The virtues of the First Ten Days of Thul Hijjah

Makkah friday khutbah By: ‘Abdur Rahmaan Sudais

Slaves of Allah! You are approaching virtuous days; they are the best days as the Prophet sallallahu `alaihi wasallam said in an authentic hadeeth: “The best days in this life are the (first) ten days of Thual-Hijjaha. Furthermore, Allah swore by them in His Book, and when Allah swears by something, it is a reflection of its great importance. Allah says that which translates to: “By the dawn. And the nights of the ten daysa (Al Fajr:1-2). These are the first ten days of Thual-Hijjah and they include the day of `Arafah, about which the Prophet Sallallahu `alaihi wasallam said: “There is no day in which Allah frees more of His slaves from The Fire than the day of `Arafaha (Muslim). These ten days are concluded by the day of An Nahr (sacrifice); then follows the day of Al Qarr. The Prophet sallallahu `alaihi wasallam said: “The greatest days in the scale of Allah are the days of An Nahr and Al Qarra (Abu Daawood). The day of An Nahr is the major day of Hajj and the day of `Eid; the day of Al Qarr is the following day. Virtuous deeds have a magnified position during these days. The Prophet sallallahu `alaihi wasallam said: “There are no days in which righteous deeds are more beloved to Allah than the (first) ten days of Thual-Hijjaha (Ad-Daarimi), in another narration the companions asked: “Not even Jihaad for the sake of Allah?a he sallallahu `alaihi wasallam said: “Not even Jihaad for the sake of Allah, except for a man who loses (sacrifices) both his wealth and life in a battlea (Ahmad, Abu Dawood, Ibn Maajah, At-Tirmidhi)

What great virtues and what a great season! What an opportunity this is to collect greater rewards than that of Jihaad, which is the best deed after sound belief and punctual salaah. This season represents a wonderful opportunity for those who want to compete in collecting rewards and a miserable loss for the idle, who shun such opportunities.

Slaves of Allah! Compete for and rush towards the forgiveness of Allah and paradise which is as wide as the heavens and earth and do not slacken and be unhurried, because the Prophet sallallahu `alaihi wasallam said: “Being laid-back is best in every matter except for good deedsa (Abu Daawood & Al-Haakim). One must compete and march forward when it comes to working for the hereafter as Allah says that which translates as: “… So for this let the competitors competea (Al Mutaffifeen:26) and also, “.. So race to (all that is) good… (Al-Baqarah:148).

In this season, the roads leading to goodness are numerous, so do not miss out on any of them. The intelligent ones are those who exhaust themselves during this season to gain abundantly; you see many of them joining their days with their nights, continuously doing righteous deeds and hardly sleeping in order to get the most out of this season. On the other hand, you see those who put all their efforts into the attainment of worldly gains. The sad fact is that the result of all this effort would be, at most, the doubling of their capital – if indeed they do not actually lose it. As for the wise believers, nothing is dearer to them than increasing their efforts and righteous deeds that please the Lord, get them closer to Him and elevate their ranks; Allah told us what pleases Him in His Book and through His messenger; Allah will guide those who truly wish for goodness (if He Wills).

Salaah is one of the ways leading to goodness and something that Allah loves. The slave must be keen to perform it in congregation as Allah says that which translates to: “…And bow (in rukooa) with those who bowa (Al Baqarah:43), and the Prophet sallallahu `alaihi wasallam said, “He who hears the Athaan (call for Salaah) and does not respond, his Salaah is not accepted, except with the congregation, unless he has a (valid) excusea (Ibn Maajah) The excuse is either fear, sickness or rain.

A slave of Allah who is guided would supply himself with optional salaah in these ten days, because it is a path to goodness and something that Allah loves. Abu Hurayrah narrated that the Prophet sallallahu `alaihi wasallam said: “Salaah is the best thing that one can do, so perform as many as you possibly cana (At-Tabaraani) and he sallallahu `alaihi wasallam also said: “Two light rakaaat which you may think as insignificant to add to you deeds, is better for you than possessing the whole worlda (Ibn Al Mubaarak) he sallallahu `alaihi wasallam also said, as narrated by Abu Hurayrah, “The son of Aadam could not do anything more beneficial for himself than salaah, reconciliation (between Muslims) and being well mannereda (Al Bayhaqi and others).

These were three examples of good deeds that lead to righteousness, salaah, reconciliation and being well mannered which are better than anything else that the son of Aadam can do, yet you see some people slight the performance of obligatory salaah, let alone optional salaah; you see them instigating disputes between people; and you see ill-mannered people who have lost out on the great reward for having a good character. So let us repent to Allah from our sins, reform our situation and improve our manners.

