Monthly Archives: September 2015

What is the Intellect?

Answered by Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him)

What is the intellect?

The intellect (`aql) is a faculty which enables us to understand reality. It is unique to humans and through it they are able to access things which other creatures are unable to access. The intellect is a gift and secret which Allah bestowed upon mankind. Allah said about its origin: I breathed into him of My spirit.[1]

The scholars define the intellect as being a faculty which prevents the person who possesses it from doing anything which is inappropriate. If someone’s intellect does not prevent them from doing things which are inappropriate that person has no intellect in reality. The Prophet ﷺ knew that Sayyiduna Khalid bin Walid had a sound intellect and was thus surprised that it was not until the sixth year of the Hijrah that he became Muslim. The Prophet expected that his intellect would lead him to become Muslim long before that.

The Prophet ﷺ informed us about the nature of the intellect. When Allah created the intellect He told it to come forward and it came forward; He told it to go back and it went back; He told it to move and it moved and He told it to be still and it was still. He said: “I swear by My greatness that you are the most beloved of things to Me and I will place you in the most beloved of My creation to Me.” Then He created ignorance, the opposite of intellect. He told it to come forward and it went back; He told it to go back and it came forward; He told it to be still and it moved and He told it to move and it was still. He said: “I swear by My greatness that you are the most hated of things to Me and I will place you in the most hated of My creation to Me.”

The intellect is what enables us to understand reality, to obey the divine commands and to do what is pleasing to Allah. It is only through the intellect that someone knows the value of time. Just as your sight allows you to see physical things, your intellect allows you to witness the truth. A person’s understanding of Allah’s speech and the strength of their faith is according to the level of their intellect. It is a gift from Allah but it can be developed through reflection and experience. We ask Allah to expand our intellect.

 

[1] Al-Hijr, 15:29

Weekly Salawat: Ya Nur (the Light)

Every morning the Messenger of Allah ﷺ would ask his Lord to place light in his heart and in all his affairs. In this prayer, Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah preserve him and benefit us by him) teaches us to seek that same light from Allah through the means and light of His Beloved ﷺ.

اللَّهُمَّ يا اللهُ يا نورُ صَلِّ على عَبْدِكَ و حَبِيبِكَ سَيِّدِنا مُحَمَّدٍ النَّبِيِّ نُورِكَ الأَزْهَرِ السَّارِي و مَدَدِكَ الأَكْبَرِ الجَارِي و على آلِهِ و صَحْبِهِ و سَلِّمْ تَسْلِيماً و اجْعَلْ به في قَلْبي نُوراً ، و في قَبْري نوراً، و في سَمْعِي نوراً، و في بَصَري نوراً، وفي شَعْرِي نوراً ، و في بَشَرِي نوراً، وفي لَحْمي نوراً ، و في دَمِي نوراً، و في عِظَامِي نوراً، و في عَصَبي نوراً، ومن بينَ يدَيَّ نوراً، و مِن خَلْفِي نوراً، و عن يَمِيني نوراً، و عن شِمالي نوراً، و من فَوْقِي نوراً، و من تَحْتي نوراً، اللَّهُمَّ زِدْنِي نوراً، وأَعْطِني نوراً، واجْعَلْني بِهِ نوراً، ونَوِّرْ بِهِ جَمِيعَ أَحْوَالي و شُؤْوني في الدَّارَيْنِ تَنْوِيراً

O Allah, O Light, bestow abundant prayers and peace upon Your slave and beloved, our Master Muhammad, the Prophet, Your brilliant light which spreads and Your greatest assistance which flows (throughout creation) and upon his Family and Companions. By him place light in my heart, light in my grave, light in my hearing, light in my vision, light in my hair, light in my skin, light in my flesh, light in my blood, light in my bones, light in my nerves, light in front of me, light behind me, light on my right, light on my left, light above me and light below me. O Allah, increase me in light, give me light and by him make me light and completely illuminate all of my states and affairs in both abodes.

