Sunday, October 30, 2011

The virtues of the First Ten Days of Dhul Hijjah


"By the dawn. By the ten nights."
[soorah Al-Fajr, v:1-2]

السلام عليكم و رحمة الله و بركاته

Slaves of Allaah!

You are approaching virtuous days; they are the best days as the Prophetصلى الله عليه و سلم   said in an authentic hadeeth: "The best days in this life are the (first) ten days of Dhul-Hijjah".

Furthermore, Allaah swore by them in His Book, and when Allaah swears by something, it is a reflection of its great importance. Allaah says that which translates to: "By the dawn. And the nights of the ten days" (Al Fajr:1-2).

These are the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah and they include the day of 'Arafah, about which the Prophetصلى الله عليه و سلم  said: "There is no day in which Allaah frees more of His slaves from The Fire than the day of 'Arafah" (1).

These ten days are concluded by the day of An Nahr (sacrifice); then follows the day of Al Qarr. The Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم   said: "The greatest days in the scale of Allaah are the days of An Nahr and Al Qarr" (2).

The day of An Nahr is the major day of Hajj and the day of 'Eed; the day of Al Qarr is the following day. Virtuous deeds have a magnified position during these days. The Prophetصلى الله عليه و سلم   said: "There are no days in which righteous deeds are more beloved to Allah than the (first) ten days of Dhu'l-Hijjah" (3), in another narration the companions asked: "Not even Jihaad for the sake of Allaah?" heصلى الله عليه و سلم  said: "Not even Jihaad for the sake of Allaah, except for a man who loses (sacrifices) both his wealth and life in a battle" (4).

What great virtues and what a great season!

What an opportunity this is to collect greater rewards than that of Jihaad, which is the best deed after sound belief and punctual salaah. This season represents a wonderful opportunity for those who want to compete in collecting rewards and a miserable loss for the idle, who shun such opportunities.
Slaves of Allaah! Compete for and rush towards the forgiveness of Allaah and paradise which is as wide as the heavens and earth and do not slacken and be unhurried, because the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم   said: "Being laid-back is best in every matter except for good deeds" (5).

One must compete and march forward when it comes to working for the hereafter as Allaah says that which translates as: "… So for this let the competitors compete" (6) and also, "…So race to (all that is) good…" (7).

In this season, the roads leading to goodness are numerous, so do not miss out on any of them. 
The intelligent ones are those who exhaust themselves during this season to gain abundantly; you see many of them joining their days with their nights, continuously doing righteous deeds and hardly sleeping in order to get the most out of this season. On the other hand, you see those who put all their efforts into the attainment of worldly gains. The sad fact is that the result of all this effort would be, at most, the doubling of their capital - if indeed they do not actually lose it.

As for the wise believers, nothing is dearer to them than increasing their efforts and righteous deeds that please the Lord, get them closer to Him and elevate their ranks; Allaah told us what pleases Him in His Book and through His messenger; Allaah will guide those who truly wish for goodness (if He Wills).
Salaah is one of the ways leading to goodness and something that Allaah loves. The slave must be keen to perform it in congregation as Allaah says that which translates to:
"…And bow (in rukoo') with those who bow" (8),

and the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم   said, "He who hears the Athaan (call for Salaah) and does not respond, his Salaah is not accepted, except with the congregation, unless he has a (valid) excuse" (9) The excuse is either fear, sickness or rain.

A slave of Allaah who is guided would supply himself with optional salaah in these ten days, because it is a path to goodness and something that Allaah loves. Abu Hurayrah narrated that the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم   said: "Salaah is the best thing that one can do, so perform as many as you possibly can" (10) and he صلى الله عليه و سلم   also said: "Two light rak'aat which you may think as insignificant to add to you deeds, is better for you than possessing the whole world" (11)

He صلى الله عليه و سلم   also said, as narrated by Abu Hurayrah, "The son of Aadam could not do anything more beneficial for himself than salaah, reconciliation (between Muslims) and being well mannered" (12).

These were three examples of good deeds that lead to righteousness, salaah, reconciliation and being well mannered which are better than anything else that the son of Aadam can do, yet you see some people slight the performance of obligatory salaah, let alone optional salaah; you see them instigating disputes between people; and you see ill-mannered people who have lost out on the great reward for having a good character. So let us repent to Allaah from our sins, reform our situation and improve our manners. 

Some of the Ahaadeeth which mention the virtues of optional salaah are as follows: 
"Prostrate as much as you can, because whenever you prostrate, Allaah elevates your rank by a degree and wipes out a sin from your record" (13)

And in another narration: "Whenever a slave prostrates to Allaah, Allaah writes a reward for him, wipes out one of his sins and elevates his rank by one degree; so prostrate as much as you can" (14).

The way to perform salaah is as the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم  described: "The night salaah is done two (rak'aat) at a time" (15) and in another narration: "The optional salaah at night and during the day is done two Rak'ah at a time" (16).

