The following question was posed to Al-Habib ‘Umar Bin Hafidz: What do you advice for one who reaches the first 10 days of Dzulhijjah?
Answer: Many texts of hadith have been narrated regarding the virtues of the ten days with regards to multiplying good deeds therein. Amongst them are the words of the Messenger of Allah ﷺ:
ما مِن أيامٍ العملُ الصالحُ فيهنَّ أحب إلى الله من عشرِ ذي الحجة
Meaning: There are no days wherein righteous action is so pleasing to Allah than these days i.e. the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah.
To this, they (the Companions) asked the Messenger of Allah ﷺ, “Not even the struggle in the path of Allah (Jihad)?” And he ﷺ said, “Yes, not even the struggle in the path of Allah, except a man who goes out (in the path of Allah) with his life and property, and does not return with any of them.” – Narrated by Tirmidhi
In a narration by At-Thabarani, he ﷺ said, “There are no days in which good deeds are greater and more beloved to Allah than the ten days, therefore increase in tasbīh, tahmīd, tahlīl, and takbīr in it, this is what the bāqiyāt as-sālihāt or abiding good deeds is about:
سبحان الله والحمد لله ولا إله إلا الله والله أكبر
Transliteration: SubhānAllāh walhamdulillāh wa lā ilāha illā Allāh wa Allāhu Akbar
Meaning: Glory be to Allah, praise be to Allah, there is no deity worthy of worship other than Allah, Allah is the greatest.
If one adds to it the hawqalah (لاَ حَوْلاَ وَلاَ قُوَّةَ إلاَّ باِللهِ – la hawla wa laa quwata illa billah) that is a treasure from the treasures of Paradise.
Let this be one’s daily invocations for these ten days and it can be done in the number of 300 or 700 or 1000 or 3000 or according to a person’s capacity. The main objective is the presence of heart therein. One should also couple this with sending blessings upon the Prophet ﷺ who taught this, and opened the door of knowledge regarding the ten days and whatever it contains of goodness and rewards.
Many of the righteous Imams would recite:
لا إله إلا الله عدد الليالي والدهور ، لا إله إلا الله عدد الأيام والشهور ، لا إله إلا الله عدد أمواج البحور ، لا إله إلا الله عدد أضعاف الأجور
Meaning: Lā ilāha illa’llāh to the number of nights and ages (as they pass), Lā ilāha illa’llāh to the number of days and months, Lā ilāha illa’llāh to the number of waves in the oceans, Lā ilāha illa’llāh as much as rewards are multiplied
… till the end of litany the dhikr which they recite taking example from his sunnah ﷺ in which he taught us to say,
سبحان الله عدد ما خلق في الأرض، سبحان الله عدد ما خلق في السماء، سبحانه الله عدد ما بين ذلك، سبحانه الله عدد ما هو خالق. وسبحان الله عدد خلقه، وسبحان الله وبحمده عدد خلقه ورضا نفسه وزنة عرشه ومداد كلماته
Meaning: SubhānAllāh as many times as the number of that which He has created in Heaven, SubhānAllāh as many times as the number of that which He has created on Earth, SubhānAllāh as many times as the number of that which He has created between them, SubhānAllāh as many times as the number of that which He is creating, and SubhānAllāh as many times as the number of His creatures, in accordance with His Good Pleasure, equal to the weight of His Throne and equal to the ink that may be used in recording the words (for His Praise).
Upon this example, they set out saying takbir and tahlil according to the number which they hope Allah will reward and accept from them.
And from amongst the most important of deeds in these ten days is to re-establish ties, and to seek out one’s relatives and neighbours, bringing joy to their hearts… and the ones who deserve this most are one’s parents. One should bring joy to them as it is a means to the Good Pleasure of Allah.