Superiority of the First Ten Days of Dhul-Hijjah

superiority of 10 days

Just like the last ten nights of the holy month of Ramadan are the best ten nights out of the year, these first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah (the final month of the Islamic Calendar in which Hajj is performed) are the best days of the year and the most beloved to Allah as they combine acts of worship in a way unlike any other time.

The excellence of these ten days has been mentioned in the Qur’an and the Sunnah.

1. Allah says in the Qur’an:

“By the dawn and by the ten nights … “  [Al-Fajr 89:1-2]

Ibn Kathir said that “the ten nights” referred to here are the ten days of Dhul-Hijjah, and this opinion was also held by Ibn Abbas, Ibn az-Zubair, Mujahid and others.

2. The Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, said:

“There are no deeds as excellent as those done in these ten days.” They (the companions listening) said, “Not even Jihad?” He, peace be upon him, said, “No, not even Jihad except a man who goes forth endangering his life and wealth and does not return with anything.”  [Recorded by Imam al-Bukhari]

3. Allah says:

” … and remember the name of Allah in the appointed days.” [Al-Baqarah 2:203]

Ibn Abbas and Ibn Kathir said this means in the ten days of Dhul-Hijjah.

4. The Messenger of Allah, upon whom be peace, said:

“There are no other days that are as great as these in the sight of Allah, the Most Sublime. Nor are there any deeds more beloved to Allah than those that are done in these ten days. So increase in tahlil (to say la illaha illallah), takbir (to say allahu akbar), and tahmid (to say alhamdulillah).” [ Reported by at-Tabarani in al-Mu’jum al-Kabir]

5. With regards to the noble companion Sa’id bin Jubair, when the days of Dhul-Hijjah began, he would strive to increase in good actions with great intensity until he was unable to increase any more. [Reported by ad-Darimi]

6. Ibn Hajar says in Fath al-Bari:

“The most apparent reason for the ten days of Dhul-Hijjah being distinguished in excellence is due to the assembly of the greatest acts of worship in this period, i.e. salat (prayers), siyam (fasting), sadaqah (charity) and the Hajj (pilgrimage). In no other periods do these great deeds combine.”

**Note: It is recommended to fast on the first ten days of Dhul Hijjah, especially on the 9th which is the blessed day of Arafat. The 10th of Dhul Hijjah is the day of Eid al-Adha and it is prohibited to fast on that day.


Fasting on the day of Arafat expiates the sins of two years

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The first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah have been classified as the best 10 days of the year, and the Day of ‘Arafat, on which Allah perfected His religion has been classified as the best day of the year according to some scholars.

Imaam Ibn Taymiyyah (d. 728H) said: “The most excellent day of the week is the day of Jumuah (Friday), by the agreement of the Scholars. And the most excellent day of the year is the day of an-Nahr. Some of them said that it is the day of Arafat. However, the first opinion is the correct one, since it is related in the Sunan collections that the Prophet ﷺ said: “The most excellent days with Allah is the day of an-Nahr, then the day of al-Qarr (the day that the Muslims reside in Mina).”  [(Saheeh) by Shaikh al-Albanee in Irwa al-Ghaleel (no: 2018). Related by Abu Dawood no: 1765].” [Majmoo al-Fatawa vol: 25, pp. 288]

The ninth day of Dhul-Hijjah (the 12th and final month of the Islamic calendar) is the Day of ‘Arafat, since it is on this day that millions of pilgrims set out for the plains of Arafat after sunrise to attend the Khutba of Arafat and perform their Dhuhr and Asr salat combined as was the Sunnah of Rasool Allah (ﷺ). Thereafter they engage in supplication to Allah from Dhuhr to Maghrib, seeking forgiveness of their Lord before setting off for Muzdhalifah.

On this day of Arafat, Muslims all over the world who do not witness the annual Hajj should spend the day in fasting as it is mustahabb (highly recommended), in preparation for the three-day festivity following ‘Eid ul-Adha (the celebration marking the end of the Hajj commemorating the Prophet Ibrahim’s (willingness of sacrifice). When asked about the fasting on the day of ‘Arafah, the Prophet Muhammad said,

“It expiates the sins (Minor) of the past year and the coming year.”  [Muslim (no. 1162)]

Abu Hafsah, may Allah be pleased with him, reported that the Prophet (ﷺ) said:

“Fasting on the Day of ‘Arafah absolves the sins for two years: the previous year and the coming year, and fasting on ‘Ashura, (the tenth day of Muharram) atones for the sins of previous years.”  [Reported by all except al-Bukhari and at-Tirmidhi]

But, this does not mean that one can continue to commit sin in the upcoming year, rather it portrays the virtue of fasting on the day of ‘Arafat, and the blessings to be obtained therein.

