Ten Great Nights of Dhu al Hijjah

When Allah Ta’āla takes an oath upon some aspect, it is to illustrate the great significance of that aspect in His Sight. Among the various things that Allah Ta’āla has taken an oath upon in the Noble Qur‘ān is “Ten nights” (Surah Al-Fajr). Many Mufassirīn [commentators] are of the view that this refers to the first ten nights of Dhu al Hijjah.


Narrated Ibn Abbās RA: The Prophet SAW said: “No good deeds done on other days are superior to those done on the first ten days of Dhu al Hijjah.” Then some of the companions of the Prophet SAW asked: “Not even Jihad?” he replied: “Not even Jihad, 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.” (Bukhārī)


The companions of the Prophet SAW felt that the best deed is Jihād or fighting for the sake of Allah. So when the Prophet SAW mentioned that the righteous deeds in the first ten days of Dhu al Hijjah are the most loved by Allah, the companions asked rightaway, whether Jihād is better than those ten days or not. So the Prophet Muhammad SAW replied, “Even fighting for the sake of Allâh is not better than these days, except for a man who went fighting for the sake of Allâh with his soul and his wealth, and then he fought until he spent all of his wealth and died for the sake of Allah.” This is a very clear indication of the greatness of these ten blessed days.


In another Hadith, it is reported that one fast in these ten days is equivalent to the reward of fasting for one year (the tenth of Dhu al Hijjah is excluded since it is not permissible to fast on the day of Eid-ul-Adha). Likewise, performing Ibādah in any of these nights earns the reward of Ibādah in Lailatul Qadr (Tirmidhi).


Furthermore, among these ten days is the day of Arafah (9th Dhu al Hijjah). Regarding this day Rasulullah SAW is reported to have said: “I have hope in Allah I that the fast of the day of Arafah (9th of Dhu al Hijjah) will be an atonement for the (minor) sins of the past and forthcoming year.” (Tirmidhī) In a narration of Tabrāni it is reported that one should, in these ten days, recite the following excessively: Tasbīh (Subhan-Allah), Tahlīl (La ilaha illallah), Tahmīd (Alhamdulillah) and Takbīr (Allahu Akbar).


A good and righteous deed is any action that pleases Allāh Ta’āla, and the best of these deeds is to perform the obligated deeds (Farāidh) first, and then perform the additional and recommended deeds next. Some actions that are both obligatory and recommended are: praying, fasting, giving charity, reciting Qur’ân and dhikr [remembering Allâh]; learning the branches of Dīn, and teaching them; enjoining what is good and forbidding what is evil; treating people with good manners and uttering good words, and so on.