The first 10 days of Dhul Hijjah
The Month of Dhul Hijjah is one of the sacred months of the Islamic calendar. It's first 10 DAYS are the best 10 days of the whole year. It is also the month in which the Hajj occurs.
Allah had made certain months and certain days better than others. He has also made even certain days and nights better than other. During those times the reward of doing good deeds is increased.
Before we look at what Hajj is. Let us first look at the importance of the first 10 days.
Most brothers and sisters know that the last 10 nights of Ramadan are the best nights of the whole year and because of this they may mistakenly think that the first 10 days of Ramadan are also the best days of the whole year.
This would be an error on their part because the it is the first 10 days of Dhul Hijjah which are the best ten days of the whole year and not the last ten days of Ramadan.
Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allah be pleased with him and his father) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said:
"There are no days in which righteous deeds are more beloved to Allah than these ten days." The people asked, "Not even jihad for the sake of Allah?" He said, "Not even jihad for the sake of Allah, except in the case of a man who went out to fight giving himself and his wealth up for the cause, and came back with nothing." (Reported by al-Bukhari, 2/457).
Therefore All Muslims , whether on Hajj or not on Hajj should strive to do good deeds during the first ten days of Dhu’l-Hijjah
During the first 10 days of Dhul Hijjah it is Sunnah to recite the following in the Masjids, homes, streets and every were else accept for those places were it is Islamically forbidden such as bathrooms with toilets etc.. Muslim men should recite loudly and Muslim women should recite quietly).
This is a nearly forgotten Sunnah. and Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him): "Whoever revives an aspect of my Sunnah that is forgotten after my death, he will have a reward equivalent to that of the people who follow him, without it detracting in the least from their reward." (Reported by al-Tirmidhi, 7/443; this is a hasan hadeeth because of corroborating asaaneed).
Allaahu akbar ( This is know as Takbeer)
Al-hamdu Lillaah ( This is know as Tahmeed )
La ilaha ill-Allaah ( This is know as Tahleel )
Subhaan Allaah ( This is know as Tahleel Tasbeeh )
‘Abdullaah ibn ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him and his father) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: "There are no days greater in the sight of Allah and in which righteous deeds are more beloved to Him than these ten days, so during this time recite a great deal of Tahleel ("La ilaaha ill-Allah"), Takbeer and Tahmeed." (Reported by Ahmad, 7/224; Ahmad Shaakir stated that it is saheeh).
Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):
"That they might witness things that are of benefit to them (i.e., reward of Hajj in the Hereafter, and also some worldly gain from trade, etc.), and mention the name of Allah on appointed days, over the beast of cattle that He has provided for them (for sacrifice)..." [al-Hajj 22:28]
The majority of scholars agree that the "appointed days" are the first ten days of Dhu’l-Hijjah, because of the words of Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him and his father): "The ‘appointed days’ are the first ten days (of Dhu’l-Hijjah)."
The Takbeer may include the words "Allaahu akbar, Allaahu akbar, la ilaaha ill-Allaah; wa Allaahu akbar wa Lillaahi’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)," as well as other phrases.
Ruling on cutting Hair and nails during Dhul Hijjah
If you wish to offer a sacrifice (Udhiyaah in Arabic and Qurbani in Urdu) then you should not cut your hair, nor your nails nor remove anything from your skin from the beginning of dhul hijjah till after you have offered your udhiyaah.
Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: "When you see the new moon of Dhu’l-Hijjah, if any one of you wants to offer a sacrifice, then he should stop cutting his hair and nails until he has offered his sacrifice." According to another report he said: "He should not remove (literally, touch) anything from his hair or skin." (reported by Muslim)
Scholars say if you deliberately cut your hair or nails then you must seek forgiveness but you do not have to offer an expiation and your Udhiyaah will still be valid. Also if you have to remove a broken nail or remove hair from the site of a wound then that is allowed. There is also nothing wrong with washing hair.
Scholars also say if a person is not planning on udhiyaah but decides to latter on then he/she should also refrain from cutting hair and nails from the moment he/she makes the decision.
Women who delegate others to make the Udhiyaah on their behalf must also refrain from cutting their hair or nails but the person delegated can cut his hair and nails unless he too is planning on making the Udhiyaah.
If a person has cut his hair or nails during the first ten days of Dhu’l-Hijjah because he was not planning to offer a sacrifice, then he decides later, during the ten days, to offer a sacrifice, then he must refrain from cutting his hair and nails from the moment he makes this decision.
