Alhamdulillah, all praise is due to Allah Swt for guiding us and allowing us to make it to the blessed month of Dhul Hijjah. InshaAllah i’m going to summarize a few important matters pertaining to this month and pertaining to the udhiya i.e the sacrifical animal for the day of Eid.
The 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.
You should know, my dear brothers and sisters in Islaam, that 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
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)
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).
So my dear brothers and sisters we must realize the importance of this month and make the most when it comes to worship and doing good deeds.
Some of the things that the The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) commanded us is to recite a lot of Tasbeeh (“Subhan-Allaah”), Tahmeed (“Al-hamdu Lillaah”) and Takbeer (“Allaahu akbar”) during this time.
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.
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.
My dear brothers and sisters not only during this time but in other times as well it is upon us if we know of a forgotten sunnah then we must revive it, for verily 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).
And one of the forgotten sunnah of this time are some of the prohibitions upon the one offering the 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.
Other acts of worship include:
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).
Performing Hajj and ‘Umrah.
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.
“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.”
Shaddaad ibn Aws (may Allaah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The best prayer for seeking forgiveness is to say: ‘Allaahumma anta rabbi la ilaaha illa anta, Khalaqtani wa ana ‘abduka wa ana ‘ala ‘ahdika wa wa’dika ma astata’t. A’oodhu bika min sharri ma sana’tu, aboo’u laka bi ni’matika ‘alayya wa aboo’u laka bi dhanbi, faghfir li fa innahu laa yaghfiru’l-dhunoob illaa anta (O Allaah, You are my Lord. None has the right to be worshipped but You. You created me and I am Your slave, and I am faithful to my covenant and my promise (to You) as much as I can. I seek refuge with You from all the evil I have done. I acknowledge before You all the blessings You have bestowed upon me, and I confess to You all my sins. So I entreat You to forgive my sins, for nobodycan forgive sins except You).” Whoever says this during the day, having faith in it and dies before the evening comes, will be among the people of Paradise, and whoever says it during the night, having faith in it, and dies before the morning comes, will be among the people of Paradise.” (Reported by al-Bukhaari,5831).
If you have been lapsing in being good to your neighbors and family now is the time, hurry to seek the pleasure of Allah Swt.