In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

All praise is due to Allah, we praise Him and we seek help from Him, we ask forgiveness from Him, we repent to Him; and we seek refuge in Him from our evils and bad deeds.

Anyone who is guided by Allah, he is indeed guided; and anyone who has been left astray will find no one to guide him.

I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, the only one without any partner; and I bear witness that Muhammad (Peace be upon him) is His servant, and His Messenger.

“O you who believe, – fear Allah, as He should be feared, and die not except as Muslims.”

“O you who believe, – Be aware of Allah, and speak a straightforward word. He will forgive your sins and repair your deeds. And whoever takes Allah and His Prophet as a guide, has already achieved a mighty victory…”

Dear brothers and sisters! As I said in my previous sermon, among the great seasons of worship are the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah, which Allah has favoured over other days.

Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) said:

“There are no days on which righteous deeds are more beloved to Allah than these ten days.” They said: “Not even jihad for the sake of Allah?” He said: “Not even jihad for the sake of Allah, unless a man goes out himself for jihad taking his wealth with him and does not come back with anything.” [Narrated by Al-Bukhari]

These texts and others indicate that these ten days are better than all other days of the year, with no exception, even the last ten days of Ramadan. But the last ten nights of Ramadan are better than the first ten nights of Dhul-Hijjah, because they include Lailatul-Qadr, which is better than a thousand months. [See Tafsir Ibn Kathir]

So the Muslim should start these days with sincere repentance to Allah, then he should do a lot of righteous deeds in general, then he should pay attention to doing the following deeds:

1. Fasting

It is Sunnah for the Muslim to fast on the first nine days of Dhul-Hijjah, because the Prophet (Peace be upon him) encouraged us to do righteous deeds in the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah, and fasting is one of the best of deeds, which Allah has chosen for Himself as it says in the Hadith Qudsi:

“Allah says: “All the deeds of the son of Adam are for him, except fasting, which is for Me and I shall reward for it.” [Narrated by Al-Bukhari]

The Prophet (Peace be upon him) used to fast on the first nine days of Dhul-Hijjah. It was narrated from Hunaidah Ibn Khalid from his wife, that one of the wives of the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:

“The Prophet (Peace be upon him) used to fast on the first nine days of Dhul-Hijjah and the day of Ashurah, and three days each month, the first Monday of the month and two Thursdays.” [Narrated by Al-Nasa’i and Abu Dawud; classed as Sahih by Al-Albani in Sahih Abi Dawud]

Abu Hurairah relates that the Messenger of Allah said:

“There are no days more loved to Allah for you to worship Him therein than the ten days of Dhul-Hijjah. Fasting any day during it is equivalent to fasting one year and to offer Tahajjud (late-night prayer) during one of its nights is like performing the late night prayer on the night of power. [i.e., Lailatul Qadr].” [This is related by At-Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah and Al-Baihaqi]

* Atonement of Sins of Two Years

The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:

“The observance of three days fast every Month and that of Ramadan every year is a perpetual fasting. I seek from Allah that fasting on the day of Arafah may atone for the sins of the preceding and the coming years, and I seek from Allah that fasting on the day of Ashurah may atone for the sins of the preceding year.” [Sahih Muslim]

2. Reciting Tahmid, Tahlil and Takbir A Great Deal

It is Sunnah to recite:

Takbir – Saying Allahu Akbar, Allah is most great.

Tahmid – Saying Alhamdulillah; Praise be to Allah.

Tahlil – Saying La ilaha illallah; There is no god but Allah.

Tasbih – Saying Subhanallah; Glory be to Allah

During the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah, saying these words out loud in the Mosques, homes, streets and every place in which it is permissible to remember Allah, to perform this act of worship openly and proclaim the greatness of Allah.

Men should recite out loud and women should recite quietly. Allah the Almighty says:

“That they may witness things that are of benefit to them (i.e. reward of Hajj in the Hereafter, and also some worldly gain from trade), and mention the Name of Allah on appointed days, over the beast of cattle that He has provided for them (for sacrifice).” [Al-Hajj, 22:28]

The majority are of the view that the “appointed days” are the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah, because it was narrated from Ibn Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) that the appointed days are the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah.

Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:

“There are no days that are greater before Allah or in which good deeds are more beloved to Him, than these ten days, so recite a great deal of Tahlil, Takbir and Tahmid during them.” [Narrated by Ahmad; its isnad was classed as Sahih by Shaykh Ahmad Shakir]

3. Takbir

Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, la ilaha illallah, Allahu Akbar, wa Lillahil-hamd; (Allah is Most Great, Allah is Most Great, there is no god but Allah; Allah is Most Great and to Allah be praise).

And there are other versions. This Takbir has become a forsaken Sunnah nowadays, especially at the beginning of these ten days. You can hardly hear it except from a few. It should be recited out loud, so as to revive the Sunnah and remind the heedless.