A woman was praised in the presence of the Prophet sallallahu `alaihi wasallam for her salaah, fasting and other good deeds; her only flaw was that she harmed her neighbours. Upon hearing the praise, the Prophet sallallahu `alaihi wasallam said: “She is from the people of the Firea (Ahmad). In reality, the guided ones are those who do all those things which please Allah and refrain from all those things that cause His wrath, as some of the scholars said: “Wisdom is to perform what you are obliged to, in the correct manner and on time; he who is granted wisdom has attained a great deal of gooda.

Some of the Ahaadeeth which mention the virtues of optional salaah are as follows: “Prostrate as much as you can, because whenever you prostrate, Allah elevates your rank by a degree and wipes out a sin from your recorda (Muslim) and in another narration: “Whenever a slave prostrates to Allah, Allah writes a reward for him, wipes out one of his sins and elevates his rank by one degree; so prostrate as much as you cana (Ibn Maajah). The way to perform salaah is as the Prophet sallallahu `alaihi wasallam described: “The night salaah is done two (rakaaat) at a timea (Al Bukhaari) and in another narration: “The optional salaah at night and during the day is done two Rakaah at a timea (Ahmad, Ibn Maajah and others).

Slaves of Allah! Another of the paths to righteousness and fields of competition is reciting the Quraaan. The Prophet sallallahu `alaihi wasallam said: “The best amongst you are those who learn the Quraaan and then teach ita (Al Bukhaari) he sallallahu `alaihi wasallam also said: “He who recites a letter from the Book of Allah will get a reward and each of these rewards will be multiplied ten times. I do not mean `Alif Laam Meema is one letter, but rather `Alifa is a letter, `Laam is a letter and `Meema is a lettera (At Tirmidhi) and he sallallahu `alaihi wasallam also said: “If one of goes to the masjid and learns a verse or reads two verses from the Book of Allah, is better for him than owning two she-camels, (reading) three are better than (owning) three, (reading) four are better than (owning) four and so ona (Muslim) and also, “Let him who wants to attain love for Allah and His messenger read from The Book of Allaha.

Another of the fields of goodness is fasting as the Prophet sallallahu `alaihi wasallam encouraged us to “Fast on Mondays and Thursdaysa (Ahmad & Nasaaai) and “Fast the day of `Arafaha (Muslim) also: “Fast like the Prophet Daawood (who fasted every other day)a (Bukhaari & Muslim). I do not know of any specific reference that relates to any special virtue for fasting these ten days in particular, but, having said this I would add that one should still fast during these days because of the general texts encouraging good deeds during these ten days.

Another way is giving in charity; `Abdur Rahmaan Ibn Saburah, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that the Prophet sallallahu `alaihi wasallam said: “(Every day) An Angel calls out in the heavens saying, `O Allah! Bless and compensate for the wealth of the one who spends (for your sake) and ruin the wealth of the one who holds back (from spending)aa (At-Tabaraani) Also he sallallahu `alaihi wasallam said to Bilaal, may Allah be pleased with him: “Spend (charitably) O Bilaal! – and do not fear that Allah will decrease your provision (due to your spending)a and he sallallahu `alaihi wasallam addressed Asmaaa, may Allah be pleased with her, saying: “Spend (charitably) and donat count (i.e. donat be cautious in spending in this manner) otherwise your provisions will become limited and donat hold back (from spending in charity) otherwise your provisions will be held backa (Bukhaari & Muslim) The Messenger of Allah sallallahu `alaihi wasallam also said: “I swear that these three things are true: That giving in charity does not decrease the wealth of the slave ……..a (Ahmad & Tirmidhi). Giving in charity enables one to be among the seven categories of people who will be protected under the shade of the Throne of Allah; regarding this, the Prophet sallallahu `alaihi wasallam said: “… and a man who gave charity so secretly that even his left hand would not know how much his right hand had spenta (Bukhaari & Muslim) also, “Charity given in secret extinguishes the wrath of Allaha. One of the best forms of charitable giving is to give someone a drink of water as the Prophet sallallahu `alaihi wasallam said: “The best form of charity is giving someone water (to drink)a (Ahmad, An Nasaaai and Ibn Maajah).

O slaves of Allah! One of the best deeds in these days is to initiate Hajj as a way of drawing closer to Allah and fasting the day of `Arafah for those who are not performing Hajj. Allah willing we will talk about the virtues of Hajj in another Khutbah. Offering a sacrificial animal is also one of the most virtuous deeds that one can perform. The Prophet sallallahu `alaihi wasallam said: “He who does not offer a sacrifice while being financially able to, let him not come close to our masjid (i.e. pray with us)a and he sallallahu `alaihi wasallam also said: “When the ten days (Thual-Hijjah) have begun and one of you intends to offer a sacrifice, then let him not cut any of his hair or remove anything from his skina (Muslim) in another narration he sallallahu `alaihi wasallam said: “Let him not cut anything from his hair or nails until he sacrificesa (Ad Daarimi).

