The Virtues and Deeds of the 10 days of Dhu al-Hijjah
The Virtue of the 10th of Dhu al-Hijjah
Allah Almighty has sworn by these ten days in the Quran, as mentioned in the last part: “By the dawn”! “And ten nights”! “And the even and the odd”!
Allah has taken an oath by the days. (وَالْفَجْرِ وَلَيَالٍ عَشْرٍ وَالشَّفْعِ وَالْوَتْرِ) The esteemed interpreters have interpreted these ten nights to refer to the first ten days of Dhu al-Hijjah. Similarly, this is the guidance of Allah Subhanahoo Wata’ala.(وَاذْكُرُوا اللهَ فِي أَيَّامٍ مَعْلُومَاتٍ أَيَّامُ الْعَشْرِ) Sayyidna Abdullah bin Abbas states that the term “ayyam-e-ma’lumat” refers to the initial ten days of Dhu al-Hijjah. Sahih Bukhari: 960.
The most virtuous days among all the days of the world: It is narrated by Sayyidna Jabir bin Abdullah that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: (أَفْضَلُ أَيَّامِ الدُّنْيَا أَيَّامُ الْعَشر) The most virtuous days in the world are the initial ten days of Dhu al-Hijjah. Sunan al-Jami al-Saghir: 1131. This hadith clearly indicates that these days are considered the most virtuous. Now the question arises, which is more virtuous, the initial ten days of Dhu al-Hijjah or the last ten days of Ramadan? The answer to this is that the initial ten days of Dhu al-Hijjah are more virtuous than the last ten days of Ramadan, and the nights of the last ten days of Ramadan are more virtuous than the ten nights of Dhu al-Hijjah.
Hafiz Ibn Qayyim states that when a knowledgeable and wise person ponders over this matter, they will find that the virtues and deeds of the ten days of Dhu al-Hijjah are more beloved to Allah Subhanahoo Wata’ala than any other days. Additionally, these days include the Day of Arafah, the Day of Sacrifice (Eid al-Adha), and the Day of Tashreeq (the three days following Eid), which are particularly endowed with great virtues. Moreover, the last ten nights of Ramadan are nights of awakening, during which the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) used to engage in worship throughout the night, including the Night of Power (Laylat al-Qadr).
The deeds performed during these days are most beloved to Allah.
حَدَّثَنَا مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ عَرْعَرَةَ، قَالَ حَدَّثَنَا شُعْبَةُ، عَنْ سُلَيْمَانَ، عَنْ مُسْلِمٍ الْبَطِينِ، عَنْ سَعِيدِ بْنِ جُبَيْرٍ، عَنِ ابْنِ عَبَّاسٍ، عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم أَنَّهُ قَالَ ” مَا الْعَمَلُ فِي أَيَّامِ الْعَشْرِ أَفْضَلَ مِنَ الْعَمَلِ فِي هَذِهِ ”. قَالُوا وَلاَ الْجِهَادُ قَالَ ” وَلاَ الْجِهَادُ، إِلاَّ رَجُلٌ خَرَجَ يُخَاطِرُ بِنَفْسِهِ وَمَالِهِ فَلَمْ يَرْجِعْ بِشَىْءٍ ”.