If a person wants to perform Hajj and also is planning on offering the udhiyaah then he/she should not cut their hair nor their nails before entering Ihraam. But if he performs Tamattu (whereby he performs Umrah, comes out of ihram and then enters a new ihram for hajj) then he should trim his hair at the end of his Umrah because it is part of the ritual.
Know that Allah is always watching you and Allah says:
"So whosoever does good equal to the weight of an atom, shall see it,
And whosoever does evil equal to the weight of an atom, shall see it."
Fasting During Dhul Hijjah
It is Mustahabb to fast the first 9 days of Dhul Hijjah for those who are not performing Hajj but for those performing Hajj it is mustahab to fast the first 8 days of dhul hijjah but the a person who is on Hajj should not fast on the 9th. Of course these fasts are recommended not compulsory. They are means of getting extra reward.
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to fast on the ninth of Dhu’l-Hijjah. Hunaydah ibn Khaalid reported from his wife that some of the wives of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to fast on the ninth of Dhu’l-Hijjah, on the day of ‘Aashooraa’, on three days of each month, and on the first two Mondays and Thursdays of each month." (Reported by al-Nisaa’i, 4/205 and by Abu Dawud; classified by al-Albaani as saheeh in Saheeh Abi Dawud, 2/462).
It was narrated from Hunaydah ibn Khaalid from his wife, that one of the wives of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to fast on the first nine days of Dhu’l-Hijjah and the day of ‘Ashoora’, and three days each month, the first Monday of the month and two Thursdays. Narrated by al-Nasaa’i, 4/205 and by Abu Dawood; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood, 2/462.
It is particulary good to fast of the 9th of Dhul Hijjah because it is the day of Arafaah. Fasting on this day is an expiation for two years.
It was reported from Abu Qutaadah (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was asked about fasting on the Day of ‘Arafaah. He said, "It expiates for the sins of the previous year and of the coming year." Narrated by Muslim.
This (fasting) is mustahabb for those who are not on Hajj. In the case of the one who is on Hajj, it is not Sunnah for him to fast on the Day of ‘Arafaah, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) did not fast on this day in ‘Arafaah. It was narrated that he forbade fasting on the Day of ‘Arafaah in ‘Arafaah.
Special importance of 9th Dhul Hijjah
The day of Arafaah occurs on the 9th of dhul hijjah. It was reported that Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "Allaah took the covenant from the loins of Adam in Na’maan, i.e., ‘Arafaah. He brought forth from his loins all his offspring and spread them before Him, then He addressed them, and said: ‘Am I not your Lord? They said, ‘Yes, we testify,’ let you should say on the Day of Resurrection: ‘Verily, we have been unaware of this.’ Or lest you should say: ‘It was only our fathers aforetime who took others as partners in worship along with Allaah, and we were (merely their) descendents after them; will You then destroy us because of the deeds of men who practised Al-Baatil (i.e., polytheism and committing crimes and sins, invoking and worshipping others besides Allaah)?’ [ Quran 7:172-173 "]." Narrated by Ahmad and classed as saheeh by al-Albaani.
here are many other virtues of the Day of Arafaah
In Al-Saheehayn it was reported from ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab (may Allaah be pleased with him) that a Jewish man said to him, "O Ameer al-Mu’mineen, there is an aayah in your Book which you recite; if it had come to us Jews, we would have taken that day as an ‘Eid (festival)." ‘Umar said, "Which aayah? "He said: "This day I have perfected your religion for you, completed My favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion.”"[al-Maa’idah 5:3 " interpretation of the meaning]. ‘Umar said, "We know on which day and in which place that was revealed to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). It was when he was standing in ‘Arafaah on a Friday. "
"By the witnessing day [Friday] and by the witnessed day [the Day of ‘Arafaah]."[al-Burooj 85:3].
It was reported from Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:" The promised day is the Day of Resurrection, the witnessed day is the Day of ‘Arafaah, and the witnessing day is Friday."Narrated by al-Tirmidhi and classed as saheeh by al-Albaani.
And Allah says:
"And by the even and the odd" [al-Fajr 89:3].
Ibn ‘Abbaas said: "The even is the Day of al-Adhaa [i.e., 10th Dhoo’l-Hijjah] and the odd is the Day of ‘Arafaah [i.e., 9th Dhoo’l-Hijjah] This is also the view of ‘Ikrimah and al-Dahhaak.
