Arafah and the First Ten Days of Dhul-Hijjah

Since 2002-02-14

In the Holy Qur'an, Allah the Exalted says (interpretation of the meaning)
{By the dawn. By the ten nights} [Al-Fajr 89:1-2]. Many scholars have said
that this refers to the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah, and the fact that
Allah swears by them means that they are indeed significant and worth the attention of every Muslim.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) says, "There are no days in which good deeds are more beloved to Allah than these days." The Prophet was asked, "Not even jihad for the cause of Allah?" He replied: "Not even jihad for the
cause of Allah, except for a man who goes out (for jihad) with his money and
his own self then does not return with any of that." [Bukhari]
Some of the recommended acts of worship during these days include:

· Fasting - We are told to do good deeds during these days and fasting is one of the best deeds as is stated in a hadith qudsi: 'All the deeds of the son of Adam are for him, except for fasting, which is for Me and I am the One Who will reward him for it.'" (Bukhari).
Also The Messenger of Allah said: "No servant (of Allah, the Most High) fasts one day in the Path of Allah, except that Allah, the Most High, removes his face from the Fire because of it (the distance of travelling) seventy years."

· Qiyam al layl - (prayer at night)
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said that fasting each of these days is equivalent to fasting a year, while qiyam during each night equals qiyam for a year. [Tirmidhi]

· Performing a lot of Tahleel (saying "La illaha illa Allah"), Takbeer ("Allahu Akbar") and Tahmeed ("Alhamdu Lillah")
Abdullaah ibn 'Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him and his father) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "There are no days greater in the sight of Allaah and in which righteous deeds are more beloved to Him than these ten days, so during this time recite a great deal of Tahleel ("La ilaaha ill-Allaah"), Takbeer and Tahmeed." (Ahmad)
Men should say these out loudly and women should recite them quietly. Men should recite them loudly in the mosque, in the street, in the market, the street and in any place that its allowed to remember Allah.There is sound evidence that Ibn 'Umar and Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with them) used to go out in the marketplace during the first ten days of Dhu'l-Hijjah, reciting Takbeer, and the people would recite Takbeer when they heard them.

· Repentance (Tawbah) : Even though repentance is to be done at all times, people's hearts tend to turn towards worship during these special occasions, so it is important to ask for forgiveness during these times (as well as at all other times) and this repentance combined with the good deeds done during these days can insha'Allah lead a reformation in the Muslim to not repeat their sins and continue to good.

Arafah, which is the ninth day of the month of Dhul-Hijjah, is the greatest day of the entire year. Fasting that day (for those not performing Hajj) is strongly recommended, as the Prophet (peace be upon him) taught us that "Fasting the day of Arafah causes forgiveness of the sins of the previous year and coming year" [Muslim]. I remember reading the story of a lady who reverted to Islam a couple of years ago, and how eager she was to encounter the day on which fasting results in forgiving two whole years.

Another hadith tells us that forgiveness on Arafah is for those who take control of their hearing, sight and tongue. For this reason, it is good to perform i'tikaf (remaining in the mosque) on the day of Arafah. Arafah is also the best day of the year for reading Qur'an.

The tenth day of Dhul-Hijjah is Eid ul Adha on which fasting is forbidden.
All Muslims should take great care to make sure that they use their special opportunitiues given by Allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala) to us, and not miss them as once they are gone it will be regretted. When our life will end, only Allah knows so we should try to get as much rewards as possible, especially on the days when the reward is multiplied by many times. Never think you have done enough good, my brother and sisters, for never can you do enough good for the sake of Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala.

I pray to Allah to guide us to the very best during these days. Ameen.

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