The days of devotion

There is none worthy of worship but Allah. He is alone and has no partner. To him belongs the realm and all praises are to him. He has power over everything. Indeed, our body, our wealth, and time – all belong to Allah; he is our master and we his slave. Peace be upon his messenger who is his most devoted servant and a mercy to all mankind. Blessings be upon the companions who emulated the prophet in every walk of life and sacrificed much to gain closeness to Allah.

The mercy of Allah is beyond measure. Certainly, our health and wealth are gifts from Allah almighty and he may withdraw it if he so wishes. Obey Allah and show him your devotion; this is the way to be thankful. Allah increases his bounty to those who are thankful and furious at those who are ungrateful.

Allah almighty, in his infinite mercy, has made it easy for us to gain his favour. He has declared some days more virtuous. He swears by it and informs us of it. The prophet of Allah (صلي الله عليه و سلم) told us, ‘No days are greater to Allah and in which good deeds are more beloved than the first ten days of Dhul Hijjah.’ This is more so for Eid and the day before it (Arafat), which hold high statuses and have special mentions. Let us not waste this opportunity to demonstrate to Allah our devotion to him. Let us emulate the pilgrims who have travelled to him. Let us remember his friend and prophets, Ibrahim and Isma’il (عليهما الصلوة و السلام), who on this very day expressed their unflinching devotion to him.

On the day of Arafat, pilgrims shun this world and devote themselves to Allah through supplication. Let us imitate their abstinence on this day through fasting. This is sunnah. The prophet (صلي الله عليه و سلم) would fast the day before Eid and when asked regarding it he said, ‘It redresses the sins of the previous year and the year following.’ This is the day of triumph, amnesty and many great blessings. Find out and ponder on the favours of Allah. Be grateful and do not let it pass without benefit.

Eid is a day of rejoice – a day in which we glorify Allah almighty. On that day, Allah commands Qurbani (sacrifice) and takbir. This is an obligation to Allah and we will obey without hesitation or rancour for we are his humble servants. It is a blessing for those who cannot afford and an honour for those who can. Glory is to Allah who is not in need of us but we are of him.

Some query the benefit of Qurbani. Indeed, there are great benefits in this world. Our pots filled, family ties strengthened and the pains of society alleviated. You may very well see the results of these in the hereafter if your intention is pure and you are thankful. However, the true goal is the devotion to Allah. Remember! The meat and blood does not reach Allah almighty but only your piety. The prophet was asked about the benefit of Qurbani and he said, ‘A reward for every hair on the animal’.

In these great days, Say Subhanallah, Alhamidulillah, and Allahu Akbar increasingly. Do your necessary Takbir on the allotted days. If possible, fast on the day of Arafah – there is great reward in this. If eligible, give Qurbani on the day of Eid – this is an obligation to Allah for men and women. The rewards of all deeds are with Allah and his reward in better and everlasting.

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Muhammad Saifur Rahman Nawhami
6 Dhul Hijjah 1432
2 November 2011