TEN DAYS OF ZIL HIJJAH
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THE FIRST TEN DAYS OF ZIL HIJJAH ARE FULL OF VIRTUES and great blessings. According to a large group of mufassireen (commentators of the Qur’aan), the ten nights mentioned in Soorah Al Fajr are the nights of the first ten days of Zil Hijjah. Allah says:
By the Dawn; By the ten Nights; (89:1-2)
This oath substantiates the greatness and sacredness of these ten nights in the eyes of Allah. This is an extra ordinary oath; it is very reliable and significant and the wise men can understand that by this oath, Allah too attaches great importance and value to the ten nights of Zil Hijjah.
The Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam too, has clearly mentioned the importance and the virtue of these blessed moments.
It is reported by Abdullah Ibne Abbaas radhiyallahu anhuma that the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam said, “No good deeds done on other days are superior to those done on these (first ten days of Zil Hijjah).” Thereupon, some companions of the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam said, “Not even Jihadd ? ” He replied, “Not even Jihaad, except that of a man who does it by putting himself and his property in danger (for Allah’s sake) and does not return with any of these things.”
Bukhaari Vol.1 pp.132
In another Hadeeth reported by Aboo Hurayrah radhiyallahu anhu, the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam said, “On no days is the worship of Allah desired more than in the (first) ten days of Zil Hijjah. The fast of each of these days is equal to the fast of a whole year, and the worship of each of these nights is equal to the worship of Laylatul Qadr.”
Tirmizi Vol.1 pp.158
Moreover, what other virtue can be greater for these blessed days than the fact that certain specific devotions cannot be performed but in these specified days. Allah Almighty has specifically chosen these days for the fulfillment of two of the most important devotions, viz. Hajj and Qurbaani. One may argue and say that there are other forms of devotions too, which are fixed to specific days and moments; hence what is the speciality of these particular days ? The answer to this argument is simple. Although there are other devotions too, which are also fixed to specific time, such as fasting in the month of Ramadhaan; but one may, if he desires, fulfill the devotion of fasting in days other than Ramadhaan i.e. as an optional devotion.
On the contrary, the wuqoof of Arafaat (which is the essence of Hajj), the wuqoof of Muzdalifah, etc., cannot be performed but in these specified days. If one was to remain in Arafaat for many months after the 9th Zul Hijjah, he will not receive any reward whatsoever and it will never be considered an act of ibaadah.
Similarly, Qurbaani is performed only in three days one of which is 10th Zul Hijjah. There is no possibility whatsoever of a Nafl Qurbaani once these days have lapsed, so much so that qazaa Hajj or qazaa Qurbaani is not even possible. It is because of these distinguishing characteristics that the ulamaa have stated, in the light of Qur’aan and Hadeeth that after the days of the month of Ramadhaan, the greatest days in virtue are the first ten days of Zul Hijjah. The reward of ibaadah in these days increases abundantly and the results are honored with specified blessings and mercies by the Creator.