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What is Special About the Ten Days of Dhul Hijjah? – Shaykh Faid Mohammed Said

* Originally Published on 1/09/2016

Shaykh Faid Mohammed Said explains why the first ten days of the Islamic month of Dhul Hijjah are so special, and what actions we can take to benefit from them.

The life of a Muslim is very special as it is full of opportunities to get closer to Allah ﷻ‎ by doing the various forms of worship that Allah ﷻ loves.  These forms of worship turn the life of a Muslim into a life of righteous action, speech and continuous activity for the benefit and goodness of everyone.  This means that the life of Mu’mins should be devoted to worship, obedience, righteous deeds and absolute connection with Allah ﷻ in every part of their life, and in all their affairs.  They do not need to go to the mosque, in particular, to approach Allah ﷻ, as He is with them all the time, as He said in the Qur’an (Surah Qaf: 16):  “…and We are closer to him than [his] jugular vein.”
From this we know that our life cannot be cut off from the Mercy of Allah ﷻ.  So, from having this connection, during the five prayers that are spread over twenty-four hours, the special day of jummah once a week, fasting during the month Ramadan once a year, fasting the six days of Shawwal, fasting on Monday and Thursday every week, fasting the three bright days every month, and then, add to this, the ten days of Dhul Hijjah; those days in which every good deed we do, not only are we rewarded, but Allah ﷻ loves good deeds in these days more than any other time of the year.

What is Special About the Ten Days of Dhul Hijjah?

The special worship, hajj is particular to these ten days, and Rasulullah ﷺ said if Allah ﷻ accepted the hajj of someone, they go back from their Hajj as a new born baby. Umrah is also performed in these days.  For those who do not go for hajj, they can fast for the first nine days, give charity, and they can do a lot of forms of worship. Ibn Hajr (radiallah anhu) said that “during these ten days you can do all the major forms of worship, but this is not possible to gather in any other set of days.”
So our life and our striving does not stop anywhere, and neither does are ability to get closer to Allah ﷻ.  There is no limit to qurb!
Speaking of having no limit to closeness with Allah ﷻ, Surah Alam Nashrah alludes to the station of the Messenger of Allah ﷺ:

Did We not expand your breast? – the Messenger of Allah ﷺ is absolutely Rahma (mercy)!

And raised high for you your repute. – Whenever Allah ﷻ is mentioned the name of the Messenger of Allah ﷺ is mentioned

And to your Lord direct [your] longing!  Keep striving in your connection with Allah ﷻ as there is no limit to closeness

The Virtues of the Ten Days of Dhul Hijjah in the Qur’an and Sunnah

Qur’an

In Surah Fajr (1-2), Allah ﷻ swears by the time of fajr and by the ten days, and for Allah ﷻ to swear by something is to make it great.  Ibn Abbas, ibn Zubayr, Mujahid and others (radiallah anhum) all agree that the mention of the ten days is those first ten days of Dhul Hijjah.
In Surah Al-Hajj (28), Allah ﷻ says:  “…remember the name of Allah ﷻ in the known days…”  ibn Abbas (radiallah anhu) mentions that the days referred to in this ayah are the ten days of Dhul Hijjah.

Sunnah

In a Hadith narrated by ibn Abbas (radiallah anhu), the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said that “The best days that Allah ﷻ loves good deeds the most in are these days, meaning the ten days of Dhul Hijjah.” (Abu Dawud 2438)
And in a Hadith narrated by Syedina Jabir (radiallah anhu), the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said:  “[of] the ten best days, the tenth is the day of  sacrifice (Adha), and the uneven numbered day is the day of Arafah, and these are the ten days of Dhul Hijjah.”  (Imam Ahmad)
And in another Hadith, Syedina Jabir (Radiallah anhu) narrates that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said that there are “no days better than the ten days of Dhul Hijjah.”  (ibn Hibban 3853)
Ibn Abbas (radiallah anhu) narrates that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said:  “the best of deeds to Allah ﷻ, that which He loves and rewards greatly and generously, are those actions performed in the ten days of Dhul Hijjah.  (Sunan al Darimi 1774)
In a Hadith, the Sahaba (radiallah anhum) asked the Messenger of Allah ﷺ if the mujahid could compare to the one who worships in these ten days, to which the Messenger of Allah ﷺ responded that no one can compare to the person who worships in these ten days except for the mujahid who gives away everything he owns and takes what remains with him and leaves it all on the battlefield, including his life.  Only this person can compare to the one who worships in these ten days!

