The Excellence of The First Ten Days of Dhil-Hijjah & How The Salaf Were Within Them

الحمد لله رب العالمين، وصلى الله وسلم على نبينا محمد وعلى آله وأصحابه أجمعين، أما بعد

The Excellence of The First Ten Days of Dhil-Hijjah:

 

Allaah, The Most High stated:

وَالْفَجْرِ وَلَيَالٍ عَشْرٍ

((By the dawn. And by the ten nights)) (Al-Fajr: 1-2)

 

Ibn Katheer (rahimahullaah) said: “The ten nights; what is meant by it is the ten of Dhil-Hijjah as was mentioned by Ibn ‘Abbaas and Ibn Az-Zubair and Mujaahid and more than one person from the Salaf and those who came later.”[1]

 

Ibn Al-Qayyim (rahimahullaah) said: “Therefore a period of time which is inclusive of the likes of these actions is worthy that The Lord – The Mighty and Majestic should swear an oath by it.”[2]

 

Ibn Rajab (rahimahullaah) said regarding the excellence of these days: “From their excellence is that Allaah swore an oath by them wholly; and by some of it in particular, He, The Most High said:

وَالْفَجْرِ وَلَيَالٍ عَشْرٍ

((By the dawn. And by the ten nights))

 

As for the dawn; then it has been said: He intended the type of dawn, and it has been said: the intent is the appearance of dawn or the dawn prayer or the day in its entirety – there is a difference concerning it among the Mufassireen. It has been said: what is intended by it is a specific dawn, then it was said: what is intended by it is the dawn of the first day of the ten (days) of Dhil-Hijjah, and it has been said: rather what is intended by it is the dawn of the last day from amongst them – and it is the day of An-Nahr. Upon the basis of all of these statements; the ten then are comprising of the dawn by way of which Allaah swore an oath by.

As for the ten nights; then they are the ten of Dhil-Hijjah – and this is what is correct and that which the majority of the Mufassireen were upon from amongst the Salaf and other than them. It is likewise authentically reported from Ibn ‘Abbaas, it has been reported from him from more than one standpoint.”[3]

 

Shaikh ‘Abdur-Rahmaan As-Sa’dee (rahimahullaah) said: “In the (first) ten days of Dhil-Hijjah is the standing in ‘Arafah, wherein Allaah forgives His servants with forgiveness that causes Satan to grieve.[4] For indeed; Satan is not seen to be more ignoble nor more driven away than on the day of ‘Arafah, due to that which he sees from the descending of the Angels and mercy from Allaah for His servants. Likewise there occurs within them many actions from the performance of the Hajj and the ‘Umrah; these are great affairs which are deserving that Allaah should swear an oath by them (the days).”[5]

 

Regarding the saying of Allaah, The Most High:

وَيَذْكُرُوا اسْمَ اللَّهِ فِي أَيَّامٍ مَّعْلُومَاتٍ

((And they mention the name of Allaah on known days)) (Al-Hajj: 28)

 

Al-Haafidh Ibn Katheer mentioned that Ibn ‘Abbaas (radhiyallaahu ‘anhu) said: “the known days – they are the ten days.”[6]

 

Al-Baghawee (rahimahullaah) said: “Meaning: the ten of Dhil-Hijjah in the saying of the majority of the Mufassireen. They are referred to as ‘known’ due to the eagerness of knowing them by way of their calculation due to the time of the Hajj occurring at the end of them.”[7]

 

Ibn Rajab said: “The majority of the scholars hold that these ‘known days’ are the ten of Dhil-Hijjah, from them are: Ibn ‘Umar and Ibn ‘Abbaas and Al-Hasan (Al-Basree) and ‘Ataa and Mujaahid and ‘Ikrimah and Qataadah and An-Nakha’ee. It is also the saying of Abee Haneefah and Ash-Shaafi’ee and Ahmad (bin Hanbal) in that which is well known from them.”[8]

 

Ibn Rajab said: “Imaam Al-Bukhaaree reports in his Saheeh[9] from the hadeeth of Ibn ‘Abbaas that the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said:

((There are no days wherein the righteous action is more beloved to Allaah than these ten)) Meaning the ten days. They said: “O Messenger of Allaah, not even Jihaad in the path of Allaah?” so he said: ((Not even Jihaad in the path of Allaah, except for a man who goes out with his person and his wealth, and then he did not return with anything from that.))