 

Dhikr for Dhu’l-Hijjah

Sayyidi al-Habib `Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah preserve him and benefit us by him) recommends reciting the following 30,000 times in Dhu’l-Hijjah.

The Prophet said that in the blessed Ten Days of Dhu’l-Hijjah we should make abundant tahlil (saying la ilaha ill’Allah), takbir (saying Allahu akbar) and tahmid (saying alhamdulillah).

سُبْحَانَ اللهِ والحَمْدُ للهِ وَلا إِلهَ إِلَّا اللهُ واللهُ أَكْبَرُ ولا حَوْلَ ولا قُوَّةَ إِلَّا بِاللهِ العَلِيِّ العَظِيْمِ

Subhanallah wa’l-hamdulillah wa la ilaha ill’allah wa’llahu akbar wa la hawla wa la quwwata illa billahi’l-`aliyyi’l-`azim

Transcendent is Allah; all praise belongs to Allah; there is no deity save Allah; Allah is most great; there is no strength or power save by Allah, the Most High, the Almighty.

Screen Shot 2015-09-06 at 11.51.02 AM

Advice for Visitors to Makkah and Madinah

 

Advice given by Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah preserve him and benefit us by him) to a group from Dar al-Mustafa traveling to perform `Umrah and Ziyarah, 25th of Jumada al-Akhirah 1435 / 25th of April 2014.

Allah says: If someone venerates the sacred things of Allah, this is truly a sign of piety in the heart.1 The five most sacred things are the Prophet ﷺ, the Ka`bah, the Qur’an, the five prayers and Ramadan. The Prophet is the most sacred of these things. Thus nothing is more pleasing to Allah than for us to go to him, since he is the most beloved of Allah’s creation to Him. However great the Ka`bah or the Throne is in Allah’s sight, nothing can compare to the greatness of the Prophet ﷺ.

If someone told Habib `Abd al-Rahman al-Mashhur that they were going to perform Ḥajj, he would correct them saying: “Say I’m going to visit the Messenger of Allah ﷺ. Had it not been for him we would not know what the Ḥajj was.”

The Prophet ﷺ is the greatest means to reach Allah. Habib `Alawi bin Shihab would always say that he wanted someone to present his case and the case of the Ummah in person to the Beloved ﷺ. So remember the Ummah in that place.

Imam al-Haddad says:

Visiting him is a cause of success and profit for the people of sincere and pure hearts

By it you will attain everything you wish for in your religious and worldly affairs and all fear and harm will be removed

You will be unable to repay your Prophet, my son, even if you came to him walking on your eyes

When you visit him, renew your covenant to serve him, his sunnah and his Ummah.

If someone is going to visit Allah and His Messenger ﷺ , it is only fitting that their actions, words and intentions be pure (tayyib). The Prophet is tayyib and Allah is tayyib and only accepts that which is tayyib. You should thus be concerned with showing correct etiquette (adab), having good character, serving those who you are travelling with and spending your time in remembrance and reflection. You should lower your gaze and also keep your inner sight focused so that you are not distracted by anything.

Do not object to anyone’s behaviour with your tongue or your heart in either of the Two Sanctuaries. Maintain a good opinion of everyone, because there are many people of Allah in both Makkah and al-Madinah and most of them are concealed.

The son of one of the pious was about to go to perform Hajj. The parting advice of his father to him was not to find fault with anyone that he saw during his Hajj. As soon as he entered Makkah, he saw an old man performing wudu incorrectly. He began to point out the man’s mistake to him but the man turned to him and said: “Have you already forgotten your father’s advice?”

Allah has put certain people in positions of authority over the Two Sanctuaries for a limited period of time. If they tell you to do something, then obey them without objection. Behave at all times with tranquillity and dignity.

When the area close to the Prophet’s grave was crowded, Habib `Attas al-Habashi would sit at a distance, in a place where there is now a door called Bab al-Baqi`. He would say that true proximity is not physical, but rather it is the proximity of the soul.2 It was in this area that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ received revelation.