Best Actions for the Ten Days of Dhul Hijjah

1)      Nawafil: try to do as many supererogatory prayers as you can, as it is a mentioned in a Hadith that a person’s station is raised and that bad deeds are erased with each prostration.
2)      Fast as much as you can.  It is mentioned in a hadith, when a companion asked what the best of deeds was, the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said to fast.
3)      Qiyam ul Layl.  Night prayers should be encouraged in these ten days.  Abdullah ibn Salam (radiallah anhu) mentioned that when the Messenger of Allah ﷺ came to Madinah with all his radiance he mentioned three things to the community:  spread peace, feed people, and pray while others are asleep.  Normally, after such a migration, people would be sceptical and cautions of others, but instead the Messenger of Allah ﷺ summarized the deen upon his arrival in Madinah al Munawarrah.  The great tab’ee Said ibn Jubayr (radiallah anhu) said in the first ten nights of Dhul Hijjah, do not turn off your lights!
4)      Tahlil, Tahmeed, Takbeer:  To repeat La ilaha illallahAlhamdulillah and Allahu Akbar – La ilaha illallah – wAllahu Akbar wa Lillaahi’l-hamd.  Abdullah ibn Omar and Abu Hurrairah (radiallah anhum) were known for reciting takbeer in the market place.  Abdullah ibn Omar (radiallah anhu) would keep reciting his dhikr, and would only return salam in these ten days.
5)      Day of Arafah:  The day of Arafah should be occupied with dua and tawbah.  The life of the Messenger of Allah ﷺ was dua, to remember Allah ﷻ with every action in every moment.

Dua on Day of Arafah of Sayyidina Ali 

In making dua on the day of Arafah, Sayyidina Ali (RA) used to repeat the following dua:

Oh Allah! Free me from the hellfire.

Ya Allah! Grant me abundant halal rizq.

Ya Allah! Keep away from me the disobedient ones, whether they be jinn or human.

Practically, on the day of Arafah, you should try to take off from work if possible, that way you can spend your day in dua.  In addition, sleep directly after isha the night before, and wake up a hour before fajr in order to be present at the time Allah ﷻ loves to accept dua.  Make the intention to make this a different day of Arafah; make it a day that is different from all the rest.
In closing, it is important to remind ourselves of the purpose of our deen, as is stated in Surah Anbiya:  “We did not send you other than to be a Mercy to all the Worlds,” speaking about the Messenger of Allahﷺ.  So we can never stop striving, we must be that mercy.
May Allah ﷻ grant His Mercy and the company of His Mercy ﷺ, and may He make these ten days those of forgiveness and acceptance of our duas.

Can I Wax Myself During the First 10 Days of Dhul Hijja?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: As salam alaykum,

Is it permissible for a woman to wax herself during the first 10 days of Dhul Hijja?

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray that you are in the best of health and faith, insha’Allah.

In general, it is recommended– and not obligatory– for the one sacrificing to avoid cutting their hair and nails before their animal is actually sacrificed because of the tradition of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) instructing as such.

However, if there is a need or benefit in doing so, or an extended period of time would pass such that a person would fall into the dislikedness of delaying such personal upkeep, then the personal upkeep would be given preference.

And Allah alone gives success.

wassalam,

Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

A Reader on Eid al-Adha

The Ten Days of Dhu’l Hijja

The Ten Days of Dhu’l Hijja: Merits & Striving in Spiritual Works

The Complete Fiqh of Eid al-Adha

The Fiqh of Eid al-Fitr & Eid al-Adha

Does a Wife Have to Purchase Her Own Animal for Eid Slaughtering?

Can Qurbani (Udhiya) Be Done In a Different Country?

Can One Person Slaughter a Sacrificial Animal on the Behalf of Others on Eid in the Maliki School?

Is There a Difference of Opinion on Whether Slaughtering (Qurbani/Udhiya) is Necessary, and How Does One Deal With Years of Makeups?

Does One Have to do Udhiya/Qurbani for One’s Young Children?

Do I have to give 1/3 of the Sacrificial (Udhiya) Meat away in Charity?

