All praises and thanks be to Allah. Abundant salutations be upon His and our Beloved SAW.
I was inspired by the blog series “3 for Sunnah” by Umm Raiyaan of Sisters Achieve, where every Monday she shares something she’s either read, studied, experienced, discovered, learnt, lost, gained, loved and hated! Deen and dunya! So I started my own blog series, where I share a post at the end of every month. Check out my previous posts under the “some things I learned” tag. August is my most overdue post this year. It’s almost midnight and I need to take out my contact lenses and revise some more dhor (back lessons), but I couldn’t bear to go another day without posting. So here goes. Bismillah.
Although Allah SWT did not choose me to be standing on the plains of ‘Arafah, He chose for me to be present at a Hajj Retreat hosted by Light Upon Light Women’s Foundation. This was especially significant to me, because just the day before, I fell off the wagon and felt rather hopeless, and being chosen to be there made me feel loved by the Most-Merciful. Alhamdulillah. I learned some things that I never knew before, especially from Shaykha Umm Abdullah, who recorded a session especially for us.
Standing on ‘Arafah connects us to:
- The very beginning of our journey; the day our souls were gathered on the plains of Nu’maan, next to ‘Arafah, where Allah SWT asked us, “Am I not your Lord?” and we took the covenant that we would worship Him.
- The beginning. The hajj connects us to the story of Nabi Ebrahim AS.
- The near future, the Day the of Gathering. The near future isn’t what career path we’re going to follow, the near future is the Day of Judgement, where our permanent future will be determined.
- Today; the middle point between our past and our future. Repent because there will come a day when there will be no more time to repent.
What to do on the day of ‘Arafah:
-Recite Surah Al-Hashr. It is a reminder that we will be gathered on the day of Judgement.
-Recite Surah Al-Ikhlaas 1000 times. Shaykha Umm Abdullah related that Habib ‘Umar’s mother would recite Surah Al-Ikhlaas 1000 times as she went about her day, and would ask her young daughter to count for her on a misbaha. A lesson to take from her: If we get the people around us to help and support us, we can easily accomplish what we couldn’t otherwise.
-Du’a: Allahumma Ajirnee minan-naar (Oh Allah, protect me from the Fire) 7 times
-Abundantly recite takbeer (the 4th kalimah) on the day of ‘Arafah and up until the ‘Eid salaah takes place.
-Taubah & istighfaar
-Salawaat upon Rasulullah
Something I internalised on this day:
The husband I want to marry is meant to be only a means of getting closer to Allah, not a means to benefit me (emotionally and materially).
Some things I tried to reflect on:
Roshaan Misbach conveyed that when we say “Allahu Akbar”; Allah is Greater, the biggest thing that Allah is greater than is you. Because we depend so much on ourselves. Ask yourself: Why do I have a greater priority over Allah? I am making myself an ilaah (god/deity) with Allah when I put my whims and fancies over obedience to Allah SWT. How do we have the audacity to sin upon sin upon sin?
Some more things I learned:
- They say that the most intimate relationship is between a husband and a wife, but the most intimate relationship should be between you and Allah.
- Du’as are always answered when they are made in a group.
- On the Day of ‘Arafah we turn to Allah with certainty that He’ll answer us as He is responding to all hujaaj.
- The most important du’a for the hujaaj to make on ‘Arafah is to ask forgiveness for themselves, their parents and all believers.
- On the day of ‘Arafah, the angels bear witness that Allah forgives the hujaaj.
- ‘Arafah is the day that Shaytaan is most disgraced. We need to make him even more disgraced.
- Allah can fix EVERYTHING for us, but we have to ask Him.
- If you have any doubt that Allah will forgive you, you have sinned on this day, and that’s the greatest sin on this day. I found myself falling into this sin. I am among the weakest of Allah’s slaves and doubted whether Allah would forgive me when I keep falling into the same sins time and again. I felt like Shaykha Umm Abdullah was speaking to me when I heard this.
Actually, I felt like she was the messenger but that the message was from Allah Himself.
At the Hajj Retreat, we had the precious experience of talking to Sister Nazareen Jakoet who phoned while she was on ‘Arafah. She urged us all to make the intention to go on Hajj. May Allah SWT accept our intentions to go on Hajj. May He accept all of our good intentions, deeds and du’as. Aameen.
With best of du’as for your worldly and Hereafter success,