There are a number of historic places in both Makkah and al-Madinah. Many of these blessed places have been destroyed but their light has not been extinguished.

Some of these places have been incorporated into the two great mosques. The grave of the Prophet’s father, Sayyiduna `Abdullah bin `Abd al-Muttalib, and the well Bayruha’3, for example, now lie within the Prophet’s Mosque.

Inside the enclosure in which the Messenger of Allah ﷺ is buried there lies a space in which Sayyiduna `Isa will be buried. The Prophet informed us that Sayyiduna `Isa will come and give greetings of salam to him in his grave and he will return those greetings.

The house of Sayyiduna `Ali and Sayyidatuna Fatimah is inside that same enclosure. Behind the enclosure is Mihrab al-Tahajjud, where the Prophet ﷺ would pray the night vigil prayer. It is now screened by shelves containing copies of the Qur’an.

Behind that is a raised area which was where the Suffah or ‘Bench’ was. This was where the ‘People of the Bench’ stayed.

If someone stood in the Rawdah and swore an oath that they were in Paradise they would not break their oath.

We can remember the grave of Imam `Ali al-`Uraydi4 and the mosque and ribat (school) next to it. The authorities later destroyed everything and turned the area into a wasteland.

The resting place of Sayyidatuna Khadija is in al-Ma`la in Makkah. Her grave is opposite the last window but one on the left. Next to her is her son, al-Qasim, and nearby is the place that the Prophet ﷺ pitched his tent when he returned to Makkah. In the same area is the grave of Habib Muhammad bin `Alawi al-Saqqaf, one of the spiritual guides of Imam al-Haddad.

If you face the Ka`bah between the two Yemeni corners, you will also be facing the Prophet’s Mosque and al-Masjid al-Aqsa, because they are all in one straight line.

You should return infused with a new light. Only your body should return from your trip. Your heart and soul should remain forever in those blessed places.

 

***

1 Al-Hajj, 22:32

2 Thus if you cannot get physically close to the most blessed places, then attempt to be spiritually close to those places

3 A well belonging to Abu Talhah which the Prophet used to drink from. Abu Talhah then gave it away for the sake of Allah, which greatly pleased the Prophet.

4 Son of Imam Ja`far al-Sadiq and direct ancestor of Habib `Umar

Imam al-Haddad’s Counsels on Hajj and `Umrah

COUNSELS ON TRAVELLING

You must hold fast to all the acts of devotion which you perform regularly when you are not travelling. Do not make light of leaving any of them. You should make up any acts of devotion which you are unable to perform due to travelling when you are able to do so, if they are of the sort which can be made up. If it is not possible to make them up, then remember that Allah has made things easy for people travelling. The hadith states: “If a believer travels or becomes sick, Allah orders His angels to record for him the same actions that he would perform when he was not travelling and was in good health.”1 This is a blessing, a mercy and ease from Allah. All praise be to Allah – He is so merciful and kind to His slaves!

Beware of belittling the dispensations of shortening and joining one’s prayers when it is permissible to do so, for “Allah loves for people to take His dispensations just as He loves people to perform that which has normally been made compulsory for them.”2

Be consistent in reading the supplications that it is recommended to read while travelling, such as the supplication you read upon mounting (your horse) or dismounting,3 or the supplication you read upon entering a town. You will find a large amount of these in al-Adhkar [of Imam al-Nawawi] so look for them and memorise them.

When you travel, make your spiritual ambition drive your feet forward and make your heart travel with your body. Let reliance upon Allah be your provision, having a good opinion of Him your support, truthfulness your vehicle and neediness and brokenness your inner and outer garments. Let your contentment with Him to the exclusion of all others be your companion.

HAJJ

You must purify your intention to go to Allah’s Sacred House, to perform the rights of hajj, to venerate the things which He has made inviolable and sacred and to visit the grave of His Prophet ﷺ. In your journey to those places you should have no other purpose or aim except this and any other praiseworthy intention connected to this. Beware of combining these noble intentions with the desire for recreation or trade.

