MOUNT ARAFAT

Arafat is a place of forgiveness and refuge.

Arafat reminds us that people will rise up from their graves in the morning of the Last Day and gather in crowds at the place of final judgment. Needy servants of Allah hopefully shall wait for forgiveness in the presence of Allah. Hearts and eyes are soaked by the tears of repentance. Many sincere supplications ascend towards Allah the Almighty.

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One starts with a clean slate in his or her life and promises to Allah the Almighty to continue to live the rest of his or her life in obedience.

Therefore mount Arafat presents a scene from the last judgment. Some of its sights are
experienced there. It really reminds us of the state of rising up from the grave , coming to the place of final judgment, struggling in desperation, and sincerely begging the Lord for mercy. It is the state of shedding all worldly rank and entering into the presence of Allah with only two pieces of clothing.

On the other hand Arafat takes us to ancient memories. As we know, because of their lapse of eating from the forbidden fruit, Adam (Peace Be Upon Him) and Eve were expelled from Paradise and sent to different places on earth. They were consequently made to miss each other greatly.

Adam (Peace Be Upon Him) begged for forgiveness from Allah the Almighty for the sake of Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) thinking of his esteem and honor in the presence of Allah the Almighty. His request, then, got accepted and Allah the Almighty appointed an angel to show Adam (Peace Be Upon Him) the path to Mecca. As a consequence of Adam’s supplication, our mother Eve was taken by another angel towards Adam (Peace Be Upon Him). They got together in the valley of Arafat in the late afternoon of a certain day. They wept and repented of their sins.

Allah the Almighty, the Generous, not only accepted their invocation but also bestowed upon them and promised that every year He will forgive those from their offspring who come and repent at the same place on the same day and at the same hour. This is the reason why pilgrims go to Arafat and ask for forgiveness on the day called ‘Arafah a
day before the ‘Eid.

After their meeting Adam (Peace Be Upon Him) and our mother Eve adopted Mecca as
their homeland by the command of Allah. This is why Mecca is also called “Umm al-Qura” or the mother of all lands; because Mecca has become a place where all temporal and relative attributes, like homeland, color, wealth, poverty and physical appearance, lose their meaning, and believers become one nation under the brotherhood of Islam. In Mecca employer and employee, rich and poor, ignorant and educated are all at the same place and in the same garments. All persons stand in the same rows. Mecca is the place to be freed from all differences of class, to experience the feel of burial garments, to turn toward the Lord, and to tremble with the thought of the terrifying scene of the Judgment Day.

This blessed city is the arms of safety, peace, and love; it is the city of the prophets who fill our hearts with blessings and mercy. Today despite all the sufferings of the Muslim world, the summit of unity, love and brotherhood generated by pilgrimage to these holy places is something that the rest of the world dreams of. Nations do everything they can to establish this level of unity through their international institutions but they could not achieve a complete success. Due to their endless worldly desires and spiritual collapse  they have countless disagreements, divisions, enmity, oppression, injustices and the winds of favoritism divide them.

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Take Our Greetings

A poet reflects the loving wishes whispered into the ears of the pilgrims as follows:

To the roads you pass
Take our greetings.
To the servants saying the Truth is our friend
Take our greetings.

Go and perform your pilgrimage
Reach endless pleasure
To Muhammad Mustafa
Take our greetings.

Mecca and Medina
Are two unique treasure
To the distinguished beloved
Take our greetings.

Constantly say labbaik
Run to zamzam water
To the Hashim’s offspring
Take our greetings.

You wear ihram
Without touching the illicit
To the blessed Companions
Take our greetings.

Beg to our Lord
Say prayer for us
To our great Ka’bah
Take our greetings.

Those who enter the garden of love
Will not fall into the trap of heedlessness
To the beautiful mountain of Light
Take our greetings.

Enter the heart of Hatim
Prostrate yourselves to The All-Merciful
To the station of Abraham
Take our greetings.

To the Excellence of the Lord
To all stretched wings
To Mina, to Arafa
Take our greetings.