These are examples of virtuous deeds, so take advantage of them; beware of laziness and neglect and know that Allah has favoured certain seasons over others, so let us take advantage of these opportunities and increase our righteous deeds; perhaps Allah will forgive us for our sins and shortcomings.

Friday Khutbah (11th April 2008): Adhering To The Quraan And Sunnah Is The Way To Salvation

Adhering To The Qurâ??aan And Sunnah Is The Way To Salvation
By Sh Salaah Al Budair – Imaam of Haram

These days, Islamic societies are being relentlessly attacked by Christianisation campaigns, impudent temptations and open war through misleading mass media controlled by callers to evil and corruption in order to westernise these societies and to divert them from their religion and path.

Indeed, the unbelieving nations live a disgraced life, suffer in infected sludge and move in moral and religious darkness. While some are alcoholics, others are addicted to music and another large number of them are enslaved by their lust. Their statutes are full of oppressive and unjust laws which they use to decide matters relating to their lives, chastity and properties.

“And he for whom Allaah has not appointed light for him there is no light.” (An Noor: 40).

However, it is very saddening that some Islamic societies have been affected by this westernisation so much so that it has attacked their established concepts, changed their customs, weakens their strength and destroys many aspects of their lives. Allaah says: “And they will never cease fighting you until they turn you back from your religion if they can.” (Al-Baqarah: 217).

Brothers in Islaam! There will be no religious stability nor actualisation of Divine promise or safety from retribution and calamities except by holding fast unto the Book of Allaah which He revealed to His Messenger; for that is real protection, the astounding evidence and the ever-illuminating light. It is a revelation that whenever it was revealed to the Prophet it weighed heavily on him, he would lower his head, his face would become morose and his forehead would sweat profusely. â??Aaâ??ishah said: “I have seen while he was been revealed to on a very cold day ad when the revelation ended, his forehead would sweat profusely.” He, himself, used to say: “Sometimes, revelation comes to me like a clattering of bell and that is the most trying experience I get when the revelation is being revealed to me. It would then leave me until I have comprehended the revelation.”

The Qurâ??aan is a great sign and a weighty Word. Allaah commanded His Prophet to hold fast unto it and never deviate from it. He says “Then We put you on a (plain) way of (Our) commandment. So follow you that and follow not the desire of those who know not.” (Al-Jaathiyah: 18).

The Prophet himself informed his nation that the only guidance lies in clinging unto the Qurâ??aan when he said: “I am leaving for you two things if you hold fast to them you will never get astray: The Book of Allaah and my Sunnah.”

His companions used to receive the Revelation with honour and acceptance. They would abide by its commandments, surrender to its judgment and guidance without hesitation or preference to other options. Ibn Buraidah narrated from his father that he said: “While we were sitting at our drinking place on the sand and we were three or four persons with a jug with us and drinking liquor for it was then lawful, then I left for the place of the Prophet and greeted him.

The verse that prohibited alcohol drinking was then revealed: “O you who believe! Intoxicants, Gambling, Al-Ansaab (i.e. animals that are slaughtered on stone-altars for idols) and Arrows (that are used for seeking luck or decision) are an abomination of the Satanâ??s handiwork. So avoid (strictly all) that in order that you may be successful. Satan wants only to excite enmity and hatred between you with intoxicants and gambling, and hinder you from the remembrance of Allaah and from Salaah (the Prayer). Will you then not abstain?” (Al-Maaâ??idah: 90-91).

I afterwards went to my companions and read the verse to them. One of them was holding his alcohol in his hand having drank some and the rest was still in his cup, but he turn the cup just below his upper lip. They all poured away what was in their jug and said: “We abstain, Our Lord! We abstain, Our Lord!”

The verse was revealed when they were holding their cups in their hands and it was the command of Allaah that prevented them from reaching their lips. Those who were holding cups of alcohol broke them and those who have taken a mouthful coughed it out. Containers of alcohol were broken in al-Madienah. Such is the commandment of Allaah. One should have no option except to submit and surrender to it.

Also, when Allaah revealed the verse: “O Prophet! Tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks (veils) all over their bodies.” (Al-Ahzaab: 59) the Ansaar women came out as if there were sieves on their heads because of their garments.”

Ibn `Abbaas also narrated another incident of the companionsâ?? total submission to the commandments of Allaah and His Messenger. He said: “The Messenger of Allaah saw a golden ring in the hand of a man so he pulled it off and threw it away and then said: “Will one of you knowingly take a burning charcoal and put it in his hand!” When the Messenger of Allaah left the scene, the man was told: â??Take your ring and make use of it (in something else)â??. The man replied: “No, by Allaah! I will never take it since the Messenger of Allaah has thrown it away.” (Muslim).

