Shaykhul Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allah have mercy on him) was asked as is mentioned by Ibn Qayoum, “Which is more virtuous & beneficial, the 10 days of Dhul Hijjah or the last 10 days of Ramadan?”
So he answered by saying that “the 10 days of Dhul Hijjah are more virtuous than the last 10 days of Ramadan, and the last 10 nights of Ramadan are more virtuous than the last 10 nights of Dhul Hijjah” Then his Illustrious student and great scholar Ibn Qayoum (may Allah have mercy on him) commented on this verdict and said, “and if the intelligent and noble one was to reflect upon this answer, he would find it satisfactory and sufficient. For indeed, there are no days (in the year) more beloved to Allah that righteous actions are done within them than the 10 days of Dhul Hijjah, since within them are the days of Ara’faah (9th day of Dhul Hijjah) and the day of Nahr (10th day) and the day of Tarwiyah (8th day). As for the 10 nights of Ramadan, they are the nights of revitalization which the Messenger used to be up in awakening within them all, and within it is a night which is better than 1000 months. So whoever answers without such an elaboration, then he is incapable to prove his statement with authentic evidences.”
(Taken from the book bada’ee Al-fawaaid of ibn Qayoum – under the chapter ‘the preference between Aa’isha and Fatimah’)
Index: Day of an-Nahr- means the day of slaughtering
As for the meanings of ‘the day of Ara’faah’ and ‘the day of Tarwiyah’, then they are mentioned by the Faqeeh Ibnu Qudaamah al Maqdisee (may Allah have mercy upon him) in his monumental book in fiqh called ‘Al-Mughni’ which is in accordance to the Hanbali madhab. In the book, he started, “as for the day of Arafat, then it is the 9th day of Dhul Hijjah and it’s called this because the standing at (i.e. the place) Ara’faah takes place on this day. It is also said that it was called the day of Ara’faah due to Prophet Ibraaheem (may peace be upon him) saw in a dream the night of Tarwiyah that he was ordered to slaughter his son, so the next morning he awoke ‘yatarowee’ (i.e. thinking to himself): was it a revelation from Allah or was it just a dream?. So, this day was called the day of Tarwiyah (deliberation). so when the 2nd night came to pass, he had the same dream. And when he awoke the morning after, he knew it was from Allah, (and) thus it was called the day of Ara’faah (i.e. the day he knew)”
Taken from ‘Al-Mughni’ Kitaabu Siyaam chapter: that which is recommended from the days to fast
Hafidh Ibn Rajab rahimahullah wrote in Lataaif ul-Ma’aarif:
“It was reported in specifically fasting it (the days of Dhul Hijjah) and standing its nights and making much Dhikr…In the Musnad and Sunan on the authority of Hafsa that the Prophet sallahu alayhi wa salam did not leave off fasting Ashura, the ten days of dhul Hijjah, and three days of every month and in its chain is debate.
And it was reported from some of the wives of the Prophet that the Prophet sallahu alayhi wa salam did not leave off fasting the nine days of dhul Hijjah [Saheeh as graded by shaikh Al Albani as cited by the muhaqiq ‘Isaam Musa Hadi]. And from those who fasted the ten days were Abdullah ibn Umar. It preceded from al-Hasan, Ibn Sireen, and Qatadah the mention of the excellence of fasting it and it is the statement of the majority of the scholars or many from them. And in Saheeh Muslim on the authority of Aisha who said: I did not see the Prophet sallahu alayhi wa salam fast the ten days at all and in one version: in the ten days at all.
There is a difference of opinion of Imam Ahmad’s response to this hadith, so he answered one time that it was reported the opposite of the hadith [Aisha] and he mentioned the Hadith of Hafsa and indicated to there being a debate on the chain of Aisha. So he transmitted it to al-‘Amash and it was reported by Mansoor from Ibraahim mursal. Likewise, other than him from the scholars responded that if Aisha and Hafsah differed in negation and affirmation, the statement of affirmation is taken because with that statement is knowledge hidden to the one negating.
