What after the 10 Days of Dhul-Hijjah?
“A sign that your good deeds have been accepted is that you do more good deeds after that.” [Ibn Rajab]
We have to check ourselves, after these 10 days of Dhul-Hijjah, are we still performing good deeds?
Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) has warned us from being like the woman in Surat An-Nahl Verse 92:
وَلَا تَكُونُوا كَالَّتِي نَقَضَتْ غَزْلَهَا مِن بَعْدِ قُوَّةٍ أَنكَاثًا تَتَّخِذُونَ أَيْمَانَكُمْ دَخَلًا بَيْنَكُمْ
”And be not like her who undoes the thread which she has spun after it has become strong, by taking your oaths a means of deception among yourselves…’’
This woman spent time and effort to make what she made yet she undid it all one after the other. After you have performed abundant good deeds don’t go back to committing sins.
Beware of slackening after any season of obedience to Allah. Don’t feel that you have done enough good deeds, we are still journeying to Allah and there is no rest in this Dunya.
سئل الإمام أحمد متى يجد العبد لذة الراحة؟ قال: عند أول قدم يضعها في الجنة
Imam Ahmad [ibn Hanbal] (Rahimahullaah) was asked: “When will the servant [of Allah] find rest?” He said: “With the first step he takes into Paradise.”
Staying firm on the right path is not by our power and energy, it is Allah action.
In Surah Ibrahim Verse 27:
يُثَبِّتُ اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا بِالْقَوْلِ الثَّابِتِ فِي الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا وَفِي الْآخِرَةِ ۖ وَيُضِلُّ اللَّهُ الظَّالِمِينَ ۚ وَيَفْعَلُ اللَّهُ مَا يَشَاءُ
Allah will keep firm those who believe, with the word that stands firm in this world (i.e. they will keep on worshipping Allah Alone and none else), and in the Hereafter. And Allah will cause to go astray those who are Dhaalimun (polytheists and wrong-doers, etc.), and Allah does what He wills
Allah ﻳﺜﺒﺖ = keeps firm
He only keeps firm special people, the believers. ﺍﻟﺬﻳﻦ ﺁﻣﻨﻮ
Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) will keep them firm in the Dunya by:
1) Making them perform good deeds
2) When doubts come to them, Allah keeps their heart firm
3) If any desire or lust comes to them, they prefer Allah’s pleasure over their own pleasure.
In this Dunya you will see the believer going through situations and Allah will keep him firm such that he thinks correctly, speaks and behaves correctly.
Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) keeps this person firm as a result of his belief. Allah will keep him firm in the Aakhirah as well, when he is out in the grave, when the angels ask him the three questions he will be kept firm and answer the questions correctly.
Allah misguided the ﻇﺎﻟﻤﻴﻦ = those who committed sin, transgressed against themselves or against Allah by not fulfilling their Tawheed or those who wronged others.
In the verse we find that our action comes first; if we believe, Allah will guides us, if we wrong ourselves Allah will misguide us.
Many people blame Allah for not guiding them, they are the ones who have to take the first step towards guidance.
We need to focus on whose action comes first.
Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) ended the verse with ﻭ ﻳﻔﻌﻞ ﺍﻟﻠﻪ ﻣﺎ ﻳﺸﺎﺀ (and Allah does what He wills)
Allah’s will is joined with His wisdom and knowledge. Whenever we see ﻳﺸﺎﺀ immediately we have to join His will with knowledge and wisdom. Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) knows whether a person is a believer or a wrongdoer and accordingly Allah deals with him.
Allah knows who deserves to be kept firm and who deserves to be misguided.
Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) is Al-Hakeem (The All-Wise), He is perfect in His decision, and He never punishes the believer or rewards the wrongdoer. He is All Wise. He puts everything in its right place, in its right time and in its right amount.
If I am seeking firmness in this life I have to take care of my belief.
The first and most important belief is knowing Allah, His names, attributes and actions.
We need firmness on this path, especially with all these trials and temptations around us.
We see people who are pious and righteous but suddenly change and become the opposite. We hear people who were far from guidance and Allah guided them.
It is Allah who keeps the believer firm but we need to take the means, if we show Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) our truthfulness, He will keep us firm.
It was narrated that Anas (Radhia-Allaahu ‘anhu) said: The Messenger of Allaah (Salla-Allaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) often used to say:
ﻳﺎ ﻣﻘﻠﺐ ﺍﻟﻘﻠﻮﺏ ﺛﺒﺖ ﻗﻠﺒﻲ ﻋﻠﻲ ﺩﻳﻨﻚ
“O Turner of the hearts, make my heart steadfast in adhering to Your religion.”
[Narrated by al-Tirmidhi (2140) classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi]
The Prophet (Salla-Allaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) used to often say these words, “O You Who changes the hearts, make my heart firm on Your religion.” We said, `O Allah’s Messenger! We believed in you and in what you brought us. Are you afraid for us’ He said, yes, for the hearts are between two of Allah’s Fingers, He changes them (as He wills)” [Sunan Ibn Majah, Book of Du’aa Hadeeth 3834]
In the morning we don’t know whether we will still be a believer in the evening or not. Don’t feel like you’ve done enough. We need to be careful, we have to ask Allah to accept our good deeds. We don’t know what will happen after performing these good deeds. Maybe we backbit, slandered or mocked, little by little the good deeds may be reduced.
We may offend someone with one word and we don’t give it any importance, she would have taken from your accepted good deeds.
