What is a good life?
Goodness and having a good life is simply being able to be happy, settled, tranquil, and not full of anxiety, fear and worry.
What Allah tells us in the Quran is:
… by the remembrance of Allah hearts are assured (13:28).
“This is the elemental challenge that we all face.
When we overcome ourselves to tap in to that divine salvation, deliverance and wellness and actually beget the beauties and bounties and mercies that Allah (SWT) has in store for us, this is the elemental challenge.”
“And what Allah (SWT) does, because He is so generous and so kind and He is so merciful, and He knows that we forget,… He gives us moments of elevation, increase and opportunities for that deliverance, whether we like it or not.”
A Fast Track to the Good Life
“One of those opportunities that we just experienced a number of weeks ago was the month of Ramadan.
We all left the month of Ramadan, and in particular on the day of Eid, we all felt a very distinct sense of happiness, joy and wellness.”
The entire reason why we all felt that wellness is because we had committed ourselves an entire month simply in the business of the remembrance of Allah, connecting ourselves to Allah in every fashion and in every form…
Because we were able to taste that, all of us collectively felt good on the day of Eid…
“Allah sends us multiple opportunities in the year to be on the fast track to the good life…
“Allah gives us these opportunities, just like Ramadan, to be on the fast track towards goodness…
“One of these seasons is about to enter in the span of less than two (days) and those are the first ten days of Dhul Hijjah…
“The first ten days of Dhul Hijjah are equal in their reverence and magnificence (to the month of Ramadan)…
“Unfortunately, the Muslim community does not cultivate that same sense of awe and reverence for the days of Dhul Hijjah…
“These days are so magnificent that Allah (SWT) swears by them in the Qur’an, where He says:
“By the dawn. And [by] ten nights” (89:1-2)
“Allah swears by the Fajr, the early hours, the day break, and He swears by the ten nights.
The overwhelming majority of those who have explained the Qur’an say that those ten nights are referring to the first ten days of Dhul Hijjah.
They are so significant and important, that Allah (SWT) swears by them…
Why Are They the Greatest Days?
What makes the first ten days of Dhul Hijjah so significant?
Why does Allah swear by them?
Why does the Prophet say they are the greatest days in the dunya?
“The reason is truly so remarkably beautiful, as noted by Ibn Hajar Al-Askalany, the great Hadith interpreter, in his book Fath Al-Bari. He says the reason why the days of Dhul Hijjah are so significant is because of the fact that gathered in those ten days are all the acts of worship that human beings can do on this earth.
This is the only time in the year in the life of a believer when you can theoretically fulfill all the types of worship that Allah (SWT) has decreed.
This sounds simple and subtle but truly is profound, because for you and I, the entirety of our existence solely lies in the extent to which we commit ourselves to the Creator of the Heavens and the earth, the Creator of the soul we have within us, the Creator of this heart where we find wellness, happiness and goodness.
And Allah tells us in the Quran that He created us solely that we worship Him, and when there are days in the year when you can fulfill every avenue of worship, then those days become remarkably significant days…
That’s why they are given the lofty state that they have, and the best days to do good deeds are on those days…
A Time for Many Good Deeds
These ten days are a fast track to Allah.
“In the days of Dhul Hijjah, if you go down the list of the external acts of worship, all of them can be fulfilled.
Hajj, prayer, the testimony of faith, … these are days of Tahlil.
The Prophet, peace be upon him, said say in abundance la ilaha illa Allah…
“These are days when you can fast…
“The days of Dhul Hijjah are days when you give charity…
So you can fulfill all the external (ibadat) acts of worship.
But for us ibadah is not limited to simply the external manifestations of worship.
The Prophet, peace be upon him, said that in the days of Dhul Hijjah our theology, our iman, must become fortified with la ilaha illa Allah, to say that there is nothing that should be an object of my concern other than Allah…
The Station of Ihsan
Our true servitude to Allah is not only in the external submission (Islam) or the internal submission (Iman) but the last thing the Prophet, peace be upon him, says (in the Hadith of Jibreel) is Al-Ihsan, that is the holistic beautification of the self.
In the ten days of Dhul Hijjah, I prepare myself from now that I will pursue every avenue to beautify my internal and my external and internal state for the sake of Allah (SWT).
I will rid my heart of all of the vices I have become committed to.
I will rid my heart of envy, anger, hatred … because I don’t want to be in those magnificent beautiful days with a heart that is full of envy or anger or hatred.
I will work tirelessly to perfect my character, because I know that this religion is how you interact with people and deal with them.
And all of us collectively, myself included, we fall short in our interactions with people, in giving people what they need, what they deserve…
“So this, brothers and sisters, is the reason why these days are so magnificent, because every single element of being in communion with God can be found in these days …” To watch the full speech, click here.
(The following is a partial transcript of a recent Friday sermon in Boston by Sheikh Yasir Fahmy transcribed by Reading Islam Team)