Fear Allaah (Ta’aala), and know that you are about to receive ten blessed [days]; they are [the first] ten [days] of Dhul-Hijjah, about which the Messenger of Allaah (sal-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said in an authentic hadeeth:
«There are no days during which righteous deeds are better and more beloved to Allaah than these ten days» [i.e. the first ten days of Dhul- Hijjah.]
They said: “O Messenger of Allaah! Not even jihaad for the sake of Allaah?” He said:
«Not even Jihad for the sake of Allaah, unless a man goes out himself with his wealth, and does not return with anything.» [i.e. he expends all his wealth and is martyred.] – transmitted by al-Bukhaaree, Abu Daawood and Ibn Maajah.
So these are blessed days.
It has been legislated to [increase in] utter[ing] the takbeer from their beginning through to their end. [And] it has been legislated to fast during them, [so] fast these [first nine] days – except for the day of ‘Arafah for the hajj pilgrim. As for other than the hajj pilgrim, then fast these nine [days], and the hajj pilgrim can fast the [first] eight [days].
As for the day of ‘Eed, then it is the biggest day of hajj, and it is impermissible to fast it; fasting [on that day] is prohibited. So fast the [first] nine [days] if not performing hajj, and fast the [first] eight [days] if performing hajj.
Therein is great virtue, [and] therein is immense reward.
Increase in [giving] charity during them, [and] increase in praying the obligatory and voluntary prayers, for indeed these are blessed days, wherein [righteous] actions are better than jihaad for the sake of Allaah, just as you have heard from the hadeeth.
So seize [the opportunity of] these days, and may Allaah grant me and you the towfeeq [to do so]; every one [of us] according to what Allaah facilitates for [us to do] of good during them.