In another saying the Prophet’s wife Hafsah, may Allah be pleased with her, said:

“Four things the Messenger of Allah never neglected: Observing fast on the day of ‘Ashura,‘Arafat, three days every month, and offering fajr sunnah prayers early in the morning.”  [Muslim]

These statements are proof that fasting on the ninth of Dhul-Hijjah, the day before ‘Eid ul-Adha was a lifelong practice of the Prophet (ﷺ) as his wife reported.

There are some reports that fasting is prohibited on the Day of ‘Arafah. However, it must be understood that this refers to a person performing the Hajj. If a person is on the Hajj, there is no fast for him or her on the day of ‘Arafah. That is undoubtedly a blessing for him because of the hardships of the pilgrimage. In a saying reported by Umm al-Fadl, may Allah be pleased with her, she said:

“The companions doubted whether the Prophet (ﷺ) was fasting on ‘Arafah or not. She decided to prove to them that he was not, so she said, ‘I sent to him milk, which he drank while he was delivering the khutbah (sermon) on ‘Arafah.'” [Recorded by al-Bukhari]

Prohibiting the pilgrims from fasting on these days is a great mercy for them, for fasting will exert undue hardship on the person performing the Hajj, while they are primarily concerned with their pilgrimage. Above all, the pilgrim would not be fasting anyway because he is travelling.

The fact that not all of the Muslims are required to go to Hajj every year is a mercy and source of ease from Allah to His servants. He has made Hajj binding once in a lifetime and not binding every year. However, it is a communal obligation occurring every year. This is different from fasting, which is an individually binding obligation on every Muslim, every year.

Because the month of Dhul-Hijjah is a season of worship, it bring along blessings, benefits and opportunities to correct one’s faith and make up for shortcoming. This special opportunity involves a kind of worship, which brings the slave closer to his Lord. And Allah bestows His blessings and Favours on whom He wills. The fortunate person is he who makes good use of these special months, days, and hours, while worshiping Allah. He is most likely to be touched by the blessings of Allah. Rewards of good deeds are multiplied in these days. [Ibn Rajab, al-Lataa’if pp. 8]

For non-pilgrims, it should be remembered that not only should you fast on this day, but make sure to ask Allah for all of your prayers. The Prophet (ﷺ) said: “The best dua is the dua of Arafat.” (Tirmidhi)

The Danger of Approaching a Fortune Teller


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The Prophet Muhammad laid down principles which clearly forbade any form of visitation of fortune tellers. Safiyyah related from some of the Prophet’s wives that he said: “The Salah (Prayer) of whoever approaches a fortuneteller and asks him (the fotuneteller)  anything, will not be accepted for 40 days and nights.” [1]

The punishment in this hadith is for simply approaching a fortuneteller and asking him questions out of curiosity. This prohibition is is further supported by Mu’awiyah ibn al-Hakam as-Salami’s hadith, in which he said: “O Messenger of Allah, verily there are some people among us who visit oracles.” The Prophet replied, “Do not go to them.” [2]

A variation in narration was:

Mu’awiya b. al-Hakam as-Sulami reported: I said: “Messenger of Allah, there were things we used to do in the pre-Islamic days. We used to visit Kahins,” whereupon he said: “Don’t visit Kahins.” I said: “We used to take omens.” He said: “That is a sort of personal whim of yours, so let it not prevent you (from doing a thing).”

Such a severe punishment has been assigned for only visitation because it is the first step to belief in fortunetelling. If one went there doubtful about its reality, and some of the fortuneteller’s predictions come true, one will surely become a true devotee of the fotuneteller and an ardent believer in fortunetelling.

The individual who approaches a fortuneteller is still obliged to perform his compulsory prayers throughout the 40 day period, even though he gets no reward from it.  If he abandons his salah all together, he has committed another major sin. [3]

Believing in fortunetellers and believing that they have knowledge of the future or unseen is kufr (disbelief). This is because such a belief assigns to creation some of Allah’s divine attributes with regard to the knowledge of the unseen. Consequently, it destroys Tawhid Al-Asma was-Sifat (the Unification of Allah’s Names and Attributes), and represents a form of Shirk (the gravest of sins), in this aspect of Tawhid.