You must make tawaf (circumambulation) of the Ancient House in abundance, for the one making tawaf is immersed in mercy. While you are doing so, your hearts should be overflowing with veneration and magnification for the Lord of the House. Do not busy yourselves with anything other than recitation of the Qur’ān, remembrance of Allah and supplication. Beware of idle speech.

Be consistent in reading the adhkar and supplications which should be read during tawaf and sa`i and in other places on the hajj. You should also have the utmost concern for visiting all the sacred places.

You should perform `umrah in abundance, especially in the month of Ramadan, for performing one `umrah in Ramadan is equal in reward to performing hajj with the Prophet ﷺ.

You must have veneration for the two Sacred Precincts and observe the correct etiquette in them. You must also honour those living there, and give them the right due to them for living in proximity to those blessed places. Maintain a good opinion of them specifically and of the Muslims generally. If you see or hear something you dislike, be patient and remain silent. However, if you are able to openly speak the truth then do so, for no one has any excuse to remain silent unless he is absolutely certain he is unable to change a wrong that is being committed.

One of the best states to be in is to focus fully on Allah and on worshipping Him such that you are unaware of the state of those around you, since the people of this time have contravened the way of the pious predecessors and left behind their praiseworthy teachings. The one who Allah guides is rightly guided; but the one who Allah causes to go astray – for him you will find no protector to guide him.4

You must perform abundant pious acts in the Sacred Precinct in Makkah, for one good deed therein is rewarded one hundred thousand times over. This multiplication is narrated specifically regarding the prayer by the Messenger of Allah ﷺ but some scholars regard it to apply to all acts of obedience. Just as the reward for acts of obedience is far greater in the Sacred Precinct, likewise acts of disobedience are far graver therein. One of the pious predecessors said: “There is no place where someone is taken to account for wishing to commit an act of disobedience other than Makkah.” The scholars use as evidence for this Allah’s saying: If Anyone wishes therein to do wrong out of deviance We will cause him to taste a painful punishment.5

Ibn `Abbas, may Allah be pleased with them both, said: “I would prefer to commit seventy sins outside the Sacred Precinct than to commit one sin in Makkah.” May Allah protect Makkah, and increase it in greatness, stature and nobility.

When you reach His inviolable House and your eyes gaze upon it, make your heart gaze upon the Lord of the House. Ḥajj has an outer element and an inner element. The outer element is the Sacred Law (shari`ah) and the inner element is reality (haqiqah). Do not focus on one element to the exclusion of the other, but rather combine the two.

Know that there is a house inside you that belongs to Allāh, which is your heart. He has ordered Ibrahim (your knowledge) and Isma`il (your intellect) to purify it for the angels and spirits who wish to make tawaf (circumambulation) of it, seclude themselves in it, bow and prostrate in it.6 Anyone who possesses neither Ibrahim nor Isma`il is ignorant and foolish, and the Fire will consume him. Anyone who possesses them both but does not allow them to purify the house so that it is fit for those who wish to make tawaf (circumambulation) of it and seclude themselves in it, is a representative of the Devil. An example of such a person is a heedless scholar who does not act according to the dictates of his knowledge and intellect.

The Prophet said: “Zamzam water is what it is drunk for.” This means that if someone drinks it for a sickness, Allah will heal them; if someone drinks it for hunger, Allah will cause them to be satiated and if someone drinks it for a need, Allah will fulfill that need. This is because the well was brought forth when Allah’s aid was sought and Allah gave relief to Isma`il by it. The great Imams have tried this with their own needs and found the Prophet’s words to be true. However, it requires a correct intention and sincerity and it is not for everyone.

CONCLUSION: STORIES OF THE PIOUS

This conclusion is somewhat appropriate to the counsels which preceded it, and someone of intellect and intelligence may derive etiquettes from these narrations which he should observe in those sacred places.

