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The Season of Hajj and the Expiation of Sins

Aug 24, 2017

 

By Sheikh Abdul-Bari ibn Awwad al-Thubaiti – 14 Thul Hijjah 1437

His Eminence Sheikh Abdul-Bari ibn Awwad al-Thubaiti, may Allah preserve him, delivered the Friday Khutbah entitled, “The Season of Hajj and the Expiation of Sins,” in which he talked about the season of pilgrimage to the Sacred Mosque in Makkah, whose rituals were almost concluded, and the pilgrims’ preparation to return to their homelands. He stated that one of the greatest virtues of performing this rite is the expiation of one’s sins, showing that pilgrims return home as sinless as they were the day they were born. He also reminded the pilgrims of the necessity of maintaining their records of deeds clean from sins, referring to a number of virtuous deeds with which Allah expiates His servants’ sins.

Praise be to Allah. Bountiful, good, and blessed praise be to Allah. Praise be to Allah as many times as the number of all things in the heavens. Praise be to Allah as many times as the number of all things on the earth. Praise be to Allah as many times as the number of all things between them. And praise be to Allah as many times as the number of all things that exist. Praise be to Allah as much as fills the heavens. Praise be to Allah as much as fills the earth. Praise be to Allah as much as fills what is between them. And praise be to Allah as much as fills all things. I bear witness that there is no god but Allah alone, Who has no partners, and I bear witness that our Master and Prophet, Muhammad, is His servant and messenger. May Allah bestow His peace and blessings upon him and upon his family and Companions.

Now then,
I advise you and advise myself to fear Allah. Allah, Exalted be He, says:
“O you who believe! Be afraid of Allah, and be with those who are true (in words and deeds).” (At-Taubah: 119)

The rituals of Hajj are about to come to an end, and convoys of pilgrims have already started packing up to return home after a successful season that has witnessed integrated services, superb achievements, and efforts that have been exerted by all sectors, which have worked diligently and developed a modern approach to serve the pilgrims and the visitors of the Prophet’s Mosque. May Allah reward those charged with authority in this country, who have spent generously and supervised everything faithfully. May Allah bless those truthful men who have achieved honour and glory and have demonstrated proficiency in planning the proceedings of Hajj. Such success has silenced the voices trumpeting others’ ideas with a view to distorting facts and falsifying events, for a sieve cannot conceal sunlight.

Allah has bestowed upon us the blessing of seasons of doing acts of obedience to Him, whose goodness follow in succession and in which the mercy of the Lord, Glorified be He, overwhelms us with forgiveness. Successful indeed are those who return home from the pilgrimage as sinless as they were the day they were born. May Allah make you and me among them. Successful are also those whom Allah has forgiven the sins of two years for fasting the Day of ‘Arafah.

The elevated rank that the successful have attained and the clean slate that the hardworking servants have had the honour of achieving should truly draw the attention of the sensible and prompt them to maintain this lofty, elevated position, by which they attain the blessing of divine forgiveness and the purity of mercy. The way of the pious at all times has always been to repel evil deeds with good deeds. Allah, Exalted be He, says:
“… Verily, the good deeds remove the evil deeds (i.e. small sins). …” (Hud: 114)

The continuous purification from the evils of life and the perpetual cleansing of one’s record of deeds do not end with the conclusion of blessed seasons; nor are they confined to a particular place or time. This is because the evil consequences of committing sins beget deprivation from doing good deeds and result in the lack of divine support. The shackles of sins prevent one from showing obedience to Allah and hastening to serve Him. Therefore, a Muslim looks for those deeds that expiate his sins and raise his rank in Paradise all year round, as a means of cleansing his soul, which seeks purity and elevation.

One of the greatest means of attaining Allah’s forgiveness is to believe in the Oneness of Allah (tawhid) and to worship Him alone. For those who truly establish the testimony of tawhid in their hearts, this testimony will remove any love, glorification, reverence, and awe from their hearts, except for those directed to Allah alone. It will then wipe away all their sins even if they were as abundant as sea foam, and it may even replace them with good deeds.