Narrated Ibn `Abbas: The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “No good deeds done on other days are superior to those done on these (first ten days of Dhul Hijja).” Then some companions of the Prophet (ﷺ) said, “Not even Jihad?” He replied, “Not even Jihad, except that of a man who does it by putting himself and his property in danger (for Allah’s sake) and does not return with any of those things.”(Sahih al-Bukhari)
Similarly, there is further clarification in another narration. It is narrated by Sayyidna Abdullah bin Amr bin Aas (رضي الله عنه) that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said:
ما مِنْ أَيَّامٍ أَحَبُّ إلى اللهِ الْعَمَلُ فِيهِنَّ مِنْ هَذِهِ الأَيَّام، قيل: ولا الجهاد في سبيل الله؟ قالَ : وَلا الجهاد في سبيل الله، إلَّا مَنْ خَرجَ بِنَفْسِهِ وَمَالِهِ، ثُمَّ لَمْ يَرْجِعُ حَتَّى تُهَرَاقَ مُهْجَةً
No righteous deed performed throughout the year, even if carried out consistently every day, can surpass the favor with which Allah regards the righteous deeds performed during the first ten days of Dhu al-Hijjah. The noble companions expressed their inquiry, saying, “Not even Jihad for the sake of Allah?” The Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) clarified, saying, “Not even Jihad, except for a person who sets out with their life and wealth for Jihad and does not return with anything, meaning they become a martyr.” [Musnad Ahmad: 51/11 (6505), Sahih]
This narration highlights the exceptional preference and elevated status of the virtuous acts performed during the first ten days of Dhu al-Hijjah. It underscores that, in the sight of Allah, these acts hold a position even greater than the consistent performance of righteous deeds throughout the entire year. Indeed! If a Mujahid, who goes out with their wealth for the sake of Jihad and attains the ranks of martyrdom, were to experience the virtues and rewards of those righteous deeds during the ten blessed days, it would elevate them to a higher level of righteousness. However, during these same ten days, there may be an individual who is engaged in worship and devotion, while the Mujahid stands on the front lines against the disbelievers, striving for the lofty cause of the religion. In that case, the fortunate Mujahid would be deserving of even greater recognition and reward.
The message conveyed is that while the virtues of the ten blessed days are immense for all believers, the specific circumstances and actions of individuals may vary, leading to varying degrees of reward and spiritual elevation. Each person’s devotion and sacrifice in accordance with their abilities and opportunities will be recognized and rewarded by Allah according to His wisdom and justice.
The virtue of the Day of Arafah during these days
حَدَّثَنَا هَارُونُ بْنُ سَعِيدٍ الْمِصْرِيُّ أَبُو جَعْفَرٍ، أَنْبَأَنَا عَبْدُ اللَّهِ بْنُ وَهْبٍ، أَخْبَرَنِي مَخْرَمَةُ بْنُ بُكَيْرٍ، عَنْ أَبِيهِ، قَالَ سَمِعْتُ يُونُسَ بْنَ يُوسُفَ، يَقُولُ عَنِ ابْنِ الْمُسَيَّبِ، قَالَ قَالَتْ عَائِشَةُ إِنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ ـ صلى الله عليه وسلم ـ قَالَ “ مَا مِنْ يَوْمٍ أَكْثَرَ مِنْ أَنْ يُعْتِقَ اللَّهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ فِيهِ عَبْدًا مِنَ النَّارِ مِنْ يَوْمِ عَرَفَةَ وَإِنَّهُ لَيَدْنُو عَزَّ وَجَلَّ ثُمَّ يُبَاهِي بِهِمُ الْمَلاَئِكَةَ فَيَقُولُ مَا أَرَادَ هَؤُلاَءِ ” .
It was narrated from Ibn Musayyab that ‘Aishah said that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: “There is no day on which Allah ransoms more slaves from the Fire than the Day of ‘Arafah. He draws closer and closer, then He boasts about them before the angels and says: ‘What do these people want?’” (Sunan Ibn Majah)
The virtue of the Day of Sacrifice during these days
It is narrated by Sayyidna Abdullah bin Qart (رضي الله عنه) that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: (أعظم الأيام عِنْدَ اللهِ يَوْمُ النَّحْرِ، ثُمَّ يَوْمُ الْقَرَ) The most magnificent and esteemed day in the sight of Allah is the Day of Sacrifice (10th of Dhu al-Hijjah, Eid al-Adha), and after that is the Day of Arafah. This is known from another narration as well, which is transmitted by Imam Ibn Khuzaymah on the authority of Sayyidna Abdullah bin Qart (رضي الله عنه). [Musnad Ahmad: 427/31 (19075), Shu’ayb said it is authentic]
أَعْظَمُ الأيَّامِ عِندَ اللهِ يَوْمُ النحْرِ، ثُمَّ يَوْمُ الْقَر قَالَ أَبُو بَكْرٍ: يَوْمَ الْقَرْ يَعْنِي يَوْمَ الثَّانِي مِنْ يَوْمِ النَّحْرِ
The greatest and most esteemed day in the sight of Allah is the Day of Sacrifice (10th of Dhu al-Hijjah), and after that is the Day of Qamr (11th of Dhu al-Hijjah). Abu Bakr (رضي الله عنه) stated: “By the Day of Qamr, it refers to the day following the Day of Sacrifice.” [Sahih Ibn Hazm: 2066, Al-Athrami said its chain is authentic.]
