What is required of us as we close the current Hijri year?

What is required of us as we close the current Hijri year?

As we approach the end of the current Islamic year 1430, there are things we can do to take advantage of this time.

The traditional scholars teach us to look at the way we end things to determine the success of the particular act. For example, if you want to know whether your night was successful look at how the night ended. Did you get up for
fajr? If you want to know whether your day was successful look at how the day ended. Did you end up praying Maghreb or Isha in jama3ah? If you want to know if your participation in a class was successful, look at your spiritual state at the beginning of the class and at the end of the class. If you left the class with an affected heart and a resolve for change then your class attendance was fruitful insha Allah. If you wish to know if a person’s life was successful look at how he or she ended their life.

Right now we approach the time of year when certificates are awarded according to the current spiritual state you are in.

What is required of us now?

Take account of your current spiritual condition. Take account of your nights and your days. How do you end your days and nights? How do you end your gatherings?

Determine what it is that you want to achieve as a servant of Allah. What are your hopes? What are your dreams? What are your thoughts? Specify exactly what it is that you want and insha Allah, Allah out of His generosity will give you.

Allah, the Most Merciful, Al
Rahman, always sheds His Divine gaze upon the servant.

He (
swt) looks at three things:

The beginning of your book of deeds

The ending of your book of deeds

The spiritual condition of your heart

If we were to try and reflect how we started this year, many of us would not be able to remember. Did we start the year in a state of heedlessness (
ghaflah). In what condition was your heart? It is feared that those who started the year in a condition of heedlessness will most likely end the year in the same condition – if no repentance (tawbah) was made. If you made repentance (tawbah), then there is a chance that Allah (swt) looks at you with the Divine gaze of Mercy (rahma) and He saves you from Hellfire (Jahannam).

The way we start our year, the intention (
niyyah) which we made at the beginning, runs through all of our affairs throughout the year.

Many of us start the year with a determination to do good works, however as the days
pass, this original intention seems to wear off. Why? It is because the intention (niyyah) was made only with the tongue and not the heart. When the intention is made with the spiritual heart, this then runs through one’s blood and nourishes the body, so all of one’s limbs are affected by the intention.

Unfortunately at the close of the Islamic year many people forget Allah (
swt). They fail to realize that Allah (swt) looks at the heart and observes your spiritual condition.

Knowing that Allah (
swt) regularly looks into our hearts, what are some of the characteristics (sifat) which should be present in the heart of the believer (mu’min)? There are certain characteristics, if present in our hearts, causes Allah (swt) to look into our hearts with Mercy (rahma). Allah (swt) looks into our hearts in the following ways:

Rahma (mercy) – Allah (swt) at this stage looks at you with His mercy.

Inqath (salvation) - If you continue in your struggle as a believer (mu’min) Allah (swt) saves you from Hell-fire (Jahannam).

Taqreeb (drawing closer) – the fruits of one’s struggle as a believer and in standing firm on their commitment to Allah, leads Allah (swt) to look at one with the Divine Gaze which draws one closer to Him (swt).

Mahabah (Divine love) – this is the ultimate Gaze from Allah (swt) to the believer. At this stage one experiences the revelation of the Divine secrets in life. This could be through experiencing the sweetness of the Speech of Allah for example in reading the Holy Qur’an or in discovering the true meaning behind the various affairs in one’s life. The Prophets and Messengers (peace be upon them) experienced these states and some were overwhelmed by the glory of Allah (swt). Musa (may the peace of Allah be upon him) was one of those Prophets who fainted at the glory of Allah when He (swt) spoke to him without intermediary. When he became conscious he stated “Glory be to you O Allah, I seek your forgiveness”.

The following characteristics should be present in the heart of every one of us:

Inkisar (Broken-ness) – be in a state of broken-heartedness. To explain this further, imagine you as an employee receive an invitation from the managers of your company. The invitation is to a special event where awards and presentations will be given. You go with the thought that you have worked hard all year and perhaps at this event you will receive recognition for all your efforts. So you arrive at the event. You sit eagerly as you see people being recognized whom you didn’t even know existed in the company. The night passes and your name is not even mentioned. You go to the bathroom and cry. You go to your car, you sit and reflect with a broken heart. Tears flow from your eyes. Why are you so sad? It is because you went to the event, expecting to receive a reward or recognition for your work. This condition of broken-heartedness is what Allah (swt) wants from you. This week as we approach the last day of the hijri year, Allah (swt) wants our hearts to be in a state of broken-ness before Him. You must weep before Allah (swt) just as a child weeps and its mother takes him in her arms. Perchance your weeping before Allah (swt) causes Him to shed His Mercy (rahma) on you. Raise your voice to Him, beg Him for forgiveness. There are long nights ahead of us, choose some moments, whether its 5 minutes, half an hour or one hour, leave your bed, leave your sleep, make a good wudu, go to Allah with longing (shawq), pray two raq’at, while all the people are asleep, throw yourself on the doorstep of servanthood (ubudiya). The question is not how many times you sit before Allah (swt) but when you do, is your heart present with Him (swt)? Allah (swt) says to you:

You left Us, We left you

You came to Us, We came to you

You sinned against Us, We warned you

You returned to Us, We returned to you

You love Us, We love you

Allah (
swt) is waiting for us to return to Him (swt). Do not let the devil (shaitan) make sleep more beloved to you.

