Category Archives: Blessed Days

Imam Hasan, son of Imam al-Haddad, and the Effect of Hajj

Imam Hasan, the son of Imam Abdullah bin Alawi al-Haddad was a seeker, a person of piety and a scholar who acted according to his knowledge. Imam al-Haddad, however, was waiting for him to reach higher levels. He said: “When that son of mine performs hajj something will be ingrained in him which was not in him before.”

So he went to perform hajj and implemented all the sunnahs, exerted great caution and effort until the hajj had its effect upon him. Then he returned to Hadramawt and became a paragon of renunciation of worldly things (zuhd).

They told him that part of his house was falling and it needed to be repaired (houses in Hadramawt are built from mud bricks and require regular repair) but he replied that he did not need that part of the house and life was short.

He focused on teaching and preparing for the next life until one half of the house caved in. He said: “The other half of the house is sufficient.”  He carried on in this way until only one room of the house was left standing. When people criticised him, he replied with a verse of poetry:

يقولون بيتك بيت صغير كأن نسجته لك العنكبوت

فقلت المقام قليل به وهذا كثير على من يموت

They say your house is so small it could have been woven by a spider!

I say to them I will not live long in it and it is plenty big enough for someone who is sure to die

This is the exact opposite of what hajj does to some people. They go to hajj and they have some humility but they return with more desire and concern for worldly things. This would be a sign that their hajj has not been accepted and we seek Allah’s refuge from that.

The whole purpose of hajj is to draw us closer to Allah, the King, the Living and that we see things as they truly are.

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

The Best Prayer is the Prayer of Arafah

The Prophet ﷺ said: “The best prayer is the prayer of the Day of Arafah. The best thing which I and the Prophets before me have said is:

لاَ إِلَهَ إِلَّا اللهُ وَحْدَهُ لاَ شَرِيكَ لَهُ، لَهُ الْمُلْكُ وَ لَهُ الْحَمْدُ يُحْيُي و يُمِيت وَ هُوَ حَيٌّ لا يَموتُ  بِيَدِهِ الخَيْرُ و هَو عَلَى كُلِّ شَيءٍ قَدِيرٍ

La ilaha ill’Allahu wahdahu la sharika lahu, lahu’l-mulku wa lahu’l-hamdu yuhi wa yumit wa huwa hayyun la yamut bi yadihi’-khayr wa `ala kulli shayin qadir

“There is no deity save Allah alone. He has no partners. To Him belongs the dominion and all praise. He brings life and brings death and He is the Living Who never dies. To Him belongs all good. He has power over all things.”

The Prophet called it a prayer (dua) but where is the request? What is the person actually asking for when he says it?

The reality is all requests are contained in it if you are connected to its meaning and realise its implications.

If you say it with realisation, your Lord gazes upon you and all requests made to Him by anyone in the past and the future are insignificant compared to what He then gives you.

The believers should repeat it on the Day of Arafah whether they are performing hajj or not.

Saying it removes darkness from you until you become pure light. It removes the darkness of witnessing created things by affirming to Whom truly belongs the dominion and the power to give life and death.

Can you then have hope in other than Him, fear other than Him or rely on other than Him? No!

May Allah enable us to realise these realities.

May He bless us on the Day of Arafat such that the forces of disbelief, misguidance, corruption and deviance are stopped in their tracks. May the banners of Muhammad be unfurled in every place so that the promised time soon comes in which la ilaha ill’Allah enters every single house.

Maintaining Our Connection to the Quran on Eid

Try to recite a portion of the Quran on Eid.

If you do this on the day of Eid and the next day and the day after you will maintain the connection you made with the speech of Allah during Ramadan. The comfort you felt and the ease with which you recited it will continue throughout the year. You will not fall into the darkness of abandoning the Quran.

The more you are distracted with Eid, however, the harder it will be to return to the Quran. The soul is slow to become accustomed to doing good but fast to become accustomed to leaving it.