This indicates that in comparison to the subsequent days, the sacrifice, remembrance of Allah, supplications, spending in the cause of Allah, and other similar acts on the first day (Day of Sacrifice) hold greater virtue.
Tasks to be performed during the 10 days of Dhu al-Hijjah
Engage in various righteous deeds with utmost effort and diligence. Since these are the best days, strive to perform as many good deeds as possible, following the example of our predecessors who used to engage in abundant acts of righteousness during these days.
كان سعيد بن جبير إذا دخل أيام العشر اجتهد اجتهادا شديدا حتى ما يكاد يقدر عليه
Sayyidna Saeed bin Jubair (رضي الله عنه) would engage in abundant righteous deeds during the first ten days of Dhu al-Hijjah to the extent that it became challenging for him to keep up with them. (Sunan Darimi: 1718)
Completely abstain from all forms of sins
The month of Dhu al-Hijjah is one of the sacred months, and during this time, it is especially important to refrain from acts of injustice, transgression, and other wrongful actions as guided by Allah Ta’ala.
إِنَّ عِدَّةَ ٱلشُّهُورِ عِندَ ٱللَّهِ ٱثْنَا عَشَرَ شَهْرًۭا فِى كِتَـٰبِ ٱللَّهِ يَوْمَ خَلَقَ ٱلسَّمَـٰوَٰتِ وَٱلْأَرْضَ مِنْهَآ أَرْبَعَةٌ حُرُمٌۭ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ ٱلدِّينُ ٱلْقَيِّمُ ۚ فَلَا تَظْلِمُوا۟ فِيهِنَّ أَنفُسَكُمْ ۚ وَقَـٰتِلُوا۟ ٱلْمُشْرِكِينَ كَآفَّةًۭ كَمَا يُقَـٰتِلُونَكُمْ كَآفَّةًۭ ۚ وَٱعْلَمُوٓا۟ أَنَّ ٱللَّهَ مَعَ ٱلْمُتَّقِينَ (9:36)
Surely, the number of months according to Allah is twelve (as written) in the Book of Allah on the day He created the heavens and the Earth, of which there are Four Sacred Months. That is the right faith. So, do not wrong yourself therein. And fight the Mushriks all together, as they fight you all together, and be sure that Allah is with the God-fearing.
Ensure to engage in the recitation of Takbirs
It is narrated by Sayyidna Abdullah bin Umar (رضي الله عنه) that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said:
ما مِنْ أَيَّامٍ أَعْظَمُ عِنْدَ اللهِ، وَلَا أَحَبُّ إِلَيْهِ مِنَ الْعَمَلِ فِيهِنَّ مِنْ هَذِهِ الْأَيَّامِ الْعَشْرِ فَأَكثرُوا فيهن من التهليل والتكبير، والتَّحْمِيدِ
In the sight of Allah, there is no day more significant than these ten days, and among the deeds performed during these ten days, there is no deed more beloved. Therefore, engage abundantly in worship and righteous acts during this time.
(لا الہ الا اللہ ) تکبیر (اللہ اکبر ) اورتحمید (الحمد للہ )
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Imam Bukhari (رضي الله عنه) said…
كان ابن عمر وَأَبُو هُرَيْرَةَ يَخْرُجَانِ إلى السُّوقِ في أَيَّامِ العَشْرِ يُكَبَرانِ وَيُكَبَرُ النَّاسُ بتكبيرهما
Sayyidna Abdullah bin Umar (رضي الله عنه) and Sayyidna Abu Hurairah (رضي الله عنه) used to go towards the market during these ten days, and both of them would recite Takbirs. Upon seeing them, people would also join in reciting the Takbirs. [Sahih Bukhari, Chapter: Preceding Hadith: 900]
The words of the Takbirs are as follows:
Sayyidna Abdullah bin Mas’ood (رضي الله عنه) used to recite the Takbirs with those words:
اللَّهُ أَكْبَرُ اللهُ أَكْبَرُ، لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا اللَّهُ، وَاللَّهُ أَكْبَرُ، اللَّهُ أَكْبَرُ، وَلِلَّهِ الْحَمْدُ
“Allah is the greatest, Allah is the greatest. There is no true deity worthy of worship except Allah, and Allah is the greatest, Allah is the greatest. All praises are for Allah alone.” – Author Ibn Abi Shaybah
It is reported about Sayyidna Abdullah bin Abbas (رضي الله عنه) that he used to recite these Takbirs during the occasion of Eid.
