By: Abdulqadir Mahmoud
Alhamdulillah, here we are in another year, another month, where in less than ten days we will get to offer a sunnah of Nabi Ibrahim (as) and enjoy all that comes after it in shaa Allah. Yes people, it is the month of Hajj and slate forgiveness; it is the 1st of Dhul Hijjah, 1437. But before the meat, clothes and joy, we have the first ten days of this month that come before it. But they are not just any first ten days,
Allah swt says in the Noble Qur’an;
“I swear by the daybreak, And the ten nights, And the even and the odd, And the night when it departs. Truly in that there is an oath for those who possess understanding.” (Q 89: 1-5)
Allah swt specifies His words to those who understand because they are the ones who truly know their value, as Ibn Abbas RA reported that the Prophet s.a.w said:
“There are no days in which righteous deeds are more beloved to Allaah than these ten days.” The people asked, “Not even jihaad for the sake of Allah?” He said, “Not even jihaad for the sake of Allaah, 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.” (Reported by al-Bukhaari, 2/457).
Now, most of us have not realized this great opportunity because, even though some may blame it on the rainy weather, we haven’t internalized how great of a breather it is.
In this era of today, wrong has become so opened and celebrated that it has engraved in our mental capacitors that it’s of norm. Whether it is from those strokes of keys on the keyboard or that glance you throw when no one’s looking, or frankly everyone, all the things we do in secrecy or in public, alone or with others, they are still wrong, and we know it. You know the mere aspect of us being Muslim is such a big ne3ma and blessing, subhanallah. Having a Lord that you know looks at you, sees you and completely understands you and still loves you anyway. He swt knows how much temptation and tests, how much trouble we are in just trying to maintain our identities as Muslims, how thin of a thread we are hanging on to them and for that, even after giving us a whole month free from shaytaan with gates of Jannah wide open, Rahma oozing out from His Mercy (Month of Ramadhan), He decided to put aside another 10 days…10 days that He will make more dearer to Him than any other day of every other day that will be existent on this Earth. Subhanallah, how much of a ne3ma is this…no other religion bears any favors of such immensity, proportions, Alhamdulillah 3alaa ne3matil Islaam.
Now you understand what Allah swt was referring to as ‘those who understand’? Good. If not, re-read that paragraph until you do.
During these days, shaytaan will be on steroids trying to woo everyone because he knows their worth so stay sharp. The Prophet (saw) advices us to increase Takbeer (Allaahu akbar), Tahmeed (Al-hamdu Lillah), Tahleel (La ilaha ill-Allaah) and Tasbeeh (Subhaan Allaah). The easiest way to do all these is to recite the dhikr done on the day of eid. Besides, gets the spirit of Eid going. You know that feeling you get in the early morning when the mosques are doing the takbeers and mum’s busy in the kitchen and then you smile to yourself as you realize that it’s the day of eid, Alhamdulillah. So I want you to be saying these dhikr when you walk, stand, sit, lean…Man I want you to be snoring these dhikr. It is also sunnah to recite them out loud, helps to keep your tongues busy and free from shaytaan’s control.
Fasting. This is the most efficient way of both earning the pleasure of Allah and since shaytaan’s out and free, it’s another level keeping a clean slate. Fasting helps in this limitation. But just to put this ibaadah simply, can you imagine the Creator of the most humongous and continuously expanding universe to the smallest, tiny and most minute proton, neutron and electron of smallest atom, smile at the sound of your name, joy at the sight of you humbling yourself to Him through your fasting as He tells every creation to praise you and ask forgiveness for you, because you did that one ibaadah that only He can reward you, in the days that are most beloved to Him. What more better of a gift to your Lord than offering it on His favorite days?
Lastly, cannot emphasis any greater on Salah. This is the single most important ibaadah out there because its validity defines whether everything else you do in service of Allah matters, or not.
These days, they are a gold mine people. Try to utilize them aki. Fight that urge to get up from sujood, force yourself to recite word by word in that ruku’u, say dhikr everywhere you are and every time you remember to. These are special times, especially to Allah and pleasing Him… Every second counts ya akhy, yaa Ukhty, every second counts, every deed counts. Don’t ignore even the smile you give to your fellow muslim when you meet or to shake hands for your sins fall off as long as you have not retracted your hands. Take that dusty translation quran and read a chapter from juzuu 3ama, give charity, don’t argue with mum, help out dad, fight that urge that makes you want to open that music app or look at those hot and catchy pps, forgive that one who looks at you in that weird manner, it’s usually the small things, and they are shaytaan’s traps, don’t fall in, if you do, get straight back out and take this chance that only comes once in every allowed year.
Oh yeah, and do one good right here but sharing this to fellow Muslim friends and relatives. In shaa Allah you too will get a reward for that. Ameen.