Each day that Allah (swt) gives us is an opportunity for us to grow closer to Him. It’s a chance to be grateful for what we have, seek repentance, implement more good deeds, and increase in our levels of faith. Throughout the year, Allah (swt) provides us with golden opportunities to renew our faith and encourage acts of goodness by specifying special days with special rewards, like the month of Ramadan (June 17 to July 17 in 2015), six days of Shawwal (July 18 to July 23 in 2015), the day of Ashura (Oct. 23 in 2015), and the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah (Sept. 13 to Sept. 23 in 2015), just to name a few.
The Prophet Muhammad’s wife Hafsah (ra) reported, “There are four things that the Messenger (pbuh) never abandoned: fasting the day of Ashura, fasting the first nine days of Dhul-Hijjah, fasting three days of every month, and praying two rak’aahs before the dawn prayer.” (Muslim)
We are now about to embark on one of those golden opportunities, which is the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah. The superiority of the first ten days of Dhul-Hajjah has been mentioned in the Quran and the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). Muslims all over the world, who are not embarking on the sacred journey of Hajj, are strongly recommended to spend these days submitting volunteer prayers and fasts, giving charity, and glorifying Allah (swt).
Two reasons that should encourage us to increase in our worship during these blessed days are:
(1) Abu Hurairah (ra) reported that the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said, “There are no days more loved to Allah for you to worship Him than the ten days of Dhul-Hijjah. Fasting any day during it is equivalent to fasting one year, and to offer tahajjud prayer (late night prayer) during one of its nights is like performing the night of power, Lailatul Qadr.” (At-Tirmidhi)
(2) Abu Qatadah reported that the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said, “Fasting on the day of Arafah is expiation for two years, the year preceding it and the year following it. And fasting the day of Ashura is expiation for the year preceding it.” (Related by all, except for al-Bukhari and at-Tirmidhi)
As Muslims, we should welcome the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah with the same enthusiasm as we do the last ten days of Ramadan. This golden opportunity should be utilized to increase in our prayers, supplications, fasts, charity, and remembrance of Allah (swt). May Allah (swt) bless and guide us to the straight path and give us the knowledge and wisdom to take advantage of these golden opportunities. Allahuma Ameen.