The 10 Days of Dhul Hijjah and Performing Good deeds: Sunday 4th Dhul Hijjah 1435 (28th September 2014)
It is out of Allah’s mercy that He prolonged our lives to make us reach Dhul Hijjah.
It was narrated from Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “There are no days on which righteous deeds are more beloved to Allaah than these ten days.” They said, “Not even jihad for the sake of Allaah?” He said, “Not even jihad for the sake of Allaah, unless a man goes out himself for jihad taking his wealth with him and does not come back with anything.”
Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 2/457
It was also narrated from Anas (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “There is no deed that is better before Allaah or more greatly rewarded than a good deed done in the (first) ten days of al-Adha.” It was said, “Not even jihad for the sake of Allaah?” He said, “Not even jihad for the sake of Allaah, unless a man goes out himself for jihad taking his wealth with him and does not come back with anything.”
Narrated by al-Daarimi, 1/357; its isnaad is hasan as stated in al-Irwa’, 3/398.
If this man died and left behind his property, you are better than he is, even if he was injured in Jihad and lost all his properties you are better than he in Allah’s Sight.
The righteous deeds done in these days are far better than the deeds performed during other days because these are the days of Hajj.
Allah swore by these days in Surah Al-Fajr Verses 1-2. Most of the interpreters said these are the 10 days of Dhul hijjah.
When Allah swears by something, it indicates the greatness of this matter in His sight. When we know that Allah swore by these days then we should magnify and honour them.
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, “There are no days during which deeds are more beloved to Allah.”
The day includes day and night times. If you perform good deeds during the nights of Dhul Hijjah, it is more rewarding as well.
The scholars said that it is even greater than the 10 nights of Ramadan, except for laylat alqadr.
The believer who truly believes in the greatness of these days will be very keen to perform good deeds.
It is Sunnah to say the Takbir, Tahlil and Tahmeed during these days. Do as much good as you can in accordance to the Sunnah of the Prophet.
Some people want to offer ‘Udhiyah in another country because there are more poor people there. We should offer it in the place we are in, because we are worshiping Allah by slaughtering a specific animal, in a specific time, at a specific place. We should be witnessing it and distributing its meat.
The Sunnah is to offer ‘Udhiyah, one ram for each family, offered after the Salaatul ‘Eid, until ‘Asr time of the fourth day of Tashreeq (13th DhulHijjah).
The person offering it must not cut his nails, remove hair, etc. but the rest of the family can. A deed, which is not done according to the Sunnah, will not be accepted by Allah.
Some good deeds we can do during these days are:
- Remembrance of Allah : Adh-Dhikr by Takbeer, Tahleel, Tahmeed is prescribed in these days
- Dutifulness to Parents: If they are alive, bring joy to their hearts, fulfil their needs, and ask forgiveness for them. If they are dead, give charity on their behalf etc.
- Giving Charity
- Reciting and Memorizing the Qur’aan
- Join relations between the kith and kin
- Acquire knowledge
Although we profusely hear about the virtues of these 10 days, most people do not deal with them as they should. Belief has an impact on the behaviour and utterances of people. Where is this impact on us?
The true believer thinks about the Judgment day with every movement he makes, every word he says, and every look of his eyes. He takes account of himself all the time. The strong believer is always alert and aware of Allah’s observation over him.
People fall into cheating, backbiting, etc. because there is a strong barrier between them and the Judgment day.
When the strong believer gives charity, he sees the shade of Allah on the Day of Judgement. He thinks of the sun coming close to his head and nothing will protect him except that shade.
He thinks of the darkness of his grave, how nothing will help him except his good deeds.
The weak believer will give charity and think it is diminishing his money. He does not see fasting except as hunger and his prayer except as tiredness.
Judge yourself; check your feeling when you do good deeds. Are you a strong believer or a weak believer?
In Surat Al Anbiya, verse 1:
اقْتَرَبَ لِلنَّاسِ حِسَابُهُمْ وَهُمْ فِي غَفْلَةٍ مُعْرِضُونَ
[The time of] their account has approached for the people, while they are in heedlessness turning away.
