HadithProphets of God

The Significance and Practices of the Ten Days of Dhul Hijja

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The Significance and Practices of the Ten Days of Dhul Hijja

1. Introduction to the Ten Days of Dhul Hijja

The first ten days of Dhul Hijja are among the most magnificent days and hold extreme importance. The ten days hold profound blessings that are not to be exceeded by any other days of the Islamic calendar. Almighty Allah, in several verses of the Holy Quran, swears by various entities like the dawn, ten nights, the companions of the thicket, the even and the odd, and the daybreak and testifies to their grandeur and significance. It is extremely emphasized that these ten days are the most valuable period. The decisions about creatures are given at Pilgrimage days. Every prayer, every tawaf at the Kaaba, every ritual, every sa’y, and every deed of Pilgrimage is more valuable than anything. Many people martyred in the way of Allah are resurrected and the sins are forgiven. Therefore, those days are called the most valuable period anywhere in the world by the word of hemisphere. The Islamic scholars explained that the first ten days of Dhul Hijja are the most valuable days on earth. Therefore, people who cannot go to Hajj can make use of this period through performing different worships and showing favor. They can fast, read the Quran, do more.

Every Muslim must understand the fundamental beliefs and basic elements of Islam due to the first two verses that were taught to people who newly repented. These two verses are related to the days that are the most valuable period of the year. The superior value and significance of the ten days of Dhul Hijja – each hour of which is more valuable than anything in the world – must be taught to all Muslim societies so as to benefit from the glory of that period as much as possible. Every believer must attach importance to that period and try to bring good deeds as much as himself.

2. Importance of the Ten Days in Islam

Of all the sacred times in the Islamic calendar, very few may be as blessed as the first ten days of the month of Dhul Hijja (the twelfth month). Since the Hajj (pilgrimage to Mecca) is performed during these days, they are considered extremely significant and efficacious. It is quoted in Tirmidhi that there are no days as important to Allah or in which righteous deeds are more akin to being accepted than in the first ten days of Dhul Hijja. Though amal is greatly favored during the entire month of Ramadan, these are undoubtedly the foremost days of the year. A great deal of their blessing is due to the accomplishment of the major Hajj rites of Arafat, staying in the Muzdalifa, and the stoning of the three Jamarat by the millions of Muslims present in Mecca at the time. However, it is fortunate for the remainder of the Muslim ummat (especially those not granted the opportunity) that there are also numerous sunnah and recommended actions (aman al-mashruh) that may be performed in order to earn Allah’s good pleasure.

3. Virtuous Deeds and Recommended Practices

It is recommended to perform as much worship as possible during these virtuous days. One such rite is instantly giving a charity whenever one is automatically prompted by the tongue. It is reported that the Messenger of Allah said, “Every day on which the sun rises, it is a right of every Muslim to act justly and to give in charity justly. Be established in perfect goodness for forty days that you might reach the same.” (Muslim) A pilgrim in ihram should stay at Arafat and perform the Hajj rites in the best way possible. He should glorify Allah, exalt His Majesty, remember the rites of Allah, and perform them with care. This is in addition to drawing closer to Allah by acts of worship, such as Salah, Dhikr, and the recitation of the Quran.

The first ten days of Dhul Hijja are the most virtuous days in the Islamic calendar. They are especially significant for the Hajj pilgrims who are to perform several mandatory rites, such as spending the night at Mina, throwing the stones, and performing the Farewell Tawaf before leaving Makkah. The pilgrim is to observe due veneration to these holy days as well as value the competitive edge they provide in bringing the pilgrim closer to Allah. All Muslims must also become more aware of the major rites and the recommended practices of these special days.

4. The Day of Arafah and Its Observance

It is preferable for those who intend to perform Hajj and do not have to support their families, such as women whose husbands provide for them, to fast the Day of `Arafah as a Sunnah in order to seek closeness to Allah by performing an act of obedience. However, Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) did not leave Makkah except after he broke his fast on the Day of `Arafah in order not to tread the same path as the People of the Book who used to extend their fasting until the time of breaking the fast. Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her) narrated, “Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) was neither performing the Hajj nor the `Umrah but he used to fast on the Day of `Arafah.”

In other words, it is not prescribed to fast the Day of `Arafah except for those who are at `Arafah, in which case they should fast the Day of `Arafah. Instead, it is preferred to break the fasting of people with food in order to grant them the strength and help them withstand the hardships of `Arafah. Jabir (RA) narrated, “Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) went to sleep on the Day of `Arafah deprived of eating (even) an early lunch by any of us.” This implies that it would have been better for people to bring forth the food early. The relevant verse in this regard reads, “Then when you leave `Arafat, you remember Allah at the Mash`ar al-Harām.” (2:198).

5. Eid al-Adha: Celebration and Sacrifice

The event of the sacrifice occurred at the valley of Mina, one of the locations that have been inherited from the father Ibrahim in the city of Mecca. The tradition of the pilgrimage is a school, included in the teachings of the Hajj, in the tests and in the rites performed for that unforgettable learning. On the day of the Eid al-Adha, it is established that the pilgrims and their families, who did not attend the pilgrimage, eat from the meat from the animals that have been sacrificed. They may eat of their own sacrifice or join other families that have made the sacrifice, being distributed in Mozambique and also outside the country.

The celebration of Eid al-Adha is a worldwide event that marks the end of Hajj. It is incumbent on all Muslims to offer this prayer. Eid al-Adha is performed in the same way as the Eid al-Fitr prayer. Before the prayer, the Muslims should participate in the gathering and perform dhikr first. The Eid al-Adha is a day of commemoration and sacrifice, recalling the sacrifice of Prophet Ibrahim and Ismael, as well as the sacrifice of the millions of pilgrims who have undergone the trial, the sacrifice of the animals that are sacrificed on this day and, finally, the sacrifice of each Muslim.

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