LESSON FROM THE TRAGEDY OF KARBALA

Saturday, November 26, 2011
"O Allah! It is Thee in whom I trust amid all grief. You are my hope amid all violence. Thou are my refuge and provision in everything that happens to me. How many grievances weaken the heart, leaving me with no means to handle them, during which friend deserts me, and enemy rejoices in it. I lay it before Thee and complain of it to Thee, because of my desire in Thee, Thee alone. You relieve me of it and remove it from me. Thou are the Master of all Grace, the Essence of Goodness, and the Ultimate Resort of all Desire."

This was the moving dua' made by Imam Hussein (ra) just before the massacre in Karbala. Just before his martyrdom at the hands of the forces of Yazid bin Muawiya.

There are certain events in history that shape the emotions of a nation; moments that stir passions and produce personalities that mould the destiny of peoples. The massacre of Karbala is one such event. As Muslims all over the world in the month of Muharram remember the bravery of Imam Hussein (ra), we should understand the lessons to be learnt from Karbala.

Succession to the Throne (Wilayatul A'hd)
Near the end of Muawiya (ra) period as Khalifah, he (ra) became influenced by certain prevailing notions from the recently conquered Persians. This was the notion of hereditary rule. Hence he (ra) began a campaign to introduce hereditary rule into the structure of Islam. He did this because he used to understand the state leadership as monarchy and not Khilafah. To have monarchy, by force or otherwise, is something which Islam does not accept, and cannot be added into the Islamic ruling system.

He (ra) tried to place his son, Yazid, as the crown prince even though there is no prince-hood in Islam. The historians like Ibn Kathir and Ibn al-Athir narrated that after his Walis had failed to take the Bay'ah (oath of allegiance) to Yazid in Hijaz, Muawiya went there himself accompanied by the army and loaded with money. He summoned the prominent figures and said to them: "You have known my conduct towards you and my family ties with you, Yazid is your brother & your cousin. I want you to propose Yazid for the Khilafah, so that you would be the ones who remove and appoint; who put people in authority and collect and distribute the funds."

Abdullah b. Al-Zubayr (ra) replied to him that he should either choose what the Messenger of Allah (saw) did, when he (saw) did not designate anyone, or what Abu Bakr (ra) did, or what Umar (ra) did. Muawiya became angry and he asked the rest of the people, and their reply was the same as Ibnul-Zubayr (ra). Upon this Muawiya said: "You have been warned! I am going to speak a word, and I swear by Allah that if any of you replied to me by uttering a word on that occasion, he would not utter another word before the sword had reached his neck. So every man has only to spare himself." Then he ordered the chief of his guards to place two men behind every prominent person of Hijaz and every opponent, with the instructions that if any of them answered back, to strike his neck with their swords. He then climbed up to the Minbar (podium) and said: "This group of people are the leaders and the best among the Muslims and no decision is taken without them, and no matter is settled without their consultation. They have consented and given the Bay'ah. So, do give your Bay'ah in the name of Allah."

This is the basis on which Muawiya (ra) established the system of appointing a crown prince. However this was not what the Sahabah as a whole agreed too. Umar (ra) described appointing a crown prince, by saying: "If a man gave authority to someone because of a relationship or a friendship between them while there were among the Muslims men better qualified than him, he would betray Allah, His Messenger and the believers."

Muawiya (ra) was getting older day by day. At the age of 75, he became seriously ill and died in the middle of the month of Rajab 60 AH.

The road to Karbala
As Imam Hasan (ra) had already died before Muawiya (ra), a political vacuum had developed. Yazid took advantage of this situation and wrote a letter to Waleed bin Utba bin Abu Sufyan, who was appointed the Governor of Madinah by Muawiya (ra), to demand the bay'ah from Imam Hussein (ra) or else upon refusal, his head. Waleed invited Hussein (ra) to a meeting for this purpose. Hussein (ra) did not give his word at the meeting and decided to leave Medina along with his family to proceed to Mecca. When Hussein (ra) reached Mecca he received letters from Kufa urging him to go to Kufa to become the Khalifah. Hussein (ra) sent an emissary, his cousin Muslim Ibn Aqeel, to Kufa to ascertain first-hand information about the situation in Iraq. Imam Hussein (ra) also knew that giving the bay'ah to a usurper like Yazid would certainly place Islam at great jeopardy. Therefore he decided to leave Mecca for Kufa. Many friends and relatives urged Imam Hussein (ra) not to go to Kufa, but he insisted on going. Imam Hussein (ra), along with his family, friends, and companions began the journey towards Kufa (1,100 miles away) in a long caravan in the blistering heat of summer.

During the early phase of the journey the caravan met Al-Farazdaq (a famous poet) at a place called al-Sifah. Al-Farazdaq advised the Imam not to go to Kufa because though people's hearts were with him, their swords would be against him. But the Imam continued with the journey, and he received the first letter from his emissary Muslim Ibn Aqeel with good news. The letter indicated that the people were more than ready to welcome the Imam in Kufa and were looking forward to his leadership. Hussein (ra) decided to send another emissary to Kufa with a message. The caravan kept proceeding toward Kufa. Many days passed but the Imam did not receive any more responses from Muslim Ibn Aqeel.

In Kufa, Muslim Bin Aqeel with the help of Mukhtar Al-Thaqafi and Hani Ibn Urwah continued to hold meetings with the supporters of the Imam. Within a short period of time the gatherings started to gain momentum. Yazid learned about Muslim's successes in Kufa and appointed Ubaidullah Ibn Ziyad to replace al-Nu'man Ibn al-Basheer as Wali of Kufa.

Meanwhile, as Hussein's (ra) caravan got closer to its destination (Kufa), coming to a place called Zubalah, Hussein (ra) unexpectedly received shocking news. The shocking news was about Muslim Ibn Aqeel and the person who provided him shelter, Hani Ibn Urwah, both of whom were arrested and beheaded by the Governor Ibn Ziyad. Mukhtar was also arrested, imprisoned and tortured by Ibn Ziyad. Hussein (ra) gathered his companions and disclosed to them the bad news. Becoming scared, some companions left the caravan. Imam Hussein (ra) continued with the journey along with close companions and family members until he was face to face with 1,000 horsemen led by Hur al-Riyahi, representing Yazid's forces. The enemy army blocked the camps of Hussein (ra) from advancing and tension started to rise between the two sides. Hussein (ra) addressed the enemy explaining to them his motive for going to Kufa was in response to the invitation of the people. He even showed them a bag full of letters he had received from Kufa. Hur said that he and his men were not the writers of those letters. The Imam told them that if they did not like him to advance with the journey, he was prepared to return to Hijaz. Hur replied: "We are commissioned to follow you until we take you to Governor Ibn Ziyad", and suggested to the Imam to go towards a station which is neither Kufa nor Medina.

