Allah describes the Qur’an

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{ Allah has sent down the Best Statement, a Book, its parts resembling each other, (and) oft-repeated. The skins of those who fear their Lord shiver from it. Then their skin and their heart soften to the remembrance of Allah. That is the guidance of Allah. He guides therewith whom He wills; and whomever Allah sends astray, for him there is no guide. }  Surat Az-Zumar 39:23

Here Allah praises His Book, the Noble Qur’an, which was revealed to His noble Messenger.

Allah says, { Allah has sent down the Best Statement, a Book, its parts resembling each other (and) oft-repeated. }

Mujahid said, “This means that the entire Quran’s parts resemble each other and are oft-repeated.”

Qatadah said, “One Ayah resembles another and one letter resembles another.”

Ad-Dahhak said, “It is oft-repeated so that people will understand what their Lord tells them.”

`Ikrimah and Al-Hasan said, “There may be an Ayah in one Surah, and another Ayah in another Surah that resembles it.”

Sa`id bin Jubayr narrated from Ibn `Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him: “Oft-repeated means that parts of the Qur’an resemble one another and repeat one another.” Some of the scholars said that it was narrated from Sufyan bin `Uyaynah that

{ its parts resembling each other (and) oft-repeated. } means that some passages of the Qur’an may sometimes refer to one thing, so they resemble one another, and sometimes they mention a thing and its opposite. Such as when the believers then the disbelievers are mentioned, or when Paradise then Hell are described, and so on, and this is the meaning of oft-repeated.

Examples include the Ayat:

{ Verily, the most righteous will be in delight; and verily, the most wicked will be in the blazing Fire (Hell). } Al-Infitaar 82:13-14

{ Nay! Truly, the Record of the most wicked is (preserved) in Sijjin } until { Nay! Verily, the Record of the most righteous is (preserved) in `Illiyyin}  Al-Mutaffifin 83: 7-18

{ This is a Reminder. And verily, for those who have Taqwa is a good final return (Paradise) } until { This is so! And for those who transgress, there will be an evil final return (Fire). }  Saad 38:49-55.

And there are other similar passages. All of this has to do with it being oft-repeated, i.e., when two meanings are referred to. But when a passage is about one thing, with some parts of it resembling others, this is “its parts resembling each other.” This is not the same as the Mutashabihat* mentioned in the Ayah 3:7 that refers to something else altogether:

{ In it are Ayat that are entirely clear, they are the foundations of the Book; others not entirely clear }  Al-Imran 3:7

*Mutashabih verses are allegorical verses in the Qur’an, consistent in themselves and although obscure in meaning, cannot be questioned and their true meanings cannot be pursued. The true meaning is known only to Allah.

{ The skins of those who fear their Lord shiver from it. Then their skin and their heart soften to the remembrance of Allah. } means, this is the description of the righteous, when they hear the Words of the Compeller, the Protector, the Almighty, the Oft-Forgiving because they understand the promises and warnings contained therein. The frightening words and threats make their skin shiver from fear.

{ Then their skin and their heart soften to the remembrance of Allah. } because of their hope for His mercy and kindness. They are unlike others, the wicked, immoral sinners, in a number of ways: First, They listen to the recitation of the Ayat of the Qur’an, while those (sinners) listen to poetic verse recited by female singers. Second, When the Ayat of Ar-Rahman are recited to them, they fall down in prostration weeping, with the proper attitude of fear, hope, love, understanding and knowledge, as Allah says:

{ The believers are only those who, when Allah is mentioned, feel a fear in their hearts and when His Ayat are recited unto them, they increase their faith; and they put their trust in their Lord; Who perform the Salah and spend out of that We have provided them. It is they who are the believers in it. For them are grades of dignity with their Lord, and forgiveness and a generous provision (i.e., Paradise). }   At-Tawbah 8:2-4

{ And those who, when they are reminded of the Ayat of their Lord, fall not on them (as if they were) deaf and blind }  Al-Furqan 25:73.

