What are the ten days of Thul Hijjah ? |
The ten days of Thul Hijjah are the first ten days of the 12th Islamic calendar month called Thul Hijjah. These are the days when most of the pilgrims make a journey to Makkah and perform their tasks of Hajj. Just as they have a special chance to get extra reward, the ones who were not able to go to Hajj are also given a special chance to get extra reward during these days.
What is the significance of these 10 days?
Allah (azza wajal) honored them by mentioning them in the Qurâan. Allah (azza wajal) says: "That they might witness things that are of benefit to them (i.e., reward of Hajj in the Hereafter, and also some worldly gain from trade, etc.), and mention the name of Allah on appointed days, over the beast of cattle that He has provided for them (for sacrifice)..." [Al-Hajj 22:28]
Ibn Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) said, "The appointed days are the first ten days (of Thul Hijjah)." [This is related by al-Bukhari]
They are considered the most honorable and best days ever. Ahmad and at-Tabarani record from Ibn 'Umar that the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) said, "There is no day more honorable in Allah 's sight and no acts more beloved therein to Allah than those in these ten days. So say tahlil (There is no deity worthy of worship but Allah: La ilaha illAllah), takbir (Allah is the greatest: Allahu akbar) and tahmid (All praise is due to Allah: alhumdulillah) a lot [on those days]." [Reported by Ahmad, 7/224]
Narrated Ibn 'Umar: On the Day of Nahr (10th of Thul Hijjah), the Messenger (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) stood in between the Jamrat during his Hajj which he performed (as in the previous Hadith) and said, "This is the greatest Day (i.e. 10th of Thul Hijjah)." The Messenger (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) started saying repeatedly, "O Allah! Be Witness (I have conveyed Your Message)." He then bade the people farewell. The people said, "(This is Hajjat-al-Wada)." [Bukhari 2.798]
Ibn 'Abbas reports that the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) said, "No good deeds done on other days are superior to those done on these days [meaning the ten days of Thul Hijjah]." The companions asked, "O Messenger of Allah, not even jihad in the way of Allah?" He said, "Not even jihad, except for the man who puts his life and wealth in danger [for Allah 's sake] and returns with neither of them." [This is related by the group except Muslim and an-Nasa'i]
Are these days better than the last ten days of Ramadan?
The following hadith may shed some light in showing that worship during each of these first ten days of Thul Hijjah with nightly prayer is like worshipping during the night of power (Laylatul Qadr).
Abu Hurairah relates that the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) said, "There are no days more loved to Allah for you to worship Him therein than the ten days of Thul Hijjah. Fasting any day during it is equivalent to fasting one year and to offer salatul tahajjud (late- night prayer) during one of its nights is like performing the late night prayer on the night of power. [i.e., Laylatul Qadr]." [This is related by at-Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah, and al-Baihaqi]
What do I do in these ten days?
Ahmad and at-Tabarani record from Ibn 'Umar that the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) said, "There is no day more honorable in Allah's sight and no acts more beloved therein to Allah than those in these ten days. So say tahlil (There is no deity worthy of worship but Allah : La ilaha illAllah ), takbir (Allah is the greatest : Allahu Akbar) and tahmid (All praise is due to Allah : alhamdulillah) a lot [on those days]." [Reported by Ahmad]
These should always be on our minds and tongues, but more importantly in these days. For instance, when one drives to work in the morning or leaves in the afternoon, or waits in a lobby for a turn, or just generally having spare time, and one does not know what to do, then one should praise Allah (azza wajal).
Allah (azza wajal) said, "When the hypocrite stand up to worship they perform it languidly and to be seen of men, and they do not praise Allah but a little." 4:142
Allah (azza wajal) said, "Remember Allah , standing, sitting and reclining." 4:103
Fasting is highly recommended, but for those going to hajj it is better for them not to fast: Abu Hurairah stated, "The Messenger of Allah forbade fasting on the day of 'Arafah for one who is actually at 'Arafah." [This is related by Ahmad, Abu Dawud, an-Nasa'i, and Ibn Majah]
Sacrificing and slaughter of an animal on the 10th day of Thul Hijjah: Allah (azza wajal) said : "So pray unto thy Lord, and sacrifice."108:2
Allah (azza wajal) said: "Truly Allah loves those who turn unto Him, and loves those who have a care for cleanness." 2:222
Allah (azza wajal) can change sins to good deeds as well, if He wants. He says: "Except those who repent and believe (in Islamic monotheism), and do righteous deeds; for those, Allah will change their sins into good deeds, and Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful." (25:70).
Allah (azza wajal) can accept repentance for all kinds of sins and forgive them. He says: "Say: 'O My slaves who have transgressed against themselves (by committing evil deeds and sins)! Despair not of the Mercy of Allah: verily, Allah forgives all sins. Truly He is Oft- Forgiving, Most-Merciful." (39:53).
Thul Hijjah will start insha'allah this Friday, January 23rd
1. It is the day on which the religion was perfected and Allah’s Favour was completed.
In Al-Saheehayn it was reported from ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab (may Allah be pleased with him) that a Jewish man said to him, “O Ameer al-Mu’mineen, there is an aayah in your Book which you recite; if it had come to us Jews, we would have taken that day as an ‘Eid (festival).” ‘Umar said, “Which aayah?” He said: “This day I have perfected your religion for you, completed My favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion.” [al-Maa’idah 5:3 – interpretation of the meaning]. ‘Umar said, “We know on which day and in which place that was revealed to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). It was when he was standing in ‘Arafaah on a Friday.”
2. It is a day of Eid for the people who are in that place.
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Yawm ‘Arafaah (the day of ‘Arafaah), Yawm al-Nahr (the Day of Sacrifice) and Ayyaam al-Tashreeq (the 3 days following Yawm al-Nahr) are Eid (festival) for us, the people of Islam. These are days of eating and drinking.” This was narrated by the authors of al-Sunan. It was reported that ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab said: “It – i.e., the aayah ‘This day I have perfected…’ was revealed on a Friday, the Day of ‘Arafaah, both of which – praise be to Allah – are Eids for us.”
It is a day by which Allah swore an oath.
The Almighty cannot swear by anything except that which is mighty. Yawm ‘Arafaah is the “witnessed day” mentioned in the aayah (interpretation of the meaning):
“By the witnessing day [Friday] and by the witnessed day [the Day of ‘Arafaah].” [al-Burooj 85:3].
It was reported from Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “The promised day is the Day of Resurrection, the witnessed day is the Day of ‘Arafaah, and the witnessing day is Friday.” Narrated by al-Tirmidhi and classed as saheeh by al-Albaani.
It is the “odd” [i.e., odd-numbered, Witr] by which Allah swore in the aayah (interpretation of the meaning):
“And by the even and the odd” [al-Fajr 89:3]. Ibn ‘Abbaas said: “The even is the Day of al-Adhaa [i.e., 10th Dhoo’l-Hijjah] and the odd is the Day of ‘Arafaah [i.e., 9th Dhoo’l-Hijjah] This is also the view of ‘Ikrimah and al-Dahhaak.
4. Fasting on this day is an expiation for two years.
It was reported from Abu Qutaadah (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was asked about fasting on the Day of ‘Arafaah. He said, “It expiates for the sins of the previous year and of the coming year.” Narrated by Muslim.
This (fasting) is mustahabb for those who are not on Hajj. In the case of the one who is on Hajj, it is not Sunnah for him to fast on the Day of ‘Arafaah, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) did not fast on this day in ‘Arafaah. It was narrated that he forbade fasting on the Day of ‘Arafaah in ‘Arafaah.
5. It is the day on which Allah took the covenant from the progeny of Adam.
It was reported that Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allah be pleased with him) said: the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Allah took the covenant from the loins of Adam in Na’maan, i.e., ‘Arafaah. He brought forth from his loins all his offspring and spread them before Him, then He addressed them, and said: ‘Am I not your Lord? They said, ‘Yes, we testify,’ let you should say on the Day of Resurrection: ‘Verily, we have been unaware of this.’ Or lest you should say: ‘It was only our fathers aforetime who took others as partners in worship along with Allah, and we were (merely their) descendents after them; will You then destroy us because of the deeds of men who practised Al-Baatil (i.e., ploytheism and committing crimes and sins, invoking and worshipping others besides Allah)?’ [al-A’raaf 7:172-173 – interpretation of the meaning].” Narrated by Ahmad and classed as saheeh by al-Albaani. And there is no greater day than this and no greater covenant than this.
6. It is the day of forgiveness of sins, freedom from the Fire and pride in the people who are there:
In Saheeh Muslim it was narrated from ‘Aa’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “There is no day on which Allah frees more people from the Fire than the Day of ‘Arafaah. He comes close and expresses His pride to the angels, saying, ‘What do these people want?’”
It was reported from Ibn ‘Umar that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Allah expresses His pride to His angels at the time of ‘Ishaa’ on the Day of ‘Arafaah, about the people of ‘Arafaah. He says, ‘Look at My slaves who have come unkempt and dusty.’” Narrated by Ahmad and classed as saheeh by al-Albaani.
Days of virtue and righteous deeds|
This season of worship brings many benefits, such as the opportunity to correct one’s faults and make up for any shortcomings or anything that one might have missed. Every one of these special occasions involves some kind of worship through which the slaves may draw closer to Allaah, and some kind of blessing though which Allaah bestows His favour and mercy upon whomsoever He will. The happy person is the one who makes the most of these special months, days and hours and draws nearer to his Lord during these times through acts of worship; he will most likely be touched by the blessing of Allaah and will feel the joy of knowing that he is safe from the flames of Hell. (Ibn Rajab, al-Lataa’if, p.8)
The Muslim must understand the value of his life, increase his worship of Allaah and persist in doing good deeds until the moment of death. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
"And worship your Lord until there comes unto you the certainty." [al-Hijr 15:99] The mufassireen (commentators) said: "‘The certainty’ means death."
Among the special seasons of worship are the first ten days of Dhu’l-Hijjah, which Allaah has preferred over all the other days of the year. Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him and his father) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "There are no days in which righteous deeds are more beloved to Allaah than these ten days." The people asked, "Not even jihaad for the sake of Allaah?" He said, "Not even jihaad for the sake of Allaah, 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." (Reported by al-Bukhaari, 2/457).
Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him and his father) also reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "There is no deed more precious in the sight of Allaah, nor greater in reward, than a good deed done during the ten days of Sacrifice." He was asked, "Not even jihaad for the sake of Allaah?" He said, "Not even jihaad for the sake of Allaah, 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." (Reported by al-Daarimi, 1/357; its isnaad is hasan as stated in al-Irwaa’, 3/398).
These texts and others indicate that these ten days are better than all the other days of the year, with no exceptions, not even the last ten days of Ramadaan. But the last ten nights of Ramadaan are better, because they include Laylat al-Qadr ("the Night of Power"), which is better than a thousand months. Thus the various reports may be reconciled. (See Tafseer Ibn Katheer, 5/412).
The virtue of these ten days is based on many things:
Allaah swears an oath by them, and swearing an oath by something is indicative of its importance and great benefit. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): "By the dawn; by the ten nights" [al-Fajr 89:1-2]. Ibn ‘Abbaas, Ibn al-Zubayr, Mujaahid and others of the earlier and later generations said that this refers to the first ten days of Dhu’l-Hijjah. Ibn Katheer said: "This is the correct opinion." (Tafseer Ibn Katheer, 8/413)
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) testified that these are the best days of this world, as we have already quoted above from saheeh ahaadeeth.
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) encouraged people to do righteous deeds because of the virtue of this season for people throughout the world, and also because of the virtue of the place - for the Hujjaaj (pilgrims) to the Sacred House of Allaah.
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) commanded us to recite a lot of Tasbeeh ("Subhan-Allaah"), Tahmeed ("Al-hamdu Lillaah") and Takbeer ("Allaahu akbar") during this time. ‘Abdullaah ibn ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him and his father) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "There are no days greater in the sight of Allaah 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-Allaah"), Takbeer and Tahmeed." (Reported by Ahmad, 7/224; Ahmad Shaakir stated that it is saheeh).
These ten days include Yawm ‘Arafaah (the Day of ‘Arafaah), on which Allaah perfected His Religion. Fasting on this day will expiate for the sins of two years. These days also include Yawm al-Nahar (the Day of Sacrifice), the greatest day of the entire year and the greatest day of Hajj, which combines acts of worship in a way unlike any other day.
These ten days include the days of sacrifice and of Hajj.
What must the Muslim avoid during these ten days if he wants to offer a sacrifice?|
The Sunnah indicates that the one who wants to offer a sacrifice must stop cutting his hair and nails and removing anything from his skin, from the beginning of the ten days until after he has offered his sacrifice, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "When you see the new moon of Dhu’l-Hijjah, if any one of you wants to offer a sacrifice, then he should stop cutting his hair and nails until he has offered his sacrifice." According to another report he said: "He should not remove (literally, touch) anything from his hair or skin." (reported by Muslim with four isnaads, 13/146)
The Prophet’s instruction here makes one thing obligatory and his prohibition makes another haraam, according to the soundest opinion, because these commands and prohibitions are unconditional and unavoidable. However, if a person does any of these things deliberately, he must seek Allaah’s forgiveness but is not required to offer (an extra) sacrifice in expiation; his sacrifice will be acceptable. Whoever needs to remove some hair, nails, etc. because it is harming him, such as having a broken nail or a wound in a site where there is hair, should do so, and there is nothing wrong with that. The state of ihraam is so important that it is permitted to cut one’s hair if leaving it will cause harm. There is nothing wrong with men or women washing their heads during the first ten days of Dhu’l-Hijjah, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) only forbade cutting the hair, not washing it.
The wisdom behind this prohibition of the one who wants to offer a sacrifice from cutting his hair etc., is so that he may resemble those in ihraam in some aspects of the rituals performed, and so that he may draw closer to Allaah by offering the sacrifice. So he leaves his hair and nails alone until the time when he has offered his sacrifice, in the hope that Allaah will save him in his entirety from the Fire. And Allaah knows best.
If a person has cut his hair or nails during the first ten days of Dhu’l-Hijjah because he was not planning to offer a sacrifice, then he decides later, during the ten days, to offer a sacrifice, then he must refrain from cutting his hair and nails from the moment he makes this decision.
Some women may delegate their brothers or sons to make the sacrifice on their behalf, then cut their hair during these ten days. This is not correct, because the ruling applies to the one who is offering the sacrifice, whether or not he (or she) delegates someone else to carry out the actual deed. The prohibition does not apply to the person delegated, only to the person who is making the sacrifice, as is indicated in the hadeeth. The person who is sacrificing on behalf of someone else, for whatever reason, does not have to adhere to this prohibition.
This prohibition appears to apply only to the one who is offering the sacrifice, not to his wife and children, unless any of them is offering a sacrifice in his or her own right, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to sacrifice "on behalf of the family of Muhammad," but there are no reports that say he forbade them to cut their hair or nails at that time.
If a person was planning to offer a sacrifice, then he decides to go and perform Hajj, he should not cut his hair or nails if he wants to enter ihraam, because the Sunnah is only to cut hair and nails when necessary. But if he is performing Tamattu’ [whereby he performs ‘Umrah, comes out of ihraam and enters ihraam anew for Hajj], he should trim his hair at the end of his ‘Umrah because this is part of the ritual.
The things that are described above as being prohibited for the person who is planning to offer a sacrifice are reported in the hadeeth quoted above; the person is not forbidden to wear perfume, have marital relations, wear sewn garments, etc.
Concerning the types of worship to be performed during these ten days: one must understand that these days are a great blessing from Allaah to His slave, which is appreciated properly by the actively righteous. It is the Muslim’s duty to appreciate this blessing and make the most of the opportunity, by devoting these ten days to paying more attention to striving hard in worship. Among His blessings to His slaves, Allaah has given us many ways in which to do good and worship Him, so that the Muslim may be constantly active and consistent in his worship of his Lord.
Among the good deeds which the Muslim should strive to do during the first ten days of Dhu’l-Hijjah are:
Fasting. It is Sunnah to fast on the ninth day of Dhu’l-Hijjah, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) urged us to do good deeds during this time, and fasting is one of the best of deeds. Allaah has chosen fasting for Himself, as is stated in the hadeeth qudsi: "Allaah says: ‘All the deeds of the son of Adam are for him, except for fasting, which is for Me and I am the One Who will reward him for it.’" (Reported by al-Bukhaari, 1805).
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to fast on the ninth of Dhu’l-Hijjah. Hunaydah ibn Khaalid reported from his wife that some of the wives of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to fast on the ninth of Dhu’l-Hijjah, on the day of ‘Aashooraa’, on three days of each month, and on the first two Mondays and Thursdays of each month." (Reported by al-Nisaa’i, 4/205 and by Abu Dawud; classified by al-Albaani as saheeh in Saheeh Abi Dawud, 2/462).
Takbeer. It is Sunnah to say Takbeer ("Allaahu akbar"), Tahmeed ("Al-hamdu Lillaah"), Tahleel ("La ilaha ill-Allaah") and Tasbeeh ("Subhaan Allaah") during the first ten days of Dhu’l-Hijjah, and to say it loudly in the mosque, the home, the street and every place where it is permitted to remember Allaah and mention His name out loud, as an act of worship and as a proclamation of the greatness of Allaah, may He be exalted.
Men should recite these phrases out loud, and women should recite them quietly.
Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
"That they might witness things that are of benefit to them (i.e., reward of Hajj in the Hereafter, and also some worldly gain from trade, etc.), and mention the name of Allaah on appointed days, over the beast of cattle that He has provided for them (for sacrifice)..." [al-Hajj 22:28]
The majority of scholars agree that the "appointed days" are the first ten days of Dhu’l-Hijjah, because of the words of Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him and his father): "The ‘appointed days’ are the first ten days (of Dhu’l-Hijjah)."
