This article has been published in Daily Trust, Friday 28, 2011
By Abdulkadir Badsha Mukhtar
Today according to majority of Muslims across the world is the beginning of the first ten important days of Zul-hajj the last month of an Islamic calendar, also the stepping stone for the preparations for hajj rites, as it is forbidding from today for an intending pilgrim to for example barb his hear or cut his finger-nails, until after the hajj.
Because of its important Allah (SWA) has taken oath with nights of these days in surat al Fajr “Wal Fajr. Walayalil Ashr” “And by the ten nights” Q89:2. It has been confirmed in Sahih Al-Bukhari that Ibn Abba said these ten nights refers to the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah.
He, Ibn Abbas was reported as saying that the Prophet said, “There are no days in which righteous deeds are more beloved to Allah than these days.” meaning the ten days of Dhul-Hijjah. They (the companions) said, "Not even fighting Jihad in the way of Allah” and the prophet replied that “Not even Jihad in the way of Allah; except for a man who goes out (for Jihad) with his self and his wealth, and he does not return with any of that.” (Al-Bukhaaree, Abu Daawood and others. The exact wording is that of Abu Daawood)
In another Hadith from Ibn Umar stated that the Prophet Muhammad (Blessings of Allah and Peace be upon him) give directives that Muslims should increase in good deeds particularly in these last ten days.
The Prophet said: "There aren't any days greater, nor any days in which deeds done in them are more beloved to Allah; the Most High, than these ten days (of Zul-Hijjah). So, increase in them the saying of Tahleel (La Ilaaha illa Allah), and Takbeer (Allah Akbar) and Tahmeed (al-Hamdu li-llah)" [Musnad Imaam Ahmad]
In his publication, titled “Superior Days for Righteous Deeds: The Superiority and Virtue of the first ten days of the Month of Zul-hijjah and the deeds legislated in these days”, Shaykh Abdullah Ibn Abdur-Rahman al-Jibreen tried to come up with ten proposals as “The Types of Deeds in These Ten Days”.
First: The performance of Haj and Umrah, and these are the best of deeds that may be done. And what indicates their superiority are a number of Ahaadith, one of which is the saying of the Prophet (PBUH).
Performance of Umrah is an expiration of the sins committed between it and the previous Umrah, and the reward of the Hajj which is accepted by Allah, the Most High, is nothing but Paradise. (Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim)
Second: Fasting during these days - as many of them as may be easy (for one to fast); especially the Day of Arafah. There is no doubt that the act of fasting is one of the best deeds, and it is from what Allah, the Most High, has chosen for himself, as in the Hadith Qudsee: Fasting is for Me, and it is I who give reward for it. Verily, someone gives up his sexual passion, his food and his drink for My sake..." (Al-Bukhaaree, Muslim, Maalik, at-Tirmidhee, Nasaa'ee and Ibn Maajah)
From Abu Qatadah that the Prophet said: Fasting the Day of Arafah will be credited with Allah by forgiving one's sins of the previous year and the following year. (Muslim)
Third: At-Takbeer (Allah Akbar) and adh-Dhikr (the remembrance of Allah through different words of praise and glorification) in these (ten) days, Allah said "And mention the name of Allah on the appointed days"(12:28). This has been explained (by some) to mean the ten days (of Zul-Hijjah).
One of these Azkar is “Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar Laa Ilaaha illa 'llah Wa 'llahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar Wa li'llahi al-hamd.”
Fourth: At-Tawbah (repentance) and abstaining from disobedience and all types of sins, since forgiven and mercy are the results of deeds. Disobedience is the cause of being far away (from Allah, the Most High) and repulsion, while obedience is the cause of being near (to Allah, Most High) and His love.
Fifth: Doing plenty of voluntary (nafl) righteous deeds of worship like Prayer, Charity, Jihaad, reading the Qur'an, Commanding what is Good and Forbidding what is Evil, and other such deeds. These are amongst the deeds that are multiplied in these days.
Sixth: It is legislated in these days to make at-Takbeer al-Mutlaq at all times of night and day until the time of the Eid Prayer. Also, at-Takbeer al-Muqayyad is legislated, and it is done after the (five) obligatory prayers that are performed in congregation. This begins from Dawn (Fajr) on the Day of Arafah (the 9th of Zul-Hijjah) for those not performing Haj, and from Noon (Zhur) on the Day of Sacrifice (10th of Zul-Hijjah) for those performing Haj (pilgrims); and it continues until Asr prayer on the last day of the days of Tash-reeq (13th of Zul-Hijjah).
Seventh: The slaughtering of a sacrificial animal (Adhiyah) is also legislated for the Day of Sacrifice (10th) and the Days of Tashreeq (11th, 12th and 13th). This is the Sunnah of our father Ibraaheem - when Allah, the Most High, redeemed Ibraaheem's son by the great sacrifice (of an animal in his place).
Eighth: Offering animal as Udhyia It has been narrated from Umm Salamah (may Allah be pleased with her) that the Prophet said: If you see the Hilal (new moon) of Zul-Hijjah, and any one of you wants to make a sacrifice, then he should not cut (anything) from his hair and his nails. (Muslim and others).
Ninth: It is incumbent for the Muslim (who is not performing Hajj) to make every effort to perform the Eid Prayer wherever it is performed, and to be present for the Khutbah and benefit.
For those who are not performing Hajj, they should at their respective country perform “Fasting” at this day of Arafat, which is the ninth day of Zul-Hijjah.
Tenth: After what has been mentioned, it is fitting that every Muslim, male and female, take advantage of these days by obeying Allah, the Most High, remembering Him, thanking Him, fulfilling all the obligatory duties, and staying far away from the prohibited things. He must take full advantage of this season, and the open display of Allah's gifts, to attain the pleasure of his Lord.
In some Hadith, which one of them was reported by Sayyadatina Aisha Radiyallahu anha reported that the Prophet (PBUH) said "There is no day in which Allah sets free more souls from the fire of hell than on the day of Arafah. And on that day Allah draws near to the earth and by way of exhibiting His Pride remarks to the angels, 'What is the desire of these (servants of mine)?" (Muslim)
Night of 'Eedul Adh'hã
It is reported that all the nights of both 'Eed are described in the Hadeeth as amongst the great and sacred nights in the Muslim calendar. To remain awake on the nights of 'Eed and perform 'Ibaadah is a source of great virtue and reward.
Aboo Umarah radiyallahu anhu related that 'A'ishah radiyallahu anhaa reports that Rasoolullah sallalahu alayhi wasallam said, "Whosoever stays awake and performs 'Ibadah (worship) on the nights of the two 'Eed, with hope for abundant reward (from Allah), his heart will not die on the day (i.e. Qiyãmah) when all hearts will be dead."
Mu'az Ibne Jabal radiyallahu anhu relates that Rasoolullah sallalahu alayhi wasallam said, "Jannat is wajib (incumbent) for those who stay awake with the intention of making 'Ibadah on the following nights: 8th, 9th and 10th of Zul Hijjah, the night of 'Eedul Fitr and the night of the 15th of Sha'bãn." (Targheeb)