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“When my heart became constricted and my paths became narrow
I took my hope in Your pardon and forgiveness as an opening and an escape
My sins seemed very great to me but when I compared them to Your forgiveness
I found Your forgiveness to be greater”
– Imam Shafi’

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“O Soul! Despair not of a major fault! Great sins resemble little ones, in God’s forgiveness. It may be, when my Lord distributes His mercy, that it will come in proportion equal to our sins. My Lord! Let not my hope in You be overthrown, nor let my credit with You be void of worth. Deal kindly with Your slave in both worlds, for when terrors call to him, his patience is weak.

~ The Mantle Adorned (Imam Busari’s Burda), 155-158, translated by Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad

“Allah loveth the good; And those who, when they do an evil thing or wrong themselves, remember Allah and implore forgiveness for their sins – Who forgiveth sins save Allah only? – and will not knowingly repeat (the wrong) they did. (Qur’an 3:134-5)

We are in the second (middle) part of the blessed month of Ramadan which are the days of forgiveness. A reminder to myself first and foremost that we should try and seek the forgiveness of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala in abundance. As a beautiful friend said the other day “Life is very short, who knows if another Ramadan has been destined for us…………”

Our beloved Prophet salla’Allahu ‘alayhi wasalam said:
“Allah is more pleased with the repentance of His salve than any one of you is pleased by finding his camel, lost in the desert”.

And in another hadith:

“The best of sinners are those who repent”

Allahumma innaka `afuwwun tuhibbul `afwa fa`fu `annaa – O Allah! You are forgiving, and you love forgiveness. So forgive us!

THE RAJAB LETTER

by Sidi Amjad Tarsin

This is an excerpt from the book Kanz Al-Najah wa As-Suroor (“The Treasures of Success and Happiness”), a book highlighting the special qualities of each month. As the blessed and holy month of Rajab approaches, hopefully this information will be of use in allowing us all to appreciate it and benefit from it:

So, my dear friend, put forth a great effort in the month of Rajab, may Allah have mercy on you. It is the season of great profits, so take advantage of your time! Whoever is spiritually sick due to their sins – know that the medicine has come. Know that Rajab is a virtuous month in which worship is gloriously rewarded – especially fasting and seeking repentance (istighfar).

Also, making du’a during the eve of the first of Rajab is highly recommended. The Prophet, peace and mercy be upon him, said, “There are five nights in which du’a (supplication) is not rejected: the eve of Rajab, the 15th night of Sha’aban, the eve of Friday, on the eve of Eid Al-Fitr, and on the eve of Eid Al-Adha.” [Al-Suyuti in his Al-Jami’].

On the 27th night of Rajab, the Prophet, peace and mercy be upon him, was taken on the Isra wa Mi’raj (The Night Journey and Ascension to the Heavens). This was a great and glorious night, as is known to most Muslims, in which the Prophet, peace and mercy be upon him, met his Lord and was given the commandment to perform the 5 daily prayers.

Rajab is one of the four sacred months mentioned in the Quran (the four months are : Rajab, Dhul Qi’da, Dhul Hijjah, and Muharram):

{The number of months is twelve according to God, in the decree of God, on the day God created the heavens and the earth; and four of them are sacred} (9:36)

Rajab is Allah’s month in which He pours His Mercy upon the penitent and He accepts the actions that people have done for His sake. The Prophet, peace and mercy be upon him, said, “Rajab is the month of Allah, and Sha’aban is my month, and Ramadan is the month of my Ummah.” (Imam Al-Suyuti in Al-Jami).

Scholars say: Rajab is the month of repentance (istighfar), and Sha’aban is the month of sending peace and mercy (salawat/durood shareef) upon the Prophet, and Ramadan is the month of Qur’an.

One highly recommended act to do is say 70 times after the Fajr and ‘Isha prayers every morning and night of Rajab:

Transliteration: “Allahuma ighfir li wa Arhamni wa tub ‘alayya.”

Translation: Oh Allah forgive me, have mercy upon me, and grant me repentance.

Sayyidna ‘Ali, may Allah be well pleased with him, used to allocate extra amounts of time for worship on four nights – the first night of Rajab, the nights before the two Eids, and the 15th night of Sha’aban.

It is also highly recommended to say the following Prophetic prayer (known as Sayyid Al-Istighfar or the Master of Repentance) 3 times every morning and every evening in Rajab:

Transliteration: Allahuma anta rabi la ilaha illa ant, khalaqtani wa ana ‘abduk, wa ana ‘ala ‘ahdika wa wa’adika ma astata’at, ‘authu bika min shar ma san’at, abu’u laka bi ni’matika ‘allaya wa abu’u bi dhanbi, faqhfir li fa’innahu la yaghfir al-dhunub ila anta.

Translation: O Allah, you are my Lord, and there is no god but you. You created me and I am your servant, and I am upon the convenant to the best of my ability. I seek refuge in you from the evil I have brought upon myself. I admit all the blessings you have given me and I admit my sins, so forgive me, for no one can forgive sins save You.

And success is from Allah

Jazaka’llahu khayran to Ustadah Shamira Chothia from Zaytuna Institute for sending me this beneficial reminder. May we all reap the benefits and blessings of this month, and may it provide us the means of getting closer to Him ta’ala. Amin ya Rabb!

Forgiving someone is not always easy, especially if they have hurt us quite deeply. Very often, it’s our egos which get in the way of forgiving someone.

I was listening to one of Ustadha Asra Adiba’s (may Allah subhanahu wa’ tala bless and preserve her) podcasts where she mentions the following quote, which I found incredibly profound:

“It may be infinitely worse to refuse to forgive than to murder, because the latter may be an impulse of a moment of heat, whereas the former is a cold and deliberate choice of the heart.” ~ George MacDonald

In other words, George MacDonald is saying that to refuse to forgive is worse than murder and a COLD and DELIBERATE choice of the heart!! The words Cold and Deliberate striked me, and really made me sit back, think and reflect. It made me think about the times I found it so difficult to forgive someone immediately.

Over time and through experience, we learn that in effect it’s better for us to actually forgive a person than to carry resentment in our hearts. I recall one of our beloved shayukh saying how our emotions are heavy baggage and prove to be obstacles in our journey to Allah subhanahu wa’ tala . The lighter our bags, the quicker we shall reach Allah subhanahu wa’ tala; the more emotion (anger, hatred, sadness, jealousy, envy etc) we have within us, the more it will slow down our journey to Allah subhanahu wa’ tala as we will waste a lot of time dealing with and overcoming such issues. Therefore we must quickly forgive, close that chapter and move on!

Let’s not forget, our beloved Prophet sallaAllahu alayhi wasalam was the most forgiving person, and regardless of how he was treated sallaAllahu alayhi wasalam, he was always ready to forgive. So in essence, forgiving others is the prophetic way and being the followers of our beloved Prophet sallaAllahu alayhi wasalam, it’s something that we should strive to embody within our characters. (Reminder to myself first and foremost)

May Allah soften our hearts and may we find it easy to follow the prophetic way of forgiving each other easily.

Ustadha Asra Adiba is a hidden gem, and her podcasts are absolutely brilliant as she covers a plethora of topics which affect our daily lives. I would highly recommend listening to them. May Allah bless and preserve her, and allow us to benefit from her. Allahumma Amin ya Rabb!

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