It was proven that Ibn Umar and Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with them both) used to go out to the marketplace during the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah, reciting the Takbir out loud, and the people would recite Takbir when they heard them, i.e., the people would remember the Takbir and each one would recite it by himself; it does not mean that they recited in unison – that is not prescribed in Shari’ah.

Reviving Sunnahs that have been forgotten brings a great deal of reward, as is indicated by the words of the Prophet (Peace be upon him):

“Whoever revives one of my Sunnahs that has died out after I am gone, will have a reward like that of everyone who does it, without that detracting from their reward in the slightest.” [Narrated by Al-Tirmidhi; this Hadith is hasan because of corroborating reports]

4. Doing Hajj and Umrah

One of the greatest deeds that can be done during these ten days is Hajj to the sacred House of Allah. Whoever Allah helps to go on Hajj to His House and do the rituals in the required manner will – In Shaa Allah – be included in the words of the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him):

“An accepted Hajj brings no less a reward than Paradise.”

5. Udhiyah (Sacrifice)

One of the righteous deeds that bring a person closer to Allah in these ten days is to slaughter the sacrifice and to look for a good, fat animal and to spend money on it for the sake of Allah.

Respected brothers and sisters! Let us hasten to make the most of these great days, before the negligent regrets what he did, and before he asks to go back and receives no response.

* Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him)’s Last Sermon

Dear servants of Allah! After praising, and thanking Allah, Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:

“O People, lend me an attentive ear, for I know not whether after this year, I shall ever be amongst you again. Therefore listen to what I am saying to you very carefully and TAKE THESE WORDS TO THOSE WHO COULD NOT BE PRESENT HERE TODAY.

O People, just as you regard this month, this day, this city as Sacred, so regard the life and property of every Muslim as a sacred trust. Return the goods entrusted to you to their rightful owners. Hurt no one so that no one may hurt you. Remember that you will indeed meet your LORD, and that HE will indeed reckon your deeds. ALLAH has forbidden you to take usury (interest), therefore all interest obligation shall henceforth be waived. Your capital, however, is yours to keep. You will neither inflict nor suffer any inequity. Allah has Judged that there shall be no interest and that all the interest due to Abbas Ibn Abdul Muttalib (Prophet’s uncle) shall henceforth be waived…

Beware of Satan, for the safety of your religion. He has lost all hope that he will ever be able to lead you astray in big things, so beware of following him in small things.

O People, it is true that you have certain rights with regard to your women, but they also have rights over you. Remember that you have taken them as your wives only under Allah’s trust and with His permission. If they abide by your right then to them belongs the right to be fed and clothed in kindness. Do treat your women well and be kind to them for they are your partners and committed helpers. And it is your right that they do not make friends with any one of whom you do not approve, as well as never to be unchaste.

O People, listen to me in earnest, worship ALLAH, say your five daily prayers (Salah), fast during the month of Ramadan, and give your wealth in Zakah. Perform Hajj if you can afford to.

All mankind is from Adam and Eve (Hawwa), an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over black nor a black has any superiority over white except by piety and good action. Learn that every Muslim is a brother to every Muslim and that the Muslims constitute one brotherhood. Nothing shall be legitimate to a Muslim which belongs to a fellow Muslim unless it was given freely and willingly. Do not, therefore, do injustice to yourselves.

Remember, one day you will appear before ALLAH and answer your deeds. So beware, do not stray from the path of righteousness after I am gone.

O People, NO PROPHET OR MESSENGER WILL COME AFTER ME AND NO NEW FAITH WILL BE BORN. Reason well, therefore, O People, and understand words which I convey to you. I leave behind me two things, the QUR’AN and my example, the SUNNAH and if you follow these you will never go astray.

All those who listen to me shall pass on my words to others and those to others again; and may the last ones understand my words better than those who listen to me directly. Be my witness, O ALLAH, that I have conveyed your message to your people.”

My people! This sermon was delivered on the Ninth Day of Dhul-Hijjah 10 A.H. in the Uranah valley of Mount Arafah (in Makkah).

May Allah be praised; and may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon His Messenger Muhammad and upon his family and Companions.

With this, I conclude my sermon and ask Allah, the Almighty and the Sublime, to forgive all of our sins. So seek his forgiveness, He is all forgiving Most Merciful.

Murtadha Muhammad Gusau is the Chief Imam of Nagazi-Uvete Jumu’ah and the late Alhaji Abdur-Rahman Okene’s Mosques, Okene, Kogi State, Nigeria. He can be reached via: gusaumurtada@gmail.com or +2348038289761.

This Jumu’ah Khutbah (Friday Sermon) was prepared for delivery today Friday, Dhul-Hijjah 1st, 1440 AH (August 2, 2019).