Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The First Ten Days of Dhul Hijjah: Days of Virtue And Righteous Deeds

The Month of Dhul-Hijjah

By the grace of Allah we are in the month of Dhul-Hijjah in which Allah has marked out, for both pilgrims and non-pilgrims, some very blessed days. We shall mention here some of the virtues of those days and acts that merit reward that can be performed on them.

Doing Good Deeds in General

The first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah are the best and most virtuous days of the year. They are the days in which Allah the Almighty most loves the people to perform good deeds. On this subject, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, "The best days in the world are the ten days" (Al-Bazzar, authenticated by Al-Albani).

Allah's Messenger (saws) said, "There are no days during which good deeds are more beloved to Allah than these (ten) days." It is by these ten days that Allah has taken an oath in His Book, by His saying "By the Dawn and by the Ten Nights" (Al-Fajr 89:1-2).

This is why it is recommended to increase remembrance of Allah, as mentioned in the hadith when the Prophet (saws) said, "There are no days that are greater with Allah, and in which good deeds are more beloved to Him, than these ten days. So increase in saying Subhan Allah, al-hamdu lillah, la ilaha ila Allah, and Allahu Akbar" (At-Tabarani, authenticated by Al-Mundhiri).

Fasting the Day of `Arafah

The ninth day of Dhul-Hijjah is the day of `Arafah, since it is on this day that the pilgrims gather at a plain located at the base of Mount `Arafah, praying and supplicating to their Lord. It is highly recommended for those who are not performing the Hajj to fast on this day. The Prophet (saws) said, "There is no day on which Allah frees people from the Fire more so than on the day of `Arafah" (Muslim).

He (saws) also said, "Fasting on the day of 'Arafah is an expiation for two years, the year preceding it and the year following it. Fasting the day of 'Ashurah is an expiation for the year preceding it." [This is related by "the group," except for al-Bukhari and at-Tirmidhi]

Offering Sacrifice on the Day of `Eid Al-Adha and the Following Three Days

The tenth day of Dhul-Hiijah marks the ending of the major rites of Hajj and commemorates the bounty and mercy of Allah the Most High when He gave His beloved Prophet Ibrahim (as) a ram to sacrifice in place of his firstborn son, Isma`il (as). Out of the ten best days of the year, it is this day which is the most excellent.

The Prophet (saws) said, "The greatest day of the Hajj (Pilgrimage) is the Day of An-Nahr" (Abu Dawud, authenticated by Al-Albani). The day of An-Nahr is also known as `Eid Al-Adha and is one of the two major festivals that Allah has granted to this Ummah. The Prophet (saws) also said, "The day of Al-Fitr, and the day of An-Nahr, and the days of At-Tashriq (the three days after An-Nahr) are our days of `Eid; and they are days of eating and drinking" (Ahmad).

`Eid Al-Adha is a day on which the Muslims slaughter a camel, cow, sheep, or goat in commemoration of the sacrifice of Ibrahim (peace and blessings be upon him). Those who intend to sacrifice an animal—normally the heads of households—must avoid cutting their hair and nails, starting from the first day of Dhul-Hijjah up until after the sacrifice.

Glorifying Allah With the Takbir

From the day of `Arafah (Dhul-Hijjah 9), up until the `Asr Prayer on the thirteenth day, are days in which the takbir (saying "Allahu Akbar"—Allah is the Greatest) is highly recommended. Ibn Mas`ud (may Allah be pleased with him) used to say: Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar, La ilaha illa Allah, wa Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar, wa lillahil-hamd. Allah is the greatest, Allah is the greatest. None has the right to be worshiped except Him. And Allah is greatest, Allah is greatest, and to Him belongs all praise.

The Messenger of Allah (saws) said, "There are no days more loved to Allah for you to worship Him therein than the ten days of Dhul Hijja. Fasting any day during it is equivalent to fasting one year and to offer salatul tahajjud (late-night prayer) during one of its nights is like performing the late night prayer on the night of power. [i.e., Lailatul Qadr]." [This is related by at-Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah, and al-Baihaqi]

On the Day of Nahr, the Messenger (saws) stood in between the Jamrat during his Hajj which he performed and said, "This is the greatest Day (i.e. 10th of Dhul-Hijjah)." The Messenger (saws) started saying repeatedly, "O Allah! Be Witness (I have conveyed Your Message)." He then bade the people farewell. The people said, "(This is Hajjat-al-Wada)." [Bukhari 2.798]
-Taken from IslamOnline.net
Charity is encouraged during this time, when the rewards are multiplied. These days present a great opportunity to fulfill the obligatory act of Udhiyah/Qurbani. The Companions of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) asked him where the practice of Udhiyah/Qurbani originated. The Prophet Muhammad (saws) replied, "It is a tradition of your father Abraham,
and a memorial in his honor
." DONATE NOW at Islamic Relief Worldwide.

No comments: