Dhul-Hijja is the last month of Islamic calendar. Throughout the year there are months like Ramadan and Shawal that bring lots of blessings and benefits for a Muslim, therefore, it is quite natural to expect that the Islamic lunar calendar also ends with a month that brings myriads of celebrations and rewards for a Muslim. It is rightly so, as Dhul-Hijjah comes with the auspicious event of Eid-ul-Adha.
Dhul-Hijja is renowned for Eid-ul-Adha that takes place after the event of Hajj. Every Muslim is aware of the importance of sacrifice made on Eid-ul-Adha and the religious importance of Hajj, however, what most of the people don’t know is that the month of Dhul-Hijja is special in another way as well. The first ten days of Dhul-Hijja are the holiest of days in the Islamic lunar calendar, therefore, every wise Muslim must try to make the most of these days. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said in a hadith:
“There is no deed that is better in the sight of Allah or more greatly rewarded than a good deed done in the (first) ten days of Al-Adha.” It was asked, “Not even Jihad for the sake of Allah?” The Prophet (PBUH) replied, “Not even Jihad for the sake of Allah, unless a man goes out himself for Jihad taking his wealth with him and does not come back with anything.” (Bukhari)
Therefore, a Muslim is naturally to strive for undertaking all those good deeds that can earn him or her the maximum reward. In this regard, the lines below give the major deeds, which a Muslim can undertake in the first ten days of Dhul-Hijja and earn maximum reward.
Obviously the biggest deed which a Muslim can undertake in the first ten days of Dul-Hijja is performing Hajj. The event of Hajj begins before the tenth of the month, therefore, whatever deeds a person undertakes in performance of Hajj bring enormous reward to a Muslim. Moreover, those who cannot offer Hajj because of any reason can choose the alternate option of performing Umrah during these ten days. Therefore, the best a person who is physically and financially sound can do in terms of making full use of the ten days is perform Hajj or Umrah during these days and earn enormous reward in addition to expiation from sins as well.
Recommended Reading – Commonly Asked Questions About Hajj and Their Answers
Although the fasts of Ramadan have their own place, but there are some voluntary fasts as well that also bring huge reward. Fasting in the ten days of Dul-Hijja is one of such occasion in which if a Muslim fasts, he or she can earn great reward for it compared to fasting in any other day of the Islamic year. As Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said in one of His hadiths:
“Anyone who fasts for one day for Allah’s pleasure, Allah will keep his face away from the (Hell) fir for (a distance covered by a journey of) seventy years.” (Bukhari)
From the hadith a Muslim can assess that if such is the stature and greatness of a voluntary fast kept under normal circumstances, then how great should its reward be if it is kept during the first ten days of Dul-Hijja. Moreover, specific to the fasting of Dul-Hijja, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said:
“Fasting the Day of Arafah (9th Dul-Hijja) is an expiation for (all the sins of) the previous year and expiation for (all the sins of) the coming year.” (Muslim)
Who would want to miss the golden chance of getting purified from sins mentioned in the hadith. Therefore, every Muslim must try to keep fast in the first ten days of Dul-Hijja in general and the day of Arafat in particular to gain maximum reward as well as expiation from sins as well.
Dhikr and Tasbeeh:
In one of His hadiths, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said:
“There are no days on which good deeds are greater or more beloved to Allah than on these ten days, so recite much Tahleel (saying Laa ilaha ill-Allah), Takbeer (saying Allahu Akbar) and Tahmeed (saying Alhamdu Lillah).” (Ahmed- Sahee)
From the hadith it is clear that the respective ten days are great and the deeds performed in it are loved by Allah Almighty, therefore, performing all the different kinds of Tasbeeh and Dhikr is an excellent way to make the most out of every moment of these ten days and be among the loved one’s of Allah Almighty and receive exponential reward.
Asking Allah Almighty for His blessings and mercy go hand in hand with seeking forgiveness from Him. As humans we are full of errors and mistakes which translate into sins. Therefore, every wise Muslim tries to seek forgiveness from Allah Almighty whenever and wherever possible. The first ten days of Dul-Hijja undoubtedly are the ideal days for committing good deeds, however, it also seems natural that in these days a person asks for forgiveness from Him and try to make amends for whatever has happened in the past either intentionally or unintentionally. Allah says in Quran:
“But as for him who repented, believed and did righteous deeds, then he will be among those who are successful.” (28:67)
Repenting, being a believer on the right path is a combination that guarantees success to a Muslim. It is quite logical to presume that if combination can work in the normal days then it is more than probable that this combination increases the chances of being successful exponentially.
One of the simplest good deeds that a Muslim can do in the first ten days of Dul-Hijja easily is Quran recitation. There is reward against each alphabet of Quran, therefore, reciting it in these ten days helps increase the reward count for a person and the use of it in supplication afterwards also lays a strong foundation for being forgiven. Therefore, in these ten days, those who don’t know how to read Quran should learn the holy Quran and those who can read it should recite it excessively to gain reward.
In a nutshell, the ten days of Dul-Hijja are the most blessed of the days for Muslim. Thus, whatever little or greater good deed possible, a Muslim should strive towards performing it and at the same time seek forgiveness from Allah Almighty as well.