kathir, the “ten nights” he refers to are the first ten days of Dhul Hijjah. This is also the opinion of many other scholars.

2. It is one of the holy months

Allah mentions in the Qur’an that there are 4 holy months:

The number of months for Allah is twelve, in the Book of Allah, the day on which He created the heavens and the earth. Four of them are inviolable. This is the practice of Right Worship. (AtTawba, 9:36)

The four holy months are: Dhul Qa’idah, Dhul Hijjah, Muharram, and Rayab.

3. These are some of the best days for good deeds

Ibn Abba reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said:

“There are no deeds that are done on other days better than those that are done on these (the first ten days of Dhul Hijjah).” Some of the companions of the Prophet said: “Not even Jihad?” He replied: “Not even Jihad, except that of one who does it by putting his property and person in danger (for the sake of Allah) and does not come back with any of those things.” (Tirmidhi)

4. In the first ten days of Dhul Hijjah the most important acts of worship are combined

In this month, one of the pillars of Islam, the Hajj, takes place during which Muslims from all over the world gather to worship Allah. Many other works such as voluntary fasting and charity work are also recommended.

Hafidh Ibn Hajar, may Allah have mercy on him, says in Fath al-Bari:

“The most apparent reason for the distinction of the first ten days of Dhul Hijjah is due to the assembly of the highest acts of worship in this period, i.e. salawat (prayers), siyam (fasting), sadaqah (charity) and Hajj (pilgrimage). In no other period are these important actions combined.”

5. Islam was perfected on the day of Arafat

Allah says:

Today I have completed your Practice of Worship for you, I have completed My blessing upon you and I have gladly accepted Islam as a Practice of Worship. (The laid table, 5:3)

This day was the day of Arafat which is the 9th day of the month of Dhul Hijjah.

6. Fasting on the day of Arafat erases our faults

It has been reported that Abu Qatadah, may Allah be pleased with him, said that the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

Fasting on the day of ‘Arafah is an atonement (for faults) for two years, the year before and the year after. (Ibn Majah)

7. Fasting one day is equal to one year

Abu Hurairah, may Allah be pleased with him, reported that the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

“There are no days more beloved by Allah for you to worship Him than the first ten days of Dhul Hijjah. Fasting on any (of them) days is equivalent to fasting for a year and offering salatul tahajjud (night prayer) during one of its nights is like performing night prayer on the night of power (i.e. Lailatul Qadr).” (Tirmidhi)

8. The name of Allah is highly glorified

Muslims have been encouraged to glorify the name of Allah very much. Known as Takbeer Tashreeq, we should recite the following after every obligatory prayer starting from the Magrib on the 10th of Dhul Hijah until after the Magrib on the 12th of Dhul Hijjah.

Allaahu akbar, Allaahu akbar, laa ilaaha allaah, Allaahu akbar, Allaahu akbar, wa lillaahi’l-hamd (Allah is the greatest, Allah is the greatest, there is no god but Allah, Allah is the greatest, Allah is the greatest, and praise belongs to Allah).

9. He Completes the sacrifice in this time

Those who can should slaughter an animal on any of the three prescribed days.

10. It is when Eid al Adha is celebrated

In Islam there are two days of celebration; Eid Al Fitr, after Ramadan, and Eid Al Adha, on the 10th of Dhul Hijjah.

These are two days that Allah has given to the Muslims as a celebration.

Let’s try to increase prayer and remembrance of Allah in these 10 days, and if we can, we should try to fast especially on the day of Arafat (for those of us who are not doing Hajj).