Forty-three days since the departure of the blessed month of Ramadan. Since those days, many of us have experienced the “Ramadan blues”.
A slave of Allah might have felt distant from Allah to the point where you have asked yourself, “When was the last time I have felt Khūshoo’ in my Salah? Or even prayed on time since Ramadan ended. When was the last time I opened the book of Allah and pondered upon just one verse? When was the last time I have fasted voluntarily since Ramadan or stretched my hand out in Sadaqah?”
These are questions that should encourage us to come with actions but more often can cloud your heart to the point of helplessness. You know what to do but don’t feel worthy of taking that step back to Allah. But, out of Allah’s mercy and kindness He brings us countless opportunities to come back to Him. Among those opportunities are the Blessed days of Dhul hijjah.
Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala mentions these virtuous days in His Qur’an and He Says:
“By the dawn,
And by the ten nights.”
[Surah al-Fajr, Ayah 1-2]
Ten days and nights so virtuous that Allah Himself has sworn by them. Ten days and nights in which righteous deeds are more beloved to Allah than any other day or night.
The Prophet peace and blessing be upon him said: “There are no deeds more pure to Allah nor greater in reward to Allah than good deeds performed in the days of sacrificing.”
In another narration, “There are no greater days to Allah and no deed more beloved to him than that done in these ten days, so increase in them your declaration of the oneness of Allah, your exaltation of Him ,and your praise of Him.”
[Musnad Imam Ahmed 5423]
How can the clouded heart not find clarity after Allah grants us opportunities to rectify ourselves? Opportunities that guide us closer to Him every moment of our lives. So glad tidings to us all! These days are fast approaching us and we have a little over two weeks to prepare for these blessed days. Let’s observe ways in which we can maximize the benefit of these ten days.
Hunaydah Ibn Khalid reported: Some of the wives of the Prophet said that he (the Prophet peace and blessing be upon him ) would fast the first 9 days of Dhul Hijjah.
[Sunan Abi Dawud 2437]
Compared to the thirty days we have only just gone through in Ramadan, nine days should be achievable, and as Muslims our goal to be the best we can be should always be in accordance to striving to follow the way of our Prophet. Fasting on Arafah, the 9th day of Dhul Hijjah, is a great example of this. In fact, the Prophet, peace and blessing be upon him, would tell his companions that the Day of Arafah alone would atone for the sins of the previous year and the next.
Abu Qatadah narrates from our beloved Prophet peace and blessing be upon him that he was asked about fasting on the day of Arafah, he said ‘It expiates the sins of the preceding year and the coming year’
While there are many other ways to take advantage of these days, one essential part of receiving the benefit of this time is repenting, supplicating and asking Allah for forgiveness.The Day of Arafah is a day when Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala frees many of His servants from the Hellfire.
The Prophet, peace and blessing be upon him, tells us again in a hadith narrated by Tirmidhi:
“The best supplication is the one made on the day of Arafah, and the best supplication in which I and the Prophets before me have made was:
لاَ إِلَهَ إِلا الله وَحدَهُ لا شَرِيكَ لَه، لَهُ المُلْك وَلَهُ الحَمْدُ وَهُوَ عَلَىٰ كُل شَيءٍ قَدِير
There is no God but Allah, He is One, without a partner, to Him belongs the dominion and all praises and He is Omnipotent over all things.”
How beautiful is Allah’s mercy, when He allows us to reach such a day!
So you see my dear sisters and brothers, our Lord knows what we long for when we feel such a way. He grants us endless chances. He knows that feeling of despair that deceives us into distancing ourselves from His mercy, so He tells us to not lose hope in His mercy. The truth is Allah is Ar-Rahman the All Merciful and Ar-Raheem the Especially Merciful. He tells us He is near when we call unto Him and that He loves those who turn to Him. What is stopping us from attaining His divine love for us?
We must remember to never lose hope. Just like the sunlight shines its way throughout the sky after a rainfall, we too will always find our way back to Allah. And just like the barren tree eventually grows its leaves, we too understand that everything good takes place in just a matter of time. So intend to seize the best ten days of the year, to increase the feeling of light and life in your heart.