O Allah, make us among the people of the Quran. Do not make us among those who the Prophet ﷺ complained about to his Lord: The Messenger cried out: “Lord, my people have abandoned this Quran.” (25:30)

Habib Ali al-Jifri (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him)

Intentions For After Ramadan

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

What intentions should we make for after Ramadan?

It is good to make these intentions before Ramadan is over so that the reward for our intentions is multiplied.

We intend to be among those whose entire year is Ramadan

We intend that our connection to Allah is expressed in our actions throughout the day and the night

We intend to serve the Ummah in the best way by focusing on the Three Objectives (knowledge, devotion and service)

We intend to seek the pleasure of Allah and to make His Messenger ﷺ happy in all that we do

We intend to attain an increase in presence of heart with Allah at all times but especially during the prayer, recitation of the Quran and remembrance

We intend to establish gatherings with our brothers and sisters who we love for Allah’s sake

We intend to fast the Six Days of Shawwal and other blessed days such as Tāsūā’ and Ashura (9th and 10th Muharram) and the Day of Arafah and at least three days in every month

Preserving the Light of Ramadan

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

How do we preserve the light of Ramadan once the month has ended?

One of the keys to preserving what we have attained is in the intentions we make before the month ends. We should make firm intentions to do good in Shawwal and beyond. We also need to beg Allah to preserve and increase the gifts He has given us. We need to be consistent in our attendance of gatherings and classes, consistent in our recitation of the Quran while reflecting upon its meanings and consistent in our recitation of the adhkar with presence of heart. We must also choose the best company and sit in the presence of people who have been given light.

Photo credit: Mahabbah Foundation

Why did Allah conceal Laylat al-Qadr?

He could have made it a specific night so people could be completely prepared for it.

But it is concealed in order that the believer remains in a state of anticipation – awaiting and hoping for the bounty of Allah. Thus his connection to Allah is not based upon one specific time which comes and goes and then he turns away from Allah and gets on with something else. This is the divine wisdom.

Furthermore that anticipation of Allah’s bounty nurtures a state of knowledge of Allah in the heart – the more you turn to Him, the more you seek His pleasure, the more you hope for His gifts the more light increases in your heart. Allah says in the hadith qudsi: “I am as my servant perceives Me.”

The more you think good of Him, the more good grows in your heart; the more you believe He will give you, the more He will give you.

This develops and nurtures your relationship with Allah which is the secret behind Laylat al-Qadr, the secret behind Ramadan and the secret behind every act of worship.

Habib Ali al-Jifri (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him)

Victories and Openings from the Isra and Mi`raj

Habib Ali al-Jifri (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him) tells us how victories and openings come through learning about the Isra and Mi`raj. Extracts from a talk delivered at Majelis Rasulullah in Jakarta, Indonesia on the night of the Isra and Mi`raj, Rajab 1439.

The key to attaining divine gifts is showing mercy. When the Prophet ﷺ showed mercy to the people of Ta’if, even though he could have asked for their destruction, Allah bestowed upon him the greatest of gifts on the night of the Mi`raj.

The Prophet ﷺ made his Isra from Makkah, which at that time was the centre of the struggle between truth and falsehood. He went to Masjid al-Aqsa which is now the centre of the struggle between truth and falsehood. Just as the Prophet was given victory in Makkah, likewise victory will be given in Masjid al-Aqsa. If we see how difficult the situation is in Palestine now, we recall how difficult the situation was then in Makkah in the time of the Prophet ﷺ . Victory eventually came in Makkah to people whose hearts had absolute love for the Prophet. Victory will be given in Palestine to people whose hearts have absolute love for the Prophet.

On the day the Prophet ﷺ was given victory in Makkah, he ordered his army not to disturb a dog which was nursing its puppies. This was an army whose soldiers’ hearts were filled with prophetic mercy. In our times armies have no regard for human life, let alone animal life. The army that will be given victory at the end of time must be made up of those whose hearts are filled with mercy. They cannot be people who encourage others to blow up innocent civilians.

Qurbani / Udhiyah in Yemen

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The Messenger of Allah informed us that there is no action more beloved to Allah on the Day of Eid than making a sacrifice. He 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 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.

