By the break of the day. By the ten nights [S:89 V:1-2]
The Mufassireen (commentators of the Qur-aan-e-Kareem) are of the opinion that the ten nights upon which Allah Ta’ala has taken an oath in this Surah refer to the first ten days of Zul Hijjah. These ten days, after the month of Ramadhaan, are regarded to be amongst the most significant days in the Islamic calendar. The following Ahaadith of Rasulullah Salallahu Alayhi wa Sallam clearly explain the great significance these ten days hold in Islam.
Clipping of Nails and Trimming of Hair
ُHadhrat Umme Salamah radiyallahu anha reports that Rasulullah Salallahu Alayhi wa Sallam said: “When the ten days [of Zul Hijjah] commence and any of you intend to make Qurbaani then he should not remove his hair or trim his nails.” [Muslim: # 1977]
Any person performing Qurbaani should refrain from clipping his nails and trimming his hair until he has completed his Qurbaani. Hence, before the crescent of Zul Hijjah is sighted, a person should trim his nails and remove his hair to practice on this Hadith. Thereafter, for the ten days of Zul Hijjah, he should not trim his hair or cut his nails until he has completed performing his Qurbaani. This act, according to the Fuqaha, has been declared as Mustahab.
During the days of Haj, people from all over the world gather in Makkah Mukarramah to uphold this great pillar of Haj. People equalling millions in number gather around the Baitullah in the state of Ihraam. At this particular time, the special Mercy and Rahmat of Allah Ta’ala descends on the Hujjaaj. The Shariah has imposed many restrictions on the Hujjaaj whilst in the state of Ihraam. They cannot apply itr, wear stitched garments, clip their hair or nails, etc. Those who are not privileged to perform Haj have been commanded to also leave their nails unclipped and their hair untrimmed in order to resemble the Hujjaaj and also join in the special Mercy of Allah Ta’ala. In this way they will also attain some similarity to the millions of Hujjaaj that have gathered in Makkah Mukarramah.1
Zikr of Tasbeeh, Tahmeed, Takbeer and Tahleel
Rasulullah Salallahu Alayhi wa Sallam has encouraged us in these days to recite Tasbeeh (Subhanallah), Tahmeed (Alhamdulillah), Tahleel (Laa-ilaha illallah) and Takbeer (Allahu Akbar) in abundance.
In these ten days one should, as far as possible, keep the zikr of the third kalimah on his tongue. Recite this zikr as
much as possible. Whilst walking, working, driving, lying down, etc. keep on reciting this kalimah. You will be rewarded immensely for this. For a detailed discussion on the rewards of reciting this kalimah, refer to Fazaail-e-Zikr written by Sheikhul Hadeeth Moulana Muhammad Zakariyyah ̨. 1 Islaahi Khutubaat Vol. 2 Page 135
Aamaal-e-Saalihah (Good Deeds)
Hadhrat Ibn Abbaas radiyallahu anhuma narrates that Rasulullah Salallahu Alayhi wa Sallam said; “There are no days wherein good deeds are more beloved to Allah Ta’ala than on these ten days [of Zul Hijjah]. The Sahaabah radiyallahu anhum enquired, ‘O Rasulullah Salallahu Alayhi wa Sallam , not even Jihaad in the path of Allah.’ He Salallahu Alayhi wa Sallam replied, ‘Not even Jihaad in the path of Allah except for that person who went out with his life and his wealth and did not return.’” [Bukhaari #969]
Fasting and staying awake at night Hadhrat Abu Hurayrah radiyallahu anhu narrates that Rasulullah Salallahu Alayhi wa Sallam said; “There are no days wherein Allah Ta’ala loves that He be worshipped, more than the first ten days of Zul Hijjah. Fasting on one day (in these ten days) equals the fasting of one year and staying awake at night [in Ibaadah] equals the Ibaadah of Laylatul Qadar.” [Tirmizi # 758]
From this Hadith we understand the importance of dedicating our time and effort during these days in the Ibaadah of Allah Ta’ala. Who has the ability of fasting for so many years? If a Muslim makes an effort to fast on these mubaarak (blessed) days, he will receive the reward of fasting for so many years.
We try our best to find Laylatul Qadr in the last ten days of the mubaarak month of Ramadhaan. People all over the world sit in I’tikaaf with the hope of finding this mubaarak night. At the end of Ramadhaan discussions ensue as to which night of Ramadhaan they felt was Laylatul Qadr. However, the exact night of Laylatul Qadr is known only to Allah Ta’ala. In the above mentioned Hadith, Rasulullah Salallahu Alayhi wa Sallam is clearly telling us that ibaadah done on these ten nights equals to the ibaadah performed on Laylatul Qadr. How unfortunate will we be if we do not take advantage of this great opportunity and gain great sawaab? May Allah Ta’ala bless us with the taufeeq (ability) of spending our time profitably in these ten days. Aameen.