By Shaykh Abdul Qayum | 31 May 2024

In Friday Khutbah this week, I spoke about the significance and blessings of the first ten days of the Islamic month of Dhul Hijjah. As Muslims, we often focus our attention on the month of Ramadan, striving to increase our good deeds and seek Allah’s forgiveness. However, it is equally important that we do not overlook the importance of the first ten days of Dhul Hijjah. Allah The Most High has granted us another opportunity through the month of Dhul Hijjah to elevate our spirituality and earn His pleasure.

The virtue of the coming month is attested to by Allah, who has sworn by the ten days in the Qur’an, emphasising their blessing. In Surah Al-Fajr, He says, “By the dawn and by the ten nights.” (89:1–2) The ten nights mentioned here refer to none other than the first ten days of Dhul Hijjah. This divine oath underscores the immense value and sacredness of this blessed period.

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) further highlighted the significance of these days in a hadith narrated by Ibn Abbas (RA): “There are no days during which the righteous deeds are so pleasing to Allah than these days, i.e. the first ten days of Dhul Hijjah.” The companions asked, “O Messenger of Allah, not even jihad in the cause of Allah?” He replied, “Not even jihad in the cause of Allah, except in the case of a man who goes forth with his life and property and does not return with either of it.” (Sahih al-Bukhari)

This hadith demonstrates that the good deeds performed during these ten days are more beloved to Allah than even jihad, which is considered one of the highest forms of worship. The only exception is when a person sacrifices both his life and wealth in the path of Allah.

So, what are the righteous deeds we should strive to perform during these blessed days?

Fasting is highly recommended, especially on the Day of ‘Arafat (9th day of Dhul Hijjah). The Prophet said, “Fasting on the Day of ‘Arafat expiates the sins of the past and coming years.” (Sahih Muslim) If one cannot fast all nine days, then it is encouraged to fast on Mondays and Thursdays, as recommended in the Sunnah.

In addition to fasting, engaging in abundant dhikr (remembrance of Allah), seeking forgiveness, and reciting the Takbeer (الله أكبر، الله أكبر، لا إله إلا الله، الله أكبر، الله أكبر، ولله الحمد) are highly virtuous acts during these days. The Takbeer can be recited at any time, but there is also a specific Takbeer that is recited after every obligatory prayer, starting from the Fajr prayer on the Day of ‘Arafat until the ‘Asr prayer on the last day of Tashreeq (13th of Dhul Hijjah).

Moreover, giving in charity during these days is immensely rewarding. The Prophet said, “Charity given in the way of Allah during these days is increased manifold.” (At-Tirmidhi) Let us seize this opportunity to help those in need and earn the pleasure of our Lord.

One of the most significant acts of worship during Dhul Hijjah is the sacrifice of an animal (Qurbani or Udhiyah). Allah (SWT) mentions in the Qur’an (22:34):

And for every nation, We have appointed a rite of sacrifice that they may mention the name of Allah over what He has provided for them of [sacrificial] animals.

The Prophet  said, “The Son of Adam does not do any action on the Day of Sacrifice that is more beloved to Allah than shedding blood (of the sacrificial animal). On the Day of Judgment, it will come with its horns, hair, and hooves (to be weighed). The blood reaches the acceptance of Allah before it falls upon the ground, so delight yourselves in it.” (At-Tirmidhi)

This hadith emphasises the immense reward associated with offering a sacrifice for the sake of Allah. The sacrificial animal will come forth on the Day of Judgment with all its parts intact, ready to be placed on the scale of good deeds. Even before the blood touches the ground, Allah accepts this act of devotion from His servant. Therefore, let us perform this sacred ritual with sincerity and joy, knowing that it brings us closer to our Creator.

I urge you just as I urged the congregation to make the most of these blessed days by increasing your acts of worship, seeking forgiveness, and striving to attain Allah’s pleasure. Let us not allow this precious time to pass us by without reaping its benefits. May Allah accept our good deeds, forgive our shortcomings, and grant us the opportunity to witness these blessed days again and again.


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