The virtues of the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah
Dhul-Hijjah is the month of Hajj and it is the 12th month of the Islamic lunar year. It is during this month that the Hajj occurs. This month has got various virtues and particularly its first ten days.
“And remember Allah during the appointed Days. But whosoever hastens to leave in two days, there is no sin on him and whosoever stays on, there is no sin on him, if his aim is to do good and obey Allah (fear Him), and know that you will surely be gathered unto Him.” (Al-Baqara : 203)
The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said that the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah are a special time for devotion. During these ten days most of the Hajj rites occur. The 9th day of Dhul-Hijjah is the Day of Arafah, and the 10th day is Eid Al-Adha (Festival of Sacrifice). Even for those who are not undertaking Hajj, the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah are a special time to remember Allah and increase the worship and persist in doing good deeds. They are the days of virtue and righteous deeds. It is the opportunity to correct one’s faults and ask Allah for forgiveness.
The first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah have been preferred by Allah over all the other days of the whole year. Moreover, Ibn Abbas 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.” (Bukhari).
Quranic verses and Hadeeth indicate that the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah are better than all the other days of the year. However, the last ten days of Ramadan are considered better than them for they include Laylat al-Qadr (“the Night of Power”), which is better than a thousand months.
The virtue of first ten days of Dhul-Hijja is based on many things. Allah himself swears an oath by them : “By the dawn; by the ten nights” (Al-Fajr 1,2)
Further, Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) encouraged people to do righteous deeds due to the virtue of these days and the season during which they are situated (Hajj season) . He commanded Muslims to recite a lot of Tasbeeh (“Subhan-Allaah”), Tahmeed (“Al-hamdu Lillaah”) and Takbeer (“Allahu akbar”) during these days.
Abdullah ibn Umar 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).
These ten days include the Day of Arafah (Yawm Arafaah), on which Allah perfected His Religion. Fasting on this day expiates the sins of two years. These days also include the Day of Sacrifice (Yawm al-Nahar).