Keeping the Slate Clean

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Series on the Speciality of Each Ten Days of Ramadhaan – Part Three

Imagine a person who has to drive along a gravel road, every day, as he commutes to work. Obviously, in traversing this road twice a day, going and returning, his car will become dirty and will be covered with dust and mud. Hence, such a person will ensure that if not every day, he will at least have his car washed and cleaned on a regular basis. He will understand that failing to regularly clean his car will cause the muck to accumulate, until it will eventually damage his vehicle and even possibly endanger his life.

In a similar manner, we are all traversing the ‘gravel’ road of life. To err is human, and so we all occasionally hit a patch in the road that causes some dust to rise and settle on us. However, the question is, “How do we regularly wash this dust off ourselves, preventing it from accumulating until it seriously harms us?”

The answer is regular repentance to Allah Ta‘ala for all our sins. Whenever we sincerely repent to Allah Ta‘ala and weep over our sins, we will inshaAllah emerge cleaned and purified from all our evils and crimes. However, together with repentance, there are certain special actions which are such that if a person carries them out, Allah Ta‘ala will forgive all his previous minor sins. Thus, through carrying out these actions on a regular basis, one will be regularly purifying himself of all minor sins, effectively keeping his record clean.

With the second ten days of Ramadhaan being the ten days of receiving forgiveness from Allah Ta‘ala, we should try to practise on these actions, making them a part of our lives after Ramadhaan as well. Some of these actions are the following:

1. Fasting in the month of Ramadhaan with imaan and the hope of reward (i.e. sincerely). (Saheeh Bukhaari #38)

2. Performing the Taraweeh salaah in the month of Ramadhaan with imaan and the hope of reward. (Saheeh Bukhaari #37)

3. Spending Lailatul Qadr (the Night of Power) in ‘ibaadah. (Saheeh Bukhaari #1901) This should be done by spending every odd night of the last ten days of Ramadhaan in ‘ibaadah.

4. Performing a perfect wudhu (adhering to all the sunnats and etiquettes, etc.). (Saheeh Muslim #578)

5. Performing two rakaats of salaah after performing wudhu. (Saheeh Bukhaari #159)

6. Performing the five daily salaahs causes all the sins, from one salaah to the next, to be forgiven. (Saheeh Muslim #550)

7. Remaining patient through tragedies and afflictions such as sickness, grief, sadness, suffering calamities, or even something as small as being pricked by a thorn also causes sins to be forgiven. (Saheeh Bukhaari #5641 & Majma‘uz Zawaaid #3732)

8. Giving charity causes sins to be forgiven. (Saheeh Bukhaari #525)

9. Reciting the following du‘aa when hearing the azaan (Saheeh Muslim #851):

أَشْهَدُ أَنْ لَّا إِلٰهَ إِلَّا اللهُ وَحْدَهُ لَا شَرِيْكَ لَهُ وَأَنَّ مُـحَمَّدًا عَبْدُهُ وَرَسُولُهُ ، رَضِيتُ بِاللهِ رَبًّا وَبِـمُحَمَّدٍ رَسُوْلًا وَبِالْإِسْلَامِ دِيْنًا

10. Reciting the following du‘aa after eating (Sunan Abi Dawood #4023):

اَلْـحَمْدُ لِلّٰهِ الَّذِيْ أَطْعَمَنِيْ هٰذَا الطَّعَامَ وَرَزَقَنِيْهِ مِنْ غَيْرِ حَوْلٍ مِّنِّيْ وَلَا قُوَّةٍ

11. Reciting the following du‘aa after wearing clothing (Sunan Abi Dawood #4023):

اَلْـحَمْدُ لِلّٰهِ الَّذِيْ كَسَانِيْ هٰذَا الثَّوْبَ وَرَزَقَنِيْهِ مِنْ غَيْرِ حَوْلٍ مِّنِّيْ وَلَا قُوَّةٍ

Through adhering to the abovementioned actions, it is hoped that we will continue to keep our slates clean of all minor sins.

May Allah Ta‘ala bless us all with complete forgiveness in this blessed month, so that we emerge from this Ramadhaan free of sin, as we were when our mothers gave birth to us, aameen.

Note:

1. As for the major sins in our lives, then to erase these from our books of deeds, we should cry to Allah Ta‘ala in repentance and promise him that we will never again return to these evils.

2. If our sins are against other people, e.g. oppressing someone, insulting someone, etc. then together with repenting to Allah Ta‘ala, we will also have to ask the person who was wronged to forgive us.

3. In the case where all a person’s minor sins have been forgiven (e.g. through performing one of the abovementioned deeds), and thereafter, one performs another one of the abovementioned deeds, since there are no more minor sins to be forgiven, the deed will cause one’s rank to be elevated in the Hereafter.