Fellow Muslims! The only safe way and protection from the trials and temptations of this age is fast adherence to the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of His Messenger and then the path of the righteous predecessors of this Ummah. That is the only way out of tribulations. Jundub Ibn Abdullah Al-Bajalee told the people of Basrah about the two revelations (the Qurâ??aan and Sunnah): “Hold fast unto the Qurâ??aan for it is the guidance during the day and light during the night. Take them into practice however hardship and poverty that may cause you. When any calamity befalls you sacrifice for it your money rather than your religion. If the calamity is beyond what your money can bear, sacrifice your blood for it, for the actual deprived person is the one deprived of his religion. There is no poverty after entrance into Hellfire.”

Huthaifie Ibn Yamaan told Aamir Ibn Mitr: “What will be your position if people take a single way and the Qurâ??aan takes another way?, which of the ways will you follow? He answered “I will be with the Qurâ??aan, die with it and be resurrected with it.”

Brothers in Faith! Hold fast unto this revelation sincerely you will be shown its effects in your deeds, sayings dealings and all your affairs and you will live a prosperous life and die for your religion and loyalties.

Let each and every one of us present himself before the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah and see whether he is among the obedient ones or among the negligent ones. Let everyone beware and reform himself. Hasan Al-Basrie said: “May Allaah have mercy on a slave who places himself and his deeds in front of the Book of Allaah, if his deeds are in accordance with the Book of Allaah he praises Allaah and asks Him for increase and if the deeds are contradictory to the Book of Allaah he rebukes himself and amends immediately.”

Fellow Muslims! You have in your possession an infinite treasure that is the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah but yet where are those who follow their injunctions? Where are those who submit themselves to them? Where are those who answer their call?

The Glorious Qurâ??aan has given us admonitions, warned us as the Prophet also warned against falling in the abyss of ignorance and disobedience. Were these admonitions useful for us? Everyday we pass on evenings and mornings a threat that frightens the hearts; are we heedful to this threat?

Abu Dardaaâ?? narrated that the Prophet said, “We were with the Messenger of Allaah one day , when he cast a look at the sky and said: This is a time in which knowledge will be withdrawn from people so much that they will not be able to withhold any thereof. Ziyaad Ibn Lubaid Al-Ansaarie then asked, â??O Messenger of Allaah! How can it be withdrawn from us while we recite the Qurâ??aan, for by Allaah, we read it as well as our wives and children.â?? The Prophet answered, â??O Ziyaad! I have been counting you among the knowledgeable people of Al-Madienah! Are these not Jews and Christians reading the Torah and Gospel with working with anything thereof?â?? (Ibn Maajah).

Some scholar commented on this Hadeeth and said, â??As their recitation of their book did not benefit them because of their non-practising of their injunctions, so also will be you.â??

Fellow Muslims! Attacking the texts of Qurâ??aan and Sunnah by dishonouring and desecrating them or feeling that it cannot fulfil the needs of ever-changing life or subjugating it or twisting it in order to make it fit the modern age in matters that some irreligious people wrongly feel that Islaam is the obstacle to their progress likes issue of equating women with men in every aspect of life, taking usury, perpetrating forbidden acts, exterminating the concept of enjoining what is good and forbidding what is evil and vice, giving the disbelievers opportunity to damp their ideological wastes in the name of literature, art, freedom of opinion and other issues that the texts of Islamic law has decided on as clearly and broadly as daylight. This attack may lead to this Ummah losing its identity, honour and religion which Allaah favours it with.

It is then incumbent on us, fellow Muslims, to honour the two revelations (i.e. the Qurâ??aan and Sunnah) in such a way that will prevent us from disobeying them or befriending those who deny them or keeping silent when they are attacked or laughed at what they contain. Whoever insults Allaah or His Messenger or dishonours them or says or does anything that explicitly ridicules them or makes jest with the religion (of Islaam), or dishonour the Qurâ??aan or desecrate it has become a disbeliever in what is revealed to the Messenger of Allaah and went out of the Fold of Islaam. The Prophet said, â??whoever apostates kill him!â??(Bukhaarie).

Dear Muslim! Fear Allaah as regards your religion into which He guided you and with which is by abstaining from all that contradict it or contaminated it., You should carry out your duty towards it in all your affairs in order to be saved from the threat that is in this verse, “And if you tune away (from Islaam and the obedience to Allaah), He will exchange you for some other people and they will not let your likes.” (Muhammad: 38).

Brothers in faith! Fear Allaah, be conscious of Him and do not disobey Him, â??O you who believe, fear Allaah and be always with the truthful.â?? (At Tawbah: 119).

