The Virtue of the First Ten Days of Dhul-Hijjah

Shaikh ‘Abdullaah Ibn Jibreen (rh)

Verily, the praise belongs to Allaah Most High, and may the blessings of
Allaah and Peace be upon His Prophet Muhammad (saws), and his family and
companions, all of them.

Al-Bukhaaree narrated from Ibn ‘Abbaas (raa), that the Prophet (saws) said:
“There are not any days in which righteous deeds done in them are more
beloved to Allaah than these days, i.e. the ten days (of Dhul-Hijjah). They
said: O, Messenger of Allaah, not even Jihaad in the path of Allaah? He
said: Not even Jihaad in the path of Allaah Most High, except if a man goes
out (for Jihaad) with his self and his wealth, then he doesn’t return with
anything from that.”

Imaam Ahmad narrated from Ibn ‘Umar (raa), from the Prophet Muhammad (saws)
that he said: “There aren’t any days greater, nor any days in which deeds
done in them are more beloved to Allaah Most High, than these ten days (of
Dhul-Hijjah). So, increase in them the saying of Tahleel
(Laa-ilaaha-ill-Allaah), and Takbeer (Allaahu-Akbar) and Tahmeed

The Types of Deeds in These Ten Days:

First: The performance of Hajj and ‘Umrah, and these are the best of deeds
that may be done. And what indicates their superiority are a number of
Hadeeths, one of which is the saying of (The Prophet) (saws): “Performance
of ‘Umrah is an expiation of the sins committed between it and the previous
‘Umrah, and the reward of the Hajj which is accepted by Allaah Most High is
nothing but Paradise.” (Bukhaaree and Muslim).

Second: The 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 Allaah Most High
has chosen for himself, as in the Hadeeth 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…” (narrated by Bukhaaree, Muslim,
Maalik, Tirmidhee, and Ibn Maajah).

Also, from Abu Sa’eed al-Khudree (raa), who said that the Messenger of
Allaah (saws) said: “No servant (of Allaah Most High) fasts one day in the
way of Allaah, except that Allaah Most High removes his face from the fire
because of it (the distance of travelling) seventy years.” (narrated by
Bukhaaree and Muslim).

Muslim narrated from Abu Qataadah that the Prophet (saws) said: “Fasting the
Day of ‘Arafah will be credited with Allaah by forgiving one’s sins of the
previous year and the following year.”

Third: at-Takbeer (saying: Allaahu-Akbar) and adh-Dhikr (remembrance of
Allaah Most High) in these (ten) days, because of the saying of Allaah in
Soorah al-Hajj verse 28: “…And mention the name of Allaah on the appointed

This has been explained (by some) to mean the ten days (of Dhul-Hijjah), and
the scholars consider it desirable to increase adh-Dhikr (remembrance of
Allaah Most High) in these days, because of the Hadeeth of Ibn ‘Umar
(radhi-yallaahu ‘anhumaa) narrated by Ahmad, which says in it: “…so
increase in these days the Tahleel and Takbeer and Tahmeed”.

Al-Bukhaaree mentioned about Ibn ‘Umar and Abu Hurayrah (raa) that: “the two
of them used to go out to the market place. During the ten days (of
Dhul-Hijjah) saying ‘Allaahu-Akbar’, causing the people to also say it.”

Ishaaq narrates from the scholars of the Taabi’een that in these ten days
they used to say: Allaahu-Akbar, Allaahu-Akbar; Laa-ilaaha-ill-Allaah;
Wallaahu-Akbar, Allaahu-Akbar; Wa-lillaahil-hamd.

It is a beloved act to raise the voice when saying the Takbeer in the
markets, the houses, the streets, the masjids and other places, because of
the saying of Allaah Most High in Soorah al-Hajj verse 37: “…that you may
magnify Allaah for His Guidance to you…”

The saying of Takbeer in congregation, i.e., everyone pronouncing the
Takbeer with one voice, is not permissible since this has not been
transmitted (to us) from the early generations of the Sahaabah and those who
followed their ways. Verily the sunnah is for everyone to say the Takbeer
individually. And this is applicable for all Dhikr and supplications, except
if the person doesn’t know what to say. In that case he may repeat after
someone else until he learns (the words to be said). It is also permissible
to make Dhikr with all the different wording of Takbeer (Allaahu-Akbar) and
Tahmeed (al-hamdu-lillaah) and Tasbeeh (Subhaan-Allaah), and the rest of the
Islaamic legislated supplications (from the Qur’aan and Sunnah).

