Bismillah Ar Rahman Ar Raheem
Labbayk Allahum Labbayk... Here I am Oh Allah, Here I am. It was the dua of the crowd of Hajj, the cries of the hearts of the pilgrims. Oh Allah here I am... here I am waiting for You, for Your Forgiveness, for Your Mercy, for Your Blessing, for Your Favour. The supplication of tawaf, of the time spent in ihram...
The Hajj season has passed a new year in the Islamic calendar begins today-- Did we come away changed? Was it a Hajj Mabroor? Is the cry of Labbayk Allahuma Labbayk still wet on our tongues? Are we still seeking Allah's favour and His Mercy? What did we attain? What do we deserve?
Evidence of a Hajj Mabroor is the steadfastness of the servant after the Hajj has been completed. That the practice of righteous actions will establish and maintain themselves. That sins would be left. Al-Hasan al-Basri said, “Al-Hajj al-Mabrur is to return abstinent from this world and desiring the hereafter. This is witnessed to in His saying, “And those who are guided – He increases them in guidance and gives them their righteousness (taqwa, fearful awareness of Allah, care to avoid His displeasure).” (47:17)
Have we changed? It is true that we must hope in Allah's Mercy, as without it we have no hope, but to supplicate for forgiveness and the Favour of Allah without doing anything to change ourselves is like saying "I will lose weight" and then continuing to eat junkfood every meal. Allah is capable of all things that is certain, and most definitely making dua is the best action a Muslim can take... sincere supplication. However one of the distinguishing characteristics of the Muslim from the other followers of other religions is that we are accountable-- We must strive to better ourselves, to earn forgiveness, to avoid sin. In another example of an obligatory ibaddah of the Muslim-- ramadan, the Prophet Sallahu Alayhi wa Salam and his companions would supplicate to Allaah for six months that He would allow them to reach Ramadaan. If He allowed them to reach Ramadaan, they would fast, pray at night and supplicate for the next six months that He accepts the month of Ramadaan from them. The righteous predecessors would struggle to complete and perfect their deeds, hoping afterwards, that it would be accepted and fearing that it would be rejected. From the reports of ‘Alee, [Lataa'if ul Ma'aarif, p. 246]
Labbayk Allahuma Labbayk... here I am O Allah. Make me of those who is deserving of your mercy, who honors the gift of Islam that you have given me, who honors the gift of Hajj that you gave me. Change my heart, make me fear only You, worship only You, seek only You and your favour. Change my heart O Allah, make me sincere, purify me, make me steadfast. Accept my Hajj O Allah, and invite me back to your house.
Here I am O Allah, Here I am... keep me as one of your servants, keep my heart firm on your religion. Accept my ibadda, accept my Hajj O Allah... Ameen