The month of Dhul Hijjah is a blessed month, but its first 10 days are particularly special, a time filled with rewards, blessings and significance. These days are considered sacred for both those individuals going to Hajj and those who are not.
The Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “There are no days in which righteous deeds are more beloved to Allah than these 10 days.” The people asked, “Not even Jihad for the sake of Allah?” He said, “Not even Jihad for the sake of Allah, except in the case of a man who went out to fight giving himself and his wealth up for the cause, and came back with nothing” (Bukhari).
Here are three things Muslims are strongly encouraged to do during the first 10 days of Dhul al-Hijjah, and the reward for it:
1. Increase your Dhikr (remembrance of Allah) during these 10 days. Asking for forgiveness, increasing prayers, Dua (supplication), and spiritual reflection are strongly encouraged during this time.
2. Give extra Sadaqa (voluntary charity). During this time, every good deed is rewarded 700 times. Imagine donating $10 and having Allah reward you with $7,000!
3. Fast. Muslims are urged to fast any or all of the first 10 days Dhul Hijjah. Each day in these 10 days, Allah rewards the Muslim who fasts as if they had fasted a whole year. But those who fast on the ninth day (the Day of Arafah) will have their reward doubled: fasting that day will bring a reward as if the Muslim fasted two years.
The Prophet said, "One fast during these days is equal to the fasting of one complete year, and the worship of one night during this period is equal to the worship in the Lailatul-Qadr" (Tirmidhi).
There are many virtues and blessings found in Dhul Hijjah, and the most in the first 10 days. We do not know which of us will be alive to see this month next year. As such, we must fervently and eagerly devote ourselves to remembrance of Allah now.