The first ten days of Dhul Hijjah are the most beloved to Allah (SWT). Prophet Muhammad (saw) testified to that. He said: "There are no days in which righteous deeds are more beloved to Allah than these ten days." (Bukhari)
What activities in first ten days of Dhul Hijjah will bring the reward of Jannah?
Obviously, Hajj Pilgrimage is one of the best deeds that one can do during these ten days. However for those of us who were not invited to House of Allah (SWT) this year, there are still many, good deeds that one can do and earn the Pleasure of Allah (SWT).
Some of these good deeds areas follow:
1) Fast all nine days and especially fast the Day of Arafah
It is Sunnah for the Muslim to fast on the first nine days of Dhul Hijjah, because Prophet Muhammad (saw) used to fast on the first nine days of Dhul Hijjah and he said: "Fasting the Day of Arafah (ninth Dhul Hijjah) is an expiation for (all the sins of) the previous year and an expiation for (all the sins of) the coming year." (Muslim) Also Prophet Muhammad (saw) 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 (SWT) has chosen for Himself as it says in the Hadith Qudsi: "All the deeds of the son of Adam are for him, except fasting, which is for Me and I shall reward for it."
2) Do a lot of Dhikr and Takbeer
Prophet Muhammad (saw) said: "There are no days on which good deeds are greater or more beloved to Allah (SWT) than on these ten days", so recite much Tahleel (saying Laa ilaaha ill-Allah), Takbeer (saying Allahu akbar) and Tahmeed (saying al-hamdu Lillaah)." (Ahmad)
Takbeer at this time is a Sunnah. So recite it in the masjid, in your home, on the street and every place where it is permitted to remember Allah (SWT).
Revive the Sunnah that have been virtually forgotten and earn great rewards for doing so. Prophet Muhammad (saw) said: "Whoever revives an aspect of my Sunnah that is forgotten after my death, he will have a reward equivalent to that of the people who follow him, without it detracting in the least from their reward." (Tirmidhi)
Men should recite these phrases out loud, and women should recite them quietly.
3) Stand in Night Prayers: (Tahajud, Qiyam al Layl)
Remember the virtues of spending the night in prayer and its sweetness in the month of Ramadan?
Why not revive this beautiful act of worship during these nights as well?
Remember, how in the last third of every night, Allah Almighty calls out to us, His servants: Is there anyone to invoke Me, so that I may respond to his invocation? Is there anyone to ask Me, so that I may grant him his request? Is there anyone seeking My forgiveness, so that I may forgive him? (Bukhari, Muslim)
Why do we miss this golden opportunity? So, seize the chance NOW and expose yourself to His Divine Generosity and Mercy, ask Him to forgive you and guide you and set things aright. He will surely listen.
4) Make Sincere Repentance
One of the most important action during these ten days is to repent sincerely to Allah (SWT) and to give up all kinds of disobedience and sin right away because we do not know when we will die and thus become unable to repent and also because one evil deed leads to another.
But what does repentance mean? It means that you come back to Allah (SWT) and give up all the deeds, open and secret, that He dislikes that you regret whatever you did in the past, giving it up immediately and be determined never ever, to return to it, and resolve to adhere firmly to the Truth by doing whatever Allah (SWT) loves.
"But as for him who repented, believed and did righteous deeds, then he will be among those who are successful." [Al-Qasas, 28:67]
5) Come back to Holy Quran
It is time now to dust off your copy of Holy Quran and return to its refuge. Make it a daily habit, using these 10 days the beginning of a strong and beautiful relationship with it. Read it with meaning, reflect on it, understand it, and then implement it in your daily life. Remember that reading one letter of Holy Quran earns you ten rewards.
In this way, reading Surat Al-Fatihah, which doesn't take more than two minutes, will give you more than one thousand rewards! This is on ordinary days, so what about these magnificent days! Certainly the reward will be far greater, Insha Allah.
6) Increase all types of good deeds
If we are unable to go to Hajj Pilgrimage this year, we should occupy ourselves in the worship of Allah (SWT); pray extra prayers (Nafilah) recite Holy Quran. Make Dhikr of Allah(SWT), send Salaams on Prophet Muhammad (saw) and his Ahlul Bayt (as), make dua, give charity, honor parents, uphold ties of kinship, enjoin what is good and forbid what is evil and add other good deeds and acts of worship during these days.
"So whosoever does good equal to the weight of an atom, shall see it; And whosoever does evil equal to the weight of an atom, shall see it." [Al-Zalzalah, 99:7-8]
7) Slaughter an animal (Qurbani/Udhiya) and distribute the meat
One of the righteous deeds that bring a person closer to Allah (SWT) in these ten days is to slaughter the sacrifice (Qurbani/Udhiya) and to look for a good, fat animal and to spend money on it for the sake of Allah (SWT).
Ibn Umar said: Prophet Muhammad (saw) lived in Madinah for 10 years and every year he slaughtered an animal." (Ahmad)
8) Attend Eid prayers
But remember that Eid prayer is a form of worship and we should avoid unislamic behavior (especially) in dress and in etiquette during these times.
9) Thank Allah (SWT)
One of the best forms of worshipping Allah (SWT) is to thank Him, deeply, sincerely and continuously.
Al-Hamdulillah, there is much to be gained in these coming days. Hasten to do good deeds and striving hard in worship.
"And worship your Lord until there comes unto you the certainty (death)." [Al-Hijr, 15:99]