Amidst the hustle and bustle of everyday life, many of us long to experience once again the sweetness of Ramaḍān: from the communal spirit of worship to the intimate conversations with our Lord; from the joy of opening the fast to the serenity of the nightly prostrations.
The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “Do good all the time, and seek to be recipients of the outpouring’ of Allah’s mercy. Indeed, Allah showers down these (special) ‘outpourings’ of His mercy to whomsoever He wills from His slaves.” (Ṭabarānī)
This ḥadīth means that although Allah (subḥānahū wa ta‘ālā) constantly showers His mercy, love and blessings upon us throughout the year, there are certain times of the year wherein He is even more Generous to us.
These are the special seasons, days and moments in which it is even easier to acquire His pleasure, earn His forgiveness and be saved from the Hell-fire. The blessed month of Ramaḍān is one such season when we witness these fruits of Allah’s love and kindness.
Another season, though much less known, is the first 10 days of Dhul Ḥijjah.
Though this season of worship is short, many of us sadly do not know about the significance and virtues of this blessed season. We do not give it the same attention and importance as we do to Ramaḍān. Unlike the blessed month, the devils are not chained in it, making it more difficult to have a rigid schedule of worship. However, this means that if we do spend these days in worship, the reward will be greater inshā’Allah.
“Seasons of worship have many benefits, including the opportunity to correct one’s faults and make up for any shortcomings or anything that one might have missed… The fortunate one is he who makes the most of these special months, days and hours – drawing nearer to his Lord through acts of worship. It is hoped that he will be the recipient of an ‘outpouring’ from those outpourings, and thus enjoy eternal happiness, and be saved from the scorching Hell-fire”. Ibn Rajab (raḥimahullāh)
“When Allah (ʿazza wa jall) loves a slave, He uses him in the best times with the best deeds. And when He is displeased with him, he uses Him in the best times with evil deeds, so that this will ensure a more severe punishment and greater wrath. This is because he deprived himself of the blessing of such a time, and violated its sanctity”. – Imām al-Ghazālī (raḥimahullāh)
In these ten days, we should renew our repentance and make a firm pledge to Allah to stop sinning, starting off with these days. Ibn Rajab (raḥimahullāh) writes, “Beware of sins, because they deprive one from being forgiven in the seasons of mercy. Whilst sins push the slave far away from Allah, acts of obedience draw him near to Allah and His love”.
The severity of sins in virtuous times and places increases, and their punishment is proportionate to the virtue of the time and place. – Ibn Taymiyyah (raḥimahullāh)
As the fortunate few of our Ummah make their way to the House of Allah for ḥajj, donning the iḥrām and raising their voices in takbīr and the talbiyah, we are sad at being unable to join them. Allah knows that we long to visit His House, but we cannot always do so. Thus, from His mercy, He gave us these days as a beautiful replacement.
We may not be physically present with the pilgrims, but we can share in their reward and endure the same spirit of sacrifice in these 10 days.
Though we may not be able to physically travel to the House of Allah, let us travel to Him with our hearts.