Most Muslims very well know the blessings of the nights of Ramadan, especially the last ten nights. However, not everyone knows that the first ten days of the last month of the Islamic month, Dhul Hijjah, are equally packed with blessings.
Allah has provided Muslims numerous opportunities throughout the year to renew their faith and to encourage them towards acts of goodness by specifying such special days. So, we have another such opportunity that we shouldn’t let pass by just like any other period in time.
Allah says in the Quran in Surah Al-Fajr (interpretation of the meaning):
“By the dawn; By the 10 nights” [al-Fajr 89:1-2].
Most scholars agree that these ten nights refer to the first ten nights of Dhul-Hijjah. Ibn Katheer also had validated that opinion by stating: “This is the correct opinion.” [Tafseer Ibn Katheer, 8/413]
Ibn ‘Abbas reports that the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam) said,
“No good deeds done on other days are superior to those done on these days [meaning the ten days of Dhul-Hijjah].”
Among the deeds recommended during those ten days are observing voluntary fasting, offering animal sacrifices (lamb, goat, etc.), sincere repentance, recitation of the Quran, staying up the night and finally praying the Eid prayers on the tenth day of Dhul Hijjah.
Hafsah reported, “There are five things that the Messenger (saws) never abandoned: fasting the day of ‘Ashurah, fasting the [first] 10 [days of Dhul-Hijjah], fasting 3 days of every month and praying two rak’aah before the dawn prayer.” [Related by Ahmad and an-Nasa'i]
Abu Hurairah relates that the Messenger of Allah (saws) said, “There are no days more loved to Allah for you to worship Him therein than the ten days of Dhul Hijja. Fasting any day during it is equivalent to fasting one year and to offer salatul tahajjud (late-night prayer) during one of its nights is like performing the late night prayer on the night of power. [i.e., Lailatul Qadr].” [Related by at-Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah, and al-Baihaqi]
The Prophet (SAWS) commanded us to recite a lot of Tasbeeh (“Subhan-Allah”), Tahmeed (“Al-hamdu Lillaah”) and Takbeer (“Allaahu akbar”) during this time. ‘Abdullaah ibn ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him and his father) reported that the Prophet (SAWS) said: “There are no days greater in the sight of Allah and in which righteous deeds are more beloved to Him than these ten days, so during this time recite a great deal of Tahleel (“La ilaaha ill-Allah”), Takbeer and Tahmeed.” (Reported by Ahmad, 7/224; Ahmad Shaakir stated that it is saheeh). (Islam-QA.com)
So, as Muslims we should welcome the ten days of Dhul Hijjah with the same fervor and enthusiasm as we welcome the last ten days of Ramadan or any other blessed days in Islam. Lets make the most of it.