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Abraham As The Patriarch Of Shari’a Diversity : Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad

In this talk delivered by esteemed scholar, Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad, he discusses how the sanctuary (haram) in Mecca is full of signs; manifest signs.  The first of these signs is the standing place of Ibrahim (Maqamu Ibrahim).

The Abrahamic qualities that the haram contains are quite evident, from them:

  • The sacrifice on the Day of Adha
  • The retracing of Abrahamic moments during the Hajj
  • Sa’i as well as Safa and Marwa

Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad says regarding the latter ritual:

“…And another of these great signs is …. the Sa’i, between Safwa and Marwa which are from Allah signs or tokens (min shaa’iril Allah), that this is her moment, and the moment of the female dimension of the Abrahimic possibility in religion, because Hajar is the only one really in the history of world religions to have been identified explicitly with the instituting of a religious obligation.  I’m not familiar with any other obligatory practice in any of the world’s religions that is specifically identified in it’s founding moment with a woman…”

Shaykh Abdal Hakim continues to discuss the black stone and what we can learn from it. Umar said, “I know, you are just a stone; you cannot do anyone harm nor can you do any good, but if it were not for the fact that I saw the holy Prophet kissing you, I would not kiss you.” But the story continues:

…then he cried until his sobbing was audible.

He turned and there he saw Ali – May God exalt his face – Umar says to him, “O Amir al-Mu’minin, in this place the tears fall and the prayers ascend”

Ali says to Umar, “It does harm and it does do good!”

And he said, “How?”

Ali answered, “Truly, Allah when he took the covenant from the descendants of Adam he wrote it and he, fed this writing to the stone, and it bares witness to the faithfulness of the believer and the rejection and negation of the unbeliever.”

Shaykh Abdal Hakim then explains the covenant that Ali was referring to.

Other things discussed in this wonderful talk:

  • What does it mean when we say we’re from the Abrahamic religions? What makes us different from the Christians and Jews?
  • How is Hajar an indication of Islam’s ethnic inclusiveness?
  • Ibrahim’s obedience to Allah (upon him be peace)
  • Ibrahim’s arguing and debate with Nimrod
  • and many other interesting discussions

The talk ends with some questions from the audience.

The Farewell Sermon: Reflections on the Prophet’s Counsel – Habib Muhammad Abdul-Rahman al-Saqqaf

On Thursday 30th July 2020, over a billion Muslims around the world prayed for Mercy and nearness to God on the holy day of Arafat.

It is our continued effort to disseminate light, clarity, and guidance to the global community. In pursuit of this endeavour, SeekersGuidance hosted a special online event in commemoration of the Day of Arafat. We were honoured to be joined by Habib Muhammad Abdul-Rahman al-Saqqaf for our Day of Arafat program.

(Read About the Program Here).

About – Habib Muhammad Abdul-Rahman al-Saqqaf

Habib Muhammad Abdul-Rahman al-Saqqaf is a direct descendant of our Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him). He studied with some of the greatest scholars of Hijaz of our time including Sayyid Mohammad Bin Alawi al-Maliki, Shaykh Ahmad Mashur Bin Taha al-Haddad and many others. He participated in the establishment of the teaching curriculum at Dar al-Mustafa (Tarim, Hadramawt) for Islamic Studies, and has trained, coached, and founded numerous circles of teaching and calling to God. He has also printed many beneficial publications.

In the video above, Habib Muhammad discussed the Prophet’s mission of spreading wisdom through profound lessons (blessings and peace be upon him). Habib Muhammad draws light upon one such lesson that The Prophet taught during his largest gathering ever on the Day of Arafat, only a few short months before he passed away.

“In the Farewell Hajj are so many lessons and wisdoms which demand great research and much study; the seeker of knowledge would need a full and detailed intensive study of it.”

In his historic sermon, the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) laid down fundamental principles for correcting our lives.

Amongst the things he addressed in his speech were:

  • Rights of Islam
  • Rights of People
  • Economical Issues
  • Women’s Rights
  • and many other important topics

Through these lessons as discussed in the video, it is evident that The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) was sent to us as a guiding light. It is through understanding his words and the importance behind them that we can begin to benefit from this beautiful religion. 

Abu Bakrah (may Allah be pleased with him) said:

“Delivering the sermon during the Farewell Pilgrimage on the day of Sacrifice at Mina, the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace be upon him) said, ‘Verily your blood, your property and your honour are as sacred and inviolable as the sanctity of this day of yours, in this month of yours and in this town of yours. Verily! I have conveyed this message to you.’” – Bukhari and Muslim

The Islamic Scholars Fund

Our Day of Arafat program was organized in an effort to raise awareness of the SeekersGuidance Islamic Scholars Fund (ISF) which was established to help deserving scholars and students in need around the world.

We ask you to donate your Zakat and Charity to the Islamic Scholars Fund – so that scholars around the world can continue to spread clarity and light during these turbulent times.

