Read Part 1 here
Going back to the basics
What is are we supposed to do if we are not going for Hajj? The 10 most amazing days are coming, the only 10 days which can be compared to the 10 nights of Ramadan in terms of reward. There is so much that can be done in these days. Here is a basic checklist of what can be done
“There aren’t any days greater, nor any days in which deeds done in them are more beloved to Allah Most High, than these ten days. So, increase in them the saying of Tahleel (La ilaha illa Allah), and Takbeer (Allahu Akbar) and Tahmeed (Alhumdulillah).” (Reported by Imam Ahmad).
If the Masajid in your area are open and it’s safe to go out, do head out to the Masjid – however, you should be 100% sure that you are not endangering yourself, your family or other people around you. If your carelessness causes anyone any pain, know that you will be held responsible.
What you can do at home is have Jamaah of your family members. It’s easy, its time efficient and it’s a great way to teach the kids the etiquette of Jamah.
And We inspired to Moses and his brother, “Settle your people in Egypt in houses and make your houses [facing the] qiblah and establish prayer and give good tidings to the believers.” (10:87)
In addition to this, we can teach the kids how to answer the call of prayer and the Dua after that. We can teach that that the time between Azaan and Iqamah is when a Dua is accepted. Teaching is the best way to remember and implement it ourselves.
Dhikr, lots of it!
Remembering Allah is easy, comforting and can be done anytime during the day. There shouldn’t be a time of the day when your tongue is deprived of remembering Allah. Make it a habit to remind yourself to remember Him even when you are sitting and doing nothing. It’s okay to feel lazy sometimes, but that time can be best utilized if you remember Allah, either by pondering over his creation or by Dhikr. However, in these special days, the preferred Dhikr is Tahleel, Takbeer and Tahmeed, as mentioned in the Hadeeth above.
It is Sunnah to say Takbeer often in the first 13 days of Dhul-Hijjah. Both on specific and unspecified times:
The preferred wording of Takbeer is: (As we say before Eid salah)
Allahu Akbar (3 times)
La ilaha illa Allah (1 time)
Allahu Akbar (2 times)
Wa lillahil hamd (1 time)
You can say it as many times in a day as possible. But there are some specific times too.
Basically all the people who are unable to go to Hajj are supposed to remember Allah in a specific way in the special days of Hajj. To me, it’s kind of like a special code, like a virtual message, that even if I am unable to go, there is something special Allah has kept aside for me. Kind of like a treat, a secret phone call which says, I remember you.
The specific time start is from the Fajr of Arafah till the Asr of 13th Dhul-Hijjah. In these 5 days, you have to say Takbir after every Fard Salah.
Abu Qatadah Al-Ansari (ra) narrated, “The Messenger of Allah (sa) was asked about fasting on the day of Arafah (the 9th of the month of Dhul Hijjah). He replied, “Fasting on the day of Arafah is an expiation for the preceding year and the following year.”
It’s easiest way to wash off our sins. Fasting for a day can’t be that hard, and the turnover is quite high. As an add-on we can try to fast as many days possible to accelerate the reward. Remember Allah loves the deeds done in these 10 days, fasting can be one of them.
With the Covid situation there is so many more avenues for charity. From the jobless to the sick, everyone is in need. I would highly recommend to come with whatever you can offer. Students are struggling with lack of devices and are unable to join online classes. Many families are struggling with lack of food and medicines. I would say get your hands dirty and do some research on where it is that your resources can make the most difference. More than just stashing out money, I would really encourage you to do the research first so you can give your charity to the most deserving in these beautiful days of Dhul-Hijjah.
“The charity of those who expend their wealth in the Way of Allah may be likened to a grain of corn, which produces seven ears and each ear yields a hundred grains. Likewise Allah develops manifold the charity of anyone He pleases, for He is All-Embracing, All-Wise.” (2:261)
Abdullah ibn Masud reported: The Messenger of Allah (sa) said, “Whoever recites a letter from the Book of Allah will receive one good deed as ten good deeds like it. I do not say that Alif Lam Mim is one letter, but rather Alif is a letter, Lam is a letter, and Mim is a letter.” (Tirmidhi)
There is never a bad time for reading Quran. Special days like the days of Dhul-Hijjah do give us more of an incentive. If you are lagging behind on the goals that you promised yourself in Ramadan, maybe this is the time to catch up and reinstate yourself on your goals.
Visiting the sick
The Prophet (sa) is recorded to have said: “There is no Muslim who visits a [sick] Muslim early in the morning but that seventy thousand angels send blessings upon him until evening comes, and if he visits him in the evening, seventy thousand angels send blessings upon him until morning comes, and he will have a garden in Paradise.” (Tirmidhi)
Many people are sick, and a whole lot of people have passed away. I know we can’t visit them, but we could take time out to make a call, send them some fruits or to make Dua for them. These are easy things to do and, in these lonely times, they make others feel that they are not so alone and some people do care for them. Empathy and care is the biggest need of the hour. With everything virtual these days, we hope from the mercy of Allah that we’ll get full reward for making the effort.
Tashakkur itself is the greatest blessing which requires a whole lot of Shukr in itself. The ability to stay positive and thankful is the biggest blessing in these times. There is so much to be thankful for which we lose sight of everyday. Make it a habit to count your blessings the first thing in the morning. Write them if that works for you. Train your brain to see the positive around you, rather than focusing on the negative.
The Dua to be read after eating is really close to my heart. Each time I say it I realize that really, all of this has come to my table without any effort from me. The rain, and bursting of seeds, the farmer’s effort, I did not even do half the work; I just cooked my favourite meal and sat down to eat. We tend to forget this blessing of Allah but small, everyday sunnahs are there to remind us of them.
Sahl bin Muadh bin Anas narrated from his father that: The Messenger of Allah (sa) said: “Whoever eats food and then says:
الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ الَّذِي أَطْعَمَنِي هَذَا وَرَزَقَنِيهِ مِنْ غَيْرِ حَوْلٍ مِنِّي وَلاَ قُوَّةٍ
(All praise is due to Allah Who fed me this and granted it as provision to me, without any effort from me or power) his past sins shall be forgiven.”
Times are different and we are all learning the new ways to make the best of it, but knowing that nothing is impossible and that Allah is there by our side is always the biggest comfort. Insha’Allah, another year will come when the doors of Kaaba will be open for us.
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