Rafah Foundation supports teachers, students and educational institutions and those in need and is currently providing aid to those suffering the effects of war in Yemen.

 

Cost of a sheep: $108 US = £83 GB

Cost of a goat:  $118 US = £91 GB

 

You can make an online payment using PayPal here:

http://alrafh.org/en/product/qurban1439/

 Or you can transfer directly to our UK bank account and then email us at info-eng@alrafh.org to confirm

 

Rafah International

Barclays Bank

Account no 43578275

Sort Code 202608

 

 

By contributing you are authorising the project administrators to buy the animal, slaughter, make the intention for doing so and distribute the meat on your behalf.

 

 

May Allah accept all our good deeds at this blessed time.

 

Returning to Allah in Rajab

 

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Sayyidi Habib `Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him) describes the state the believer should be as the blessed month of Rajab enters. Summarised from a Khutbah delivered in Masjid al-Rawdah, Tarim, on 27th Jumada al-Akhirah 1433 / 18th May 2012.

O believer, look to see how you end the month of Jumada al-Akhirah, and look to see how you receive the month of Rajab, the month which stands alone among the sacred months. This month was venerated even in the times of Jahiliyyah, and Islam came to reinforce this veneration. O believer in Allah, one of your most important aims in this life is for your heart to be completely focused on Allah and at the same time to be someone that unites people’s hearts.

One of the greatest manifestations of your focusing your heart on Allah is being aware of your shortcomings towards Him, seeking refuge in Him, seeking forgiveness from Him, repenting to Him and pleading that out of His kindness He overlooks your faults.

Seeking forgiveness (istighfar) from Allah is foundational in focusing your heart on Allah. When seeking forgiveness:

  1. you express awareness of your errors and shortcomings towards Him
  2. you express your certainty that you have a Lord Who takes people to account for their sins, Who may forgive them or may punish them; you express your certainty that the affair is in His hands
  3. you express your need for your Lord which leads you to plead with Him to be forgiven

The Prophet ﷺ, the one who was protected from falling into sin, the most pure, would seek forgiveness from Allah one hundred times in one sitting. He would say:

رَبِّ اغْفِرْ لِي وتُبْ عَلَيَّ إِنَّكَ أَنتَ التَّوَّابُ الرَّحِيمُ

Rabbi’ghfir li wa tub `alayya innaka anta’attawwabu’rrahim

My Lord, forgive me and turn to me, truly You are the Oft-Returning, the Most Merciful.[1]

This tells us how the life of the Prophet was, how his gatherings with his Companions were, so seek to resemble them. Beware of gatherings in which Allah is not mentioned, in which His forgiveness is not sought and in which the return to Him is not mentioned. O believer, beautify your gatherings in the same way that your guide, the Chosen One, Muhammad beautified his gatherings. He is the one who said: “Good tidings to the one who finds in his book (in which his actions are recorded) much istighfar (seeking forgiveness).”[2] Seeking forgiveness is a remedy for your sins, and sins are the cause of tribulations in this life and the next. The fire of your sins is only extinguished by seeking the forgiveness of the Living, the Eternal, the All-Hearing, the All-Seeing.

Throughout your life you have the opportunity to seek forgiveness from Allah but there are specific times when you should do so, during the day and night and during the months of the year. The last portion of the night is one of these times. Allah says, describing the people of taqwa: Those who show patience, those who are truthful, those who worship devoutly, those who spend (their wealth for Allah’s sake) and those who seek forgiveness in the last portion of the night.[3] Allah also says: They were prior to that people of righteousness; they were in the habit of sleeping little by night; and they would seek forgiveness in the last portion of the night.[4]

Another time to seek forgiveness is after performing the prescribed prayer. In doing so, you remember the deficiencies in your prayer and to ask for acceptance.

Even when leaving the toilet your Prophet taught you to say three times:

غُفْرَانَكَ

Ghufranak

I seek Your forgiveness.

