بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
By the Grace of Allaah we will enter the month of Thul-Hijjah (the month of Hajj [pilgrimage]) in the next few days if Allaah wills, in which Allaah has marked out for both the pilgrims and the non-pilgrims some very blessed days.
So we shall mention here some of the virtues and rewardful acts that are connected to these blessed days.
Doing Good Deeds In General
The first ten days of Thul-Hijjah are the best and most virtuous days of the year. They are the days in which Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic – most loves the doing of good deeds. About this the Prophet (sallAllaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said (translated meaning), “The best days in the world are the ten days.”[Related by Al-Bazzaar, 1/234. It was authenticated by Shaykh Al-Albaanee in Saheehul-Jaami’, No. 1133].
Imaam Ibnul-Qayyim, may Allaah have mercy upon him, said, “Indeed, its days are the most excellent of all the days with Allaah. And it has been confirmed in Saheehul-Bukhaaree, 2/382, from Ibn ’Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with them) who said, that Allaah’s Messenger (sallAllaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said (translated meaning),
“There are no days during which good deeds are more beloved to Allaah than these (ten) days.” He was then asked, ‘Not even jihaad in the path of Allaah?’ So he replied, “Not even jihaad in the path of Allaah, except for a person who goes out with his self and his wealth, and comes back with nothing.” And it is these ten days that Allaah has taken an oath by in His Book, by His saying (interpretation of the meaning),
“By the dawn and by the ten nights.” [Al-Qur’aan 89:1-2].
This is why it is recommended to increase in making takbeer (saying Allaahu akbar), tahleel (saying Laa ilaaha illAllaah) and tamheed (saying Alhamdulillaah) during these days…”[Refer to Zaadul-Ma’aad, 1/56].
The Prophet (sallAllaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said (translated meaning), “There are no days that are greater with Allaah, and in which good deeds are more beloved to Him, than these ten days. So increase in making tasbeeh (saying SubhaanAllaah), tamheed, tahleel and takbeer, during them.”[Related by At-Tabaraanee in Al-Kabeer, 3/110/1. It was authenticated by Al-Mundharee in At-Targheeb wat-Tarheeb, 2/24].
Fasting The Day Of ‘Arafah
The ninth day of Thul-Hijjah is the day of ’Arafah, since it is on this day that the pilgrims gather at the mountain plain of ’Arafah, praying and supplicating to their Lord. It is mustahabb (highly recommended) for those who are not pilgrims to fast on this day, since the Prophet (sallAllaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) was asked about fasting on the day of ’Arafah, so he said (translated meaning), “It expiates the sins of the past year and the coming year.”[Saheeh Muslim, No. 1162].
Likewise, the Prophet (sallAllaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said (translated meaning), ‘There is no day on which Allaah frees people from the Fire more so than on the day of ’Arafah. He comes close to those (people standing on ’Arafah), and then He revels before His Angels saying, ‘What are these people seeking.” [Saheeh Muslim, No. 1348].
Imaam At-Tirmithee, may Allaah have mercy upon him, said, “The people of knowledge consider it recommended to fast on the day of ’Arafah, except for those at ’Arafah.” [Jaami’ut-Tirmithee, 3/377].
Slaughtering On The Day Of An-Nahr And ‘Eedul-Adhaa Or The Following Three Days
The tenth day of Thul-Hiijah is known as the day of An-Nahr (slaughtering), since it marks the ending of the major rites of Hajj (pilgrimage), and commemorates the Bounty and Mercy of Allaah, the Most High, in that He gave His beloved Prophet Ibraaheem, peace be upon him, a ram to sacrifice in place of his firstborn son Ismaa’eel, peace be upon him. And out of the ten best days of the year, it is the day of An-Nahr which is the most excellent day of the year with Allaah.
Shaykhul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah, may Allaah have mercy upon him, said, “The most excellent day of the week is the day of Friday, by the agreement of the scholars and the most excellent day of the year is the day of An-Nahr, and some of them said that it is the day of ’Arafah. However, the first opinion is the correct one, since it is related in the Sunan collections that the Prophet (sallAllaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said (translated meaning), “The most excellent days with Allaah is the day of An-Nahr, then the day of Al-Qarr (the day that the Muslims reside in Minaa).” [Sunan Abee Daawud, No. 1765. Authenticated by shaykh Al-Albaanee in Irwaa’ul-Ghaleel, No. 2018].[Refer to Majmuu’ul-Fataawaa, 25/288].
The day of An-Nahr is also known as ’Eedul-Adhaa (the festivity of sacrifice) and is one of the two major festivals that Allaah has granted to this ummah. Anas (may Allaah be pleased with him) said, ‘The Prophet (sallAllaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) came to Al-Madeenah and the people of Al-Madeenah had – since the times of jaahiliyyah (pre-lslamic ignorance) – two days which they marked out for play and amusement. So the Prophet (sallAllaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said (translated meaning), ‘I came to you, and you had two days of play and amusement in the times of jaahiliyyah. But Allaah has replaced them with something better for you: The day of Al-Adhaa (sacrificing) and the day of Al-Fitr (ending the Fast).”[Ahmad, 3/103. Authenticated by Al-Haafith Ibn Hajr in Buluughul-Maraam, No. 398].
