In the Footsteps of Giants

July 11, 2021

And ˹remember˺ when Abraham raised the foundation of the House with Ishmael, ˹both praying,˺ “Our Lord! Accept ˹this˺ from us.

You are indeed the All-Hearing, All-Knowing.

Our Lord! Make us both ˹fully˺ submit to You and from our descendants a nation that will submit to you. Show us our rituals [of worship], and turn to us in grace. You are truly the Acceptor of Repentance, Most Merciful.

Our Lord! Raise from among them a messenger who will recite to them Your revelations, teach them the Book and wisdom, and purify them. Indeed, You ˹alone˺ are the Almighty, All-Wise.”

And who would reject the faith of Abraham except a fool! We certainly chose him in this life, and in the Hereafter he will surely be among the righteous.

When his Lord ordered him, “Submit ˹to My Will˺,” he responded, “I submit to the Lord of all worlds.”

This was the advice of Abraham—as well as Jacob—to his children, ˹saying˺, “Indeed, Allah has chosen for you this faith; so do not die except in ˹a state of full˺ submission.”

[Surah al-Baqarah, 127-132]

In these best ten days, we worship. Following a path set before us by those far greater than us, we walk in the footsteps of giants. It was Ibrahim who laid the foundation for the final pillar of our religion – Hajj, by the establishment of the Sacred House in Mecca. We follow in Ibrahim and Ismail’s path, may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon them both.

What an honoured and noble household was the household of Ibrahim, all of its members, men and women alike, and their stories were directly mentioned by Allah in His Qur’an and by our Prophet in his Sunnah. It is their worship we emulate, their sacrifice we imitate and their household that we learn about the perfection of faith.

In their stories there is truly a lesson for people of reason. This message cannot be a fabrication, rather ˹it is˺ a confirmation of previous revelation, a detailed explanation of all things, a guide, and a mercy for people of faith.

[Surah Yusuf, 111]

In these days, our religion was perfected by Allah. In them we combine all the good deeds associated with the pillars of our faith: we pray, we fast, we give in charity, we remember Allah with a great remembrance and testify to His worship, and for those of us who are honoured with an invitation, we make Hajj.

“…This day those who disbelieve have despaired of [defeating] your religion; so fear them not, but fear Me. This day I have perfected for you your religion and completed My favor upon you and have approved for you Islām as religion.”

[Surah al-Ma’idah, 3]

Allah has honoured the followers of Islam with times of worship unlike any other nation before us, where the fasting of one day erases the sins of the last year and also the year ahead, where the reward of each and every act done in this time is multiplied and beloved.

He is the One Who made the sun a radiant source and the moon a reflected light, with precisely ordained phases, so that you may know the number of years and calculation ˹of time˺. Allah did not create all this except for a purpose. He makes the signs clear for people of knowledge.

[Surah Yunus, 5]

In the establishment of time, it was Decreed by our Lord that these days be the best days of our year.

Where deeds are the most virtuous and where the final pillar of our faith – Hajj – is established. Know that in these times of worships, these great days, are clear signs from Allah of His Mercy, of His Generosity, of His Forgiveness and of His Majesty. These days are ones that our Lord has sworn by, days in which Allah looks towards His servants and frees many of them from the Hellfire. A time where Allah opens up paths for us all to take that may lead us towards Jannah.

Ibn Umar reported: The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

“There are no days greater and more beloved to Allah than these ten days of Dhul Hijjah, so increase in them your declaration of the oneness of Allah, your exaltation of Him, and your praise of Him.”

[Musnad Aḥmad] 

It was narrated from Ibn ‘Abbas that the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

“There are no days during which righteous deeds are more beloved to Allah than these days,” meaning the (first) ten days of Dhul- Hijjah. They said: “O Messenger of Allah! Not even Jihad in the cause of Allah?” He said: “Not even Jihad in the cause of Allah, unless a man goes out with himself and his wealth and does not bring anything back.”

[Sunan Ibn Majah] 

Narrated `Aisha:

I said, “O Allah’s Messenger! We consider Jihad as the best deed.” The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said: “The best Jihad (for women) is Hajj Mabrur.”

[Sahih al-Bukhari] 

It was narrated from Abu Hurairah that the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

“From one ‘Umrah to another is an expiation for the sins that came in between them, and Hajj Mabrur (an accepted Hajj) brings no less a reward than Paradise.”

[Sunan Ibn Majah]

It was in these days, where our Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, stood and gave his Farewell Sermon. In his speech he praised Allah, extolled the virtues of our faith, and cast aside all practices from the time of ignorance.

It is in his footsteps we follow, praising our Lord, seeking to establish the virtues of our faith, and ridding ourselves of any traces of ignorance that casts a shadow on the light of our faith.

The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, came to the bottom of the valley [on the Day of Arafah], and addressed the people saying:

“Verily your blood, your property are as sacred and inviolable as the sacredness of this day of yours, in this month of yours, in this town of yours. Behold! Everything pertaining to the Days of Ignorance is under my feet completely abolished […] I have left among you the Book of Allah, and if you hold fast to it, you would never go astray. And you would be asked about me (on the Day of Resurrection), (now tell me) what would you say? They (the audience) said: We will bear witness that you have conveyed (the message), discharged (the ministry of Prophethood) and given wise (sincere) counsel. He (the narrator) said: He (the Holy Prophet) then raised his forefinger towards the sky and pointing it at the people (said): “O Allah, be witness. O Allah, be witness,” saying it thrice.”

[Sahih Muslim]

O Allah, we are witnesses to the fact that our Prophet has conveyed the Message in truth, and that it has been carried forward to us. Generations after generations of Muslims have followed in his path, and we pray that we too will follow in the footsteps of the righteous and be gathered with them on the Day of Judgement.

We pray that will meet our Prophet at his pond and that he will testify on our behalf, because through Your Mercy alone O Allah, we entered into the fold of those who followed the religion of Ibrahim and the religion of Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon them both.

These days are a reminder that this is the religion we follow – Islam – and it has been preserved and perfected. There is nothing greater than it. We are a nation, whose billions of adherents are a sign of the greatness of the legacy of Prophet Muhammad and Prophet Ibrahim, peace and blessings be upon them both.

Indeed, Allah has chosen for us this faith. So let us not die except in a state of full submission to Him Alone.

We have small feet, but we walk in the footsteps of giants.

O Allah, send prayers upon Muhammad and upon the family of Muhammad just as You have sent prayers upon Ibrahim and upon the family of Ibrahim, verily You are the Praiseworthy, the Glorious.

O Allah, bless Muhammad and the family of Muhammad just as You have blessed Ibrahim and the family of Ibrahim, verily You are the Praiseworthy, the Glorious.

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