Mentioning the pious predecessors and their lives gives comfort to travellers on the path to the next life, for they are the examples which we should take. Looking at their striving helps seekers to realise their shortcomings. If someone looks at the people of his time and their heedlessness and procrastination, he will most often become proud of himself or harbour a bad opinion of them, both of which are blameworthy. The felicitous one is someone who emulates the pious predecessors, uses them as a proof against himself and drives himself to walk in their footsteps and to follow their straight path.

  • The Messenger of Allah ﷺ made hajj riding on a shabby-looking saddle, under which was a rug worth less than four dirhams. On his return he said: “O Allah, make it a blessed Ḥajj. Let there be no ostentation in it, nor reputation-seeking.”

  • `Umar made tawaf around the House. He placed his hand on the Black Stone, kissed it and then cried. Then he said: “By Allah, I know that you are a Stone that cannot harm or benefit anyone. Had I not seen the Messenger of Allah doing this, I would not have done it.” Then he turned round and saw `Ali (may Allah ennoble him) behind him. He said to him: “O Abu al-Hasan, this is the place where tears flow.”`Ali said to him: “On the contrary, O Leader of the Believers, this Stone harms and benefits people. When Allah took the covenant with the progeny of Adam and said to them: ‘Am I not your Lord?’, He recorded this and this Stone swallowed this document. It will then bear witness to anyone who touches it with truthfulness.”

  • A man met `Abdullah bin `Umar (may Allah be pleased with them both) while making tawaf. He asked `Abdullah bin `Umar for something but he did not respond. `Abdullah bin `Umar met the man again later and said to him: “Perhaps you were upset when I did not respond to you. Do you not know that when we make tawaf we present ourselves to Allah? In any case your need has been answered.”

  • Taus said: “I saw `Ali (Zayn al-`Abidin) the son of Imam al-Husayn in the depths of the night standing in prayer in the Hijr so I came close to him, saying to myself, ‘This is a pious man from the People of the House. Perhaps I will hear him say something that will benefit me.’ I heard him saying while in prostration: ‘A beggar is at Your door, a poor man is at Your door, Your needy slave is at Your door.’8 Whenever I called upon Allah using these words, my prayers were answered.”

  • It was said that when `Ali (Zayn al-`Abidin) the son of Imam al-Husayn entered into ihram he wished to say ‘labbayk’, but instead he started shaking, his colour changed and he fell off his camel. When he was asked what happened he said: “I feared that I would say labbayk – responding to the call of my Lord – and it would be completely rejected.”

  • Salim bin `Abdullah bin `Umar met Hisham bin `Abd al-Malik who was then the governor of Makkah inside the Ka`bah. Hisham said to him: “Ask me, that I may fulfill your need.”

    I would be ashamed to ask other than Him, when I am in His House.” When they were outside the House, Hisham said to him: “You are now outside, so ask what you wish.” Salim said: “Do you mean from the things of this world or the next world?” All I possess are the things of this world.” I did not ask for worldly things from the One Who possesses them, so why would I ask them from anyone other than Him?”

  • A pious man said: “I once saw a man performing tawaf and sa`i. His slaves were around him driving people out of his way to make space for him. I later saw him in Baghdad begging. I asked him what had happened and he said: ‘I showed arrogance in a place where people show humility so Allah humbled me in a place where people show arrogance.’”

  • Al-Hasan al-Basri once stood at `Arafat in the sun on an extremely hot day. He was asked: “Why do you not move into the shade?” He replied: “I did not realise I was in the sun. I recalled a sin that I had committed and I did not feel the heat of the sun.” It was so hot that had someone wrung out his clothes, sweat would have run forth from them. This sin that he recalled was probably a mere thought that had it come to anyone else’s mind, they would not have even considered it a minor sin. This is the veneration the pious predecessors had for their Lord and their distance from acts of disobedience.