 

Angry During Pilgrimage

Answered by Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Question: I got angry with my mother during the Hajj. I don’t know what happened to me, but I was so angry, and I could not control myself. I am crying every night after that. Can you please tell me if there is any way to ask forgiveness to Allah and my mother?

Answer: Assalamu ‘alaykum wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh

I pray you are well.

You have no need to worry; there is no sin which Allah Most High is not prepared to forgive. Ask Allah for forgiveness, and speak to your mother, and ask her to pardon you too.

Allah Knows Our Weakness

Having created us, Allah is well aware of our weaknesses and flaws. He told us in a hadith in which the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, quoted him, “My servants! Indeed you keep sinning day and night, yet I [am willing to] forgive all sins! So ask Me for forgiveness: I will forgive you.” (Muslim)

What a beautiful hadith this is! Turn to Allah, and ask. Then carry on with things, confident in the promise of Allah Most High.

Speak to your Mother

It may be a good idea to speak to your mother to explain your side to her. From your question, it seems that you were very concerned about her wellbeing, and performing tawaf in that crowd was, in fact, not the best course of action for her.

Sometimes, in stressful situations, it can easy for people to get upset, or a bit angry. I’m sure if you explain this to her, she will appreciate that it was your love and concern for her that was your motive. And, after all, mothers are very forgiving.

Don’t worry about your Hajj. Allah’s mercy is vast, as is His generosity. Perhaps your Hajj was accepted because of that concern you felt for your mother…

May Allah accept your Hajj and that of everyone else who performed it and grant you all the fullest of rewards for it. Amin.

[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat began his studies in Arabic Grammar and Morphology in 2005. After graduating with a degree in English and History he moved to Damascus in 2007 where, for 18 months, he studied with erudite scholars such as Shaykh Adnan Darwish, Shaykh Abdurrahman Arjan, Shaykh Hussain Darwish, and Shaykh Muhammad Darwish. In late 2008 he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continued his studies for the next six years in Sacred Law (fiqh), legal theory (Usul al-fiqh), theology, hadith methodology, hadith commentary, and Logic with teachers such as Dr. Ashraf Muneeb, Dr. Salah Abu’l-Hajj, Dr. Hamza al-Bakri, Shaykh Ahmad Hasanat, Dr. Mansur Abu Zina, and others. He was also given licenses of mastery in the science of Qur’anic recital by Shakh Samir Jabir and Shaykh Yahya Qandil. With Shaykh Ali, he was able to study an extensive curriculum of Qur’anic sciences, tafsir, Arabic grammar, and Arabic eloquence.

Doubts About My Tawaf During Hajj

Answered by Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Question: I have a constant gas problem, and I have recently performed Hajj. I’m having doubts about my tawaf al ziyara. Please advise.

Answer: Wa ‘alaykum as-salam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh.

I pray you are well.

Your tawaf is fine and perfectly valid. You can relax, and thank Allah for the opportunity of going.

Certainty is Not Removed by Doubt

The basic understanding is that you performed wudu and nothing which invalidates wudu occurred. You did not hear a sound nor did you smell anything. Therefore, the certainty of your being in a state of wudu is not removed by the doubts you had. (Zarqa, Sharh al Qawa’id al Fiqhiyya)

What you should do is busy yourself with what the prophets Ibrahim and Isma’il said when building the blessed Ka’ba, “O Dear, Loving Lord; accept [this] from us. Indeed, you the All-Hearing, All-Knowing.” (Qur’an, 2:127) An accepted Hajj will be priceless on the Day of Judgement.

May Allah accept your Hajj and that of everyone else who went this year. Amin.

[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat began his studies in Arabic Grammar and Morphology in 2005. After graduating with a degree in English and History he moved to Damascus in 2007 where, for 18 months, he studied with erudite scholars such as Shaykh Adnan Darwish, Shaykh Abdurrahman Arjan, Shaykh Hussain Darwish, and Shaykh Muhammad Darwish. In late 2008 he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continued his studies for the next six years in Sacred Law (fiqh), legal theory (Usul al-fiqh), theology, hadith methodology, hadith commentary, and Logic with teachers such as Dr. Ashraf Muneeb, Dr. Salah Abu’l-Hajj, Dr. Hamza al-Bakri, Shaykh Ahmad Hasanat, Dr. Mansur Abu Zina, and others. He was also given licenses of mastery in the science of Qur’anic recital by Shakh Samir Jabir and Shaykh Yahya Qandil. With Shaykh Ali, he was able to study an extensive curriculum of Qur’anic sciences, tafsir, Arabic grammar, and Arabic eloquence.

Imam Hasan and the Effect of Hajj – Habib Umar bin Hafiz

* Courtesy of Muwasala

Imam Hasan, the son of Imam Abdullah bin Alawi al-Haddad was a seeker, a person of piety and a scholar who acted according to his knowledge. Imam al-Haddad, however, was waiting for him to reach higher levels. He said: “When that son of mine performs hajj something will be ingrained in him which was not in him before.”