What Do I Do if I Missed Slaughtering (Qurbani/Udhiya)?

Eid Prayer

Eid Prayer At A Masjid & Behind A Shafi`i

Fasting

Fasting During the First Nine Days of Dhu’l Hijja

General Matters

Is Hugging on Eid an Innovation (Bid`a)?

Is It a Bid’a (Reprehensible Innovation) to Say “Jumu’a Mubarak” (Blessed Friday) to Other Muslims?

Fasting During the First Nine Days of Dhu’l Hijja

Answered by Mufti Muhammad ibn Adam

Question: Is it a sunnah to fast the first nine days of Dhul-Hijjah? I have heard some people say that it is not a recommended practice, and some say that it is a Bid’a. Can you please clarify?

Answer: In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful,

The first ten days and nights of Dhu’l Hijjah are considered to be blessed and virtuous, and thus it is highly encouraged to carry out as much acts of worship as possible in them.

Sayyiduna AbdAllah ibn Abbas (Allah be pleased with him) relates that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) said, “There are no days in which righteous acts are more beloved to Allah than in these days – meaning the ten of Dhu’l Hijjah.” They asked, “O Messenger of Allah, not even Jihad in the way of Allah?” He replied, “Not even Jihad in the way of Allah, except for the man who goes out with his life and his wealth and does not return with either of them.” (Bukhari no: 926, Tirmidhi no: 757, Abu Dawud no: 2430 and others; the wording is Abu Dawud)

This hadith indicates that there is added significance and extra rewards for carrying out ‘all’ types of righteous deeds and acts of worship during the first ten days and nights of Dhu’l Hijjah, without any exception. This includes fasting, since it is a righteous deed; in fact, it is one of the highest forms of worship. As such; this hadith indirectly establishes the recommendation of fasting for the entire first nine days of Dhu’l Hijjah, as fasting is included in the general context of this hadith.

Furthermore, there are some other narrations that make specific mention of fasting the first nine days of Dhu’l Hijjah.

Sayyida Hafsa (Allah be pleased with her) says, “The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) would not leave four matters: Fasting on Ashura [10th of Muharram], the ten days [of Dhu’l Hijja, with the exception of the 10th], three days of every month; and performing two Rak’ats of prayer before dawn.” (Nasa’i no: 2416 & Ahmad)

Hunayda ibn Khalid relates from his wife, who relates from one of the wives of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace), who says, “The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) would fast the [first] nine days of Dhu’l Hijja, the day of Ashura and the three days of every month: The first Monday of every month and the following two Thursdays”. (Nasa’i no: 2417 & Abu Dawud no; 2429; the wording is of Nasa’i)

Note that the ‘ten days’ in the various hadiths refer to the first nine days of Dhu’l Hijja, since it is agreed upon that it is prohibitively disliked and sinful to fast on the tenth day which is the day of Eid al-Adha. Imam Ibn Sirin used to dislike the phrase “fasting the ten of Dhu’l Hijja”; since it gives an impression that the tenth day is also included. However, the majority of the scholars do not see any problem with this phrase, saying that “ten” refers to fasting those days in which it is permitted to do so – i.e. the first nine days. The phrase “ten” is used in a metaphorical sense. (See: Nawawi, Al-Minhaj sharh Sahih Muslim & Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali, Lata’if al-Ma’arif p: 330)

Moreover, to fast during these first nine days was a common and known practice during the era of the Companions and early Muslims (Allah be pleased with all of them). Those who would fast or encouraged these fasts include Abu Hurayra, AbdAllah ibn Umar, Qatada, Ibn Sirin, Hasan al-Basri, Mujahid and others (Allah be pleased with them). (See: Sunan al-Bayhaqi 8395 & Lata’if al-Ma’arif p: 329)

As such; classical scholars generally agree that it is recommended (mustahab) to fast during the first nine days of Dhu’l Hijja, with extra significance for fasting on the Day of Arafah (9th of Dhu’l Hijjah). This is the position of all four Sunni Schools of Islamic law:

1) For the Hanafi School, it is stated in Al-Fatawa al-Hindiyya, “It is recommended (mustahab) to fast during the first nine days of Dhu’l Hijja, as stated in Al-Siraj al-Wahhaj.” (Al-Fatawa al-Hindiyya 1/201; see also: Bada’i al-Sana’i 2/108 & Al-Mabsut 3/92)

2) As for the Maliki School, it is stated in Hashiyat al-Sawi, “It is recommended to fast on the Day of Arafah (9th of Dhu’l Hijjah) for the one not performing Hajj, but disliked for the pilgrim (haji) – since not fasting will give the pilgrim strength in executing the standing (wuquf) in Arafah. And it is recommended to fast [both for a pilgrim and a non-pilgrim] during the eight days before the Day of Arafah.” (Hashiyat al-Sawi ala ‘l-sharh al-Saghir 1/691; also see: al-Khurshi, Sharh Mukhtasar Khalil 3/16-17 & Minah al-Jalil sharh Mukhtasar al-Khalil 2/119)

3) In the Shafi’i School, Imam Nawawi states, “It is a Sunna to fast during the first ten days of Dhu’l Hijja, with the exception of the Day of Eid [i.e. the 10th].” (Nawawi, Rawdat al-Talibin 2/388; see also: Kifayat al-Akhyar 1/207)

4) In the Hanbali School, Imam al-Mardawi states, “It is recommended to fast the ten of Dhu’l Hijja, without any disagreement. Of these, the most virtuous is the 9th which is the Day of Arafah, then the 8th which is the Day of Tarwiyah. This is the position of the [Hanbali] Madhab, as affirmed by the Imams.” (Al-Insaf fi Ma’rifat al-Rajih min al-Khilaf 3/345; also see: Abu Bakr ibn al-Athram, Nasikh al-Hadith wa Mansukhihi p:153)

Finally, there is a hadith which seems to indicate that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) did not fast the days of Dhu’l Hijja. Sayyida A’isha (Allah be pleased with her) says, “I did not see the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) fast during the ten days [of Dhu’l Hijja] ever.” (Muslim no: 1176, Abu Dawud, Tirmidhi & others)

Classical scholars offer various explanations of this hadith. Imam Nawawi (Allah have mercy on him) states, “This hadith will be interpreted, for there is no dislike in fasting these nine days; in fact it is strongly recommended to do so, especially the 9th which is the Day of Arafah… As such, her statement will be understood to mean that he (Allah bless him & give him peace) did not fast due to illness, travelling or some other reason; or that she did not see him fast, which does not negate him observing the fast…” (Al-Minhaj sharh Sahih Muslim 8/320 no: 1176)

Some other scholars state that A’isha’s (Allah be pleased with her) account negates the fact that he (Allah bless him & give him peace) fasted, whilst other narrations affirm; and the general principle is that affirmation (ithbat) takes precedence over negation (nafi’). (Lata’if al-Ma’arif p: 330)

In conclusion, it is recommended and highly virtuous to fast during all or some of the first nine days of Dhu’l Hijja. Of these, it is particularly recommended to fast the Day of Arafah (9th of Dhu’l Hijjah).

Abu Qatada (Allah be pleased with him) relates that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) said, “Fasting the Day of Arafah expiates for two years, one prior and one forthcoming. And fasting the Day of Ashura (10th of Muharram) expiates for the past year.” (Muslim, Abu Dawud, Nasa’i, and Ibn Majah)

This, according to the Hanafi School, applies even for the one performing Hajj – if it does not weaken the pilgrim from spending the day in worship. As for the hadiths in which the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) commanded against fasting this day for the pilgrim at Arafah, this was understood by the Hanafi Imams to refer to those who would weaken or tire because of the fast. This is due to the numerous hadiths that have come in praise of this day in particular and fasting in it. (See: Tahawi, Sharh Ma’ani al-Athar 2/82-83 & al-Kasani, Bada’i al-Sana’i)

And Allah knows best

[Mufti] Muhammad ibn Adam
Darul Iftaa
Leicester, UK
www.daruliftaa.com

The Many Blessings of the Ten Days of Dhul Hijja – Nur Sacred Sciences

The Many Blessings of the Ten Days of Dhul Hijja – Nur Sacred Sciences

Once more a period of divine blessing has dawned upon us, bringing with it its zephyrs of divine mercy and opportunity.  For truly, it is not that one sacred season of devotion ends, except that another opportunity for attaining God’s forgiveness, bounty, and self-purification begins.  In these cycles of sacred times, we find the heavenly gift of a renewed chance to replenish our souls and seek God’s reward and proximity.

