The First Ten of Dhuʾl-Ḥijjah
The special status of these ten days of the Sacred Month of Dhu'l-Ḥijjah.

A Foreword by Habib ꜥUmar ibn Hafīẓ

Deeds performed in these days (the first ten of Dhuʾl-Ḥijjah) are equal to no other acts of worship (outside of the month).

Rising at night (for prayer) every night of these nights is equivalent to performing deeds on the Night of Decree [laylat ul-qadr].

Fasting each day of these days is equivalent to fasting a whole year.

Some people make a devotion out of performing seclusion [iʿtikaf] in these ten nights, and what deed is more excellent on these ten nights?

Some people take great care in looking after their ties of kinship and spending charitably upon them.

Some people take great care in performing the sacrifices, for whoever is able to do so, for it is one of the strongest symbols. There is no greater act of worship on the day of Eid al-Adha than the sacrifice of blood.

From the text, ‘The Treasure of Triumph and Delight’, of the orator and eloquent speaker, Shaykh ꜥAbd al-Ḥamīd ibn Muḥammad ibn ꜥAbd al-Qādir Quds al-Makkī ash-Shāfiꜥī:

Know, that the month of Dhuʾl-Ḥijjah is a magnified and sacred month, within which is Ḥajj; itself a pillar from the Pillars[1] of Islām. It is a month in which forbidden actions are intensified [2], good deeds are multiplied, supplications are answered, needs are fulfilled, and the Ten Nights that God the Transcendent swore an oath by in His Noble Book, saying:

By the Dawn[3], and (by) the Ten Nights. {Qur’an, 89:1-2}

O! What a mighty oath it is!

Some (of the scholars) different as what was meant by the ‘Dawn’ and the ‘Ten Nights’. The following was mentioned about the interpretation of the word ‘Dawn’ in this Verse:

  • From the weaker opinions, it refers to the dawn of every day[4].
  • The dawn of the first day of the month of Muḥarram because from it the rest of the year gushes forth[5].
  • The dawn of the first day of the Day of Sacrifice[6], because this day contains most of the rites of Ḥajj and the offerings are put forward.
  • The dawn of the first day of Dhuʾl-Ḥijjah, because it is tied to the Ten Nights.
  • The dawn of the Day of ʿArafa, and this is the saying attributed to most.

The interpretation given for the ‘Ten Nights’ are as follows:

  • The ten nights of Dhuʾl-Ḥijjah [7].
  • A weaker opinion mentions that these ten nights are the last ten nights of Ramaḍān.
  • Another weak opinion mentions that it refers to the first ten nights of Muḥarram.

Truly, He ﷻ said, “And (by) the Ten Nights” without any reference to anything specific because they are the best nights of the year.

Said, al-Ḥāfiẓ Muḥammad ibn Nāṣir ad-Dīn ad-Dimashqī ash-Shāfiʿī in a short treatise on the Ten Nights of Dhuʾl-Ḥijjah:

The first position which is also the position of most (of the scholars) is that (the ten nights mentioned) are the ‘Ten Nights’ of Dhuʾl-Ḥijjah, and this is the most widely known and correct opinion.

Then he listed Prophetic Narrations which prove this point, until he said:

The majority hold the position that the ‘Dawn’ mentioned is the dawn of the day of ʿArafa, and ‘Ten Nights’ are those of Dhuʾl-Ḥijjah, as was mentioned earlier.

Abū ꜥUthmān said:

The three tens were always preferred[8]. The first ten are those of Dhuʾl-Ḥijjah, the second ten are those of Muḥarram, and the final ten are the last ten of Ramaḍān. The narrations tend to show a greater preference for the ten nights of Dhuʾl-Ḥijjah than the aforementioned twenty, because they contain within them the Day of Quenching Thirst[9], and the Day of ꜥArafa, and the Day of Sacrifice. In the Prophetic Tradition it was said, ‘There are no better days to God than the ten of Dhuʾl-Ḥijjah, and no better nights than their nights, as it (Dhuʾl-Ḥijjah) is the seal on the Well-Known Months mentioned in His Divine Saying,

‘Ḥajj is in months well-known,’ {Qur’an, 2:197}.

These well-known months are, Shawwāl, Dhuʾl-Qiꜥdah and the first ten of Dhuʾl-Ḥijjah. Some of the scholars did not include the Day of Sacrifice as part of the first ten days. It was narrated on the authority of Ibn ꜥAbbās (God be pleased with them both), ‘There are no better days to God the Sublime than these days, the first Ten Days. So, increase much in them recitation of tahlīl[10] and takbīr[11], for they are days of proclaiming God’s Oneness, magnifying Him and remembering God, the August and Majestic. Fasting a day (of these ten) is counted as fasting a whole year, and good deeds are increased seven hundred-fold.’[12]

And many more narrations to the same effect. Then he said:

Supplications are answered in these ten days, as was narrated by Abū Mūsā al-Ashꜥarī (God the Exalted be pleased with him), ‘The Well-Known Days[13] are the first nine days of Dhuʾl-Ḥijjah, not including the Day of Sacrifice, and that supplications within them are not rejected.’

And how could supplications be rejected within them while the Day of ꜥArafa is included among them and it has been narrated to be the best day of the days of this world, as was narrated by Ibn Ḥibbān in his Authentic Collection of Traditions, the narration of Jābir (God Most High be pleased with him) which was directly attributed to the Prophet ﷺ.


[1] rukn (singular), arkān (plural)

[2] Sins are multiplied just as good deeds are multiplied as it is a Sacred and Holy Month. So, that which pleases God the Exalted is magnified, as is that which invites His Wrath.

[3] fajr

[4] This is what was summarised by Imām Jalāl ad-Dīn as-Suyūṭī (God the Exalted have mercy on him) in his Exegesis.

[5] The word fajr, which means dawn, also has a meaning of beginning or flowing forth.

[6] naḥr

[7] This is what was summarised by Imām Jalāl ad-Dīn as-Suyūṭī (God the Exalted have mercy on him) in his Exegesis.

[8] Three sets of ten nights as explained in the sentence after.

[9] tarwiyya – one of the days of Ḥajj in which the pilgrims would fill up as much as they could on water for the long journey ahead.

[10] Saying, “Lā ilāha ill-Allāh”.

[11] Saying, “Allāhu akbar”.

[12] Narrated by Imām al-Bayhaqī in Shaꜥb al-Īmān.

[13] al-ayyām al-maꜥlūmāt