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "Yawm ‘Arafaah (the day of ‘Arafaah), Yawm al-Nahr (the Day of Sacrifice) and Ayyaam al-Tashreeq (the 3 days following Yawm al-Nahr) are Eid (festival) for us, the people of Islam. These are days of eating and drinking.” This was narrated by the authors of al-Sunan. It was reported that ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab said: "It – i.e., the aayah ‘This day I have perfected…’ was revealed on a Friday, the Day of ‘Arafaah, both of which – praise be to Allaah – are Eids for us.”
In Saheeh Muslim it was narrated from ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "There is no day on which Allaah frees more people from the Fire than the Day of ‘Arafaah. He comes close and expresses His pride to the angels, saying, ‘What do these people want?’"
It was reported from Ibn ‘Umar that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "Allaah expresses His pride to His angels at the time of ‘Ishaa’ on the Day of ‘Arafaah, about the people of ‘Arafaah. He says, ‘Look at My slaves who have come unkempt and dusty.’" Narrated by Ahmad and classed as saheeh by al-Albaani.
It was reported from Abu Qutaadah (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was asked about fasting on the Day of ‘Arafaah. He said, "It expiates for the sins of the previous year and of the coming year.”"Narrated by Muslim.
Note those on Hajj are forbidden to fast on this day.
Special Importance of 10th of Dhul Hijjah
10th of Dhul Hijjah is Eid Al Adha and it is haram to fast on the day of Eid.
In a marfoo’ hadeeth of Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri (may Allah be pleased with him): “He [the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him)] forbade fasting on the day of (Eid) al-Fitr and the day of al-Nahr (the day of sacrifice, i.e., Eid al-Adha).” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, no. 1992; Muslim, 827. The scholars are unanimously agreed that it is haram to fast on these days.
Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in Zaad al-Ma’aad (1/54): The best of days before Allah is the Day of Sacrifice, which is the greatest day of Hajj as it says in Sunan Abi Dawood (1765), where it is narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: "The greatest of days before Allah is the Day of Sacrifice."( Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood)
So it is encouraged to do as many good deeds as possible during these days. Such as
Performing Hajj .Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him): "An accepted Hajj brings no less a reward than Paradise.",
Fasting . In a hadith qudsi: "Allah says: the deeds of the son of Adam are for him, except for fasting, which is for Me and I am the One Who will reward him for it.’" (Reported by al-Bukhaari, 1805).
Enjoining good and forbidding evil and so on.
We must also sincerely repent for any sins we have committed.
Allah says : "But as for him who repented, believed and did righteous deeds, then he will be among those who are successful." [al-Qasas 28:67]
We must understand the value of time and the value of worshiping Allah.
And I (Allah) created not the jinns and humans except they should worship Me (Alone).
I seek not any provision from them (i.e. provision for themselves or for My creatures) nor do I ask that they should feed Me (i.e. feed themselves or My creatures).
Verily, Allah is the All-Provider, Owner of Power, the Most Strong.
And verily, for those who do wrong, there is a portion of torment like to the evil portion of torment (which came for) their likes (of old), so let them not ask Me to hasten on!
Then, woe to those who disbelieve (in Allah and His Oneness Islamic Monotheism) from (that) their Day which they have been promised (for their punishment). (Quran 51-56-60)
Of course worship should not just be done for these 10 days but it should be done every day because
And worship your Lord until there comes unto you the certainty." [al-Hijr 15:99]
The mufassireen (commentators) said: "‘The certainty’ means death."
Worship should also be done as it has been shown to us by Allah and his Messenger ( peace be upon him) and not in a way which we like.
Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam said, "I have left behind me two things: as long as you cling to them you will never go astray. They are the Book of Allah and my Sunnah (life example)." [al-Haakim] And he also said, "...and you will live to see great differing, so cling to my Sunnah and the Sunnah of the rightly-guided Khalifas after me, even if it be with your molar teeth..." [Bukhaaree]
The Messenger of Allah sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam said, "I warn you of the newly invented-matters (in the religion), and every newly-invented matter is an innovation, and every innovation is misguidance, and every misguidance is in Hellfire." [an-Nisaa'ee]
The Udhiyah (sacrifice also known as qurbani in Urdu can be performed on the 10th (after Eid al adhah prayers, 11th, 12th or 13th of dhul Hijjah.
History, importance and rulings of Udhiyah