Praise be to Allah, Who has created time and has made some times better than others; some months, days and nights better than others. In these special times, rewards are multiplied many times, as a mercy from Allah towards His slaves. This encourages them to do more righteous deeds to earn more rewards and prepare themselves for death and the Day of Judgement.
The Muslim must understand the value of being in this life, thus increasing his worship of Allah and persist in doing good deeds until the moment of death as in the verse that means: [And worship your Lord until your death].
Among the special seasons of worship are the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah, which Allah has favoured over other days of the year. Ibn ^Abbas (may Allah reward him greatly) reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: <<There are no days in which righteous deeds are more favoured to Allah than these ten days>>. Narrated by al-Bukhariyy. Ibn ^Abbas also reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: <<There is no deed more commended to Allah, nor greater in reward, than a good deed done during the ten days of Adha>>. These narrations indicate that performing the good deeds during these ten days is better than performing them on other days of the year, with no exceptions. The virtue of these ten days is based on many texts amongst which is the verse in which Allah swore by them and swearing by them is indicative of their importance and great benefit. Allah says:
(وَالفَجْرِ وَلَيَالٍ عَشْر)
Which means: [By the dawn and the ten nights].
The Prophet (peace be upon him) encouraged us to say a lot of Tasbih (Subhan–Allah), Tahmid (Al-hamdu Lillah) and Takbir (Allahu Akbar) during these times. ^Abdullah Ibn ^Umar (may Allah reward him greatly) reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: <<There are no days in which righteous deeds are more favoured to Allah than these ten days, so during this time recite a great deal of Tahlil (La ilaha ill- Allah), Takbir and Tahmid>>. Narrated by Al-Bayhaqiyy.
These ten days include the Day of ^Arafah, which is the greatest day of the entire year. Sincerely fasting this day would hopefully erase one’s minor sins of the previous and the following year. Also, among the great deeds performed on the last day of these ten days is offering a sacrifice (Udhiyyah). Lady ^A’ishah related that the Prophet said: <<Purify yourself by offering a sacrifice, and know that every Muslim who offers a slaughtering seeking Allah’s rewards will earn rewards for the blood it sheds, the digested food in its stomach and its wool; rewards that will be presented in favour of that Muslim on the Day of Judgement>>.
The one who wants to offer a sacrifice (Udhiyyah) is recommended not to remove any of his hair and nails from the beginning of the ten days until after one has offered the sacrifice because the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: <<When you see the new moon of Dhul-Hijjah, if any one of you wants to offer a sacrifice, then one should not remove any of his hair or nails until one has offered the sacrifice>>. The wisdom behind this is that Allah may save him in his entirety from Hellfire.
There is much to be gained, so make the most of the opportunity afforded through these valuable and irreplaceable ten days. Hasten to do good deeds before death strikes, before one would regret his negligence and failure to act, and before you are trapped with your deeds in the grave.
And Allah knows best