What is the virtue of fasting the first nine days of Dhul Hijjah?
The first ten days of Dhul Hijjah are indeed blessed. Any good deeds carried out during these days, be it Salah, fasting or giving sadaqah are extremely beloved in the sight of Allah Ta’ala. Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:
“There are no days when good deeds are better than during these days [the first ten days of Dhul Hijjah]”. The Sahabah (radiyallahu ‘anhum) asked, “Not even jihad?” Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said, “Not even Jihad, except if a man goes out, endangering himself and his wealth but does not return with anything/ is martyred”
(Sahih Bukhari, Hadith: 969)
Imam Tirmidhi (rahimahullah) has also recorded a similar narration.
(Sunan Tirmidhi, Hadith: 757)
Hadiths specifically regarding fasting
1) Sayyiduna Abu Hurayrah (radiyallahu ‘anhu) reports that Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:
“There are no days more beloved to Allah that He be worshipped in, than the [first] ten days of Dhul Hijjah, fasting each day of them is equivalent to fasting a year, and standing [in ‘ibadah] every night of them is the equivalent of standing on the Night of Qadr”
(Sunan Tirmidhi, Hadith: 758 and Shu’abul Iman, Hadith: 3480)
Imam Tirmidhi has declared this Hadith as weak. However this Hadith is suitable to practice upon as is the rule of Hadiths of this nature.
2) Sayyidah Hafsah (radiyallahu ‘anha) reports that Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) would never leave out four things,
- Fasting on ‘Aashura [10th of Muharram]
- Fasting ten days [ie. the first nine days of Dhul Hijjah]
- Fasting three days every month
- Two rak’ahs [Sunnah] before Fajr
(Sunan Abi Dawud, Hadith: 2429, Sunan Nasai, Al Mujtaba, Hadith: 2416-2418, Sahih Ibn Hibban; Al Ihsan, Hadith: 6422 and Musnad Ahmad, vol. 6 pg. 287)
‘Allamah Nawawi (rahimahullah) states that to keep these fasts [the first nine days of Dhul Hijjah] is extremely desirable (Mustahabbatun istihbaban shadidan).
(Sahih Muslim with Al Minhaj, under Hadith: 2781. Also see Hashiyatus Sindhi ‘Ala Musnadil Imam Ahmad)
And Allah Ta’ala Knows best.
Answered by: Moulana Suhail Motala
Approved by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar
Checked by: Moulana Haroon Abasoomar