So he went to perform hajj and implemented all the sunnahs, exerted great caution and effort until the hajj had its effect upon him. Then he returned to Hadramawt and became a paragon of renunciation of worldly things (zuhd).

They told him that part of his house was falling and it needed to be repaired (houses in Hadramawt are built from mud bricks and require regular repair) but he replied that he did not need that part of the house and life was short.

He focused on teaching and preparing for the next life until one half of the house caved in. He said: “The other half of the house is sufficient.”  He carried on in this way until only one room of the house was left standing. When people criticised him, he replied with a verse of poetry:

They say your house is so small it could have been woven by a spider!

I say to them I will not live long in it and it is plenty big enough for someone who is sure to die

This is the exact opposite of what hajj does to some people. They go to hajj and they have some humility but they return with more desire and concern for worldly things. This would be a sign that their hajj has not been accepted and we seek Allah’s refuge from that.

The whole purpose of hajj is to draw us closer to Allah, the King, the Living and that we see things as they truly are.


 

Hajj, Haajar and Kashmir – Shaykh Sadullah Khan

* Courtesy of Masjid al – Furqaan’s Youtube page

In this Pre – Khutba talk, Shaykh Sadullah Khan discusses the historical meanings and lessons that we can derive from the sacred days of Hajj, including the great status that Haajar (may Allah be pleased with her) holds in Islam. Furthermore, Shaykh Sadullah reminds us about the legacies of illustrious Muslim female personalities that played significant roles in Islamic history. Additionally he reflects on the overt bigotry and discrimination that has become common on the global political stage, particularly in Kashmir. Shaykh Sadullah emphasizes the fact that our duties towards refugees and the oppressed need to move beyond lip service. We as Muslims need to be aware of the current wave of hatred and bigotry that has engulfed the world. It is critical that we look at Hajj as a symbol of unity, and an opportunity for each and everyone of us to sacrifice our self interests.

The Day of Arafah – Shaykh Faid Mohammad Said

* Originally Published on 20/08/18

What is the Day of Arafah? How do we know that it is so special? And what should we do on this day? Shaykh Faid Mohammed Said covers these topics in this article.

In the name of Allah the Most Merciful, The Most Compassionate,

“Indeed, the number of months with Allah is twelve [lunar] months in the register of Allah [from] the day He created the heavens and the earth; of these, four are sacred. That is the correct religion, so do not wrong yourselves during them.” [Qur’an, 9:36]
Amongst months there are those that are sacred, amongst days there are those that are chosen, and among days there or those that hold the utmost blessing. The Ten Days of Dhul Hijjah, and in particular the Day of Arafah, are the most sacred and blessed day in the Islamic calendar for the following reasons.
1) Sacredness: Allah Most High swore by these ten days, showing the importance and blessing of these days over others. [Qur’an, 89:2]
2) Mention: Allah has mentioned these ten days in the Qur’an and the culmination of these ten days in the Day of Arafah: “That they may witness benefits for themselves and mention the name of Allah on known days over what He has provided for them of [sacrificial] animals. So eat of them and feed the miserable and poor.” [Qur’an, 22:28]
3) Good Action: Good action is loved by Allah Most HIgh in these ten days, with the Day of Arafah being one of these ten (Imam al-Darami)
4) Completion of the Blessing on the Muslims: The Day of Arafah is also the day on which the blessing upon us, the Muslim community, was completed. a Jewish man said to Umar ibn al-Khattab (Allah be pleased with him) that there is a verse in your book that we (if we were you) would take as a day of celebration. Umar asked which day he was referring to, to which the man said the verse in Surah Al-Maidah. Umar responded by saying that he knew this verse and that it was revealed in Arafah while the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) was standing before the Companions, and recited: “This day I have perfected for you your religion and completed My favor upon you and have approved for you Islam as religion.” [Qur’an, 22:28].
5) Fasting: For the one who fasts the Day of Arafah, Allah Most High forgives the year prior and the year to come (Imam Muslim).
6) Feast: Eid al-Adha is a day of celebration especially for the people who stand (in supplication/prayer) on the Day of Arafah. The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said that the Day of Arafah, the 10th of Dhul Hijjah and the Days of Mina are feasts of Eids for us (Imam Muslim).
7) Best Supplication: The Best of Dua is that on the Day of Arafah (Imam Tirmidhi).
8) Salvation: There is no day on which Allah Most High pardons more of His creation than the Day of Arafah (Imam Muslim).
In all of the days of Hajj, the standing on the Day of Arafah is the greatest moment and the culmination of the Hajj.
In standing on the blessed Day of Arafah, we have been given a great blessing in the time in which we can stand, as the Day begins at sunset/Maghirib (today) and ends at Fajr on the Day of Eid. Hence, we have a full day and two nights, which may be a reason why Allah will forgive us for the year prior and the year to come!
In implementing and following the above, we are in actuality appreciating the advice of our Beloved Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace), who wanted nothing for us other than blessings, as Allah Most High told us in the Qur’an at the end of Surah At-Tawbah:  “There has certainly come to you a Messenger from among yourselves. Grievous to him is what you suffer; [he is] concerned over you and to the believers is kind and merciful.” [Qur’an, 9:128]
The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) was the one that Allah told that he is not responsible for the implementing his message but that he only needs remind us about it, but the Messenger’s love and care for us went beyond any reminder, and as such, let us love and honor His word of advice for us by honoring this Day of Arafah!
In addition, after the honor and love for the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace), we should honor this Day for its rights and blessings.
May Allah Most High forgive our sins, and may He give us the success to pray for each other, care for each other, and be kind to one another, all in following our Master, the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace), as Allah said in Surah Al-Ahzab (21): “There has certainly been for you in the Messenger of Allah the greatest example for anyone whose hope is in Allah and the Last Day and [who] remembers Allah often.” [Qur’an, 32:21]