Fourth: at-Tawbah (repentance) and abstaining from disobedience and all
types of sins, since forgiveness and mercy are the results of deeds.
Disobedience is the cause of being far away (from Allaah Most High) and
repulsion, while obedience is the cause of being near (to Allaah Most High)
and His love. In the Hadeeth of Abu Hurayrah (radhi-yallaahu ‘anhu), he said
that the Prophet Muhammad (saws) said: “Verily Allaah has a sense of
‘Ghayrah’ (honor, prestige and anger over it’s violation), and Allaah’s
sense of Ghayrah is provoked when a person does that which Allaah has made
prohibited”. (narrated by Bukhaaree and Muslim).

Fifth: Doing plenty of voluntary (Nafl) righteous deeds of worship like
prayer, charity, Jihaad, reading the Qur’aan, commanding what is good and
forbidding what is evil, and other deeds like this. Verily they are of those
deeds which are multiplied in these days. Because, even those deeds which
are less preferred, in these days are superior and more beloved to Allaah
than superior deeds done at other times – even the Jihaad which is one of
the most superior of all deeds, except in the case of one whose horse is
killed and his blood is spilled (loss of life in Jihaad).

Sixth: It is legislated in these days to make at-Takbeer al-Mutlaq
(unrestricted to specific times or form) at all times of night and day until
the time of the `Eed Prayer. Also, at-Takbeer al-Muqayyid (restricted to
specific times and done in a particular manner) is legislated, and it is
done after the (five) obligatory prayers which are performed in
congregation. This begins from Dawn (Fajr) on the Day of ‘Arafah (the 9th of
Dhul-Hijjah) for those not performing Hajj, and from Noon (Dhur) on the Day
of Sacrifice (10th of Dhul-Hijjah) for those performing Hajj (pilgrims); and
it continues until ‘Asr prayer on the last day of the days of Tashreeq (13th
of Dhul-Hijjah).

Seventh: The slaughtering of a sacrificial animal (Adhiyyah) 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 Ibraheem (‘alayhis-salaam)
– from when Allaah Most High redeemed his son by the great sacrifice (of an
animal in his place). It is authenticated that the Prophet (saws)
slaughtered (sacrificed) two horned rams, black and white in color, and that
he slaughtered them with his own hands, mentioned the name of Allaah Most
High (saying Bismillaah), said Takbeer (Allaahu-Akbar), and placed his foot
on their sides (while slaughtering them). (narrated by Bukhaaree and Muslim.
Bukhaaree English translation – Dr. Muhsin Khan, Vol.2, Pg. 447-448 #770 and
772, 1979).

Eighth: Muslim and others narrated from Umm Salamah (raa) that the Prophet
Muhammad (saws) said: “If you see the Hilaal (new moon) of Dhul-Hijjah, and
any one of you wants to make a sacrifice, then he should not cut (anything)
from his hair and his nails.” and in one narration he said: “…then he
should not take (cut) anything from his hair, nor from his nails, until he
performs the sacrifice.” Perhaps this is because of the similarity with the
one who is bringing a sacrificial animal for slaughter (in Hajj). As Allaah
Most High said: “…and do not shave your heads until the Hadee (sacrifice)
reaches the place of sacrifice…”

The apparent meaning of this prohibition is that it is particularly for the
one whom the sacrifice is for, and does not include the wife or children,
unless there is an individual sacrifice for one of them. There is no harm in
washing the head, or scratching it, even if some hairs may fall out.

Ninth: It is incumbent for the Muslim (who is not making Hajj) to make every
effort to perform the `Eed Prayer wherever it is performed, and to be
present for the Khutbah and benefit. He must know the wisdom behind the
legislation of this `Eed (celebration). It is a day of thankfulness and
performing deeds of righteousness. So, he must not make it a day of
wildness, pride and vanity. He should not make it a season of disobedience
and increase in the forbidden things like music and singing, uncontrolled
amusement, intoxicants and the like – those things which could cause the
cancellation of the good deeds done in these ten days (of Dhul-Hijjah).

Tenth: After what has been mentioned, it is fitting that every Muslim, male
and female, take advantage of these days by obeying Allaah 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 Allaah’s gifts to attain the pleasure
of his Lord.

Surely, Allaah Most High is the One who grants success, and He is the Guide
to the Straight Path. And may the blessings of Allaah Most High, and Peace
be upon Muhammad and his family and companions.