The 10 Blessed Days of Dhul-Hijjah

Another season of obedience is upon us, alhamdulillah.

Indeed Ramadhan has left us, but we’re about to receive another massive opportunity to earn Allah’s Forgiveness and Rahmah, another incredible opportunity to strengthen our relationship with Allah s.w.t., and that is the first 10 days of Dhul-Hijjah. Rasulallah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said:

“There are no days in which righteous deeds
are more beloved to Allah than these 10 days.”

The people asked, “Not even fighting for the cause of Allah?”
He (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said, “Not even fighting for the cause of Allah,
except in the case of a man who went out, giving himself and his wealth up
for the cause (of Allah), and came back with nothing.”

[Sahih Bukhari]

Allah s.w.t. takes an oath by these 10 days, which indicates their great importance to us:

“By the dawn, and by the ten nights.”
[Al-Fajr: 1-2]

‘Ten nights’ here is interpreted by most scholars to mean the first 10 days of Dhul-Hijjah. These are THE best days of the year. No good deeds done on other days are more superior than those done on these 10 days.

Most of us know very well the immense blessings of Ramadhan, especially the last 10 nights. But a lot of us are unaware of the importance and virtues of the first 10 days of Dhul-Hijjah. Many of us think that these days are blessed only for the hujjaj. Yes, for the hujjaj, they will be at the best place, at the best days of the year, performing the best act of worship that one can do in these 10 days.

But what about those who don’t go for Hajj? Are they deprive from the virtues of these 10 days?

Absolutely not, alhamdulillah! Here are some recommended deeds to do in these first 10 blessed days of Dhul-Hijjah, based on the Sunnah of Rasulallah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam:

1. Sincere repentance from sins, as well as increase the quality of our fardh prayers, and perform extra acts of worship throughout the first 10 days of Dhul-Hijjah such as optional salah, reading and tadabbur of the Qur’an, charity,  qiyamulail, etc. This is based on the above hadith where Rasulallah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said that there are no days in which righteous deeds are more beloved to Allah than these 10 days.

2. Perform Hajj and Umrah for those who are able to.

3. Fast the first nine days of Dhul-Hijjah. [1] And for the non-hujjaj only, fast ESPECIALLY on the 9th of Dhul-Hijjah (the day of ‘Arafah). [2] It is highly recommended to fast on the 9th of Dhul-Hijjah, which is the day of ‘Arafah, because fasting on the day of Arafah expiates sins of 2 years: the previous and the coming year!

4. Fully utilize the day of ‘Arafah by making istighfar and tawbah, and increase in supplications. Rasulallah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said:

“There is no day when Allah sets free more servants
from the Fire 
than the day of ‘Arafah.
He draws near and expresses His pride to the angels

and says: “What do these people want?”
[Sahih Muslim]

Imam An-Nawawi rahimahullah said this hadith shows the importance of the day of ‘Arafah. Based on many ahadith, it can be signified that supplications on the day of ‘Arafah have a far greater merit than other days. Indeed, this is a day to earn Allah’s forgiveness and freedom from the Fire. Therefore fully utilize the day of ‘Arafah in begging Allah to forgive and cover all of our sins and  all shortcomings, and increase our supplications as well as good deeds. It was reported that the best du’a to make on the day of ‘Arafah is:

“Laa ilaaha illAllaahu wahdahu laa shareeka lahu,
(None has the right to be worshiped but Allah, Alone, without partner)
lahul-Mulku wa lahul-Hamdu,
(to Him belongs all that exists and to Him belongs the Praise)
wa Huwa ‘alaa kulli shay’in Qadeer.”
 (and He is powerful over all things). [3]

5. Make lots of dhikr throughout the first 10 days of Dhul-Hijjah: Tahleel (Laa ilaaha illallah), Tahmeed (Alhamdulillah), and Takbeer (Allahu Akbar) and other dhikr. [4]

6. For those who have intended to do udhiyah / qurbani, refrain from cutting nails and depleting any hair from the body from the first day of Dhul-Hijjah until the sacrifice has been offered. [5]

7. Udhiyah / qurbani. [6]

8. Attend the Eid Prayer and listen to the Eid khutbah. [6]

9. And lastly eat and be grateful! It is Sunnah to eat and drink from the 10th – 13th Dhul-Hijjah. It is prohibited to fast on these days. [7]

May Allah s.w.t. help us to fully utilize these 10 blessed days as much as possible, and may He help us remain istiqamah until the last of our breath – Allahumma ameen.
_________________
References:
[1] Sunan Abu Dawud
[2] Sahih Muslim
[3] Sunan At-Tirmidhi
[4] Musnad Ahmad
[5] Sahih Muslim
[6] Sahih Bukhari
[7] Sahih Muslim

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Tips – Wuquf & Supplications at Arafah

supplication_is_ibadah

Here are some advice regarding wuquf and supplications at ‘Arafah as per sunnah, collected from Sheikh Omar Suleiman, Sheikh Tawfique Chowdhury, Ustadh Dr Abdullah Yasin, Ustadh Dr Abdul Basit Abdul Rahman, and Ustadh Hussein Yee:

💎 It is Sunnah to rest on the day before ‘Arafah. Try getting your rest as much as possible because THE MOST important day of your life is the next day, ‘Arafah, and the most important pillar of Hajj. It is Allah’s Mercy that ‘Arafah is the beginning of Hajj. If you have not yet planned all of your supplications for ‘Arafah, this is the time to do so.

💎 It’s best to pack up your items in advance before heading to ‘Arafah because we want to be there as early as possible.

💎 Wuquf at ‘Arafah technically begins at Zuhr. So upon reaching ‘Arafah, take the opportunity to rest / sleep before Zuhr. We want to feel refreshed and save our energy as much as possible for those 5 critical hours in ‘Arafah.

💎 It’s not recommended to go to Masjid Namira as you will waste a lot of time getting in and out of the crowd. Stay in your tent and rest, so that when the time of ‘Arafah comes, you’re set to go.

💎 Rasulallah ﷺ said “All Arafah is Arafah”, so don’t be fooled by anyone leading you to a “more barakah spot / mountain”. It’s a common mistake to join the crowd at Jabal Rahmah to perform nawafil prayers – there’s no dalil from Rasulallah ﷺ regarding this. Stay close to your tent so you don’t get lost.

💎 Listen carefully to the Khutbah of ‘Arafah and don’t talk during it. It’s not like Jumuah khutbah, but it is Sunnah, so make sure you take advantage of these moments.

💎 Pray Zuhr and Asr combined and shortened with 1x adhan and 2x qamat, without nawafil prayers in between – this is the Sunnah. Notice that this is the ONLY DAY of the year that Rasulallah ﷺ prioritized du’a to solat, i.e. pray Zuhr + Asr as soon as Zuhr comes in, combined and shortened, then spend the rest of the time making du’a until Maghrib.

💎 When the time of ‘Arafah begins, it’s sunnah to wuquf in the direction of the kiblah and raise your hands when making supplications. The hands of Rasulallah ﷺ did not come down EVEN ONCE until Maghrib (except when he was asked about whether to fast or not). Remember that this is THE MOST IMPORTANT block of hours in your entire life. Don’t waste a single moment of these hours by chit-chatting, sleeping etc! Do a lot of istighfar, tawbah, dhikr, supplications, as well as salutations and prayers to Rasulallah ﷺ.

💎 It is Sunnah to wuquf and make supplications outside the tent in the sitting position, because this was the way of Rasulallah ﷺ. So if it’s possible, especially in the last hour, make your supplications outside.

💎 Prioritize first supplications from the Qur’an and from the Sunnah. There are no better and concise supplications than these. Rasulallah ﷺ loved to repeat his supplications 3 times.

💎 Divide these critical 5 hours for specific supplications – for example, the first hour is reserved only for yourself to make tawbah and personal supplications. Prioritize tawbah before all other supplications.

💎 Then supplications for your spouse; make du’a to Allah that he/she is among the soliheen, who preserve their chastity and modesty, guard their solat, love to go to the masaajid and knowledge circles, love to read and ponder over the Qur’an and so forth.

💎 Then the next is for your parents; make du’a to Allah for their health in the physical and spiritual sense, for husnul khotimah; and if they have passed away, ask for their forgiveness, for Allah’s Mercy upon them, for sakinah in their graves, and so on.

💎 Then the next is for your children and do not generalize your du’a, rather make individual du’a for each child because every one of them has their own struggles.

💎 Then the next is for your siblings, then your other family members, friends, teachers, and the ummah at large. Never forget to include the ummah in our du’a.

💎 There is no basis for congregational / group du’a in ‘Arafah, so make your supplications individually. If you ran out of du’a, make dhikr as taught by Rasulallah ﷺ – “The best thing I and the prophets have said on the eve of ‘Arafah is Laa ilaaha ila-Allah wahdahu la shareeka lah, lahul-mulku wa lahul-hamd, wa huwa ‘ala kulli shay-in qadeer.” [refer Hisnul Muslim #119] So if you have time when walking towards the washroom / getting water, constantly recite this to keep your lips busy with dhikr throughout your time in ‘Arafah.