Note: Ibn Qayyim mentions the same in Zaad ul-Ma’aad that if the narration of him fasting is authentic, then it precedes the hadith of Aisha.
Ahmad responded another time that Aisha meant that he did not fast the ten days completely. That is, Hafsah meant that he fasted most of it. So it is a necessary to fast some of days and break the fast some days and this combination corrects the narration of the one who reports ‘I did not see him fast the ten days’. As for the one who reports ‘I did not see him fast the ten days’, then he moves away or makes an excuse for this combination.
Ibn Sireeen used to dislike that it be said he fasted the ten because that person makes a mistake by entering the day of Nahr into it. It is only said he fasted the nine. However, the fasting is attributed to the ten days. so the fasting is intent of fasting [the ten days] is what is allowed to fast from it and it preceded the hadith that the Prophet sallahu alayhi wa salam fasted the ten days…”
[Lataaif ul-M’aarif Ibn Rajab pg. 368].
The majority of the scholars are of the opinion that fasting the ten days of dhul hijjah as recommended and legislated. The proofs that the use are the following:
لقول النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم : (( ما من أيام العمل الصالح فيهن أحب إلى الله من هذه الأيام العشر
The Prophet sallahu alayhi wa salam said: “There are no days on which righteous deeds are more beloved to Allaah than these ten days” (Bukhari).
كان رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يصوم تسع ذي الحجة ويوم عاشوراء وثلاثة أيام من كل شهر أول اثنين من الشهر والخميس
The Prophet sallahu alayhi wa salam used to fast on the first nine days of Dhu’l-Hijjah and the day of ‘Ashoora’, and three days each month, the first Monday of the month and two Thursdays (Nasai and Abu Dawood) Albani said it is saheeh but other scholars like Imam Zaylai’ said it is weak.
To add to that, some of the salaf used to fast those days: For example ibn sireen:
كَانَ مُحَمَّدٌ يَصُومُ الْعَشْرَ عَشْرَ ذِي الْحِجَّةِ كُلِّهِ
Ibn sireen used fast all ten days of dhul hijjah. (musannaf ibn abi shaybah- chain is saheeh)
The issue of it being Sunnah is debatable because of the narration of Aisha radiallah anha:
ما رأيت النبي -صلى الله عليه وسلم- صائما في العشر قط
I did not see the Prophet sallahu alayhi wa salam fast the ten days at all. (Muslim)
However, Shaikh Ibn uthaymeen and shaikh Bin Baz both say it is also Sunnah not only recommended.
Shaikh Bin Baz rahimuhulah said:
ولو كان النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم ما صام هذه الأيام ، فقد روي عنه صلى الله عليه وسلم أنه صامها ، وروي عنه أنه لم يصمها ؛ لكن العمدة على القول ، القول أعظم من الفعل ، وإذا اجتمع القول والفعل كان آكد للسنة ؛ فالقول يعتبر لوحده ، والفعل لوحده ، والتقرير وحده ، فإذا قال النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم قولاً أو عملاً أو أقر فعلاً كله سنة ، لكن القول هو أعظمها وأقواها ثم الفعل ثم التقرير ، والنبي صلى الله عليه وسلم قال : (( ما من أيام العمل الصالح فيهن أحب إلى الله من هذه الأيام)) يعني العشر فإذا صامها أو تصدق فيها فهو على خير عظيم
And (even) if the Prophet sallahu alayhi wa salam did not fast these days and it was reported that he fasted it and it was reported that he did not fast, (then still) however what is relied upon is the statement; the statement is greater than the action. And if the statement and the action combine, they affirm the sunnah. So the statement is considered by itself, and the action by itself and the approval by itself. So if the Prophet sallahu alayhi wa salam said a statement or action or approved and action, all of it sunnah. However, the statement is greater than it and stronger then the action and then the approval. And the Prophet sallahu alayhi wa salam said, There are no days on which righteous deeds are more beloved to Allaah than these ten days. That is if he fasts it and gives charity in it he is upon a great good.
