In the Name of Allaah the All-Merciful, the Ever-Merciful[/center]
All perfect praise be to Allaah, the Lord of the worlds.
May the peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, upon his household, his companions, and upon those following them in goodness until the Day of Judgment.
The Prophet, may Allaah grant him peace and blessings, said that
Allaah considers the first ten days of the month of Dhul-Hijjah to be greater than any other day. Doing good acts in these days is more beloved to Him than doing good acts in any other day. Therefore, one-- in these days--should frequently say some words expressing the oneness, greatness, and praise of Allaah. [/b][/i]
In other words, one should say, for instance: " La ilaaha Ilalllaah" (or Allaah is the only God worthy of worship), "Allaahu Akbar" (or Allaah is Greater), and "Al-Hamdulillaah" (or all perfect praise be to Allaah).
This Hadith is narrated by Imam Ahmad, may Allaah have mercy upon him, on the authority of Ibn ‘Umar, may Allaah be pleased with them both.[b][size=16]
How should we prepare for the reception of these ten days?[/b][/size]
We should show
1- Sincere repentance,
2- have a firm intention to get as much reward as one can in these days, and
3- Draw far from committing acts of disobedience to God.[b][size=16]
What are the merits of the first ten days of DhulHijjah?[/b][/size]
1- God swore by these days.
He says: "By the dawn and by the ten nights." The "ten nights" refer to the ten days of Dhul-Hijjah, the 12[sup]th month in the Islamic lunar calendar. This opinion is held by the majority of Muslim scholars who explained the Quran and by the successors. In his explanation of the Quran, Ibn Kather said that this opinion is the correct one.
2- The ninth of DhulHijjah is the day of religion completion and favor perfection.
The Jews told ‘Umar that they would hold a celebration to mark the revelation of a verse in the Quran if this verse was sent down to them. ‘Umar told them that he knows when this verse was sent down, where this verse was revealed, and where the prophet was when it was sent down. This verse was sent down on the day of ‘Arafah, the ninth day of DhulHijjah and we were at the mountain of ‘Arafah. Sufyan said that he was not sure whether this verse was sent down on Friday. This verse reads: [b][i][color=#0000ff]"Today I have completed your religion for you, and I have perfected My favor on you. (Chapter of Al-Ma’idah: 3)"[/b][/i][/color]
This Hadith is narrated by Bukhari and Muslim.
3- One gets double reward in these days.
4- These ten days are the appointed days on which the Name of God is mentioned.
God says: [b][i][color=#0000ff]"And mention the Name of Allah on appointed days over the cattle which He has provided them."[/b][/i][/color] (Chapter of Al-Hajj, verse no. 28)
The majority of scholars—including Ibn ‘Umar and Ibn ‘Abbaas-- believe that the appointed days are the first ten days of DhulHijjah.
5- The Prophet, may Allah grant him peace and blessings, said that these ten days are the best days of the world. When asked whether the same status of these special days may apply to any other ten days spent in the way of Allah (i.e. Jihad), the Prophet answered in the negative, but made one exception: a man who dies and loses his money while performing Jihad.
This Hadith is narrated by Al-Bazzar with a Hasan chain of narrators, by Abu Ya’la with a sound chain of narrators, and by Ibn Hibban in his [i]Sahih[/i].
6- These ten days include the day of ‘Arafah, the ninth day of DhulHijjah. ‘Arafah Day is the greatest day of Hajj.
Fasting this day removes the sins committed during the year preceding this day and the sins that would be committed during the year following this day. This Hadith is narrated by Muslim, Ahmad, and Al-Tirmidhi.
Supplication to God during ‘Arafah Day is likely to be responded to. The Prophet, may Allah grant him peace and blessings, said:
"The best supplication to God is the supplication during ‘Arafah Day. The best words that I and the Prophets prior to me uttered are ‘Allaah is the only God worthy of worship. He is One with no partner. To Him belongs dominion. To Him be all perfect praise. And He is able to do everything.’"[/b][/i][/color]
This Hadith is narrated and declared Hasan by Al-Tirmidhi, and is narrated by Malik.
7- These ten days include the day of slaughtering the sacrificial animals, which is the tenth day of DhulHijjah. The slaughter day is the first day of Eid Al-Ad-ha and is considered to be the best day by God. The Prophet, may Allaah grant him peace and blessings, said Allaah considers the best day to be the slaughter day then the day following it. This Hadith is narrated by Abu Dawud and Al-Nasa’ii.[b][size=16]
What are the recommended acts during the first ten days of DhulHijjah?[/size]
1- Repentance to God and avoidance of committing acts of disobedience to God.
Acts of disobedience make you draw far from God and make you away from God’s mercy. Acts of obedience make you draw near to God and make God love you. The Prophet, may Allaah grant him peace and blessings, said that God does not like that a believer commits a prohibited act. This Hadith is narrated by Abu Hurayrah, may Allaah be pleased with him, and recorded by both Al-Bukhari and Muslim.
