Allah is More Pleased With the Repentance of His Slave

Allah Is More Pleased With The Repentance Of His Slave

Imagine you’re driving alone to somewhere remote and unfamiliar. It’s time for salah, so you stop at the next, yet abandoned petrol station, lock your car, and go inside for salah. When you step outside…

Your car is gone. All your belongings – your wallet, mobile phone, laptop – are inside that car, and now they’re all gone. There is no one else around, and the next town is too far to travel by foot.

How would you react? Most of us would probably go into panic-mode as that sense of fear and hopelessness sink in.

With that in mind:

“Verily, Allah is more pleased with the repentance of His slave
than a person who has lost his camel in a waterless desert,
carrying his provision of food and drink and it is lost.
He, having lost all hopes, lies down in shade and is disappointed about his camel;
when all of a sudden he finds that camel standing before him.
He takes hold of its reins, and then out of boundless joy blurts out:
‘O Allah, You are my slave and I am Your Rabb’.
He commits this mistake out of extreme joy”.
[Sahih Muslim]

This hadith shows an imagery of a man, who having traveled in the desert on his camel, finds a shade and falls asleep. When he wakes up, his camel – on which are all of his sustenance and livelihood – is gone. In comparison to the scenario mentioned earlier before the hadith, this man is in a barren desert! There is no one around as the eyes can see, nor shops to stop by to rest and drink. There is no shelter whatsoever from the intense weather and other dangerous threats.

Imagine this man trying so hard looking for his camel in that scorching, empty desert, until he reaches to a point where he completely loses all hope. He returns to his shade, overcome by tiredness, thinking that he is going to die there, and closes his eyes. When he wakes up, he sees his camel standing just near him.

How would he feel now? Just a moment ago, he thought that he was going to die! If we want to comprehend the depth of this hadith, we need to understand how extremely relieved this man must have felt.

The hadith mentioned that the man was soooooooooooo deliriously happy that he shouted: Ya Allah! You are my slave and I am your Rabb! He was extremely joyful that he didn’t even realize what he uttered.

And yet – and here is the gem – Allah s.w.t. is MORE PLEASED with the repentance of His slave than this man! This is absolutely mind-blowing because we know that Allah s.w.t. does not need us. Does not need every single one of us. AT ALL.

Subhanallah. Allah s.w.t. is At-Tawwab, the Granter of Repentance, the Acceptor of Repentance. Allah s.w.t. loves to forgive, and loves those who make tawbah. This is why we see the Name At-Tawwab is often mentioned alongside Ar-Rahim in the Qur’an.

This hadith is meant to motivate us into action, to start abandoning our bad habits and bad lifestyle because after knowing this hadith, we should WANT to please Allah s.w.t.! There is nothing that should be more desirable for a believer than this! There is nothing more relieved, more joyful than to find that the Rabb of the heavens and the earth, and everything in between, is pleased with us.

And indeed, Allah s.w.t. says:

Truly, Allah loves those who oft-repent (at-tawwabin)
and loves those who oft-purify themselves (al-mutatohhirin).
[Al-Baqarah 2:222]

May we all return to Allah s.w.t. sincerely, out of fear of Him, and out of immense love for Him.

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The Strong Believer Is Better Than The Weak Believer

Poster-TheStrongBelievercompressed

Rasulallah ﷺ said:

الْمُؤْمِنُ الْقَوِيُّ خَيْرٌ وَأَحَبُّ إِلَى اللَّهِ مِنَ الْمُؤْمِنِ الضَّعِيفِ وَفِي كُلٍّ خَيْرٌ

“The strong believer is better and more beloved to Allah
than the weak believer, although both are good…”
[Sahih Muslim]

When I first read this hadith, I thought that the physically stronger believers are better than the physically weak believers because they could help the Deen more, and achieve more. I’m physically not as strong as the average person, so I actually felt bummed about it. But alhamdulillah, when revisiting this hadith, the ustadh pointed out that Rasulallah ﷺ said “The strong MU’MIN is better and more beloved to Allah than the weak mu’min.” Meaning, the believer with a stronger iman is better and more beloved to Allah than the believer with a weaker iman. This is something that we can all strive regardless of our physical condition, insya Allah. Nonetheless it is praiseworthy to gain strength and vitality in order to worship Allah SWT for a longer period of life.

How can we have a strong iman? Rasulallah ﷺ said:

“Iman has over seventy branches – or over sixty branches,
the uppermost of which is the declaration: لا إله إلا الله
(None has the right to be worshipped but Allah);
and the least of which is the removal of harmful object from the road,
and modesty is a branch of Iman.”
[Bukhari & Muslim]

Iman increases when we obey Allah SWT, His commandments and prohibitions; and it decreases when one disobeys Him, when we sin. The more branches of iman that a person commits in his heart, on his tongue, and in his actions, the stronger his iman becomes. So for example, a believer who fulfills all fard (wajib) commandments of Allah SWT, and on top of that has haya’ as the hadith states, has a stronger iman than another believer who also fulfills all fard commandments but lack in modesty. How much iman increases and decreases are dependant on our good deeds as well as our knowledge of the Deen.

