By Maha Ezzeddine from Detroit
Estimated Reading Time: 2 minutes
There are moments in time when we should think of neither the past nor the future but be fully rooted in the present, because we will never be closer to the mercy of Allah than we are now. Hajj and the day of Arafah are one of those climaxes, as are the last ten nights. These are the breaths of Allah’s mercy that pierce through time and space. Life’s singularities.
Prophet Muhammad (s) said, “Perform good year-round and seek out the breaths of Allah’s mercy. For Allah has breaths of His mercy-they touch whom He wills of His servants.”
As the breezes of mercy surround us, don’t get too distracted by the goal-setting, habit-building, and Ramadan hacks related to fitness, nutrition, and a better self. At the same time, if you have fallen short in good habits in Ramadan, now is not the time for pessimism. There are days for planning and learning from our mistakes, but now we are at the mountain peak and before and after were just the journey. Our planning and worship has led up to this moment, primed our hearts to be open to the breaths of Allah’s mercy and to show up at the appointed time. Now there is only a desperate grab for the mercy of Allah. Nothing we have done, or didn’t do, up till this point, matters if we can’t get this one thing. And the mercy and pardon of Allah is so close, so close, closer than the earth’s sky, closer than our whispers to the ground, closer than our jugular vein.
I wondered why, when Aisha asked the Prophet (s) what she should make dua for on Laylatul Qadr, he taught her a simple dua that asked for Allah’s pardon, “O Allah, You are the Forgiver, You love to forgive, so forgive me.” Out of all the worldly and heavenly things we could ask for, this one rated the highest.
If there was ever a moment when we could pierce through the layers of time and send one prayer, one sujood, one dua, to our poor, terrified self on the Day of 50,000 years, the endless march in the scorching heat, it would be now. One prostration and prayer for forgiveness can make the difference between an eternity in heaven or hell. No act of worship we have done in the last month guarantees Allah’s mercy, and nothing we didn’t do until now could keep us from it if we show up sincerely and ask.
Don’t worry, don’t regret, don’t think forward or backward. Show up in the late hours of the night. Beg. Now is the moment of truth.