To the garden of Baqi
To our pure rose garden
To our joy
Take our greetings.

Why is Hajj getting so expensive-Part 2

Preparing For Ramadan Advice from Habib Umar bin Hafiz

“Make sure you end Sha’ban in the best of states, for Allah records the rewards that we will receive and the supererogatory actions that we will perform before Ramadan enters. He also records the bad deeds and the wretchedness of those that will be deprived the blessings of Ramadan.  What will be your state on the last Friday of Sha’ban and the night before it? Attend the gatherings at the end of this month with a heart focused on the All-Merciful.

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Prepare for the first night of Ramadan, for on this night Allah gazes at His creation, a special gaze which is unique to this Ummah. Allah will never punish the one upon whom He gazes.[2] Look at how many gifts have been given to this Ummah – when Ramadan enters the gates of the Garden are opened and the gates of the Fire are closed.[3]

If someone who is destined for the Fire dies during Ramadan he will see that the gates of the Fire are closed!

The odour that comes forth from the mouth of the fasting person is sweeter in the sight of Allah than the scent of musk!

Every night Allah decrees the safety of 600,000 people from the Fire (in some narrations one million). Then on the last night he decrees the safety of the same number of people that he decreed on every night of the month. He also decrees the safety of others during the day – particularly at sunrise and sunset.

This is not to mention what happens on Laylat al-Qadr! Allah make us amongst those who reach that night and attain all that it contains. Ask from Allah in the best of ways because Allah does not accept a du`a from a heart which is heedless. Likewise a du`a from a sound heart is more likely to be accepted than a du`a from a tongue which is fluent.

Al-Sayyida `A’isha (RadiAllahu Anha) asked the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him peace) what she should ask for if she knew that it was Laylat al-Qadr.

He replied: “O Allah, truly You are all-Pardoning, You love to pardon so pardon us.”[4]

He also said (Allah bless him and grant him peace): “Do four things in abundance: two things with which you please your Lord, and two things which you cannot do without. As for the two things with which you please your Lord: your testifying that there is nothing worthy of worship other than Allah and your seeking His forgiveness. As for the two things which you cannot do without: your asking Allah for Paradise and seeking refuge in Him from the Fire.”[5]

So say these things in abundance, for they are the best things for which you can use your tongue. Say them in your homes, in the streets, in the mosques not just at Iftar or after Tarawih.

[On the basis of these two hadiths the scholars and people of Tarim repeat the following du`a throughout the month of Ramadan:

Ashadu alla ilaha illallah, nastaghfirullah, nas’aluk’l-jannata wa na`audhu bika min an-nar

“I testify that there is nothing worthy of worship other than Allah and we seek the forgiveness of Allah. We ask You for Paradise and take refuge in You from the Fire.” (3 times)

Allahumma innaka `afuwun tuhibbu-l’`afwa f`afwa `anna

“O Allah, truly You are all-Pardoning, You love to pardon so pardon us” (3 times). On the third time say “O Most Generous” (Ya Karim).]

Allah give us the biggest portion of all goodness. Make Ramadan a cause of rectification and the removal of tribulations.

[1] Jalsat al-Ithnayn, Dar al-Mustafa the night of 25th Sha`ban 1432/25th July 2011
[2] Narrated by al-Bayhaqi
[3] Narrated by al-Bukhari and Muslim
[4] Narrated by Ahmad, Ibn Majah and Tirmidhi with a sahih chain of transmission
[5] Narrated by Ibn Khuzayma

How to Expiate a Broken Oath?

Q: I once made an oath that I won’t do something but I did it. I looked up the expiations for oaths but am unable to do them, even the fasting for 3 days. Will I be forgiven if I pray 2 cycles of repentance prayer and repent from what I did sincerely?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

Failing to fulfil an oath made would entail an expiation (kaffara).

An oath is a statement made where a person swears using the Name of Allah Most High, such as “By Allah/I swear by Allah, I will do such and such.” What counts is a verbal utterance, so merely thinking of this or saying it in your mind is of no legal consequence.