💎 In that last hour, return to those supplications you personally feel important, and increase the intensity of your supplications with khushoo’ and tawadhu’ until Maghrib – spend that last hour outside of your tent if possible.

May Allah s.w.t. help us to fully utilize these moments in ‘Arafah, forgive all of our sins and accept all of our supplications. Allahumma ameen.

Hajj is Arafah

Hajj is Arafah

Narrated ‘Abdur-Rahman bin Ya’mar that Rasulallah ﷺ said:
“The Hajj is ‘Arafat, the Hajj is ‘Arafat, the Hajj is ‘Arafat.”
[At-Tirmidhi | Graded Sahih]

Rasulallah ﷺ said that Hajj is ‘Arafah. Why? Why specifically ‘Arafah, when there are other Hajj manasik that must be done? Why is the time specifically between Zuhr until Maghrib on the 9th of Dhul Hijjah becomes more important than the rest?

Because ‘Arafah is du’a.
‘Arafah is calling upon Allah.
‘Arafah is turning to Allah.
‘Arafah is about making sincere tawbah to Allah.

‘Arafah is THE time to make supplications like we’ve never done before. They’re not supplications like we make when calamities hit us, when it’s easy to call upon Allah out of desperation. They’re not supplications done at our convenience. But they’re supplications done because Allah s.w.t. has commanded to do so – for five hours straight.

And this is the trial for the hujjaj. There are those who stood and wept in ‘Arafah not because from making supplications, but because they came unprepared. Five hours can be a very long period of time for the unprepared.

But if you come prepared, then that time is extremely short.
There are so much to repent from.
So many sins to ask for forgiveness.
So many shortcomings that need to be rectified.
So many requests to ask of – for a long-lasting iman and taqwa, for becoming a muhsin, for becoming one of the ulul albab, for becoming from the foremost of the foremost, for His rizq and barakah, for His help against the whispers of shaitan, for His help in all affairs, for istiqamah on the Straight Path, for husnul khotimah, for protection from the torments of the grave and Jahannam, for the highest place in Jannah, and for everything else that is khayr for our family, friends, teachers and the rest of the ummah. Prepare these supplications in advance even before going for Hajj.

A good tip is to divide these critical 5 hours for specific supplications, for example:

  • The first hour is reserved only for yourself to make tawbah and personal supplications. Prioritize tawbah before all other supplications.
  • Then the next 30 minutes are for your spouse; make du’a to Allah that he/she is among the soliheen, who preserve their chastity and modesty, guard their solat, love to go to the masaajid and knowledge circles, love to read and ponder over the Qur’an and so forth.
  • Then the next is for your parents; make du’a to Allah for their health in the physical and spiritual sense, for husnul khotimah; and if they have passed away, then ask for their forgiveness, for Allah’s Mercy upon them, for sakinah in their graves, and so on.
  • Then the next is for your children and do not generalize your du’a, rather make individual du’a for each child because every one of them has their own struggles and weaknesses.
  • Then the next is for your siblings and other family members, friends, teachers, and the ummah at large. Never forget to include the ummah in our du’a.

Rasulallah ﷺ du’a is ‘ibadah. [1] Since Hajj is one of the mighty acts of worship, and ‘Arafah is du’a, then this is why Hajj is essentially ‘Arafah. Because ultimately, du’a is the essence of ‘ibadah.

This is why ‘Arafah is truly among the greatest blessings of Hajj for the one who manages to fully maximize those time in making sincere tawbah and supplications. Remember that ‘Arafah is a day to earn Allah’s forgiveness and freedom from the Fire. Rasulallah ﷺ said:

“There is no day when Allah sets free more slaves from the Fire than the day of ‘Arafah. He draws near and expresses His pride to the angels and says:
What do these people want?”
[Sahih Muslim]

May we be gathered in the remembrance of Allah on the Day of ‘Arafah, and may we be chosen as those whom Allah s.w.t. praises His slaves to His angels on that day, and may we remain in this state of khushoo’ and sincerity until the last of our days.

Allahumma ameen!

___________________
Reference:
[1] Sunan Abi Dawud | https://sunnah.com/abudawud/8/64

Focus Not On The Tests, Focus on Our Attitude

We are constantly being tested by Allah s.w.t. in this dunya, either in a form of difficulty, or ease. This beautiful religion of ours teaches us to be patient when we are hit with difficulties, and to be syukur / grateful when in ease.

