All praise is to Allah ta'ala, the Lord of the Heavens and the Earth, whose continuous blessings and mercy has allowed us to start another academic year of the academy. The Iftitah Bukhari (the first lesson of Sahih Al Bukhari) was conducted by our beloved Shaykh, Shaykh Zulfiqar (may Allah ta'ala preserve him) for the women’s branch, and the classes have started with a new passion. We also started with the new batch of our men’s branch. The zeal and hard work of the students, who work during the day and study over the weekends and nights, is admirable. It’s only the love of Allah ta'ala that keeps people steadfast on the path towards Him. One of the best paths towards Allah ta'ala is seeking knowledge. These are the days of Hajj, another expression of our love to our Creator. People leave their worldly possessions, their homes, their clothes, and set out on this journey of love to the house of Allah ta'ala. We cannot see our Creator in this world, but at least we can express our love to Him by visiting His house. He also reciprocates the love by showering His mercy on the plain of ‘Arafat. Then people return back to their homes with their hearts washed, as if their mothers have just given birth to them.
Allah ta'ala has also not deprived the others, those who cannot embark on this journey. Allah ta'ala has made the first ten days of Dhul Hijjah (an Islamic month) blessed, and has increased the reward of all the actions in them. He even takes an oath in the Quran by the first ten nights of this month. Whenever Allah ta'ala takes an oath of thing, that is indeed a great thing.
وَالْفَجْرِ وَلَيَالٍ عَشْرٍ
‘By Fajr, and by the (first) ten nights (of Dhul Hijjah).’ (89:1-2)
Dhul Hijjah also reminds us of a great lover of Allah ta'ala, the one who Allah ta'ala called His khaleel, His friend, Sayyiduna Ibrahim alaihe salam. He was tested for his love of Allah ta'ala. He was thrown in the fire by the king, and was tested for his trust in Allah ta'ala. He was asked to leave his family in the middle of the desert, and was tested for his reliance on Allah ta'ala. He was asked to sacrifice his son, and was tested for his submission. He was ordered to build the house of Allah ta'ala, and was tested for his humility. And he passed every single test.
وَإِذِ ابْتَلَىٰ إِبْرَاهِيمَ رَبُّهُ بِكَلِمَاتٍ فَأَتَمَّهُنَّ
And when his Lord tested Ibrahim with (certain) commands, he (perfectly) fulfilled (all).’ (2:124)
So this month is about the love of Allah ta'ala, and a reminder of a lover of Allah ta'ala. All the rituals of Hajj remind us of Ibrahim (peace be upon him) and his family. The water of Zamzam (a well located in Masjid al-Haram) reminds us of his family. The sacrifice of the animal reminds us of him and his family. This is the sign of his acceptance from Allah ta'ala. This month reminds us that the goal of our life is to love Allah ta'ala. Whenever we love Allah ta'ala, He reciprocates the love. Allah’s ta'ala expression of love is by blessing all of us in this life, and accepting our deeds; and many times, keeping our legacy for the generations to come. So as students of knowledge, and the travelers on the path towards Allah ta'ala, we must do everything with passion and sincerity, out of our love for Allah ta'ala. This will be our expression of our love to Allah ta'ala, with a hope of acceptance, and His love in return.
On behalf of the beautiful students of Nur ul Ilm Academy
Saturday, Sep 13th, 2014 | Dhul Qa’dah 18, 1435