It is amazing that Rasulallah ﷺ said, “The stronger mu’min is better and more beloved to Allah than the weak mu’min, although BOTH are good.” Whether we have strong iman, or weak iman, have hope and have good thoughts of Allah SWT for there is still khayr in us. Subhanallah, such is the mercy of Allah towards the believers. And just as important – have good thoughts of your fellow Muslims too! It’s really disheartening to see people claiming to love the Sunnah, but bicker and belittle among each other, especially on non-principal matters in the Deen. We need to constantly remind ourselves to instil the fear of Allah SWT – because while we may think we’re a ‘better’ mu’min than others, we can actually be small in the Sight of Allah due to our ego and bad character towards others.

At the same time, the hadith also teaches us that not all mu’min are equally the same in their good deeds and in istiqamah, therefore not all mu’min are equally loved by Allah SWT. So it teaches us that in order to become a more beloved slave to Allah, we need to exert ourselves to become a stronger mu’min. This is as Allah SWT says:

“And for all, there will be degrees according to that which they did…”
[Surah Al-Ahqaaf 46:19]

In another surah, Allah SWT says:

“Then We gave the Book (the Qur’an) as inheritance
to such of Our slaves whom We chose.
Then of them are some who wrong their selves,
and of them are some who follow a middle course,
and of them are some who are, by Allah’s Leave, foremost in good deeds.
That, that is indeed a great grace.”
[Surah Fatir 35:32]

Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn Abbas commented: “This (ayah) refers to the Ummah of Muhammad (ﷺ). Allah caused it to inherit every Book that He had revealed; those who wrong themselves will be forgiven, those who follow a middle course will have an easy accounting, and those who are foremost in good deeds will enter Paradise without being brought to account.”

Based on this ayah, scholars say that the ummah of Rasulallah ﷺ are divided into three:

ظَـلِمٌ لِّنَفْسِهِ
The first group of believers who wrong themselves. They do not do shirk, but they are careless in doing some fard (wajib) actions, and also commit some haram (forbidden) actions.

مُّقْتَصِدٌ
The second group of believers who follow a middle course. They fulfill all fard actions and avoid things that are haram, but they do not go further than that, meaning they may neglect some supererogatory good deeds (extra deeds beyond fard), and do some things which are makrooh (disliked).

سَابِقٌ بِالْخَيْرَتِ بِإِذُنِ اللَّهِ
The third group of believers are those who, by Allah’s leave, foremost in good deeds. They rush to do all types of khayr. They fulfill all fard obligations AND supererogatory good deeds. They also avoid all things that are haram AND makrooh. This is as the hadith Qudsi where Allah SWT says:

“…And the most beloved things with which My slave comes nearer to Me,
is what I have enjoined upon him [i.e. fard obligations];
and My slave keeps on coming closer to Me through performing Nawafil
(doing extra deeds besides what is obligatory) until I love him…”
[Sahih Bukhari]

On top of that, the third group ALSO leaves all doubtful matters (syubhat). This is as Rasulallah ﷺ said:

“Both legal and illegal things are obvious,
and in between them are doubtful matters.
So whoever forsakes those doubtful things lest he may commit a sin,
will definitely avoid what is clearly illegal;
and whoever indulges in these doubtful things bravely,
is likely to commit what is clearly illegal…”
[Sahih Bukhari]

Subhanallah indeed, the believer who falls in the third group is the stronger mu’min compared to the other two groups!

Now ask ourselves, which group am I in right now, and which group do I aim to be? Am I happy with my current state, or can I actually do better? The wise believer will consistently exert in improving himself. This is as Allah SWT says:

“…But those who believe, love Allah more (than anything else)…”
[Surah Al-Baqarah 2:165]

May Allah SWT instil the love of iman inside us and help us exert to become a stronger mu’min. May we be amongst the third group who are believers that are more beloved to Him – Allahumma ameen.

____________
References:
Ke Arah Memahami Al-Qur’an dan Al-Hadis, by Ustadh Dr Abdullah Yasin
Tafsir Ibn Kathir

He Whose Life Is Long and His Deeds Are Good

It was narrated that a man asked Rasulallah SAW:
“O Messenger of Allah! Which of the people is the best?”
He (SAW) said: “He whose life is long and his deeds are good.”
He said: “Then which of the people is the worst?”
He SAW said: “He whose life is long and his deeds are bad.”
[At-Tirmidhi | Graded: Hasan]

Rasulallah SAW taught us it’s not our lifespan that matters, but our actions. An average lifespan filled with khayr is definitely so much better than a long lifespan filled with sins. We seek refuge with Allah SWT from a long life that only increases us in sins.

As we enter the year with new goals and resolutions, let’s also start with self-critic of our shortcomings.
Do I enter the year with a stronger iman and better akhlaq than last year?
Has there been an improvement in my relationship with Allah, and my relationship with His creations?
Or is there an increase in sins, in bad habits and bad character instead?
Am I getting lazier, or more cynical, or more prone to anger?
Do I constantly demand for my right, but forgetting about fulfilling other people’s rights?