If you say this when you go to bed three times your sins will be forgiven even if they are as numerous as the foam on top of the sea:

أستَغْفِرُ اللهَ العَظِيمَ الَّذِي لاَ إِلهَ إِلاَّ هُوَ الحَيُّ القَيُّومُ وأَتُوبُ إِليه

Astaghfirullaha’l-`azim alladhi la ilaha illa huw al-Hayya al-Qayyum wa atubu ilayh

I seek the forgiveness of Allah the Most Great, alongside Whom there is no deity; the Living, the Sustainer, and I repent to Him

Among the months, Rajab is the month of seeking forgiveness. Al-Daylami narrates on the authority of `Ali bin Abi Talib (may Allah ennoble him) that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “Seek much forgiveness (from Allah) in Rajab because in every hour (of the month) Allah frees people from the Fire.” When the month entered the Prophet would say, as Anas narrates:

اللَّهُمَّ بَارِكْ لَنَا في رَجَبٍ وَ شَعْبَانَ وَ بَلِّغْنا رَمَضَانَ

Allahumma barik lana fi Rajabin wa Sha`ban wa ballighna Ramadan

“O Allah, bless us in Rajab and Sha`ban and enable us to reach Ramadan!”[5]

It is a blessed month, may Allah bless us and the Ummah in it. In the times of Jahiliyyah the noise of battle would not be heard in this month. This was due to the veneration that people had for the month, even though they were polytheists. Allah revealed concerning this month: They ask you about the sacred months – fighting therein. Say: fighting therein is a grave offence.[6]

Look at the state the Ummah has reached today. Some Muslims have actually declared war in the month of Rajab, not on the disbelievers, but on each other. Some have spilt the blood of their brothers. Look how far the Ummah has sunk when it has left the guidance of Allah and His Messenger and surrendered its reins to corrupt people, to disbelievers, to people deceived by their own philosophies!

Our Master said: “O people, repent to Allah for truly I repent to Allah in every day and night seventy (or one hundred) times.”[7] Allah says in the hadith qudsi: “O son of Adam, if your sins were so numerous that they reached the heavens and then you sought My forgiveness I would forgive you and it is nothing to Me.”[8] If someone allows Rajab to enter and they have no concern for their wrongdoings then they do not truly possess taqwa. The believer sees his sins as a mountain towering over him that he fears will fall upon his head, whereas the hypocrite sees his sins as a fly that lands on his nose which he brushes away with his hand. One of the Followers was told that a group of people were talking about something which did not concern them. He said: “If they were concerned with their own wrongdoings they would not have talked about that subject.”

Seek forgiveness in abundance and seek to unite people’s hearts. Beware of provoking hatred, or tale bearing, for “among the worst slaves of Allah are those that constantly bear tales, those that cause division between those that love each other.” Choose words that unite people: Say to My slaves that they should only say those things that are best, for the Devil sows dissension among them.[9]

Attempt to fast in this month. `Ali bin Muhammad al-Rabi` narrates from a chain of narrators all of whom are reliable that one of the Followers asked one of the Companions: “Did the Messenger of Allah ﷺ fast in Rajab?”

He replied: “Yes, and he would ennoble it.” He would ennoble and honour the month by fasting in it. May Allah awaken our hearts!

Prepare for the first night of Rajab. He said ﷺ: “There are five nights on which du`a’ is not rejected: the first night of Rajab, the fifteenth night of Sha`ban, Thursday night, the night before Eid al-Fitr and the night before Eid al-Nahr (al-Adha).”[10] Sayyiduna `Ali would spend this night in worship.

May Allah purify our hearts and enable us to take advantage of the time that we have left in this life.

 

[1] Narrated by Abu Daud, Ibn Majah and al-Tirmidhi

[2] Narrated by Ibn Majah and al-Bayhaqi

[3] Al `Imran, 3:17

[4] Al-Dhariyat, 51:16

[5] Narrated by Ahmad

[6] Al-Baqarah, 2:217

[7] Narrated by Muslim

[8] Narrated by al-Tirmidhi

[9] Al-Isra’, 17:53

[10] Narrated by al-Suyuti