Monday, October 31, 2011

The 10 Days of Dhil-Hijjah

Know-baarakAllaahu feekum- that the first 10 days of Dhul-Hijjah are the best and most virtuous days of the year –for both the pilgrim and those who stay behind.  They are days of striving to gain closeness and proximity to Allaah and seeking His Mercy and Forgiveness.  They are days of Salaah, and Zakaah/Sadaqah, du'aa and the remembrance of Allaah, sincere repentance, and all other virtuous deeds.

Allaah swore by these days in His saying:

} وَالْفَجْرِ * وَلَيَالٍ عَشْرٍ {

"By the Dawn, and by the Ten Nights." [1]

And the Prophet (Sallallaahu 'alayhi wasallam) said:

(( أَفضَلُ أَيَّامِ الدُّنيَا أَيَّامُ العَشْرِ ))
"The best days in the dunyaa are the ten days." [2]

And the Prophet (Sallallaahu 'alayhi wasallam) said:

(( مَا مِنْ أَيَامٍ  العَمَلُ الصَّالِحُ فَيهَا أَحَبُّ إَلَى اللهِ مِن أيامِ العَشرِ ))
قَالُواْ: يَا رَسُولَ اللهِ!  وَ لاَ الجِهَادُ فِي سَبِيلِ اللهِ؟
قال: (( و لاَ الجِهَادُ فِي سَبِيلِ اللهِ؛ إِلاَّ رَجُلٌ خَرَجَ بِنَفسِهِ وَ مَالِهِ ، فَلَمْ يَرْجِعْ مِن ذَلِكَ بِشَيءٍ ))

" There are no days during which good righteous deeds are more beloved to Allaah than the ten days (the first ten days of Dhil-Hijjah)."
So the Companions asked: "Not even Jihaad in the Path of Allaah?"
He said: "Not even Jihaad in the Path of Allaah, except for a man who goes out with his person and his wealth, and comes back with nothing." [3]

During these days it is recommended to increase in making takbeer, tahleel, and tamheed, and to increase in all types of righteous deeds, like prayer, fasting, giving in charity and so on. 


And from these righteous actions is fasting the Day of 'Arafah.  The Messenger of Allaah (Sallallaahu 'alayhi wasallam) said:

((يُكَفَّرَ السَّنَةَ الَّتِي قَبْلَهُ ، وَ السَّنَةَ الَّتِي بَعْدَهُ ))

"It expiates (the sins) of the previous year, and the following year." [4]

All of the evil deeds you did, all of the sins you committed against yourself – of the past year and the year to come – wiped away by fasting this one day!!

And this fast is for those who remained behind, as fasting the Day of 'Arafah by those who are at 'Arafah is not from the guidance of the Prophet (Sallallaahu 'alayhi wasallam) and his Companions.  'Abdullaah bin 'Umar (Radiyallaahu 'anhumaa) was asked about fasting the Day of 'Arafah by those at 'Arafah. He said: "I made Hajj with the Prophet (Sallallaahu 'alayhi wasallam) and he did not fast it, and with Aboo Bakr and he did not fast it, and with 'Umar and he did not fast it, and 'Uthmaan and he did not fast it. And I do not fast it, nor do I order it, nor do I prohibit it." [5]

The Day of an-Nahr:

Of these 10 blessed days is the Day of an-Nahr, or 'Eedul-Adhaa. The Prophet (Sallallaahu 'alayhi wasallam) said:

(( إَنَّ أَعْظَمَ الأَيَّامِ عِندَ اللهِ تَبارَكَ وَ تَعالَى يَومُ النَّحْرِ ، ثُمَّ يَومُ القَرَِّ ))

"Verily the greatest of Days with Allaah- the Blessed and Most High- is the Day of Sacrifice, then the Day of Rest [following it]." [6]

This day commemorates the day in which Ibraaheem ('Alayhis-Salaam) was instructed by Allaah to sacrifice his firstborn son Ismaa'eel ('Alayhis-Salaam) –and Allaah, out of His great expansive mercy and kindness – gave in his place a ram. So on this day, in commemoration of the sacrifice of Ibraaheem ('Alayhis-Salaam), it is upon those who have the means to sacrifice a camel, cow, sheep or goat.

The Prophet (Sallallaahu 'alayhi wasallam) said:

(( مَنْ كَانَ لَهُ سَعَةٌ وَ لَم يُضَحِّ فَلاَ يَقْرَبَنَّ مُصَلاَّنَا ))

"Whoever has the means, and does not sacrifice,
should not approach our musallaa." [7]

And the one who has the ability and intends to sacrifice an animal, then he is not to cut his hair and nails, from the first day of Dhul-Hijjah up until after he sacrifices.

And Allaah has made the days of An-Nahr and at-Tashreeq (the 3 days that follow it) days of eating and drinking.

The Takbeeraat:

From the day of 'Arafah (9th of Dhil-Hijjah) up until the 'Asr prayer on the 13th day of Dhil-Hijjah, after the Salaah, we make the takbeeraat.

Ibn Abee Shaybah reported that 'Alee (Radiyallaahu 'anhu) used to make the takbeer beginning after the Fajr prayer on the Day of 'Arafah, up until after the 'Asr prayer on the last day of Tashreeq (the 13th day of Dhil-Hijjah). As for the wording of the Takbeer, then there is nothing authentically reported from the Prophet (Sallallaahu 'alayhi wasallam). Rather, what we find is the 'Abdullaah  bin Mas'ood (Radiyallaahu 'anhu) used to say:

Allaahu Akbar, Allaahu Akbar, Laa ilaaha illallaah,
wallaahu akbar, Allaahu Akbar, wa lillaahil-Hamd [8]

And Ibn 'Abbaas (Radiyallaahu 'anhumaa) used to say:

Allaahu Akbar, Allaahu Akbar, Allaahu Akbar, wa lillaahil-Hamd.
Allaahu Akbar wa ajalla, Allaahu Akbar 'alaa ma hadaanaa. [9]

So it is upon us to exert ourselves in obedience to Allaah during these 10 blessed days, from their beginning till their end; increasing in our salaah, trying to fast the Day of 'Arafah, making mention of Allaah in abundance, sadaqah, sacrificing an animal on the Day of An-Nahr or the days that follow it, recitation of the Qur'aan, Repenting to Allaah, seeking His mercy and forgiveness, and so forth. For there is no time like these 10 days:

(( مَا مِنْ أَيَامٍ  العَمَلُ الصَّالِحُ فَيهَا أَحَبُّ إَلَى اللهِ مِن أيامِ العَشرِ ))

" There are no days during which good righteous deeds
are more beloved to Allaah than the ten days."

Adapted from the notes for a khutbah delivered by Aboo Sufyaan Beecher
Masjid al-'Uthmaan, Kuwait City, 1425H

[1]  Al-Fajr (89):1-2
[2]  al-Bazzaar. See Saheehul-Jaami' of Shaykh Al-Albaanee (#1133)
[3]   Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim from Ibn 'Umar and others, al-Bukhaaree from Ibn 'Abbaas, Muslim from Abee Sa'eed, At-Tahaawiyyah (#734), Saheeh Sunan Abee Daawood (#2438), and As-Saheehah (#1471). Declared Saheeh by Imaam al-Bukhaaree.
[4]  Saheeh Sunan at-Tirmidhee (#749)
[5]  Saheeh Sunan at-Tirmidhee (#751)
[6]  Saheeh Sunan Aboo Daawood (#1552)
[7]  Saheeh Sunan Ibn Maajah (#2549): Hasan.
[8]  Ibn Abee Shaybah
[9]  al-Bayhaqee (3/315)