“Have I truly improved myself?” is something that we need to ask ourselves constantly – not on a yearly basis, but on a weekly, daily basis. Our Deen always advocates that doing good should start right now, at this minute, at this instant.

With family, job, and personal responsibilities, it’s easy to forget that our time in this dunya is actually tiny and miniscule compared to the time we will spend in our graves, and then compared to the time we will spend in the Hereafter. It’s easy to forget that this small fraction of time will determine our eternal fate in the Hereafter.

And it’s the Mercy of Allah SWT that He allows us to still receive khayr in our graves because of the good deeds that we do. Allah SWT says:

“Verily, We give life to the dead,
and We record (1) that which they send before, and (2) their traces,
and all things We have recorded with numbers (as a record) in a Clear Book.”
[Yasin 36:12]

Ibn Kathir rahimahullah wrote that this ayah means: “We [Allah] write down the deeds which [1] they used to do themselves, and [2] the legacy they left behind [meaning the effects of our deeds even after our death, such as educating our children, reviving a forgotten Sunnah in the society, etc will still be written for us as hasanah], so We will requite them for that; if it is good, then We will reward them, and if it is evil, then We will punish them.”

This is why scholars of tafsir have said that we have two types of age: (1) Our age in this dunya, and (2) our age in the grave i.e. al-barzakh, because we can still earn hasanah from the effects of the good deeds we left behind. This is like the Hadith where Rasulallah SAW said:

Whoever starts (or sets an example of) something good in Islam,
will have a reward for it,

and a reward equal to that of everyone who does it after him,
without that detracting from their reward in the slightest.

Whoever starts (or sets an example of) something evil in Islam,
will bear the burden for that,

and a burden equal to that of everyone who does it after him,
without that detracting from their burden in the slightest.”
[Sahih Muslim]

It’s good to have new year goals and resolutions, but not at the expense of forgetting the absolute reality that we will, very soon, return to Allah SWT – either in eternal goodness, or in eternal misery. So let these ahadith be a reminder to make important changes in our lives. The wise believer will realize the little time he has left, and will be busy planting seeds of khayr while he is still alive, so that he can harvest them and reap the reward in the Hereafter.

Iman Wears Out

iman wears out

Iman wears out over time. We might remember a time when we felt really close to Allah SWT, but now we feel distant from Him. We feel like we’ve taken a few steps back on some of the good deeds / good habits that we were able to attain before. What happened?

Rasulallah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said in an authentic hadith:

“Iman wears out in your heart, the way (your) garments would wear out…”

Think about it: When we wash our garment over and over again, it will start to lose its color. Even if we do take care of the garment, its color will still fade naturally from the amount of washing that it goes through. So Rasulallah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam taught us that it’s natural for our iman to wear out.

He sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam continued in the same hadith by teaching us the FIRST place to go for help:

“… so ask Allah to revive / renew the faith in your hearts.” [1]

It starts with asking Allah. Ask your Rabb, the One who enables our hearts, the One who settles iman in us, the One who responds to us – ask Him to renew our iman. And this should be one of our most frequent supplications to Allah. While praying for a new job / marriage / children / sustenance in this world, don’t forget to constantly ask Allah to renew your iman, because your iman is His greatest blessing! It is your most precious asset. If iman is gone, then everything else will not benefit you in any way. But if your iman is strong, then you can bear everything else of this world.

Abdullah Ibn Mas’ood RA used to supplicate the following on the basis of the above hadith:

اللهم زدنا إيماناً ويقيناً وفقهاً
Allahuma zidna eemaanan, wayaqeenan, wafiqha
Allahumma, revive us in our faith (increase our faith),
our certainty (conviction / yaqin), and understanding (of Your Deen).

Ibn Taymiyyah rahimahullah mentioned that one of the best supplications is the du’a that Rasulallah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam taught Mu’adh ibn Jabal RA. Mu’adh RA reported that he sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam held his hand and said:

“O Mu’adh,
by Allah, I love you and advise you not to miss supplicating after every Salat saying:

Allahumma a’inni ‘ala dhikrika, wa shukrika, wa husni ‘ibadatika.”
(O Allah, enable me to remember You, and to be grateful to You,
and to worship You in an excellent manner.)
[2]

Similarly, we learnt from the hadith that one of Rasulallah’s sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam most frequent supplications is:

Ya Muqallibul-quloob, thabbit qalbi ‘alaa deenika
(O Turner of Hearts, make my heart firm upon your Deen). [3]

Why are these supplications important? Because we are asking the Enabler to ENABLE us. So when you make du’a to purify your heart, ask the One who can truly purify, to purify you. And that’s the best thing that you can do for your iman – to constantly ask Allah s.w.t. And this Deen is beautiful because He s.w.t. forces us to ask Him this in our every prayer, in every single raka’ah:

Ihdinas-siratul mustaqin
(Guide us to the straight path)

May Allah s.w.t. keep our iman strong, and increase it until the Day we meet Him.

____________
References:
Extracted from The Faith Revival Series by Sheikh Omar Suleiman

[1] Al-Hakim in his Mustadrak
[2] Sunan Abi Dawud
[3] At-Tirmidhi

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

[Hajj 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 Tips] 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 said 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!

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