Dhul Hijjah

What is the significance of the first ten days of Dhul Hijjah?

The first ten days of Dhul Hijjah are in fact the most sacred days of the year.

Sometimes they come and pass anonymously with Muslims unaware of their importance.

During these days we’re urged to reach out to Allah (SWT) and to sacrifice what we have for His sake.

Allah Himself tells us in the Holy Qur’an:

Say, Indeed, my prayer, my rites of sacrifice, my living and my dying are for Allah, Lord of the worlds.” (6:162)

So sacred are the first ten days of Dhul Hijjah that Allah swears an oath by them when He says in the Quran: “By the dawn; by the ten nights” [89:1-2].

Importance in Hadith

In fact there is an explicit Prophetic tradition narrated by Jabir ibn Abdullah (RA) in which the Prophet (SAW) said, “The best days of this world are the ten days (meaning the ten days of Dhu’l-Hijjah).

Recommended Acts During these Blessed Days

Generally speaking, any act that Allah (SWT) is pleased with should be performed during these days. The primary act to be performed in abundance is the tahleel, takbeer and tahmeed as these were the first to be mentioned in the narration by Ibn ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) where the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “There are no days that are greater before Allah or in which good deeds are more beloved to Him, than these ten days, so recite a great deal of tahleel (saying Laa ilaaha ill-Allah), takbeer (saying Allahu Akbar) and tahmeed (saying al-hamdu Lillah) during them.

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  • Dhikr [Remembrance of Allah SWT]

Begin with Dhikr (remembrance) of Allah as Allah (SWT) said in the Quran, “Recite, [O Muhammad], what has been revealed to you of the Book and establish prayer. Indeed, prayer prohibits immorality and wrongdoing, and verily the remembrance of Allah is greater. And Allah knows that which you do” [29:45]

  • Fasting

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “One fast during these days is equal to the fasting of one complete year, and the worship of one night during this period is equal to the worship on Lailatul-Qadr.” (Tirmidhi)

It is Sunnah for a Muslim to fast on the first nine days of Dhul-Hijjah.

It is reported that, “The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used to fast on the first nine days of Dhul-Hijjah and the day of Ashura, and three days each month, the first Monday of the month and two Thursdays.” (Abu Dawood, 2/462)

The ten days of Dhul-Hijjah include Yawm al-Arafah (the Day of Arafah), on which Allah perfected His Religion. The Prophet said: “Fasting the day of `Arafah expiates the sins of two years: the past one and the coming one.” (Muslim)

  • Sacrifice

Sacrifice is the ancient ritual of our forefather Ibrahim (AS) and was ordered for our Prophet (Peace and salutations be upon him) when Allah said “So pray to your Lord and sacrifice [to Him alone]” [108: 2]

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  • Prayer

Increase your prayers significantly for it is related by Saeed ibn Jubayr (RA) that he would increase his night prayer and good deeds during these ten days so much so that people could not bear the example he was setting and would ask him to relent.

  • Recitation

Recite the Quran for it is the best form of Dhikr and the shortest route to draw closer to Allah (SWT). Set yourself an aspirational target for these days as you would set yourself a target during Ramadan.

  • Charity

Donate in charity, for charity has been linked to bravery, while miserliness has been linked to cowardice. The Prophet (Peace and Salutations be upon him) would invoke, “O Allah, I seek refuge in you from miserliness and cowardice.

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  • Takbeers

The Takbeer at-Tashreeq is Wajib for men to recite, and Mustahab for women, at least once after every Fardh prayer from Fajr on the 9th of Dhul Hijjah until Asr time on the 13th of Dhul Hijjah.

It is: “Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, la ilaha ill-Allah; wa Allahu Akbar. Allahu Akbar, wa Lillahi’l-hamd (Allah is Most Great, Allah is Most Great, there is no god but Allah; Allah is Most Great and to Allah be praise),”

Men are encouraged to recite these phrases out loud and women quietly.

Whoever is unable to perform Hajj should use this blessed time to complete more righteous deeds than usual. These can include anything such as giving charity, honoring one’s parents, upholding the ties of kinship, and enjoining what is good and forbidding what is evil. For those of us who have not yet completed the pilgrimage of Hajj, this is an ideal time to make dua that Allah grants us the opportunity to do so soon.

It is also important to enhance our obligatory acts of worship by being mindful of our prayers and ensuring we pay our zakat on time. You can use our zakat calculator now grtuk.org/zakat-calculator