Friday, October 18, 2013

Auditing ourselves before the Hijra year ends

********************** In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful; blessings and peace be upon Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. ************************ Reflection ********************** Surah 114 ******************* An-Nas, the second of the two cries for refuge and protection, takes its name from a recurring word which marks the rhythm in the Arabic. In this case protection is sought especially from the evil in a man's own heart in the hearts of other men. An early Meccan revelation ****************** MANKIND ****************** Revealed at Mecca ***************** In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful. **************************** 1. Say; I seek refuge in the Lord of mankind, ************************ 2. The King of mankind, ************************ 3. The God of mankind, ************************* 4. From the evil of the sneaking whisperer, *************************** 5. Who whispereth in the hearts of mankind, ******************************* 6. Of the jinn of mankind. ****************** (The Meaning of the GLORIOUS QUR'AN, The Final Revelation, An Explanaory Translation by Muhammad Marmaduke Pickthall) ***************** DHUL-HIJJAH, the 12th (last) month of the Muslim calendar of Hijra began Sunday, October 6, 2013. This is the month Muslim perform hajj, with its peak when they do ‘wukuf’ (to stop or gather) in Arafah (or Arafat) on the 9th Dhul-hijjah (Monday, 14th October). *************************** Wukuf, being the highest 'rukun' (component) of hajj must be rendered; without which hajj does not take place. The requirement is the presence in Arafah, regardless of whether the pilgrim is riding, walking, sitting or moving. In Arafah one is to spend at least a moment from dhuhr (midday) to before subuh (dawn) prayer times making du’aa (supplications) and repenting to leave Arafah with all of one's sins forgiven. **************************** For Muslims who are not performing hajj in their homelands, they are encouraged to perform recommended deeds during the first 10 days of Dhul-hijjah such as fasting especially on ‘Wukuf’ day, giving charity, performing voluntary prayers, helping one's parents and chanting 'zikr'. Then during Eid Adha (10th Dhul-Hijjah) when Muslims perform ‘solat’ (Eid prayers) and the days of Tashreek (11, 12, and 13th Dhul-Hijjah) they are recommended to do the slaughter or ‘korban’ (sacrifice) animals (such as sheep and cow). ************************* Almost all of 22,000 Malaysian pilgrims are now in Makkah; they are among more than three million Muslims from all corners of the world gathered in the Holy Land to perform the hajj manasik (rites and ceremonies performed at hajj). After Arafah, the pilgrims would then proceed towards Muzdalifah and pick up pebbles there to be used when stoning the Pillar of Aqabah or Qubra on Eid Adha (10th Dhul-Hijjah). ************************* In Mina, they are required to stay for three nights where they will stone the three ‘jamrahs’ beginning with the first Pillar (i.e. the one which is furthest from Makkah), followed by the middle Pillar and lastly the Pillar of Aqabah. ********************** The pilgrims will also shave their heads or cut their hair and then proceed to Makkah to perform the Tawaf Al-Ifadah (circling the Kaabah seven times which is an essential part of Hajj) and then perform Sa’y (walking seven times between the hills of Safa and Marwa). While waiting for the the big day (Wukuf), pilgrims fulfill their days by performing prayers and 'tawaf' in the Grand Masjid of Makkah (Masjidil-Haram). ************************ As the other articles under the Principles of Islam or 'Rukun Islam' (to do the declaration of faith - kalimah syahadah, to perform the five daily obligatory prayers, to fast in the month of Ramadan and to distribute zakat or obligatory charity), the main purpose of performing hajj is that one is to be closer to Allah The Greatest (SWT). ************************ So, the main aim is to increase our 'takqa' (piety) to Him. Muslims, especially those performing hajj should never come home the same way they began their journey to the Holly Land. It is an opportunity to audit ourselves both at the beginning and the end. If our life is no way better than before performing hajj, then we have to do a lot of reflection. ************************ And with the new Hijra year of 1435 (beginning Tuesday 5th November 2013) approaching in a few weeks time; it is timely for us as Muslims to audit (have a thought) about ourselves on our performance through out the year. If our country could produce the Auditor-General's Report, then we too could have one for ourselves in valuing our duties as Muslims. *************************** It is reported that Hasan al-Basree, a renowned Islamic scholar once said,” A believer is a guardian over himself: He audits himself for Allah. Those who take account of themselves in this world will be audited lightly in the hereafter. Those who take this issue lightly will find their auditing very difficult.” ************************ So, what is our duty as a human being? In Surat Adh-Dhariyat 51:56 (The Winnowing Winds) Allah SWT says; “I have only created jinn and men, that they may serve Me.” ************************** So from time to time, it’s good to sit back and ask yourself a few questions. Perhaps here’s a starting point. Refer back to the Principles of Islam and ask yourself sincerely what is the score for your obligatory duties as a Muslim such as 'solat' (performing prayers), fasting in the month of Ramadan and