الله أكبر، اللهُ أَكْبَرُ اللهُ أَكْبَرُ . وَلِلَّهِ الْحَمْدُ اللهُ أَكْبَرُ وَأَجَلَّ اللهُ أَكْبَرُ عَلَى مَا هَدَانَا
“Allah is the greatest, Allah is the greatest, Allah is the greatest. All praises are for Allah alone. Allah is the greatest and the Most Majestic. Allah is the greatest, and all these praises are because He has guided us.” – Al-Sunan al-Kubra li’l-Bayhaqi: 6280
Similarly, Ibrahim Nakha’i used to recite these Takbirs on the Day of Arafah:
اللهُ أَكْبَرُ، اللَّهُ أَكْبَرُ، لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا اللهُ، وَاللهُ أَكْبَرُ، اللَّهُ أَكْبَرُ، وَلِلَّهِ الْحَمْدُ اللہ
“Allah is the greatest, Allah is the greatest. There is no true deity worthy of worship except Allah, and Allah is the greatest. Allah is the greatest, Allah is the greatest, and all praises are for Allah alone.” – Author Ibn Abi Shaybah: 5650, Sahih
Those who intend to offer a sacrifice should refrain from cutting their hair and nails.
وَعَنْ أُمِّ سَلَمَةَ قَالَتْ: قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: «إِذَا دَخَلَ الْعَشْرُ وَأَرَادَ بَعْضُكُمْ أَنْ يُضَحِّيَ فَلَا يَمَسَّ مِنْ شَعْرِهِ وَبَشَرِهِ شَيْئًا» وَفِي رِوَايَةٍ «فَلَا يَأْخُذَنَّ شَعْرًا وَلَا يَقْلِمَنَّ ظُفْرًا» وَفِي رِوَايَةٍ «مَنْ رَأَى هِلَالَ ذِي الْحِجَّةِ وَأَرَادَ أَنْ يُضَحِّيَ فَلَا يَأْخُذْ مِنْ شَعْرِهِ وَلَا مِنْ أَظْفَارِهِ» . رَوَاهُ مُسلم
Umm Salama reported God’s Messenger as saying, “When the ten days* come and one of you intends to make sacrifice, he must not touch any of its hair or skin.” A version says, “He must not take hairs or clip nails.” Another says, “If anyone sees the new moon of Dhul Hijja and intends to sacrifice, he must not take any of its hairs or nails.”
* The period to which reference is made is the first ten days of Dhul Hijjah. The day of sacrifice is the tenth.
Muslim transmitted it.(Mishkat al-Masabih)
Perform the rituals of Hajj and Umrah.
وَعَنِ ابْنِ مَسْعُودٍ قَالَ: قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: «تَابِعُوا بَيْنَ الْحَجِّ وَالْعُمْرَةِ فَإِنَّهُمَا يَنْفِيَانِ الْفَقْرَ وَالذُّنُوبَ كَمَا يَنْفِي الْكِيرُ خَبَثَ الْحَدِيدِ وَالذَّهَبِ وَالْفِضَّةِ وَلَيْسَ لِلْحَجَّةِ الْمَبْرُورَةِ ثَوَابٌ إِلَّا الْجَنَّةَ» . رَوَاهُ التِّرْمِذِيُّ وَالنَّسَائِيُّ
وَرَوَاهُ أَحْمَدُ وَابْنُ مَاجَهْ عَنْ عُمَرَ إِلَى قَوْله: «خبث الْحَدِيد»
Ibn Mas’ud reported God’s messenger as saying, “Make the hajj and the ‘umra follow one another closely, for they remove poverty and sins as a blacksmith’s bellows remove impurities from iron, gold and silver; and a hajja which is accepted gets no less a reward than paradise.”