Sins are expiated by attaining piety, which is the best provision. Allah, Exalted be He, says:
“… and whosoever fears Allah and keeps his duty to Him, He will expiate from him all his sins, and will enlarge his reward.” (At-Talaq: 5)

All righteous deeds expiate sins, provide great opportunities to cleanse the soul from the dirt of wrongdoings, and purify hearts from the follies of negligence. These acts include performing ablution (wudu’) perfectly, observing ritual cleanliness, and holding the five daily prayers in high regard by performing them at their stated times in congregation. The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Shall I not tell you something by which Allah effaces sins and elevates ranks (in Paradise)?” The Companions replied, “Yes, O Messenger of Allah!” He said, “Performing ablution (wudu’) properly, even when it is inconvenient, walking a lot to mosques, and waiting for one prayer after another. That is observance of worship.” The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, also said, “If anyone performs ablution (wudu’) in his home and then walks to one of the houses of Allah (i.e. mosques) for performing an obligatory prayer, then one step of his will wipe out one of his sins, and the other will elevate his status.”

The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, also said:
You commit sins, but when you perform the Fajr (Dawn) Prayer, it wipes them out. Then you commit sins, and when you perform the Dhuhr (Noon) Prayer, it wipes them out. Then you commit sins and when you perform the ‘Asr (Afternoon) Prayer, it wipes them out. Then you commit sins, and when you perform the Maghrib (Sunset) Prayer, it wipes them out. Then you commit sins and when you perform the ‘Isha (Nightfall) Prayer, it wipes them out. Then you go to sleep, and no sin is recorded until you get up.

Sins are also expiated and one’s rank is raised by giving generously to charity and spending money for Allah’s sake. Allah, Exalted be He, says:
“If you disclose your Sadaqat (alms-giving), it is well; but if you conceal them and give them to the poor, that is better for you. (Allah) will expiate you some of your sins …” (Al-Baqarah: 271)

The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Charity extinguishes sins just as water extinguishes fire.”
In addition, committing oneself to enjoining good and forbidding evil both expiates sins and raises one’s rank in Paradise. The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “A man’s trials in regard to his family, his property, and his neighbours (i.e. the sins committed in their connection) are expiated by fasting, charity, and enjoining good and forbidding evil.”

Being truthful with Allah and with oneself and adhering to truthfulness in one’s life are also means of expiating sins. Allah, Exalted be He, says:
“And he (Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him) who has brought the truth (this Qur’an and Islamic Monotheism) and (those who) believed therein (i.e. the true believers of Islamic Monotheism), those are Al-Muttaqun (the pious). They shall have all that they will desire with their Lord. That is the reward of Muhsinun (good-doers). So that Allah may expiate from them the evil of what they did and give them the reward, according to the best of what they used to do.” (Az-Zumar: 33-35)

Besides, faith that remains unshaken in times of trials expiates sins and raises one’s rank in Paradise. The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “No illness, fatigue, grief, distress, or sadness befalls a believer, even if it be something that worries him, but Allah will efface some of his sins because of it.” Furthermore, making life better through developing and improving it expiates sins, and showing kindness to people raises one’s rank in Paradise. The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “While a man was walking along the road, he saw a thorny branch and he removed it, so Allah appreciated that deed of his and forgave him his sins.”

However, in the midst of the joy of attaining these blessed seasons and benefiting from their favours and rewards, the servant should implore his Lord to lead him to guidance and steadfastness. He should supplicate as the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, used to do, saying, “O Allah! I ask You for steadfastness in obeying Your commands and for determination in following the right guidance.” He would also supplicate his Lord, saying, “O Controller of the hearts! Make my heart hold fast to Your religion.”

May Allah bless you and me with the Great Qur’an and make us benefit from its verses and wise words. I have said what you have heard and I ask forgiveness of Allah. Ask Allah for forgiveness. He is the Oft-Forgiving, the Most Merciful.

 

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