The Superiority and Virtue of the First 10 Days of Zuhjijjah

Verily, the praise belongs to Allah, the Most High, and may the
Blessings of Allah and Peace be upon His Prophet Muhammad and his
family and companions, all of them. It is narrated from Ibn Abbaas
(RAA) that the Prophet (PBUH) of said: "There are no days in which
righteous deeds done in them are more beloved to Allah than these
days, ie the ten days (of Zul-Hijjah). They said: O Messenger of
Allah, not even Jihaad in the path of Allah? He said: Not even Jihaad
in the Path of Allah, the Most High, except if a man goes out (for
Jihaad) with his self and his wealth, then he doesn't return with
anything from that."
(Al-Bukhaaree, Abu Daawood and others. The exact wording is that of
Abu Daawood)

It is narrated from Ibn Umar that the Prophet Muhammad (Blessings of
Allah and Peace be upon him) said:

"There aren't any days greater, nor any days in which deeds done in
them are more beloved to Allah, the Most High, than these ten days
(of Zul-Hijjah). So, increase in them the saying of Tahleel (La
Ilaaha illa Allah), and Takbeer (Allah Akbar) and Tahmeed (al-Hamdu
li-llah)" [Musnad Imaam Ahmad]

The Types of Deeds in These Ten Days:

First: The performance of Haj and Umrah, and these are the best of
deeds that may be done. And what indicates their superiority are a
number of Ahaadith, one of which is the saying of the Prophet (PBUH).

Performance of Umrah is an expiation of the sins committed between it
and the previous Umrah, and the reward of the Haj which is accepted
by Allah, the Most High, is nothing but Paradise. (Al-Bukhaaree and
Muslim)

Second: Fasting during these days - as many of them as may be easy
(for one to fast); especially the Day of Arafah. There is no doubt
that the act of fasting is one of the best deeds, and it is from what
Allah, the Most High, has chosen for himself, as in the Hadith
Qudsee: Fasting is for Me, and it is I who give reward for it.
Verily, someone gives up his sexual passion, his food and his drink
for My sake..." (Al-Bukhaaree, Muslim, Maalik, at-Tirmidhee, Nasaa'ee
and Ibn Maajah)

Also, from Abu Sa'eed al-Khudree who said that the Messenger of Allah
said: No servant (of Allah, the Most High) fasts one day in the Path
of Allah, except that Allah, the Most High, removes his face from the
Fire because of it (the distance of travelling) seventy years. (Al-
Bukhaaree and Muslim)

From Abu Qatadah that the Prophet said: Fasting the Day of Arafah
will be credited with Allah by forgiving one's sins of the previous
year and the following year. (Muslim)

Third: At-Takbeer (Allah Akbar) and adh-Dhikr (the remembrance of
Allah through different words of praise and glorification) in these
(ten) days, Allah said "And mention the name of Allah on the
appointed days"(12:28).

This has been explained (by some) to mean the ten days (of Zul-
Hijjah), and the scholars consider it desirable to increase adh-Dhikr
in these days, based upon the hadith of Ibn Umar narrated by Ahmad,
which contains the words:

... so increase in these days the Tahleel and Takbeer and Tahmeed...

It is reported about Ibn Umar and Abu Hurairah that: the two of them
used to go out to the market place during the ten days (of Zul-
Hijjah) saying: Allahu Akbar, causing the people also to say it. (Al-
Bukhaaree)

Ishaaq narrates from the scholars of the Taabi'een that in these ten
days they used to say:

Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar Laa Ilaaha illa 'llah Wa 'llahu Akbar,
Allahu Akbar Wa li'llahi al-hamd.

It is a beloved act to raise the voice when saying the Takbeer in the
markets, the houses, the streets, the Masjids and other places,
because of the saying of Allah, the Most High, in Surah al-Hajj,
verse 37: "... that you may magnify Allah for His Guidance to you"

The saying of Takbeer in congregation, ie everyone pronouncing the
Takbeer with one voice, is not permissible since this has not been
transmitted (to us) from the early generations of the Sahabah and
those who followed their ways. Verily, the Sunnah is for everyone to
say the Takbeer individually. And this is (generally) applicable to
Dhikr and supplications, except if the person doesn't know what to
say. In that case he may repeat after someone else until he learns
(the words to be said). It is also permissible to make Dhikr with all
the different wording of Takbeer and Tahmeed and Tasbeeh, and the
rest of the Islamic legislated supplications (from the Qur'an and
Sunnah).

