It was a sweltering morning. I wondered how much more will the temperature rise as we boarded our bus from Mina after the Fajr prayer. 9th of Dhul Hajj, the day Satan grieves most. Why? Because on no other day does Allah (swt) free so many necks of the believers from the Hell fire against their pleas of Taubah.
Yaum e Arafah has been termed as Hajj. These are the same plains where one day we all will stand to account for our whole life before Allah (swt) – on the Day of Judgement. Hence, all the pilgrims stand facing the Qiblah from noon until shortly before sunset pleading Allah (swt) for forgiveness. This is called Wuqoof, and it is highly recommended to recite “La Ilaha Illah Allah Wahdahu La Sharika Lahu- Lahulmulku Walahulhamdu- Wahuwa Ala Kulli Shai In Qadeer.” (There is no God but Allah. He is one. He has no partner. His is the dominion and His is the praise. And He is able to do everything.)
Molana Tariq Jameel was invited to narrate the Prophet’s (sa) Hajj to the pilgrims, and apprise them of its noteworthy rituals with a deeper meaning. He talked about the prophet’s (sa) nearly ten days journey of Hajj. Molana also explained our beloved messenger’s (sa) last sermon.
It was shameful to think how the Ummah had tossed aside most of the advice heeded to them by the Prophet (sa) just before he departed from the world. He would cry a great portion of the night begging Allah (swt) “Ummati, Ummati” (My nation, my nation). Until Angel Gibrael would appear by Allah’s (swt) command to ensure him that Allah (swt) will not disappoint the Messenger (sa) regarding his Ummah. The question is how concerned are we as his Ummah about not disappointing him. Do we even care? Do we even know who he was? Do we even bother finding out and try living up to his expectations of us?
What stirred my soul was when brother Tariq Jameel mentioned that if we were here standing before Allah (swt) expecting His divine mercy and forgiveness, we should have come with a sound heart. Firstly, we must forgive all who have deliberately or unintentionally wronged us. Once our heart is pure, we can then seek repentance for ourselves. A corrupt heart that holds grudges, and enmities against other brothers and sisters in Islam is not deserving of forgiveness.
Once while the companions were seated with the Prophet (sa), he announced that the man who will enter next is from the people of Paradise. Surely, an elderly Sahabi entered. This continued for the next three days. AmribnulAas (rta) was a devout worshipper who worshipped extra-ordinarily. He was very curious to find out what was it that he was missing out on, and had not yet received glad tidings of Jannah from the Prophet (sa) while that Sahabi had.
Amr (rta) requested the Sahabi to offer him lodging for the next couple of days. The Sahabi gladly accepted him. As the night fell, Amr (rta) prepared for a long spell of prayers in anticipation, but discovered that the Sahabi did not offer any special voluntary prayers, and instead turned to sleep. Puzzled Amr (rta) waited for the next day hoping to find the cause of honour for this Sahabi.
The next day was equally surprising. The Sahabi went about his routine business, and offered normal worship; while Amr (rta) kept waiting for that special quality or moment- but was disappointed to find nothing. Finally surrendering, he announced his departure to the old Sahabi, and revealed to him his real intention of stay with him. As Amr (rta) prepared to leave perplexed, the elderly Sahabi stopped him and mentioned: “There is nothing extra ordinary that I do for worship; however, I make it a point to clean my heart every night before I turn to sleep. Maybe that could be it.?”
Amr (rta) had solved the mystery. That was it. A pure heart that held no malign against any of Allah’s (rta) creations- Mamlat (relationships) and Huqooq-ul-Ibad (rights of the creation). Every believer needs to be extremely cautious about it. Tread on eggshells. Allah (swt) will not forgive someone who has broken the heart of any of His creations. And most of the times, we don’t even know about it.
If they are around, beg forgiveness of them. If they are gone, pray to Allah (swt) to grant them enough reward and elevate their status, so that they do not need any of our good deeds on the Day of Reckoning.
Honouring Huqooq Allah is relatively easier as our Lord (swt) is Merciful, and eager to forgive His slaves who have transgressed. Take care of people’s rights as it invites Allah’s (swt) special love and recognition.
May Allah (swt) make the Day of Arafah easy for all believers. Ameen.