By Meru Hussain
Friend of Allah.
A Nation unto himself.
Thul-Hijjah is the season that comes to teach us patience, to reinforce to us the milla (way) of Ibrahim (as), to bring us back to La Illaha Ilallah.
Many people find themselves in challenging relationships with their fathers and it’s painful that they feel the absence of a father figure in their life.
We are in the blessed days of Thul-Hijjah and what better father figure to look to than Ibrahim (as)? Ibrahim (as) himself had challenges with his father, yet he found that by submitting to Allah and acknowledging that Allah has control of all things, he was able to deal with his father gently. Despite his father’s outright denial of the message he was sent with, he still held firmly to La illaha ilallah whilst also refraining from being disrespectful to his father.
You are not alone.
In this blessed season of worship, we are reminded that the legacy of our father Ibrahim is to hold firmly to “La illaha ill’ Allah” and turn fully to Him in Whose control is the Heavens and the Earth and all it contains. The milla (way) of Ibrahim is to become a Hanif – to turn away from everything and turn oneself completely to Allah. This is the right way. This is what Allaah wants from us.
For all the days gone by, and all the mountains of sins carried on your back, right here and right now is where you find your right of return. Be the refugee that our father Ibrahim (as) was, and travel to the haven of Allaah, As Samad.
“Pilgrimage is a visit to the House of God;
The manly way is Hajj to The Lord of The House”.
These couplets taken from one of Rumi’s poems defines for me what it means to take a Pilgrimage to Allah even when you can’t reach the House of Allah.
As much as we look to the Ka’ba as a symbol of the legacy of Ibrahim (as), we often overlook His Pilgrimage to The Lord of The House. Once he endured all the hardships, he was then – after that– commanded to raise the foundations of the Ka’aba; only when the foundations of his eeman had reached Allah.
Ibrahim and His Father
Ibrahim’s (as) father created the idols which his people worshipped, and this is why when Ibrahim (as) called his father to The Truth, his father threatened to kill him – because his livelihood depended on idol worship. This is a reminder to us all today of what it means when we are told that wealth and children are a distraction for us. Our love for wealth and our children may prevent us from doing what is best; our desire to get more wealth and to have children, the best children, distracts all of us at times from our greater purpose in this life. Ibrahim’s father is strong warning to us all, to not do that, to resist the desires from this world that thwart our path to Allaah. And yet despite his father’s vehement denial of the truth, Ibrahim (as) remained gentle with him. He was not prepared to leave the truth, and more so, to call to the truth with truth, with sincerity, with integrity, because he knew that this is what was necessary to call more people to worship Allah.
The milla of Ibrahim is to use one’s intellect to free oneself from the influence of traditions and society, to protect one’s reasoning and moral intellect. We can see this in the fact that despite his message falling on heedless ears, he never gave up – he tried presenting the message to them in a way that would get them to think; to use their reasoning and intellect. This is something every one of us has been charged with – to use our intellect and reasoning, to nurture these gifts in the Way of Allaah subhanahu wa ta’ala so that they are of benefit to us, and then those around us too.
When Ibrahim (as) smashed the idols, leaving the biggest idol intact to use it as the culprit, his people could not apply their reasoning to see that the reason the idol is incapable of destroying the others is the very same reason that it is a false deity that is not worthy of worship, and so they turned to violence and threw him into the fire. They were blindly following their forefathers even if their reasoning conflicted those beliefs.
And yet, for the one who did use his reasoning and intellect, out of Allaah’s Mercy, he was saved by a miracle that defied logic and intellect as we know it -The fire they built for Ibrahim became a haven of tranquillity for him; the fire became cool, subhanAllaah! (glory be to Allaah!)
A father will raise you, teach you, nurture you and guide you. He leaves behind provisions and a legacy for you to adhere to, should you waver. The legacy of Ibrahim is for us all: it is for the orphans; for those who become orphans for choosing Islam; it is for those struggling with their own fathers; it is for those who have lost their fathers in adult life; it is for all the believers.
There are always other ways to get the same message across – this is something Ibrahim (as) taught us. Despite his people throwing him into the fire, he later stood amongst them, in their company whilst they were worshipping the stars; and he knew he had to change his angle. He went to them, then said, ‘Perhaps this is my Lord?’ This made his people happy because they felt he had given up on Allah and returned to their cultural ways. However, when the night had passed and the stars disappeared, Ibrahim (as) said ‘I don’t like those who disappear.’ He knew the stars would disappear, but he wanted to show people The Truth, and he continued this for the next few days and nights, joining them in witnessing the sun, moon and stars all disappear until he finally stated:
‘Indeed I have turned my face toward He Who created the heavens and the earth, inclining toward truth, and I am not of those who associate others with Allah’. ( Qur’an 6:79)
In teaching the people, this timeless message has been captured in the Quran for all of mankind, and as a reminder to the believers. For the believers, the 5 daily prayers are a demonstration of this sentence because despite the rising and setting of the sun, or the appearance and the disappearance of the stars and moon, we pray to the Lord Who created these and all of creation, and we literally turn our faces towards the direction of the Ka’ba which Ibrahim (as) built.
The message of La illaha ilallah will remain until the end of time, but for each of us, what we choosee to do today will determine the succession of the legacy of Ibrahim. A very important duaa of Ibrahim (as) which reminds us of what true servitude to Allah is, is:
قُلْ إِنَّ صَلَاتِى وَنُسُكِى وَمَحْيَاىَ وَمَمَاتِى لِلَّهِ رَبِّ ٱلْعَـٰلَمِينَ
Say, “Indeed, my prayer, my rites of sacrifice, my living and my dying are for Allah, Lord of the worlds.
Let us remind ourselves that if our hearts are in submission to The Lord of the Ka’aba then the distance from us to Him is only a sincere du’aa from a devoted heart.
If the gates of Makkah are closed for us for Hajj this year, then let us submit our hearts to The Lord of The Ka’ba. Let us make use of the gates of repentance and the doors of glorification of Allah to lay the foundations of our eeman and elevate our station with our Rabb. May Allaah grant us all the tawfeeq to learn from and live the legacy of our father Ibrahim, ameen.
About the author:
Meru is a mother of 2 with a background in IT currently working on her own personal development and is a community activist. She is pursuing a passion of writing and blogs on her Instagram page musingsofmeru.