When the blessings of Allah are being showered upon us, we should race to get our share. So let us take up some or all of the following ways to get those blessings!
Follow the prophetic Sunnah of fasting the first nine days of Dhul-Hijjah.
It was narrated from Hunaydah ibn Khaalid from his wife, that one of the wives of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: The Prophet used to fast on the first nine days of Dhu’l-Hijjah and the day of ‘Ashura’, and three days each month, the first Monday of the month and two Thursdays. (An-Nasa’i, Abu Dawood; Saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood,)
Abu Qataadah reported that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was asked about fasting on the day of ‘Arafah and he said: “It expiates for the past and coming years.” Narrated by Muslim (1162). According to another report: “I ask Allah that it may expiate for (the sins of) the year that comes before it and the year that comes after it.” What greater incentive do we need to take up this Sunnah. I encourage all my brothers and sisters to do their utmost best and fast these blessed days.
2) Recite Takbeer, Tahleel and Tahmeed:
‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) 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 (“La ilaaha ill-Allaah“), Takbeer and Tahmeed.” (Reported by Ahmad, 7/224; Ahmad Shaakir stated that it is saheeh). Takbeer in these days are unrestricted, and should be done throughout the day without specifying a certain time of day.
The Takbeer to recite is ‘Allah akbar, Allahu akbar, laa ilaaha ill-Allah, Allahu akbar, wa Lillaah il-hamd.’ Meaning Allah is Most Great, Allah is Most Great, there is no god but Allah; Allah is Most Great and to Allah be praise. And there are similar ones that are also approved. Ibn ‘Umar and Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with them both) used to go out to the marketplace during the first ten days of Dhu’l-Hijjah, reciting the takbeer our loud, and the people would recite takbeer when they heard them. However they would not recite in unison, for this is not from the Sunnah. Ibn Umar and Abu Hurayrah would recite the Takbeer so as to remind the people to do likewise.
3) Perform Hajj itself:
Amongst the greatest of deeds to do during these ten days, is the Hajj, for as our Prophet told us, ‘an accepted Hajj brings no less a reward than paradise.’
4) Offer an Udhiyah:
Another great deed is to offer an Udhiyah or sacrifice. One who intends to offer a sacrifice should follow the instruction of the Prophet, “When you see the new moon of Dhu’l-Hijjah, if any one of you wants to offer a sacrifice, then he should stop cutting his hair and nails until he has offered his sacrifice.” According to another report he said: “He should not remove (literally, touch) anything from his hair or skin.” (reported by Muslim with four isnaads, 13/146)
5) Make Duaa:
These days contain the Day of Arafah on which Allah forgives his slaves, and answers their supplications. Whether you are performing Hajj or not, use the time for Duaa
6) Repentance and general good deeds:
One should also engage in general good deeds and repentance. As the hadith quoted earlier state that righteous deeds are more beloved to Allah in these days. Repenting and turning to Allah is something which He (Glorified is He) loves. Engage in reciting Qur’an, giving charity, praying on time and the list can go on
7) Share the good:
I leave you with a final thought, and another method by which to earn rewards, and that is to revive the Sunan mentioned in this article, and remind others around you. Our beloved Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Whoever revives an aspect of my Sunnah that is forgotten after my death, he will have a reward equivalent to that of the people who follow him, without it detracting in the least from their reward.” (Reported by al-Tirmidhi, 7/443; this is a hasan hadeeth because of corroborating asaaneed).
For those who are not able to do Hajj this year, reflect on the beautiful words of Imām Rajab al-Hanbali رحمه الله who said:
May Allah forgive us for our shortcomings and aid us in doing good in these days. May He reward us with Jannah and accept our deeds.