Ramadan Is Not the End! It’s a New Start!

Ramadan Is Not the End! It’s a New Start!

By Editorial Staff

Kinds of people after Ramadan

1. The successful ones

The Blessed month of Ramadan during which Muslims have performed many acts of worship is now over. It acts as a witness for or against people.

Those who spared no effort to observe as many acts of worship as they could must be ecstatic with happiness. They hope that the month is not only a witness but that it is also their intercessor on the Day of Judgment.

Those who spared no effort to observe as many acts of worship as they could must be ecstatic with happiness. This is because they have successfully completed their fasting. They hope that the month is not only a witness but that it is also their intercessor on the Day of Judgment. Moreover, they have got rid of their past sins.

Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “He who observes fasting during the month of Ramadan with Faith while seeking its reward from Allah, will have his past sins forgiven.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

The same reward is granted to those who also performed the tarawih (night prayer). Every Muslim who observed fasting and tarawih prays to Allah to accept their good deeds.

2. The Most successful ones

Out of precaution, good people fear that their actions are not accepted because of likely shortcomings that may be there in their worship. That’s why they ask Allah to accept their fasting, tarawih, recitation of the Quran, giving in charity and the other good deeds they have performed.

It was narrated that ‘Aishah said: “I said: ‘O Messenger of Allah,

“And those who give that (their charity) which they give (and also do other good deeds) with their hearts full of fear.” (Quran 23:60)

Is this the one who commits adultery, steals and drinks alcohol?’

He said: ‘No, O daughter of Abu Bakr’ – O daughter of Siddiq – rather it is a man who fasts and gives charity and prays, but he fears that those will not be accepted from him.’” (Ibn Majah and Al-Tirmidhi)

Ibn kathir and Al-Albany declared this Hadith as authentic.

3. The unsuccessful ones

On the other hand, there are others who are happy because Ramadan is over. They do not like it to perform fasting and other acts of worship. Those lazy people often neglect performing the compulsory acts of worship. That’s why one can find the number of Muslims observing prayer in mosques decreases after Ramadan.

Such people should ask themselves whether their deeds are accepted. They should be truthful if they really seek Allah’s forgiveness and mercy.

Signs of acceptance

There are signs that denote that one’s good deeds are accepted. One of these signs is that one finds themselves more steadfast and unwavering in abiding by the rituals of Islam. The progress in worship and behavior Muslims make by the end of Ramadan denotes their success in benefitting from Ramadan.

On the contrary, there are people who have not made any progress. They are still lazy to do acts of worship. Thus, their condition after Ramadan is the same as or even worse than before it. This denotes non-acceptance of their worship.

In fact, they have not seized the opportunity to gain the great rewards of the blessed month. They may not have the chance to live until the next Ramadan. We ask Allah, Almighty, to guide such people to repentance and to shower them with His mercy.

Worship is not over after Ramadan

If the month of Ramadan is over, this does not mean the time of worship is over. Allah says,

“And worship your Lord (thus) – until the certainty (of death) comes to you.” (Quran 15:99)

We can understand from this aya that one should continue to worship Allah as long as he is alive because no one knows the specific time of his or her death. It’s everyone’s hope to die while they are in the best state of maintaining the rituals of Islam and closeness to Allah. To achieve this goal, one should consider the following aya. Allah says,

“O you who believe! Be ever God-fearing, with a fear justly due Him. And do not die, except while you are muslims, in willing submission to God (alone).” (Quran 3:102)

When interpreting this Aya, Imam Ibn Kathir, the great commentator of the Quran, said, “Preserve your Islam while you are well and safe, so that you die as a Muslim. The Most Generous Allah has made it His decision that whatever state one lives in, that is what he dies upon and is resurrected upon. We seek refuge from dying on other than Islam.”

In fact, good deeds should still be observed all the year round. Fasting, performing night prayer, reciting the Gracious Quran, giving in charity, making du’aa (supplication) and enjoining what is good and forbidding what is evil are just a few examples. Let us look at one or two of these kinds of worship!

Fasting

Although fasting is compulsory in Ramadan, it is still recommended in the other months. In Shawwal, it is recommended to fast six days.

Abu Ayyub (May Allah be pleased with him) reported:

The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “He who observes Al-Sawm (the fasts) in the month of Ramadan, and also observes Al-Sawm for six days in the month of Shawwal, it is as if he has observed Al-Sawm for the whole year.” (Muslim)

One can start to perform those six days from Shawwal 2 because it is prohibited to fast the first day of Shawwal. They may be observed consecutively or separately during the month.

The other supererogatory fasts

The other recommended fasts during the year include fasting on Mondays and Thursdays, and for three days every month, the 13th, the 14th and the 15th.

The Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) would also encourage Muslims to do more acts of worship on the first nine days of Dhul-Hijjah, the 12th month in the lunar calendar. This includes fasting on those days. Moreover, the reward for fasting on the Day of Arafat, the 9th day of Dhul-Hijjah, is the forgiveness of the sins of two years, one before and one after that day. It should be noted that it is not recommended for the pilgrim to fast the Day of Arafat. The reward of the pilgrim for standing on Arafat and doing other acts of worship is the forgiveness of all past sins. So, the pilgrim does not fast on that day to be better able to do more acts of worship.

It is also highly recommended to fast a lot of days of Al-Muharram, the first month in the lunar calendar. Fasting the 10th day of Al-Muharram forgives the sins of the previous year. Also, Prophet Muhammad (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) used to fast most days of Sha’ban.

The night prayer

The night prayer is not exclusively recommended in Ramadan. It can still be performed at every night of the year.

Narrated Abu Hurairah:

The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) as saying: The most excellent fast after Ramadan is Allah’s month al-Muharram, and the most excellent prayer after the prescribed prayer is the prayer during night. (Muslim)

The night prayer is one of the best acts of worship that brings the Muslim closer to Allah. In addition, it is a symbol of goodness and excellence. Allah says,

“Little of the night did they lie down. For at night’s end they were seeking (God’s) forgiveness.” (Quran 51: 17-18)

Reciting the Gracious Quran

Reciting the Gracious Quran should be part and parcel of the Muslim’s everyday life. There are several ayat (verses) from the Quran and many hadiths that encourage Muslims to read the Quran, study its meanings and reflect upon its admonitions. The Muslim should spend some time to do this even if it is ten minutes. Allah says,

“Indeed, those who recite the Book of God, and who (duly) establish the Prayer, and who spend (charitably) from what We have provided them, secretly and openly- they have hope in a (blessed) transaction that shall never come to ruin- that He may give them their rewards (in full) and increase them evermore from His bounty. Indeed, He is all-forgiving, ever-thankful.” (Quran 35: 29-30)

There are a lot of other acts of worship which every Muslim should do a share of it. May Allah accept our and your good deeds! Ameen!

 

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Was Ramadan the Final Stop?

Was Ramadan the Final Stop?

By Truth Seeker Staff

ramadan

Whoever witnesses this month without gaining any of its rewards is indeed poor, and nothing cripples him other than negligence, laziness, procrastination, and false hopes.

Ramadan is a level playing field wherein people compete with each other in good deeds and benevolence. During this blessed month, souls are trained in virtue and accustomed to dignity, they learn to disdain vices, sins and acquire all good attributes.

Whoever witnesses this month without gaining any of its rewards is indeed poor, and nothing cripples him other than negligence, laziness, procrastination, and false hopes.

However, what is appalling is to see some of those who were guided to do good deeds and take provisions from virtues during this month hastily destroying what they had built, and replacing good with evil. This is a gross mistake and shameful act in the true sense of the word and no remorse or apology will revoke it when you stand in front of your One Lord.

Bishr (may Allah have mercy upon him) was asked about people who only become diligent during the month of Ramadan and he said, “They are abominable people because they only know Allah the Almighty during the month of Ramadan. The truly righteous people are those who worship Allah the Almighty diligently throughout the whole year.”

Ash-Shibli (may Allah have mercy upon him) was asked, “Which is better: Sha‘ban or Rajab?” His answer was, “Be a worshipper of Allah the Almighty rather than a worshipper of Sha‘ban.”

‘A’ishah may Allah be pleased with her was asked, ‘Did the Messenger of Allah (may Allah exalt his mention) choose some special days (for fasting)?’ She replied, ‘No, but he used to be regular (constant) (in his service of worshipping).’ The Prophet (may Allah exalt his mention) also never performed more than eleven Rak`ahs (units of prayer) whether in Ramadan or at any other time of the year.

We sincerely invite such people out of fear for them to reconsider their lifestyle and to review themselves and think about their condition before it is too late. We advise them not to allow appearances, their strength, health and youth to deceive them. That is because all of this is nothing but a mirage that one may see as water, but once he reaches it, he finds nothing. Health will be followed by sickness, youth will be followed by old age, and strength will eventually turn into a weakness.

So, wake up and pay attention! Life is short even if it seems long, and happiness will end no matter how long it lasts.

Such people should know that perseverance and adherence to the right path as well as obedience to Allah the Almighty is one of the greatest signs of acceptance of one’s good deeds. Allah the Almighty says (what means): {And worship your Lord until there comes to you the certainty (death).} [Al-Hijr 15:99]

Consequently, the souls should remain adherent to the right and guided path just as they were during the month of Ramadan. Guidance is not confined to certain times and acts of worship, and obedience to Allah the Almighty is not limited to the month of Ramadan.

