Khutba: The best days ever – the first ten of dhul hijjah

Allah is al-Hakeem, the possessor of perfect wisdom, He chooses places, times, and people in His perfect wisdom. He has chosen Friday as the best day of the week, and Ramadan as the best month, and Lailalatul Qadr as the best night. But what are the best days?

Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala (exalted is He) says: “By the dawn, and by the 10 nights,” [Qur’an, 89:1-2]. Ibn ‘Abbas, Ibn al-Zubayr, Mujahid and others of the earlier and later generations said that this refers to the first ten days of Dhul Hijjah. The 1st of Dhul hijjah will be on Sunday 12th August in 2018. The 9th of Dhul Hijjah, the day of Arafah, is on Monday 20th August, before the day of Eid.

Allah has preferred the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah over all other days of the year. Ibn ‘Abbas narrated that the Prophet [pbuh] said: ‘There are no days in which righteous deeds are more beloved to Allah than these ten days.’ The people asked, ‘Not even Jihad for the sake of Allah?’ He said, ‘Not even Jihad for the sake of Allah, except in the case of a man who went out for Jihad, giving himself and his wealth up for the cause of Allah, and came back with nothing.’ [Al-Bukhari]

The rewards are multiplied in these days. Ibn ‘Abbas said: “(The reward for good) deeds are multiplied seven hundred times in these days.”

Al Awzaa’i said: “I was informed that good deeds during the ten days are the equivalent (in reward) to a battle in the path of Allah, in which the day is spent in fasting and the night in safeguarding, except if one is bestowed with martyrdom.”

Why are these days so special?

There is only one time when you can do all of the best of deeds – salaah, charity, sacrifice, fasting, Hajj.

Yawm al-Arafah (the Day of ‘Arafah) is the Day on which Allah completed this deen and perfected His bounty (Quran 5:4)

It was narrated from Talhah ibn ‘Ubayd ibn Kurayz in a mursal report: “The best of du’aa’ is du’aa’ on the day of ‘Arafah.” Narrated by Maalik in al-Muwatta’ (500)

This is the dua with the greatest blessing, the greatest reward and that which is most likely to be answered.

It was narrated that ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “There is no day on which Allaah ransoms more of His slaves from the Fire than the day of ‘Arafah. He draws close then He boasts about them before the angels and says, ‘What do these people want?’” Narrated by Muslim (1348).

So what should we do in these days?

Khalid bin Mi`dan used to say: “If the door for good is opened for one of you, then rush (to take advantage) because you don’t know when it will close.”

The Prophet ﷺ encouraged everyone to treat these days as your best days and fill them with goodness. This includes:

A time for tawbah – turn back to Allah(SWT) and ask for forgiveness.

“A person committed a sin and said: ‘My Lord, I have sinned; forgive me.’

His Lord said: ‘Is My slave acknowledging that he has a Lord Who forgives sins and punishes for them? I have forgiven My slave.’

Then as much time passed as Allah willed, then he committed a sin and said, ‘My Lord, I have sinned; forgive me.’

His Lord said: ‘Is My slave acknowledging that he has a Lord Who forgives sins and punishes for them? I have forgiven My slave.’

Then as much time passed as Allah willed, then he committed a sin and said, ‘My Lord, I have sinned; forgive me.’

His Lord said: ‘Is My slave acknowledging that he has a Lord Who forgives sins and punishes for them? I have forgiven My slave,’ – three times…” (Bukhari, Muslim)

When Ibrahim (peace be upon him) completed the structure of the Ka’bah, Allah commanded him to call the people to Hajj. Ibrahim (peace be upon him) pleaded, “O Allah! How shall my voice reach all of those people?” Allah told him that his duty was only to give the call and it was up to Allah to make it reach the people.

Ibrahim (peace be upon him) then climbed Mount Arafat and called out in his loudest voice, “O People! Verily Allah has prescribed upon you Hajj, so perform Hajj.”