Brothers in Islaam! The Prophet was compassionate with his Ummah. He is full of pity, kind and merciful to them. He feared for them ignominy and disgrace; and sins and disobedience. Abu Hurairah narrated that the Messenger of Allaah said, â??The likeness of me and my Ummah is like that of a man who kindled a fire, then when it lighted all around him butterflies and other flying insects keep on falling into it, while the man keeps on preventing them from falling into it. But they overpower him and fall into the fire. Such is the likeness of me and you. I am preventing you from falling into the fire and saying, â??Come away from the fire.â?? But you overpower me and insist on falling into it.â?? (Muslim).

Such is how the ignorant and the disobeying men with their sins and lusts will fall into hellfire on the Last Day in spite of the Prophetâ??s efforts in preventing them from doing so. They therefore will fall into fire because of their weak intelligence, just as the butterflies fall into the fire of this world, for both are striving to destroy themselves out of ignorance. So beware and be on guard before a day comes in which no good will it do to a person to believe then, if he believed not before not earned good through his faith.

Brothers in Islaam! Hold fast unto the rope of Allaah, even if people leave it and escape to Allaah from temptation of this age. The Prophet said, â??Verily, in front of you are days of patience. Being patient in those days will be like holding a live coal. Whoever does good deed then will have the reward of fifty men who work as he does. The companions asked, â??The reward of fifty men among them?â?? He answered, â??The reward of fifty men among you!â??

Ramadan Message from Mercy Mission and AlKauthar Institute

Last week I have received this email from Tawfique Chowdhury (director of the Mercy Mission and AlKauthar Institute).

Dear student and friend,

Assalamualiakum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu,

It is truly by Allah‘s immense blessings that we are alive for yet another Ramadan. Words cannot describe our gratitude to Allah and the joy in our hearts as we ease into this Month of Mercy. What an amazing time this month will be! A month of forgiveness and safety from the fire; a month in which there is a special dua that He accepts every day at the time of breaking our fast; a month in which we remember our poor and our brothers languishing in the depths of the prisons away from their families; where the wretched devils are chained; and the beautiful angels descend; where evil is destroyed and goodness prevails; a month of great victory for the ummah at the battle of Badr, the conquest of Makkah, the tremendous victory of the valiant Tariq bin Ziyad over the lands of Andalusia, the victory of brave Salahuddeen over the Crusaders, the victory of the gallant Salahudden Qutz and his Muslims knights in the plains of Ain Jalut in that epic battle over the Mongols – all of this in the month of divine help and glory: Ramadan; a month of devotion to Allah and prayers upon His noble Prophet; a month of friendship and love with our beloved ummah; a month of charity and Zakat and cleansing; a month of the Quran and wondering in its wisdoms; a month of journey every night into the gardens of prayer to a Lord that is delighted to see His slaves begging and asking for His bounty; a month with days of seclusion with Allah in the corners of His mosques to remember and remind us of the imminent seclusion in the belly of the grave; a month of the most powerful night of all when the angels descend with mighty Jibraeel alaihis salam to spread peace and tranquillity until the morn. What a shame that our non-Muslim colleagues fail to realise our sheer joy at the coming of this month. Truly, it is just as the pious predecessors used to say: The people of worship in their worship are more joyous than the people of frivolities in their playfulness.

I would like to take this opportunity to greet you, to congratulate you on the advent of Ramadan, to make my sincere dua for you, to express my deepest friendship and love for you and my sincere care and support for you and your families with the sincere hope that Allah makes this month a means to ease your worries, to replace it with goodness and transform your world into a Jannah in this life. May Allah give you what your heart desires and amaze you with His bounty and grace. Today, with the Ummah in the grips of wars and military aggression, earthquakes and natural disasters and a constant intellectual war on our way of life and our Islamic ethics and values – at a time like this, we are in need of a divine intervention. In times like this, Allah the most high has equipped us with a weapon more powerful than anything known to man. A weapon that we can use any time, where ever we may be, having unlimited ammunition and unlimited strength – it is the weapon of every believer: Dua. I urge you to use that divine weapon in this month; to fortify yourself from every evil and trial and use it to replace the honour and glory that is rightly for this Ummah. I ask Allah that He makes this a month of unity and strength and honour and glory and forgiveness and hope for you, me and all Muslims. Ameen.

