Dear brothers, in the upcoming week we are entering the month of Dhul-Hijjah.
This is the month in which the Hajj is performed by millions of Muslims all over the world and followed by Eid. It is also the month that has great blessings associated with it in the lead up to Hajj.
The Prophet SAWS said in regards to the start of this month:
There are no days on which righteous deeds are more beloved to Allah than these ten days.
When they replied to the Prophet SAWS – Not even jihad for the sake of Allah?
He SAWS replied back to them – Not even jihad for the sake of Allah, unless a man goes out for himself for jihad, taking his wealth with him and does not come back with anything.
Dear brothers, if we analyse the hadith, it clearly demonstrates to us the blessing that Allah SWT has bestowed upon us in the coming days.
As Muslims, we are so blessed because time and time again we are given the opportunity to earn His pleasure. Opportunity after opportunity is given to us to bank our deeds for the eternal life after this temporary existence ends for us all.
We can be of those who Allah SWT mentions in the former group when Allah SWT talks of His mercy in Sura Maryam:
Then We will save those who feared Allah and leave the wrongdoers within it, on their knees.
Dear brothers, then the objective becomes clear. What better way than to step up a gear for ten days of Dhul-Hijjah?
What follows then are 3 things we can do to make these 10 days count for us and make us of those who are the subject of Allah SWT’s mercy.
Number one is prayer. It is highly recommended to perform the obligatory acts at their prescribed times (which means as early as possible) and to increase oneself in the bonus or sunnah acts, for indeed, this is what brings a person closer to their Lord.
The second thing we can do in this month, dear brothers, is to perform voluntary act of Fasting. Unlike the month of Ramadhan, fasting outside of the month is a different experience altogether so aim to start with just one and work towards the Sunnah of fasting often outside of the month of Ramadhan.
And lastly, the third act that we can all do is Zhikr or remembrance of Allah SWT. Dear brothers, this is the easiest act for us to do but potentially the most rewarding.
For example, the daily commute to study or work can be spent saying Allahu akbar, Alhamdullilah or La Illaha Illallah under your breath. We don’t need fancy counter apps, gadgets or even a tasbih.
The aim here isn’t to clock the x number of times we are reciting these words or phrases. Instead the aim here should be one of time spent remembering Allah SWT.
Recite slowly and deliberately and focus on the meanings behind reciting the words as this will be more beneficial in the weight of the deed and the effect it has on the heart.
Having the heart testify Allahu Akbar meaning Allah SWT is the greatest or Alhamdullilah meaning Praise be to Allah SWT or La illaha illallah meaning there is no God but Allah SWT will serve to add great reward to your deeds as well as improve your heart, mind and your day.
Dear brothers, we are consumed by the life with which we are given. We are all striving to work for our afterlife with distractions in every facet of our lives. But with this life comes moments of blessings that ease the hardships.
These coming ten days is one of those moments. We can make our every day efforts count so much more so let’s strive to give it an extra effort in the 10 days of Dhul Hijjah with one or all of the 3 things mentioned.
May Allah SWT instill into our hearts the blessing of this time. May Allah SWT hasten our forgiveness with Him. And May Allah SWT reward us for the efforts in these 10 days.
Ameen wal hamdullilahi rabilalameen.