Hussein (ra) found the proposal fair and turned the caravan away from Kufa. Hur and his army marched parallel to the Imam. The two sides reached a village called Nainawa where Ibn Ziyad's messenger delivered a message to Hur. The message read: "...force Hussein to a halt. But let him stop in an open space, without vegetation or water." Hur conveyed the contents of the letter to Imam Hussein (ra). The Imam defiantly resumed his journey and reached a place where another enemy force blocked his move and forced him to stop. When Imam Hussein (ra) learned that the place was called Karbala, he ordered his camp to be setup. That day was 2nd of Muharram, Hijri 61.

Upon learning that his army had succeeded to lay a siege around the Imam's camp, Governor Ibn Ziyad sent additional military units to Karbala and appointed Umar Ibn Sa'ad in charge. Imam Hussein (ra) opened a dialogue with Umar Ibn Sa'ad and convinced him to lift the siege so that the Imam with his family and companions could leave Iraq. Umar Ibn Sa'ad liked the Imam's proposal and sent a message to Governor Ibn Ziyad notifying him about the results of the talks with Imam Hussein (ra). Ibn Ziyad also found the Imam's proposal acceptable. However before agreeing to it officially, Shimr Bin Dhil-Jawshan, opposed it strongly. As a result Ziyad wrote a letter to Umar Ibn Sa'ad commanding him to either go to war with Imam Hussein (ra) or be relieved of his duties as commander of the army and Shimr would not only replace him but despatch Ibn Sa'ad's head to Kufa as well.

Umar Ibn bin Sa'ad got the letter. After pondering over the consequences he decided to fight Imam Hussein (ra). On the 7th day of Muharram he moved his troops closer to the camp and began to surround the Hussein camp. Ibn Sa'ad laid a blockade around the camp to cut it off from access to the river Euphrates, to deprive it of water in a move to force them to surrender.

Two days later, (on the 9th of Muharram), the enemy forces closed in on the camp of Imam Hussein (ra). Hussein (ra) asked his brother, Abbas, to talk to Ibn Sa'ad and request a delay of the aggression by one night. Umar Ibn Sa'ad agreed to the request. He ordered his troops to delay the aggression until the following morning. Imam Hussein (ra) and his companions spent that night in prayer.

The Dawn of Ashuraa
Finally, the day of Ashuraa (10th Muharram) dawned upon the soil of Karbala. It was the day in which Muslim blood would be shed and 72 innocent lives would be sacrificed.

In the morning Hussein (ra) went out of the camp and saw Umar Ibn Sa'ad mobilizing his troops to start the hostility. He stared at the intimidating army, and as large as it was Hussein (ra) showed no signs of compromise. Hussein (ra) raised his hands to Allah:

"O Allah! It is Thee in whom I trust amid all grief. You are my hope amid all violence. Thou are my refuge and provision in everything that happens to me. How many grievances weaken the heart, leaving me with no means to handle them, during which friends desert me, and my enemy rejoices in it. I lay it before Thee and complain of it to Thee, because of my desire in Thee, Thee alone. You relieve me of it and remove it from me. Thou are the Master of all Grace, the Essence of Goodness, and the Ultimate Resort of all Desire."

Umar Ibn Sa'ad threw an arrow in the air to indicate the start of the battle.

The tragedy at Karbala
Imam Hussein's (ra) supporters insisted on being the first to fight. Therefore, they took the brunt of the enemy attack. The battle was ferocious. Within a short time the Imam's supporters slew a large number of the enemy fighters, they were on the offensive and the enemy on the defensive. This caused apprehension and confusion in the enemy. The 72 people of Hussein's (ra) force against the 5,000 of the enemy force. So worried and nervous did the enemy become that their commander-in-chief ordered his army to set fire to the Imam's tents (which were occupied mostly by frightened females and children), and he reinforced his fighters with more troops.
By noontime, the Imam stopped the fight to perform the Salah. By this time those left were mainly his family and a few supporters. They performed the Salah together. Two supporters were guarding the performers of the Salah. When the Salah was finished one of the guards fell dead; there were 17 arrows in his back.

Ali Akbar, Hussein's son obtained permission to fight and dashed toward the enemy. He engaged them in fierce fighting and he continued to move forward, deep inside the enemy. The enemy was overpowering in number, it overwhelmed him cutting him with swords and spears, and his body became nothing but wounds gushing blood, until he died. Imam Hussein (ra) rushed to the area and picked up the wounded limp body and brought it to his camp. His sister and others in the camp were horrified and shocked at the scene.

Abbas and five other brothers of Imam Hussein (ra) went to fight next. They also engaged the enemy in fierce fighting. Abbas went towards the river to bring some water for the thirsty children. While he was returning on his horse with the water, he was attacked by a large horde of the enemy, overwhelming and severely wounding him. As much as he tried Abbas could not save the water, he fell from his horse to breathe his last.
Next to the battlefield went the sons of Hasan (ra) and Zainab (ra) and their cousins (about 17 of them). They were all in their teens but each stood bravely.

By the afternoon 70 people had sacrificed their lives in Karbala. All had fought under nerve-racking conditions: severe thirst, dehydration, exhaustion, and agonizing feelings of what would happen to the family of the Prophet (saw) afterwards. Hussein (ra) endured all that and more, for he saw all his beloved ones brutally cut to pieces, including children. Remaining the only one, Hussein (ra) was to face the enemy head on. Precisely at that moment Hussein (ra) heard his baby crying incessantly, agonizing because of the thirst. Hussein's (ra) love for his family was unbound, especially for a suffering baby. He held the six months old baby, his youngest son (Ali Asghar) in his arms, and appealed to the enemy fighters for some water for the baby. The Imam wanted to awaken their Islamic feelings but the stonehearted enemy, instead of giving water, zoomed an arrow toward the agonizing baby and killed him instantly. Imam Hussein (ra) was shocked. He felt an unbearable wave of pain. The sight of the limp baby in his arms was agonizingly painful. He filled his palm with the blood of the baby, and threw it upwards toward the sky, complaining to Allah (swt):

O Allah, O my Lord! My consolation is the fact that Thou in Thine Majesty are witnessing what I am going through.

Imam Hussein (ra) was alone, one man against thousands. He took them on, fighting them bravely, and kept fighting, receiving many wounds in the process. Thousands of enemy fighters were surrounding him but none dared to move towards him. The silence was broken when Shimr screamed for an attack, and then screamed again, threatening. In response they attacked collectively, and one sword fell on Imam Hussein's (ra) left wrist and deeply cut his left hand. The blood gushed like a fountain. Another sword was soon to follow and it hit his upper back. Imam Hussein (ra) felt numb as he fell to the ground, bleeding profusely. He was at the point of shock, even though staggering he tried to stand by leaning on his sword. Then he received the fatal blow.

