Updated: Sep 30
Glory to Allah, the Sublime, Sovereign over His creation, Subjugator over His servants. To Him belongs the absolute power and the absolute will, “Thy Lord does create and choose as He pleases: no choice have they (in the matter): Glory to Allah! and far is He above the partners they ascribe (to Him)!” (26:68). Listening to such an Ayah with attentive ear and devoted heart, one should feel humility submerging his/her soul and one’s will willingly surrendering to the Irresistible, the Supreme. Such an Ayah helps one rediscover how little the self is. It also helps one with gaining more modesty, as this Ayah guides one to reflect with conscious eye on the vast creation around him/her and ponder with mindful heart on the greatness of the Creator, “Say, "Is it other than Allah I should take as a protector, Creator of the heavens and earth, while it is He who feeds and is not fed?" Say, "Indeed, I have been commanded to be the first of those who bow to Allah (in Islam), and not to be one of those who associate others with Allah in His divinity”, "Say, "Indeed I fear, if I should disobey my Lord, the punishment of a tremendous Day.” Whosoever has been spared chastisement on that Day, Allah has bestowed His mercy upon him. That is the manifest triumph.” (6:14-16).
Reconnecting with one’s true modest, weak self, one should then begin savoring the great meaning of the celebration of the ten days of Dhul Hijja, days of remembrance and glorification of Allah. Indeed the believer understands that he/she is celebrating the greatest of the gifts ever, celebrating that the only God is Allah, celebrating that indeed Allah is Allah; free of negative attributes or deficient ones as is the case in other faiths. Nor are His attributes limited by necessity, as is the case with the God of certain philosophers, nor is He confined to the concerns of a single tribe, as is the case with the Lord God of Israel. Nor are His attributes mixed and mingled with the attributes of some nature other than Him, as is the case with the Godhead of some Christian denominations, nor are they completely non-existent, as is presumed by atheists who deny the existence of the Living and Purposeful Creator.
Our Rabb, Allah, is the Ever-Living, the Self-Sustaining. Neither drowsiness overtakes Him nor sleep. “Verily your Lord is Allah, who created the heavens and the earth in six days, and is firmly established on the throne (of authority), regulating and governing all things. No intercessor (can plead with Him) except after His leave (hath been obtained). Such is Allah, your Lord; do therefore serve Him. Will you not take heed?” (10:3).
Celebrating that Allah didn’t take unto Him a child, nor he has any partner, “And say, "Praise to Allah, who has not taken a son and has had no partner in [His] dominion and has no [need of a] protector out of weakness; and glorify Him with [great] glorification.” (17:111).
Reflect on the difference between a person who thinks that Allah does not care about him or that He does not even know about him, as some philosophers have said, and the person who knows that Allah is his Creator, his Provider, and the Master of his affairs here and in the Hereafter. Imagine the predicament of a polytheist who has to deal with a god who is lustful, tyrannical, capricious, and willful, such as the chief god of the Greeks, Zeus or Jupiter. Reflect on the vast difference between a person who is to deal with such a god, learning from him indecent and immoral behavior, and the one who deals with Allah the Just, the Generous, the Merciful, who forbids indecent deeds, open or secret, and who loves those who are pure and clean and turn to Him in repentance.
Reflect on the difference between a person who takes 'Nature" as his creator, which is devoid of any perception and knowledge, and the one who recognizes Allah as his Creator, The One who is Living and Eternal, who responds to the needs of His creatures, who is Just and never oppresses, and who is Merciful and responds to the call of those in distress. “Is He [not best] who responds to the desperate one when he calls upon Him and removes evil and makes you inheritors of the earth? Is there a deity with Allah? Little do you remember.” (27:62).
A righteous predecessor was asked how did you come to know Allah, your Rabb (Lord)? He replied: “I knew my Lord by my Lord, and if it were not for my Lord, I would not have known my Lord.” Understanding such a profound statement, which defines the context of the celebration of the ten days of Dhul Hijja, should have one express his/her gratefulness to Allah by seeking sincerely and devoutly, the guidance which enables him/her to act in the way it pleases Allah. Remember the Prophet pbuh, when he stood on the Mount Safa, in the beginning of his prophethood, calling his people to the word of truth. He got then, a harsh reply, he pbuh was cursed and insulted by his own uncle "Abu Laheb". But after almost 23 years, during the farewell Hajj, the Prophet pbuh stood again on the Safa, but this time he was surrounded by hundreds of thousands of believers, celebrating the greatness of Allah supplicating: “laa ilaaha ill-allaahu waḥdahu laa shareeka lah, lahul-mulku wa lahul-ḥamdu wa huwa ‛alaa kulli shay’in qadeer, laa ilaaha ill-allaahu waḥdahu, anjaza wa‛dahu, wa naṣara ‛abdahu, wa hazam-al-’aḥzaaba waḥdah” (None has the right to be worshipped except Allah, alone, without partner. To Him belongs all sovereignty and praise and He is over all things omnipotent. None has the right to be worshipped except Allah alone. He fulfilled His promise, aided His servant and single-handedly defeated the allies.”)
Thus should be the end of every sincere believer, the attainment of the true success, therefore let one’s will be avid to celebrate with remembrance and worship the days of Dhul Hijja and rejoice the ultimate success promised by Allah, "And who is truer to his covenant than Allah? Then rejoice in the bargain which you have concluded. That is the supreme success.” (9:111).
Article by Sh Jamel Ben Ameur PhD