  • A man once took seven stones from `Arafat and made them bear witness to his testimony that there is no god but Allāh. He then saw in a dream that he was standing in front of Allāh to be judged. He was taken to account and then ordered to be taken to the Fire. However, whenever he was brought to one of the seven gates of the Fire, a stone came and blocked his entrance. He realised that these stones were the same stones that had born witness to his testimony. Then his testimony was brought and the gate of Paradise was opened to him.

  • `Ali bin al-Muwaffaq said: “On the eve of the Day of `Arafah I saw in my dream two angels who had descended from the heavens. One said to the other: “Do you know how many people have come to our Lord’s House to perform Ḥajj this year?” No,” said the other. Six hundred thousand,” he said. “Do you know how many have been accepted?” No.” Six people.” So I remained in a state of sorrow and distress. I said to myself, ‘What chance do I have of being among those six?’ The following night, the eve of the Day of Slaughter, I saw the two angels again. One said to the other: “Do you know what the judgement of our Lord was?” No,” said the other. He gave one hundred thousand people to each of the six (and thus accepted them all).” Upon hearing this, I woke up in a state of joy that was indescribable.

 TURNING TO THE MESSENGER OF ALLAH

We round off these counsels with Imam al-Haddad’s address to the Messenger of Allah on his visit to him.

أَتَيْنَاكَ زَوَّاراً نَرُومُ شَفَاعَةً                      إِلى اللهِ في مَحْوِ الإِسَاءَةِ و الذَّنْبِ

و في النَّفْسِ حَاجَاتٌ و ثَمَّ مَطَالِبُ                      نُؤَمِّلُ أَنْ تُقْضى بِجَاهِكَ يا مُحْبِي

تَوَجَّهْ رَسولَ للهِ في كُلِّ حَاجَةٍ                            لنا و مُهِمٍّ في المعَاشِ و في القَلْبِ

و إِنَّ صَلاحَ الدِّينِ و القَلْبِ سَيِّدي                      هُوَ الغَرَضُ الأَقْصى فَيَا سَيِّدي قُمْ بِي

عَلَيْكَ صَلاةُ اللهِ يا خَيْرَ مُهْتَدٍ                             و هادٍ بِنُورِ اللهِ في الشَّرْقِ و الغَرْبِ

We have come to you as visitors, aiming to attain your intercession with Allah in wiping out our sins and wrongdoings

In our souls are needs and requests that we hope to be fulfilled through your status, O Giver

Turn (to Allah), O Messenger of Allah, regarding every need and concern of ours in our worldly lives and in our hearts

The rectification of my religion and my heart is my utmost goal, my Master, so assist me.

May Allah’s blessings be upon you, for you are the best one who guides by the light of Allah in the East and West.

[Taken from Imam al-Haddad’s al-Wasaya al-Naf`iah, from his Diwan and from al-Fuyudat al-Rabbaniyyah by Habib Zayn bin Sumayt]

1 Narrated by al-Bukhari

2 Narrated by Ahmad, al-Bayhaqi and al-Tabarani.Rukhsah is a dispensation; `azimah (strictness) is what Allah initially legislates of general rulings not concerned with one circumstance rather than other, or one individual rather than other. (“Reliance of the Traveller,” N. Keller c6.1-2).

3 In our times this applies to any vehicle which you may board.

4 Al-Kahf, 18:17

5 Al- Hajj, 22:25

6 The Imam is referring to Allah’s saying: We took a covenant with Ibrāhīm and Ismā`īl that they purify My House for those who wish to make ṭawāf (circumambulation) of it, seclude themselves in it, bow and prostrate in it (al-Baqarah, 2:125).

7The hijr is the crescent shaped area immediately adjacent to the Ka’bah. It was originally part of the Ka’bah.