The Takbeer may include the words "Allaahu akbar, Allaahu akbar, la ilaaha ill-Allaah; wa Allaahu akbar wa Lillaahi’l-hamd (Allaah is Most Great, Allaah is Most Great, there is no god but Allaah; Allaah is Most Great and to Allaah be praise)," as well as other phrases.
Takbeer at this time is an aspect of the Sunnah that has been forgotten, especially during the early part of this period, so much so that one hardly ever hears Takbeer, except from a few people. This Takbeer should be pronounced loudly, in order to revive the Sunnah and as a reminder to the negligent. There is sound evidence that Ibn ‘Umar and Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with them) used to go out in the marketplace during the first ten days of Dhu’l-Hijjah, reciting Takbeer, and the people would recite Takbeer when they heard them. The idea behind reminding the people to recite Takbeer is that each one should recite it individually, not in unison, as there is no basis in Sharee’ah for doing this.
Reviving aspects of the Sunnah that have been virtually forgotten is a deed that will bring an immense reward, as is indicated by the words of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him): "Whoever revives an aspect of my Sunnah that is forgotten after my death, he will have a reward equivalent to that of the people who follow him, without it detracting in the least from their reward." (Reported by al-Tirmidhi, 7/443; this is a hasan hadeeth because of corroborating asaaneed).
Performing Hajj and ‘Umrah. One of the best deeds that one can do during these ten days is to perform Hajj to the Sacred House of Allaah. The one whom Allaah helps to go on Hajj to His House and to perform all the rituals properly is included in the words of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him): "An accepted Hajj brings no less a reward than Paradise."
Doing more good deeds in general, because good deeds are beloved by Allaah and will bring a great reward from Him. Whoever is not able to go to Hajj should occupy himself at this blessed time by worshipping Allaah, praying (salaat), reading Qur’an, remembering Allaah, making supplication (du’aa’), giving charity, honouring his parents, upholding the ties of kinship, enjoining what is good and forbidding what is evil, and other good deeds and acts of worship.
Sacrifice. One of the good deeds that will bring a person closer to Allaah during these ten days is offering a sacrifice, by choosing a high-quality animal and fattening it, spending money for the sake of Allaah.
Sincere repentance. One of the most important things to do during these ten days is to repent sincerely to Allaah and to give up all kinds of disobedience and sin. Repentance means coming back to Allaah and foregoing all the deeds, open and secret, that He dislikes, out of regret for what has passed, giving it up immediately and being determined never to return to it, but to adhere firmly to the Truth by doing what Allaah loves.
If a Muslim commits a sin, he must hasten to repent at once, without delay, firstly because he does not know when he will die, and secondly because one evil deed leads to another.
Repentance at special times is very important because in most cases people’s thoughts turn towards worship at these times, and they are keen to do good, which leads to them recognizing their sins and feeling regret for the past. Repentance is obligatory at all times, but when the Muslim combines sincere repentance with good deeds during the days of most virtue, this is a sign of success, in sha Allaah. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
"But as for him who repented, believed and did righteous deeds, then he will be among those who are successful." [al-Qasas 28:67]
The Muslim should make sure that he does not miss any of these important occasion, because time is passing quickly. Let him prepare himself by doing good deeds which will bring him reward when he is most in need of it, for no matter how much reward he earns, he will find it is less than he needs; the time of departure is at hand, the journey is frightening, delusions are widespread, and the road is long, but Allaah is ever watchful, and to Him will we return and render account. As the Qur’aan says (interpretation of the meaning):
"So whosoever does good equal to the weight of an atom, shall see it,
And whosoever does evil equal to the weight of an atom, shall see it." [al-Zalzalah 99:7-8]
There is much to be gained, so make the most of the opportunity afforded by these invaluable and irreplaceable ten days. Hasten to do good works, before death strikes, before one can regret one’s negligence and failure to act, before one is asked to return to a place where no prayers will be answered, before death intervenes between the hopeful one and the things he hopes for, before you are trapped with your deeds in the grave.
O you whose hard heart is as dark as the night, is it not time that your heart was filled with light and became soft? Expose yourself to the gentle breeze of your Lord’s mercy during these ten days, for Allaah will cause this breeze to touch whomever He wills, and whoever is touched by it will be happy on the Day of Judgement. May Allaah bless our Prophet Muhammad and all his Family and Companions.