Excellence of the First Ten Days of Thul-Hijjah - II

Excellence of the First Ten Days of Thul-Hijjah - II
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Fourth: Intensifying righteous deeds

Righteous deeds are beloved to Allah The Almighty at every time and place. This is asserted during these blessed days, and this means the excellence and great reward of righteous deeds during these days. A person who is unable to perform Hajj during these days has to fill his time with obedience through performing the prayer, reciting the Quran, saying Thikr (mentioning Allah), supplicating Allah The Almighty, giving charity, being dutiful to parents, maintaining kinship ties, enjoining good, forbidding evil, as well as any other channel of righteous deeds. These are among the greatest reasons to bring about the love of Allah The Almighty for His slave.

Fifth: Thikr

This act of worship has an advantage over other deeds, since it is specified in the verse in which Allah The Exalted Says (what means): {…And mention Allah on known days over what He has provided for them of [sacrificial] animals…} [Quran 22:28] Commenting on the verse, Ibn ‘Abbaas  may  Allah  be  pleased  with  him said that the known days are the first ten days of Thul-Hijjah. The meaning of mentioning Allah The Almighty is to mention him with praise and thankfulness for what He has provided for them of sacrificial animals. This includes Takbeer (saying Allahu Akbar), mentioning the Name of Allah when one slaughters the Udh-hiyyah (the 'Eed sacrifice) or the Hady (sacrificial animal offered by the pilgrim). In a Hadeeth, the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said: "So, intensify Tahleel, Takbeer and Tahmeed during these days."

Sixth: Takbeer

It is a Sunnah (Prophetic tradition) to repeat Takbeer loudly in Masjids (mosques), homes, roads, markets as well as other places. A man does so loudly and a woman does it in a low voice to exalt Allah The Almighty. As for the manner of Takbeer, there is no manner traced back to the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ). The soundest manner is reported from Salmaan  may  Allah  be  pleased  with  him as he said, "Allah-u-Akbar, Allah-u-Akbar, Allah-u-Akbar Kabeera." There are other manners reported on the authority of the Companions  may  Allah  be  pleased  with  them as well as the Taabi‘een (the generation who followed that of the Companions).

Some people neglect the Sunnah of Takbeer and therefore it is an opportunity to earn reward by reviving this Sunnah. In a Hadeeth, the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said: "A person who revives a Sunnah that has been neglected after my death will get a reward similar to those who do it while they have their reward complete." It is reported that Ibn ‘Umar and Abu Hurayrah  may  Allah  be  pleased  with  them used to go to the market during the ten days (of Thul-Hijjah) and utter Takbeer aloud and then people would imitate them. It means that people would remember Takbeer upon hearing them and they would repeat Takbeer due to that.

Collective Takbeer with one voice and tone or when one repeats Takbeer and a group of people repeats after him is an innovated act in religion. A Muslim who is keen to follow the Sunnah of the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) should avoid such actions. It is permissible to teach one who is ignorant about the manner of Takbeer until he learns. If it is argued that collective Takbeer is a reason and a way to revive this Sunnah, this is answered as follows: repeating Takbeer loudly revives the Sunnah and there is no need to make it collective. Moreover, a person who wants to do the Sunnah does not wait for people until they do it. Rather, he takes the initiative to do it in order to be a role model for others.

Seventh: Fasting

It was narrated on the authority of Hafsah  may  Allah  be  pleased  with  her that she said, "Four deeds the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) never abandoned: fasting the day of ‘Aashooraa’ (the 10th day of Muharram), the first ten days (of Thul-Hijjah), three days of each month, and performing two Rak‘ahs (units of prayer) before noon."

The part of her statement stating: '… the first ten days (of Thul-Hijjah)' means fasting nine days or some of them because it is prohibited to fast on the 10th (day of 'Eed). As for what is common among people, particularly women, of specifying three days of Thul-Hijjah (the 7th, the 8th and the 9th) for fasting, this has no basis in the Sharee‘ah (Islamic legislation).

Eighth: The Udh-hiyyah (the 'Eed sacrifice)

It is a confirmed act of Sunnah for the person who can afford to offer it. Some scholars, such as Ibn Taymiyyah  may  Allah  have  mercy  upon  him are of the view that it is obligatory. Allah The Almighty commanded His Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) to offer it in the verse (what means): {So pray to your Lord and sacrifice [to Him alone].} [Quran 108:2]

The verse includes the 'Eed prayer as well as the Udh-hiyyah. The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) used to constantly perform it. It was narrated on the authority of Ibn ‘Umar  may  Allah  be  pleased  with  him that he said, "The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) stayed in Al-Madeenah for ten years and he did not abandon the Udh-hiyyah."

Ninth: The 'Eed prayer

It is a strongly confirmed act of Sunnah. Some scholars are of the view that it is obligatory, and this view is very strong. Therefore, one should attend this prayer, listen to the Khutbah (sermon) and contemplate the rationale behind legislation of the 'Eed, and that it is a day for thanking Allah The Almighty and doing righteous deeds. 

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