Seeking Allah’s Forgiveness After Hajj

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One of the first things Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him) did when he returned to Tarim after performing hajj was to seek Allah’s forgiveness. The Prophet said ﷺ : “O Allah, forgive the one who has made hajj and the one for whom he seeks forgiveness.” This is the prayer he made:

O Allah, as Your Prophet ﷺ taught us, we seek Your forgiveness for ourselves and those present and our families and our children and those in our homes and our neighbours and our companions and our students and all Muslims and believers male and female.

We ask You, by the secret of Your Beloved’s seeking forgiveness and his request that You forgive the person who performs hajj and whoever he seeks forgiveness for.. we ask You by what You said in Your Book: If only when they wronged themselves they came to you and sought Allah’s forgiveness and the Messenger sought forgiveness for them they would have found Allah Oft-Returning, Most Merciful.. we ask You for complete and all-encompassing forgiveness which leaves behind no wrongdoings or acts of disobedience. Replace all our bad deeds with good deeds and fulfil the rights that are due to others on our behalf.

O Allah, bless those who have performed hajj and visited Your Prophet ﷺ with complete acceptance and allow Your Prophet to intercede for us. Allow us to receive the gifts and secrets that were bestowed upon those who made tawaf and stood at Arafat and performed hajj and umrah. May this be a cause for us to increase in determination to honour our covenant with You so that we attain Your true love and remain firm upon the path which is pleasing to You in our words, deeds, intentions and all our states.

We ask that through Your acceptance of those that have performed hajj You relieve the sufferings of the Muslims and unite the Muslims. We ask for Your complete enabling grace and to be in the best company in the next life. We recite the Fatihah and donate the reward to the Chosen One and his Household and Companions and those that he loves and all of Allah’s pious slaves.

What is Meant by Hajj Mabrur?

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Habib Ali al-Jifri (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him) asks: what is meant by the term ‘hajj mabrur’?

All praise is for Allah.

Our Master Muhammad ﷺ said: “The performance of `umrah is an expiation for the sins committed between it and the previous `umrah; and the reward of hajj mabrur is nothing less than Paradise.”[1]

The Mother of the Believers, Sayyidatuna Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) said: “O Messenger of Allah, us women consider jihad to be the best of actions. Should we not perform jihad?”

He replied: “No. Rather, the best form of jihad is hajj mabrur.”[2]

What is meant by the term hajj mabrur which is the best form of jihad and the reward for which is Paradise?

A variety of answers have been given in response to this question.

In one hadith the Prophet ﷺ said that hajj mabrur is: “Giving food and spreading peace.”

Ibn `Abbas (may Allah be pleased with them both) said it is: “`Ajj and thajj,” meaning raising one’s voice saying ‘labbayk’ and slaughtering the sacrificial animals in order to feed the pilgrims.

Another opinion is that in it the pilgrim does not detract from his hajj by committing any sins.

Other opinions are that it is an accepted hajj or one in which there is no ostentation or reputation-seeking or one in which the person performing it abides by all the rulings.

There is no doubt that all of these definitions are backed up by scriptural evidence and have a linguistic basis. Therefore it is possible to summarise the meaning of hajj mabrur in three points:

 

  1. Sincerity

The bare minimum level of sincerity needed in order for your hajj to be mabrur is that you seek Allah’s pleasure alone in performing it. There must be no ostentation or reputation-seeking in it.

In this regard the Prophet ﷺ said: “Actions are only by intentions. Each person shall only have what he intends.”[3]

You can elevate your intention by intending sincere repentance such that your spiritual state becomes higher after hajj. Up until very recently, people considered hajj to be a means of being elevated from one spiritual state to a higher spiritual state. After hajj you should no longer be neglectful of your obligations nor persistently commit minor sins or any major sins.

The highest level of sincerity during hajj is that nothing other than Allah enters your heart. This is a precious gift and a lofty station which is not easily attained. However, gifts such as these constantly flow forth from the treasure troves of Allah’s bounty. He is the Most Generous and He does not turn away those who place their hopes in Him.

 

  1. Wholesome Provision

The pilgrim should not fund his hajj with money that is not pleasing to Allah. This includes money spent on food, clothing, transport and other expenses incurred during the hajj as well as the maintenance of dependents left behind such as his wife and children.

The bare minimum in order for your hajj to be mabrur is that your money should not be from an unlawful source such as theft, bribery, fraud, usury or that is wrongly taken from others.