My friends, the key to success in this Ramadan, will not be the performance of major deeds in some of the nights rather than others. It is and always will be the performance of those little things, but with precise regularity. Such will be the path to our spiritual revival, the means to have every gate of Jannah to bear our names and the way to making Allah amazed and content with us. It is in with this in mind that I have designed a list of activities and deeds that a Muslim should endeavour to do in Ramadan. If you stick to it and do as much of it as possible, then I have no doubt that you will qualify for being a true and exemplary believer. http://www.alkauthar.org/downloads/Ramadanchecklist.pdf

Also, in the last few months, Islam Channel in the UK was kind enough to film a series of heart warming lectures by myself in Europe’s first Muslim only graveyard – the Gardens of peace. The series will have started to show already on Islam Channel daily. I encourage you to make some time to see every episode in that series since I myself have been profoundly touched ever since I did that series in that amazing graveyard. I hope that it will help you to put your life in perspective and to realize that in the grand scale of our Journey to the Hereafter, we are only here for a fleeting time.

Lastly my friends, if there is anything at all that I can do to help you or to make Ramadan more enjoyable for you and more successful for you, then please do not deny me the honour of aiding you in it. Please don’t hesitate to email me if you wish, or use the forums for any non-personal issues and questions that you may have: http://forums.alkauthar.org I hope to see you again sometime soon inshaAllah.

Wassalamualaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu

Tawfique Chowdhury
DirectorMercy Mission and AlKauthar Institute
alkauthar.org

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Friday Khutbah (12-Jan-2007): Light & Darkness

“The person who takes a bath then comes to the group prayer (Friday Jummah/Khutbah), then offers the prayer that was destined for him, and then keeps silent till the Imam finishes the sermon, and then prays along with him, his sins between that time and the next Friday would be forgiven, and even of three days more” (Reported in Sahih Muslim, with similar hadiths in Abu Dawood,Ibn Majah, and Ahmad bin Hanbal).

â??When it is a Friday, the Angels stand at the gate of the mosque and keep on writing the names of the persons coming to the mosque in succession according to their arrivals. The example of the one who enters the mosque in the earliest hour is that of one offering a camel (in sacrifice). The one coming next is like one offering a cow and then a ram and then a chicken and then an egg respectively. When the Imam comes out (for Jummah prayer) the Angels fold their papers and listen to the Khutba. (Narrated in Bukhari and Muslim)

â??Whosoever recites Surah Al-Kahf on Friday will have a light illuminated for him between the two Fridaysâ? (Narrated by Nasaâ??i Bayhaqi & others)

Anyway….Subhan Allah the Khutbah today, as always was very good..very informative. The Imam talked about the concept of light and darkness (in the Qur’an), and how it applies to our lives as Muslims, both in this dunya, and in the Hereafter. In Surat An-Nur it’s described:

“…Light upon Light! Allah guides to His light whom He wills. And Allah sets forth parables for mankind, and Allah is All-Knower of Everything (24:35).”

“Or [the state of a disbeliever] is like the darkness in a vast deep sea, overwhelmed with waves topped by waves, topped by dark clouds, (layers of) darkness upon darkness: if a man stretches out his hand, he can hardly see it! And he for whom Allah has not appointed light, for him there is no light (24:40).”

This concept of light and darkness can be viewed as Heaven and Hell, it can be viewed as guidance and misguidance, or Success with Allah verses ‘success’ with shaytan. There are many ways to look at it, but the bottom line for us as Muslims, is to strive in Allah’s Cause, and reach for the light. How unlucky we’d be if we were (or are) among those who are in the darkness. SO, what can we do to stay away from this darkness? the Imam said foremost: let not shaytan influence you. You can choose to be amongst those who Iblis influences, or you can be amongst those who follow the Word of Allah [swt]:

“(Iblis) said: “By Your Might, then I will surely mislead them all, Except Your chosen slaves amongst them (i.e. faithful, obedient, true believers of Islamic Monotheism) (38:82-83)”

“(Iblis) said: “See this one whom You have honoured above me, if You give me respite to the Day of Resurrection, I will surely seize and mislead his offspring (by sending them astray) all but a few! (17:62)”

“(Iblis) said: “Because you have sent me astray, surely I will sit in wait against them (human beings) on Your Straight Path. Then I will come to them from before them and behind them, from their right and from their left, and You will not find most of them as thankful ones (i.e. not be dutiful to Allah Ta’aala) (7:16-17).”

Allah has a plan for us all, and if we are amongst those chosen to stay in the Path of Allah, then that’s what will happen. This doesn’t mean that we don’t have to work for it though, because shaytan still has the power to influence those who forget about Allah. Anything associated with Shaytan is definitely NOT good for us as Muslims. If we associate ourselves with Haraam things or situations, then we are associating ourselves with shaytan…if we associate ourselves with the disbelievers, then we are associating ourselves with shaytan. The Qur’an clearly tells us to stay away from these things and these types of people, yet we still (not excluding myself) continue on in this manner. I find this ayat to be EXTREMELY IMPORTANT!!::

“O you who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians as Auliya (friends, protectors, helpers) they are but Auliya of each other. And if any amongst you take them (as Auliya), then surely he is one of them. Verily, Allah guides not those pople who are the Zalimun (5:51).”