 

The Gifts of Hajj – Habib Umar

The Meaning of Hajj

Sayyidi al-Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah preserve him) reminds us that the linguistic meaning of Hajj is seeking or intending. Thus the people of Allah are constantly performing Hajj because they are constantly seeking Allah. Just as their whole year is Ramadan, likewise their whole year is Hajj. Just as those performing Hajj respond to the call of Allah by saying “labbayk” they are swift to respond to the call of Allah. They take themselves to account and leave that which is disliked and dubious in all their states and actions. They reject the desires of their lower selves and they are the furthest of people from that which is prohibited. They constantly receive new blessings from their Lord so they constantly renew their ihram. Day and night they make tawaf around the House of their Lord, the One to Whom they turn themselves with absolute sincerity until nothing remains in them which is directed to other than Allah.

The bounty of Allah is available at all times of the day and night. This is why Allah swears by the morning light (duha) and by the night that He has not forsaken His Beloved (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), nor is He displeased with him.

If the Hajj has not been made possible for you, join with those making Hajj and share in their reward: by spending your wealth for the sake of Allah on your relatives, on the needy, by turning to Allah with your whole being. Make numerous your footsteps to good places, especially at the time of Fajr, and you will receive glad tidings from the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace): “Give glad tidings of complete light on the Day of Judgement to those who walk constantly to the mosque in the darkness.” Those whose light is complete will no doubt be in his company (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) on the day on which Allah does not disgrace the Prophet and those who believe along with him. Their light stretches out in front of them and upon their right sides.

Ask to be present with them, and thank Allah for allowing our spirits to be with them. So many hearts in the far East or the far West receive the gifts of `Arafat and Mina because of their truthfulness with Allah.

 

Actions That Carry the Reward of Hajj

Nothing of course can equal actually performing the Hajj and worshipping Allah in those blessed places. However, since Allah knows that many people long to make Hajj every year but are unable to do so out of His generosity He made the reward for certain actions similar to the reward of a supererogatory Hajj.

1. Remembering Allah from Fajr until Ishraq. The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said: “Whoever who prays Subh (Fajr) in congregation and then sits in the place where he prayed remembering Allah until the sun rises and then prays two rakats has the reward of a complete Hajj and `Umrah.” He repeated “complete” three times.

2. Attending a gathering of knowledge. The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said: “The one who goes out to the mosque wanting only to learn good or teach it has the reward of a complete Hajj.”

3. Going to the mosque for the congregational prayer. The Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said: “Whoever performs ablution in his house and then goes out to perform the obligatory prayer in the mosque has a reward similar to the reward of a Hajj pilgrim. Whoever goes out to perform the mid-morning prayer (Duha) has a reward similar to the reward of the one performing `Umrah.”

4. Performing the Friday Prayer. Sa`id bin al-Musayyib said performing the Friday Prayer is “more beloved to me than a supererogatory Hajj.”

5. Performing the Eid Prayer. One of the Companions said: “Going out to pray Eid al-Fitr is equal to performing `Umrah and going out to pray Eid al-Adha is equal to performing Hajj.”

6. Fulfilling the needs of your brother or sister. Hasan al-Basri said: “Going to fulfil the need of your brother is better for you than performing Hajj after Hajj.”

7. Being good to your parents. The Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) commanded one of the Companions to be good to his mother. If you do so, he said: “You are a Hajj pilgrim, a person performing `Umrah and someone striving for the sake of Allah (mujahid).”

8. Performing obligatory actions. The slave can only draw near to Allah by performing supererogatory actions after first having performed that which is obligatory. This includes purifying one’s heart from forbidden attributes and guarding one’s tongue and limbs from committing forbidden actions. All of this is much harder on the lower self than many supererogatory acts of worship.

Finally there is no action more beloved to Allah on the Day of Eid than making a sacrifice. The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) told his beloved daughter Sayyida Fatima al-Zahra that she would be forgiven for her previous wrongdoings with the first drop of blood to be shed from the sacrificed animal. She asked if this reward was specifically for the household of the Prophet and he replied: “For us and for all the Muslims.”

