The first 10 days of Zul Hijjah: why they matter
Even for those not performing the pilgrimage, Hajj, the first ten days of this month are considered very sacred and a time for increased reflection, seeking Allah’s forgiveness, doing good and various other forms of worship.
Prophet Mohammed (peace and blessings be upon him) has said about the first ten days of Zul Hijjah: There are no days in which righteous deeds are more beloved to Allah than these ten days.” The people asked, “Not even Jihad for the sake of Allah?” He said, “Not even Jihad for the sake of Allah, 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 (Bukhari).
So sacred are the first ten days of Zul Hijjah that Allah swears an oath by them when He says in the Quran: “By the dawn; by the ten nights” [al-Fajr 89:1-2]. Swearing an oath by something indicates its importance and great benefit.
What kinds of worship should be performed?
While any good deed done for the sake of Allah according to the way He approves will be rewarded immensely during the first ten days, Insha Allah, some of the more specific actions mentioned in the Traditions of the Prophet are fasting and verbal Zikr (remembrance) of Allah.
Do not cut hairs and nails:
It is a saying of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) that: “When you see the new moon of Dhul-Hijjah, if anyone 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 wisdom behind this prohibition mentioned by the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) is so that a Muslim who has not gone to perform Hajj 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 terms of fasting, it is particularly encouraged to fast on the ninth day of Zul-Hijjah, known in Arabic as Yawm Arafa. The Prophet used to fast on this day (al Nisai and Abu Dawud). Fasting on this day will expiate a Muslim’s sins for two years.
Takbir-ut-tashriq تكبير تشريق
The verbal remembrance of Allah is another meritorious act during these first ten days of Zul Hijjah. The Prophet upon him) encouraged Muslims to recite a lot of Tasbeeh (“Subhan-Allaah”), Tahmeed (“Al-hamdu Lillaah”) and Takbeer (“Allahu akbar”) during this time.
In particular, it is obligatory (wajib) on each Muslim to recite the Takbir of Tashriq after every fard prayer beginning from the Fajr of the 9th Zulhijjah (the month of Hajj) up to the ‘Asr prayer of the 13th Zulhijjah.It is good to start Takbir of Tashriq from 1st Zulhijjah.
The words to be recited are as follows:
Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar,الله اكبر ,الله اكبر
La Ilaha Illallahu, Wallahu Akbarلااله الاالله والله اكبر
Allahu Akbar wa lillahilhamd.الله اكبر ولله الحمد
Men are encouraged to recite these phrases out loud and women quietly.
Ibn ‘Umar and Abu Hurayrah, two of the Prophet’s Companions, used to go out in the marketplace during the first ten days of Zul-Hijjah, reciting Takbeer, and the people would recite Takbeer individually when they heard them.
Generally, all good deeds are rewarded highly at this blessed time. These actions include praying, reading Quran, making Dua (supplication), giving in charity and being good to our families.
In addition, seeking Allah’s forgiveness at this time is also encouraged. This means more than just a verbal expression of sorrow for past misdeeds. It also requires a firm resolution to avoid making the same mistakes in the future by giving up bad habits and behavior while sincerely turning to Allah.
May Allah accept our all Ibadah and prays. (Ameen)
Taqaballahu Minna wa Minkum! (May Allah accept it from us and you)