It is stated SO clearly, that I find it impossible to disregard the message. I know how hard it is to understand or apply it to our lives (especially since many of us live in a place dominated by non-Muslims). I feel it personally, especially since my own blood family is Christian. My mother, who converted from Christianity, has a relgious Christian family. My own half brother and half sister are Christians (my grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles, neices, etc.) I love them very much, and it’s hard to know that I cannot change their beliefs. Also, my friends….the majority of them are non-Muslims, so what am I to do in that situation? I don’t think I can completely disregard all of them, but I can just try my best to keep these relationships very basic. What is most important to me, is what Allah Commands, and He knows what is best for all of us. I guess the message is not to let this life get the best of you. Ask Allah to always make you remember Him, and to remind you of what your purpose in this life is (that is to worship Him Alone, and to spread the Word of Islam in a manner that pleases Allah). Once again, easier said than done, but as Muslims, I think it’s so important that we stay close together–this way we’re not influenced by the Mushrikun, and that we become more knowledgeable, and worship Allah in a more perfect manner. If our Ummah was united, I think it would be easier to apply the teachings of Islam to our lives, because we would only be surrounded by other Muslims who would be trying to do the same thing. It’s hard…but of course, Allah did not intend that we lead an easy life, and enter Paradise just like that. This is our calling..our Jihad: to live life in accordance to the teachings of Islam, no matter how many obstacles stand in our way, and no matter how impossible it may seem. Also, we can’t just pick and choose the parts that we feel apply to our lives. If we submit ourselves as Muslims, we have to submit completely and whole heartedly–submit our entire self: mind, body and soul, and live our lives exactly how Allah has prescribed for us. It may take time to do that, but we should all be on that road, attempting to change our lives–tweak out the bad and find goodness in Islam and Allah’s Straight Path Insha Allah.

Ameen Ya Raab

source: halabissa‘s journal

The Greatest Ten Days of This World…

Image of the ka'aba in Makkah.
Image via Wikipedia

What is the significance of the first ten days of Dhul Hijja?

  1. Allah honored them when he swears an oath by them in the Qur’an as well, and swearing an oath by something is indicative of its importance and great benefit.Allah says 89-1/2 (By the dawn; by the 10 nights). Ibn Abbas, Ibn al-Zubayr, Mujahid and others of the earlier and later generations said that this refers to the first ten days of Dhul Hijjah. Ibn Katheer said: “This is the correct opinion.”
  2. Allah completed our religion in our of its days, the day of Arafa, as He revealed to the Prophet peace be upon him: 5-3 (This day have I perfected your religion for you, completed My favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion.) It was a Friday and the Prophet peace be upon him was standing on mount Arafa.
  3. These ten days are the completion of the forty days that Allah appointed for Musa peace be upon him, Allah says: 7-143 (We appointed for Musa thirty nights, and completed (the period) with ten (more): thus was completed the term (of communion) with his Lord, forty nights.) Ibn kathir may Allah have mercy on him said: â??The scholars of tafseer have different opinions on the meaning of these ten days. The majority are of the opinion that the thirty days are the month of Dhul Qiada and the ten are the first of Dhul Hijja; Mujahid, Masrouq, and Ibn Jarij said this, it was also related to Ibn Abbas and others.
  4. These ten days complete the months of Hajj 2-197 (For Hajj are the months well-known. If any one undertakes that duty therein, let there be no obscenity, nor wickedness, nor wrangling in the Hajj and whatever good ye do, (be sure) Allah knoweth it.)
  5. These ten days are the appointed days that Allah prescribed for us to celebrate His name for the blessings He has bestowed upon us. Allah says: 22-28 (That they may witness the benefits (provided) for them, and celebrate the name of Allah, through the Days Appointed, over the cattle which He has provided for them.) Ibn Rajab may Allah have mercy on him said: “The majority of scholars agree that the ‘appointed days’ are the first ten days of Dhul Hijjah”.
  6. Good deeds in these ten days are more beloved to Allah than in the rest of the year. The Prophet peace be upon him said: â??There are no days during which good deeds are more beloved to Allah than these days; meaning the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah. They inquired: Not even Jihad in the cause of Allah? He said: Not even Jihad in the cause of Allah, unless one goes out for Jihad sacrificing both his life and property and returning with neither.
  7. These days are the greatest days of the year. The Prophet peace be upon him said: “The greatest days of the World are (these) ten days”  Ibn Rajab may Allah have mercy on him said: “The apparent reason for the preference of the ten days of Dhul Hijja is that it all the main form of worship are performed in it; Prayer, Fasting, Zakah, and Hajj, and this does not happen in any other days”.
  8. These ten days are in the sacred months (The sacred months are Dhul Qiada, Dhul Hijja, Muharam, and Ragab.) 9-36 (The number of months in the sight of Allah is twelve (in a year), so ordained by Him the day He created the heavens and the earth; of them four are sacred: that is the straight usage. So wrong not yourselves therein)
  9. It has the day of Arafa in it. The Messenger of Allah peace be upon him said: “There is no day when Allah sets free more servants from Hell than the Day of Arafah. He draws near, then praises them to the angels, saying: What do these seek?”
  10. It has the day of Nahr. The Prophet peace be upon him said: “This is the greatest Day (i.e. 10th of Dhul Hijjah).”

