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Taqwa From The Heart – And The Remaining Ten Days of Dhul Hijjah

Bismillah-ir Rahman-ir Raheem.

This week is a very special week.

Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) swore in the Qur’an by the ten days of Dhul Hijjah, when He said in Surah Al-Fajr (1-2): “By the dawn. And [by the]ten nights.”

Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasalam) also mentioned that there are no days in which Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) loves good deeds in more than the first ten days of Dhul Hijjah.

As we are already in the ten days of Dhul Hijjah, this week is very important. This week will contain within it three khutbahs (sermons): a special khutbah for the hujjaj (Hajj pilgrims) on Wednesday, the day of Arafah; Eid khutbah on Thursday and Jummah Khutbah; making for three days of Eid and three days of khutbahs!

Many of our ahbaab (loved ones) have asked us about the best actions, or forms of worship, for these ten days; they ask us this question because they think well of us and we thank Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) for showing them the good and covering our shortcomings.

Although it is good to ask and understand the recommended actions and deeds, there are some details within the actions that are missing, which is the purpose of our Hajj and ibadah (worship): to achieve taqwa (piety).

Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) said in Surah Al-Baqarah (21): “Oh mankind, worship your Lord, who created you and those before you, so that you may achieve piety.” Piety is the purpose, and piety is an action of the heart!

While we are in the season of Hajj, let us try and understand the mystery and secret of As-Siddique (radiallah anhu). Why Abu Bakr (radiallah anhu)? Why was he the only one with the title ‘As-Siddique’? Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasalam) even used to call Aisha (radiallah anha) – “Oh the daughter of As-Siddique.” Why?

We know for sure that Abu Bakr (radiallah anhu) was not from the Sahaba (companions) who had been tortured, such as Khubab (Radiallah anhu), Bilal (radiallah anhu), Sumaya (radiallah anha), Yasir (radiallah anhu) and Miqdad (radiallah anhu), but yet he was better than them.

Abu Bakr (radiallah anhu) was not shaheed (martyred) like Omar (radiallah anhu), Musayb ibn Umair (radiallah anhu), Saad ibn Muadh (radiallah anhu), but yet he was better than them.

Abu Bakr (radiallah anhu) was not from the ones who suffered poverty, the like of Abu Dharr (radiallah anhu) or Abu Hurrairah (radiallah anhu), but yet he was better than them.

What did Abu Bakr (radiallah anhu) do to obtain this great position? What is the secret that makes everyone in the Ummah (the community, past and present) stop whenever he is mentioned?

It was narrated that he did not become better than all the Sahaba because of his salah (prayer) or fasting, but rather, it was because something that was deposited in his heart!

The actions of the heart are what matter!

Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) told us in the Qur’an that: “The Day that neither wealth nor children will benefit [anyone], but only [those]who come to Allah with a pure heart.” (Surah Ash-Shura, 88-89)

In an authentic Hadith reported in Imam Ahmad’s Musnad, Abu Yala and ibn Abi Shayba’s Musanaf, Syedina Anas (Radiallah anhu) narrates that while pointing towards his heart, Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasalam) said: “Taqwa is here! Taqwa is here. Taqwa is here!”

[This Hadith is also reported by ibn Manda, as narrated by Abu Hurrairah (radiallah anhu).]
This is the secret of Abu Bakr (radiallah anhu)! That is what elevated him to that position. To that end, Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasalam) said that if the iman (faith) of the entire ummah were placed on one side of a scale, and that of Abu Bakr (radiallah anhu) placed on the other side, the iman of Syedina Abu Bakr (radiallah anhu) would outweigh the entire ummah!
The details of actions and deeds are important, but we should not forget the actions and deeds of the heart, as this is the most important part of actions.
In the example of salah, the action we perform is standing and prostrating, but the action of the heart is khushoo (presence). Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) mentions in Surah Al-Baqarah (45): “And seek help through patience and prayer, and indeed, it is difficult except for the humbly submissive.” Without the action of the heart, salah can be difficult, as the ruh (soul) of salah is piety and presence.
The form of fasting is to stop eating and drinking and to refrain from anything that would invalidate the fast between dawn and sunset. However, the goal of fasting is to achieve taqwa (piety / awareness): “Oh you who have believed, fasting was decreed for you as it was decreed upon those before you, so that you may achieve piety.” (Surah Al-Baqarah, 183)
The forms of Hajj are say (running between two designated mountains), tawaf (circumambulation of the Ka’ba), standing at Arafah and Muzdalifah (a mountain and plain), and throwing stones, but the soul of Hajj is honoring the signs of Allah (subhana wa ta’ala); as He said in Surah Al-Hajj (32): “…And whoever honors the signs of Allah – indeed, it is from the piety of the heart.”
The form of dua (supplication) is to face the qibla (center of direction for prayer), raise your hands and make supplication, but the soul of dua is the absolute dependency on Allah (subhana wa ta’ala).
The form of dhikr (remembrance) is tasbih, tahmid, tahlil and takbir, but the purpose and the soul of dhikr is honoring, respecting, loving and having hope in Allah (subhana wa ta’ala).
So it is very important that in every action that we do we should see in it the ibadah of the heart, as the heart is what we will be asked about on Yaum ul-Qiyamah (day of judgement). Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) said in Surah At-Tariq (9): “The Day when secrets will be put on trial” – and these secrets are those that reside in the heart!
Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) made it clear in the Qur’an as to what will happen on Yaum ul-Qiyamah, as He told us in advance in Surah Al-Adiyat (10): “And that within the breasts is obtained” – speaking again of that which is in our heart.
The importance of the actions of the heart is the summary of the message of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasalam), and it is important to shake, test and reflect on our hearts!
There are people who remain hidden from others, but with Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) they are far greater than everyone else, because of their heart!

One such person was the beautiful Sahabi, Julaybib (radiallah anhu). No one gave Julaybib (radiallah anhu) any importance, and he was not known amongst the Sahaba. After a battle, Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasalam), asked the Sahaba, are you missing anyone? The Sahaba replied no. Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasalam) said: “I am missing Julaybib”! Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasalam) then asked the Sahaba to check amongst the Shuhuda on the battlefield; when they found Julaybib (radiallah anhu), Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasalam) came and said about Julaybib (radiallah anhu): “He is from me and I am from him!” Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasalam) then proceeded to bury Julaybib (radiallah anhu) himself! Despite his simplicity and poverty, and the fact that he was not known amongst the Sahaba, Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) honored his name, and he was missed by Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasalam)!

May Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) purify us and our niyah, raise our maqam, and make us from the saliheen (righteous).

May Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) make this a blessed Eid for the Ummah of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasalam).

May Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) return the hujjaj safely with an accepted Hajj.

May Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) Cure all everyone suffering from an illness, take away the anxiety and pressure from our situations, Guide us and make us worthy of following and being from the Ummah of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasalam).

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