Abu Hurayrah and Al-Hasan reported from the Prophet that he said, “Whosoever approaches a fortuneteller and believes in what he says, has believed in what was revealed to Muhammad.” [4]

Some activities that have become so common these days that fall under the category of fortunetelling are:

  • reading/watching/listening to fortuneteller predictions
  • buying and reading books on astrology and zodiac signs in magazines
  • fortune cookies
  • palm-reading

For any person to predict anything, as in the case of weather forecasters and doctors of pregnant weomen, they should take care to add the phrase insha’Allah (if Allah so wishes), as their statements of prediction are only estimations based on statistical information.

And Allah alone knows best.


[1] Sahih Muslim (Eng. Trans.), p. 1211, no. 5540

[2] Sahih Muslim (Eng. Trans.), p. 1209, no. 5532

[3] Philips, B. The Fundamentals of Tawheed. p. 102

[4] Collected by Ahmad, Sunan Abu Dawud (Eng. Trans.), vol. 3, p. 1095, no. 3895

Prayer is the link between the servant and his Rabb

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Prayer is the link between the servant and his Rabb. It is the rich source from which a person derives strength, steadfastness, mercy and contentment, and it is a means of cleansing the stain of his or her sins:

Abu Hurayrah (RAA) narrated:

“I heard the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) say: `What would you think if there were a river running by the door of any of you, and he bathed in it five times every day, would any trace of dirt be left on him?’ The people said: `There would be no trace of dirt on him.’ He said: `This is like the five daily prayers, through which Allah (SWT) erases sins.'”[1] (Sharh al-Sunnah 2/175)

Jabir (RAA) said:

“The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said: `The five daily prayers are like a deep river flowing by the door of any of you, in which he bathes five times every day.’ [2]

[1] Reported by Tirmidhi, 4/249, in Anwar al-birr, 70. He said it is a hasan hadith.

[2] Reported by Bukhari in al-Adab al-Mufrad, 1/375, Bab sakhawak al-nafs


A salah without Al-Fatihah is deficient

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On the authority of Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) from the Prophet (PBUH), who said:

“A prayer performed by someone who has not recited within it, the Essence of the Qur’an [1], is deficient (and he repeated the word three times), incomplete.”

Someone said to Abu Hurayrah: “[Even though] we are behind the imam?” [2]

He said: “Recite it to yourself, for I have heard the Prophet (may the blessings and peace of Allah be up on him) say:

‘Allah (mighty and sublime Is He), had said:

“I have divided prayer between Myself and My servant into two halves, and My servant shall have what he has asked for.

When the servant says: Al-hamdu lillaahi rabbi l-`aalameen [3], Allah (mighty and sublime Is He) says: My servant has praised Me.

And when he says: Ar-rahmaani r-raheem [4], Allah (mighty and sublime Is He) says: My servant has extolled Me.

And when he says: Maaliki yawmi d-deen [5], Allah says: My servant has glorified Me (on one occasion He said: My servant has submitted to My power.)

And when he says: Iyyaaka na`budu wa iyyaaka nasta`een [6], He says: This is between Me and My servant, and My servant shall have what he has asked for.

And when he says: Ihdina s-siraata l- mustaqeem, siraatal lazheena an`amta alayhim ghayril-maghdoobi alayhim wa la d-daalleen [7], He says: This is for My servant, and My servant shall have what he has asked for”‘.”

Related by Muslim (also by Maalik, at-Tirmizhi, Abu-Dawood, an-Nasaa’i and Ibn Maajah)

Hadith Qudsi 8


[1] Surah al-Faatihah, the first surah (chapter) of the Qur’an.

[2] i.e. standing behind the imam (leader) listening to him reciting al-Faatihah.

[3] “Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds.”

[4] “The Merciful, the Compassionate”.

[5] “Master of the Day of Judgement”.

[6] “You do we worship and You do we ask for help”.

[7] “Guide us to the straight path, the path of those upon whom You have bestowed favors, not of those against whom You are angry, nor of those who are astray”.

