Allah has expressed the superiority and excellence of the first 10 nights of Dhul Hijjah by swearing by them in these verses of Surah Fajr:
By the Nights twice five; Surah Fajr (89:2)
The clarification about which nights are meant by these is mentioned in the exegesis of the Holy Quran and the Hadith. There is a Hadith:
Translation: Hadhrat Jabir (May Allah be well pleased with him) narrates from the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) that He (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) said: The 10 nights mentioned here are the 10 nights of Dhul HIjjah, Witr means 9th Dhul Hijjah, the day of ‘Arafaat and the word “..” means 10th Dhul Hijjah, the day of sacrifice. (Musnad Imam Ahmad Bin Hambal, Hadith No. 14885)
There is a Hadith in Jame’ Tirmidhi about the worship of the first 10 days of Dhul Hijjah:
Translation: It has been narrated on the authority of Hadhrat Abu Hurairah (May Allah be well pleased with him) and he narrates from the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) that He said: The worship of the first 10 nights of Dhul Hijjah is more liked by Allah than the worship of other days. 1 fast in this month has the reward of fasting for the whole year and worship of 1 night in Dhul Hijjah has the reward of standing up in worship for the whole year. (Jame’ Tirmidhi, Vol. 1, Pg No. 158, Hadith No: 763)
There is a Hadith in Sahih Bukhari:
Translation: Hadhrat Abdullah Bin ‘Abbas (May Allah be well pleased with them) narrates from the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) that He (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) said: There is no good deed which is superior to the deeds done in these days. The Companions asked: What about Jihad? The answer was: Not even Jihad except the person who strives in the path of Allah endangering his life and property and does not return with anything. (Sahih Bukhari, Hadith No. 926)
There is a Hadith in Shu‘abul Iman:
Translation: Hadhrat Harun Bin Moosa says: I heard Hadhrat Hasan (May Allah be well pleased with him) narrating on the authority of Hadhrat Anas Bin Malik (May Allah be well pleased with him): Every single day of the first 10 days of Dhul Hijjah is equal to 1000 days in reward and the day of ‘Arafah is equal to 10,000 days. (Shu‘abul Iman, Hadith No. 3607)
Some special acts of worship for these 10 days
In these blessed days Haj is performed and those who are performing Haj are in a state of Ihraam. Thus, to develop some kind of resemblance to them, it is commendable not to cut their hair or trim their nails those people who are performing Qurbani. The Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) has prohibited us from doing so. There is a Hadith in Sahih Muslim:
Translation: It has been narrated on the authority of Hadhrat ‘Umar bin Muslim bin’Ammaar (May Allah be well pleased with him), he says: I heard Hadhrat Sa‘eed bin Musayyib (May Allah be well pleased with him) say: I heard the mother of the believers Hadhrat Umm Salma (May Allah be well pleased with her) say that the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) said: The person who has an animal for slaughtering, on seeing the moon of Dhul Hijjah, should neither remove/cut hair nor cut nails until he performs the Qurbani (Sahih Muslim, Hadith No. 5236)
From the Fajr of 9th Dhul Hijjah to the ‘Asr of 13th Dhul Hijjah, after every Salaat, every Muslim man and woman should perform Takbeer Tashreeq as well. As given in Fatawa A’alamgiri, Vol. 1, Pg. No. 152.
To say the Takbeer Tashreeq once is Compulsory (Wajib) and saying it thrice has more excellence. The Takbeer Tashreeq is this:
Transliteration: Allaahu Akbar Allaahu Akbar Laa Ilaaha Illallaahu Wallaahu Akbar Wa Lillaahil Hamd.
Muslims should also fast in the first 9 days of Dhul Hijjah. At the very least, one should fast on 9th Dhul Hijjah at least, which is recommended by the Sunnah and has much excellence.
Thus, there is a Hadith in Sahih Muslim:
Translation: Fasting 3 days of every (Islamic) month, fasting in one Ramadhan after the last one has reward of fasting for the whole life. By fasting on the day of ‘Arafah (9th Dhul Hijjah), I have hopes that Allah will forgive the sins of the year prior to it and the year following it. I have hopes that by fasting on the 10th of Muharram, Allah will forgive the sins of the year gone by. (Sahih Muslim, Hadith No. 2803)
Those whose wealth reaches the prescribed limits should compulsorily perform the sacrifice of an animal.
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