Despite all that has happened in 2020 thus far, it is indeed – by the grace of God – a year of blessings and Aafiya. As for the meaning of the word, Shaykh Abdullah al-Lahji (for those who know me – this is the teacher of the Shaykh who had an Itr shop at the clock tower entrance in Mecca) wrote in his great work Muntaha al-Sul 4/420:
Aafiya: meaning being free from worldly tribulations, actual and metaphorical deficiencies and [being free from difficult] events in ones life – meaning not being tested by them and exercising patience with that which takes place.
Because of the word Aafiya encompassing all of these meanings, making dua for it would be the most comprehensive form of prayer. This was the reason the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said to Abbas when he asked him to be taught a prayer,
“O Uncle, ask Allah for Aafiya in this world and the next.”
It is mentioned in the work Bahjat al-Majalis from Aishah (Allah be pleased with her) said,
“I said: O Messenger of Allah, what is Aafiya? He replied: Aafiya in the world is: provision, physical health, clothing, forgiveness, safety from the fire and entering Paradise.”
Imam al-Nawawi said in Sharh Muslim: Aafiya is from the general words which applies to the repelling of all types of harm, in the body, spiritually in the world and in the afterlife.
– End quote.
We ask God for this to be a year Aafiya for us and all of the Muhammadan community – Amin.