It was at this point, that Shimr came forward and severed Imam Hussein's (ra) noble head from his body, the noble head kissed often by the Prophet (saw)! Shimr and others had the audacity to carry it on the tip of a spear to Yazid, 600 miles away! At this, an old man in the assembly cried: "Gently! It is the Prophet's grandson. By Allah, I have seen these very lips kissed by the blessed mouth of RasoolAllah (saw)."

Yazid the usurper (Mutasallit)
It is clear that these events were organised and executed by Yazid. Yazid never received the bay'ah by consent and selection, and thus never held the seat of Khalifah. He was a usurper (Mutasallit).

If a usurper were to seize power by force he would not become Khalifah, even if he declared himself to be the Khalifah of the Muslims. This is because the Khilafah in this case would not have been contracted to him by the Muslims. If he were to take the Bay'ah from the people by force and coercion he would not become Khalifah even if the Bay'ah was given to him (taken by him). This is because a Bay'ah that is taken by force and coercion is not considered valid and the Khilafah cannot be concluded by it. For it is a contract based on mutual consent and choice, and cannot be concluded forcefully, or by coercion. The Khilafah cannot therefore be concluded except by a Bay'ah of consent and choice.

However, if the usurper managed to convince the people that it would be in the interest of the Muslims to give him their Bay'ah and that the implementation of Shar'a rules obliges them to give the Bay'ah, and they were convinced of that and accepted it and then gave him the Bay'ah by consent and free choice, he would become Khalifah from the moment that the Bay'ah was given to him by consent and choice. This never happened in the case of Yazid, and the Muslims were correct in trying to secure the Bay'ah for the man whom they wished to pledge allegiance to.

Lessons from the tragedy of Karbala:
Karbala is amongst one of the worst tragedies humanity has ever seen. It is imperative that we learn vital lessons from this disaster. The following lessons can be learnt from this entire episode:

Khilafah is a vital issue

The institution of Khilafah is matter of life and death. A matter which Imam Hussein (ra) gave his life, his family's lives and the life of his son for. This was done in order to ensure that the seat of Khilafah not be abused or usurped.

1. Bay'ah is the only method to appoint the Khalif - It must be given by consent and choice

The Bay'ah is the only Islamic method to appoint the Khalifah. We can see clearly that Yazid never received the Bay'ah by consent and choice. Indeed his father took the Bay'ah by force for him, and he subdued any opposition to his power by killing. A vital lesson to learn is that, just like any contract, the Bay'ah cannot be taken by coercion, but must be based on consent and choice.

2. The process of Bay'ah must be codified and put in the constitution of the Islamic Khilafah

We saw how Muawiya (ra) was able to manipulate the Bay'ah contract for his son. This would have been far more difficult had the process of Bay'ah been codified and put in the constitution of the Islamic Khilafah. This would ensure that due process would be followed which the Ummah had agreed too.

3. Rotating the Walis quickly

It can be seen that one of the reasons that allowed Muawiya (ra) to gain such popularity and build a strong support base in Syria (which later allowed him to appoint Yazid) was that he was allowed to remain in the position of Wali for over 20 years. It would be considered wise political manoeuvring for the Khalifah to change his Walis regularly.

The Messenger of Allah (saw) used to appoint Walis for a period of time and then relieve them, and no Wali remained at his Wilaya during the whole era of the Messenger of Allah (saw). This indicates that the Wali should never be appointed permanently, but only for a short spell after which he is removed. However, evidence about the length of this period (i.e. whether it should be long or short) has not been determined by the actions of the Messenger of Allah (saw). All that is related to this matter is that the Messenger of Allah (saw) did not keep a Wali at his post during the whole of his life. What has been established as a fact is that he (saw) used to appoint the Walis and then relieve them. However, the civil strife (fitna) that shook the Ummah was caused by the lengthy period of Mu'awiya's Wilaya over Ash-Sham during the times of Umar (ra) and Uthman (ra). This leads us to the conclusion that a lengthy period of Wilaya could harm the Muslims and the State. This is why the period of Wilaya should not be long.

Umar (ra) was known to be strict when accounting the Walis and the Amils. He would even remove some of them on just a suspicion without conclusive evidence. He even used to remove a Wali on the slightest doubt that did not even reach the level of suspicion. He was asked about this one day and he said: "It is easy to swap an Amir for another so as to amend the people's affairs."

4. Constantly checking up on them

Another lesson we can learn is that the Khalifah must constantly enquire about the works of his Walis and he should monitor them closely.

The Khalifah should appoint someone who would check their state of affairs and carry out inspections. The Khalifah should also meet with all of them or some of them from time to time and listen to the complaints of the subjects against them.

It has been confirmed that the Messenger of Allah (saw) used to examine the Walis when appointing them, as he did with Mu'az (ra) and Abu Moussa (ra). He used to explain to them how they should conduct their duties, as he did with 'Amr b. Hazm (ra). He also drew their attention to some important matters as he did with Aban b. Sa'id (ra) when he appointed him Wali over Bahrain and said to him: "Look after Abd Qays and honour their leaders". Likewise it has also been confirmed that he (saw) used to hold the Walis to account, inspect their situation and listen to news brought to him about them. He (saw) used to ask the Walis to account for the revenues and expenses spent.

Umar (ra) used to closely monitor the Walis, and he appointed Muhammad Ibnu Maslama (ra) to examine their state of affairs and inspect them. Umar (ra) used to gather the Walis during the Hajj season to review their performance and to listen to the complaints from the people about them, and he also used to discuss with them the affairs of the Wilayahs and ask about their own conditions. It has been reported that Umar (ra) once said to people around him: "Would you say that my duty would be fulfilled if I appointed over you the best from amongst you, and ordered him to be just?" They said: "Yes." He said: "No. Not until I had checked his performance, and seen whether or not he did what I had ordered him to do."

5. Walis should have restricted powers

Muawiya (ra) was appointed Wali over Syria and Iraq with general powers, i.e. a general Wilaya. He had full control over the armed forces, the finances, the judiciary, the police force, the economy, the administration and all other aspects of ruling. It can be seen that had the powers of Muawiya (ra) been limited, he might not have been able to muster the support needed to fight Ali (ra) or award his son leadership.
In the wake of Uthman's (ra) death, Ali (ra) had problems getting Muawiya to come under his authority. This was because, Muawiya (ra) had built a strong power base when he was a Wali over Ash-Sham. Therefore, giving a general Wilaya causes a known harm to the Islamic State. Thus, the Wali should be given a restricted Wilaya in a way that would prevent him from becoming autonomous of the Khalifah and strengthening the Khalifah himself.

This can be further seen in the latter Khulafah of the Abbasid period where the Wilaya became autonomous from the centre, further weakening the Khilafah state itself.

The main factors contributing to a breakaway would be the armed forces, funds and the judiciary, because the armed forces represent the power, the funds represent the "life blood" and the judiciary demonstrates the safeguarding of the rights and the execution of the penal codes. Therefore the Walis should be given a specific (Khassa) Wilaya that excludes the judiciary, the armed forces and the funds. Delegating these to the Wali would encourage a potential breakaway and this would undermine the State's authority.