8 The prayer in Arabic is:

سَائِلُكَ بِفِنائِكَ مِسْكِينُكَ بِفِنائِكَ فَقِيرُكَ عَبْدُكَ بِفِنائِكَ

The First Ten Days of Dhu’l-Hijjah

Kaabah

We are about to enter the blessed month of Dhu`l-Hijjah. The Messenger of Allah ﷺ informed us that there are no days in which righteous actions are more beloved to Allah than the first ten days of this month.1 For that reason some scholars have ruled that these days are better than the final ten days of Ramadan, although the nights of Ramadan are superior to these nights. Allah Himself swears by “the Ten Nights” in Surat al-Fajr, which is sufficient evidence of their greatness. Most of the scholars say that these are the first ten nights (and days) of Dhu’l-Hijjah. Al-Hafiz Ibn Hajar said that the reason that these days have been accorded such merit is that it is only in these days that all the most important of acts of worship are performed: prayer, fasting, giving charity and hajj.

The Prophet ﷺ said that fasting one of these days is equal to the reward of fasting for a whole year and standing in one of these nights in prayer is equal to standing in prayer on Laylat al-Qadr.2 It has also been narrated that the reward for actions in these days is multiplied seven hundred times.

This is not to mention the Day of Arafah (the 9th of Dhu’l-Hijjah) which is the greatest day of the year. Fasting that day wipes out the sins of the previous year and the year to come. Read more about the Day of Arafah here.
If we are unable to fast the first nine days of the month, we should at least fast the Day of Arafah. If we are able to fast two or three days then by fasting Monday or Thursday or both we will gain the reward of following the Sunnah. Likewise by fasting three of these days we will have performed the Sunnah of fasting three days in every month.

These are days in which we should remember Allah abundantly. Allah says that they remember the name of Allah on well-known days.3 These “well-known days” according to the majority of scholars are the ten days of Dhu’l-Hijjah. This is why the Prophet said ﷺ that in these days we should make abundant tahlil (saying la ilaha ill’Allah), takbir (saying Allahu akbar) and tahmid (saying alhamdulillah).4 Sayyiduna `Abdullah Ibn `Umar and Sayyiduna Abu Hurayrah would go into the marketplace in Madinah in these days and raise their voices with the takbir. The people in the marketplace would then raise their voices with the takbir in response. Thus the most hated place to Allah, a place where most people are heedless of Him, was filled with His remembrance.

Whether it be prayer, fasting, charity, remembrance, seeking knowledge, helping people, any righteous actions we do will be greatly rewarded and beyond that are beloved to Allah. This is also a time when prayers are answered by Allah.

Sayyidi Habib `Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him) reminds us that the linguistic meaning of hajj is seeking or intending. Thus the people of Allah are constantly performing hajj because they are constantly seeking Allah. Just as their whole year is Ramadan, likewise their whole year is hajj. Just as those performing hajj respond to the call of Allah by saying “labbayk”, they are swift to respond to the call of Allah. They take themselves to account and leave that which is disliked and dubious in all their states and actions. They reject the desires of their lower selves and they are the furthest of people from that which is prohibited. They constantly receive new blessings from their Lord so they constantly renew their ihram.5 Day and night they make tawaf around the House of their Lord, the One to Whom they turn themselves with absolute sincerity until nothing remains in them which is directed to other than Allah.

 

Actions that Carry the Reward of Hajj

Nothing of course can equal actually performing the hajj and worshipping Allah in those blessed places. Allah knows that many people long to make hajj every year but are unable to do so. Out of His generosity, He made the reward for certain actions similar to the reward of a supererogatory hajj.