When they hear the Ayat of Allah, they are not too busy to pay attention to them; they listen to them and understand their meanings. So they act upon them and prostrate when they hear them, out of understanding, not out of ignorance and blind following of others. Third, They adhere to the correct etiquette when they listen to them. As the Companions, may Allah be pleased with them, used to do when they listened to the words of Allah recited by the Messenger of Allah . Their skin Would shiver, and their hearts would soften to the remembrance of Allah. They did not shout or do other actions that are not natural; on the contrary, they would sit quietly with the proper attitude of fear, in an unparalleled fashion. they attained the victory of praise from their Lord in this world and the Hereafter.

`Abdur-Razzaq said, “Ma`mar told us that Qatadah, may Allah have mercy on him, recited, { The skins of those who fear their Lord shiver from it. Then their skin and their heart soften to the remembrance of Allah. } and said, ‘This is the characteristic of the friends of Allah; Allah has described them in this manner, saying that their skin shivers, their eyes weep and their hearts find rest to the remembrance of Allah. He did not say that they lose their minds and swoon; that is the characteristic of the followers of innovation, and that comes from the Shaytan.'”

Allah’s saying, { That is the guidance of Allah. He guides therewith whom He wills; }, means, this is the characteristic of those whom Allah has guided, and anyone who does anything different is one of those whom Allah has sent astray.

{ and whomever Allah sends astray, for him there is no guide. }

[Tafsir ibn Kathir, Surat Az-Zumar 39:23]

What is to be said at the time of sleeping

 

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Al-Bara’ bin `Azib (May Allah be pleased with him) reported:

“Whenever Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) went to bed, he would lie down on his right side and recite:Allahumma aslamtu nafsi ilaika, wa wajjahtu wajhi ilaika, wa fawwadtu amri ilaika, wa ‘alja’tu zahri ilaika, raghbatan wa rahbatan ilaika, la malja’a wa la manja illa ilaika. Amantu bikitabikalladhi anzalta, wa nabiyyikalladhi arsalta [Translation: O Allah! I have submitted myself to You, I have turned my face to You, committed my affairs to You, and depend on You for protection out of desire for You and out of fear of You (expecting Your reward and fearing Your punishment). There is no refuge and no place of safety from You but with You. I believed in the Book You have revealed, and in the Prophet You have sent” (i.e., Muhammad (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam)).]”  [Al-Bukhari].

In another report, the same narrator said:

Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) directed me thus: “Whenever you go to bed, perform Wudoo as you do for Salat then (before sleeping) recite: ‘O Allah! I have submitted myself to You, I have turned myself to You, committed my affairs to You and sought Your refuge for protection out of desire for You and fear of You (expecting Your reward and fearing Your punishment). There is no refuge and no place of safety from You but with You. I believe in the Book You have revealed and in the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) You have sent.’ Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) added: “If anyone recites these words and dies during the night, he will die on the true Deen, and if he remains alive until the morning, he will obtain good. And make this supplication your last words (before sleeping).”  [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

Commentary:

Before going to bed, a believer revives his commitment to Faith, Islam and Allah by reciting this prayer of Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam). Through this practice, every night he is able to remember Allah and His Commandments amidst the activities of the day time.

[Riyad as-Saliheen, Etiquette of Sleeping, Lying, and Sitting, etc., Chapter 127, Hadiths 815-816]

When one is fearful or anxious, he should seek the help of Allah and frequently recite “Hasbunallahu wa ni’mal Wakil”

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Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, “How can I feel at ease when the Angel of the Trumpet (Israfil) has put his lips to the Trumpet and is waiting for the order to blow it.” He (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) perceived as if this had shocked his Companions, so he (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) told them to seek comfort through reciting: `Hasbunallah wa ni`mal-Wakil [Allah (Alone) is Sufficient for us, and He is the Best Disposer of  affairs (for us)].”  [At-Tirmidhi].