6. Conditions of the Wali

The Messenger of Allah (saw) used to select his Walis from among the good people, and those who had knowledge and were known for their piety. He used to select them from among those who were experts in their field, and who would fill people's hearts with Iman and respect for the State. Sulayman Ibnu Barida reported on the authority of his father that he said:

"Whenever the Messenger of Allah (saw) appointed an Ameer over an army or an expedition, he used to advise him regarding himself to fear Allah, and to be good to the Muslims who accompany him," [Muslim]

Since the Wali is, in fact, an Ameer over his Wilaya, the Hadith would then apply to him as well. Appointing Walis and rulers devoid of these qualities could lead to the problems mentioned earlier.
Conclusion

The massacre of Karbala has highlighted the importance to Muslims to always stand steadfast in dealing with oppressive rulers. The rulers of the Muslim world today have not been appointed by the will of the Muslims, but imposed upon the Ummah by the Western colonialists. They are usurpers (Mutasallit) and have taken the authority away from the Ummah. In order for the Ummah to realise her full potential, and restore the honour that Islam has given her, these false Yazids need to be replaced with a just Khalifah.

"Allah has promised those among you who believe, and do righteous good deeds, that He will certainly grant them succession to (the present rulers) in the earth, as He granted it to those before them, and that He will grant them the authority to practise their religion, that which He has chosen for them (i.e. Islam)."
[TMQ al-Nur: 55]

Fahim Qureishi
April 10, 2004


source : http://islamicsystem.blogspot.com/2007/01/lessons-from-tragedy-of-karbala.html

THE VIRTUE OF FASTING IN THE MONTH OF MUHARRAM

The month of Muharram, the first month of the Islamic calendar, holds many virtues. Fasting, charity and prayer hold additional values. Surely, the months provides a great opportunity to seek the inner strength that comes from the nearness to Allah سبحانه وتعالى for Muslims in general and dedicated dawa carriers in particular.

The Virtues of Fasting in the Month of Muharram

Muslim reported from Abu Hurayra (Allah be pleased with him), that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, "The best of fasts after the month of Ramadan are in the Month of Allah, which you call Muharram. And the best of prayer after the obligatory prayer is the night prayer." [Muslim, 1163]

This refers to general voluntary fasts according to Imam Ibn Rajab (Allah have mercy on him): These are best in the month of Muharram, just as the best general voluntary prayer is night prayer.

Fasting is a secret between the servant and his Lord. This is why Allah Mighty and Exalted says, [in the divine hadith (hadith qudsi)], "Every action of the son of Adam is his, except for fasting. It is Mine, and it is I who reward it." [Bukhari and Muslim, from Abu Hurayra]
The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) also said, "The fasting person has two joys: one when he breaks his fast, and the other when he meets his Lord." [Muslim]

Similarly, it has been related that fasting is a means for good health. The Prophet (Allah bless him & give him peace) is reported to have said, "Fast, and you shall have good health." [Ahmad, from Abu Hurayra]


The Day of `Ashura': The Tenth of Muharram

It is mentioned in Bukhari and Muslim from Ibn Abbas (Allah be pleased with him and his father) that he was asked about fasting the Day of `Ashura' [10th of Muharram]. He said, "I did not see the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace be upon him) fast a day while more avid to seek its virtue than this day," meaning the Day of `Ashura'." [Bukhari (2006), and Muslim (1132)].


The Day of `Ashura' has great virtue, and tremendous sanctity (hurma). The virtue of fasting it was known among the Prophets (peace be upon them all). Both Prophet Nuh and Prophet Musa (peace be upon them both) fasted it.


The Prophet (Allah bless him & give him peace) used to fast this day even in Mecca, though he had not yet ordered others to do so, as mentioned in both Bukhari and Muslim. [Bukhari (2002), Muslim (1125)]


When he migrated to Medina, and found the People of the Book fasting this day and venerating it, he ordered the Muslims to fast it, and encouraged it so much that even the children would fast it.


It has been reported in both Bukhari and Muslim from Ibn Abbas (Allah be pleased with him), that, "When the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace be upon him) reached Medina, he found the Jews fasting the Day of `Ashura', so he asked them, ‘What is this day you are fasting?' They said, ‘This is a tremendous day. Allah saved Musa and his people on this day and drowned Pharaoh and his people. Musa fasted it out of thanks, so we fast it too.' The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace be upon him) said, ‘And we are more deserving of Musa than you are.' So he fasted this day, and ordered that it be fasted." [Bukhari (2004) and Muslim (1130)]


At the end of his life, the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace be upon him) made the determination not to fast this day alone, but with another day [either before or after it], in order to be different from the People of the Book.


It has been reported in the Sahih of Imam Muslim (Allah have mercy on him), also from Ibn Abbas (Allah be pleased with him) that, "When the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace be upon him) fasted the Day of `Ashura' and ordered his companions to fast it, they said, ‘O Messenger of Allah! This is a day that the Jews and Christians venerate.' So the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace be upon him) said, ‘When next year comes - if Allah wills - we will fast the Ninth [of Muharram with it].' But the next year did not come before the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace be upon him) passed away." [Muslim (1134), Abu Dawud (2445)]


And it is reported in the Musnad of Imam Ahmad (Allah have mercy on him), from Ibn Abbas (Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, "Fast the Day of `Ashura' and be different from the Jews by fasting a day before it or a day after it." [Ahmad]


Giving in Charity on the Day of `Ashura'


It has been reported from Abd Allah ibn `Amr ibn al-`As (Allah be pleased with him), that "Whoever fasts `Ashura' it is as if he has fasted the entire year. And whoever gives charity this day it is like the charity of an entire year."


Some of the Virtues of the Day of `Ashura'


It is a day in which Allah forgave an entire people. Tirmidhi relates that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said to a man, "If you want to fast a month after Ramadan, then fast Muharram, for it has a day in which Allah forgave an entire people, and He turns to others in repentance in." [Tirmidhi (841)]

Night Prayer

As for voluntary night prayer (qiyam al-layl), it is superior to voluntary prayer during the day because it is closer to secrecy, and nearer to sincerity (ikhlas).

Allah Most High said,

إِنَّ نَاشِئَةَ اللَّيْلِ هِيَ أَشَدُّ وَطْئًا وَأَقْوَمُ قِيلًا 
"Lo! the vigil of the night is (a time) when impression is more keen and speech more certain." [Qur'an, 73:6]


This is because the time of the night vigil (tahajjud) is the best of times for voluntary prayer, and the closest a servant gets to his Lord. It is a time when the doors of the skies are opened, supplications answered, and needs fulfilled.

