Righteous Deeds in Dhul-Hijja – Complied by Ahmad Al-Sa’iid


The First Ten Days of Dhul-Hijja

Allah, subhanahu wata‘ala, encouraged His servants to perform more righteous deeds during some periods of time. The first ten days of Dhul-Hijja (the 12th month in Muslim lunar calendar) is a case in point.

 Merits of the Ten Days

1- Allah, subhanahu wata‘ala, swore by the first ten days of Dhul-Hijja and called them “specified days”, as believed by some scholars. [Tafsir Ibn Kathir]

Allah, subhanahu wata‘ala, says: “By the daybreak, by the ten nights, by the even and the odd, by the passing night—is this oath strong enough for a rational person?” [Quran 89: 2] The “ten nights” refer to the first ten days of Dhul-Hijja, according to Ibn ‘Abbas, Ibn al-Zubayr and Mujahid.

Allah, subhanahu wata‘ala, also says: “Proclaim the pilgrimage to mankind. They will come to you … to attain benefits and mention God’s Name on specified days over the livestock He has provided for them.” [Quran 22:28] The “specified days” refer to the first ten days of Dhul-Hijja, according to Ibn ‘Abbas.

2- Allah, subhanahu wata‘ala, completed the religion of Islam on the ninth of Dhul-Hijja. He says: Today I have completed your religion for you, and I have perfected My favor on you.” [Quran 5: 3] When some Jews told ‘Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, that they would have celebrated this day if this verse had been revealed to them, ‘Umar said that this verse was revealed when the Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam, was on Mount ‘Arafa during pilgrimage. [Bukhari]

3- Allah, subhanahu wata‘ala, considers the first ten days of Dhul-Hijja to be the greatest days in this world. The Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam, said that the first ten days of Dhul-Hijja are the greatest days in the sight of Allah. [Ahmad]

4- Allah, subhanahu wata‘ala, regards the tenth of Dhul-Hijja, which marks Eid al-Adha, as the greatest day. The Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam, said: “The greatest day in the sight of Allah is the slaughter day.” [Abu Dawud]

5- The reward for doing righteous deeds during the first ten days of Dhul-Hijja surpasses the reward for doing the same acts on any other day. The Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam, said that the most beloved righteous deeds to Allah are those performed during the first ten days of Dhul-Hijja. [Abu Dawud]


Recommended Acts in the Ten Days

1- Mentioning the Name of Allah. Allah, subhanahu wata‘ala, says: “Proclaim the pilgrimage to mankind. They will come to you … to attain benefits and mention God’s Name on specified days over the livestock He has provided for them.” [Quran 22:28]

It is recommended to say “la ilaha illa Allah” (Allah is the only god worthy of worship), “Allahu akbar” (Allah is Greater), and al-hamdulillah (all perfect praise be to Allah). The Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam, encouraged us to do this act frequently throughout the first ten days of Dhul-Hijja. [Ahmad]

2- Pilgrimage to Makka. The Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam, said: “If someone performed pilgrimage without uttering bad words and without committing any act of disobedience, all his past sins would be forgiven.” [al-Tirmidhi]

He also said that Paradise would be the reward for performing pilgrimage that involves no act of disobedience. [Bukhari and Muslim]

3- Fasting ‘Arafa Day, the ninth of Dhul-Hijja, for non-pilgrims. The Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam, said: “I hope that Allah makes the fasting of ‘Arafa Day expiate [the sins committed during] the year preceding it and [the sins that would be committed during] the year following it.” [Muslim]

4- Supplicating to Allah, subhanahu wata‘ala, on ‘Arafa Day. The Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam, said: “The best supplication [to Allah] is the supplication during ‘Arafah Day. The best words that I and the prophets prior to me uttered are ‘la ilaha illa Allah wahdahu la sharika lah lahu al-mulk walahu al-hamd wa huwa ‘ala kulli shay’in qadir (Allah 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).’” [al-Tirmidhi]

5- Slaughtering the sacrificial animal (udhiya) on the tenth of Dhul-Hijja. Allah, subhanahu wata‘ala, says: “So pray to your Lord and slaughter (the animal sacrifice).” [Quran 108:2] Anas ibn Malik, may Allah be pleased with him, said: “On an Adha Day, the Messenger of Allah—sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam—gave us a speech, then he slaughtered two white rams.” [al-Nasa’i]

For those who are going to slaughter sacrificial animals, the Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam, recommended that they do not trim their hair or nails throughout the first ten days of Dhul-Hijja until they slaughter the animal. [Muslim]

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