10 Great Nights Of ZHUL-HIJJAH

Source : http://www.jamiat.org.za/isinfo/tennight.html , Al-Jamiat Publications
WHEN ALLAH TA'ALA takes an oath upon some aspect, it is to illustrate the great significance of that aspect in the sight of Allah Ta'ala. Among the various things which Allah Ta'ala has taken an oath upon in the Qur'an is "ten nights" (Surah Al-Fajr). Many mufassireen (commentators) are of the view that this refers to the first ten nights of Zhul-Hijjah.
The Ahaadith also mention the virtue of the first ten days of Zhul Hijjah. It is reported in one hadith that no action is more beloved to Allah Ta'ala than the action performed in these ten days, whether it be nafil salaah, zikr, charity, etc. (Sahih Bukhari).

REWARD EQUAL TO ONE YEAR

In another Hadith it is reported that one fast in these ten days is equivalent to the reward of fasting for one year (the tenth of Zhul-Hijjah is excluded since it is not permissible to fast on the day of Eidul-Adha). Likewise, performing Ibadah in any of these nights earns the reward of ibadah in Lailatul Qadr (Tirmizi).
Furthermore, among these ten days is the day of Arafah (9 Zhul-Hijjah). Regarding this day Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) is reported to have said: "I have hope in Allah Ta'ala that the fast of the day of Arafah will be an atonement for the (minor) sins of the past and forthcoming year " (Tirmizi). In a narration of Tabrani it is reported that one should in these ten days recite the following excessively: Tasbeeh (Subhanallah), Tahleel (La ilaha illallah), Tahmeed (Al-Hamdulillah) and Takbeer (Allahu Akbar).

DEPRIVATION

Thus the first ten days and nights of Zhul-Hijjah are extremely virtuous. One should therefore engage oneself in even more ibadah during this time. One should fast on as many of these days as possible.
To ignore these virtues and be indifferent to the significance of these days and nights is indeed a great deprivation. It is also a sign of ingratitude to Allah Ta'ala for the great opportunity He has given us to earn tremendously multiplied rewards for little acts of devotion. Hence let us not ignore the gift of Allah Ta'ala. Instead let us take the maximum advantage of this gift.

VIRTUES OF SACRIFICE

Hazrat Jaber(Radhiallahu-Anhu) reports,"We were accustomed not to eat the meat of our sacrificed camels beyond three days." Then Rasulullah (Sallallaahu-Alayhi-Wasallam) gave us permission (to do so) and asked us to eat and preserve. So we ate and preserved (beyond three days).
It is related by Hazrat Aayesha (Radhiallahu-Anha) that Rasulullah (Sallallaahu - Alayhi - Wasallam) said, ' There is nothing dearer to Allah Ta'ala during the days of sacrifice than the sacrificing of animals. The sacrificed animal shall come on the day of Qiyamah with its horns, hair and hooves (to be weighed in sawaab). The sacrifice is accepted by Allah Ta'ala before the blood reaches the ground. Therefore sacrifice with an open and happy heart."
Hazrat Zaid ibn Arqam (Radhiallahu-Anhu)related that the companions of Rasulullah (Sallallaahu-Alayhi-Wasallam) asked, "O Rasulullah, what is sacrifice?" He replied, "it is the Sunnah of your father Ibraheem". They asked again, "What benefit do we get from it?" he answered, "A reward for every hair of the sacrificed animal." And what reward is there for animals with wool?" they asked. "A reward," he said, 'for every fibre of the wool."
Rasulullah (Sallallaahu-Alayhi-Wasallam) has said, "the person who sacrifices with a willing heart and with the niyyat of reward, then on the day of judgement that sacrifice will shield him from the fires of hell." Therefore by performing sacrifice every year a Muslim is abundantly rewarded and drawn closer to Allah Ta'ala. Since this sacrificial devotion can be offered on only three days of the year, this opportunity given by Allah Ta'ala must not be missed by any Muslim on whom sacrifice is waajib.
These more blessed with wealth should make optional (nafl) sacrifice for the sake of reward for Rasulullah (Sallallaahu-Alayhi-Wasallam), his Ummah, the Ambiyaa and for their own living or deceased parents and forebears. Permission for the waajib sacrifice of a living person is necessary. For nafl sacrifice this consent is not required.

ON WHOM IS SACRIFICE WAAJIB?

Sacrifice during the days of Eid-ul-Adha is waajib (compulsory) on all Muslims (male and female) who own wealth to the value of the Zakaat Nisaab on these days of sacrifice (10th, 11th and 12th Dhul Hijjah). The Nisaab value is the price of 19,68 troy ounces of gold or 612,3 grams of silver. Whoever possesses this amount of wealth during this period should make the sacrifice.
Sacrifice is not obligatory upon those who are not in possession of this amount of wealth (i.e. the Nisaab value of Zakaat). However, even if sacrifice is not waajib upon one, an effort should be made to make this great offering so that one may gain the tremendous amount of rewards which the ibaadat of sacrifice carries. After all, everyone makes effort to secure unnecessary luxuries even if these cannot be afforded.
But, an extremely lethargic attitude is adopted nowadays towards this noble sacrifice which is indeed of great significance. Rasulullah (Sallallaahu-Alayhi-Wasallam) said that a hasanah (good deed) is recorded for every strand of wool or hair on the body of the sacrificed animal.A Muslim when hearing this promise of Rasuluilah(Sallallaahu-Alayhi-Wasallam) should reflect about this tremendous amount of reward to be obtained so easily and so cheaply. In our day in view of our neglect of the Deen and the extreme weakness of our ibaadat,we should not forgo such a wonderful opportunity to secure such colossal reward so easily. Who knows if one will be alive the following year to participate in this great act of ibaadat fixed by Allah Ta'ala in commemoration of the supreme sacrifice of Hadhrat Ismaeel (Alayhis Salaam)!

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