Allah Most High has praised those who wake up at night in His remembrance, supplication, seeking forgiveness, and intimate entreating (munajat), saying,

تَتَجَافَىٰ جُنُوبُهُمْ عَنِ الْمَضَاجِعِ يَدْعُونَ رَبَّهُمْ خَوْفًا وَطَمَعًا وَمِمَّا رَزَقْنَاهُمْ يُنْفِقُونَ 

فَلَا تَعْلَمُ نَفْسٌ مَا أُخْفِيَ لَهُمْ مِنْ قُرَّةِ أَعْيُنٍ جَزَاءً بِمَا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ 
"Who forsake their beds to cry unto their Lord in fear and hope, and spend of that We have bestowed on them. No soul knows what is kept hid for them of joy, as a reward for what they used to do." [Qur'an, 32:16-17]
And,

أَمَّنْ هُوَ قَانِتٌ آنَاءَ اللَّيْلِ سَاجِدًا وَقَائِمًا يَحْذَرُ الْآخِرَةَ وَيَرْجُو رَحْمَةَ رَبِّهِ ۗ قُلْ هَلْ يَسْتَوِي الَّذِينَ يَعْلَمُونَ وَالَّذِينَ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ ۗ إِنَّمَا يَتَذَكَّرُ أُولُو الْأَلْبَابِ
"Or he who pays adoration in the watches of the night, prostrate and standing, bewaring of the Hereafter and hoping for the mercy of his Lord? Say: Are those who know equal with those who know not? But only those of understanding will pay heed." [Qur'an, 39:9]


And He swt said to His Prophet (Allah bless him & give him peace),

وَمِنَ اللَّيْلِ فَتَهَجَّدْ بِهِ نَافِلَةً لَكَ عَسَىٰ أَنْ يَبْعَثَكَ رَبُّكَ مَقَامًا مَحْمُودًا 
"And some part of the night awake for it, as voluntary worship for you. It may be that thy Lord will raise thee to a praised estate." [Qur'an, 17:79]

It has been said that those who worship at night will enter Paradise without reckoning, and that standing in night prayer shortens the length of one's Standing on the Day of Judgment.

This is why the Prophet (Allah bless him & give him peace) said, "Stick to night prayer, for it was the way of the righteous before you. Night prayer is a means of closeness to Allah Most High, of expiating for bad deeds, avoiding sins, and keeping away illness from one's body." [Tirmidhi (3543], Bayhaqi, and others; it is a sound (hasan) hadith]

This is why Abu Sulayman al-Darani would say, "The people of the night find more joy than the people of distraction (lahw) in their distractions. Were it not for the night, I would not like to remain living."

A Gift to the Muslim Female

Thursday, November 10, 2011


If a believer were to read some of the situations of the companions, including men and women, he would immediately be reminded of how one should implement his religion and remain steadfast upon piety and righteousness. There are numerous examples which display this and it only requires that one spends some time and reads.

From the various examples present in the Sunnah of strong eemaan, and firmness upon the religion is a brief encounter between one of the female companions and the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم. Her name is Asma bint al Yazeed bin al Sakn al Ansariyah, and she was nicknamed: Khateebatun Nisaa – The Female Lecturer, due to her eloquent manner of speech. Asma was the niece of the famous companion and scholar Mua'th bin Jabal and she was well known for her uprightness and sound intellect. She nursed the wounded Muslim fighters during the Battle of al Yarmook and when the fighting became intense, she grabbed an iron spike from her tent and began fighting alongside the Muslim army, killing nine Roman fighters.

Al Hafith Ibn Abdul Bar[1] mentioned concerning her[2]:

It is mentioned that Asma bint al Yazeed approached the Messenger of Allah and said: I am a messenger for a group of females. All of them say a similar statement to mine, and they all are in agreement with my opinion. Indeed Allah has sent you to men and women, and we have believed in you and we follow you. We (females) are responsible for tending to the homes and we are the place where men fulfill their desires, in addition to carrying their children (during pregnancy). But the men are preferred over us due to the merits gained for attending the Friday congregational prayer, attending burial procedures and also fighting in the way of Allah. If they leave their homes, we protect their wealth and we also raise their children. (With this being the case) do we take part in their tremendous reward, oh Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم?

Upon hearing this, the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم  turned toward his male companions and said: Have you ever heard a female inquiring about her religion in a better manner than this female?

The companions replied: Indeed we have not, oh Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم!

The Prophet  صلى الله عليه وسلم  then replied to her:Return oh Asma, and inform the group of females that being a good wife to your husband, exerting yourself to please him, and have him pleased with you is equivalent (in reward) to all of what you have mentioned concerning the men! 

Asma walked away sayingLa illaha ilAllah, Allahu Akbar, do to the extreme joy she felt after hearing the Prophet's صلى الله عليه وسلم  reply.

Several benefits are derived from this hadeeth, from them:

1. The great eagerness of the female companions to learn their religion. They did not allow questions and doubts to remain unanswered. This is also illustrated in the statement of 'Aaisha when she said:

نِعْمَ النِّسَاءُ نِسَاءُ الأَنْصَارِ لَمْ يَمْنَعْهُنَّ الْحَيَاءُ أَنْ يَتَفَقَّهْنَ فِي الدِّينِ 

How great are the Ansar women! They did not allow shyness to prevent them from learning their religion. (Sahih al Bukhari: 129)

2. The permissibility of a female speaking to a person of knowledge even while in the company of other men if need be. The female should of course make sure she does not speak in an attractive manner. Allah – The Most High – said: 

{And do not be soft in speech, lest he in whose heart is a disease should be moved with desire. But instead, speak in an honorable manner.} Surah al Ahzaab:32

3. This hadeeth is an example of how the women during the time of the Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم  gathered to discuss matters of their religion. This undeniably is a lesson for present day Muslim females. They should make their meetings with their sisters the type of gatherings which contain profit and benefit, not that which contains evil and harm.

4. This encounter displays the tremendous mercy of our beloved Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم . He did not interrupt Asma, nor did he scorn her for asking such a question, but rather he acted exactly how Allah described him in the Qur'an: 

{We have only sent you as a mercy to the worlds.} Surah al Anbiyah: 107

And He – The Most High – said: 

{Indeed there has come to you a Messenger from amongst yourselves. It grieves him that anything should harm you, and he is anxious over you. He is kind and merciful to the believers.} Surah al Tawbah: 128

5. This story informs how a believer should react after hearing pleasing news. Asma immediately remembered Allah, glorifying and praising Him due to the tremendous news which she received from the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم  .