عباد الله  Slaves of Allaah!
Another of the paths to righteousness and fields of competition is reciting the Qur'aan. The Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم   said: "The best amongst you are those who learn the Qur'aan and then teach it" (17)

He صلى الله عليه و سلم   also said: "He who recites a letter from the Book of Allaah will get a reward and each of these rewards will be multiplied ten times. I do not mean 'Alif Laam Meem' is one letter, but rather 'Alif" is a letter, 'Laam is a letter and 'Meem' is a letter". (18)

And he صلى الله عليه و سلم   also said: "If one of goes to the masjid and learns a verse or reads two verses from the Book of Allaah, is better for him than owning two she-camels, (reading) three are better than (owning) three, (reading) four are better than (owning) four and so on". (19)

Another of the fields of goodness is fasting as the Prophetصلى الله عليه و سلم   encouraged us to "Fast on Mondays and Thursdays". (20)

"Fast the day of 'Arafah". (21)

Also: "Fast like the Prophet Daawood (who fasted every other day)" (22).

I do not know of any specific reference that relates to any special virtue for fasting these ten days in particular, but, having said this I would add that one should still fast during these days because of the general texts encouraging good deeds during these ten days.
Another way is giving in charity. 'Abdur Rahmaan Ibn Saburah, radiaAllahu anhu, narrated that the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم   said: "(Every day) An Angel calls out in the heavens saying, 'O Allaah! Bless and compensate for the wealth of the one who spends (for your sake) and ruin the wealth of the one who holds back (from spending)'" (23)

Also he صلى الله عليه و سلم  said to Bilaal, radi-Allahu anhu: "Spend (charitably) O Bilaal! - and do not fear that Allaah will decrease your provision (due to your spending)"

And heصلى الله عليه و سلم   addressed Asmaa', radi-Allahu -anhaa, saying: "Spend (charitably) and don't count (i.e. don't be cautious in spending in this manner) otherwise your provisions will become limited and don't hold back (from spending in charity) otherwise your provisions will be held back" (24)

 The Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه و سلم  also said: "I swear that these three things are true: That giving in charity does not decrease the wealth of the slave …..…" (25).

Giving in charity enables one to be among the seven categories of people who will be protected under the shade of the Throne of Allaah; regarding this, the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم   said: "… and a man who gave charity so secretly that even his left hand would not know how much his right hand had spent" (26)

Also, "Charity given in secret extinguishes the wrath of Allaah". One of the best forms of charitable giving is to give someone a drink of water as the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم  said: "The best form of charity is giving someone water (to drink)" (27).

O slaves of Allaah! One of the best deeds in these days is to initiate Hajj as a way of drawing closer to Allah and fasting the day of 'Arafah for those who are not performing Hajj. (Allaah willing we will talk about the virtues of Hajj in another Khutbah)

Offering a sacrificial animal is also one of the most virtuous deeds that one can perform. The Prophetصلى الله عليه و سلم   said: "He who does not offer a sacrifice while being financially able to, let him not come close to our masjid (i.e. pray with us)"

And heصلى الله عليه و سلم   also said: "When the ten days (Dhu'l-Hijjah) have begun and one of you intends to offer a sacrifice, then let him not cut any of his hair or remove anything from his skin" (28)

In another narration he صلى الله عليه و سلم   said: "Let him not cut anything from his hair or nails until he sacrifices" (29).

These are examples of virtuous deeds, so take advantage of them; beware of laziness and neglect and know that Allaah has favored certain seasons over others, so let us take advantage of these opportunities and increase our righteous deeds; perhaps Allaah will forgive us for our sins and shortcomings.

و السلام عليكم و رحمة الله و بركاته

By Shaykh Abdur-Rahmaan As-Sudays
Translated by Hazem Ragab

[File attachment: Dhul-Hijjah by Saykh Sudays]

1.        Muslim
2.        Abu Daawood
3.        Ad-Daarimee
4.        Ahmad, Abu Dawood, Ibn Maajah, At-Tirmidhee
5.        Abu Daawood & Al-Haakim
6.        Soorah Al Mutaffifeen:26
7.        Soorah Al-Baqarah:148
8.       Soorah Al Baqarah:43
9.        Ibn Maajah
10.     At-Tabaraanee
11.     Ibn Al Mubaarak
12.     Al Bayhaqee and others
13.     Muslim
14.     Ibn Maajah
15.     Al Bukhaaree
16.     Ahmad, Ibn Maajah and others
17.     Al Bukhaaree
18.     At Tirmidhi
19.     Muslim
20.     Ahmad & Nasaa'ee
21.     Muslim
22.     Bukhaaree & Muslim
23.     At-Tabaraanee
24.     Bukhaaree & Muslim
25.     Ahmad & Tirmidhee
26.     Bukhaaree & Muslim
27.     Ahmad, An Nasaa'ee and Ibn Maajah
28.     Muslim
29.     Ad Daarimee

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