there are many blessings that are bestowed on us by Allah SWT throughout the
year. And one of these is beginning this coming week with the beginning of the
month of Dhul-Hijjah.
is a blessed month in which there are many references from the Quran and Sunnah
in it’s blessing. One of these was referenced by the imam today in Sura 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.
also know that the Prophet SAWS regarded this month as a blessing as is apparent
from this hadith in which he is reported to have said:
“There are no days in this world
during which worship is more beloved to Allah, Glorious is He, than the (first)
ten days (of Dhul- Hijjah). Fasting one of these days is equivalent to fasting
for one year, and one night of them is equal to Lailatul-Qadr.”
Dear brothers, we ought to make the most of this month and
specifically over the first ten days of the month. This reminder concludes with
3 things we can do in this blessed month.
- We should aim to remember Allah SWT more so in
these 10 days. Let’s try and increase our dhikr and our optional prayers so
that we take full beneft from this blessed time.
- We should aim to fast optional fasts in this month,
especially the day of Arafah which we will remind next week insh’Allah.
- We should aim to give takbir and glorify Allah
SWT. The Prophet SAWS educated us in this by telling us:
“When you get up in the
morning, charity is due from every one of your joints. There is charity in
every ascription of glory to Allah; there is charity in every declaration of
His Greatness; there is charity in every utterance of praise of Him; there is
charity in every declaration that He is the only true God (worthy of worship);
there is charity in enjoining good; there is charity in forbidding evil. Two
Rak’ah of Duha (Forenoon prayer) is equal to all this (in reward)”.
Dear brothers, it is with the blessing of Allah SWT that we
are able to visit the massajids again. Slowly we are beginning to see life
return to a sense of what we were used to. Let us not be complacent of this
blessing. This month is a great opportunity to give thanks and show gratitude
to He who is in control of everything that we are experiencing around us. We
are entering a month of blessing, lets ensure we reap the maximum blessing from
it through our actions.
Dear brothers and sisters, it is with Allah SWT’s blessings that all of our days are not the same, and that there are many blessed days and times that we can worship with added rewards, or increase in status, or forgiveness of bad deeds. And it is truly the one who is blessed and successful who benefits from these gifts
The imam mentioned a hadith in which the Prophet SAWS said:
Strive to do good all your life, but be ready for Allah’s gifts, as He has gifts that comes from his mercy to give to whomever he wishes from his slaves, and ask Him to cover you and remove your fear.
Dear brothers and sisters, although we live a short life, we have been given great blessings and opportunities in our lives, as if these actions once taken it ‘extends’ a life – for example a thousand months worship in one night as mentioned in the Quran for the night in Ramadan.
And just like this, we have a blessed time in this month and that is the first 10 nights of this month as is mentioned to us by scholars. It is said this is the period mentioned in the first ayats of Sura Al-Fajr as is sworn on by Allah SWT.
Alongside this, we know that the blessing of this period of the year is attributed to the Hajj being performed as well as the sacrifice/Qurbani that is done.
We also know that this is the period in which our religion was completed, i.e. the day of Arafa.
In fact, the most blessed of days is the day of Arafah, a blessed day in which millions will be performing and completing their Hajj this year insh’Allah.
However, for us non-Hajis, the blessing of this day is also available in the form of the forgiveness of sins as is mentioned in the hadith relayed to us by the imam.
It is translated to say that the Prophet SAWS said:
“Fast the Day of Arafah, for indeed I anticipate that Allah will forgive (the sins) of the year after it, and the year before it.”
And so, if it is difficult to fast in any of these days, we should aim to fast on the day of Arafa in order to benefit from this blessing from Allah SWT.
We shouldn’t forget also, alongside the fasting on the day of Arafa, is the blessing of the supplications made to Allah SWT on this day. The Prophet SAWS is reported to have said:
“The best of supplication is the supplication of the Day of `Arafah. And the best of what I and the Prophets before me have said is: None has the right to be worshipped but Allah, Alone, without partner, to Him belongs all that exists, and to Him belongs the Praise, and He is powerful over all things.
And so we conclude with 5 practical tips to make the most of this period.
- Increase in Good deeds. This is the time to step it up a gear. The imam relayed a hadith in relation to this which says the Prophet SAW said:
“There are no days in which righteous deeds are more beloved to Allah than those ten days.” They said: “O Messenger of Allah! Not even Jihad in Allah Cause?” The Messenger of Allah said: “Not even Jihad in Allah’s Cause, unless a man were to out with his self and his wealth and not return from that with anything.”
- Pray all fard prayers in the masjid and in first row if possible. Alongside this, increase in the Sunnah prayers as to maximise the reward for the period we are in.
- As mentioned before, we should use this time to fast as much as possible for the sake of Allah SWT. And at the very least during the day of Arafa
- We should be as charitable as possible during this time. The imam mentioned a hadith in relation to this which translated to say:
Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “If one give in charity what equals one date-fruit from the honestly earned money and Allah accepts only the honestly earned money –Allah takes it in His right (hand) and then enlarges its reward for that person (who has given it), as anyone of you brings up his baby horse, so much s that it becomes as big as a mountain.
- We should aim to increase our dhikr or remembrance of Allah SWT. Whether this is through increase in supplication or through some other act of worship, this is the time to remember Him as He has blessed us with a great reward in these 10 days.
Dear brothers and sisters, we can see that we have now entered a blessed time of the year and next week we will be in the midst of preparing for this blessed day of Arafa as well as preparation for the festival of Eid. However, we mustn’t lose sight of the reward we can gain between now and then as we are now in the blessed period as mentioned in today’s reminder.
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.
Dear brothers, as mentioned in last week’s khutba, we are now in the month of Dhul-Hijjah.