The Prophet (sallAllaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) also said (translated meaning), “The day of Al-Fitr, and the day of An-Nahr, and the days of At-Tashreeq (the three days after An-Nahr) are our days of ’Eed (festivity); and they are days of eating and drinking.” [Ahmad, No. 1945. Authenticated by Al-Albaanee in Saheehul-Jaami’, No. 8192].
’Eedul-Adhaa is a day in which the Muslims slaughter a camel, cow, sheep or goat, in commemoration of the sacrifice of Ibraaheem, peace be upon him. And this sacrifice is an obligation upon all those who have the means to do so, according to the most correct opinion of the scholars.[As explained by Ibn Taymiyyah in Majmuu’ul-Fataawaa, 23/162-164].
The basis of this is the Prophet’s (sallAllaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) saying (translated meaning), “One who has the ability to sacrifice, but chooses not to do so, should not approach our place of (’Eed) prayer.” [Sunan Ibn Maajah, No. 3123. Graded hasan by shaykh Al-Albaanee in Takhreej Mushkilatul-Fiqr].
And his (sallAllaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) saying (translated meaning), “Whosoever sacrificed before the prayer, then let him do so again. But whosoever has not sacrificed, then let him sacrifice.” [Saheeh Al-Bukhaaree, No. 5562 and Saheeh Muslim, No. 1960].
So this order refers to those who have the ability to do so, and Allaah knows best.
As regards those who intend to sacrifice – normally the head of the household – then they are prohibited from cutting their hair or nails, starting from the first day of Thul-Hijjah up until after the sacrifice. Allaah’s Messenger (sallAllaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said (translated meaning), “When the ten days start, and one of you intends to sacrifice, then let him not cut his hair or his nails.” [Saheeh Muslim, No. 1977].
Glorifying Allaah With The Takbeer
From the day of ’Arafah (the 9th of Thul-Hijjah) up until the ’Asr prayer on the thirteen day, are days in which the takbeeraat (saying Allaahu Akbar) should be said. Imaam Al-Khattaabee, may Allaah have mercy upon him, said,
“The wisdom behind saying the takbeeraat in these days is that in the times of jaahiliyyah (pre-lslamic ignorance), they used to slaughter for their tawaagheet (false objects of worship). So the takbeeraat were prescribed in order to indicate that the act of slaughtering is directed to Allaah alone, and by mentioning only His, the Mighty and Majestic, Name.” [Fathul-Baaree, 21/586].
Shaykhul-lslaam Ibn Taymiyyah, may Allaah have mercy upon him, said, “All praise be to Allaah. The most correct saying concerning the takbeer – that which the majority of the Salaf (pious predecessors), and the scholars from the Companions and imaams were upon – is to begin making the takbeer from Fajr (dawn) on the day of ’Arafah, up until the last day of At-Tashreeq (the thirteenth of Thul-Hijjah), after every prayer.”[Majmuu’ul-Fataawaa, 24/220].
However, what seems more correct is not to restrict the takbeeraat to being just after every prayer, as Al-Haafith Ibn Hajr pointed out in Fathul-Baaree, 21/587.
Ibn Abee Shaybah relates, “That ’Alee, may Allaah be pleased with him, used to make the takbeer beginning after the Fajr prayer on the day of ’Arafah, up until after the ’Asr Prayer on the last day of At-Tashreeq.” [Al-Musannaf, 2/1/2. Authenticated by shaykh Al-Albaanee in Al-lrwaa‘, 31/125].
As regards the actual wording of the takbeeraat, then nothing authentic has been related from the Prophet (sallAllaahu ’alayhi wa sallam). However, certain wordings have been authentically related from a group of Companions such as the wording of ‘Abdullaah Ibn Mas’uud, may Allaah be pleased with him, who would say, “Allaah is great, Allaah is great. None has the right to be worshipped except Him, and Allaah is great, Allaah is great and to Him belongs all praise. [Allaahu akbar, Allaahu akbar,, Laa ilaaha illAllaah, wAllaahu akbar, Allaahu akbar wa lillaahil-hamd]” [Ibn Abee Shaybah with an authentic chain of narration].
Refer back to Fathul-‘Allaam (a research on Buluughul-Maraam) by shaykh Muhammad Hizaam, second volume, page 197 and Miskul-Khitaam (an explanation of ‘Umdatul-Ahkaam) by shaykh Zaayid Al-Wusaabee, second volume pages 114 – 115 for more on this topic.
Unfortunately, many Muslims have neglected the takbeer established from our Salaf (pious predecessors) and have instead resorted to additions which have no basis at all.
Al-Haafith Ibn Hajr, may Allaah have mercy upon him, said, “Indeed, additions have been invented upon this day, which have no basis at all.” [Fathul-Baaree, 2/536].
And may Allaah have mercy upon the one who said,
“Every good is in following the Salaf; And every evil is in the innovations of the late-comers.”
And all praise is for Allaah, Lord of the worlds. And may Allaah extol and send blessings and peace upon our Leader, Muhammad, and upon his Family, his Companions, and all those who follow them until the final Day.