In a hadith it is mentioned: “If a man leaves for hajj with money which is pure, places his foot on the stirrup [of his riding animal], and says ‘labbayk Allahumma labbayk’ [4], a caller from the heavens will call out: ‘labbayk wa sa`dayk.‘[5] Your provision is lawful, your riding animal is lawful and your hajj is mabrur with no sin.’ But if a man leaves his home with filthy provision, places his foot on the stirrup and says ‘labbayk Allahumma labbayk’ a caller from the heavens will call out: ‘la labbayk wa la sa`dayk.’ [6] Your provision is unlawful, your spending is unlawful and your hajj is not mabrur.’”[7]

If you perform hajj with money which is filthy

Then you have not performed hajj – only your camels have

Beyond this, the pilgrim may reach a high level of scrupulousness such that he stays away from any doubtful sources of wealth and chooses only the best and purest of his wealth with which to perform hajj.

 

  1. Excellent Performance

The pilgrim should perform the rites according to the rulings of the Sacred Law whilst safeguarding his heart and limbs from everything that is not pleasing to Allah. He should busy himself with remembering Allah and not fall into argumentation or foul speech.

The bare minimum in order for the hajj to be mabrur is to perform the integrals and obligatory elements of the hajj as well as to abstain from the things that invalidate it and the things that are prohibited during it. Along with this, the pilgrim should do his utmost to say ‘labbayk’ and generally remember Allah in abundance, to feed people and interact with them in the best way.

The pilgrim can then seek to perfect his hajj by avidly performing its recommended acts, following the example of the one who said ﷺ: “Learn your rites from me directly.”[8] He should abstain from disliked things and perform the rites with the utmost attention to detail. He should not waste his time in superfluous permissible speech but rather should be preoccupied with remembrance of Allah, recitation of the Qur’an, supplication, pleading with Allah and reflection. His heart should be in a constant state of humility which is then reflected in his appearance and his interaction with others.

It is in this way that the hajj will be mabrur and the reward will be Paradise. The bounty of Allah is vast and unlimited and He is the Most Generous.

O Allah, protect the pilgrims who are coming to Your House and accept their rites for indeed they have come by Your bounty to receive Your bounty. Bless the good amongst them and by their virtue accept those who fall short. Return them to their homelands safely. Give us a great portion of what You pour into their hearts. Do not deprive us of the opportunity of performing hajj and visiting your Prophet, the Beloved, the Chosen One ﷺ.

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Translator’s note: based on the above, the term hajj mabrur could be translated as ‘a complete and accepted hajj.’

 

[1] Narrated by al-Bukhari and Muslim

[2] Narrated by al-Bukhari

[3] Narrated by al-Bukhari and Muslim

[4] ‘Here I am, O Allah, here I am.’

[5] ‘Here I am, at your service.’

[6] ‘I am not here and not at your service.’

[7] Narrated by al-Tabarani

[8] Narrated by Muslim, Ahmad and al-Nasa’i

 

Is it better to fast Monday and Thursday or the White Days?

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

Is it better to fast Monday and Thursday or the White Days?

If you are able to do so, it is better to fast every Monday and Thursday because if you do so you will fast eight days in every month, as opposed to only three days if you fast the White Days. One of those Mondays or Thursdays is also likely to coincide with the White Days. If you are able to fast the White Days and another five days in addition to this, this would also be good. We cannot say categorically that one type of fasting is better than other. If someone finds that a certain type of fasting has more effect on his heart and helps him on his path to Allah then this is the best fast for that person.

 

Finding Qur’an Recitation Difficult

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

I find it difficult to recite the Qur’an so during Ramadan I read a translation of the Qur’an. Will I be rewarded for this?

You will receive the reward of seeking knowledge and the reward for this is great. You should continue this but also recite even a small portion of the Qur’an. In addition to this you can repeat Surat al-Ikhlas, Surat al-Falaq and Surat al-Nas. You should also say ‘la ilaha ill’Allah’ in abundance and intend by doing so reciting the Qur’an.

Imam al-Haddad’s Prayer for Strength

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This is Imam al-Haddad’s Prayer for Strength. Habib Umar bin Hafiz recommends reciting it regularly.

