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The believing human self needs strong provocations in order to awaken whenever it is enveloped by laziness in relation to performing acts of worship and whenever it is impaired by a tendency of seeking pleasure. Amidst the increasing worldly crowdedness of distractions, issues that make one heedless, and pure material gains, the soul of the believer aspires to a state of faith that raises it above the ground and makes it fly in the vast divine horizon.

There are times and days when the soul aspires very much to return to Allah and establish a new pledge with Him. The ten days of Thul-Hijjah are considered the most appropriate time for this return and sincere repentance.

The educational Islamic approach considered making use of these days a useful means to a faith-oriented upbringing and a good motivation for the spirit and the heart. Therein, disobedient hearts are cleansed of their impurities, negligent souls return to their Creator, and the spirit resorts to a pure transparent life wherein is nothing but obedience and faith.

All goodness

These ten days gather all goodness. They are the best days and the most superior in status. Allah Almighty swore by them in His book, when He said (what means): {And [by] ten nights} [Quran 89:2] The majority of the scholars of tafseer (interpretation, explanation) said that this verse refers to the ten days of Thul-Hijjah.

The Prophet  raised the good deeds performed therein to a very high status. Ibn ‘Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that the Prophet  said, "There are no days in which righteous deeds are more beloved to Allah than these ten days." [Al-Bukhari]

It was also narrated on the authority of Ibn ‘Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, that the Prophet said, "There is no deed more precious in the sight of Allah, nor greater in reward, than a good deed done during the ten days of Thul-Hijjah." [Ad-Darimi; Al-Albani: good]
He ordered frequent thikr (remembrance of Allah) in those days as it was narrated on the authority of Ibn ‘Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, that the Prophet  said: 

There are no days greater in the sight of Allah and in which righteous deeds are more beloved to Him than these ten days, so during this time recite a great deal of tahleel (There is none worthy of worship except Allah), takbeer (Allah is the Greatest) and tahmeed (Praise be to Allah).[Ahmad]

The Prophet  used to fast on the ninth day of Thul-Hijjah. It was narrated that one of the wives of the Prophet  said, "The Prophet  used to fast on the ninth of Thul-Hijjah, the day of ‘Aashooraa’, and three days of each month, these are the first Monday and two Thursdays of each month." [Al-Nasa’i and Abu Dawood; Al-Albani: authentic]

Imam An-Nawawi  said that fasting the ten days is highly recommended.

He commanded fasting the day of ‘Arafah. It was narrated on the authority of Abu Qatadah, may Allah be pleased with him, that the Prophet  was asked about fasting the day of ‘Arafah. He said, "It expiates the previous and the coming year." [Muslim] Ibn ‘Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, said, "When we were with the Prophet  we used to consider it equal to two years." [At-Tabarani; Al-Albani: authentic]

Imam Ibn Hajar  said in Fat-h Al-Bari, “It seems that the reason of the excellence of the ten days of Thul-Hijjah is that they gather the main acts of worship; namely, prayer, fasting, charity and Hajj. This only happens in the ten days of Thul-Hijjah."

The noble tabi‘i (from the generation after the Companions) Sa‘eed ibn Jubayr  used to be extremely diligent in these ten days, to the extent that he almost could not afford any more. It was narrated that he said, "Do not turn your lights off in the ten nights," meaning: maintain reciting the Quran and praying at night.
Ibn Rajab Al-Hanbali  said:

Since Allah Almighty caused the souls of His believing slaves to long to visit His sacred House, and given that not everyone is capable of visiting it every year, Allah enjoined performing the Hajj once in one's life time upon the capable and made the season of the ten days common between the pilgrims and those who are not performing the Hajj.

The educational Islamic approach considered making use of these days a useful means to a faith-oriented upbringing and a good motivation for the spirit and the heart. Therein, disobedient hearts are cleansed of their impurities, negligent souls return to their Creator, and the spirit resorts to a pure transparent life where there is nothing but obedience and faith.
Shaykhul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah  was asked: "Which is better: the ten of Thul-Hijjah or the last ten of Ramadan?" He answered, "The ten days of Thul-Hijjah are better than the last ten days of Ramadan, but the last ten nights of Ramadan are better than the ten nights of Thul-Hijjah."
Ibn Al-Qayyim  also compared the virtue of those days saying:

The best day in the sight of Allah is the day of Nahr (sacrifice), which is the day of the Hajj. This was mentioned by the Prophet  when he said: "The greatest day in the Sight of Allah is the day of sacrifice and next the day of resting." [Sunan Abu Dawood] The day of resting is the day of staying at Mina, which is the eleventh day. It was also said that the day of ‘Arafah is better because fasting it expiates two years. Besides, there is no day on which Allah frees more slaves from Hell than the day of ‘Arafah. In addition, Allah, the Exalted, comes near His slaves and boasts about the people of ‘Arafah to His angels.

These ten days really encompass all goodness. Every good deed is recommended therein. There are no days on which good deeds are better than those days. They are pure goodness for the innocent human soul. They are a spiritual course of faith that occupies the first position in the year in terms of the goodness of its days.

Between Hajj and slaughtering

As for those whom Allah guided to perform the Hajj to His Sacred House; He thus guided them to what He Loves the most, chose to cleanse them from their sins and return them—if they made their intention sincere and perfected their Hajj—as sinless as the day on which they were delivered by their mothers, and guided them in order to open a new, white record to start a new stage of faith.
The clothes of ihram (ritual consecration) take him out of the mindset of seeing the pleasures and get him into the mindset of seeing the shroud (of the dead). No deceiving adornments, no lusts that lead to heedlessness, and no foolish struggles upon the perishing world. All people in the clothing of ihram are absolutely equal, as they will be in the last dress. All are afraid of their sins and hope to attain the mercy that encompasses everything.

