My dear brothers and sisters in Islam, compete for and rush towards the forgiveness of Allāh and a paradise which is as wide as the heavens and the earth and do not slacken and be laid-back, because the Prophet ﷺ said

التَُّؤَدةُ فُِكل شْىء إلاهفِ عَمل الآخَرة

Being laid-back and easy-going is best in every matter except for good deeds. – Abu Dawood (Sahih)

Compete and march forward when it comes to working for the Hereafter as Allāh Glory be to Him says:

وَفِى ذَٰلِكَ فَلْيَتَنَافَسِ ٱلْمُتَنَٰفِسُونَ

… So for this let the competitors compete. – Surah al-Mutaffifīn

My dear brothers and sisters in Islam: In this season, the roads leading to good deeds are many, so do not miss out on any of them. The intelligent ones are those who exhaust themselves during this season to earn the rewards of Allāh; you will see many of them joining their days with their nights, continuously doing righteous deeds and losing sleep and other comforts in order to get the most out of this season.

Righteous Acts

Prayer (Salaah)

My dear brothers and sisters in Islam: Of the best deeds to perform in these blessed ten days is the Salah, which leads to goodness and is something which Allāh loves. You must strive to perform it in jama’ah as Allāh Glory be to Him says:

وَٱرْكَعُوا۟ مَعَ ٱلرَّٰكِعِينَ

… bow with those who bow [in worship and obedience]  – Surah al-Baqarah

And the Prophet ﷺ said:

مَنْ سَمِعَ النِّدَاءَ فَلَمْ يَأْتِهِ فَلاَ صَلاَةَ لَهُ إِلاَّ مِنْ عُذْرٍ

Whoever hears the call and does not come, his prayer is not valid, except for those who have an excuse. – Ibn Majah (Sahih) 1

Al-Muwaffaq (the one whom Allāh has given them the opportunity to do good) during these ten days are the ones who perform as much optional Salaah (while preserving the obligatory ones), because it is something that Allāh Glory be to Him loves. The Prophet ﷺ said:

الصلاة خير موضوع ، فمن استطاع أن يستكثر فليستكثر

Salaah is the best thing that one can do, so perform as many as you possibly can. [Ahmed – Hassan]

And he ﷺ also said about the one buried in his grave

رْكعتان خفيَفتان مِها تَقروَن وتنفلُوَن أَحب إلَيه من بقيهة دنْياُكم

Two light rak’ahs which you may think as insignificant to add to you deeds, are more beloved to him than possessing the whole world – Ibn al-Mubaarak – Hassan

Qur’ān

Another of the paths to righteousness and fields of competition during these blessed ten days is reciting the Qur’ān. The Prophet ﷺ said:

خَيْرُكُمْ مَنْ تَعَلَّمَ الْقُرْآنَ وَعَلَّمَهُ

The best among you (Muslims) are those who learn the Qur’ān and teach it. – al-Bukhaari 2

And he ﷺ also said:

مَنْ قَرَأَ حَرْفًا مِنْ كِتَابِ اللَّهِ فَلَهُ بِهِ حَسَنَةٌ وَالْحَسَنَةُ بِعَشْرِ أَمْثَالِهَا لاَ أَقُولُ الم حَرْفٌ وَلَكِنْ أَلِفٌ حَرْفٌ وَلاَمٌ حَرْفٌ وَمِيمٌ حَرْفٌ

[Whoever recites a letter] from Allāh’s Book, then he receives the reward from it, and the reward of ten the like of it. I do not say that Alif Lam Mim is a letter, but Alif is a letter, Lam is a letter and Mim is a letter. – al-Tirmidhi (Hasan) 3

Fasting

Another of the fields of goodness is fasting, especially the day of Arafah as the Prophet ﷺ said

صِيَامُ يَوْمِ عَرَفَةَ أَحْتَسِبُ عَلَى اللَّهِ أَنْ يُكَفِّرَ السَّنَةَ الَّتِي قَبْلَهُ وَالسَّنَةَ الَّتِي بَعْدَهُ

I seek from Allāh that fasting on the day of ‘Arafa may atone for the sins of the preceding and the coming years. – Muslim 4

There are no specific references which indicate that there is a special virtue for fasting these ten days in particular, however one should still try to fast as many of them as possible, and this is based on the general texts encouraging good deeds during these ten days (with fasting being amongst them)

Charity

Another avenue for good deeds is giving in charity. The Prophet ﷺ said

أن ملكا ينادي فِ السماء يقول اللهم اجعل لمال منفق خلفا واجعل لمال مِسك تلفا

(Every day) An Angel calls out in the heavens saying, ‘O Allāh! Bless and compensate for the wealth of the one who spends (for your sake) and ruin the wealth of the one who holds back (from spending). – al-Bukhari & Muslim

The Prophet ﷺ also said:

“‏ ثَلاَثَةٌ أُقْسِمُ عَلَيْهِنَّ وَأُحَدِّثُكُمْ حَدِيثًا فَاحْفَظُوهُ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ قَالَ ‏”‏ مَا نَقَصَ مَالُ عَبْدٍ مِنْ صَدَقَةٍ وَلاَ ظُلِمَ عَبْدٌ مَظْلِمَةً فَصَبَرَ عَلَيْهَا إِلاَّ زَادَهُ اللَّهُ عِزًّا وَلاَ فَتَحَ عَبْدٌ بَابَ مَسْأَلَةٍ إِلاَّ فَتَحَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ بَابَ فَقْرٍ

There are three things for which I swear and narrate to you about, so remember it.” He said: “The slave(of Allāh) wealth shall not be decreased by charity, no slave (of Allāh) suffers injustice and is patient with it except that Allāh adds to his honor; no slave(of Allāh) opens up a door to begging except that Allāh opens a door for him to poverty”… – al-Tirmidhi (Sahih) 5

Hajj & Sacrific

One of the best deeds in these days is to initiate Hajj as a way of drawing closer to Allāh Glory be to Him and fasting the day of Arafah for those who are not performing Hajj. Offering an udhiyya (sacrificial animal) is also one of the most virtuous deeds that one can perform. The Prophet ﷺ said

مَنْ كَانَ لَهُ سَعَةٌ وَلَمْ يُضَحِّ فَلاَ يَقْرَبَنَّ مُصَلاَّنَا

Whoever can afford it, but does not offer a sacrifice, let him not come near our prayer place.  – Ibn Majah (Hasan) 6

And he ﷺ also said

إِذَا دَخَلَتِ الْعَشْرُ وَأَرَادَ أَحَدُكُمْ أَنْ يُضَحِّيَ فَلاَ يَمَسَّ مِنْ شَعَرِهِ وَبَشَرِهِ شَيْئًا

When any one of you intending to sacrifice the animal enters in the month (of Dhu’l-Hijja) he should not get his hair or nails touched (cut). – Muslim 7

Final Words

These are just some examples of virtuous deeds, so take advantage of them; beware of laziness and neglectfulness and know that Allāh Glory be to Him has favoured seasons over others, so let us take advantage of these opportunities and increase our righteous deeds; perhaps Allāh will forgive us for our sins and shortcomings.

 


This is taken straight from the khutbaah delivered by Imam Ismail Jabi on Aug 2, 2019 at the Canberra Mosque, Yarralumla (Australia)