6. It also shows her strong eemaan in the promise of Allah. She understood that Allah is All Just, and that He would never allow injustice. She truly believed the statements of Allah:

{Indeed the promise of Allah is true, but most do not know.} Surah Yunis: 55

And His statement: 

{Be patient, for indeed the promise of Allah is true.} Surah al Room: 60

And His statement: 

{Oh mankind, indeed the promise of Allah is true, so do not be deceived by the life of this world and do not allow anyone to deceive you.} Surah al Faatir: 5

Asma, like any and every Muslim female was afflicted with tremendous difficulties and tribulations, but she was able to overlook that which befell her by keeping the goal in mind! [3]

7. This narration is a response to those who claim that women were created no different from men, and therefore they should be allowed to do everything a man does. Unfortunately many Muslim females hold this view due to the fact that it has been instilled in the minds of our women by means of various forms of propagation and education throughout the Western society.

This narration indicates that Allah created the female distinct from the male, and He has assigned her with different duties which are for the benefit of herself, the family and the overall society. It is upon her to act within the limits which Allah – The All Mighty – has legislated, and if she does so in a manner pleasing to Him, she will enter an everlasting paradise. But if, on the other hand, she seeks to exceed the limits which Allah has legislated, she will damage herself, her family and the Muslim society as a whole! Allah – 
The Sublime – stated:

أَلَا يَعْلَمُ مَنْ خَلَقَ وَهُوَ اللَّطِيفُ الْخَبِيرُ 

{Does not the One Who created you know. And He is the Most Kind, the All Aware.} Surah al Mulk: 14

And He stated:

أَأَنْ مْ تُ أَعْلَمُ أَمِ اللَّه

{Are you more knowledgeable or is Allah.} Surah al Baqarah: 140

Without a doubt many more benefits can be derived from the narration of Asma bint al Yazeed. These were only a few which we felt the need to mention.

In Conclusion: This short narration is a great encouragement for our Muslim sisters. We all are aware of what occurs in the daily life of a Muslim female within the home, and outside of it. She is afflicted like no other person, as was indicated by Asma in the above narration, but what should be kept in mind is the statement of the Prophet :

إن عظم الجزاء مع عظم الب ء وإن الله إذا أحب قوما ابت هم ﻼ ﻼ

"Indeed the greatness of reward is according to the greatness of the trial, and when Allah loves a person, He tests him." (Tirmidhi: 2396)

We ask Allah to increase us in eemaan and taqwa, and we ask Him to grant us success to perform actions which are pleasing to Him.

May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon the Messenger of Allah, and upon his family members and companions.

Footnotes:

[1] Al Hafith Ibn 'Abdul Bar is a famous scholar of the Malikee school of thought. He authored many beneficial works including: Al Temheed, Jam'ee Bayan al 'Elm wa Fadlihe, and many more. He died in Morocco/Spain in the year 463h.

[2] Al Esti'aab vol.4 pg.233

[3] We are not referring to clear, unjust oppression which takes place in some Muslim families. Indeed Allah has forbidden such oppression (harsh beating, cursing, etc) and any female who is afflicted with this has every right to seek separation after repeated advice and consultation has failed.

Taken from  A Gift to Muslim women by Br.Mustafa George (may Allah preserve him and reward him abundantly for his efforts)

The Greatness of the 10 days of Dhul-Hijjah

Thursday, November 3, 2011


Alhamdulillah, the blessed days of the Hijri month of "Dhul Hijjah" are upon us.

وَلَيَالٍ عَشْرٍ

"By the ten nights." [TMQ Al-Fajr 89:2]

The "ten nights" which Allah [subhana wa ta'ala] is swearing by here, are the first 10 days of Dhul-Hijjah. [1] Allah [subhana wa ta'ala] swears an oath by them, and swearing an oath by something is indicative of its importance and great benefit.

Ibn ‘Abbas [radi Allahu ‘anhu] narrated that Prophet [sall-Allahu ‘alayhi wa sallam] said: "There is no deed more precious in the sight of Allah, or greater in reward, than a good deed done during the ten days of Sacrifice." He was asked: "Not even jihad for the sake of Allah?" He said: "Not even jihad for the sake of Allah, except in the case of a man who went out to fight giving himself and his wealth up for the cause, and came back with nothing." [2]

It is a great chance to collect uncountable hasanat . It is a great chance to renew your relation with Allah [subhana wa ta'ala]. Prepare now so you can start from the first night/day of the month [i.e. as soon as Dhul-Hijjah is announced]. You don't want to miss a moment of the best days in the sight of Allah [subhana wa ta'ala].

Since the Prophet [sall-Allahu ‘alayhi wa sallam] referred to the 10 days of Dhul-Hijjah as: "...no days better than these days in the sight of Allah." [3], the scholars have said that these are better than Ramadan. [4] Therefore, be very vigilant and don't waste these precious moments. Ask Allah to help you to benefit from this period of His special Grace.

Ask yourself these questions [non-rhetorical]:

Did you intend to benefit from these days?

What have you done to prepare for these 10 days?


Did you prepare a program?

What is your plan of action?

Here is a brief guide to help you to prepare for the best days of the year:

Read the Qur'an:

Plan to complete the reading of the Qur'an within this period.
If you read three juz a day, it can be accomplished. It is not difficult. Ask Allah to make it easy for you. We know reciting one letter is equal to ten hasanat . If you read three juz everyday, it translates to thousands of millions of hasanat.

Subhana'Allah! And this calculation is just based on the 1=10 ratio. These are special days of His Grace. Therefore, don't even think about how much Allah can/will increase & add it for you. You cannot fathom it. He is Kareem. He knows that you have ikhlas ; He will not count it as 1=10. He could raise it to 1=700 or even more. And this is what you can earn every day of these special days. Keep in mind that reciting the Qur'an is a good deed and Allah specially loves the good deeds done in these days: "And if He [subhana wa ta'ala] loves the good deeds, He will love the doer of those good deeds." [5] If Allah loves someone, He will not punish them. Remember this concept so that the deeds you do come from your heart [don't be like a machine]. Honour the rights of the Qur'an when reciting it.

Increase in Nawafil Prayers:

Increase your supererogatory prayers.
Ask yourself these questions and make sure that your heart gives you sincere answers:
Do you have an aim?
Do you really want to be closer to Allah?
Do you live with this craving?
Do you really love Allah and seek His closeness?
If, you want this, then know that Allah teaches you the means to gaining His qurb.

Allah says:


كَلَّا لَا تُطِعْهُ وَاسْجُدْ وَاقْتَرِبْ

"Fall prostrate and draw near to Allah!" [TMQ Al-Alaq 96:19]

This is the way! Prostrate in sujud to Him [subhana wa ta'ala] and you will be closer to Him. The Prophet [sall-Allahu ‘alayhi wa sallam] said: "The closest that a person is to his Lord is when he is prostrating, so say a great deal of du'a then." [6] He [sall-Allahu ‘alayhi wa sallam] is commanding us to make a lot of du'a while in sujud. Are we obeying his order? Yes? We need to do more. For he [sall-Allahu ‘alayhi wa sallam] said to: "...make lots of du'a." Remember, the Prophet [sall-Allahu ‘alayhi wa sallam] loved us and he knew that we have a lot of needs from Allah. This is why he taught us the way to get those needs fulfilled. Therefore, if you have needs, then you cannot leave sujud. Any sajdah without khushu' & without du'a is a big khasara . Let us not be losers from now on bi-idhnillah.
When the Prophet [sall-Allahu ‘alayhi wa sallam] instructed us to do a lot of sujud, it means to perform a lot of salah . "With each sajdah for Allah, He will raise you a level with it. And cancel a sin with it." So, the more you increase in your sujud, the closer you are to being a winner.

