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Running-at-sunset

By: Nur Diana

Run, Forrest Run!

A three word sentence which I used to say to myself, when things were just too difficult for me to move on. And obviously, I would replace the word Forrest with my very own name.

Alhamdulillah, we’re now entering the last few precious days of Ramadhan and some of the longest fasting hours in the past years. And in that last few minutes of a soccer match, that is when players will squeeze their very best efforts to either score another goal, or to put up the best of defences to prevent the opponent from scoring. During the last few minutes of the match, as nerve-wrecking as it is for the players, the spectators too get agitated, in their hearts, prayers are amplified.

Hence, in these last days of Ramadhan, us as the ‘players’ should feel the same way too. To squeeze the very best of efforts to score as many goals as we can. To defend ourselves from self-desires which are overwhelming. To amplify dua’as and to keep asking Allah AWJ to grant us the most excellent results for this ‘game’ – Ramadhan. This is a special month, a month which is blessed by Allah AWJ with layers of mercy, abundance of forgiveness and heavy pours of Allah AWJ’s Love. The only month out of the eleven others which provides us the wonderful opportunity to reap the sweetest of rewards multiplied by thousands of goodness.

A’isha radi Allahu `anha (may Allah be pleased with her) asked the Prophet ﷺ (peace be upon him),

“If I knew which night is Laylat al-Qadr (the Night of Power), what should I say during it?”

The Prophet ﷺ told her to say:

Allahumma innaka ‘afuwwun tuhibul ‘afwa fa’fu ‘anni.

“O Allah, indeed You are the Pardoner, You love to Pardon, so Pardon me.”

[Tirmidhi]

One of Allah’s beautiful names, al-‘Afuww (the Pardoner), appears five times in the Qur’an; four times with al-Ghafoor (the Most Forgiving) and once with al-Qadeer (the Creator). Al-‘Afuww comes from the root ‘afw, which means to hide, obliterate, or remove something. This meaning connotes ‘pardoning’, which is when one looks over another’s error and does not take them to account for it. Technically, it means Allah’s protection from trials and healing for the believers (i.e., aafiyah, safety, and well-being).

With many people, when we make mistakes, the relationship gets altered, and sometimes forever. This applies to even our closest family members or friends. Even with the slightest of mistakes, our family member or friend might get offended and we will tend to be more careful in dealing with them. However, with Allah SWT, the relationship that we have with Him AWJ is the most unique. As many errors or mistakes we do towards Allah AWJ, and as long as we do not ascribe any partners with Him AWJ, Allah is Al Afuww, He AWJ Pardons our mistakes and our wrongdoings. Allah AWJ Loves to Pardon, thus we should always ask Him for His Pardon. For how many times we fell and kept repeating the same mistakes, we should always ask for His Pardon and Forgiveness.

I would like to share some practical tips on how to boost our last days of Ramadhan and to make us better in Allah’s Eyes, inshaa’Allah.

Ask Allah for pardon.

Memorize the dua’a which was taught by our beloved Prophet ﷺ. Out of many things that could have been told by the Prophet ﷺ to Aishah when she asked the question, the Prophet ﷺ taught her this particular dua’a. A beautiful dua’a with the same word repeated thrice – Afuww.

Allahumma innaka ‘afuwwun tuhibul ‘afwa fa’fu ‘anni.

“O Allah, indeed You are the Pardoner, You love to Pardon, so Pardon me.”

Hurry towards your Lord’s forgiveness and a Garden as wide as the heavens and earth prepared for the righteous,

(Al Quran, Surah Ali Imran : 133)

Use this opportunity to renew yourselves and renew your intentions.

Don’t let the past deter our future path. Have full confidence that Allah AWJ, Al Azeez (All Powerful) has the full capability and power to make us better if we strive to be better ourselves. Don’t let this Ramadhan go into waste by being lost in thought over the mistakes of the past days and years whilst continuing to engulf ourselves in those previous mistakes. The ability to open up our eyes this very morning and to breathe in the oxygen despite the many mistakes we have done is a major sign of Allah’s Mercy towards us, for us to repent and renew ourselves and intentions. So, infiruu, waste no more time!

“Go forth, whether light or heavy, and strive with your wealth and your lives in the cause of Allah . That is better for you, if you only knew.”
(Al Quran, Surah Tawbah : 41)

Try to pardon people.

Yes, truly, it might be hard for some of us. However, how can we expect Allah AWJ to be pardoning and forgiving to us, if we ourselves do not pardon or forgive others? We shall learn from the best of inspirations – our beloved Prophet ﷺ and Prophet Yusuf (AS). People rejected and exiled the Prophet ﷺ but when he returned to Makkah after he ﷺ was exiled from his own country, he ﷺ told the people of Mekkah that they are now free. Looking upon our Prophet Yusuf as he was thrown into the well by his own brothers and they even plotted to try to kill him. When they found out that he was not dead yet, and asked for his forgiveness, Yusuf (AS) replied:

He said, ‘You will hear no reproaches today. May God forgive you: He is the Most Merciful of the merciful.

(Al Quran, Surah Yusuf : 92)

It is definitely a difficult thing to do. Especially for those who are hurt by others deeply and it seems like it will take forever for the wounds to heal. However, despite how “forever and ever” that might take, how is it that we instantly want Allah AWJ to Forgive and Pardon us for our wrongs and mistakes? Surely, we want Him AWJ to Forgive and Pardon us as soon as possible. Forgiving others might be hard, hence, the rewards are many.

I ask Allah AWJ to make everything easy for us in this last precious days of Ramadhan, and to help utilise these days as best as we can. Also, in this blessed days of Ramadhan, do amplify your dua’as for ours brothers, sisters and the Ummah around the whole world. Ask of Him AWJ during every minute of our fasting, before we break our fasts, and in every prostration. And for the days which have passed, do not look back and despair if you did not give your best. Look forward, and keep running. For Allah is Al Affuw, and He AWJ Loves to Pardon us. As long as we ask of Him AWJ. So, run my sisters & brothers, RUN!

Allah Knows Best.

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