Allah is informing us of a fact. The word إقترب (has approached) is in the past tense, to indicate its surety.
How do people receive this fact? With heedlessness.
All of us know that we will die one day and that Allah will take us to account but we receive this with غفلة (Negligence due to lack of awareness/alertness).
Abu Hayyan said, “Heedlessness and إعراض are two contradicting matters. But when they are joined together it means, even when they are reminded they turn away.”
One of the aspects of الإعراض is you call someone and she turns away, not wanting to hear. Another aspect is a person who comes and listens but does not accept or, she may come, listen and accept, but she will not act upon it.
If we were aware of the greatness of these days, we would be saying the Takbeer all the time in these days.
مَا يَأْتِيهِمْ مِنْ ذِكْرٍ مِنْ رَبِّهِمْ مُحْدَثٍ إِلَّا اسْتَمَعُوهُ وَهُمْ يَلْعَبُونَ
No mention comes to them anew from their Lord except that they listen to it while they are at play
Allah said, “من ربهم”, to show you how much He takes care of us. He sends reminders, admonitions and verse after verse to awaken us.
However, the people respond with play and amusement.
The scholars said, ‘Any action which is mere fulfilment of the desire/lust, or false action, or to be indulged in vile, vain talk is all a kind of play’.
لَاهِيَةً قُلُوبُهُمْ ۗ وَأَسَرُّوا النَّجْوَى الَّذِينَ ظَلَمُوا هَلْ هَٰذَا إِلَّا بَشَرٌ مِثْلُكُمْ ۖ أَفَتَأْتُونَ السِّحْرَ وَأَنْتُمْ تُبْصِرُونَ
With their hearts distracted. And those who do wrong conceal their private conversation, [saying], “Is this [Prophet] except a human being like you? So would you approach magic while you are aware [of it]?”
Their hearts are diverted and distracted with worldly things although the ‘Accounting’ is coming and death is close to us.
The strong believer who is always aware of the Day of the Judgement will feel the greatness of these days. He is concerned about his ‘account’, when nothing will benefit him except his good deeds. He is concerned about the day when his records will be spread and his deeds will be shown openly, the secrets will be disclosed. The believer will be afraid of this.
Surah 76 Verse 7:
يُوفُونَ بِالنَّذْرِ وَيَخَافُونَ يَوْمًا كَانَ شَرُّهُ مُسْتَطِيرًا
They [are those who] fulfill [their] vows and fear a Day whose evil will be widespread.
The 1st description of the righteous people is: “They [are those who] fulfil [their] vows”
النذر = This vow refers to the acts of worship which the believer enjoins upon himself which Allah didn’t make obligatory on him. He does this continuously.
Ex. A person recites Qur’an every day. If he does not recite a certain amount of the Qur’an everyday, he feels upset. He upheld this and stuck to this. Fulfilling this vow is one of the attributes of the people of Jannah.
The 2nd description: “and fear a Day whose evil will be widespread.”
When they fulfil these vows, there is a fear of Judgement Day in their hearts.
وَيُطْعِمُونَ الطَّعَامَ عَلَىٰ حُبِّهِ مِسْكِينًا وَيَتِيمًا وَأَسِيرًا
And they give food in spite of love for it to the needy, the orphan, and the captive,
The 3rd description.
They love to have lots of food, but they give it because they prefer Allah’s love to their own.
إِنَّمَا نُطْعِمُكُمْ لِوَجْهِ اللَّهِ لَا نُرِيدُ مِنْكُمْ جَزَاءً وَلَا شُكُورًا
[Saying], “We feed you only for the countenance of Allah . We wish not from you reward or gratitude.
The 4th description.
They give because they want to see Allah’s Face in Jannah. They do not want or wait for any recompense or praise from the people.
إِنَّا نَخَافُ مِنْ رَبِّنَا يَوْمًا عَبُوسًا قَمْطَرِيرًا
Indeed, We fear from our Lord a Day austere and distressful.”