Examples for increasing nawafil salah :

a] Salat Dhuha: Also known as al-Awwabeen, may be offered as 2, 4, 6 or 8 rak'at, prayed after the sun has risen and before the time for Dhuhr approaches. [7] "Al-Awwab' means one who is obedient, or one who turns to obedience. Bi-idhnillah, we want to show Allah that we are of those who are obedient.

b] 4 rak'at before and 4 after Dhuhr: "Whoever regularly performs four rak'at before Dhuhr and four after it, Allah will forbid him to the Fire." [8]

c] 4 rak'at before ‘Asr - The Prophet [sall-Allahu ‘alayhi wa sallam] said: "May Allah have mercy on those who pray four rak'at before ‘Asr prayer." [9] Bi-idhnillah, you stand to gain the mercy of Allah because of the du'a of Prophet [sall-Allahu ‘alayhi wa sallam]. Do you want the mercy of Allah to reach you? Don't leave these 4 rak'at.

d] Tahhiyatul masjid: Greet the masjid with two rak'at: "If any one of you enters a mosque, he should pray two rak'at before sitting." [10]

e] Salat at-Tawbah: It could be any bad deed, any sin, you hear something bad , you see something bad, you feel your heart constricted because of something you have done and you didn't mean it, etc, you can erase it immediately with your prayer of repentance. Make a good wudhu' and offer two sincere rak'at of repentance. Ask Allah to forgive you. If it's from your heart, then know that Allah will cancel your sin.

f] Qiyam al-Layl: With this prayer, we hope that Allah will illuminate our graves; will bestow nur on our faces; will cancel our bad deeds, bi-idhnillah. Pray at least 2 rak'at. If you are able to follow the Sunnah, then pray all 11 rak'at.

Remember that in these special days and nights, Allah is sending His special mercy. Do you think that this special mercy will reach everybody? Do you think that it will reach the one who is in front of the TV watching a movie? Or listening to music? Or do you think it will reach the one who is making sujud, ruku', tilawah, making istighfar, etc.?

We have to show Allah that we want this special mercy. We need to make ourselves eligible for it.

Allah [subhana wa ta'ala] swears by the night [Surah Fajr]. Therefore, take care of the nights. Don't be among the losers. Write this in bold and make it your motivational factor for the special days: "We won't be among the losers!" Remember: "Our Lord, may He be blessed and exalted, comes down to the lowest heaven every night when the last third of the night is left, and He says: ‘Who will call upon Me, that I may answer him? Who will ask of Me, that I may give him? Who will ask Me for forgiveness, that I may forgive him?'." [11] And, now that it is winter, we get really long nights. So it's a good chance to maximise our hasanat. Don't forget while you are praying qiyam that Allah [subhana wa ta'ala] Loves this deed. Therefore, He [subhana wa ta'ala] loves the doer of this deed also.

If we were lazy before, we will be active and good from now on bi-idhnillah. We will not be among the losers. If these days and nights are a king who is distributing gifts of gold while announcing: "Come take these gold nuggets", wAllahi, you will find people standing in long queues and hordes to collect them. Subhana'Allah, Allah is spreading mercy during these days. He [subhana wa ta'ala] is accepting supplications. He [subhana wa ta'ala] is offering unimaginably wonderful blessings that we don't even know of. So will we not work to get in those lines to gather Allah's gifts?

Makes lots of Dhikr:

Do a lot of dhikr, especially in these days.

"There are no days greater in the sight of Allah..." [12]

So what did the Prophet [sall-Allahu ‘alayhi wa sallam] tell us to do in these days? That, we need to make the dhikr of tahlil, tahmid & takbir. [13] As soon as the announcement of Dhul-Hijjah is made, start your dhikr:

"Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, la ilaha ill-Allah, Wallahu Akbar. Walilahilhamd."

Many people mistakenly believe that you chant this only on the day of ‘id. But, it is meant to be recited from the beginning of Dhul-Hijjah. Bukhari related that Ibn ‘Umar & Abu Hurayrah said that they used to go out in the streets making loud takbir. They did not think that this was riya. They were busy with declaring the signs of Allah. This practice has now become a forgotten Sunnah. Why do people feel shy to follow this Sunnah? These are the days of takbir, tahlil & tahmid with raised voices.

Therefore revive this Sunnah by doing audible tasbih during all of the ten days of Dhul-Hijjah.

For women, when you are in your homes, raise your voices. You will remind your children, husbands, brothers, etc. Make it like a habit so that you will find yourself doing dhikr automatically. While walking, reclining, working, eating, just keep doing dhikr.

Send a lot of blessings and salam upon the Prophet [sall-Allahu ‘alayhi wa sallam] consistently. Just one hadith should be enough for the believer who loves Prophet [sall-Allahu ‘alayhi wa sallam]. It is enough honour that when you send your salam to Prophet [sall-Allahu ‘alayhi wa sallam], Allah returns his soul to him in order to answer you: "There is no one who sends salam upon me but Allah will restore to me my soul so that I may return his salam." [14] Therefore, send your darud & salam from your heart. Feel that special honour in doing that deed.

Istighfar:

All kinds of dhikr will make your relation with Allah stronger and stronger. How many Muslim's are there today? 1.5 billion? In one minute it is possible to gain 1.5 billion hasanat. Allahu Akbar! How generous is Allah [subhana wa ta'ala]. No one will give you like Allah [subhana wa ta'ala] gives. So how can you gain 1.5 million hasanat? By making istighfar for all Muslim's. The Prophet [sall-Allahu ‘alayhi wa sallam] is reported to have said that when a person seeks forgiveness for all believers, Allah will write for him a hasanat for every one of those believers. [15] Just say ‘Astaghfirullah' for yourself and for all the believers, from your heart. Allah [subhana wa ta'ala] is forgiving & generous.

On the Day of Judgement, when you will see your book, you will find the record of your sins in it & you will feel regret. But, Subhana'Allah, you will find between these sins, Astaghfirullah, Astaghfirullah, Astaghfirullah. Bi-idhnillah, Allah, the Karim will cancel those sins that have istighfar beside them, around them, after them.

Luqman taught his sons to make istighfar. He said: "Oh my sons, istighfirullaha qaidun, istighfirullah qaimum, istghfirullaha raqibun [make istighfar when you are standing, sitting, reclining]. For the mercy of Allah is descending."

