“By the Dawn; By the ten nights” Allah says in Surah Al-Fajr:1-2
Among the great opportunities and the blessed times for the competitors of Paradise is the first 10 days of Dhul-Hijjah which Allah has favored over other days. There are numerous hadiths indicating that these ten days are better than all other days of the year, with no exception.
Pro[het Muhammad (SAW) said in Sahih Hadith “There is no deed that is better in the sight of Allah or more greatly rewarded than a good deed done in the (first) 10 days of Al-Adha”. It was asked, “Not even Jihad for the sake of Allah?” The Prophet (PBUH) replied, “Not even Jihad for the sake of Allah, unless a man goes out himself for Jihad taking his wealth with him and does not come back with anything.” Narrated by Al-Bukhari.
If the onset of Dhu’l-Hijjah has been proven and a person wants to offer a sacrifice, it is haraam for him to remove anything from the hair on his body or to cut his nails or any part of his skin. It is not forbidden for him to wear new clothes or to put on henna or perfume, or to be intimate with his wife or have intercourse with her.
Worthy to note is, this ruling applies only to the person who is going to offer the sacrifice, and not to the rest of his family, and not to the one whom he appoints to slaughter the sacrifice on his behalf. None of these things are forbidden for his wife or children, or for his deputy.
No difference between men and women with regard to this ruling. If a woman wants to offer a sacrifice on her own behalf, whether she is married or not, then she should refrain from removing any hair from her body or cutting her nails, because of the general meaning of the texts which state that that is not allowed.
Fasting the First 9 days of Dhul Hijjah
Note that 10th of Dhul Hijjah is the day of Eid ul Adha and it is prohibited to fast on this day.
It is recommended to fast on the first nine days of Dhul Hijjah, specifically and especially on the blessed day of Arafat which is the 9th day of the said month. Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) encouraged us to do righteous deeds in the first ten days of Dhul Hijjah and indeed fasting is one of the best of deeds. Almighty Allah says, “All the deeds of the son of Adam are for him, except fasting, which is for Me and I shall reward for it.”
Prophet Muhammad when asked about fasting on the day of Arafah that is the 9th of the month of Dhul Hijjah. He said, “Fasting on the day of Arafah is an expiation for the preceding year and the following year.” He then was asked about fasting on the day of Ashura (the 10th of the month of Muharram). He replied, “Fasting on the day of Ashura is an expiation for the preceding year.” Again the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) was also asked about fasting on Mondays and Thursdays, and he replied, “This is the day on which I was born and the day on which I was sent (with the Message of Islam) and the day on which I received revelation.” Sahih Muslim
Do A Lot of Good Deeds Than Usual
The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said: “There are no days in which righteous deeds are more beloved to Allah than these ten days (Dhul Hijjah.” Sunan Ibn Majah
These includes Reciting the Qur’an abundantly, showing exemplary character, giving much in charity, respecting and honoring our parents, doing many nawafil (supererogatory) prayers, increase in glorification & remembrance of Allah, making much dua and making life changes all and others are among those things one need to tighten up and do as often as possible.
Abundantly Reciting Tasbeeh, Tahmeed, Tahleel and Takbeer
“That they may witness things that are of benefit to them (reward of Hajj in the Hereafter and also some worldly gain from trade), and mention the Name of Allah on appointed days, over the beast of cattle that He has provided for them (for sacrifice).” Surah Al-Haj:28
It is Sunnah to recite takbeer (Allahu Akbar), tahmeed (Alhamdulillah), tahleel (Laa ilaaha ill-Allah), and tasbeeh (SubhanAllah) during the first ten days of Dhul Hijjah. These words should be recited abundantly in the mOSQUE (masajid), homes, streets, when driving, walking and in every place where it is permissible to remember and glorify Allah (SWA).
Stand and Engage the Night in Prayers
Allah Almighty calls out to His servants in the latter part of the night: “Is there anyone to invoke Me, so that I may respond to his invocation? Is there anyone to ask Me, so that I may grant him his request? Is there anyone seeking My forgiveness, so that I may forgive him?” Bukhaari and Muslim
Seeking Allah’s forgiveness and humbling ourselves in front of Him in supplication and prayers during the latter part of the night is an act of worship that is very beloved to Allah (SWT).
Attend Two Raka’a Eid Prayers
Attending Eid prayers is from the Sunnah of our beloved Prophet (peace be upon him). We should be keen in practicing this Sunnah and performing it according to the teachings of our Prophet(peace be upon him). Eid is a time of joy and happiness and we should be inclusive of all of our brothers and sisters who may not be as fortunate to have enough to enjoy this blessed occasion.
Perform Hajj (Pilgrimage)
Obviously, Hajj is one of the best deeds that one can do during these 10 days. However, for those of us who were not invited to His House this year, due to financial constrain, there are still many more ways to earn the pleasure of Allah.
Offering Sacrifice The Qurbani
Allah Said in Qur’an Surah Al-Haj: 37 “It is not their meat, nor their blood, that reaches Allah, It is their piety that reaches Allah.”
Sacrifice of a livestock animal during Eid ul-Adha. It is the sunnah of Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him). It is a means of getting closer to Allah (glorified and exalted be He). It is obligatory upon every sane adult who is not a traveller and can afford it (wealth equal to or more than nisab). It is performed on the days of sacrifice which is the 10th, 11th or 12th of Dhul Hijjah. One may sacrifice a thousand animals on days other than these, but it will never be regarded or considered as udh’hiya. Therefore the qurbani is a sacred act which can only be done during the three days of Dhul Hijjah as specified.
Note that one is expected to slaughter his animal only after the Imam of the Masajid (Mosque) where he performs his Edul ul-Adha prayers has slaughter his animal, if Allah has make it possible for him to have one for the sacrifice.
“Whoever slaughtered his sacrifice before the Imam, let him slaughter another in its place, and whoever didn’t slaughter a sacrifice, let him do so in the name of Allah.” said Prophet Muhammad
Just like we know the last 10 nights of Ramadan are the best 10 nights out of the year, these first 10 days of Dhul-Hijja are the best days of the year and the most beloved to Allah as they combine acts of worship in a way unlike any other time.