What is Special About the Ten Days of Dhul Hijjah? – Shaykh Faid Mohammed Said

* Originally Published on 1/09/2016

Shaykh Faid Mohammed Said explains why the first ten days of the Islamic month of Dhul Hijjah are so special, and what actions we can take to benefit from them.

The life of a Muslim is very special as it is full of opportunities to get closer to Allah ﷻ‎ by doing the various forms of worship that Allah ﷻ loves.  These forms of worship turn the life of a Muslim into a life of righteous action, speech and continuous activity for the benefit and goodness of everyone.  This means that the life of Mu’mins should be devoted to worship, obedience, righteous deeds and absolute connection with Allah ﷻ in every part of their life, and in all their affairs.  They do not need to go to the mosque, in particular, to approach Allah ﷻ, as He is with them all the time, as He said in the Qur’an (Surah Qaf: 16):  “…and We are closer to him than [his] jugular vein.”
From this we know that our life cannot be cut off from the Mercy of Allah ﷻ.  So, from having this connection, during the five prayers that are spread over twenty-four hours, the special day of jummah once a week, fasting during the month Ramadan once a year, fasting the six days of Shawwal, fasting on Monday and Thursday every week, fasting the three bright days every month, and then, add to this, the ten days of Dhul Hijjah; those days in which every good deed we do, not only are we rewarded, but Allah ﷻ loves good deeds in these days more than any other time of the year.

What is Special About the Ten Days of Dhul Hijjah?

The special worship, hajj is particular to these ten days, and Rasulullah ﷺ said if Allah ﷻ accepted the hajj of someone, they go back from their Hajj as a new born baby. Umrah is also performed in these days.  For those who do not go for hajj, they can fast for the first nine days, give charity, and they can do a lot of forms of worship. Ibn Hajr (radiallah anhu) said that “during these ten days you can do all the major forms of worship, but this is not possible to gather in any other set of days.”
So our life and our striving does not stop anywhere, and neither does are ability to get closer to Allah ﷻ.  There is no limit to qurb!
Speaking of having no limit to closeness with Allah ﷻ, Surah Alam Nashrah alludes to the station of the Messenger of Allah ﷺ:

Did We not expand your breast? – the Messenger of Allah ﷺ is absolutely Rahma (mercy)!

And raised high for you your repute. – Whenever Allah ﷻ is mentioned the name of the Messenger of Allah ﷺ is mentioned

And to your Lord direct [your] longing!  Keep striving in your connection with Allah ﷻ as there is no limit to closeness

The Virtues of the Ten Days of Dhul Hijjah in the Qur’an and Sunnah

Qur’an

In Surah Fajr (1-2), Allah ﷻ swears by the time of fajr and by the ten days, and for Allah ﷻ to swear by something is to make it great.  Ibn Abbas, ibn Zubayr, Mujahid and others (radiallah anhum) all agree that the mention of the ten days is those first ten days of Dhul Hijjah.
In Surah Al-Hajj (28), Allah ﷻ says:  “…remember the name of Allah ﷻ in the known days…”  ibn Abbas (radiallah anhu) mentions that the days referred to in this ayah are the ten days of Dhul Hijjah.

Sunnah

In a Hadith narrated by ibn Abbas (radiallah anhu), the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said that “The best days that Allah ﷻ loves good deeds the most in are these days, meaning the ten days of Dhul Hijjah.” (Abu Dawud 2438)
And in a Hadith narrated by Syedina Jabir (radiallah anhu), the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said:  “[of] the ten best days, the tenth is the day of  sacrifice (Adha), and the uneven numbered day is the day of Arafah, and these are the ten days of Dhul Hijjah.”  (Imam Ahmad)
And in another Hadith, Syedina Jabir (Radiallah anhu) narrates that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said that there are “no days better than the ten days of Dhul Hijjah.”  (ibn Hibban 3853)
Ibn Abbas (radiallah anhu) narrates that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said:  “the best of deeds to Allah ﷻ, that which He loves and rewards greatly and generously, are those actions performed in the ten days of Dhul Hijjah.  (Sunan al Darimi 1774)
In a Hadith, the Sahaba (radiallah anhum) asked the Messenger of Allah ﷺ if the mujahid could compare to the one who worships in these ten days, to which the Messenger of Allah ﷺ responded that no one can compare to the person who worships in these ten days except for the mujahid who gives away everything he owns and takes what remains with him and leaves it all on the battlefield, including his life.  Only this person can compare to the one who worships in these ten days!

