Another season of obedience is upon us, alhamdulillah.
Indeed Ramadhan has left us, but we’re about to receive another massive opportunity to earn Allah’s Forgiveness and Rahmah, another incredible opportunity to strengthen our relationship with Allah s.w.t., and that is the first 10 days of Dhul-Hijjah. Rasulallah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said:
“There are no days in which righteous deeds
are more beloved to Allah than these 10 days.”
The people asked, “Not even fighting for the cause of Allah?”
He (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said, “Not even fighting for the cause of Allah,
except in the case of a man who went out, giving himself and his wealth up
for the cause (of Allah), and came back with nothing.”
Allah s.w.t. takes an oath by these 10 days, which indicates their great importance to us:
“By the dawn, and by the ten nights.”
‘Ten nights’ here is interpreted by most scholars to mean the first 10 days of Dhul-Hijjah. These are THE best days of the year. No good deeds done on other days are more superior than those done on these 10 days.
Most of us know very well the immense blessings of Ramadhan, especially the last 10 nights. But a lot of us are unaware of the importance and virtues of the first 10 days of Dhul-Hijjah. Many of us think that these days are blessed only for the hujjaj. Yes, for the hujjaj, they will be at the best place, at the best days of the year, performing the best act of worship that one can do in these 10 days.
But what about those who don’t go for Hajj? Are they deprive from the virtues of these 10 days?
Absolutely not, alhamdulillah! Here are some recommended deeds to do in these first 10 blessed days of Dhul-Hijjah, based on the Sunnah of Rasulallah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam:
1. Sincere repentance from sins, as well as increase the quality of our fardh prayers, and perform extra acts of worship throughout the first 10 days of Dhul-Hijjah such as optional salah, reading and tadabbur of the Qur’an, charity, qiyamulail, etc. This is based on the above hadith where Rasulallah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said that there are no days in which righteous deeds are more beloved to Allah than these 10 days.
2. Perform Hajj and Umrah for those who are able to.
3. Fast the first nine days of Dhul-Hijjah.  And for the non-hujjaj only, fast ESPECIALLY on the 9th of Dhul-Hijjah (the day of ‘Arafah).  It is highly recommended to fast on the 9th of Dhul-Hijjah, which is the day of ‘Arafah, because fasting on the day of Arafah expiates sins of 2 years: the previous and the coming year!
4. Fully utilize the day of ‘Arafah by making istighfar and tawbah, and increase in supplications. Rasulallah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said:
“There is no day when Allah sets free more servants
from the Fire than the day of ‘Arafah.
He draws near and expresses His pride to the angels
and says: “What do these people want?”
Imam An-Nawawi rahimahullah said this hadith shows the importance of the day of ‘Arafah. Based on many ahadith, it can be signified that supplications on the day of ‘Arafah have a far greater merit than other days. Indeed, this is a day to earn Allah’s forgiveness and freedom from the Fire. Therefore fully utilize the day of ‘Arafah in begging Allah to forgive and cover all of our sins and all shortcomings, and increase our supplications as well as good deeds. It was reported that the best du’a to make on the day of ‘Arafah is:
“Laa ilaaha illAllaahu wahdahu laa shareeka lahu,
(None has the right to be worshiped but Allah, Alone, without partner)
lahul-Mulku wa lahul-Hamdu,
(to Him belongs all that exists and to Him belongs the Praise)
wa Huwa ‘alaa kulli shay’in Qadeer.”
(and He is powerful over all things). 
5. Make lots of dhikr throughout the first 10 days of Dhul-Hijjah: Tahleel (Laa ilaaha illallah), Tahmeed (Alhamdulillah), and Takbeer (Allahu Akbar) and other dhikr. 
6. For those who have intended to do udhiyah / qurbani, refrain from cutting nails and depleting any hair from the body from the first day of Dhul-Hijjah until the sacrifice has been offered. 
7. Udhiyah / qurbani. 
8. Attend the Eid Prayer and listen to the Eid khutbah. 
9. And lastly eat and be grateful! It is Sunnah to eat and drink from the 10th – 13th Dhul-Hijjah. It is prohibited to fast on these days. 
May Allah s.w.t. help us to fully utilize these 10 blessed days as much as possible, and may He help us remain istiqamah until the last of our breath – Allahumma ameen.
 Sunan Abu Dawud
 Sahih Muslim
 Sunan At-Tirmidhi
 Musnad Ahmad
 Sahih Muslim
 Sahih Bukhari
 Sahih Muslim