The Friday Message - Issue No: 397 - Sharpen your eyesight

Salamun alaykum,

Dhulhijjah-3rd of the Sacred months:

We have entered Dhulhijjah, the twelfth and final month in the Islamic Lunar Calendar. This month marking the end of the year is also the 3rd of the four Ash-hurul hurum- the sacred months; Rajab, Dhulq’adah, Dhulhijjah and Muharram. Abundant shukr to Allah SWT for blessing us with gift of life to witness the auspicious moments of Dhulhijjah.

The Ahlul Bayt a.s. and pious and upright companions of the Noble Prophet s.a.w.w. used to spend this month in prayers and supplications, particularly the first ten days. The significance of these days is re-iterated by the Noble Prophet who stated,” The deeds performed in these ten days are more beloved to Allah than those performed at any other time.”

5 Recommended deeds to perform:

(i) Recite the special prayer for the first day of the month. (AQAIN)
(ii) 1st to 10th Dhulhijjah nights: Perform the special 2 rakat salah between Maghrib and Isha. Imam Muhammad Baqir a.s. highly recommends not to miss this salat.
(iii) 1st to 9th Dhulhijjah days: Fasting is mustahab fast for the nine days. (Seventh Imam hadith: Get reward for fasting for 80 years / lifetime). Such emphasis on fasting that if one is unable to fast for nine days then at least to do on the first day. Note you may repay your qadha or other wajib fasts in these days and doubly benefit.
(iv) Recite the recommended tahlil and duas.
(iv) 9th Dhulhijjah: Laylatu Arafa and Yawmul Arafah: Night and day of great excellence. Auspicious moments for pleading to Allah SWT. Traditions narrate that for those who were not able to achieve their purpose and goal (acceptance of Hajat) in Laylatul Qadr or those who were not forgiven on that day, then this is another occasion to realize that. It is recommended to recite various duas and Ziyarah of Imam Husayn a.s.

Two events for spiritual development: History records two noteworthy events that are significant for our spiritual development:

  • Trial for sacrifice of Nabi Ismail a.s. by his father Nabi Ibrahim a.s.
  • Munajat -secret mutual conversations- of Nabi Musa a.s.

Munajat of Nabi Musa a.s.:

After his community had been delivered from the tyranny of Pharaoh who used to inflict penalties, oppress the community, slay the children etc. Nabi Musa a.s. engaged in munajat- secret mutual conversations- with Allah SWT on the Mount Sinai.
“And we made an appointment with Musa for thirty nights. And we completed them for ten (additional) days. So, the appointed time of the Lord was completed for forty days” Sura Al-A’raaf 7:142

These appointment dates with Allah SWT were the thirty dates of Dhulq’adah and the first ten dates of Dhulhijjah.

Nabi Musa a.s. asks for a vision:

Having undergone spiritual elevation through the munajat with his Lord, Nabi Musa a.s. requests for a vision:
“My Lord! Show me Yourself to me, so that I may look at You.”
“(Allah said) you cannot bear to see Me, …….. Sura Al-A’raf 7:143

Seeing God?

Can be God be seen by our physical eyes? Was Nabi Musa a.s. aspiring for vision through his physical eyes?
The Masumeen are free from such kind of thinking; for God is not a being to be visualized. What Nabi Musa a.s. yearned was to see the beloved through the ‘eyes of the self / heart’
Wouldn’t you too like to see our beloved Cherisher and Nourisher Allah SWT? To do that one needs to elevate the Nafs and sharpen their spiritual eyesight.

Elevating our Nafs and improving ‘eyes of self’:

These auspicious moments are opportunities for us to perform Tazkiyatun Nafs -spiritual purification- so that our ‘sight of eyes of the self’ is sharpened. Therefore, let us :
1. Be aware of the teachings of Islam
2. Practise the teachings
3. Strive towards earning pleasure of Allah SWT in all our deeds
4. Refrain from displeasure of Allah SWT
5. Perfect our akhlaq moral behavior
6. Maintain Taharat (spiritual purity) in our body, earnings, dealings, work, food etc…

It’s a limited treasure:

This period of ten days is not a long time. Don’t waste this treasure of most blessed days. To sharpen your vision of the self, strive to fill these days with as much good as possible.
Together let us benefit from these auspicious days of Dhulhijjah.

Wa ma tawfiqi illa billah.

With salaams and duas,

Sheikh Fazle Abbas Datoo
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Resident Alim
Wessex Shia Ithna Asheri Jamaat