This life is like a coin – one side is Patience, and the other is Syukur – meaning that every incident that we will go through the moment we wake up until the moment we sleep, will be between these two incidents that either require Patience or Gratefulness.

The problem with us is this: that we think Allah only tests us with difficulties. The death of a loved one, or the loss of revenue in business – it’s easy for us to call these events as tests from Allah. But it’s not easy for us to remind ourselves that incidents like getting married, or getting a promotion are also tests from Him. It’s hard to convince ourselves and realize that these moments of ease, just like those moments of difficulties, are all tests from Allah s.w.t.

Why is this realization important?

Because both Patience and Syukur are means to carve our way to Jannah. The one who is wealthy yet grateful, and the one who is poor yet patient – while both have different tests – have equal chance to earn Allah’s Pleasure. Similarly, both have equal chance to earn the displeasure of Allah if they are not grateful or patient.

There is absolutely no one who will not be tested by Allah, meaning there is absolutely no one whom Allah does not give him or her a chance to be patient or to be grateful.

When Allah sends us difficulties, it does not necessarily mean He is displeased with us. And when Allah sends us ease, it does not necessarily mean He is pleased with us.
It’s not the test that we should be focusing on.
But it’s our attitude that we should work on.

Rasulallah sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam said:
“Indeed greater reward comes with greater trial.
And indeed, when Allah loves a people He subjects them to trials,
so whoever is content, then for him is pleasure,
and whoever is discontent, then for him is wrath.”
[At-Tirmidhi | Graded Hasan]

[Al-Muzzammil 73:20] A Motivation To Be Charitable

A motivation for us to be charitable ❤

“…and lend to Allah a goodly loan,
and whatever good you send before you for yourselves,
you will certainly find it with Allah, better and greater in reward…”
[Al-Muzzammil 73:20]

Allah s.w.t. is saying to us do charitable donations, for He s.w.t. will reward for it the best and most abundant of rewards. This is as Allah s.w.t. says:

“Who is he that will lend to Allah a goodly loan
so that He may multiply it to him many times.”
[Al-Baqarah 2:245]

He s.w.t. also says: “And whatever good you send before you for yourselves, you will certainly find it with Allah, better and greater in reward.” What it means is that for all the khayr that we have done, we will get it back, and it will be better than what we kept for ourselves in this worldly life.

Rasulallah sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam said:
“Who among you considers the wealth of his heirs dearer to him than his own wealth?”
They replied:
“O Allah’s Messenger! There is none among us but loves his own wealth more.”
The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) said:
“So his wealth is whatever he spends (in Allah’s Cause) during his life (on good deeds)
while the wealth of his heirs is whatever he leaves after his death.”
[Sahih Bukhari]

____________________
Reference: Tafsir Ibn Kathir

Ruqyah For Pain

flower shape pattern background

When you feel pain, it’s recommended to put your hand on the area of the pain and supplicate to Allah s.w.t.

Uthman ibn Abu al-‘As Al-Thaqafi reported that he made a complaint of pain to Rasulallah (ﷺ) that he felt in his body at the time he became Muslim. Thereupon Rasulallah (ﷺ) said:

(1) Place your hand at the place where you feel pain in your body
(2) and say Bismillah three times
(3) and seven times “A’udhu billahi wa qudratihi min sharri ma ajidu wa uhadhiru”
(I seek refuge with Allah and with His Power from the evil that I find and that I fear).

_____________
Reference:
Sahih Muslim | https://sunnah.com/muslim/39/91

Beware Of The Words We Utter

Rasulallah sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam said:

“A slave (of Allah) may utter a word which pleases Allah without giving it much importance, and because of that Allah will raise him to degrees (of reward);
a slave (of Allah) may utter a word (carelessly) which displeases Allah without thinking of its gravity, and because of that he will be thrown into the Hell-Fire.”
[Sahih Bukhari]

A person might utter a word that pleases Allah s.w.t. – even though he does not recognize the significance of his word. But a person may also utter a word carelessly that angers Allah – even though he does not recognize the severity of his word.

These “hot gossips of the month” hurt our hasanat bank account BADLY. Chances are, the only thing that these stories ever do to us is make us backbite and/or slander someone. If the Akhirah is our utmost concern, then choose to unfollow and remove them from our radar. Question what benefit clicking on links related to celebrities’ gossips will have on our book of deeds.

A reminder to myself foremost.