So here we are…
A month ago, we were receiving emails and texts – and tweets too – reminding us of the virtues of this blessed month, of the different things we could accomplish and achieve during this Ramadan. Top of the list was the forgiveness of our sins, acceptance of our duas and nearness to Allah.
But as with all good things, the blessed month of Ramadan has come to an end. We ask Allah to accept our duas, our striving, our ibaadah, and all our feeble attempts to worship Him as His humble servants. May our ibaadah in Ramadan not be in vain and may we live to see the next Ramadan, insha Allah.
So, we’ve cleaned up eleven (11) months of stains in this one noble month, by Allah’s Mercy; what’s the plan now? To get right back to where we were 30 days ago? La!
In 30 days, we offered more duas than we probably had done in months
In 30 days, we gave to more people, more money, time and naseehah than we had done in months
In 30 days, we shared food with others and had friends, family and yes in some cases, foes, over to share meals with us
In 30 days, we read the Quran more times than we had done in months; some completed once, others twice, five times and even less than that; alhamdulilah!
In 30 days, for more nights than you can remember, you rose at night to cry to your Rabb, sleep deprived, food deprived but at peace in a time and place only Allah has provided
In 30 days, you must have learnt more about the Prophet (SAW), this deen and more ahadiths than you’ve ever interacted with and more. Attending lectures, sharing on emails, receiving sms and so on..
In 30 days, each obligatory salat was said and in the mosque too (for the brothers). Our masajids for each salat was brimming over
In 30 days, we ceased smoking, partying, speaking too much, shunning television, breaking habits, watching our tongues…..the list is endless
In 30 days.
In the next 330 odd days, what will you do?
In 330 days, we must do more! Allah’s blessings, forgiveness and rahmah does not cease in the month of Ramadan. Our Rabb is ever ready to accept the repentance of the believing soul. So what are you waiting for?
I know the Shaitan is back, I know the pitfalls might increase so I prepare just like I prepared for Ramadan, if not even harder!
Will I make it a practice to perform regular charity to my neighborhood? Will I have family and friends over as often as I can to eat and share with them? Will I send them gifts for the love of Allah?
Will I perform all my salat in the mosque? Will I attend learning circles and if none exist (because it’s not Ramadan), why don’t I organize some? Find learned brothers and put together learning circles in my area?
Will I bond with the Quran more? Memorise more surahs, understand its meaning and maybe even start learning Arabic, the language of the Quran so I can actually say Amin at the end of duas and mean it!
And will I make tahajjud every week, every odd night, finishing the Quran many more times before the next Ramadan?
330 days is enough time to catch up on all the things we did in Ramadan and all the things we hoped to do in Ramadan that we couldn’t. Just like we refused to compromise our Ramadan, this is no exception! Nothing is more important than not losing the closeness with our Lord NOW!
Let’s start with the 6 days of Shawwal. Why procrastinate on a good deed? You have just completed 30 odd days of fasting and suddenly six (6) more seems too much? Fa audhubillah! Perform the six (6) days immediately after the days of Eid! Its six (6) days! For my sisters, you missed out some days? Repay them and then do your six days. In total, they will be an odd 11-15 days! In comparison to 30 days? Piece of cake! Why not strive for the rewards of perpetually fasting instead of relaxing and fighting to catch up a few days to our next Ramadan, which if Allah wills so, we might not meet? Hasten to good deeds my brothers and sisters.
Let’s rise for tahajjud. Our need for forgiveness, problems and our wants in this duniya and our striving for Jannah, does not end in the month of Ramadan. And our Rabb still descends to the lower heavens each night!!! Rise for dua, moisten your tongue with dhikr and cry to your Rabb!
The ummah was one during this blessed month, joined in ibaadah, striving and service. We hastened to get the benefit of each other’s fast by sharing our meals; now we should get the benefit of keeping this ummah strong by sharing meals after this blessed month. Have neighborhood get-togethers, community get-togethers, children’s parties sharing stories of the Prophet (SAW), the sahabah….The ummah’s unity should not wane or die because we are not in Ramadan!
So, you might think, how can we do all this, the Shaitan, the Shaitan, the Shaitan! I agree and I’m not taking away from the difficulty, but that’s why it’s called striving! It’s why the pious ones are rewarded, because it is hard and we curb our desires to please Allah, azza wa jaal.
Practically? From the mouths of young Muslims, during a workshop this Ramadan, when the question of how to sustain ibaadah and good behavior after Ramadan was put to them, here was the simple reply.
“I will write an essay about my last Ramadan and then come up with a timetable so I can keep track and not fall back.”
Subhanallah! First, take stock. What did I do during Ramadan? What would I have liked to do? What do I want to do next Ramadan? If possible, write your own “How I spent my last Ramadan” highlighting the weak points and strong points insha Allah.
Second, plan how to be a better Mumeen (believer) henceforth. A little, a day. Do not leave any day without doing some of the ibaadah you performed during the month. If you gave N20,000 in sadaqah for the month of Ramadan, try and make sure you keep up that sum for every month before the next Ramadan. If you prayed tahajjud 20 nights in the month, try keep that tally each month after Ramadan. Make the effort!!! If you fall short, at least it will not be none at all!!!
If you finished the Quran this Ramadan, Alhamdulilah. Now try doing that once in two months, trying to understand the meaning as well. You can vary the ibaadah each day but never be far away from your Rabb. Insha Allah, this will become normal routine for you before next Ramadan and you will be doubling your effort from this into the next year with better learning, better ibaadah and better relationship with the Lord of the Al-ameen, insha Allah. And if Allah wills and we are called before the next blessed month, we will insha Allah have been taken upon goodness.
We began the month of Ramadan with a preparation schedule to maximize the month with all the ibaadah, all the dua and all the charity we were going to perform. For a schedule for 30 days, a map for steadfastness in the next 330 days will be appropriate; wouldn’t you say?
We weep as we say good` bye to the month of blessing,
The month that its rewards are a thousand fold.
A month that if we sincerely pray Allah has assured us of the forgiveness of our sins
A month in which the greatest miracle known to man was revealed
A month that consists of a night better than a thousand months
One thing I hope to improve on, insha Allah, is learning more dhikr and I leave you with one I learnt in these last few days. May Allah make it easy for us to obey Him.
“Allahumma ‘a’innee ‘alaa thikrika, wa shukrika, wa husni ‘ibaadatika”
“O Allah, help me to remember You, to give You thanks, and to perform Your worship in the best manner”
Alhamdulillah for Islam!!!