Best Actions for the Ten Days of Dhul Hijjah

1)      Nawafil: try to do as many supererogatory prayers as you can, as it is a mentioned in a Hadith that a person’s station is raised and that bad deeds are erased with each prostration.
2)      Fast as much as you can.  It is mentioned in a hadith, when a companion asked what the best of deeds was, the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said to fast.
3)      Qiyam ul Layl.  Night prayers should be encouraged in these ten days.  Abdullah ibn Salam (radiallah anhu) mentioned that when the Messenger of Allah ﷺ came to Madinah with all his radiance he mentioned three things to the community:  spread peace, feed people, and pray while others are asleep.  Normally, after such a migration, people would be sceptical and cautions of others, but instead the Messenger of Allah ﷺ summarized the deen upon his arrival in Madinah al Munawarrah.  The great tab’ee Said ibn Jubayr (radiallah anhu) said in the first ten nights of Dhul Hijjah, do not turn off your lights!
4)      Tahlil, Tahmeed, Takbeer:  To repeat La ilaha illallahAlhamdulillah and Allahu Akbar – La ilaha illallah – wAllahu Akbar wa Lillaahi’l-hamd.  Abdullah ibn Omar and Abu Hurrairah (radiallah anhum) were known for reciting takbeer in the market place.  Abdullah ibn Omar (radiallah anhu) would keep reciting his dhikr, and would only return salam in these ten days.
5)      Day of Arafah:  The day of Arafah should be occupied with dua and tawbah.  The life of the Messenger of Allah ﷺ was dua, to remember Allah ﷻ with every action in every moment.

Dua on Day of Arafah of Sayyidina Ali 

In making dua on the day of Arafah, Sayyidina Ali (RA) used to repeat the following dua:

Oh Allah! Free me from the hellfire.

Ya Allah! Grant me abundant halal rizq.

Ya Allah! Keep away from me the disobedient ones, whether they be jinn or human.

Practically, on the day of Arafah, you should try to take off from work if possible, that way you can spend your day in dua.  In addition, sleep directly after isha the night before, and wake up a hour before fajr in order to be present at the time Allah ﷻ loves to accept dua.  Make the intention to make this a different day of Arafah; make it a day that is different from all the rest.
In closing, it is important to remind ourselves of the purpose of our deen, as is stated in Surah Anbiya:  “We did not send you other than to be a Mercy to all the Worlds,” speaking about the Messenger of Allahﷺ.  So we can never stop striving, we must be that mercy.
May Allah ﷻ grant His Mercy and the company of His Mercy ﷺ, and may He make these ten days those of forgiveness and acceptance of our duas.

Imam al-Haddad’s Counsels on Hajj and `Umrah – Muwasala

* Originally Published on 14/09/2013

COUNSELS ON TRAVELLING

You must hold fast to all the acts of devotion which you perform regularly when you are not travelling. Do not make light of leaving any of them. You should make up any acts of devotion which you are unable to perform due to travelling when you are able to do so, if they are of the sort which can be made up. If it is not possible to make them up, then remember that Allah has made things easy for people travelling. The hadith states: “If a believer travels or becomes sick, Allah orders His angels to record for him the same actions that he would perform when he was not travelling and was in good health.” This is a blessing, a mercy and ease from Allah. All praise be to Allah – He is so merciful and kind to His slaves!
Imam Hadadd's Mosque, Tarim, Yemen
Beware of belittling the dispensations of shortening and joining one’s prayers when it is permissible to do so, for “Allah loves for people to take His dispensations just as He loves people to perform that which has normally been made compulsory for them.”
Be consistent in reading the supplications that it is recommended to read while travelling, such as the supplication you read upon mounting (your horse) or dismounting,  or the supplication you read upon entering a town. You will find a large amount of these in al-Adhkār [of Imām al-Nawawī] so look for them and memorise them.
When you travel, make your spiritual ambition drive your feet forward and make your heart travel with your body. Let reliance upon Allāh be your provision, having a good opinion of Him your support, truthfulness your vehicle and neediness and brokenness your inner and outer garments. Let your contentment with Him to the exclusion of all others be your companion.