Tirmidhi and Nasa’i transmitted it, and Ahmad and Ibn Majah transmitted it from ‘Umar up to “from iron.(Mishkat al-Masabih)
Observe fasting (Roza).
حَدَّثَنَا مُسَدَّدٌ، حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو عَوَانَةَ، عَنِ الْحُرِّ بْنِ الصَّبَّاحِ، عَنْ هُنَيْدَةَ بْنِ خَالِدٍ، عَنِ امْرَأَتِهِ، عَنْ بَعْضِ، أَزْوَاجِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَتْ كَانَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم يَصُومُ تِسْعَ ذِي الْحِجَّةِ وَيَوْمَ عَاشُورَاءَ وَثَلاَثَةَ أَيَّامٍ مِنْ كُلِّ شَهْرٍ أَوَّلَ اثْنَيْنِ مِنَ الشَّهْرِ وَالْخَمِيسَ .
Narrated One of the wives of the Prophet:
Hunaydah ibn Khalid narrated from his wife on the authority of one of the wives of the Prophet (ﷺ) who said: The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) used to fast the first nine days of Dhul-Hijjah, Ashura’ and three days of every month, that is, the first Monday (of the month) and Thursday.(Sunan Abi Dawud)
In particular, observe fasting on the Day of Arafah.
It is narrated by Sayyidna Abu Qatadah (رضي الله عنه) that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: “Fasting on the Day of Arafah, I hope from Allah that it will expiate the sins of the previous year and the coming year.” [Sahih Muslim: 1162]
Perform the ritual of sacrifice (Qurbani).
The last day of the 10th of Dhu al-Hijjah is known as Yawm al-Nahr (the Day of Sacrifice). It is highly recommended to perform the ritual of sacrifice (Qurbani) on this day.
وَعَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ قُرْطٍ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ قَالَ: «إِنَّ أَعْظَمَ الْأَيَّامِ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ يَوْمُ النَّحْرِ ثُمَّ يَوْمُ الْقَرِّ» . قَالَ ثَوْرٌ: وَهُوَ الْيَوْمُ الثَّانِي. قَالَ: وَقُرِّبَ لِرَسُولِ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ بَدَنَاتٌ خَمْسٌ أَوْ سِتٌّ فطفِقْن يَزْدَلفْنَ إِليهِ بأيتهِنَّ يبدأُ قَالَ: فَلَمَّا وَجَبَتْ جُنُوبُهَا. قَالَ فَتَكَلَّمَ بِكَلِمَةٍ خَفِيَّةٍ لَمْ أَفْهَمْهَا فَقُلْتُ: مَا قَالَ؟ قَالَ: «مَنْ شَاءَ اقْتَطَعَ» . رَوَاهُ أَبُو دَاوُدَ
‘Abdallah b. Qurt reported the Prophet as saying that the greatest day in God’s sight is the day of sacrifice and next the day of resting,( Yaum al-qarr, the 11th ol Dhul Hijja) which Thaur(He is one of those who occur in the isnad) said was the second day. Five or six sacrificial camels were brought to God’s messenger and they (i.e. the camels. The suggestion is that each coveted the blessing of being sacrificed first. ‘This is said to be one of the Prophet’s miracles. Cf. Mirqat, iii, 237) began to draw near to see which he would sacrifice first. When they fell down [dead] he said something in a low voice which ‘Abdallah did not catch, so he asked what he had said and was told he had said that anyone who wished could cut off a piece.
Abu Dawud transmitted it.(Mishkat al-Masabih)
Engage in acts of charity and goodness. In moments of joy and happiness, as we remember our parents, spouses, children, loved ones, and relatives, let us also remember our neighbors and all Muslims, including orphans, the poor, the needy, and the deserving individuals. By doing so, they too can share in the happiness of these beautiful moments.