The 5th description.
They do good deeds but there is fear in their heart. They are afraid of that Day.
This is the true believer. They take the actions while they are afraid that it will not be accepted by Allah or that it will go in vain. Maybe their hearts turned to the people and not Allah, and this is disturbing them.
فَوَقَاهُمُ اللَّهُ شَرَّ ذَٰلِكَ الْيَوْمِ وَلَقَّاهُمْ نَضْرَةً وَسُرُورًا
So Allah will protect them from the evil of that Day and give them radiance and happiness
Therefore, their recompense will be. “So Allah will protect them from the evil of that Day and give them radiance and happiness.”
They feared Allah in this life so there would not be fear for them in the Day of Judgment. If you do not fear Allah in this life, you will be fearful on the Day of a Judgement.
We know that our deeds should be based on belief and therefore, we have to take care of our belief.
We should believe with certainty in the unseen matters, which will make us have feelings like love, hope, and fear, in Allah. This feeling should push us to take actions. This is Eeman. It is not just with our tongue, it should be proven with our actions. Even the hypocrites said they were believers.
When many people hear, ‘those who have believed and done righteous deeds’, they immediately think of the actions of the limbs. They are unaware that the hearts have actions as well. The heart can perform either good or evil actions, which will in turn result in either reward or punishment.
It was narrated from ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Mas’ood that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, “No one who has an atom’s-weight of arrogance in his heart will enter Paradise.” A man said, “O Messenger of Allaah, what if a man likes his clothes and his shoes to look good?” He said, “Allaah is Beautiful and loves beauty. Arrogance means rejecting the truth and looking down on people.”
Narrated by Muslim, 91.
We are responsible for the actions of our heart. The place of pride is in the heart. Tawakkul, hope in Allah, fear, love, seeking help, repentance, etc. all start with the heart. Even الشوق (yearning, longing) for meeting the 10 days of Dhul Hijjah and feeling joy.
If you hate something for the sake of Allah, if you miss saying the Takbeer for one or two minutes and feel regret and sorrow, if you committed a sin and felt with hatred towards yourself. This is an act of worship. You are worshiping Allah with the actions of your heart as well.
One of the most important actions of the heart is التقوى. Allah has prepared Paradise for the Muttaqeen [Surat ‘Āli `Imrān Verse 133]
Taqwa resides in the heart. It is the fear of Allah, which will make you act upon the command of Allah and abstain from all the prohibitions. Tawheed is the utmost command of Allah and we are here in this Dunya to fulfil it. The major thing that we have to avoid is Shirk. Taqwa requires you to fulfil Tawheed and stay away from Shirk.
Surah Al-Hajj verse 1,
بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ اتَّقُوا رَبَّكُمْ ۚ إِنَّ زَلْزَلَةَ السَّاعَةِ شَيْءٌ عَظِيمٌ
O mankind, fear your Lord. Indeed, the convulsion of the [final] Hour is a terrible thing.
knowing the horrors of the hour will cause or help a person to attain Taqwa.
The relation between the first verse and the last two verses of Surah Al-Hajj:
If you really understand the horrors of that day and want to be saved then you should do all these good deeds.
Allah commanded us with Taqwa in the beginning of the Surah, and showed us how to attain it at the end.
We are in continuous Jihad daily. Doing good deeds indicates that you have Taqwa.
The relation between the title and the first verse:
Hajj linguistically means to betake oneself to someone who is great. While you are walking to Allah, you should have the provision of Taqwa. We are all journeying to meet Allah.
Hajj legally means to worship Allah by performing rituals in a specific way, in a specific time, and at a specific place. You are worshiping Allah and you need Taqwa. As we want to come out of Ramadhan with Taqwa, one of the utmost goals of Hajj is Taqwa.
There are similarities between Hajj and Judgment day. Hajj is the minor gathering; the day of judgement is the major gathering. Taqwa will benefit you in this minor gathering and in the major gathering.