Fourth: At-Tawbah (repentance) and abstaining from disobedience and
all types of sins, since forgiveneand mercyare the results of deeds.
Disobedience is the cause of being far away (from Allah, the Most
High) and repulsion, while obedience is the cause of being near (to
Allah, Most High) and His love. In the hadith of Abu Hurairah he said
that the Prophet said: Verily Allah has a sense of Ghaira, and
Allah's sense of ghaira is provoked when a person does that which
Allah has prohibited. (Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim)

Fifth: Doing plenty of voluntary (nafl) righteous deeds of worship
like Prayer, Charity, Jihaad, reading the Qur'an, Commanding what is
Good and Forbidding what is Evil, and other such deeds.

Verily, these are amongst the deeds that are multiplied in these
days. It is during these days that even deeds that are less
preferred, are superior and more beloved to Allah than superior deeds
done at other times. (These deeds are superior) even to al-Jihaad -
which is one of the most superior of all deeds - except in the case
of one whose horse is killed and his blood is spilled (loss of life
in Jihaad).

Sixth: It is legislated in these days to make at-Takbeer al-Mutlaq at
all times of night and day until the time of the Eid Prayer. Also, at-
Takbeer al-Muqayyad is legislated, and it is done after the (five)
obligatory prayers that are performed in congregation. This begins
from Dawn (Fajr) on the Day of Arafah (the 9th of Zul-Hijjah) for
those not performing Haj, and from Noon (Zhur) on the Day of
Sacrifice (10th of Zul-Hijjah) for those performing Haj (pilgrims);
and it continues until Asr prayer on the last day of the days of Tash-
reeq (13th of Zul-Hijjah).

Seventh: The slaughtering of a sacrificial animal (Adhiyah) is also
legislated for the Day of Sacrifice (10th) and the Days of Tashreeq
(11th, 12th and 13th). This is the Sunnah of our father Ibraaheem -
when Allah, the Most High, redeemed Ibraaheem's son by the great
sacrifice (of an animal in his place). It is authentically reported
that The Prophet Muhammad slaughtered (sacrificed) two horned rams,
black and white in colour, and said Takbeer (Allahu Akbar), and
placed his foot on their sides (while slaughtering them). (Al-
Bukhaaree and Muslim)

Eighth: Offering animal as Udhyia It has been narrated from Umm
Salamah (may Allah be pleased with her) that the Prophet said: If you
see the Hilal (new moon) of Zul-Hijjah, and any one of you wants to
make a sacrifice, then he should not cut (anything) from his hair and
his nails. (Muslim and others) . And in one narration, he said: .Then
he should not cut (anything) from his hair, nor from his nails, until
he performs the sacrifice. Perhaps this is because of the similarity
with the one who is bringing a sacrificial animal for slaughter (in
Haj). As Allah, the Most High, said: And do not shave your heads
until the Hady (sacrifice) reaches the place of sacrifice...

The apparent meaning of this prohibition is that it is particularly
for the one whom the sacrifice is for, and does not include the wife
or children, unless there is an individual sacrifice for one of them.
There is no harm in washing the head, or scratching it, even if hairs
may fall out.

Ninth: It is incumbent for the Muslim (who is not performing Haj) to
make every effort to perform the Eid Prayer wherever it is performed,
and to be present for the Khutbah and benefit.

He must know the wisdom behind the legislation of this Eid
(celebration). It is a day of thankfulness and performing deeds of
righteousness. So, he must not make it a day of wildness, pride and
vanity. He should not make it a season for disobedience and increase
in the forbidden things like music and singing, uncontrolled
amusement, intoxicants and the like - those things which could cause
the cancellation of the good deeds done in these days (of Zul-
Hijjah).

Tenth: After what has been mentioned, it is fitting that every
Muslim, male and female, take advantage of these days by obeying
Allah, the Most High, remembering Him, thanking Him, fulfilling all
the obligatory duties, and staying far away from the prohibited
things. He must take full advantage of this season, and the open
display of Allah's gifts, to attain the pleasure of his Lord.

Surely, Allah, the Most High, is the One Who grants success, and He
is the Guide to the Straight Path. And may the blessings of Allah,
the Most High, and peace be upon Muhammad and his family and
companions!
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Ghaira: A sense of honour and prestige, and the anger caused by its
being violated.
At-Takbeer al-Mutlaq: the Takbeer (Allahu Akbar) which is
unrestricted to specific times or any specific form.
At-Takbeer al-Muqayyad: The Takbeer which is done at a particular
time and in a specific manner.