TEN DAYS OF INNUMERABLE REWARD: TO-DO LIST IN THE FIRST TEN DAYS OF DHUL-HIJJAH.
— Aladodo Abdus-Salam
To Allah belongs all praise and adoration, for He is the Just, the wise. We exalt Him by the multitude of His creations, by His pleasure, by the weight of his throne and by the extent of His words. It is He who has made some months of the year sacred than another, days sacred than another and even nights, sacred than another. Amongst the mercy of Allah is singling out four sacred (months) out of the 12months in the Islamic lunar months. These months are; Qhul Qa’dah, Qhul Hijjah, Muharram and Rajab. In line with this, the Qur’an informs us:
“Verily, the number of months with Allaah is twelve months (in a year), so it was ordained by Allaah on the Day when He created the heavens and the earth; of them, four are sacred. That is the right religion, so wrong not yourselves therein…” [al-Tawbah 9:36].
Also, the Prophetic statement which was narrated by Abu Bakrah confirmed the list of this month as thus:
‘’The year is twelve months of which four are sacred, the three consecutive months of Dhu’l-Qa’dah, Dhu’l-Hijjah and Muharram, and Rajab Mudar which comes between Jumaada and Sha’baan.” (Reported by al-Bukhaari).
By implication of the months being sacred, it means that an act of worship in the months attract greater rewards than an act of worship in other months, just as an act of sin in the months will attract more seriousness than in other months. As such, one is enjoined to strive to please Allah and not fall into his prohibitions.
With a special focus on Dhul-Hijjah as one of the sacred months, the first ten days of it (starting on Tuesday/Wednesday, the 21st/22nd day of July, 2020, depending on whether the crescent moon is sighted) even attracts greater reward than the remaining days. As such, one is enjoined to renew their intentions, engage in lots of rewardable acts and desist from impure acts as a way of seeking closeness to Allah while longing for His countenance. These 10 days are considered to be the best days of the year. This is contained in the narration :
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).
These ten days are so powerful so much so that the prophet (Peace be Upon him) enjoined us to praise Allah a great deal and never for once rendering His name.
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).
These ten days include the day of ‘Arafah, the day in 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. It is part of Sunnah that whoever wants to offer a sacrifice must stop cutting his hair, nails, and removing anything from his skin, from the beginning of the ten days until after 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. (Muslim).
Therefore in order to take advantage of these golden days, we should engage ourselves in acts of worship which will earn us greater rewards and endear us to Allah. A good deed on these ten days is rewarded in multi-fold, now imagine what the reward of sins will be? Below are part of the things to engage in which will rake in rewards for us:
• Fasting: It is Sunnah to fast on the Ninth day of Dhul Hijja (The day of ‘Arafah), also one can also fast on the first nine days for the prophet himself did it. This is in reference to the Hadith narrated from Hunaydah bn Khalid.
It was narrated from Hunaydah ibn Khaalid from his wife, that one 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 first nine days of Dhu’l-Hijjah and the day of ‘Ashoora’, and three days each month, the first Monday of the month and two Thursdays. (Narrated by al-Nasaa’i)
• Remembrance of Allah : We’ve cited a hadith above which encourages us to praise Allah on these days for it is highly rewarding. The Prophet once admonished the companions saying:
“Shall I inform you of the best of your deeds, the one that raises you most in rank, most purifying to your Lord, which is better for you than giving gold and silver and better for you than meeting your enemy and striking their necks and them striking your necks?” They said, “Certainly, [tell us].” He said, “It is the remembrance of Allah, the Exalted.” (Recorded by Ahmad, At-Tirmidhi & Ibn Majah)
One of the ways to remember Allah was clearly stated by the Prophet as thus:
“There are two statements that are light on the tongue but heavy in the scale
and beloved to the Most Merciful [Allah]: Subhaanallaahi-l-Adheem (‘High is Allah above any imperfection or want, the Great, from every imperfection) and Subhaanallaahi wa bihamdihi (Far above is Allah from every imperfection and I glorify His praises’).” (Recorded by al- Bukhari and Muslim.)
The remembrance of Allah can also come in the form of reciting the Qur’an or sitting in beneficial gathering where the knowledge of the Islam is being disseminated.
• Seeking for Forgiveness: Since one’s reward on these days will be rewarded in multifolds, it will be of great benefit if one can as well seek forgiveness for past sins. This is because there is no one who accepts repentance other than Allah. It is He who called upon the servant who has wronged himself saying:
Say, “O My servants who have transgressed against themselves [by sinning], do not despair of the mercy of Allah . Indeed, Allah forgives all sins. Indeed, it is He who is the Forgiving, the Merciful.” -Sura Az-Zumar, Ayah 53
• Give Charity: It is highly recommended to be charitable to people. Charity does not only involve giving out food or money, even a kind word is regarded as charity. A blooming smile is regarded as charity, and removing injurious objects from pathways is regarded as charity. We should try as much as possible to relate well with people and not hurt them with our words or deeds. Abu Dharr related from the Prophet:
“Every morning there is on the bones and joints of any of you a charitable act. Every tasbeehah is a charitable act; every tahmeedah is a charitable act; every tahleelah is a charitable act; every takbeerah is a charitable act; ordering good is a charitable act; eradicating evil is a charitable act. To fulfill that charity, it is sufficient to pray two rakats of Duha.” (Muslim).
• Sacrifice: This takes effect on the 10th day of Dhul-Hijjah (the day of ‘Eid) wherein everybody return back from the prayer ground and slaughter a sacrificial animal as legislated by Allah in order to show gratitude and subservient to Him in worship. This is a long age tradition of Prophet Ibrahim (Alayhi Salam) which our beloved Prophet Muhammad also exemplified. Whoever slaughters(the sacrificial animal) before the Eid prayer has only slaughtered for himself, but one who slaughters after the ‘eid prayer is deemed to have offer the true sacrifice of ‘Eid.
All the aforementioned should be taken note of and one should try as much as possible to engage in them in order to gain closeness to Allah and invite the light of faith into one’s heart.