Let the Muslims declare an international declaration on the day of Hajj at a time when the nation is bleeding and its blood is being shed. Let them declare that the Muslim peoples all over the world share the same heart, the same approach, and the same target; worship the same Lord; and hope to attain His mercy and fear His punishment. Let Satan and his allies, then, be despised and rejected. Let every Muslim be proud of his religion; this religion that ascends and progresses for Allah is its protector, and its enemies have no protector.

At the same time, when pilgrims shed the blood of their hady animals (those brought for the sacrifice), and other Muslims slaughter their sacrificial animals on the day of Nahr, and the cheers of takbeer spread in the horizon, the righteous martyrs all over the earth offer their blood and their souls in a good and easy manner for the sake of Allah, their Lord. Thus, their lips smile at the last breath of the soul. They receive the Hereafter while their blood flows from them. The color is the color of blood, and the smell is the smell of musk.

The ten days of Thul-Hijjah are considered an educational opportunity that every educator can make use of in directing to the best virtues and morals as well as in making them a correct starting point for an annual psychological renewal.

Educators and the Ten Days

The ten days of Thul-Hijjah are considered an educational opportunity that every educator can make use of in directing to the best virtues and morals as well as in making them a correct starting point for an annual psychological renewal for those whom he educates in terms of faith, repentance and good deeds.
In this context, we suggest that this takes place through some main aspects, such as:

Firstly: preparing the atmosphere of faith:

The Islamic approach helps the educator in those days to prepare an atmosphere of faith and arrange a general environment of faith that affects the individuals targeted for instruction.

Fasting, reciting takbeer, remembering Allah, abstaining from cutting one's hair or nails, hearing the loud voice of the talbiyah of the pilgrims in all places transmitted by all the radio and TV channels and media, buying the sacrificial animals, making arrangements for the day of nahr; all these things help the educator to complete the required atmosphere of faith.

The role of the educator, here, is to make use of this by calling to righteous deeds that form this great atmosphere of faith. For example, he may call those whom he educates to stay in the mosque for some time, and they might stay there for some time, during which they wait for one prayer after the other, recite the Quran, and seek the opportunity of breaking the fast everyday in order to make good supplications and privately supplicate and praise Allah.

In addition, they may contribute to some team effort that develops the spirit of sacrifice and generosity, such as meeting in order to prepare food for the fasting people and call the poor to the food that they prepared themselves, exerted effort in the preparation thereof, and cooperated in spending thereon from their own money.

He may also meet them in order to recite some verses and hadiths to them that urge towards giving charity and generosity as well as to related the biographies of the righteous predecessors in terms of giving charity in the Cause of Allah to them and then order them to go give charity (each separately) and remind them to have a good intention and hide the charity that they give.

Moreover, he may remind them of the authentic hadith of Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him, that relates that he, one day, did four good deeds; fasting, following a funeral, visiting a sick person, and giving charity and that when the Prophet  became aware of this, he said, "Whoever performs these deeds on one day, Allah will admit him into Paradise." Therefore, they should imitate Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him, by performing all these four good deeds on one day.
Secondly: the call to changing one self:

These days are appropriate for the educator to renew his call, to those whom he educates, to undergo a process of change for themselves, their bad or negative morals, and their rejected habits into pure selves towards all creatures; having morals resembling those of the Prophet ; and good habits of faith, leaving behind the morals and habits of arrogance, utilitarianism and issues related to the love of the self and the desire to be superior to others.

The educator should direct his instruction towards dispraising the qualities of arrogance and self admiration, reminding them of how the sharia ordered that people should be equal during the Hajj in their dress, behavior, speech and target and urged towards abandoning this world and superiority therein.

They are equal in their desire to attain what is with Allah on the day of ‘Arafah. There is no superiority of one person over another except by piety and good deeds. Furthermore, he should instruct them to control the self and its lusts and desires, abandon luxury as much as they can, and have stamina, acting upon the hadith in which the Prophet  said, "The humble dress is a sign of faith." and in order to imitate those who are in a state of ihram and are prohibited from luxury and anything that is forbidden. Rather, they should adhere to self-restraint and imperturbability and keep away from sexual desires and the inclination towards sins. Allah Almighty says (what means): {There is [to be for him] no sexual relations and no disobedience and no disputing.} [Quran 2:197]

Thirdly: instructing towards cooperation and holding firm:

In the ten days of Thul-Hijjah, the ideas of holding firm to Allah, the Exalted, and abandoning division clearly appear. All Muslims wish to perform Hajj to the House of Allah Almighty. The pilgrims represent the greatest real image of cooperation and holding firm to the same approach and the same target in the east and west. He who was not guided to perform Hajj this year shares the emotions of the pilgrims, and his soul flies around them, asking Allah to make him join them in the future.

The educator, here, should call those whom he educates to reject disagreement and division, seek unity, never disdain the good deed of any person, and realize that those who work for the sake of Allah are targeted. Hence, he should supplicate for them, ask Allah to support them, and never let them down or leave them to their enemies. Rather, he should support them as much as he can, advise them in what he believes to be wrong on their part, and kindly instruct them about what they do not know.

Those are good and blessed days, awaited by the righteous Muslims in order to free themselves from the link to the life of this world and the restraint of lusts and perishing wishes; to write a record of light, without materialism, that breaks the transparency, and no sin to desecrate obedience; rather, remembrance, humble submissiveness, repentance and weeping.

Thus, they see the whole universe full of delight and transparency. Light is combined with happiness, and hope with honesty. Paradise becomes the demand; sincerity, the hope; and having good expectations of Allah, the cave of wishes.


 

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