  1. Remembering Allah from Fajr until Ishraq. The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “Whoever prays Subh (Fajr) in congregation and then sits in the place where he prayed remembering Allah until the sun rises and then prays two rakats has the reward of a complete hajj and `umrah.” He repeated “complete” three times.6
  2. Attending a gathering of knowledge. The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “The one who goes out to the mosque wanting only to learn good or teach it has the reward of a complete hajj.”7
  3. Going to the mosque for the congregational prayer. The Prophet ﷺ said: “Whoever performs ablution in his house and then goes out to perform the obligatory prayer in the mosque has a reward similar to a person performing hajj. Whoever goes out to perform the mid-morning prayer (Duha) has a reward similar to the reward of a person performing `umrah.”8
  4. Performing the Friday Prayer. Sayyiduna Sa`id Ibn al-Musayyib said performing the Friday Prayer is “more beloved to me than a supererogatory hajj.”
  5. Performing the Eid Prayer. One of the Companions said: “Going out to pray Eid al-Fitr is equal to performing `umrah and going out to pray Eid al-Adha is equal to performing hajj.”
  6. Fulfilling the needs of your brother or sister. Sayyiduna Hasan al-Basri said: “Going to fulfill the need of your brother is better for you than performing one hajj after another.”
  7. Being good to your parents. The Prophet ﷺ commanded one of the Companions to be good to his mother. If you do so, he said: “You are someone performing hajj, someone performing `umrah and someone striving for the sake of Allah (mujahid).”
  8. Performing obligatory actions. The slave can only draw near to Allah by performing supererogatory actions after first having performed that which is obligatory. This includes purifying one’s heart from forbidden attributes and safeguarding one’s tongue and limbs from committing forbidden actions. All of this is much harder on the lower self than many supererogatory acts of worship.

Finally there is no action more beloved to Allah on the Day of Eid than making a sacrifice. The Messenger of Allah ﷺ told his beloved daughter Sayyidah Fatimah al-Zahra’ that she would be forgiven for her previous wrongdoings with the first drop of blood to be shed from the sacrificed animal. She asked if this reward was specifically for the household of the Prophet and he replied: “For us and for all the Muslims.”

Rafah Foundation is performing qurbani/udhiyah in Tarim. The meat will be distributed to poor people in Tarim and the surrounding area and refugees who have fled their homes in other parts of Yemen due to conflict.

Read more here

These are adhkar that many of the pious people would recite during the first ten days of Dhu’l-Hijjah. Habib Umar recommends reciting them.

Download here

 —

1 Narrated by al-Bukhari, Abu Da'ud, al-Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah

2 Narrated al-Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah

3 Al-Hajj, 22:28

4 Narrated by Ahmad

5 The state of sanctity in which the pilgrim approaches Allah

6 Narrated by al-Tirmidhi

7 Narrated by al-Tabarani

8 Narrated by Abu Daud

Weekly Salawat: Ya Nafi` (the One Who Benefits)     

The Prophet said   :

“All creatures are Allah’s dependants, and the most beloved to Allah are those most beneficial to His dependants.”

Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah preserve him and benefit us by him) teaches us to ask Allah by His name, the One Who benefits (al-Nafi`) and by His Prophet who is the source of all benefit, that He makes us among those who benefit the creation the most.

اللَّهُمَّ يا اللهُ يا نافِعُ صَلِّ على عَبْدِكَ و حَبِيبِكَ سَيِّدِنا مُحَمَّدٍ النَّبِيِّ النَّافِعِ مَنْبَعِ المَنافِعِ و على آلِهِ و صَحْبِهِ و سَلِّمْ تَسْلِيماً واجَمَعْ لي بِهِ المنَافِعَ و اجْعَلْني بِهِ مِنْ أَنْفَعِ خَلْقِكَ لِخَلْقِكَ ظاهِراً و باطِناً

 

Allāhumma yā Allāhu yā Nāfi`u salli `alā `abdika wa habībika sayyidinā Muhammad an-Nabī al- Nāfi`I manba`i’l-manāfi` wa `alā ālihi wa sahbihi wa sallim taslīman wa’jma` lī bihi’l-manāfi` wa’ja`lnī bihi min anfa`i khalqika li khalqika zāhiran wa bātina

O Allah, the One Who benefits, bestow abundant prayers and peace upon Your slave and beloved, our Master Muhammad, the Prophet who benefits others and is the source of all benefit, and upon his Family and Companions, and by him allow me to attain all beneficial things and make me among those who benefit Your creation the most inwardly and outwardly.