Among the reports transmitted regarding the sanctity of the first ten days of Dhul Ḥijja, the following has been related on the authority of Ibn ʿAbbas that the Prophet (PBUH) said:  “There are no days in which [good] actions are superior than in these days.” It was asked, “Not even fighting for the sake of God?”  He replied, “Not even fighting for the sake of God, except that a person sets out with his life and his wealth and returns with neither.”

On the authority of Abū Hurayra, the Messenger of God (PBUH) said: “There are no days more beloved to God that He be worshipped in them than the ten days of Dhul Ḥijja.  Each day of fasting in it is equivalent to the fast of an entire year.  And each night standing in prayer is equivalent to standing in prayer on the Night of Power (Laylat al-Qadr).

Read Full Article Here…

Related posts

Dhul-Qa’da Reflections: Preparing for the Blessed Month of Dhul-Hijja  – Interpreter’s Path

SeekersGuidance – The Ten Days of Dhu’l Hijja: Merits & Striving in Spiritual Works – Answers

Dhul-Qa’da Reflections: Preparing for the Blessed Month of Dhul-Hijja – Interpreter’s Path

Dhul-Qa’da Reflections: Preparing for the Blessed Month of Dhul-Hijja  – Interpreter’s Path


بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيمِ

The following is a summary of some of the points mentioned by Sayyidi al-Habib `Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah preserve him) on 17th Dhu’l-Qa`ida with some additions for extra clarity and benefit:

He reminded us of the greatness of attaining the knowledge of Allah, knowledge of the Creator. What knowledge is more noble or more pure than this? Where will other knowledge take you? Does other knowledge inform you of your own creation and of your Creator? Does other knowledge bring you to closer to Allah?

He mentioned the fast approaching time of Hajj, when the delegations come to Allah and His House, to the places made sacred by their connection to Him and His Beloved; Allah bless him and grant him peace, Allah made the Ka`ba, the Sacred House, and the Sacred Months as a source of support for people[1] – through it people’s affairs are rectified.

In spite of the great oppression and disbelief prevalent in the world the existence of hearts that realise the greatness of Allah prevents punishment from descending. These sacred symbols are in place “so that you may know that Allah knows all that is in the heavens and the earth and has knowledge of every thing“.[2]But the greatest of things sacred is Muhammad; Allah bless him and grant him peace, the Messenger of Allah, the one whom Allah sent for us to be guided, for us to be saved. Those visiting Tayba (Medina) would witness the effects of the light and love of the Prophet; Allah bless him and grant him peace, even upon animals and inanimate objects. He said; Allah bless him and grant him peace, of Uhud: “It is a mountain which loves us and we love it.” Because of its love, this rocky mountain will be one of the mountains of Paradise.

How hard are our hearts in comparison to this mountain! May Allah soften and purify our hearts! Feed our hearts and let them taste the sweetness of faith. “All of you are hungry except the one I feed, so ask Me and I will feed you.”[3]

His Hawd (pool); Allah bless him and grant him peace, is the widest and purest of the pools of the Prophets and we can drink from it in this life before drinking  from it in the next by following his example and strengthening our connection to Allah, our witnessing of Allah, our humility and presence of heart in front of Allah, and by remembering and seeking to honour the covenant that we took with Allah in the spiritual realm[4] especially at these blessed times.

Protect us all from the tribulations of this Dunya; the only ones protected are those You have given to drink from la ilaha ill’Allah Muhammad Rasulullah; don’t give those with darkness in their hearts power over us!

In spite of the lowliness of our state Allah shows compassion to those who seek and ask Him: Say: “My Lord would not have cared about you had it not been for your supplication.”[5]

If the Hajj has not been made possible for you, join with those making Hajj and share in their reward: by spending your wealth for the sake of Allah on your relatives, on the needy, by turning to Allah with your whole being. Make numerous your footsteps to the places of good, especially at the time of Fajr, and you will receive glad tidings from him; Allah bless him and grant him peace: “Give glad tidings of complete light on the Day of Judgement to those who walk constantly to the mosque in the darkness.” Those whose light is complete will no doubt be in his company; Allah bless him and grant him peace,  “on the day on which Allah does not disgrace the Prophet and those who believe along with him. Their light stretches out in front of them and upon their right sides”.[6]