Commentary:
1. This Hadith tells us about the fear of Allah and the fright of the Hereafter entertained by the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) and his Companions. It has a lesson for us that how, in spite of being innocent and having the assurance of the forgiveness of Allah, they were always fearful of Allah and the horrors of the Day of Resurrection. As against them, we are immersed in sins, neglect and violate the Divine injunctions day and night but even then we have neither the fear of Allah nor the fright of the Day of Resurrection.

In the event of fear and anxiety one should seek the help of Allah and frequently recite the Verse of the Noble Qur’an “Hasbunallahu wa ni`mal Wakil” [Allah (Alone) is Sufficient for us, and He is the Best Disposer of affairs (for us).]  (3:173).

[Riyad as-Saliheen, Book of Miscellany, Chapter 50, Hadith 409]

Jannah is an invaluable gift and until man does not sacrifice worldly life, he will not become eligible for entering it

[throughbitnpcs] the commodity of allah is jannah

Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: I heard Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) saying, “He who is afraid of the pillage of the enemy, sets out in the early part of the night; and he who sets out early, reaches his destination. Be on your guard that the commodity of Allah is precious. Verily the commodity of Allah is Jannah.”  [At-Tirmidhi].

Commentary:

Imam At-Taibi has stated that the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) mentioned this example for travelers to the Hereafter, because Satan is sitting on this passage and man’s self and his false desires are his helpers. If a person is wide-awake in his travel and exercises caution in his activities, he is not only saved from the vices of Satan, but his own false desires also do not stand in his way. The Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) also pointed out that the way to the Hereafter is very hard and littered with great impediments and obstructions and it is by no means easy to traverse it. Jannah is an invaluable gift and unless man gives the sacrifice of his life and wealth, he will not become eligible for entering it. “Allah has purchased the lives and properties of Muslims for Jannah.” (Tuhfatul Ahwadhi).

This Hadith encourages us to observe obedience of our Rubb and to spare no effort to desist from all acts of disobedience in order to achieve the lofty goal of entering Jannah, by Allah’s Leave.

[Riyad as-Saliheen, Book of Miscellany, Chapter 50, Hadith 410]

To save oneself from the humiliation on the Day of Resurrection, one should lead a life of faith and fear of Allah

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Aishah (May Allah be pleased with her) reported: I heard Messenger of Allah (sallallaahualayhi wa sallam) saying, “The people will be assembled on the Day of Resurrection barefooted, naked and uncircumcised.” I said, “O Messenger of Allah! Will the men and the women be together on that Day; looking at one another?” Upon this, the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahualayhi wa sallam) said, “O Aishah, the matter will be too serious for them to look at one another”.
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

Commentary:

This Hadith mentions the horrors and torments of the Day of Resurrection. It is that a Muslim should never be unmindful of the preparations for the Hereafter nor should he ever lose sight of the fact that he has to appear before Allah on the Day of Resurrection and account for all his actions. In order to save himself from the humiliation on that Day, he should lead a life of Faith and fear of Allah. Those who do not do so and lead a life free from fear of Allah and torments of the Hereafter will have no hesitation in disobeying Allah, which will inevitably lead them to humiliation, disgrace and heavy punishment in the Hereafter.

[Riyad as-Saliheen, Book of Miscellany, Chapter 50, Hadith 411 – slightly modified without distorting the main idea]

Superiority of the First Ten Days of Dhul-Hijjah

superiority of 10 days

Just like the last ten nights of the holy month of Ramadan are the best ten nights out of the year, these first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah (the final month of the Islamic Calendar in which Hajj is performed) are the best days of the year and the most beloved to Allah as they combine acts of worship in a way unlike any other time.

The excellence of these ten days has been mentioned in the Qur’an and the Sunnah.

1. Allah says in the Qur’an:

“By the dawn and by the ten nights … “  [Al-Fajr 89:1-2]

Ibn Kathir said that “the ten nights” referred to here are the ten days of Dhul-Hijjah, and this opinion was also held by Ibn Abbas, Ibn az-Zubair, Mujahid and others.

