Dr. Omar Suleiman describes the beautiful wisdom of how Allah swears by these days and other gems from the Qur’an.
(Note: the transcript has been edited for clarity)
0:00 – 0:43 What Allah swears by
Assalamu Alaikum wa Rahmah Allah wa Barakatu, welcome back to the virtues of Dhul Hijjah.
Allah swears by these days, and this is something that you hear often in the tafseer. But the virtues of that, or the benefits of that or how Allah swears by these days, is often not
spoken about. So we know that in the Quran, Allah SWT swears by the dawn and then Allah SWT swears by the ten nights. And then Allah swears by the even and the odd, and Allah swears by the last part of the night.
0:44 – 1:46 Which days do the 10 days refer to?
So what is the benefit of that, and what does this refer to?
Well, according to the majority of the scholars, in fact Imam al-Tabari, may Allah have mercy on him, said that this is the consensus of the scholars these ten nights that Allah swears by are the first ten of Dhul Hijjah and that is a sign of its virtue that Allah SWT
would honor it with an oath.
For some of the scholars, a minor opinion is that they’re the last 10 nights of Ramadan and some of the scholars actually mentioned, also a minor opinion, that Allah does not use ‘the 10 days’, so because Allah does not use any definite article to refer to ‘al‘ where these are the only ten nights. They say that it can refer to two sets of ten nights. So it could refer to both the first 10 days of the Dhul Hijjah as well as the last 10 nights of Ramadan because it simply swears by ten nights as opposed to “the 10 nights”. The point being though, they definitely or according to the vast majority of the scholars, refer to those 10 days that come in the beginning of Dhul Hijjah.
1:47 – 2:55 ‘Nights’ and ‘days’ are used interchangeably
Some of the scholars talked about how come Allah uses ‘the nights‘ instead of ‘the days‘
when we know the most virtuous nights of the year are the last 10 nights of Ramadan, and the most virtuous days of the year are the first 10 days of the Dhul Hijjah. The scholars of the Arabic language and the scholars of the Quran will point to the fact that layal and ayyam in Arabic are often interchangeable – days and nights are often interchangeable in their usage. There might be something with the eloquence of it, or the flow of it, that
would determine the usage of night or day.
This is the case, for example, with Zakariya (as) where there’s a theme when Allah talks about the Prophet Zakariya (as) and Allah talks about the three days that he was given an oath of silence. In one place Allah refers to it as ayyam, and Allah in another place refers to it as layal – as ‘days’ or as ‘nights’. So it’s often done in the Quran or it’s often done at least in the Arabic language that these two will be used interchangeably. So even though Allah swears by ten nights, it is referring to the first ten of Dhul Hijjah.
2:56 – 4:04 Fajr is the best part of the day
Some of the scholars also said that when Allah swears by “the Fajr”, Allah is swearing by
the fajr of the day of Eid, which is right after Arafah and the day of the sacrifice. So Allah is swearing by a very particular fajr, a very particular dawn.
What is the benefit of this flow though?
If you pay attention to this, Allah is swearing by the best part of the day, then Allah swears by the best days of the year, then Allah swears by the best days of those days, then Allah
swears by the best part of the night.
So fajr is the best part of the day. The Prophet peace be upon him, said that Allah has placed blessing in the early morning hours. There are things that can be done between fajr and sunrise that cannot be done throughout the day. It’s the most blessed part of the day. It’s the time that you find your greatest energy. It’s the time that you find that your deeds are amplified, that you can start the day off right.
So even sitting in the masjid and remembering Allah between fajr and sunrise, the Prophet SAW said, is the reward of hajj. So it’s the most blessed part of the day, and most people miss the opportunity of it.
4:05 – 4:51 The most blessed time of the night
Then Allah swears by the most blessed days of the year in the first ten days of the Dhul Hijjah. And then according to narrations, “the even and the odd” would refer to the day of the sacrifice, the day of Eid being the even – the tenth of Dhul Hijjah – and Arafah which is the most blessed day, the ninth of Dhul Hijjah.
So Allah takes the most blessed days of the ten days and swears by them in particular. And then Allah SWT swears specifically by the night as it starts to leave you, meaning the last part of the night which is the time of qiyam, the most blessed time of prayer. The time where we would feed ourselves physically if were to fast, and feed ourselves spiritually whether we’re fasting or not, in those last parts of the night.
4:52 – 5:37 Why do these 10 blessed days matter?
So what is Allah SWT emphasizing here first and what’s the lesson that we can take from this other than Allah has honored these times of the day, these times of the year, this times of the night?
What we can take from this is Allah SWT has given us blessed seasons throughout the year, blessed months, a blessed day of the week, blessed times of the day, and that a person who is seeking the blessing of Allah will always seek to get ahead by making use of those times. Most people will not make use of those times, and as a result of that will fall behind. And that is not from a lack of mercy or a lack of justice on the part of the Lord, but it is instead a time where we would prove neglectful and where we need to remind
ourselves that Allah has given us ample opportunities to do things to please Him.
5:38 – 6:07 Most people miss the blessings of Dhul Hijjah
So these are times that people typically don’t take advantage of. Most people miss these days. They don’t miss Ramadan. Most people miss the blessings of these days. Most people are not doing anything spectacular in terms of their remembrance, in terms of their good deeds, especially in the first eight days of Dhul Hijjah.
Maybe on the day of Arafah, but the first eight days of Dhul Hijjah, and this is where people really shine and it’s important to mention this here because in Ramadan everyone is worshipping Allah. Everyone’s fasting. Everyone’s doing certain things.
6:08 – 6:36 Shine in the morning around Fajr
If you really want to shine in the sight of Allah then that time after fajr, where most people go back to sleep if they even woke up in the first place, shine in the morning. Get a head start on your good deeds. Get a head start on your productivity. You really want to shine, take advantage of these ten days that are better than the entire year. You really want to shine, wake up a little bit before fajr when most people are still sleeping at night and invoke Allah SWT at a time where Allah SWT truly favors his chosen servants in those moments.
6:37 – 7:37 Don’t miss these blessed opportunities and blessed deeds
So this is your time to shine. Don’t lose the opportunity and that’s the blessing of Allah swearing by these blessed times or one of the wisdoms of it for us.
I’ll just mention here that some of the scholars also mentioned “the witness“. “The witness” are referring to Arafah and Jummah, because the day of Arafah and the day of Jummah share many similar traits. So just as the day of Arafah is the best day of the
year, the day of Jummah is the best day of the week.
Just as the time between Asr and Maghrib is a time where we should increase du’a on the day of Arafah, it’s a time according to an authentic narration that on the day of Jummah we should increase our dua, we should increase our supplication to Allah SWT.
So these are blessed times with blessed opportunities. Don’t miss out on these blessed opportunities and blessed deeds.