Iftikar (Poverty) – be as though you are a poor person. Poor in the sense that, you as a human being essentially have nothing. All of your deeds and actions are in essence from Allah (swt). He is the One Who gave you the strength and will-power to pray, to fast and to do good deeds. So everything is from Him (swt). Nothing is from you. So you have nothing. You are poor. Allah (swt) is the Rich. He is the One who gives. So you imagine yourself as a servant of Allah who has nothing to offer the King! You have nothing by way of intentions (niyyat), you have no actions (a’mal), you have no spiritual conditions (ahwal). So if you have nothing, do you expect anything in return? You are a non-deserving employee so how can we expect anything in return. However, you recognize your limitations as a servant and the great generosity of Allah (swt). You know that Allah (swt) will grant and give you in ways beyond measure even though you are not deserving. The faqir goes to Allah thinking he has nothing, not because Allah is not generous (kareem) but because you doubt whether you performed those good actions properly. Do not be fooled into thinking that I may as well not perform any good deeds. This is incorrect. You do everything you can, however you must recognize that any good is because Allah (swt) allowed you to do these good actions.

I3tiraf (acknowledgement, admission) – you admit to Allah and confess to Him that you are full of sin and disobedience. You admit that you deserve to be interrogated and brought before Allah for questioning. Imagine now, if someone were brought to the police, if they admit that they were wrong then there may be a chance that they will be pardoned. You admit to your wrong doing now as a servant of Allah before your soul is taken so that you may be classified as a righteous servant (abdan salihan). May Allah (swt) allow us to be classed as righteous servants.

So now you are heart-broken, in a state of spiritual poverty and admit to your gross condition. Ok, so Allah accepts this from you. What is now required? Two more conditions must prevail in your heart.

Niyat Al Islah (intention to rectify oneself) – You need to make the intention to rectify and improve yourself. Make a proper intention, have the resolve (3azima) and stay firm.

Tanfeeth fawran (immediate implementation) – once you have made the sincere intention, you need to act immediately and make physical changes in your life.

Over the next few remaining days of this
Hijri year go through the above mentioned points. Do not delay it as postponing this is only from the whisperings of the devil (shaitan). While you are reading this you should already be making intentions in your heart for change. Make sincere intentions. Make a proper repentance (tawbatan nasuha) and return to Allah (swt).

If a person was found guilty of stealing, the best way to rectify the crime is to return the stolen goods. If you were someone who negligent in their prayer (
salat), make an effort to perform those salats you missed or those salats which were not performed properly. If you were negligent with the Qur’an, make an effort now to improve your relationship with the Quran. If you have bad character or wronged someone through your bad manners, find those people you wronged and rectify your relationship with them.

If all of the above characteristics (
sifat) are present in you as a servant of Allah, He (swt) will look at you with the Divine Gaze of Rahmah and will enable you to taste the sweetness of faith (iman). He will be so generous and grant you of His love (wud).

Inal latheena amano wa 3amilos salihati sayaj3alo lahomol rahmano wuda

إِنَّ ٱ
لَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ وَعَمِلُواْ ٱلصَّـٰلِحَـٰتِ سَيَجۡعَلُ لَهُمُ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنُ وُدًّ۬ا (٩٦)

those who believe and do good works, the Beneficent will appoint for them love. (96) Surat Mariam

Some of the actions which we can put in place over the coming days are:

Istighfar (repentance) – request forgiveness from Allah (swt). Seek forgiveness for the following(i) from those moments in your life which passed without any benefit (ii) forgiveness from all of your sins and disobedience (iii) forgiveness from your failing to perform good works or not giving the due rights on the actions requested of you by Allah such as salat (prayer) or siyam (fasting) or any other obligations.

During the coming days try to do as many good works as possible. For example try fasting, getting up in the middle of the night and praying, and so on.

Try to do a complete reading (khatm) of the Quran. You could try reading 5 Juz in one day, or one Juz, or half a Juz or a quarter of a Juz. Do this along with doing much dhikr (remembrance) of Allah (swt).

If you cannot do one
Khatm on your own, then share this with your family, your neighbours and your friends. Distribute it amongst yourselves and share the reward.