Share in their reward by worshipping and remembering Allah between Maghrib and Isha, and from Fajr until sunrise.[7] Attend the prayer in congregation, attend the gatherings of knowledge. He said; Allah bless him and grant him peace: “The one who goes out to the mosque wanting only to learn good or teach it has the reward of a complete Hajj.”[8] Just as those performing Hajj respond to the call of Allah by saying “labbayk” we must be swift to respond to the call of Allah in performing that which is obligatory and avoiding that which is prohibited. Ask to be present with them, and thank Allah for allowing our spirits to be with them. So many hearts whether they be in the far East or the far West receive the gifts of Arafat and Mina because of their truthfulness with Allah.

The first ten days of Dhu’l-Hijja are approaching. He informed us; Allah bless him and grant him peace, that there are no days in which righteous actions are more beloved to Allah than these days. Fasting one day is equal to fasting for a year and praying on one night is equal to praying on Laylat al-Qadr. Fasting on the Day of Arafat is equal to fasting a thousand days and it wipes out the sins of the previous year and the year to come.

Let us end this month with tawba so we enter those sacred times and places in a state of purity.


[1] See Surat al-Ma’ida 5:97 [2] See Surat al-Ma’ida 5:97 [3] Hadith Qudsi narrated by [4] Where every soul bore witness to the lordship of Allah. See Al-A`raf 7.172 [5] Al-Furqan 25.77 [6]Al-Tahrim 66.8 [7] The hadith mention that the one who prays Fajr in congregation and then sits remembering Allah until sunrise and then prays two rakats will receive the complete reward of a hajj and an umra and all his sins will be forgiven (Tirmidhi, Tabarani, Ahmad and others). [8] Narrated by Tabarani on the authority of Abu Umama

– Transcribed and translated by Ustadh Amin Buxton (Allah preserve and increase him and his teachers)

Detailed information on Dhul Hijja: Merits & Striving in Spiritual works

SeekersGuidance – The Ten Days of Dhu’l Hijja: Merits & Striving in Spiritual Works – Answers

SeekersGuidance – The Ten Days of Dhu’l Hijja: Merits & Striving in Spiritual Works – Answers

The first ten days of Dhu’l Hijjah are blessed days: Allah Most High Himself swore by them in the Qur’an:

Mihrab turquoise.jpg

“By the Dawn, and the Ten Nights…” [Qur’an, Surat al-Fajr, 89.1-2]

The Qur’anic commentators generally agree that the ten nights mentioned above refers to “the first ten days of Dhu’l Hijjah,” as one may find in Shaykh al-Islam Abu Su`ud’s Irshad al-`Aql al-Salim ila Mazaya al-Qur’an al-Karim [famous as Tafsir Abi al-Su`ud, 9.153] or in Tafsir al-Jalalayn.

Imam Ahmad and Nasa’i report from Sayyida Hafsa (Allah be pleased with her) that, “The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace be upon him) did not leave four matters: Fasting `Ashura (f: 10th of Muharram), [during] the ten days [of Dhu’l Hijja], and three days of each month.”

This answer from the SeekersGuidance Answers service explains some of the key sunnas of these blessed days:

The Ten Days of Dhu’l Hijja: Merits & Striving in Spiritual Works

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question: Can you please mention some of the merits of Dhu’l Hijja, and some acts of woship that can be done in the month?

Answer: In the Name of Allah, Most Merciful and Compassionate

The first ten days of Dhu’l Hijjah are blessed days: Allah Most High Himself swore by them in the Qur’an:

“By the Dawn,

and the Ten Nights…”

[Qur’an, Surat al-Fajr, 89.1-2]

The Qur’anic commentators generally agree that the ten nights mentioned above refers to “the first ten days of Dhu’l Hijjah,” as one may find in Shaykh al-Islam Abu Su`ud’s Irshad al-`Aql al-Salim ila Mazaya al-Qur’an al-Karim [famous as Tafsir Abi al-Su`ud, 9.153] or in Tafsir al-Jalalayn.

Imam Ahmad and Nasa’i report from Sayyida Hafsa (Allah be pleased with her) that, “The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace be upon him) did not leave four matters: Fasting `Ashura (f: 10th of Muharram), [during] the ten days [of Dhu’l Hijja], and three days of each month.”