If in doubt, perform salat al-istikhara

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Narrated Jabir bin ‘Abdullah: The Prophet ﷺ used to teach us the way of doing istikhara (istikhara means to ask Allah to guide one to the right sort of action concerning any job or a deed), in all matters as he taught us the Surats of the Quran. He said, “If anyone of you thinks of doing any job he should offer a two Rakat prayer other than the compulsory ones and say (after the prayer):

اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْتَخِيرُكَ بِعِلْمِكَ وَأَسْتَقْدِرُكَ بِقُدْرَتِكَ وَأَسْأَلُكَ مِنْ فَضْلِكَ الْعَظِيمِ فَإِنَّكَ تَقْدِرُ وَلَا أَقْدِرُ وَتَعْلَمُ وَلَا أَعْلَمُ وَأَنْتَ عَلَّامُ الْغُيُوبِ اللَّهُمَّ إِنْ كُنْتَ تَعْلَمُ أَنَّ هَذَا الْأَمْرَ خَيْرٌ لِي فِي دِينِي وَمَعَاشِي وَعَاقِبَةِ أَمْرِي فَاقْدُرْهُ لِي وَيَسِّرْهُ لِي ثُمَّ بَارِكْ لِي فِيهِ وَإِنْ كُنْتَ تَعْلَمُ أَنَّ هَذَا الْأَمْرَ شَرٌّ فِي دِينِي وَمَعَاشِي وَعَاقِبَةِ أَمْرِي فَاصْرِفْهُ عَنِّي وَاصْرِفْنِي عَنْهُ وَاقْدُرْ لِيَ الْخَيْرَ حَيْثُ كَانَ ثُمَّ ارْضِنِي بِهِ

‘Allahumma inni astakhiruka bi’ilmika, Wa astaqdiruka bi-qudratika, Wa as’alaka min fadlika al-‘azlm Fa-innaka taqdiru Wala aqdiru, Wa ta’lamu Wala a’lamu, Wa anta ‘allamu l-ghuyub. Allahumma, in kunta ta’lam anna hadha-l-amra Khairun li fi dini wa ma’ashi wa’aqibati amri (or ‘ajili amri wa’ajilihi) Faqdirhu wa yas-sirhu li thumma barik li Fihi, Wa in kunta ta’lamu anna hadha-lamra shar-run li fi dini wa ma’ashi wa’aqibati amri (or fi’ajili amri wa ajilihi) Fasrifhu anni was-rifni anhu. Waqdir li al-khaira haithu kana Thumma ardini bihi.’

(O Allah! I ask guidance from Your knowledge, And Power from Your Might and I ask for Your great blessings. You are capable and I am not. You know and I do not and You know the unseen. O Allah! If You know that this job is good for my religion and my subsistence and in my Hereafter–(or said: If it is better for my present and later needs)–then You ordain it for me and make it easy for me to get, And then bless me in it, and if You know that this job is harmful to me In my religion and subsistence and in the Hereafter–(or said: If it is worse for my present and later needs)–Then keep it away from me and let me be away from it. And ordain for me whatever is good for me, And make me satisfied with it).

The Prophet added that then the person should name (mention) his need.
Sahih Al-Bukhari – Book 21 Hadith 263

* When making the dua, the actual matter or decision should be mentioned instead of the words “hathal-amra” (“this matter”).

What needs to be noted is that the answer to one’s istikhara prayer does not come simply in the form of dreams and feelings but in how Allah facilitates and unfolds events for an individual after he or she genuinely strives to do what is best.
Take the most effective means, which includes consulting those whose knowledge and wisdom one has confidence in, and place your trust in Allah.

One needs to be patient in terms of receiving the answer to their prayers. Remember the words of our Prophet ﷺ, “The supplication of everyone is granted as long as he does not show haste and does not say that he made a supplication but it was not accepted.” [Abu Dawud, Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah]

Eid Al-Fitr: The salah and celebration

eid al fitr

The celebration of Eid ul-Fitr culminates a month of fasting wherein the faithful have spent their time praying and beseeching Allah for forgiveness and mercy. For many, Ramadan was not just an abstention from food and drink. Rather, it was an exercise in patience and discipline. Eid is the celebration for those who fasted and obeyed Allah’s rules and teachings. It is for those who spent the month of Ramadan in complete devotion to Allah. Eid is a time when the entire Muslim community comes together to share in each others joy and blessings and also to lessen the burden of those who may be suffering.

Since Eid al-Fitr is the day on which Muslims break their Ramadan fast, it is preferable to eat before going to the Eid prayer. It is a Sunnah of the Prophet (ﷺ) to eat an odd number of dates before going to pray salat al-Eid.