2. The Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, said:

“There are no deeds as excellent as those done in these ten days.” They (the companions listening) said, “Not even Jihad?” He, peace be upon him, said, “No, not even Jihad except a man who goes forth endangering his life and wealth and does not return with anything.”  [Recorded by Imam al-Bukhari]

3. Allah says:

” … and remember the name of Allah in the appointed days.” [Al-Baqarah 2:203]

Ibn Abbas and Ibn Kathir said this means in the ten days of Dhul-Hijjah.

4. The Messenger of Allah, upon whom be peace, said:

“There are no other days that are as great as these in the sight of Allah, the Most Sublime. Nor are there any deeds more beloved to Allah than those that are done in these ten days. So increase in tahlil (to say la illaha illallah), takbir (to say allahu akbar), and tahmid (to say alhamdulillah).” [ Reported by at-Tabarani in al-Mu’jum al-Kabir]

5. With regards to the noble companion Sa’id bin Jubair, when the days of Dhul-Hijjah began, he would strive to increase in good actions with great intensity until he was unable to increase any more. [Reported by ad-Darimi]

6. Ibn Hajar says in Fath al-Bari:

“The most apparent reason for the ten days of Dhul-Hijjah being distinguished in excellence is due to the assembly of the greatest acts of worship in this period, i.e. salat (prayers), siyam (fasting), sadaqah (charity) and the Hajj (pilgrimage). In no other periods do these great deeds combine.”

**Note: It is recommended to fast on the first ten days of Dhul Hijjah, especially on the 9th which is the blessed day of Arafat. The 10th of Dhul Hijjah is the day of Eid al-Adha and it is prohibited to fast on that day.

Fasting on the day of Arafat expiates the sins of two years

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The first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah have been classified as the best 10 days of the year, and the Day of ‘Arafat, on which Allah perfected His religion has been classified as the best day of the year according to some scholars.

Imaam Ibn Taymiyyah (d. 728H) said: “The most excellent day of the week is the day of Jumuah (Friday), by the agreement of the Scholars. And the most excellent day of the year is the day of an-Nahr. Some of them said that it is the day of Arafat. However, the first opinion is the correct one, since it is related in the Sunan collections that the Prophet ﷺ said: “The most excellent days with Allah is the day of an-Nahr, then the day of al-Qarr (the day that the Muslims reside in Mina).”  [(Saheeh) by Shaikh al-Albanee in Irwa al-Ghaleel (no: 2018). Related by Abu Dawood no: 1765].” [Majmoo al-Fatawa vol: 25, pp. 288]

The ninth day of Dhul-Hijjah (the 12th and final month of the Islamic calendar) is the Day of ‘Arafat, since it is on this day that millions of pilgrims set out for the plains of Arafat after sunrise to attend the Khutba of Arafat and perform their Dhuhr and Asr salat combined as was the Sunnah of Rasool Allah (ﷺ). Thereafter they engage in supplication to Allah from Dhuhr to Maghrib, seeking forgiveness of their Lord before setting off for Muzdhalifah.

On this day of Arafat, Muslims all over the world who do not witness the annual Hajj should spend the day in fasting as it is mustahabb (highly recommended), in preparation for the three-day festivity following ‘Eid ul-Adha (the celebration marking the end of the Hajj commemorating the Prophet Ibrahim’s (willingness of sacrifice). When asked about the fasting on the day of ‘Arafah, the Prophet Muhammad said,

“It expiates the sins (Minor) of the past year and the coming year.”  [Muslim (no. 1162)]

Abu Hafsah, may Allah be pleased with him, reported that the Prophet (ﷺ) said:

“Fasting on the Day of ‘Arafah absolves the sins for two years: the previous year and the coming year, and fasting on ‘Ashura, (the tenth day of Muharram) atones for the sins of previous years.”  [Reported by all except al-Bukhari and at-Tirmidhi]

But, this does not mean that one can continue to commit sin in the upcoming year, rather it portrays the virtue of fasting on the day of ‘Arafat, and the blessings to be obtained therein.

