The Season of Righteous Deeds
The 10 Days of Thul-Hijjah: Season of Righteous Deeds
As we approach the first ten days of the sacred month of Thul-Hijjah, we must remember the great opportunity we have to invest in the way of good deeds.
The Prophet ﷺ said: “No good deeds done on other days are superior to those done on the first ten days of Thul-Hijjah.” When some of his companions asked: ‘Not even Jihad?’ He ﷺ replied: “Not even Jihad, except that of a man who does it by putting himself and his property in danger for Allah’s sake and does not return with any of these things” (Bukhari).
The superiority of Performing Good Deeds
Every Muslim should take advantage of these days’ superiority by increasing their practice of good deeds, such as Nafl prayers, donations, reciting Quran, Dhikr (remembrance of Allah), and fasting. Islam emphasizes, particularly in these days, the following actions:
- Performing Hajj and Umrah are the best deeds we can do on those days. The Prophet ﷺ said: “Al-Hajj Al-Mabroor has no reward but Jannah” (Bukhari and Muslim).
- Fasting the nine days of Thul-Hijjah, especially the day of Arafah for those who are not in Hajj, as it expiates the sins of the year that passed and the year that follows. The mother of the Faithful, Aisheh, reported that she heard the Messenger of Allah ﷺ saying: “There is no day when Allah sets free more servants from hell than the day of Arafah.” Those who are not performing Hajj can share the blessings of this day through fasting: the Prophet ﷺ said: “Observing the fast on the day of Arafah amends the sins committed during the past year and the subsequent one” (Muslim).
- Takbeer (saying Allahu-Akbar), as reported by Ibn Omar and Abu Huraira, who used to proclaim Takbeer in the market during the first ten days of Thul-Hijjah, and the people would say it after them. We should say Takbeer after daily congregational prayers starting from the Fajr prayer of the day of Arafah (the 9th) to the Asr prayer on the last day of Al Tashreeq (the 13th).
- Attend Eid prayer on the 10th day and listen to the Khutbah (sermon).
- Offer the Udhiyah sacrifice. Udhiyah is one of the significant rituals of Islam, in which we remember the Unity of Allah, His blessings upon us, and the obedience of our father, Ibrahim, to his Lord. In the act of Udhiyah, there is much goodness and blessing. Muslims must pay attention to its great importance. Allah says, “Therefore turn in prayer to your Lord and sacrifice (to Him only)” (Quran 108:2).
“Say (O Muhammad): ‘Verily, my prayer, my sacrifice, my living, and my dying are for Allah, the Lord of the universe.”
“And for every nation, We have appointed religious ceremonies that they may mention the Name of Allah over the beast of cattle that He has given them for food. And your God is One God, so you must submit to Him Alone (in Islam)…” (Quran 22:34).
Udhiyah is a confirmed Sunnah according to most scholars (some scholars say it is wajib or obligatory. The basic principle is that we are required to fulfill this obligation at the appointed time on behalf of ourselves and the members of our household, and we may include in the reward for it whoever we wish, living or dead. If we offer a sacrifice on behalf of a deceased person, it is considered a giving charity on their behalf.
The Sunnah indicates that the one who wants to offer a sacrifice must refrain from taking anything from their hair, nails, or skin beginning on the first day of Thul-Hijjah until they offer their sacrifice.
By Sh. Jamal Said