What to do on these days
Allah Glorified and Exalted be He blessed the Ummah of Muhammad ﷺ with opportunities to reap rewards and blessings every day of the year. The last ten nights of Ramadaan (the month of fasting) are among the most blessed nights of the year; in particular Laylatul-Qadr (the night of power) is extremely sacred. Similarly, the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah (the 12th Islamic calendar month) carry special status during the blessed month of “Pilgrimage.” There are numerous Ahadith of the Prophet ﷺ which spells out the importance of these ten days in the sight of Allah Glorified and Exalted be He, and the amplified reward for all good deeds during this blessed season.
Just like the last ten nights of Ramadaan are the best ten nights out of the year, these first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah are the best days of the year and the most beloved to Allah as they combine acts of worship in a way unlike any other time.
So, the questions we should be asking ourselves are, “How do we make the most of this season of blessings?” “What deeds can I perform to attain His pleasure?”
1. Perform Hajj (Pilgrimage)
Obviously, Hajj is the best deed that anyone can do during these ten days. However, with the current situation, and the very limited amount of people that are allowed to perform Hajj this year, we should continue making dua to Allah that Allah takes us on this memorable journey, coupled with our dua we should also continue making an effort to go, eg. saving money, so we shouldn’t say that there is no Hajj now so we don’t need to make any effort and can spend any money we might have saved, rather we should continue doing what is in our hands and leave the rest to Allah. Apart from Hajj, there are still many more ways to earn the pleasure of Allah.
2. Fast all nine days and especially on the ‘Day of Arafah’
The Prophet ﷺ said: “Anyone who fasts for one day for Allah’s pleasure, Allah will keep his face away from the (Hell) fire for (a distance covered by a journey of) seventy years.” (Bukhari, Muslim)
The Noble Messenger of Allah ﷺ used to fast on the ninth day of Dhul-Hijjah and he said:
عَنْ أَبِي قَتَادَةَ، قَالَ: قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ ـ صلى الله عليه وسلم ـ “ صِيَامُ يَوْمِ عَرَفَةَ، إِنِّي أَحْتَسِبُ عَلَى اللَّهِ أَنْ يُكَفِّرَ السَّنَةَ الَّتِي قَبْلَهُ وَالَّتِي بَعْدَهُ
“Fasting on the Day of ‘Arafah, I hope from Allah, expiates for the sins of the year before and the year after.” [Sunan Ibn Majah 1730]
وَعَنْ حَفْصَةَ قَالَتْ: أَرْبَعٌ لَمْ يَكُنْ يَدَعُهُنَّ النَّبِيُّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: «صِيَامُ عَاشُورَاءَ وَالْعَشْرِ وَثَلَاثَةُ أَيَّامٍ مِنْ كُلِّ شَهْرٍ وَرَكْعَتَانِ قبل الْفجْر»
Hafsa (RA) said there were four things the Prophet ﷺ never omitted:
“Fasting on ‘Ashura’, the first ten days of Dhul Hijjah and three days every month, and praying two rakaats before dawn.” [Mishkat al-Masabih 2070]