HAJJ

You must purify your intention to go to Allah’s Sacred House, to perform the rights of Ḥajj, to venerate the things which He has made inviolable and sacred and to visit the grave of His Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family and grant them peace. In your journey to those places you should have no other purpose or aim except this and any other praiseworthy intention connected to this. Beware of combining these noble intentions with the desire for recreation or trade.
You must make ṭawāf (circumambulation) of the Ancient House in abundance, for the one making ṭawāf is immersed in mercy. While you are doing so, your hearts should be overflowing with veneration and magnification for the Lord of the House. Do not busy yourselves with anything other than recitation of the Qur’ān, remembrance of Allah and supplication. Beware of idle speech.
Be consistent in reading the adhkār and supplications which should be read during ṭawāf and sa`ī and in other places on the Ḥajj. You should also have the utmost concern for visiting all the sacred places.
You should perform `umrah in abundance, especially in the month of Ramaḍān, for performing one `umrah in Ramaḍān is equal in reward to performing Ḥajj with the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his Family and grant them peace.
You must have veneration for the two Sacred Precincts and observe the correct etiquette in them. You must also honour those living there, and give them the right due to them for living in proximity to those blessed places. Maintain a good opinion of them specifically and of the Muslims generally. If you see or hear something you dislike, be patient and remain silent. However, if you are able to openly speak the truth then do so, for no one has any excuse to remain silent unless he is absolutely certain he is unable to change a wrong that is being committed.
One of the best states to be in is to focus fully on Allah and on worshipping Him such that you are unaware of the state of those around you, since the people of this time have contravened the way of the pious predecessors and left behind their praiseworthy teachings. The one who Allah guides is rightly guided; but the one who Allah causes to go astray – for him you will find no protector to guide him.
Masjid Ul Haram Mekka (16)You must perform abundant pious acts in the Sacred Precinct in Makkah, for one good deed therein is rewarded one hundred thousand times over. This multiplication is narrated specifically regarding the prayer by the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) but some scholars regard it to apply to all acts of obedience. Just as the reward for acts of obedience is far greater in the Sacred Precinct, likewise acts of disobedience are far graver therein. One of the pious predecessors said: “There is no place where someone is taken to account for wishing to commit an act of disobedience other than Makkah.” The scholars use as evidence for this Allah’s saying: If Anyone wishes therein to do wrong out of deviance We will cause him to taste a painful punishment.
Ibn `Abbās, may Allah be pleased with them both, said: “I would prefer to commit seventy sins outside the Sacred Precinct than to commit one sin in Makkah.” May Allah protect Makkah, and increase it in greatness, stature and nobility.
When you reach His inviolable House and your eyes gaze upon it, make your heart gaze upon the Lord of the House. Ḥajj has an outer element and an inner element. The outer element is the Sacred Law (sharī`ah) and the inner element is reality (ḥaqīqah). Do not focus on one element to the exclusion of the other, but rather combine the two.
Know that there is a house inside you that belongs to Allāh, which is your heart. He has ordered Ibrāhīm (your knowledge) and Ismā`īl (your intellect) to purify it for the angels and spirits who wish to make ṭawāf (circumambulation) of it, seclude themselves in it, bow and prostrate in it.[6 – See below] Anyone who possesses neither Ibrāhīm nor Ismā`īl is ignorant and foolish, and the Fire will consume him. Anyone who possesses them both but does not allow them to purify the house so that it is fit for those who wish to make ṭawāf (circumambulation) of it and seclude themselves in it, is a representative of the Devil. An example of such a person is a heedless scholar who does not act according to the dictates of his knowledge and intellect.
The Prophet ﷺ said: “Zamzam water is what it is drunk for.” This means that if someone drinks it for a sickness, Allah will heal them; if someone drinks it for hunger, Allah will cause them to be satiated and if someone drinks it for a need, Allah will fulfil that need. This is because the well was brought forth when Allah’s aid was sought and Allah gave relief to Ismā`īl by it. The great Imāms have tried this with their own needs and found the Prophet’s words to be true. However, it requires a correct intention and sincerity and it is not for everyone.

CONCLUSION: STORIES OF THE PIOUS

This conclusion is somewhat appropriate to the counsels which preceded it, and someone of intellect and intelligence may derive etiquettes from these narrations which he should observe in those sacred places.
Mentioning the pious predecessors and their lives gives comfort to travellers on the path to the next life, for they are the examples which we should take. Looking at their striving helps seekers to realise their shortcomings. If someone looks at the people of his time and their heedlessness and procrastination, he will most often become proud of himself or harbour a bad opinion of them, both of which are blameworthy. The felicitous one is someone who emulates the pious predecessors, uses them as a proof against himself and drives himself to walk in their footsteps and to follow their straight path.