Indeed, rahamat are falling down like rain. So try to be under those rahamat. Look at it this way - there are seasons of mercy during which Allah sends down abundant mercy [like during Ramadan, like the days of Dhul-Hijjah, etc.]. Allah is always generous because that is one of His [subhana wa ta'ala] Attributes, but He says that He gives more during certain periods. Allah is Rahim always, but He says He has more mercy during a certain period. These days are like those special-rate promotions or sale season. Therefore, don't leave or ignore this sale. Go and ask for more. Keep saying ‘astaghfirullah', ‘astaghfirullah', astaghfirullah', keep insisting on it till Allah forgives you. Start from the beginning of Dhul-Hijjah.


وَمَا كَانَ اللّهُ مُعَذِّبَهُمْ وَهُمْ يَسْتَغْفِرُونَ

"...nor will He punish them while they seek (Allah's) forgiveness." [TMQ Al-Anfal 8:33]

We are informed that there is no punishment from Allah [subhana wa ta'ala a] on the yastaghfirun. Allah relieves all problems with istighfar. Those who are persistent in istighfar in their lives, disasters and calamities will be repelled from them. Mercy is like a cloud on the head of the mustaghfirin . How do we know this?

لَوْلَا تَسْتَغْفِرُونَ اللَّهَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُرْحَمُونَ

"Why seek you not the forgiveness of Allah, that you may receive mercy?" [TMQ An-Naml 27:46]

Allah is telling us to make istighfar to gain His mercy. Let your istighfar ascend to Him and His mercy will descend upon you.

Fasting:

Fast as much as you can during these blessed days. If you can fast all of these days, then do so. Even in any regular day, Allah has promised a great reward for the one who fasts: "Whoever fasts one day for the sake of Allah, Allah will keep his face seventy years distance away from the Fire because of it." [16] So what about these special days for which it is said: "There is no deed more precious in the sight of Allah, or greater in reward, than a good deed done during the ten days of Dhul-Hijjah." Allah loves the good deeds in these days. Allah loves siyam. Put these two beloved things together. You are the doer of the things Allah loves. He [subhana wa ta'ala] will Love you, bi-idhnillah.

Any ‘ibadah, be it salah, dhikr, Qur'an, that is done during some periods of time and with them, are also periods of non action. Can you do any of them from Fajr till Maghrib continuously? Which ‘ibadah will you be able to do non-stop? Siyam! From Fajr till Maghrib during the best days, you will be able to be in a continuous state of worship. So please my sisters [& brothers], grab this chance eagerly. Also don't forget you have if Allah wills, at least one du'a guaranteed with each siyam - at the time of breaking the fast. So that is nine opportune moments during this period.

Regarding fasting on the day of ‘Arafah, the Prophet [sall-Allahu ‘alayhi wa sallam] said: "Fasting the day of ‘Arafah, I hope, will expiate the sins of the year before it and the year to come..." [17] So how does this happen? Does this mean that we can fast on that day and for the rest of the year we can do whatever we want of bad deeds? No! It implies that Allah [subhana wa ta'ala] will help us to abstain from sins. And, if you commit a sin by mistake, He [subhana wa ta'ala] will cancel it due to His promise.

Charity:


Spending for the sake of Allah!

Only Allah knows how many trials & calamities have been pushed away from us, our family and loved ones as a result of our sadaqah. Allah knows how many times relief and ease has come to us due to the sadaqah we gave. Therefore, give in the way of Allah, as much as you can. Don't leave any raised hands return empty. Show Allah that you love Him by spending from that which you love. Show Allah [subhana wa ta'ala] that all these things mean nothing besides gaining His ridha .

Don't look and remind yourself of what you have already spent in the past. If Allah wills, He [subhana wa ta'ala] has accepted and written it for you. Now, think of how you can outdo that sadaqah during these days. Spend from what you love and Allah will love you.

Preserve the Ties of Kinship:

Preserve the ties of kinship for: "No one who severs the ties of kinship will enter Paradise." [18] If it is difficult for you to call or meet every relative, then send them a message. But write with your heart and with the right intention. There is a man who connects with all of his near and far relatives. It is almost like a mission for him for the sake of Allah. He [subhana wa ta'ala] loves this ‘ibadah. Even those who are far away, he calls and connects them to the rest of the family and brings them all together. And subhana'Allaah, Allah has given him a lot of wealth and with such ease and has made his life easy, and as a result of his deeds. The Prophet [sall-Allahu ‘alayhi wa sallam] promised this reward for the one who connects and maintains kinship: "Whoever would like his rizq to be increased and his life to be extended, should uphold the ties of kinship." [19]

These were just a few of the wonderful things we can do during the forthcoming best days of Dhul-Hijjah.
Therefore, if we want Allah's help with these deeds and our schedule for them, we need to do a lot of tawbah. The Salaf as-Salih used to say that they would feel prevented from qiyam al-layl due to their sins. They knew that when they want to do ‘ibadah and they are unable to do it, it is due sins. So, what do we need to do? A lot of istighfar with tawbah, real Tawbah! Ask Allah for help.

Make the du'a:

"O Allah, help me to remember You, to give You thanks, and to perform Your worship in the best manner." [20]

Footnotes:

[1] Ibn ‘Abbas, Ibn az-Zubayr, Mujahid and others of the earlier and later generations said that this refers to the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah. Ibn Kathir said: "This is the correct opinion." [Tafsir ibn Kathir, 8/413]
[2] Al-Bukhari, 2/457
[3] Ahmad, 7/224 - Ahmad Shakir stated that it is sahih
[4] The verses [Al-Fajr 89:1-2] and various hadith indicate that these 10 days are better than all the other days of the year, with no exceptions, not even the last ten days of Ramadan. But the last ten nights of Ramadan are better, because they include Layl al-Qadr ["the Night of Power"], which is better than a thousand months. Thus the various reports may be reconciled. [See: Tafsir ibn Kathir, 5/412]
[5] Shaykh Muhammad bin Salih al-‘Uthaymin
[6] Muslim, 482
[7] Muslim, 1238
[8] At-Tirmidhi, 428 - classed as sahih by al-Albani in Sahih al-Nasa'i
[9] At-Tirmidhi, 395 - classed as hasan by al-Albani in Sahih al-Jami 3493
[10] Al-Bukhari & Muslim
[11] Al-Bukhari, 1094 and Muslim, 758
[12] Ahmad, 7/224
[13] Tahlil ["La ilaha ill-Allah"], Tahmid ["Alhamdulillah"] and Takbir ["Allahu Akbar"]. See: Ahmad, 7/224
[14] Abu Dawud, 2041 - classed as hasan by al-Albani
[15] Classed as hasan by al Albani
[16] Muslim, 2/808
[17] Muslim, 1976
[18] Sahih Muslim
[19] Al-Bukhari, 5986 and Muslim, 2557
[20] Sahih Abu Dawud, 1/284

source : hizb-america.org