Anas bin Malik narrated:

Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) never proceeded (for the prayer) on the Day of `Id-ul-Fitr unless he had eaten some dates. Anas also narrated: The Prophet (ﷺ) used to eat odd number of dates. [1] 

Abu Sa’eed al-Khundri narrated:
“The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) prohibited two fasts: Fasting on the day of Eid-ul-Adha and on the day of Eid-ul-Fitr.” [2]

It is preferred to make ghusl (take a bath), wear one’s best clothes and, for men, to wear perfume before going to Salat al-Eid. Ibn al-Qayyim wrote: “The Prophet (ﷺ) used to wear his best clothes for the Eid prayers and he had clothes that he reserved for the two Eids and Jumuah.” 

Umm ‘Atiyya reported:

The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) commanded us to bring out on’Id-ul-Fitr and ‘Id-ul-Adha young women, menstruating women and purdah-observing ladies, menstruating women kept back from prayer, but participated in goodness and supplication of the Muslims. I said: Messenger of Allah, one of us does not have an outer garment (to cover her face and body). He said: Let her sister cover her with her outer garment. [3]

Eid prayer is wajib. It consists of two Rakaat (units) with six or thirteen additional Takbirs. It must be offered in congregation. The prayer is followed by the Khutbah.

Ibn `Abbas narrated:

The Prophet (ﷺ) offered a two rak`at prayer on the Day of Id ul Fitr and he did not pray before or after it. Then he went towards women along with Bilal and ordered them to pay alms and so they started giving their earrings and necklaces (in charity). [4]

The Prophet (ﷺ) went out and offered a two rak`at prayer on the Day of `Id ul Fitr and did not offer any other prayer before or after it and at that time Bilal was accompanying him. [5]

‘Abdullah b. ‘Umar reported that (his father) ‘Umar b. Khattab asked Abu Waqid al-Laithi what the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) used to recite on ‘Id-ul-Adha and ‘Id-ul-Fitr. He said:

He used to recite in them: “Qaf. By the Glorious Qur’an” (Surah 1), “The Hour drew near, and the moon was rent asunder” (Surah 2). [6]
The Khutbah is part of the worship and listening to it is Sunnah. During the Khutbah, the Imam reminds the community about its responsibilities and obligations towards Allah, fellow Muslims and fellow human beings.

[1] Sahih Al-Bukhari, Book of the Two Eids, Chapter 4

[2] Jami-al-Tirimidhi, Chapter on Fasting, Vol. 2, Hadith No. 772

[2] Sahih Muslim, Book of Prayer-Two Eids, Chapter 1

[3] Sahih Al-Bukhari, Book of the Two Eids, Chapter 8

[4] Sahih Al-Bukhari, Book of the Two Eids, Chapter 26

[5] Sahih Muslim, Book of Prayer-Two Eids, Chapter 3

Whosoever performs Qiyam during Lailat-ul-Qadr will have his former sins forgiven

1189 (RUS-Ch214)

Verily, We have sent it (this Qur’an) down in the Night of Al-Qadr (Decree). And what will make you know what the Night of Al-Qadr (Decree) is? The Night of Al-Qadr (Decree) is better than a thousand months (i.e., worshipping Allah in that night is better than worshipping Him a thousand months, i.e., 83 years and 4 months). Therein descend the angels and the Ruh [Jibril (Gabriel)] by Allah’s Permission with all Decrees. (All that night), there is peace (and goodness from Allah to His believing slaves) until the appearance of dawn.” (97:1-5)

We sent it (this Qur’an) down on a blessed night [(i.e., the Night of Al-Qadr, Surah No:97) in the month of Ramadan, the 9th month of the Islamic calendar]. Verily, We are ever warning [mankind that Our Torment will reach those who disbelieve in Our Oneness of Lordship and in Our Oneness of worship]. Therein (that night) is decreed every matter of ordainments (i.e., the matters of deaths, births, provisions, and calamities for the whole (coming) year as decreed by Allah). As a Command (or this Qur’an or the Decree of every matter) from Us. Verily, We are ever sending (the Messengers). (As) a Mercy from your Rubb, Verily! He is the All-Hearer, the All-Knower.” (44:3-6)

Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, Whosoever performs Qiyam during Lailat-ul-Qadr (Night of Decree), with Faith and being hopeful of Allah’s reward, will have his former sins forgiven.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

Commentary:  Qiyam here means what keeps one awake to one’s capacity and for worship and makes one perform Nawafil, impels one to beg pardon for sins from Allah, urges one to praise Him. Especially, if a person performs ‘Isha prayer and Fajr prayer in congregation, he will hopefully attain all those distinctions which are mentioned in this Hadith.

(Riyad Us-Saliheen, Book of Virtues, Chapter 214, No. 1189)