  • The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and his Family and Companions and grant them peace) made Ḥajj riding on a shabby-looking saddle, under which was a rug worth less than four dirhams. On his return he said: “O Allah, make it a blessed Ḥajj. Let there be no ostentation in it, nor reputation-seeking.”
  • `Umar made ṭawāf around the House. He placed his hand on the Black Stone, kissed it and then cried. Then he said: “By Allah, I know that you are a Stone that cannot harm or benefit anyone. Had I not seen the Messenger of Allah doing this, I would not have done it.” Then he turned round and saw `Alī (may Allah ennoble him) behind him. He said to him: “O Abū al-Ḥasan, this is the place where tears flow.”`Alī said to him: “On the contrary, O Leader of the Believers, this Stone harms and benefits people. When Allah took the covenant with the progeny of Adam and said to them: ‘Am I not your Lord?’, He recorded this and this Stone swallowed this document. It will then bear witness to anyone who touches it with truthfulness.”
  • A man met `Abdullāh bin `Umar (may Allah be pleased with them both) while making ṭawāf. He asked `Abdullāh bin `Umar for something but he did not respond. `Abdullāh bin `Umar met the man again later and said to him: “Perhaps you were upset when I did not respond to you. Do you not know that when we make ṭawāf we present ourselves to Allah? In any case your need has been answered.”
  • Ṭāūs said: “I saw `Alī (Zayn al-`Ābidīn) the son of Imām al-Ḥusayn in the depths of the night standing in prayer in the Ḥijr [7 – See below] so I came close to him, saying to myself, ‘This is a pious man from the People of the House. Perhaps I will hear him say something that will benefit me.’ I heard him saying while in prostration: ‘A beggar is at Your door, a poor man is at Your door, Your needy slave is at Your door.’ [8 – See below] Whenever I called upon Allah using these words, my prayers were answered.”
  • It was said that when `Alī (Zayn al-`Ābidīn) the son of Imam al-Husayn entered into iḥrām he wished to say ‘labbayk’, but instead he started shaking, his colour changed and he fell off his camel. When he was asked what happened he said: “I feared that I would say labbayk – responding to the call of my Lord – and it would be completely rejected.”
  • Sālim bin `Abdullāh bin `Umar met Hishām bin `Abd al-Malik who was then the governor of Makkah inside the Ka`bah. Hishām said to him: “Ask me, that I may fulfil your need.” “I would be ashamed to ask other than Him, when I am in His House.” When they were outside the House, Hishām said to him: “You are now outside, so ask what you wish.” Sālim said: “Do you mean from the things of this world or the next world?” “All I possess are the things of this world.” “I did not ask for worldly things from the One Who possesses them, so why would I ask them from anyone other than Him?”
  • A pious man said: “I once saw a man performing ṭawāf and sa`ī. His slaves were around him driving people out of his way to make space for him. I later saw him in Baghdad begging. I asked him what had happened and he said: ‘I showed arrogance in a place where people show humility so Allah humbled me in a place where people show arrogance.’”
  • Al-Ḥasan al-Baṣrī once stood at `Arafāt in the sun on an extremely hot day. He was asked: “Why do you not move into the shade?” He replied: “I did not realise I was in the sun. I recalled a sin that I had committed and I did not feel the heat of the sun.” It was so hot that had someone wrung out his clothes, sweat would have run forth from them. This sin that he recalled was probably a mere thought that had it come to anyone else’s mind, they would not have even considered it a minor sin. This is the veneration the pious predecessors had for their Lord and their distance from acts of disobedience.
  • A man once took seven stones from `Arafāt and made them bear witness to his testimony that there is no god but Allāh. He then saw in a dream that he was standing in front of Allāh to be judged. He was taken to account and then ordered to be taken to the Fire. However, whenever he was brought to one of the seven gates of the Fire, a stone came and blocked his entrance. He realised that these stones were the same stones that had born witness to his testimony. Then his testimony was brought and the gate of Paradise was opened to him.
  • `Ali bin al-Muwaffaq said: “On the eve of the Day of `Arafah I saw in my dream two angels who had descended from the heavens. One said to the other: “Do you know how many people have come to our Lord’s House to perform Ḥajj this year?” “No,” said the other. “Six hundred thousand,” he said. “Do you know how many have been accepted?” “No.” “Six people.” So I remained in a state of sorrow and distress. I said to myself, ‘What chance do I have of being among those six?’ The following night, the eve of the Day of Slaughter, I saw the two angels again. One said to the other: “Do you know what the judgement of our Lord was?” “No,” said the other. “He gave one hundred thousand people to each of the six (and thus accepted them all.” Upon hearing this, I woke up in a state of joy that was indescribable.

TURNING TO THE MESSENGER OF ALLAH

We round off these counsels with Imām al-Ḥaddād’s address to the Messenger of Allah ﷺ on his visit to him.

أَتَيْنَاكَ زَوَّاراً نَرُومُ شَفَاعَةً إِلى اللهِ في مَحْوِ الإِسَاءَةِ و الذَّنْبِ
و في النَّفْسِ حَاجَاتٌ و ثَمَّ مَطَالِبُ نُؤَمِّلُ أَنْ تُقْضى بِجَاهِكَ يا مُحْبِي
تَوَجَّهْ رَسولَ للهِ في كُلِّ حَاجَةٍ لنا و مُهِمٍّ في المعَاشِ و في القَلْبِ
و إِنَّ صَلاحَ الدِّينِ و القَلْبِ سَيِّدي هُوَ الغَرَضُ الأَقْصى فَيَا سَيِّدي قُمْ بِي
عَلَيْكَ صَلاةُ اللهِ يا خَيْرَ مُهْتَدٍ و هادٍ بِنُورِ اللهِ في الشَّرْقِ و الغَرْبِ

We have come to you as visitors, aiming to attain your intercession with Allah in wiping out our sins and wrongdoings
In our souls are needs and requests that we hope to be fulfilled through your status, O Giver
Turn (to Allah), O Messenger of Allah, regarding every need and concern of ours in our worldly lives and in our hearts
The rectification of my religion and my heart is my utmost goal, my Master, so assist me.
May Allah’s blessings be upon you, for you are the best one who guides by the light of Allah in the East and West.

[Taken from Imām al-Ḥaddād’s al-Waṣayā al-Nāf`iah, from his Dīwān and from al-Fuyūḍāt al-Rabbaniyyah by Ḥabīb Zayn bin Sumayṭ]

* Originally sourced from Muwasala