الحمد لله رب العالمين، وصلى الله وسلم على نبينا محمد وعلى آله وأصحابه أجمعين، أما بعد
Shaikh Saalih Al-Fawzaan (hafidhahullaah) mentioned:
“From Ibn ‘Abbaas (radhiyallaahu ‘anhumaa) who said that the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said:
مَا مِنْ أَيَّامٍ العَمَلُ الصَّالِحُ فِيهِنَّ أَحَبُّ إِلَى اللَّهِ مِنْ هَذِهِ العَشْرِ، قَالُوا: وَلَا الجِهَادُ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ؟ قَالَ: وَلَا الجِهَادُ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ، إِلَّا رَجُلٌ خَرَجَ بِنَفْسِهِ وَمَالِهِ فَلَمْ يَرْجِعْ مِنْ ذَلِكَ بِشَيْءٍ
((There are no days wherein the righteous action is more beloved to Allaah than these days)) [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.))
So they are the ten days that are venerated, and the action within them has significance for it as well as having manifold increase (in reward) for it, and it is more beloved to Allaah than action in other than it. Actions within them are by way of the remembrance of Allaah, The Glorified and Most High, and Tasbeeh (saying: Subhaanallaah) and Takbeer (saying: Allaahu Akbar). So at the very onset of those ten days the Muslim should begin making Takbeer. He, The Mighty and Majestic, said:
وَيَذْكُرُوا اسْمَ اللَّهِ فِي أَيَّامٍ مَّعْلُومَاتٍ
((And they mention the name of Allaah on known days)) (Al-Hajj: 28)
So the known days; they are the ten days, and therefore Allaah, The Glorified and Most High, is to be remembered with Tasbeeh and Takbeer and Tahleel (saying: Laa ilaaha illallaah). The Salaf would favour them (the ten days) and would specify them with that and they would raise their voices with Takbeer in the homes and the streets and other venues.
Likewise from the actions that are recommended to be carried out within them is fasting the ten days of Dhil-Hijjah, because fasting is from righteous actions, therefore it enters into the righteous actions that are recommended during these ten days.
Likewise in them is the ninth day which is the day of ‘Arafah and fasting it is recommended for the one who is not performing the Hajj.
The Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) was asked concerning the fasting on the day of ‘Arafah, so he (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said:
صِيَامُ يَوْمِ عَرَفَةَ أَحْتَسِبُ عَلَى اللهِ أَنْ يُكَفِّرَ السَّنَةَ الَّتِي قَبْلَهُ وَالسَّنَةَ الَّتِي بَعْدَهُ
((Fasting the day of ‘Arafah; I hope [in anticipation of reward] from Allaah that it expiates [the sins of] the previous year as well as the following year.))
Likewise within them is the tenth day, and it is the day of the greater pilgrimage, and it is ‘Eidul Adhaa.
So in these ten days there are many good things, because of that; Allaah, The Glorified and Most High, swore by them, out of commendation of their significance, and so that the servant should come to know of their value, and thus take advantage of them in the obedience to Allaah, The Glorified and Most High.”
(Taken from: Maa Tayassar wa Tahassal min Duroos Al-Qur’aan fee Hizb al-Mufassal vol 2 p.364)
 Reported by Abu Dawood (no.2438) and the wording is his, and Ibn Maajah (no.1727) and Ahmad in the Musnad (3/433).
 That is to fast any of the first nine days with the ninth day being the day of ‘Arafah, since the tenth day is the day of ‘Eid and one is not to fast on this day, it was not elaborated above as this is something which is generally known. Therefore when there is a mention of fasting the first ten days of Dhil-Hijjaah, then it refers to the first nine days only.
 Reported by Muslim (no.196) from the hadeeth of Abee Qataadah (radhiyallaahu ‘anhu).
 In His saying, The Most High:
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.” (Tafseer Al-Qur’aan Al-‘Adheem vol 4 p.459)