[The rest of the fatwa is here]
Shaikh ibn uthaymeen rahimuhuallah said:
فيكون الصيام داخلاً في عموم هذا الحديث، على أنه ورد حديث في السنن حسَّنه بعضهم أن الرسول
صلى الله عليه وسلم كان يصوم هذه العشر، يعني ماعدا يوم العيد، وقد أخذ به الإمام أحمد بن حنبل
رحمه الله والصحيح أن صيامها سنة
So fasting enters in the generality of this hadith, upon that it was reported in a hadith in the sunan that some of them (ie. scholars of hadith) graded it hasan that the Messenger of Allah sallahu alayhi wa salam used to fast this ten, that is what excludes the day of eid (meaning of the ten days, the day of eid is not included because it is not permissible to fast on the day of eid, thus making it nine days of fasting). And Imam Ahmad took that opinion and what is authentic is that fasting it is sunnah.
[Taken from مجموع فتاوى و رسائل الشيخ محمد صالح العثيمين المجلد العشرون – كتاب الصيام]
Even the Shaikh went so far as to refute those who say it is not sunnah:
لذلك نحن نأسف في بعض الناس الذين شككوا المسلمين في هذه القضية، وقالوا: إن صيامها ليس بسنة.
سبحان الله! أنا أخشى أن يعاقبهم الله عز وجل يوم القيامة، كيف يقول الرسول عليه الصلاة والسلام: ( ما من أيامٍ العمل الصالح فيهن أحب إلى الله من هذه الأيام العشر ) وندع العمل الصالح الذي قال الله تعالى: ( إنه لي وأنا أجزي به ) سبحان الله! لذلك يجب أن نرد هذه الدعوة على أعقابها فتنقلب خاسئة، ونقول لهذا الرجل نفس هذه الأسئلة التي وجهت إليك: – هل الصوم من العمل الصالح أم لا؟
And like that we are sorry/feel bad that some people who put doubt in the muslims in this affair and they say, ‘verily fasting it is not sunnah.’ Subhanallah! I am afraid that Allah will punish them on the day of judgement. How is it that the Prophet sallahu alayhi wa salam said, ‘There are no days on which righteous deeds are more beloved to Allaah than these ten days” and we leave off a righteous action which Allah ta’la said? Verily it is for me and I will (get) reward for it. Subhanallah! Like that, it is obligatory that we refute this call upon its heels so that it will turn back disgraced and we say to this man who himself asked these questions: is fasting from the righteous actions or not?
[Taken from Liqaa al Baab al maftooha 199 found here]
Inshallah this is a strong argument and I could not find any scholar who said it was not Sunnah.
Allah knows best.
Faisal ibn Abdul Qaadir ibn Hasan
(Please note before reading:
The fasting of the first nine days of Dhul-Hijjah is often referred to as the fasting of the first 10 days of Dhul-Hijjah. The intended meaning is still the first 9 days as eid is the 10th day of Dhul-Hijjah and it is impermissible to fast on the day of eid).
The day of Arafah
1) Is fasting the Day of Arafah legislated?
The answer is Yes. It is mustahab (recommended) as comes in the hadith of Abu Qatadah al-Ansari reported by Muslim that the Messenger of salallahu aleyhi wa Sallam was asked concerning fasting on the Day of ‘Arafah.
To which he salallahu aleyhi wa Sallam replied:
(( Fasting on the day of Arafah is an expiation of last year’s and next year’s sins ))
The First 9 days of Dhul-Hijjah
2) Is fasting the first 9 days of Dhul-Hijjah legislated?
We begin by mentioning that there does not exist any authentic Hadiths which specify the fasting of the first 9 days of Dhul-Hijjah. Likewise, there does not exist any authentic Hadiths which state that the Messenger salallahu aleyhi wa Sallam fasted these first nine days of the Month.
One may then feel compelled to ask where has the tradition of fasting the first 9 days come from?
