The excellence of the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah have been mentioned in the Qur-aan and the Sunnah.
1. Allah says in the Qur-aan: “By the dawn and by the ten nights … ” [Surah 89/al-Fajr, v:1-2] Ibn Katheer (rahimahullah) said that “the ten nights” referred to here are the ten days of Dhul-Hijjah, and this opinion was also held by Ibn ‘Abbaas, Ibn az-Zubair (RadiyAllahu ‘annum), Mujahid and others.
” … and remember the name of Allah in the appointed days.” [Surah 02/al-Baqarah, v:203] Ibn ‘Abbaas and Ibn Katheer said this means in the ten days of Dhul-Hijjah.
2. Rasoolullah (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam) said: “There are no deeds as excellent as those done in these ten days.” They (the companions listening) said, “Not even Jihaad?” He, (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam), said, “No, not even Jihaad except a man who goes forth endangering his life and wealth and does not return with anything.” [Bukhari]
3. Rasoolullah (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam) said: “There are no other days that are as great as these in the sight of Allah, the Most Sublime. Nor are there any deeds more beloved to Allah then those that are done in these ten days. So increase in Tahleel (to say Laa ilaaha illAllah), Takbeer (to say Allaahu Akbar) and Tahmeed (to say Alhamdulillah).” [Tabaraani in al-Mu’jum al-Kabir]
And in another hadeeth, ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar (RadiyAllahu ‘anhumaa) reported that Rasoolullah (Sallallaahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam) 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 (Laa ilaaha ill-Allaah), Takbeer (Allaahu Akbar) and Tahmeed (Alhamdulillah).” [Ahmad]
5. With regards to the noble companion Sa’eed bin Jubair (RadiyAllahu ‘anhu), when the days of Dhul-Hijjah began he would strive to increase in good actions with great intensity until he was unable to increase anymore. [Daarimi]
6. Ibn Hajar (rahimahullah) says in Fat-h-ul-Baari: “The most apparent reason for the ten days of Dhul-Hijjah being distinguished in excellence is due to the assembly of the greatest acts of worship in this period, i.e. salawaat (salutations on the Prophet Sallallahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam), siyaam (fasting), sadaqah (charity) and the Hajj (pilgrimage). In no other periods do these great deeds combine.”
7. These texts and others indicate that these ten days are better than all the other days of the year, without exception, not even the last ten days of Ramadaan. But the last ten nights of Ramadaan are better than the first ten nights of Dhu’l Hijjah, because they include Laylat al-Qadr (“the Night of Power”), which is better than a thousand months. Thus the various reports may be reconciled. (Tafseer Ibn Katheer).
These ten days include the days of Ud-hiyyah and Hajj one of them being Yawm ‘Arafah (the Day of ‘Arafah), on which Allah perfected His Religion. Fasting on this day will expiate for the sins of two years. [Muslim] These days also include Yawm An-Nahr (the Day of Sacrifice), the greatest day of the entire year and the greatest day of Hajj, which combines different acts of worship in a way unlike any other day.
Let’s take the opportunity and cash in on thawaab! May Allah guide us to spend these auspicious days in the correct manner.