It was narrated on the authority of Sahl ibn Sa‘d (Radhia-Allaahu ‘anhu) that the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said: “A person may do deeds as the deeds of the people of Hell while in fact, he is from the dwellers of Paradise: and similarly a person may do deeds as the deeds of the people of Paradise while in fact, he is from the dwellers of Hell. The (results of) deeds depend upon what the last of them will be.” [Al-Bukhaari]
The end is hidden from us, we don’t know what Allah has prepared for us. We have to do as much as we can. We need to ask Allah to help us continue doing good deeds, and whoever does good deeds his end will be good, and whoever does wrong his end will be bitter.
Use your situation to attain the pleasure of Allah. Don’t count your good deeds because you don’t know if they are accepted, and even if they are accepted you don’t know if they will be taken from your account and be given to other people.
On the Day of Judgment People will cross the Sirat according to their deeds. Some people will pass like the speed of the wind, some with that of a horse. All according to their deeds, how firm they were in this Dunya that’s how firm they will be in the Aakhirah.
We ask Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) every time in our every prayer to guide us to the straight path.
اهْدِنَا الصِّرَاطَ الْمُسْتَقِيمَ
”Guide us to the Straight Way”
This comprises of three concepts. The more you say it with understanding, the more Allah will give you.
1) You are asking Allah to show you the right way. For example when you are in a problem and you don’t know what to do.
2) After showing you the truth you are asking Allah to help you act upon the truth. Many people are shown the truth but only few act upon it.
3) You are asking Allah to keep you firm on that path until the end of your life
When you say it with understanding you will see how Allah will keep you firm and guide you to the right path.
What are the means that we should take in order that Allah keeps us firm?
1) Since staying firm is Allah’s action, we should show our neediness to Allah.
2) We should be afraid of deviating from the right path.
3) We need to rely and seek help from Allah. Always say “La Hawla wa la Quwwata illa billaah” (There is No Power nor Strength except with Allah)
This should be established in our heart.
4) We need to abandon what doesn’t concern us. If something doesn’t increase us in faith or knowledge we should stay away from it.
On the authority of Abu Hurayrah (Radia-Allaahu ‘anhu) who said:
The Messenger of Allah (Salla-Allaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said, “Part of the perfection of one’s Islam is his leaving that which does not concern him.” [Sahih by Albaani in Sahih Al-Jami’ #5911]
Excessive talking with people is a means of weakening your faith. We don’t have to avoid people completely but we have to have a time for the people and a time for ourselves, we need to seclude ourselves for some hours in the week to ponder, checking yourself, taking yourself to account, invoking Allah. This is very important.
5) Perform good deeds continuously even if it is little, establish the night prayer even if it is two rak’ah, recite the Qur’aan even if it is one page but with understanding.
‘Aa’isha (Radia-Allaahu ‘anha) reported Allah’s Messenger (Salla-Allaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) as saying:
The acts most beloved to Allah are those which are done continuously, even if they are few. [Sahih Muslim, 783]
6) Reciting the Qur’aan with Tadabbur. With contemplation and understanding is very important, it revives the hearts, makes you love the Qur’aan.
7) Remembering Allah profusely, Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) said in Surat Al-‘Ahzab verses 41-43:
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اذْكُرُوا اللَّهَ ذِكْرًا كَثِيرًا
O you who believe! Remember Allah with much remembrance.
وَسَبِّحُوهُ بُكْرَةً وَأَصِيلًا
And glorify His Praises morning and afternoon [the early morning (Fajr) and ‘Asr prayers].
هُوَ الَّذِي يُصَلِّي عَلَيْكُمْ وَمَلَائِكَتُهُ لِيُخْرِجَكُم مِّنَ الظُّلُمَاتِ إِلَى النُّورِ ۚ وَكَانَ بِالْمُؤْمِنِينَ رَحِيمًا
“He it is Who sends Salat (His blessings) on you, and His angels too (ask Allah to bless and forgive you), that He may bring you out from darkness (of disbelief and polytheism) into light (of Belief and Islamic Monotheism). And He is Ever Most Merciful to the believers.”
Don’t leave morning and evening supplications.
If you are seeking light remember Allah much, remembrance of Allah has different forms. It can be reciting Qur’aan, attending gatherings of knowledge where the name of Allah is mentioned, praying, contemplating in Allah’s signs and creations, etc.
8) Associating with righteous friends. We need to accompany good people.
The Salaf used to say, “The best favour that Allah bestows upon his Slave after granting him faith is a good friend”
It is a blessing from Allah to have a good righteous companion. Befriend good people, we don’t want to come on the Day of Judgment and regret that our friend took us astray.
Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) warns us in Surah Furqan Verses 28-29:
يَا وَيْلَتَىٰ لَيْتَنِي لَمْ أَتَّخِذْ فُلَانًا خَلِيلًا
“Ah! Woe to me! Would that I had never taken so-and-so as a friend!
لَّقَدْ أَضَلَّنِي عَنِ الذِّكْرِ بَعْدَ إِذْ جَاءَنِي ۗ وَكَانَ الشَّيْطَانُ لِلْإِنسَانِ خَذُولًا
“He indeed led me astray from the Reminder (this Qur’an) after it had come to me. And Shaytaan (Satan) is ever a deserter to man in the hour of need.”
Righteous friends are a treasure. Ask Allah to make you a blessed person to your companion and grant you a companion that is blessed.
9) Acquiring knowledge; especially the knowledge about Allah.
10) ﺩﻋﻮﺍ Calling people to the way of Allah
11) ﺩﻋﺎﺀ Supplicate and ask Allah to keep you firm on the right path.