As mentioned previously, this is the month in which the Hajj is performed by millions of Muslims all over the world and followed by Eid.
We also mentioned last week how the Prophet SAWS spoke of the first ten days of this month leading up to Eid and that specifically they are days in which good deeds are worth more to Allah SWT.
That being said, it is worth mentioning the following ayat from Sura Al-An’am in which Allah SWT encourages us even more with the following:
Whoever comes [on the Day of Judgement] with a good deed will have ten times the like thereof [to his credit], and whoever comes with an evil deed will not be recompensed except the like thereof; and they will not be wronged.
Dear brothers, if we analyse the ayat we can see the mercy of Allah SWT in granting us ten times the reward for our good deeds. If we then transpose that onto the next week then we have great potential for earning His pleasure.
And in these blessed days we have the gem of which is the day of Arafa. This is the 9th day of Dhul Hijjah and it is the day in which pilgrims of Hajj gather on the mountain plain of Arafa, praying and supplicating to Allah SWT.
The day of Arafa also holds great importance in Islam because this is the day when Allah SWT completed his revelation on his messenger SAWS. It was on the day of Arafat when the following verse from Sura Al-Maidah was revealed:
This day I have perfected your religion for you, completed my favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion.
Dear brothers, the day of Arafa is a profound day. For those of us who have been blessed with performing the Hajj pilgrimage, it invokes images and emotions that are simply out of this world.
For those of us yet to embark upon the pilgrimage Insh’Allah, the day of Arafa is now something we can witness through live broadcasts on the Islamic television channels.
But we must all be mindful of the fact that the virtues of Arafa are not reserved for pilgrims only. They are of benefit to all muslims.
We are also able to achieve great reward and pleasure from our Lord on this blessed day. And so, dear brothers, with the blessed day but a week away, here is a three step guide to spending the day of Arafa:
- Fast. Our beloved Prophet SAWS recommended non-pilgrims to fast on this blessed day as it removes the sins of the past year and the sins of the upcoming year.
Dear brothers, what greater incentive do we need here? To fast next Friday for just under 13 hours will remove two years’ worth of sins.
- Pray. Try to perform even 2 units of obligatory prayer. Remember, this is the day in which the deeds weigh heavy and what is an extra 2 minutes or so in front of your Lord in comparison?
- Supplicate. There is no better day to ask from your Lord than this day. Just imagine dear brothers, you have fasted on the day of Arafat, performed obligatory prayers during your fast and on the moment you open your fast you ask of your Lord. Wouldn’t you want that moment for you, your family and your afterlife?
The Prophet SAWS said:
The best of dua is on the day of Arafa, and the best of what I have said and the prophets before me is: La Illaha Il’Allah, Wahdaho La Shareekalah, Laho Almulk, Wa Laho Alhamid, Wa huwa ala kuli Sha’in Qadeer.
Dear brothers, this is translated as There is no Lord worthy of worship except Allah, and has no partners, has the ownership, has the praise, and is able and capable of everything.
Try to use this dua if you can but remember above all to request from Him on this day even it is in English, Urdu or Kurdish.
May Allah SWT instill into our hears the value of these days. May Allah SWT enable us to fast on the 9th of Arafa and May Allah SWT accept our supplications and efforts on the day of Arafa.
Ameen wal hamdullilahi rabilalameen.
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.
The Islamic calendar is based upon the year our beloved Prophet Muhammed SWS and his companions emigrated to the city of Medina from their home town of Mecca.
This took place in 622 according to the western calendar and so there is a difference between the western calendar and the Islamic calendar in terms of years passed.
The emigration that took place was as a result of 13 years of persecutions from the disbelievers residing in Mecca.
This event marked the second phase of the Islamic movement and it is the phase when Medinah became centre of an Islamic state.
Besides the year difference, there is also a fundamental difference in the calculation of the Islamic calendar. Unlike the western calendar, it is lunar.
Each month in the calendar begins when the new moon is sightable by the unaided naked eye. As Muslims, we are obligated to sight the new moon in every country.
Allah SWT mentions this in the Glorious Quran in Sura At-Tawbah, ayat 36:
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 (i.e. way), so do not wrong yourselves during them.
My brothers, from this ayat, it is clear to see that the Islamic calendar is more than just a form of timekeeping. Allah SWT clearly outlines the objectives He places upon each and every one of us during certain times of the year.
Our beloved Prophet Muhammed SWS, mentioned the four sacred months in his farewell pilgrimage as narrated in the following Bukhari hadith:
“O People, Time has gone back to how it was at the time Allah created the heavens and the earth. A year has twelve months, four of which are sacred, three consecutive: Dhul-Qi’dah, Dhul-Hijjah, Muharram and Rajab.
As we look through the Quran and Teachings of Prophet Muhammed SWS, we are taught to respect and honour what Allah SWT and his messenger SWS honoured. These sacred months are a time for us to reflect on our lives, exert ourselves in extra worship and ask Allah SWT for His forgiveness.
Allah SWT mentions this specifically in Sura Al-Maidah, ayat 2:
“O you who have believed, do not violate the rights of Allah or the sanctity of the sacred month.”
And again in Sura At-Tawbah, ayat 36:
“So do not wrong yourselves during them (i.e. the sacred months)”
My brothers, Rajab is especially important for us as it reminds us that we are ever closer to the month of Ramadan. We can best prepare for it and respect the sacred months by performing prayers other than the mandatory prayers, fasting other than the mandatory fasts and giving above and beyond the mandatory charity of Zakat. If nothing else, then use these months to reflect upon oneself more and to increase in ones dialogue with Allah SWT.
May Allah SWT make us remember the sacred months. May Allah SWT make us better slaves in the sacred months. And may Allah SWT reward us for our efforts during these months.
Ameen wal hamdullilahi rabilalameen.