The answer is that it is taken from the generality of the hadith of Ibn Abbas that the Messenger salallahu aleyhi wa Sallam said:
عن ابن عباس رضي الله عنهما قال:قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم : «ما من أيام العمل الصالح فيها أحب إلى الله من هذه الأيام – يعني أيام العشر – قالوا: يا رسول الله، ولا الجهاد في سبيل الله؟ قال: ولا الجهاد في سبيل الله، إلاّ رجل خرج بنفسه وماله ثم لم يرجع من ذلك بشيء» [رواه البخاري].
“There are no days during which the righteous action is more pleasing to Allah than these days (i.e., the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah).” He was asked: “O Messenger of Allah, not even Jihad in the Cause of Allah?” He (صلى الله عليه وسلم ) replied, “Not even Jihad in the Cause of Allah, except in the case when one goes forth with his life and his property and does not return with anything (i.e. either of them).”
[Reported by Al- Bukhari].
Fasting is from the most beloved acts of obedience to Allaah and thus enters into the generality of the Messenger’s statement of Righteous actions.
Al-Imam Haafidh Ibn Hajr Rahimahullah explains in his book Fathul Baari:
” This (Hadith) has been used to prove the great virtue of fasting the (first) ten days of Dhul-Hijjah, and that is because fasting enters under (the umbrella of) righteous actions.”
3) The negation that the Messenger salallahu aleyhi wa Sallam never fasted the ten days of Dhul-Hijjah.
جاء عند مسلم من حديث عائشة رضي الله عنها أنها قالت:
(( ما رأيت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم صائما في العشر قط. ))
Imam Muslim reports the hadith of Aisha May Allaah be pleased with her in his Saheeh that she said:
(( I have never seen the Messenger salallahu aleyhi wa Sallam fasting in the ten (days of Dhul-Hijjah) ).
There is no contradiction between this hadith and the aforementioned one of Ibn Abbass.
Imam Nawawi rahimuhullah offers the explanation that the Messenger salallahu aleyhi wa Sallam (never fasted the 10 days), commenting:
“due to a reason of illness or embarking on a travel or other than that. Or that she never saw him fasting during these 10 days, and this does not necessitate that he never fasted.”
[End of his speech from his explanation of Saheeh Muslim]
Al-Imaam al-Haafidh Ibn Hajr rahimahullah offers another possibility for the hadith in Fathul Baari and says:
“It could be that (he left off fasting in these days) as he used to leave off (certain) actions despite his love for them, (and) due to his fear that these actions would be obligated upon his Ummah.”
Al-Allaamah Yahya al Hajooree حفظه الله explains:
“He didn’t fast the ten days and that is according to her (Aisha’s) knowledge, and the Hadith is Mawqoof, that which is correct is it is waqf.”
In summary of the 3rd point:
The negation of the Messenger salallahu aleyhi wa Sallam’s fasting of the first 10 days is not established.
4) Lastly, if the Messenger salallahu aleyhi wa Sallam’s fasting of the ten days is not established, is it a biddah (Innovation) to fast these days one may ask?
Al-Allaamah Yahya al Hajooree حفظه الله was asked:
Is fasting the 10 days of Dhul-Hijjah considered to be from the newly invented innovations?
There is weakness in the statement that it’s Biddah, especially as the Hadith is in the Saheeh (Bukhari) on the authority of Ibn Abbass:
“There are no days during which the righteous action is more pleasing to Allah than these days (i.e., the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah).” He was asked: “O Messenger of Allah, not even Jihad in the Cause of Allah? …” to the end of the Hadith. (see above).
The Sheikh also said:
“As for the fasting of the day of Arafah, then the preference (of its fasting) is known from other evidences. As for other than that from the eight days, then the one who fasts it is not looked down upon or criticised. Rather, khayr (good) is hoped for him, and that he enters under the (previously mentioned) hadith and that he enters under righteous action. And it is possible that he fasts what he is able to fast from those days and that he increases in the night prayer and the reading of the quran and that he increases in Dhikr (the remembrance of Allaah) and the different types of sadaqah and other than that of righteous actions. All of this is from the righteous actions. And if he was to fast all of the 10 days, then it’s not to be said that he did an act of biddah (innovation).”