What should we do in these days?

  1. Making remembrance of Allah, this is general, all kinds of dhikr, reading Quran, making salah and salam on the Prophet peace be upon him, Allah says: 22-28 (and celebrate the name of Allah, through the Days Appointed). There is also specific dhikr which should be done in these days, the Prophet peace be upon him said: “There is no day more honorable in Allah’s sight and no acts more beloved therein to Allah than those in these ten days. So say tahlil (There is no deity worthy of worship but Allah : La ilaha illAllah ), takbir (Allah is the greatest : Allahu Akbar) and tahmid (All praise is due to Allah : alhamdulillah) a lot [on those days].” Ibn Umar and Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with them) used to go out to the marketplaces during the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah and recite out loud the takbeer and people would repeat it after them. It is commended to recite them out loud (women should do it silently) in marketplaces, at homes, roads, mosques and elsewhere.
  2. Fasting the first nine days (the tenth day is the day of eid, and you are not allow to fast this day) especially the day of Arafa (the ninth day). It was related by the wives of the Prophet may Allah be pleased with them that the Prophet peace be upon him used to fast all of these nine days. The Prophet peace be upon him said: â??Any slave of Allah who observes fast of a day in the cause of Allah, Allah would separate between him and the Fire a distance of seventy years on account of observing that day. The Prophet also said about fasting the day of Arafa: “I expect Allah to expiate the sins that were committed during the preceding year, and the sins that will be committed in the year after”.
  3. Praying at night (qiyam). Saeid ibn jubair may Allah have mercy on him used to say: “do not turn out your lights during the ten night”, and he would do acts of worship until he was barely able to do any more.
  4. Sacrificing and slaughter of an animal on the 10th day of Dhul Hijjah. Some scholars say this is Wajib, but the jimhoor (vast majority) say it is Sunnah Mu’akadah (important sunnah). When you sacrifice you say “bismillah Allahu akbar Allahuma 3any wa3an ahl baity” (“In the name of Allah – Allahu akbar – oh Allah this is for me and my family.”) Reputable scholars all agree that doing the sacrifice is better than giving its equivalent, because sacrifice is a worship in and of itself. A leader of the household can sacrifice for himself and for his dependants such as children, women and men like the sahabah and salaf used to do. One planning on sacrificing should not cut his hair or nails until sacrifice is complete. This only applies to the head of the house who is paying for the sacrifice and not his dependants. It is not requested that you do it by hand however that is the best, you may oversee the sacrifice as well or if unable give the power to someone to do this for you. The sacrifice should be done after ‘Eid prayer and you have until three days after, the Prophet peace be upon him ordered those who sacrificed before prayer to do it again.
  5. The Muslim must make sure to observe Eid prayer in its designated place, and attend the khutbah of the Eid. Makhnaf ibn Seleem, who is counted as a companion, said: â??Going out to the prayer of the day Fitr is equivalent to (doing) Umrah and going out to the prayer of the day of Addha is equivalent to (doing) Hajj.
  6. One should generally try to do more good deeds and try to stop the evil deeds. Here are some examples of deeds that you can do: The Prophet peace be upon him said: “Whoever walks to a prescribed prayer in congregation it is like (doing) one Hajj” he also said “He who observed the Isha in congregation it was a if he prayed until the middle of the night and he who observes Fajr in congregation it is as if has prayed the whole night” he also said “A person can attain with his good manners the levels of the one who fasts (everyday) and stands (all night praying)”.
  7. Performing Hajj and Umrah, which are the best of all observances. Its excellence is signified by many Prophetic traditions. The Prophet peace be upon him said: “Performing Umrah and following it with another expiates sins that are committed in between. And the perfect Hajj would be rewarded with nothing other than Jannah”. He also said: “Whoever performs hajj to this Ka’ba and does not approach his wife for sexual relations nor commit sins (while performing hajj), he will come out as sinless as a new-born child, (just delivered by his mother)”.

These ten days will start on Thursday or Friday insha Allah. May Allah help us to use these days the best way we can, and may He accept from us our deeds and forgive our shortcomings.

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