Thereafter, if the thing you sought to avoid was a sin, you should also repent for your error.

The time of making the expiation [approximately £2.50 to be given to ten poor persons] is the determiner as to whether or not you are legally “able.” If unable, you must fast three days consecutively which must not be interrupted by menstruation and the like. Further, you must remain unable for all three of these days for your expiation to be deemed valid.

If it is established that you are medically unable to fast three days consecutively, you would wait until you are able later in life. Merely repenting would not be sufficient to lift this duty.

[‘Ala’ al-Din ‘Abidin, al-Hadiyya al-‘Ala’iyya (189); Ibn ‘Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar ‘ala al-Durr al-Mukhtar (2.120/3.62)]

Please also see: What is the Difference Between a Promise, an Oath, and a Vow? and: A Reader on Tawba (Repentance)

And Allah Most High knows best.

Shall I face the Qibla with my back towards the blessed resting place of the Messenger of Allah ﷺ when making du’ā?

Imam Mālik (rahimahu Llah) was asked by the Khalif Abu Ja’far al-Mansūr:

Shall I face the Qibla with my back towards the blessed resting place of the Messenger of Allah ﷺ when making du’ā?

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Imam Mālik (rahimahu Llah) replied,

How could you turn your face away from him ﷺ when he is your means (wasīla) and your father Adam’s means to Allah on the Day of Rising? No, rather you should face him ﷺ and ask for his intercession so that Allah will grant it to you, for Allah said, ‘If they had only, when they were unjust to themselves, come to you and asked Allah’s forgiveness, and the Messenger had asked forgiveness for them, they would have found Allah Oft-Returning, Most Merciful (Q4:64)’.

– Narrated by Qādī ‘Iyād in his Shifā’ (2:26-27) and Tartīb al-Madārik (1:113-14) with an authentic chain, Imam Subkī in his Shifā’ as-Siqām (Ch. 4, 7), Qastalānī in his Mawāhib Ladunniya, Ibn Bashkuwal (Qurbah pp. 84), and other

What Are the Qualities of a Friend?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: According to Islam what is the purpose of a friend? How does one show gratitude to Allah for a friend?

Friends

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray that you are in the best of health and faith, insha’Allah.

One’s friends should be people who are helping one draw closer to one’s Lord.

Imam Ghazali (rah) in his Beginning of Guidance (Bidayat al-Hidaya) lists a number of qualities to look for in a friend noting the words of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), “A person’s religious life is only as good as that of his friend, so let one of you consider well whom he befriends.” [Tirmidhi]

[1] Intellect

– As there is no good friendship with a foolish person;

– Specifically seek someone with practical intelligence who has the capacity to seek benefit, even if worldly;

[2] Good Character

– Ghazali states that someone of bad character is one who cannot restrain their [i] anger or [ii] desire;

– Somebody who truly cares for others. “The religion is sincere counsel.”

[3] Righteousness

“Do not obey someone whose heart We have made heedless of Our remembrance, who follows his inclinations, whose case has gone beyond all bounds.” [Qur’an, 18:28]

– As witnessing the transgression of a wrongdoer on a regular basis will remove from your heart all sense of the enormity of the crimes and make them seem insignificant.

[4] Lack of Greed

– Someone concerned with amassing “things” of this world

– Human nature is designed to imitate and follow (by example), so one person’s nature may take from another without even realizing it.

[5] Honesty

– As one will always face deception from the liar.

Imam Ghazali (rah) continues that after finding a decent friend, one should uphold, respect and fulfill the duties of being a friend.

Gratitude and Growing

Allah Most High says in the Qur’an, ‘If you are thankful, I will surely increase you’ [Qur’an, 14:7] The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, ‘Whoever does not thank people has not thanked Allah’. [Tirmidhi]

Be grateful for them, appreciate them, and grow in love for one another — the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, narrating from His Lord, “My love is incumbent for those who love one another for my sake; those who sit with one another for My sake; those who visit each other for My sake; and those who spend on each other for My sake.” [Musnad Ahmad]

And Allah knows best.

Wassalam,

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani