Allah (SWT) created day and night and divided them into weeks, months, years, and so on. The Almighty Allah has gifted this Ummah some noble times to make us blessed. Among these virtuous times, Dhul Hijjah is very significant for Muslims, especially in its beginning 10 days.
The initial ten days of Dhul Hijjah are considered very honorable in Islam for numerous spiritual reasons, including the day of Arafah, Hajj, Eid al-Adha, etc. According to Sunnah, it’s recommended to Fast on the first 9 days, especially on the day of Arafah, say Takbeer, (if possible) do Hajj and Udhiya, and there are several righteous deeds to do. So, these days are one of the best days of the year for Muslims. The following section will highlight various virtues and actions of the ten days of Dhul Hijjah.
Importance of the First Ten Days of Dhul Hijjah
What is the importance of Dhul Hijjah? There are different reasons that make the beginning ten days of Dhul Hijjah honorable. Some of them are-
- Allah (SWT) swears an oath by the first ten days of Dhul Hijjah in the Quran. Due to this, the importance of these days has increased a lot.
Allah (SWT) says, “By the dawn; And by the ten nights.” [Sura Al-Fajr, verse 1-2]
According to many Sahaba (RA), Tabee (R), and Mufassir (R) including Ibn `Abbas (RA), Abdullah Ibn Ibn Zubair (RA), and Mujahid (R), these verses indicate the first 10 days of Dhul-Hijjah. Ibn Kathir said, “This is the correct opinion.” [Tafsir Ibn Kathir]
- The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ mentioned these days as the best days of the year.
Jabir (RA) narrated a hadith from Allah’s Messenger ﷺ, “There is no better day to Allah than the 10 days of Dhul Hijjah.” [Sahih Ibn Hibban]
- These ten days before Eid ul-Adha include several honorable days and events like the Day of Arafah, Day of Sacrifice, Hajj events, and more that extend the virtues of Dhul Hijjah.
9 Important Sunnah to Follow for the Beginning 10 Days of Dhul Hijjah
The beginning ten days of the Islamic month of Hajj are blessed days of the entire year and hold great potential for reward and spiritual benefits. Here are several acts of worship that we can do to make this period effective.
1. Hajj and Umrah
The thing that makes the first period of Dhul Hijjah so glorious is Hajj, which is one of the five pillars of Islam. The rituals of Hajj are derived from the Sunnah of Ibrahim (AS). Performing hajj is obligatory for Muslims who can afford it. And many Muslims also do Umrah during this time.
In the Quran, Allah (SWT) says about Hajj,
“Performance of Hajj (pilgrimage) to this House is a duty to Allah for all who can afford the journey to it; and the one who disobeys this commandment should know that Allah is Self-sufficient, beyond the need of anyone from the worlds.” [Sura Aal-e-Imran, verse 97)
“Allah’s Messenger ﷺ said, “The performance of Hajj and ‘Umrah (lesser pilgrimage) expiate for the sins committed to between them, and an accepted Hajj has no reward but Paradise.” [Sahih Bukhari]
2. Fasting on First Nine Days, Especially on Arafah Day
It is an important Sunnah to fast on the first 9 days of Dhul Hijjah. These days are glorious to Allah, so fasting during Dhul Hijjah will make you rewarded. But if they are unable to Fast these 9 days, at least Fast on the day of Arafah.
Ummul Mu’minin Hafsa (RA) narrated that: “Allah’s Messenger ﷺ never left four deeds- fasting of Ashura, fasting the first decade of Dhul Hijjah, fasting three days (ayyam al-beed) of every month, two raka’h Sunnah prayers before Fajr.” [Sunan Nasa’i, Musnad Ahmad]
Fasting on the Arafah day expiates the sins of the year before and the coming year. So, who are not doing Hajj should fast on this day (9th Dhul Hijjah)
Abu Qatada (RA) narrated that Allah’s Messenger ﷺ said about fasting on the day of Arafah, “If you fast on the day of Arafah, I hope that Allah will forgive the sins of one year before and one year after fasting.” [Sahih Muslim]
3. Doing More Worship
The ten days of Dhul Hijjah are an excellent opportunity to engage in increased acts of worship such as voluntary prayer (especially Tahajjud), recitation of the Quran, giving charity (Sadaqah), making supplications, kindness to others, and other worship. This brings abundant rewards and blessings from Allah. These acts of devotion help purify the soul, increase one’s faith, and earn closeness to our Almighty Allah.