(اللَّهُمَّ يا رَبُّ يا قَدِيرُ يا قَوِيُّ يا مَتِينُ  (ثلاثاً

أَسْأَلُكَ بِقُدْرَتِك وبِقُوَّتِكَ أَنْ تُمِدَّني في جَميعِ قِوايَ وجَوارِحِي الظَّاهِرة ِوالباطِنة ِبِقُوَّةٍ مِنْ قُوَّتِك َوقُدْرَةٍ مِنْ قُدْرَتِكَ أَقْدِرُ بِها وأَقْوَى بِها على القِيامِ بِما كَلَّفْتَنِي بِهِ مِنْ حُقُوقِ رُبوبِيَّتِك ونَدَبْتَنِي إِلَيْهِ مِنْها فِيما بَيْنِي وبَيْنِكَ وفِيما بَيْنِي وبَيْنَ خَلْقِكَ وعلى التَّمَتُّعِ بِكُلِّ ما خَوَّلْتَني مِنْ نِعَمِك الَّتي أَبَحْتَهَا لي في دِينِك ويَكونُ كُلُّ ذلِكَ على أَصْلَحِ الوُجُوهِ وأَكْمَلِها وأَحْسَنِها وأَفْضَلِها مَصْحُوباً بِالعَافِيةِ والقَبُولِ والرِّضى مِنْكَ يا أَرْحَمَ الرَّاحِمين

O Allah, O Lord, O Omnipotent, O Most Powerful, O Most Firm (three times).

I ask You, through Your ability and power, to bolster my inward and outward strength, giving me the ability and strength to perform the things which You have charged me to perform which pertain to the rights of Your lordship;

And to perform what You have encouraged me to perform, whether this pertains to my relationship with You or my relationship with Your creation;

And to enjoy every one of the blessings that You have bestowed upon me, which You have made permissible to me in Your religion;

And that all this be in the best, most beneficial and perfect way, accompanied by well-being, acceptance and Your good pleasure, O Most Merciful.

On Preparing for Hajj

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

How do I prepare for hajj?

You prepare for Hajj by purifying your heart, making sincere tawbah and giving people the rights that are due to them. You need to learn the rulings of Hajj and Umrah and etiquettes of Ziyarah. You must have veneration for Allah and His Messenger ﷺ and the Sacred House. Also read about how the pious performed Hajj and visited the Prophet ﷺ .

The Best Dua the Seeker Can Make for his Shaykh

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

What is the best dua that the seeker can make for his shaykh?

The seeker should ask:

  • that his shaykh be a source of pleasure for the Prophet ﷺ
  • that his shaykh be pleased by what the Prophet ﷺ gives him, his companions, the people of his time and the Ummah
  • that his shaykh be raised to the highest station of khilafah (representation) of the Prophet ﷺ
  • that his shaykh be engaged in that which is most beloved to the Prophet ﷺ – it is more fitting that they please Allah and His Messenger if they are truly believers.[1]

[1] Al-Tawbah, 9:62

Gaining Acceptance through the Prayers of the Pious | Wisdoms of Habib Ahmad Mashhur al-Haddad

Words of wisdom from Habib Ahmad Mashhur al-Haddad (may Allah have mercy upon him and benefit us by him)

In al-Salat al-Ibrahimiyyah we say: “O Allah, bestow prayers upon our Master Muhammad just as You bestowed prayers upon our Master Ibrahim.”

In the dua of qunut we say: “O Allah, guide us among those You have guided.”

In the Qur’an, Sayyiduna Sulayman says: “Admit me, through Your mercy, to the ranks of Your pious slaves.” (27:19)

What these prayers have in common (and other similar prayers) is that they are based upon a prayer that has previously been answered. The person hopes that by making these prayers he will be accepted by Allah just as those who made them previously were accepted. He hopes that Allah will bestow His generosity upon him just as He bestowed it upon those who came before.

He follows in the footsteps of those who reached Allah and he hopes to be considered one of those people, among whom are the Prophets, the martyrs, the siddiqun and Allah’s pious slaves. Making these prayers assist him in attaining sincerity, for those people’s prayers were only accepted due to their sincerity and truthfulness. Not only does he follow them but his aspirations are raised and he finds comfort in doing so.

Balancing Between Consistency in Performing Good Deeds and Seizing Opportunities to Do More

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

The pious say that the seeker should perform good deeds whenever the opportunity arises. How can we balance between this and the hadith that the most beloved of actions are those that are consistent even if they are a little?

You need to set yourself a minimum amount of good deeds which you never leave. It should be small enough for you to be consistent in performing it while not preventing you from performing other good deeds when the opportunity arises. As Imam al-Haddad said: “Appoint for yourself a fixed amount which you are able to perform consistently. When you feel energetic you can do more but when you feel lazy you do not permit yourself to do less.”