In another saying the Prophet’s wife Hafsah, may Allah be pleased with her, said:

“Four things the Messenger of Allah never neglected: Observing fast on the day of ‘Ashura,‘Arafat, three days every month, and offering fajr sunnah prayers early in the morning.”  [Muslim]

These statements are proof that fasting on the ninth of Dhul-Hijjah, the day before ‘Eid ul-Adha was a lifelong practice of the Prophet (ﷺ) as his wife reported.

There are some reports that fasting is prohibited on the Day of ‘Arafah. However, it must be understood that this refers to a person performing the Hajj. If a person is on the Hajj, there is no fast for him or her on the day of ‘Arafah. That is undoubtedly a blessing for him because of the hardships of the pilgrimage. In a saying reported by Umm al-Fadl, may Allah be pleased with her, she said:

“The companions doubted whether the Prophet (ﷺ) was fasting on ‘Arafah or not. She decided to prove to them that he was not, so she said, ‘I sent to him milk, which he drank while he was delivering the khutbah (sermon) on ‘Arafah.'” [Recorded by al-Bukhari]

Prohibiting the pilgrims from fasting on these days is a great mercy for them, for fasting will exert undue hardship on the person performing the Hajj, while they are primarily concerned with their pilgrimage. Above all, the pilgrim would not be fasting anyway because he is travelling.

The fact that not all of the Muslims are required to go to Hajj every year is a mercy and source of ease from Allah to His servants. He has made Hajj binding once in a lifetime and not binding every year. However, it is a communal obligation occurring every year. This is different from fasting, which is an individually binding obligation on every Muslim, every year.

Because the month of Dhul-Hijjah is a season of worship, it bring along blessings, benefits and opportunities to correct one’s faith and make up for shortcoming. This special opportunity involves a kind of worship, which brings the slave closer to his Lord. And Allah bestows His blessings and Favours on whom He wills. The fortunate person is he who makes good use of these special months, days, and hours, while worshiping Allah. He is most likely to be touched by the blessings of Allah. Rewards of good deeds are multiplied in these days. [Ibn Rajab, al-Lataa’if pp. 8]

For non-pilgrims, it should be remembered that not only should you fast on this day, but make sure to ask Allah for all of your prayers. The Prophet (ﷺ) said: “The best dua is the dua of Arafat.” (Tirmidhi)

The Holy Qur’an is a reminder

[throughbitsnpcs] saad (38) 45-49

Allah tells us about the virtues of His servants the Messengers and His Prophets:

{ And remember Our servants, Ibrahim, Ishaq, and Ya`qub, Ulil-Aydi wal-Absar. } meaning, righteous deeds, beneficial knowledge, strength in worship and insight.

`Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn `Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, said, { Ulil-Aydi } “of great strength and worship; { wal-Absar } means, understanding of the religion.” Qatadah and As-Suddi said, “They were given strength in worship and understanding of the religion.”

{ Verily, We did choose them by granting them the remembrance of the Abode. } Mujahid said, “This means: We made them strive for the Hereafter, and there is nothing else for them besides that.”

As-Suddi also said, “The remembrance of the Hereafter and striving for it.” Malik bin Dinar said, “Allah removed the love of this world from their hearts, and singled them out for land remembrance of the Hereafter.” Qatadah said, “They used to remind the people about the Abode of the Hereafter and to strive for it.”

{ And they are with Us, verily, of the chosen and the best! } means, they are among those who have been elected and chosen, and they are the best and the chosen ones.

{ And remember Isma`il, Al-Yasa`, and Dhul-Kifl, all are among the best. } We have already discussed their characteristics and stories in detail in Surat Al-Anbiya’, may peace be upon them, and there is no need to repeat it here.

{ This is a Reminder } means, a reminder to those who will be reminded. As-Suddi said, “This means the Holy Qur’an.”

[Tafsir ibn Kathir, Saad (38), Verses 45-49]