By The Great Scholar Shaikh Muhammad Salih Al-Uthaimeen
All praise is for Allah the Lord of the worlds and may peace and blessings be upon the leader of the messengers. To proceed,
From the favor and grace of Allah is his allotting for the righteous servants a season in which they may seek to increase in performing good deeds. From this season are the ten days of Thul-Hijjah.
The evidence of their virtue has been reported in both the Quran and Sunnah, from them Allah’s statement (which means), “By the dawn. And by the ten nights.” [Al-Fajr: 1,2] Ibn Katheer has said, explaining this verse, “what is meant by the ten nights is the ten days of Thul-Hijjah just as Ibn Abbas, Ibn Zubair, Mujahid, and others have said.”
On the authority of Ibn Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, “There are no days in which righteous actions are more beloved to Allah than these ten days”, they (the companions said) “Not even striving in the way of Allah?” He (peace be upon him) said, “Not even striving in the way of Allah, except the man who goes out risking his self (or soul) and wealth and doesn't return with any of them.” [Al-Bukhari]
Allah the Most High said (what means), “and mention the Name of Allah on appointed days…”, Ibn Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) and Ibn Katheer both said that this means the ten days (of Thul-Hijjah).
On the authority of Ibn Umar (may Allah be pleased with him who mentioned that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, “There are no days greater to Allah nor more beloved for performing actions in them than these ten days, so increase in praising, glorifying, and thanking Allah”. [reported by At-Tabarani in Al-Mu`jam Al-Kabeer]
Likewise it was reported in Ad-Daramy, when the month of Thul-Hijjah started Sa`eed Jubair (May Allah have mercy upon him) would strive so hard (in it with righteous actions) that he was almost incapable.
Ibn Hajar, in Al-Fath, regarding the ten days of Thul-Hijjah said, “it’s apparent that the reason the ten days of Thul-Hijjar are so special is because all of the main types of worship, which are prayer, fasting, charity, and the pilgrimage, come together and this does not happen in other months.”
That which is considered recommendable is these (ten) days:
1. The prayer: It is recommended to attend the obligatory prayers early (performing them on time and not delaying them), increasing in performing extra prayers as they are from the best ways to draw closer to Allah. Thoban reported that he heard the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) say, “Upon you are making many prostrations to Allah, for verily you do not prostrate to Allah except He raises you to Him with every prostration by a level and removes from you a mistake.” [Muslim] and this is for all times.
2. Fasting: It is included in righteous actions. On the authority of Hanbadah Khalid, on the authority of his wife, according to some of the prophets wives, the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) use to fast the ninth day of thul-Hijjah, `Aashoora, and three days from every month. [Reported by Ahmad, Abu Dawud, An-Nisa’i, and others] Imam Nawawy said regarding fasting the ten days, “It is recommended, strongly recommended.”
3. Glorifying, exalting, and praising Allah: From what has been reported in the previous hadeeth of Ibn Umar, “so increase in glorifying, exalting, and praising Allah”. Imam Al-Bukhari said that Umar and Abu Hurairah would go out to the market during the ten days and glorify Allah (saying Allahu Akbar) and the people would glorify Allah with their (Umar and Abu Hurairah) glorification. He also said, Umar use to glorify Allah in his chamber in Mina, the people in the mosque would hear it and would glorify Allah, likewise the people of the markets until Mina would shake with their utterances.
Also Ibn Umar would glorify Allah in Mina during those days, after the prayer, on his bed, in his tent and sitting room, and his passage during all of those days. It is recommended that this be done in an audible voice as was done by Umar, his son, and Abu Hurairah. So let us revive this sunnah which has been lost in this age and almost forgotten even by those that seek good which is unfortunate and in opposition to the way of the righteous predecessors.
The manner of the ‘takbeer’: There have been several manners in which it has been reported from the companions and their followers; the first, ‘Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar Kabeera’, the second ‘Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, La ilaha illalah, wallahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, wa lillahil hamd’, and the third ‘Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, La ilaha illalah, wallahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, wa lillahil hamd’.
4. Fasting the day of Arafah: Fasting the day of Arafah is a confirmed practice according to what was authentically reported from the Messenger (peace be upon him) when he said regarding fasting this day, “I look to Allah to forgive the sins of the year that preceded and the year that proceeded” [Muslim] But whomever is in Arafah as a pilgrim, it is not recommended that heshe fast as the Prophet (peace be upon him) stood in Arafah and was not fasting.
Translation: Abu Ibrahim John Starling
November 30, 2007