2- Fasting. It is recommended to fast these days, especially ‘Arafah Day. If you are a pilgrim, then it is not recommended for you to fast this day because the Prophet, may Allaah grant him peace and blessings, was not fasting when he stood on Mountain ‘Arafah. The Prophet, may Allaah grant him peace and blessings, said that he hopes that God removes the wrong-doings committed a year before and a year after ‘Arafah Day for those who fast ‘Arafah Day. This Hadith is narrated by Muslim on the authority of Abu Qataadah.
3- Mentioning the name of Allaah and saying some words expressing God’s greatness, praise, and oneness. For instance, one can say "Allahu Akbar" (or God is Greater), "Al-Hamdulillaah" (or perfect praise be to God), and "La Ilaaha Illallaah" (or Allaah is the Only God worthy of worship". God says, [b][i][color=#0000ff]"And mention the Name of Allah on appointed days."[/b][/i][/color] The "appointed days" are the first ten days of DhulHijjah.
3- Doing good acts frequently, such as voluntary prayers, charity, Jihad, reading the Quran, advising people to good acts and refrain from committing bad acts. The reward for doing good acts in these days is doubled. The reward you get from God for doing a good act during these days is more than the reward you can get for doing any good act (even Jihad) on any day other than these days. The only exception is for those who die in Jihad.
Other good acts include: learning the Quran, seeking God’s forgiveness, praying during night, kind treatment of parents, maintaining good relations with relatives, greeting Muslims by saying "peace be upon you" (or As-Salaamu ‘Alaykum), offering food to people, reconciliation between people, refraining from saying bad words, remaining chaste, generosity towards guests, spending some money in the way of God, removing harmful things from streets, providing for your wife and children, fostering orphans, visiting sick people, meeting the needs of your Muslim brothers and sisters, asking Allah to grant the Prophet peace and blessings, refraining from harming Muslims, kind treatment of those whom you are responsible for, marinating good relations with your parents’ friends, supplicating to God for your Muslim brothers and sisters in their absence, returning what was in your trust, fulfilling promises, kind treatment of your maternal aunts and uncles, extending relief to those in distress, lowering your gaze, perfecting your Wudoo’ (ablutions), supplicating to Allah between Adhan and Iqaamah, reading the chapter of Al-Kahf on Fridays, offering the obligatory prayers with the community inside the Masjid, observing the recommended prayers that come before and after the obligatory prayers, offering the ‘Eid prayer outdoors with the community, mentioning the name of God after finishing the obligatory prayers, observing lawful sources of livelihood, introducing happiness to Muslims, treating weak people with compassion, doing favors, guiding people to goodness, acting in goodwill towards people without harboring any grudge, and cooperation with Muslims in goodness.
4- Slaughtering a head of Al-An’aam (i.e. camels, cows, sheep, and goats) after offering the ‘Eid prayer. God says, [b][i][color=#0000ff]"So pray to your Lord and slaughter (the animal sacrifice)."[/i] [/b][/color]You can also slaughter your animal sacrifice on the 11th, 12th, and 13th of Dhulhijjah. This slaughter is a norm set by Prophet Ibraheem (Abraham), may Allaah grant him peace and blessings, when Allaah saved his son and told him to slaughter a great animal sacrifice instead. Anas, may Allaah be pleased with him, said: [b][i][color=#0000ff]"The Prophet, may Allaah grant him peace and blessings, sacrificed two nicely horned white rams. He slaughtered them with his hand, said: ‘In the Name of Allaah. Allaah is greater," and put his leg on the side of their necks."[/b][/i][/color] This Hadith is recorded by Bukhari and Muslim.
The Prophet, may Allaah grant him peace and blessings, said: [b][i][color=#0000ff]"If a person found himself affluent enough to offer an animal sacrifice, but he did not do so, then he should not approach our place of prayer."[/b][/i][/color]
It is recommended that you be present while your sacrifice is being slaughtered. It is also recommended that you eat some of it, store some of it, and give some of it to people, especially the needy. If you intend to offer a sacrifice, then you should not cut your hair or nails, starting from the 1st of DhulHijjah until you slaughter your sacrifice.
It is sufficient for one person to slaughter a sheep or a goat. Some scholars said that it is sufficient for one family to slaughter a sheep or a goat. It is also sufficient for seven people to slaughter a cow or a camel.
The sacrifice you are going to slaughter should exceed certain age. As for the camels, they must be over five years. As for the cows, they must be over two years. As for the sheep and goat, they must be over one year.
It is invalid to slaughter an animal sacrifice which is evidently blind in one eye, evidently sick, or evidently lame. It is also invalid to slaughter an emaciated animal that has no bone marrow. These four defects were mentioned by the Prophet, may Allaah grant him peace and blessings, in a Hadith narrated by Al-Barra’ ibn ‘Aazib. This Hadith is recorded by Ahmad and the compilers of Sunan Books with an authentic chain of narrators.
May Allaah grant peace and blessings to Prophet Muhammad, his household, and all of his companions.