 

This hadeeth proves that actions carried out during its days are more beloved to Allaah than the carrying out of actions during the other days of the world without there being any exception from them. Therefore if they are the most beloved to Allaah; then they are also the best with Him.”[10]

 

Al-Haafidh Ibn Hajar (rahimahullaah) said: “That which is apparent is that the reason for the distinguished nature of the ten days of Dhil-Hijjah is due to the fact that it is the place where the main forms of worship come together; and they are: the prayer and the fasting and the giving of charity and the Hajj – and that does not appear in other than them.”[11]

 

From Jaabir bin ‘Abdillaah (radhiyallaahu ‘anhu) who said that the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said:

((The best days of the world are the ten days))[12]

 

The Recommendation of Performing Righteous Actions Within These Ten Days, and How the Salaf Were Within Them

 

Ibn Al-Qayyim (rahimahullaah) said: “They are the ten days by which Allaah swore an oath by in His Book in His saying:

وَالْفَجْرِ وَلَيَالٍ عَشْرٍ

((By the dawn. And by the ten nights))

 

Due to this it is recommended that the takbeer and the tahleel and the tahmeed be made plentifully within them.”[13]

 

Ibn Rajab (rahimahullaah) said: “As for the recommendation in being plentiful in the remembrance (of Allaah) within them; then it is proved by the saying of Allaah, The Mighty and Majestic:

وَيَذْكُرُوا اسْمَ اللَّهِ فِي أَيَّامٍ مَّعْلُومَاتٍ

((And they mention the name of Allaah on known days)) (Al-Hajj: 28)

 

For indeed the known days are the ten days with the majority of the Scholars.”[14]

 

Imaam An-Nawawee (rahimahullaah) said: “Know that it is recommended to be plentiful in making adhkaar (remembrance of Allaah) during these ten (days) – in excess of other than them. It is likewise recommended to do that on the day of ‘Arafah more-so than the rest of the ten (days).”[15]

 

Imaam Al-Bukhaaree reports in his Saheeh that Ibn ‘Umar and Aboo Hurairah (radhiyallaahu anhumaa) used to go out into the market during the ten days and would make the takbeer and so the people would also make the takbeer due to their takbeer.[16]

 

Al-Baihaqee reports that when the ten days would enter; Sa’eed bin Jubair (rahimahullaah) would exert himself with immense exertion that was such that he was barely able to perform it.[17]

 

Imaam An-Nawawee (rahimahullaah) stated: “It has reached us from Saalim bin ‘Abdillaah bin ‘Umar (radhiyallaahu ‘anhu), that he saw a petitioner asking from the people on the day of ‘Arafah, so he said: ‘O feeble one! On this day is other than Allaah, The Mighty and Majestic to be asked from?’”[18]

 

‘Abdur-Rahmaan ibn Abee Haatim said: I heard my father (Aboo Haatim Ar-Raazee) say: “I came to Yahya bin Ma’een during the ten days – the ten of Dhil-Hijjah, and with me was something written down – meaning the names of those that transmit the narrations, and so I would ask him (concerning them) in secrecy, and he would respond to me. So when I exceeded much upon him he said: ‘is it written down with you?’ I said: ‘yes’, so he took it and looked at and then said: ‘on days such as this? And the mention of people within them?’ then he refused to answer me (my questions). He said: ‘If you had asked me something from your memory; I would have answered you, as for you having it in writing; then I dislike it.’”[19]

 

Sa’eed bin Jubair (rahimahullaah) would say: “Do not extinguish your lamps during the ten nights.” Worship would be admirable with him; and he would say: “awaken your servants so that they may take the pre-dawn meal in order to fast the day of ‘Arafah[20].”[21]

 

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[1] Tafseer Al-Qur’aan Al-‘Adheem 4/459

[2] At-Tibyaan fee Aqsaam Al-Qur’aan p.18

[3] Lataa-if Al-Ma’aarif p.360

[4] The virtue of the day of ‘Arafah is mentioned in a hadeeth in which the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said:

((There is no day in which Allaah sets free more slaves from the Hell-Fire than He does on the Day of ‘Arafah))

Reported by Muslim (no.1277).

[5] Tayseer Al-Kareem Ar-Rahmaan p.923

[6] Tafseer Al-Qur’aan Al-‘Adheem 3/205. Imaam An-Nawawee stated this as being the statement of Ibn ‘Abbaas and Ash-Shaafi’ee and the majority (of the scholars) See: Al-Adhkaar p.209.

[7] Ma’aalim At-Tanzeel 3/284

[8] Lataa-if Al-Ma’aarif p.361

[9] As hadeeth no.969, the hadeeth as is found in Saheeh Al-Bukhaaree has a slight variation in wording from that which is mentioned above.

[10] Lataa-if Al-Ma’aarif p.351

[11] Fathul Baaree 2/534

[12] Reported by Al-Haithamee as is found in Kashf al-Astaar [2/28 no.1128] and was declared Saheeh (authentic) by Shaikh Al-Albaanee in Saheeh Al-Jaami’ as-Sagheer [no.1133]. Al-Manaawee mentioned that the ten days are the ten of Dhil-Hijjah (See: Faidhul-Qadeer 2/51)

[13] Zaadul Ma’aad 1/56

[14] Lataa-if Al-Ma’aarif p.354

[15] Al-Adhkaar p.209

[16] Saheeh Al-Bukhaaree 2/457

[17] Shu’ab Al-Eemaan 3/354 no.3752

[18] Al-Adhkaar p.210

[19] Jarh wa Ta’deel 1/317

[20] There is an immense virtue in fasting on the day of ‘Arafah for those not performing the Hajj, as is shown in the hadeeth in which the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said:

((It expiates sins of the previous year as well as the following year.))

Reported by Muslim (no.1250).

[21] Siyar A’laam An-Nubalaa 4/326

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