The significance of the 10 days
The first 10 days of the month of the Dhu al–Hijjah begins today. These 10 days are the best days of the whole year. It is even holier than the days of Ramadan. However, the last 10 Nights of Ramadan are holier because of laylut Al-Qader. See Tafseer Ibn Katheer, 5/412
The importance of the 10 days is shown by the fact that Allah swore by them in the Quran:
“By the dawn; And [by] ten nights.” [Qur’an: Chapter 89, Verses 1-2]
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said:
“There are not any days that are holier than these ten days of Dhu’l-Ḥijjah. Therefore increase in doing good deeds to Allah, and increase in saying laa ilaha il Allah (there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah), and saying Allahu Akbar (Allah is Greater), and saying alhamdulillah (all praise be to Allah).” ~ [Musnad Imam Ahmad]
What deeds can I perform during these days?
- Renew intention & repentance.
- Reading Quran abundantly: If you read 1 letter from the Quran then you will rewarded with 10 hassanahs, and since we are in the best 10 days then allah multiplies the hassanahs even more. So if a person reads ~323670 letters, which is number of letters in the whole quran, how many deeds will he/she get?
- The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: “[Whoever recites a letter] from Allah’s Book, then he receives the reward from it, and the reward of ten the like of it. I do not say that Alif Lam Mim is a letter, but Alif is a letter, Lam is a letter and Mim is a letter.”
- Praying on Time and in congregation
- “The five (daily) prayers, and from one Friday prayer to the next, and from Ramadan to Ramadan are expiation for sins committed in between provided one stays away from the major sins.” (Al-Bukhari)
- Fasting: especially fasting the 9th day which is the day of Arafah
- The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) was asked about the observance of Saum (fasting) on the day of ‘Arafah. He said, “It is an expiation for the sins of the preceding year and the current year. [Muslim]
- Prophet (PBUH) said, Anyone who fasts for one day for Allah’s sake, Allah will keep his face away from the Hellfire for (a distance covered by a journey of) seventy years. (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
- Prophet (PBUH) said,Fasting serves as a shield from Hellfire. (An-Nasa’i and authenticated by Al-Albani)
- Helping others:
- Ibn `umar reported that a man came to the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) and said: “O Messenger of Allah, who are the people whom Allah loves most?” He answered: “The people whom Allah loves most are those who are always ready to help others in any way they can, and the deeds that Allah loves most are the deeds that make a Muslim happy by relieving him from distress, trouble or crisis, repaying his debt, or feeding him. The mere walking of a Muslim in order to do something to help his brother is better than `i’tikaf (seclusion) in this mosque (Al Madina Mosque) for a whole month.”
- Making much dua: Make plenty of Dua’as during these 10 blessed days and nights particularly on the night and day of Arafat which is the 9th of Dhul Hijjah. Duas are also readily accepted during fasting, especially just before Suhur ends and just before breaking the fast.
- Dhikir: One of the greatest of deeds in these blessed ten days is remembering and glorifying Allah. Ibn al-Qayyim discussed the reality of dhikr, its merits and blessings, some of its most common phrases, and its significance. Of the blessings that he mentioned regarding dhikr:
- Dhikr repels Shaytan, and humiliates him
- Dhikr is pleasing to Allah
- Dhikr removes sorrows and heartaches
- Dhikr brings happiness and optimism to the heart
- Dhikr enlightens the heart and face
- Dhikr increases one’s sustenance and blessings
- Dhikr causes one to grow closer in love to Allah
- Dhikr opens up a door of dialogue between the servant and the Lord
- Dhikr, when done in fortunate circumstances, is reciprocated by Allah remembering him in less fortunate circumstances
- Dhikr causes its practitioner to be kind and loving to others.
Further Reading: Ruling on fasting the 3 days of Eid Al-Adha