► Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala swears by these ten days. He says,
وَالْفَجْرِ- وَلَيَالٍ عَشْرٍ
“By the dawn; By the ten nights.” [Al-Fajr 89: 1-2]
Many of the scholars of Tafseer (Qur’anic exegesis) are of the view that these ten nights are the first ten days of Thul-Hijjah, and this is the sound view. It is not proved that the Prophet, salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, specified them.
► The Prophet, salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, gave testimony that these ten days are the greatest days of this world
There are many ahadeeth in this meaning. The Prophet, salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said:
مَا مِنْ أَيَّامٍ الْعَمَلُ الصَّالِحُ أَحَبُّ إِلَى اللهِ فِيهِنَّ مِنْ هذِهِ الْأَيَّام
“There are no days on which righteous deeds are more beloved to Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala then on these ten days.”
The Companions radhiAllahu ‘anhum asked, “O Messenger of Allah, even (better than observing) Jihad for the sake of Allah?” He replied,
وَلَا الْجِهَادُ فِي سَبِيلِ اللهِ، إِلَّا رَجُلًا خَرَجَ بِنَفْسِهِ وَمَالِهِ ثُمَّ لَمْ يَرْجِعْ مِنْ ذلِكَ بِشَيْء
“Even Jihad for the sake of Allah, except for one who went out (for Jihad) with himself and his wealth and returned with nothing of this.”
In another hadeeth, the Prophet, salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: “There are no days on which righteous deeds are greater in the sight of Allah and dearer to Him than on these ten days. So, intensify Tahleel (saying: La Ilaaha Il-laAllah meaning there is no one worthy of being worshiped but Allah), Takbeer (saying: Allahu Akbar meaning Allah is The Greatest) and Tahmeed (saying: Alhamdu lillaah meaning praise be to Allah).”
The two ahadeeth indicate that each day of these ten days is better than any other day of the year, whether it is a Friday or not. Friday on these ten days is better than any other Friday because it gathers the two virtues (the virtue of the ten days as well as the virtue of Friday).
► The Prophet, salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, urged Muslims to do righteous deeds during these days and commanded intensifying Tahleel and Takbeer
► They include the day of ‘Arafah (the 9th day of Thul-Hijjah) and the day of Nahr (the 10th day of Thul-Hijjah)
► They include all the fundamental acts of worship: prayer, fasting, charity and Hajj. This is not available in other seasons.
Types of Righteous Deeds during these Ten Days:
When the virtue of a certain time is proved, the virtue of righteous deeds during this time is proved as well. Moreover, the Prophetic texts indicate that righteous deeds are dearer to Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala during these days than at any other time. Consequently, the virtue of righteous deeds during these ten days is proved from two ways.
As for the types of righteous deeds, they are as follows:
1. Sincere repentance
Repentance to Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala is to return to Him by abandoning everything He hates outwardly and inwardly and doing everything He likes outwardly and inwardly, with regret for the past, abandoning the deed in the present and determination not to return in the future. Things that are repented from include abandoning religious duties as well as doing what is forbidden. A Muslim is required to repent as soon as he does an act of disobedience at any time. That is because one does not know when he will die.
Moreover, misdeeds lead to more misdeeds; and the gravity as well as the punishment of the acts of disobedience increase according to the virtue of the time and place in which they are committed. Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala says:
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا تُوبُوا إِلَى اللَّهِ تَوْبَةً نَّصُوحًا
“O you who have believed, repent to Allah with sincere repentance.”
[At-Tahreem 66: 8]
Ibn Al-Qayyim, raheemullah, said, “The sincere repentance implies three things: repentance from all sins, true determination (not to repeat the sin) and refining repentance from all blemishes and defects. This is the most perfect form of repentance.”
2. Performing Hajj and ‘Umrah
Hajj and ‘Umrah are included in the deeds of these ten days because most of the Hajj rituals are performed during these days. The Prophet, salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, encouraged and urged Muslims to perform these two great acts of worship. This purifies the soul from the traces of sin and disobedience so that one becomes eligible to be honored by Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala in the Hereafter.
3. Constant Observance of Religious Obligations
This means observing the religious obligations in their prescribed fixed times, in a perfect manner and according to the Sharee’ah-approved way which is reported from the Prophet, salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, along with observing what is recommended as well as the etiquette. Obligations should be the slave’s first concern.
It was narrated in a Qudsi Hadeeth [sacred narration] that Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala said:
“I will declare war against a person who shows hostility to one of My Allies (devout slaves). The most beloved thing with which My slave comes nearer to Me is what I have made obligatory on him; and My slave keeps drawing closer to Me through performing voluntary acts of worship until I love him. When I love him I will be his hearing with which he hears, his seeing with which he sees, his hand with which he strikes, and his leg with which he walks; and if he asks (something) from Me, I will give him, and if he asks My Refuge), I will protect him.”
Commenting on the Hadeeth, Al-Haafith said, “Performing the obligatory acts of worship according to the Shari’ah-approved manner implies surrendering to the command, respecting the One Who obliged these commandments, exalting Him, obeying Him. Performing them also shows the greatness of Lordship and humiliation of servitude. Therefore, performing the obligatory acts of worship is the greatest deed.” Constant performance of the obligatory acts of worship is one of the praiseworthy characteristics of the slaves of Allah. Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala says (what means): “And those who [carefully] maintain their prayer.” [Al-Ma’arij 70: 34]
A constant performance of the obligatory acts of worship is asserted during these days because Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala likes righteous deeds during them and multiplies the reward.
Slightly modified. Originally posted at islamweb.net