distribute zakat. And have you perform hajj, the last articles under 'Rukun Islam'? ***************************** One of the most important things that we can do individually as Muslims is to ponder our own selves and to reflect upon whether or not we have improved, remained stagnant, or have regressed in our overall practice of Islam. For example how is our 'solat' nowadays - is the 'quality' of our 'solat' at 50 years of age the same as our 'solat' when we were 15 years old - that was 35 years ago? **************************** The same could be said about our 'puasa' - is it the same as the yesteryear when we refrained ourselves from only eating and drinking or 'puasa yang yok' (cheating by eating or drinking when one is alone) but keep our eyes open seeing 'haram' (forbidden) things and open our ears to all sort of gossips and our tongues lash out bad and 'laser' words. ************************* Well, what about our 'zakat' - is it the same old you ‘that only pay for tithes during Ramadan' and forget the compulsory zakat for incomes, agriculture yields, gold and livestock such as cows and sheep? ***************************** And how's our daily chores going on for example things we take for granted such wasting of money and food, spending on unnecessary items and involving in immoral activities such as going to pubs and disco and involving in smoking, gambling and drinking. ************************* And how's our time being spend? People tend to waste time; only a few 'veterans' prefer to seek knowledge including attending 'tazkirah' (lessons) at masjids, the rest waste their time doing unnecessary and unproductive activities such as spending long hours chatting or playing 'dam haji' (checkers) in 'warong kopi' (coffee shop). ************************* The question is, have we been auditing ourselves? We tend not to look at ourselves but waste our precious time on others. Over the course of the year, we can easily fall into the habit of focusing too much on the affairs of others. ************************** In true sense, our time could be better spent working to improve ourselves in the religion and seeking the Mercy of Allah and seeking His pardon for our own errors and mistakes. Remember our time left is too short; perhaps the Lord would called for us in a year time, tomorrow or even today or after reading this article! ***************************** Allah says; "O you who believe! Fear Allah and keep your duty to Him. And let every person look to what he has sent forth for the morrow, and fear Allah. Verily, Allah is All-Aware of what you do." (59 (Exile):18) **************************** The interpreters of Qur’an have said that this verse is calling on the believers to take account of themselves before they are taken to account by Allah on the Day of Accounting, i.e., The Day of Judgment. ************************* Since it is the hajj season, let us have a thought about 'Wukuf' in Arafah which some 'ulama' (Islamic scholar) said that Allah SWT 'is very, very near' to His servant. It is said that when Allah, Great and Glorious is He, forgives a sin for one person in Arafah, He forgives it for everyone there who is guilty of it. ********************** There are millions of pilgrims in Arafah yet if you have His blessings, you could feel that you are left alone with the Almighty. When you have 'that feeling' it is easy for you to talk and admitted about your past sins and then beg forgiveness from Him. ************************** "O Allah! I ask of Your integrity and soundness in my religion, my life, my family, and my possessions. ********************** O Allah! Cover my shame, pacify my fears, guard me from what is in front of me and behind me, from what is on my right and on my left, over my head and under my feet. *********************** O Allah! Grant health to my body. O Allah grants health to my hearing. O Allah! Grant heath to my sight. There is no deity except You. *********************** O Allah! You are my Lord. There is no deity except You. You are my Creator and I am Your creature. I try to keep my covenant with You and to live in the hope of Your promise as well as I can. I seek refuge in You from my own evil deeds. I acknowledge Your favors to me, and I acknowledge my sins. Forgive me my sins, for there is no one who can forgive sins except You. ******************** O Allah! I seek refuge in You from worry and sorrow. I seek refuge in You from impotence and sloth, from stinginess and cowardice, and I seek refuge in You from the burden of debt and from being humbled by men. *********************** O Allah! Make the beginning of this day good, the middle prosperous, and the end successful. I ask You to grant me the good of this world and of the Hereafter. O Most Merciful of all Who show us mercy! ******************** O Allah! You hear my words, You behold my situation, You know what is open and what is hidden within me; nothing is hidden from You. It is me alone who is in need, a humble seeker of Your forgiveness. I beseech You with humility in my heart, with trembling and fear, in prostration and utter helplessness. *********************** O Allah! Grant me soundness of belief, goodness of character, forgiveness of my sins, and Your eternal pleasure in the Hereafter. ***************************** Labbayk, Allahumma, Labbayk, Labbayk, La Shareeka laka, Labbayk Innal-hamda wan n’mata laka wal-mulk, La shareekala – (Here I am at Your service, O Lord here I am, No partner do You have, Here I am, Truly the praise and the favor is Yours and the dominion. No partner do You have). Happy Eid Adha

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