1. Fasting the First Nine Days, Especially the Day of `Arafah (9th)

The scholars have concured that it is recommended to fast during the first nine days of Dhu’l Hijja. Note, however, that the tenth day is the day of Eid, and is prohibitively disliked and sinful to fast this day. [Buhuti, Kashshaf al-Qina`; Nawawi,Majmu`; Fatawa Hindiyya; Haskafi, Durr al-Mukhtar; Dardir,al-Sharh al-Saghir]

Of these, it is particularly recommended to fast the Day of `Arafah (9th of Dhu’l Hijjah), even for the one on Hajj in the Hanafi school, if it does not weaken the pilgrim from spending the day busy in worship. [Haskafi, Durr; Kasani, Bada’i`]

As for hadiths in which the Prophet (Allah bless him & give him peace) commanded against fasting this day for the pilgrim at `Arafah, this was understood by the Hanafi imams to refer to those whom it would weaken or tire. This was explained by Imam Tahawi. [Sharh Ma`ani al-Athar, 2.82-83] This is because of the numerous hadiths that have come in praise of this day in particular and fasting in it. Among these is:

Abu Qatada (Allah be pleased with him) related that the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace be upon him, his family, and companions) said, “Fasting the Day of `Arafah (f: 9th of Dhu’l Hijjah) expiates for two years, one prior and one forthcoming. And fasting the Day of `Ashura (f: 10th of Muharram) expiates for the past year.” [Muslim, Abu Dawud, Nasa’i, and Ibn Majah]

2. Increasing One’s Spiritual Works During these Ten Days

Similarly, it is recommended to busy oneself these days with acts of worship. Imam Sharaf al-Din al-Hijjawi, the great Hanbali faqih, states in his primary text, al-Iqna`,:

“It is recommend to exert oneself in good works during the first ten days of Dhu’l Hijjah, such as remembrance of Allah (dhikr), fasting, charity, and other righteous actions, because they are the best of days.” [Buhuti, Kashshaf al-Qina`, 2.60]

This is confirmed by scholars of all the Sunni madhhabs. [Ibn Nujaym, al-Bahr al-Ra’iq; Haskafi/Ibn Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar `ala al-Durr al-Mukhtar; Nawawi, al-Majmu` and others]

Many scholars even stated that daytimes of these ten days are more virtuous than the ten daytimes of the last ten days of Ramadan, because of the strength of the primary texts related to them.

3. Spending the Nights of These Days In Prayer and Worship

It is especially recommended to spend some part of each of the nights of these ten days in prayer and worship. [Nawawi, Majmu`; Ibn Qudama, Mughni; Dardir, al-Sharh al-Saghir; Ibn Nujaym, al-Bahr al-Ra’iq;al-Fatawa al-Hindiyya; Ibn Abidin/Haskafi, Radd al-Muhtar `ala al-Durr al-Mukhtar]

This was deduced by clear primary texts, such as Prophet’s words (Allah bless him and give him peace) that, “There are no days in which good works are more beloved to Allah than these days – meaning the first ten days of Dhu’l Hijjah.” The Companions asked, ‘Not even jihad in the path of Allah, O Messenger of Allah?’ He said (Allah bless him & give him peace), “Not even jihad in the path of Allah, except for the one who goes forth with his person and wealth and does not return with any of it.” [Bukhari and others]

May Allah give us success in these blessed days and nights, and in every moment of our lives, to follow the path of the Prophet (Allah bless him & give him peace), and may He make us of those whom He loves and who love Him.

Walaikum assalam,
Faraz Rabbani

Fasting in Dhu’l Hijja

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question: Is it permitted to fast the first nine days of Dhu’l Hijja?

Answer: Walaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

There is disagreement of the scholars regarding this. The position of the Hanafi school is that it is permitted and recommended to fast the first nine days of Dhu’l Hijja if one can.

However, it would be better not to fast all the days if one somehow thought that this was necessary or binding to do; or if it would impose physical hardship or difficulty, because a small amount of supererogatory (nafl) works performed with sincerity, longing for Allah, love, and thankfulness are better than mountains of works that are stale; or if it would lead to non-fulfillment of the rights of others, such as contractual commitments or family duties.

And Allah alone gives success.

Faraz Rabbani