Adapted from: Perfect days for perfect Ibaadah
By Asma bint Shameem
The first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah are the most beloved to AllahThe Prophet testified to that. He said: “There are no days in which righteous deeds are more beloved to Allah than these ten days.” (Bukhaari)WHAT ACTIVITIES IN THESE 10 DAYS WILL BRING THE REWARD OF JANNAH?Obviously, Hajj is one of the best deeds that one can do during these ten days. However for those of us who were not invited to His House this year, there are still many, good deeds that one can do and earn the Pleasure of Allah.Some of these are:
1) Fast all nine days and especially fast the Day of ‘Arafah The Prophet (PBUH) said: “Anyone who fasts for one day for Allah’s pleasure, Allah will keep his face away from the (Hell) fire for (a distance covered by a journey of) seventy years.” (Bukhari, Muslim)The Prophet (PBUH) used to fast on the ninth day of Dhu’l-Hijjah and he said: “Fasting the Day of ‘Arafah (ninth Dhul-hijjah) is an expiation for (all the sins of) the previous year and an expiation for (all the sins of) the coming year.” (Muslim)
2) Do a LOT of Dhikr and Takbeer The Prophet (PBUH) said: “There are no days on which good deeds are greater or more beloved to Allah than on these ten days”, so recite much Tahleel (saying Laa ilaaha ill-Allaah), Takbeer (saying Allahu akbar) and Tahmeed (saying al-hamdu Lillaah).” (Ahmad -Saheeh)Ibn ‘Umar and Abu Hurayrah used to go out in the marketplace during the first ten days of Dhu’l-Hijjah, reciting Takbeer, and the people would recite Takbeer when they heard them. (Bukhaari)Takbeer at this time is a Sunnah. So recite it in the masjid, in your home, on the street and every place where it is permitted to remember Allah. Revive the Sunnah that have been virtually forgotten and earn great rewards for doing so.The Prophet said: “Whoever revives an aspect of my Sunnah that is forgotten after my death, he will have a reward equivalent to that of the people who follow him, without it detracting in the least from their reward.” (Tirmidhi- a hasan hadeeth)Men should recite these phrases out loud, and women should recite them quietly.
3) Stand in Night Prayers: (Tahajud, Qiyam al Layl) Remember the virtues of spending the night in prayer, and its sweetness in Ramadan? Why not revive this beautiful act of worship during these nights as well?Remember, how in the last third of every night, Allah Almighty calls out to us, His servants: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, Muslim)Why do we miss this golden opportunity? So, seize the chance NOW and expose yourself to His Divine Generosity and Mercy, ask Him to forgive you and guide you and set things aright. He will surely listen.
4) Make Sincere Repentance. One of the most important action during these ten days is to repent sincerely to Allah and to give up all kinds of disobedience and sin right away because we do not know when we will die and thus become unable to repent, and also because one evil deed leads to another.But what does ‘repentance’ mean?It means that you come back to Allah and give up all the deeds, open and secret, that He dislikes…. that you regret whatever you did in the past, giving it up immediately and be determined never ever, to return to it, and resolve to adhere firmly to the Truth by doing whatever Allah loves.“But as for him who repented, believed and did righteous deeds, then he will be among those who are successful.” [Al-Qasas 28:67]
5) Come back to the Qur’aan It is time now to dust off your copy of the Qur’aan and return to its refuge. Make it a daily habit, using these 10 days the beginning of a strong and beautiful relationship with it. Read it with meaning, reflect on it, understand it, and then implement it in your daily life.Remember that reading one letter of the Qur’aan earns you ten rewards. In this way, reading Surat Al-Fatihah, which doesn’t take more than two minutes, will give you more than one thousand rewards! This is on ordinary days, so what about these magnificent days! Certainly the reward will be far greater, Insha Allah.
6) Increase ALL the types of good deeds. If we are unable to go to Hajj this year, we should occupy ourselves in the worship of Allah; pray extra prayers (Nafilah) recite the Qur’aan. Make Dhikr of Allah, send Salaams on the Prophet, make dua, give charity, honor our parents, uphold ties of kinship, enjoin what is good and forbid what is evil, and add other good deeds and acts of worship during these days.“So whosoever does good equal to the weight of an atom, shall see it; And whosoever does evil equal to the weight of an atom, shall see it.”[Al-Zalzalah 99:7-8]
7) Get the reward of Hajj wherever you are: You may be unable to do Hajj this year, and you may feel sad. However, you can get the reward of it right where you are.The Prophet said: “Whoever prays Fajr Prayer in congregation, and then sits and remembers Allah until the sun rises, then (after a while) prays two rak’as, he will gain a reward equal to that of making perfect Hajj and Umrah.” [He repeated the word “perfect” thrice.] (At-Tirmidhi)
8. Slaughter an animal and distribute the meat. Ibn Umar said: The Prophet lived in Madeenah for 10 years and every year he slaughtered an animal.” (Ahmad-Saheeh by al-Albaani)
9) Attend Eid prayers But remember that Eid prayer is a form of worship and we should avoid unislamic behavior (especially) in dress and in etiquette during these times.
10) Thank Allah. One of the best forms of worshipping Allah Subhaanahu wa Ta’ala is to thank Him, deeply, sincerely and continuously.Alhamdulillah, there is much to be gained in these coming days. Hasten to do good deeds and striving hard in worship .
“And worship your Lord until there comes unto you the certainty (death).” [Al-Hijr 15:99]