The Messenger of Allah ﷺ says, “There are no days on which righteous deeds are more beloved to Allah (SWT) than these (first) 10 days (of Dhul Hijjah).” [Sahih Bukhari]
There are many hadiths regarding these days that also prove praying on the initial ten days of Dhul Hijjah is better than other good deeds. In some Dhul Hijjah Hadiths, praying on these nights is mentioned as similar to praying on Laylatul Qadr.
As worshipping in the starting ten days has immense rewards and blessings so try to involve all kinds of Ibadah you can. And keep in mind to give charity in this sacred time. We highly recommend donating to Greentech Apps Foundation to be a part of Sadaqah Jariyah. Your contribution will accelerate our work of developing Islamic apps and make us more sustainable.
4. Make Lots of Dhikr, Especially Takbeer
During the ten days of Dhul Hijjah, it is recommended Sunnah recite the Takbeer frequently. This serves as a reminder of the greatness of Allah and our gratitude to Him.
Our beloved Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said, “There are no days that are greater before Allah or in which good deeds are more beloved to Him than these ten days (of Dhul Hijjah), so increase reciting Tahleel, Takbeer, and Tahmeed during then.” [Musnad Ahmad]
Another narration of the hadith of Musnad Ahmad says to recite Tasbeeh, Tahmeed, and Tahleel.
- Takbeer: Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, La ilaha illallah, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, wa lillahil Hamd (meaning: Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest, there is no God except Allah, Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest, and all praise belongs to Allah)
- Tahmeed: (Al-hamdu Lillah, meaning: All praises be to Allah)
- Tahleel: (La ilaha ill-Allah, meaning: There is no god but Allah)
- Tasbeeh: (Subhaan-Allah, meaning: Glory be to Allah)
It’s Wajib (mandatory) to say Takbeer after each Fard prayer from the 9th Dhul Hijjah Fajr prayer to the 13th Dhul Hijjah Asar prayer. These 5 days are called Ayyam e Tashreek when men should recite the above-mentioned Takbeer aloud and women silently.
The recommended Takbeer E Tashreek (combining the above Dhikr) is:
الله أكبر، الله أكبر،لا إله إلاالله والله أكبر،الله أكبر ولله الحمد
Transliteration: Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, La ilaha illallah, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, wa lillahil Hamd
Meaning: Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest, there is no God except Allah, Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest, and all praise belongs to Allah)
This is also recommended to increase your Dhikr like SubhanAllah, Alhamdulillah, Allahu Akbar, La ilaha illa-Allah, SubhanAllahi wa-bihamdihi, SubhanAllahil Azeem, and many more on the first few days of Dhul Hijjah.
5. Seeking Forgiveness
The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said, “There are no days in which righteous deeds are more beloved to Allah than these ten days.” [Sahih Bukhari]
It is a time to seek forgiveness for our sins, repent sincerely, and make a firm commitment to change for the better. The initial ten days of Dhul Hijjah are a period of self-observation and repentance. Muslims are encouraged to reflect on their actions, seek forgiveness for their past sins, and resolve to make positive changes in their lives. It is a time to purify the heart, seek reconciliation with others, and strive for personal growth in Ibadah and Emaan.
6. Special Supplication on the Day of Arafah
The 9th day of Dhul Hijjah is known as the Day of Arafah (Yawm al-Arafah. On that day, Hajj pilgrims gather in the plain of Arafah in Makkah, seeking forgiveness and supplicating to Allah.
A hadith narrated by Ayesha (RA), Allah’s Messenger ﷺ said: “On the day of Arafah, Allah (SWT) frees a larger number of His servants from Hell.” [Sahih Muslim]
For those who are not performing Hajj, fasting on this day holds great rewards. The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “Fasting on the Day of Arafah absolves the sins of the previous year and the coming year.” [Sahih Muslim]
It’s also important to offer more supplications (Dua) to the Almighty Allah (SWT) as The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “Dua on the day of Arafah is the best Dua.” [Jami At-Tirmidhi]
You can make a list of duas so that you make lots of supplications and don’t miss anything. You can use dua apps like Hisnul Muslim to bookmark your favorites and impact duas from Quran and Sunnah so that you can utilize them on the best day of the year.
