Alhamdulillah, Alhamdulillah, it is the Greatness of our Lord Allah, Subhanahu Wa Taala (SWT(the Exalted))who has honored us with blessed days and blessed nights throughout the entire year. Friday is the best day of the week; Ramadan, the best month of the year;and the last ten nights of Ramadan,the best nights of Ramadan. Then, there is one night inthe last ten best nights of Ramadan, Lailatul Qadr, that is better than one thousand months (Qur’an: Al-Qadr, 97:1).

Additionally, Allah SWT has chosen to give us another ten highly blessed days: first ten days of Dhul Hijjah. These are the best days of the year. The significance of these first days of Dhul Hijjah, is emphasized by our beloved Prophet, Mohammad, Sallalahu Alaihi Wassallama (SAW): "No good deeds done on other days are superior to those done on these (first ten days of Dhul Hijjah)." Then some companions of the Prophet said, "Not even Jihad?" He replied, "Not even Jihad, except that of a man who does it by putting himself and his property in danger (for Allah's sake) and does not return with any of those things." (Bukhari)

Alhamdulillah, Allah, SWT continually showers upon us with His Blessings day and night all our lives without any end to it. Do we have to do anything in return? Yes, we do! We need to thank deeply and heavily. The ten best blessed days of Dhul Hijjah are upon us. Here are some of the ways our scholars recommend to thank Allah, SWT:

    1.Hajj (Pilgrimage): It is the first and the foremost best deed during these ten days. It is an obligation upon every able and capable Muslim and Muslimah. Upon completion of Hajj one receives the greater blessings in terms of complete forgiveness from all sins by Allah, SWT.
    2.Sawm (Fasting): The second-bestdeed,for those who can’t undertake the Hajj, is to fast first nine days. And if it not possible then at least fast the ninth day, the Day of Arafat (the actual day of Hajj). The Prophet, SAW said: “Anyone who fasts for one day for Allah’s pleasure, Allah will keep his face away from the (Hell) fire for (a distance covered by a journey of) seventy years.” (Bukhari, Muslim). Additionally, he, SAW emphasized about the fast on the ninth day of Dhul-Hijjah saying: “Fasting the Day of ‘Arafat (ninth Dhul-Hijjah) is an expiation for (all the sins of) the previous year and expiation for (all the sins of) the coming year.” (Muslim)
    3.Tadhkir/Dhikr:Recite the following Tasbihaat as much and as often as possible during these ten days: Allahu Akbar Allahu Akbar La ilaha illallah Wa Allahu Akbar Allahu Akbar Walil Lahil Hamd. The Prophet, SAW said: “There are no days on which good deeds are greater or more beloved to Allah than on these ten days, so recite much Tahleel (saying Laa ilaaha ill-Allah), Takbeer (saying Allahu Akbar) and Tahmeed (saying Alhamdu Lillaah).”
    4.Salat-ut Tahajjud (Nightly Prayer): This prayer is observed during the last part of the night before the start of Fajr prayer time. To seekthe bounty, forgiveness, and the pleasure of Allah, SWT, this is the best time to supplicate (pray) to Him that is highly beloved to Him.This is the time when He, SWT calls upon His servants: “Is there anyone to invoke Me, so that I may respond to his invocation? Is there anyone to ask Me, so that I may grant him his request? Is there anyone seeking My forgiveness, so that I may forgive him?” (Bukhari, Muslim) Let us take the advantage of His blessings every day but essentially during theseten best days of the year.
    5.Istighfar (Repentance): Another deed that pleases Allah, SWT much is to return to Him after committing sins and mistakes. One should feel guilty for own sins and mistakes, commit to Allah, SWT to not ever return to them, and then seek His forgiveness sincerely. Assure that this good deed is done on every such occasion but during these days extra benefits will be reaped.Allah, SWT says, “But as for him who repented, believed and did righteous deeds, then he will be among those who are successful.” (Quran: Al-Qasas, 28:67)
    6.Recite Al-Quran (Read the Book of Allah): Communication and continuous relationship with the book of Allah, SWT every day but especially during these ten days of Dhul-Hijjah, can’t be emphasized enough. Recite its verses, understand its meaning and guidance; implement in your life and support its implementation in the life of your family, and community members. Further, take the message to others. The continuous relationship with the Quran opens the doors of wisdom and happiness. This then, leads to guidance and success in this life and the Hereafter.
    7.Udhiyyah (Slaughter an animal): Ibn Umar said: “The Prophet, SAW lived in Madeenah for ten years and every year he slaughtered an animal.” (Ahmad) Another act of good deed during these ten days is to sacrifice an animal for the sake of Allah. Then distribute the meat to the poor, use some of it, and give some to your relatives.
    8.Charity: Give extra charity as much as you can to reap the extra blessings of these days.
    9.Salat ul Eid (Eid Prayer): Attending Eid prayers is from the Sunnah of our beloved Prophet, SAW. We should be keen on practicing this Sunnah and performing it according to the teachings of our Prophet, SAW Eid is a time of joy and happiness and we should be inclusive of all of our brothers and sisters who may not be as fortunate to have enough to enjoy this blessed occasion.
    10.Shukrulla (Thank Allah): Thanking Allah, SWT deeply, sincerely, and continuously brings His pleasure closer and closer. It is He, SWT who has created us, sustained us through every moment of our life, then He, SWT will not only Judge us on the Day of Judgement but decide our fate beyond that day. Is it not enough for us to understand and thank Him? Thank Him as much as you can during these best days of Dhul Hijjah.

Alhamdulillah, there is much to be gained in these coming days. Hasten to do good deeds and appreciate this blessing and make the most of it. “And worship your Lord until there comes unto you the certainty (death).” (Qur’an: Al-Hijr, 15:99]

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