[End of the Sheikh’s speech]
And insha’Allahu ta’ala there is sufficiency in response to our fourth point, in the Sheikh’s speech.
Walhamdulilahi Rabil aalamiin
Compiled and translated by
Abu Mu’aawiyah Abdullah as-Somali.
Ash-Shaykh Muqbil, rahimahullah, said:
صيام عشر ذي الحجة لم يثبت فيه حديث عن النبي – صلى الله عليه وعلى آله وسلم – بخصوصه
“(As for) fasting the ten days of Dhul Hijjah, then there is no authentic hadeeth specifically regarding it from the Prophet sallahu alayhi wa salam”
نعم روى البخاري في صحيحه عن ابن عباس رضي الله عنهما عن النبي – صلى الله عليه وعلى آله وسلم – أنه قال : ” ما من أيام العمل فيها أفضل عند الله من عشر ذي الحجة ” قيل : ولا الجهاد في سبيل الله ؟ ، قال : ” ولا الجهاد في سبيل الله إلا رجل خرج بنفسه وماله ولم يرجع من ذلك بشئ ” .
“Yes, Al-Imam al-Bukhaari reported in his sahih a narration of Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, that the Prophet sallahu alayhi wa salam, said:
“There are no days on which the righteous deeds are more beloved to Allah than the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah. He was asked: “O Messenger of Allah, not even Jihad in the Cause of Allah?” He (صلى الله عليه وسلم ) replied, “Not even Jihad in the Cause of Allah, unless a man goes forth with his life and his wealth (i.e. property) and does not return with anything (i.e. either of the two).”
فلم يثبت عن النبي – صلى الله عليه وعلى آله وسلم – في صيام عشر ذي الحجة إلا صيام يوم عرفة فعن أبي قتادة رضي الله عنه قال : قال رسول الله – صلى الله عليه وعلى آله وسلم – : ” صيام يوم عرفة يكفر السنة الماضية والسنة القادمة ” رواه مسلم .
“(However), it hasn’t been established from the Prophet sallahu alayhi wa salam that he fasted the first ten days of Dhul Hijjah except fasting (on) the day of Arafah. (This is) since it has come on the authority of Abu Qatadaah, may Allah be pleased with him, that the Prophet, sallahu alayhi wa salam, said:
(Fasting on the day of Arafah expiates the sins of the previous year and of the coming year.) Reported by Muslim”
فعلى هذا فننصح بإكثار العبادة ، أما تخصيص الصوم فلم يثبت عن النبي – صلى الله عليه وعلى آله وسلم – ، ولو صام أحدٌ ما استطعنا أن ننكر عليه ولا أن نقول أنه مبتدع لعموم الحديث المتقدم وهو حديث ابن عباس رضي الله عنهما
“Therefore, based upon this, we advise ourselves to increase in acts of worship (during the first ten days of Dhul Hijjah). And as for specifying (these days) for fasting, then that hasn’t been established from the Prophet, sallahu alayhi wa salam. However, if someone were to fast (these ten days), we aren’t capable to criticize him nor to say he is an innovator. (This is) due to (it still falling under) the generality of the aforementioned hadeeth, which is the hadeeth of Ibn Abbas may Allah be pleased with him…”
– The arabic transcript was slightly edited after comparing it to the actual audio.
On a Side Note: What is intended by the speech of the Shaykh, that it is not an established sunnah from the Prophet sallahu alayhi wa salam to specify these blessed days by fasting all nine days of it. However, one should increase generally in all acts of worship including the act of fasting, such as fasting every other day which has been established in the Sunnah or to fast Mondays and Thursdays and so on and Allah knows best.
AbdulFattaah bin Uthman