All praise is due to Allah (SWT). Peace and blessings upon our beloved prophet (SAWS) his family and his companions.
Dear brothers and sisters, life is a balance between working for this world and living your life and working for the afterlife as that is what this life is all about. We should be acutely aware of delaying the care for the afterlife, as death is in front of each and every one of us.
Life has a tendency to surprise us and so to protect one from all of this is to depend on Allah SWT and to race to do good.
This is especially true in these special days as we are now all present in the most important days in the calendar year, it’s the month in which Muslims all over the world will perform the Hajj pilgrimage.
Dear brothers and sisters, in this week we have heard of friends or relatives who have been fortunate enough to have been blessed with going to perform Hajj this year. We wish each and every one of them a successful Hajj and pray that their Hajj is accepted and that they reap the benefits of it in this life and the next.
However, it is easy to overlook this month when we are not the ones going to perform it. After all, especially in this country, unless we are watching the live presentations on TV, it is not apparent that we are in a special time of year.
This is a test for all of us. We need to remind ourselves that it does not matter how much status and wealth we acquire, the invitation to perform Hajj comes from Allah SWT alone and so we should make this an opportunity to step up our worship in the hope that we are invited to the house of Allah SWT in the future.
Our care and duty towards our worship of Allah SWT should not diminish by not attending Hajj. In fact, we ought to use this as an opportunity to step up the worship and good deeds in the days ahead.
The Imam referenced the following ayat from the Glorious Quran when he spoke of this month and in particular the 10 days of this month leading up to the festival of Eid.
He spoke of Sura Al Hajj, ayat 28 which is translated to say:
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.
Dear brothers and sisters, Allah SWT has specified this month as the month of pilgrimage and it is the month is which pilgrims gather from all over the world to visit the sacred house of Allah in Mecca.
This is backed up also by hadith in which it is reported that the Prophet SAWS said:
There are no days better with Allah SWT than the 10 days
Dear brothers and sisters, it is clear from the references given that this is an important time in the year for us all but as those who are not performing the Hajj pilgrimage, what can we do to make the most of these times?
What follows then are 7 things that we can all do in this time to make the most out of it.
Read Quran – This is something that we all ought to have part of our daily routine but if not then there is no better time than these 10 days to begin and gain the extra reward.
Remembrance of Allah – This can be from extensive zikr to simply manageable tasks such as reciting Bismillah before each and any task.
Supplication – What better time than now to ask of your Lord? Now is the time to reconnect with Allah SWT and ask of Him for your life and hereafter needs.
Send salaam on the Prophet SAWS – This is a great habit to begin and no better time than now. All it takes is the memorization of a small sentence but one that weigh heavily in your favour with Allah SWT.
Night prayers – It is said that the most virtuous prayer after the obligatory prayers is that during the depths of the night. This isn’t as hard as you may think because all it requires is that you wake up slightly earlier than the start time for Fajr and pray the night prayer.
Fasting – The aim here is to try and fast in the days leading up to Eid but at the very least if you are able to do so then fast on the day of Arafat.
The Prophet SAWS was asked about fasting on this day and in hadith it has mentioned the following reward for those who are not performing hajj but fast on the day of Arafat:
It will forgive the year before and the year after
Dear brothers and sisters, as you can see then the incentive for fasting on this day is great so let’s mark that day in our diary in the forthcoming week.This year it falls on a Thursday!
Good deeds – And lastly, if nothing else then spend these times stepping up on good deeds. Interaction with family, parents, colleagues and non-Muslims. This is the time to step up a gear and earn the extra reward.
Dear brothers and sisters, we have been blessed with the opportunity to experience these days once again this year. Let’s make the most of them so that we can be of those who remembered the best days in this world.
May Allah SWT enable us to make use of these 10 days. May Allah SWT enable us to carry out the good actions in these 10 days and may Allah SWT reward us for our good actions in these 10 days.