The first ten days of Dhul Hijjah are often referred to as the best ten days of the year, and a second chance after Ramadan. This is a special time to remember God, and spend extra time doing good deeds.
In Surat Al-Fajr, Allah says, “By the dawn; And [by] the ten nights.” (Qur’an 89:1-2)
According to many scholars of the Qur’an, the days mentioned as significant enough for Allah to swear by them are the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah.
Whoever is not able to go to Hajj should utilize this blessed time to complete even more righteous deeds than usual. Dhul Hijjah is the opportunity to sincerely repent, get closer to God, and combine acts of worship and charity.
Some Acts of Worship to Do During Dhul-Hijjah
1. Prayer: Prayer is one of the best deeds that one can perform for the sake of Allah. Our Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said “Repeat Sujud (prostrating in prayer) frequently, for whenever you perform even one Sujdah for Allah, Allah will raise you to a higher degree and erase a sin from you(r) (record).”
2. Fasting: It is Sunnah for the Muslim to fast on the first nine days of Dhul-Hijjah, because fasting is one of the best of deeds. In a hadith qudsi, Allah says: “All the deeds of the son of Adam are for him, except fasting, which is for Me and I shall reward for it.” (Bukhari, 1805)
It is reported that “The Prophet used to fast on the first nine days of Dhul-Hijjah and the day of Ashura, and three days each month, the first Monday of the month and two Thursdays.” (Abu Dawood, 2/462) The ten days of Dhul-Hijjah include Yawm al-Arafah (the Day of Arafah), on which Allah perfected His Religion. The Prophet said: “Fasting the day of `Arafah expiates the sins of two years: the past one and the coming one.” (Muslim)
3. Takbir Tahlil and Ta’hmid: Our Prophet said: “There are no days that are greater before Allah or in which good deeds are more beloved to Him, than these ten days, so recite a great deal of tahleel, takbeer and tahmeed during them.” (Ahmad)
- Tahmeed: Al-hamdu Lillah (All praises be to God)
- Tahleel: Laa ilaha ill-Allah (There is no god but Allah)
- Tasbeeh: Subhaan-Allah (Glory be to God)
While there are different versions, the takbeer can also be recited as follows:
Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar, laa ilaaha ill-Allah, Allahu akbar, wa Lillaah il-hamd.
Allah is Most Great, Allah is Most Great, there is no god but Allah; Allah is Most Great and to Allah be praise. The companions would go to the marketplace and recite the takbeer out loud and people would also recite after hearing them. Let us follow their footsteps and encourage others to recite the takbeer as well, as an act of worship and a proclamation of the greatness of Allah.
“Work on your souls instead of your bodies for souls are the real essence and body is the waste after your last breath, and the food for the soul is the Dhikr of ALLAH SBWT.”
4. Implementing Good Deeds: Good deeds are beloved by Allah. Whoever is not able to go to Hajj should occupy themselves at this blessed time by worshipping Allah, praying (salaat), reading Qur’an, remembering Allah, making supplication (du’aa’), giving charity, honouring their parents and upholding the ties of kinship.
5. Reading Quran Daily: “Whoever reads a letter from the Book of Allah, he will have a reward. And that reward will be multiplied by ten. I am not saying that “Alif, Laam, Meem” is a letter, rather I am saying that “Alif” is a letter, “laam” is a letter and “meem” is a letter.” [At-Tirmidhi] So if one letter of the Qur’an is equivalent to ten good deeds then imagine how much reward there is for reading each letter during these blessed 10 days which are said to be the best days of the year! Tip: Increase your recitation by adding a few minutes or pages to your usual recitation routine. Begin by committing to recite at least one or two pages (or for 10 minutes, if you are a slow reciter) and then work to increase on this.
6. Sincere Repentance: One of the most important things to do during these ten days is to repent sincerely to Allah. You have nine nights, to pick up your heart and soul; purify it, cleanse it, and enrich it with His love, so that you may also be forgiven.
“The mansions in Jannah are built based on dhikr. If you stop dhikr, the Angels stop building the mansion.“
7. Acts of charity: As the rewards of doing good deeds during these days are increased significantly then we should also give as much as we can in charity. Allah promised forgiveness of our sins if we give in charity and to give to the poor and needy. He honored our charity and described it as a “beautiful loan to Allah “ to showcase that we are doing something good that He loves, and that He himself will pay our loan back to us doubled.
In sha’ Allah, these seven tips will help you make the most of the first ten days of Dhul Hijjah. From everyone at Muslim Girl, we’d like to wish you a blessed month full of good deeds, forgiveness, and closeness to Allah.
Maliya Naz is a Kashmiri/Pakistani American poet and human rights advocate. When she is not volunteering or translating Urdu ghazals, you can find her giving talks about all things Islam and spirituality.