7. Offering Udhiya (Qurbani)
The tenth day of Dhul Hijjah is known as Eid al-Adha, the Festival of Sacrifice. Muslims who are economically solvent are encouraged to offer a sacrifice as an act of obedience and gratitude to Allah. The sacrifice serves as a reminder of the obedience of Prophet Ibrahim (AS) and his willingness to sacrifice his son Ismail (AS) for the sake of Allah. Muslims around the world participate in this festival by slaughtering their sacrificial animals and distributing the meat to the less fortunate, symbolizing generosity and sharing with others.
Allah (SWT) says about Udhiya (Qurbani) in the following verse of the Quran,
‘’So, pray to your Lord and offer sacrifice (to Him alone).’’ [Surat al-Qawthar, verse 2]
Offering sacrifice is the best deed on the day of Eid al-Adha that is mentioned in many hadiths. For example-
The mother of believer Ayesha Siddiqa (RA) narrated, the Prophet ﷺ said, “The most beloved deed to Allah on the day of Sacrifice among all the good deeds is the shedding of blood (through animal sacrifice). The sacrificial animal will rise on the Day of Resurrection with its horns, hooves, and fur. Before the blood of the sacrificial animal falls on the ground, it is accepted by Allah. So, O servants of Allah! Sacrifice with a spontaneous heart.” [Jami At-Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah]
In another hadith, Allah’s Messenger ﷺ said, “He who does not perform Sacrifice (Qurbani) in spite of his ability should not even come near our Eid prayer place.” [Sahih Bukhari, Ibn Majah]
8. Don’t Cut Hair, Nails, Sprains, etc.
Another important Sunnah in the first 9 days of Dhul Hijjah is not to cut your nails, hair, hair below the navel, etc. Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “If you see the moon of Duhl Hijjah and intend to perform Qurbani (sacrifice), you shouldn’t cut your hair and nails.” [Sahih Muslim, Abu Dawud, Sunan Nasa’i]
Based on the Hadith, some scholars say it’s Mustahab and another group says it’s Wajib (mandatory) for the sacrificers to avoid cutting nails and hair before offering Qurbani. But the family members of the sacrificers can cut hair or clip nails.
And some Islamic jurists also say this is applicable to both those who intend to sacrifice and those who do not sacrifice. Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’Ala knows the best.
9. Offering Eid al-Adha Prayer
It is Sunnah to offer Eid al-Adha prayer with the community in the 10th Dhul Hijjah. On Eid day, you should also take a bath, wear good clothes, and use perfume. And you shouldn’t eat anything before the Eid prayer in the Eid ul-Adha. After completing the Eid prayer and sermon, your main task is to sacrifice.
The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “Today we will perform the Eid prayer first. Then I will sacrifice…” [Sahih Bukhari]
Q. When is the Dhul Hijjah 2023?
A. Dhul Hijjah is the last month in Islamic Calendar. This comes after the month of Dhul Qa’dah. It is one of the four blessed months in Islam. The month of Dhu al-Hijjah 1444 A.H. has 30 days, beginning on June 19, 2023, and ending on July 18, 2023.
Q. How to pray at the beginning of 10 days of blessed Dhul Hijjah?
A. There is no specific rule. You can pray, do Dhikr, recite Quran, give charity, etc, as much as possible.
Q. Is Dhul Hijjah Fasting Sunnah?
A. Yes, it’s Sunnah to fast on the first 9 days of Dhul Hijjah. But if you are performing Hajj, you shouldn’t Fast on Arafah Day (9th Dhul Hijjah). You will find the background of the Hajj here.
The initial ten days of Dhul Hijjah hold immense spiritual significance in Islam. Muslims are encouraged to make the most use of this blessed time by engaging in acts of worship, seeking forgiveness, and getting closer to Allah (SWT). You can do it through fasting, voluntary prayers, recitation of the Quran, sincere repentance, Dhikr, acts of charity, performing Hajj, and other Sunnah actions.
The lessons and virtues obtained during this time can have a lasting impact on the individual’s spiritual journey. By embracing the essence of this decade, we can strengthen our connection with Allah and strive to become our best versions inshaAllah.