Allah revealed in the Quran:

And proclaim the Hajj among mankind. They will come to thee on foot and (mounted) on every camel, lean on account of journeys through deep and distant mountain highways. [Surah Al-Hajj 22:27]

To this very day, millions upon millions of Muslims continue to answer the call of Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him). Perhaps this year you shall be amongst those who answer the call.

Hajj linguistically means, ‘He intended, prepared, or took himself, to or towards a person… or ‘to set out for a place’.” [E.W. Lane, Arabic-English Lexicon (Cambridge, England: The Islamic Text Society, 1984), Vol: 1].

No doubt, Hajj is one of the greatest deeds one can accomplish in his or her lifetime. Abu Hurayrah narrates: The Prophet was asked, “What deed is the best?” He said, “Iman in Allah and His Messenger.” “Then what?” “Jihad in the sake of Allah.” “Then what?” “Hajj Mabrur, a Hajj accepted by Allah.”

Abu Sha’tha’ said, “I contemplated the good deeds that a person does. I found that Salah, as well as fasting, are a jihad of the body. And that Sadaqah is a jihad of someone’s wealth. But Hajj is a jihad of both body and wealth.”

‘Amr ibn Al-‘Aas arrived with Khalid b. Waleed four years before the passing of the Prophet(SAW) to accept Islam at the hands of the Prophet(SAW). Waleed b Waleed, his brother, was given the good news that he had arrived in peace by the Prophet(SAW). ‘Amr (RA) narrates,

“When Islam entered my heart, I went to the Messenger of Allah and said, ‘Give me your hand so that I may pledge allegiance to you.’ The Prophet spread his hand, but I withdrew mine. He said, ‘What is wrong ‘Amr?’ I said, ‘I want to make a condition.’ ‘And what is that?’ he said.

I said, ‘(I have committed too many sins in my life, and I planned to kill you more times than I can count, I want the promise) that Allah will forgive me.’ Then the Messenger of Allah said, ‘Did you not know that Islam wipes out what came before it, and that Hijrah wipes out what came before it and that Hajj wipes out what came before it!” – Al-Islaam yahdee wa maa kaana qabla wal hijrah tahdee wa maa kaana qabla wal hajju yahdee wa maa kaana qabla (Sahih Muslim).

This is your opportunity. Hijrah is of many degrees – wal muhaajiru man hajara minal khataaya wa dhunoob – the one who migrates from minor and major sins. This is my moment. This is your moment. When will you and I make hijrah too?

So where are you going? [At-Takwir: 26]

How long will you continue to run away from your Lord. Every moment, a moment of our life is shared away. If we don’t make that hijrah, there is no-one to blame apart from ourselves.

How long will you search for happiness and joy without Allah(SWT)? It’s like trying to make a cake without flour or sugar.

Do not leave your repentance till Ramadan. Do not wait until you go for Hajj. Do not even wait till tomorrow. Do it now and prepare for this journey. Come back to Allah before it is too late. Now.

Ali – Radi Allahu ‘anhu – once stood at the head of a grave and said to his companion, “If he had a chance to return to this life, what do you think he would do?” His companion replied, “He would do nothing but good deeds.” Ali – Radi Allahu ‘anhu – then said, “If it is not going to be him, then let it be you.”

Abdullah ibn Al-Mubarak narrates: I went to Sufyan ibn al-Uyaynah as the day of Arafat was setting. He sat on his knees, his hands raised to the Heavens, and tears moistened his cheeks and beard. He turned and looked at me, so I asked him, “Amongst the people who have gathered here for Hajj, who is in the worst state?” Sufyan ibn al-Uyaynah said, “He who thinks that Allah will not forgive him.”

