بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
In the Name of Allah Most-Compassionate, Most-Merciful
As we approach the last 10 days of Ramadan it is worth remembering the actions and devotion of the Prophet (s) during this time which he would increase even further in seeking the mercy, forgiveness and blessing of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. Below is advice from Shaykh Habib Ali Al-Jifri which if we apply earnestly in these few days will benefit us considerbly insha’Allah.
Shaykh Habib Ali Al-Jifri
Never let a day of Ramadan pass that you have not asked for Allah’s forgiveness, make it so that each day will pass with an increase in Allah’s pleasure for you. Ramadan is the chance you have to increase your closeness to Allah because suddenly you have an intense love to pray and desire to read Quran; to keep this closeness steady, take care to always do 3 things:
Constant Dua and supplication to your Lord after every act of obedience, asking Him to help you in devotion, because it is only through His generosity that you are able to worship. The Prophet said to Muadh ibn Jabal: “I love you! So never leave this dua after every prayer: Oh Allah help me in remembering You, in offering gratitude to You, and in worshiping You beautifully.” This became known as the Circle of Love hadith, as when Muadh taught the dua to others he first said “I love you! So do not leave saying…” and they would tell those who came after them, “We love you! So do not leave saying this dua…”
Safeguard tightly your sight, your hearing, and your speech – by day and by night. Safeguard them from seeing, hearing and saying things that would displease Allah – this will lead to your heart being strongly protected as a result of your limbs being safeguarded.
Striving to be present with Allah in worship, don’t let your acts of worship be empty shells full of thoughts on worldly affairs. When you read the Quran, it is not letters that you read rather it is Allah’s words to you! Take heed from the state of Ikrimah, the Companion of the Prophet who would pick up the Quran and as his eyes fell upon the letters of the Quran he would be so awestruck and exclaim in wonder: “Kalamu Rabby! Kalamu Rabby! Kalamu Rabby!”… “The words of my Lord! The words of my Lord! The words of my Lord!” And tears would begin to fall from his eyes and at times he would faint out of his awestruck state before he even was able to recite a line from those beloved words.
Know that to be present with Allah does not come instantly and it takes work, strive every day even if your heart is far away – still pray and make dua in this state, it will come slowly after the struggle Allah says: “Those who struggle in our way, We will verily guide them to Us!!”
Do not stand in the way of being forgiven in the Month of Forgiveness! Jibreel came to the Prophet and told him “May he be forsaken who is not forgiven in Ramadan, say Ameen!” And the Prophet said “Ameen!” and in another hadith the Prophet said: “May he be forsaken he who is not forgiven in Ramadan, for if he is not forgiven in Ramadan then when will he be?” To explain this, there is a narration that says: “Whoever fasts in the month of Ramadan out of sincere faith, and hoping for a reward from Allah, then all his previous sins will be forgiven… except for 4 people: The one who drinks wine (until he repents and is forgiven), the one who disrespects his parents (even through an annoyed look, and definitely by raising your voice at them or mistreating them may Allah protect you from that), the one who cuts off family and friendship ties (the one who cuts off family ties is cut off from the Mercy of Allah as Allah explicitly said Himself! Even if they were the ones who wronged you and hurt you, do not cut off ties with them even if you keep it minimal by only greeting them.), and lastly the one who keeps grudges against people.”
The same way you would not accept to lie in filth, or have filth on your body, you should not accept for there to be filth in your heart! Your heart is the only place in you that Allah looks directly into! Didn’t the hadith say “Verily Allah does not look at your outward semblances, or your bodies, but rather He looks at your HEARTS!” Are you pleased that you should keep grime and dirt: grudges and malicious feelings in your heart, the place that Allah looks at, simply because of what people say in passing or do in passing? Purify your hearts! If there are people you do not like to see or hear about, that means there is something in your heart. Purify it!
To purify your heart:
Make dua for that person which you bear ill feelings towards – the feelings will dissolve. Each time you remember him or her badly, ask Allah to give that person the best of things. Even if you don’t feel it sincerely at first, this is the process of purifying of the heart.
Remember that you have also made mistakes and that you need forgiveness. If you are that amazing that you have not hurt another human, then remember that you always fall short in front of serving Allah. Forgive others!
Remember that the most precious thing you own in this world is your heart. It is where Allah’s gaze lies. Don’t let anything taint your heart. “