Qurbani

To perform animal sacrifice The Messenger of Allah (May Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) said, “There is nothing dearer to Allah during the days of Qurbãni than the sacrificing of animals. The sacrificed animal shall come on the Day of Judgement with its horns, hair, and hooves (to be weighed and converted to rewards). The sacrifice is accepted by Allah before the blood reaches the ground. Therefore sacrifice with an open and happy heart.” – Tirmidhi

It is sunnah for those who are sacrificing an animal to avoid cutting their hair and nails for the first 10 days, even if you’re not going to Hajj. Narrated Umm Salamah: That the Prophet ((May Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him)) said: “Whoever sees the crescent of Dhul-Hijjah, and wants to slaughter a sacrifice he should not take from his hair nor from his nails.” – Tirmidhi

Fasting

The Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) was asked about fasting on the day of Arafah. He replied, “Fasting on the day of Arafat is an expiation (for sins) for the preceding year and the following year…[Muslim] Like in Ramadan, follow the best of examples and eat at suhoor time even if its just a date. Pray tahajjud, recite your Qur’an at fajr and try to make it to the masjid.

Chatting, tweeting, messaging, remembering

There are no days greater in the sight of Allah than them, so recite “Subhan-Allah“, “Al-hamdu Lillaah” and “Allahu akbar” profusely during this time (Musnad)

It was narrated from ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Amr ibn al-‘Aas (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The best of du’aa’ is du’aa’ on the day of ‘Arafah, and the best that I and the Prophets before me said is ‘Laa ilaaha ill-Allaah wahdahu la shareeka lah, lahu’l-mulk wa lahu’l-hamd wa huwa ‘ala kulli shay’in qadeer (There is no god but Allaah alone, with no partner or associate; His is the dominion, to Him be praise, and He has power over all things).” Narrated by al-Tirmidhi (3585)

Ibn `Umar and Abu Hurairah radi allahu `anhu (may God be pleases with him) used to go out in the marketplace during the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah, reciting takbir, and the people would recite takbir when they heard them.

A wise man once said, “Strange is he who has the material world walking away from him and the hereafter walking towards him. How could he busy himself with what is leaving him and turn his back to that which is coming towards him.”

Pray

The 5 prayers on time, and in congregation. Pray the 12 Rakah Sunnah’s on this day (For a reward of a palace in Jannah). The Prophet ﷺ said: “There is not a Muslim who prays twelve rak`aat per day, other than the obligatory prayers, except that a palace is built for him in paradise.” Pray additional Nawafil prayers.

The Prophet ﷺ said: “Whoever prays fajr [the pre-dawn prayer] in congregation and then sits in remembrance of Allah until the sun rises, then prays two rak`aat [units of prayer], he has the full reward of Hajj and `umrah (the lesser pilgrimage).”

Rasulallah (the Messenger of God) ﷺ said: “Whoever stands in prayer, reciting 1,000 verses, is written among the muqantareen.” A qintar (the root of muqantareen) is equal to 70,000 dinar. The recitation of the last two ajzaa’ (parts) of the Qur’an is equivalent to 1,000 verses.

Qur’an – try to complete or excel in it

It is equivalent to more than half a million hasanaat (good deeds) during these days. Let’s try to complete the recitation of the Qur’an during these days, ending by `Asr (the afternoon prayer) time on the day of `Arafah (the ninth day of Dhul-Hijjah) and spending from `Asr to Magrhib (the post-sunset prayer) in du`a’ (supplication).

Du’a

`Ali (ra) used to advise people to say, “O Allah, free my neck from the fire,” on the day of `Arafah.

In the Islamic history books it was narrated that on the day of Arafat, a man from Turkmenistan stood on the plains of Arafat in Hajj. To his left all he could see was Muslims crying and praying to Allah. To his right all he could see was Muslims crying and praying to Allah. Because of his native tongue, he could not imitate the lengthy prayers of the others. At this realization everything blurred in front of him. His face reddened, his eyes poured tears as he raised his hands, “O Allah! Grant me everything that they are asking for! Grant me everything that they are asking for!” And Allah accepted his Du’a.

Other good deeds include:

  • Spending in charity
  • Serving your parents
  • Mending ties with friends and family
  • Being good to your neighbours

For a handy checklist download, you may find this Dhul Hijjah planner, which was shared with us, useful – download here.

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