Al-Hasan Al-Basri (may Allah have mercy upon him) said, “Allah has not set an end to the believer’s work other than death.” Then he recited: {And worship your Lord until there comes to you the certainty ‎‎(death).} [Al-Hijr 15:99] ‎

Indeed, Ramadan has ended but you still have several renewed seasons for worship. The five daily prayers are among the highest and best good deeds and prayer is the first thing about which one would be asked on the Day of Judgment when he stands in front of Allah the Almighty.

If the fast of Ramadan has ended, then you have the voluntary fasts and occasions such as the six days of Shawwal, Mondays and Thursdays, the white days, the tenth day of Muharram, the Day of ‘Arafah, and so on.

If the night prayer of Ramadan has ended, you should know that the night prayer can be offered every night: {They used to sleep but little of the night‎} [Adh-Dhariyat 51:17]

If the time of Zakat Al-Fitr has ended, then there is the obligatory Zakah in addition to the countless ways of giving voluntary charity.

Dear Muslim brother, you should know that one of the attributes of the slaves of Allah the Almighty is that they perform their good deeds constantly, as Allah the Almighty Says (what means): {Those who are constant in their prayer} [Al-Ma`arij 70:23], {And they who carefully maintain their prayers} [Al-Mu’minun 23:9]

If you aspire to know how to save yourself from this trap and how to perform good deeds regularly, you have to do the following:

1- You must be sincerely and strongly determined to do good deeds constantly under all circumstances and conditions. This requires keeping away from weakness and laziness. That is why the Prophet (may Allah exalt his mention) used to seek refuge with Allah the Almighty from inability and laziness, given their dire consequences. Hence, you should seek the help of Allah the Almighty and move ahead.

2- Moderation is very important, and you should never overburden yourself, as the Prophet (may Allah exalt his mention) said: “Do such deeds as you can do easily, as Allah will not get tired (of giving rewards) until you get bored and tired (of performing religious deeds).” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

You should remember that there are blessings in perseverance. For example, whoever reads a Juz’ (portion) of the  Qur’an every day will read the whole  Qur’an in one month, and whoever observes fast for three days every month will be rewarded as if he had observed fast throughout the whole year. Likewise, whoever observes twelve voluntary Rak`ahs every day, Allah the Almighty will build a house for him in Paradise, and so on.

3- You should know that it is unacceptable for whoever observes a good deed to abandon it. It was narrated that ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr ibn Al-‘Aas (may Allah be pleased with him) said, “The Messenger of Allah (may Allah exalt his mention) said to me: ‘O ‘Abdullah! Do not be like so-and-so; he used to get up at night (for voluntary prayer) but abandoned it later.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

4- Dear brother, remember what our righteous predecessors used to do. ‘A’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) said that whenever our beloved Prophet Muhammad (may Allah exalt his mention) missed the night prayer because of illness or sleep, he would pray twelve Rak`ahs the next day. [Muslim]

The Prophet (may Allah exalt his mention) also once missed I`tikaf (staying in seclusion) and he made up for it in Shawwal. Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) said that the Messenger of Allah (may Allah exalt his mention) said to Bilal (may Allah be pleased with him): “‘O Bilal, tell me about the most hopeful act (i.e., one which you deem the most rewarding with Allah) you have done since you accepted Islam because I heard the sound of the steps of your shoes in front of me in Paradise.’ Bilal (may Allah be pleased with him) said, ‘I do not consider any act more hopeful than that whenever I make ablution (or take a bath) in any hour of the night or day, I would immediately perform prayer for as long as was destined for me to pray.’” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

However, the most amazing thing is what ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib, may Allah be pleased with him, used to do in response to the advice of the Prophet (may Allah exalt his mention) when he once visited him and found him sleeping with his wife Fatimah (may Allah be pleased with her) (daughter of the Prophet (may Allah exalt his mention)). ‘Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) said, “The Prophet placed his leg between me and Fatimah (may Allah be pleased with her) and taught us what to say when we go to bed, saying: ‘When you go to your bed recite thirty-three times Subhanallah (Glory be to Allah), thirty-three times Alhamdulillah (All praise is for Allah), and thirty-four times Allah-u-Akbar (Allah is The Greatest).’ ‘Ali added ‘By Allah, I never left this practice for the rest of my life.’ A man asked him, ‘Even on the night of the Battle of Siffeen?’ He said, ‘Yes, I observed this even on the night of Siffeen.’” [Al-Hakim: Saheeh]

If you contemplate over this narration, you will be amazed at the keenness and persistence on doing good deeds even at times of war and bloodshed. None of these distracted him from implementing the advice of the Prophet (may Allah exalt his mention) regarding what he should say upon going to bed. Such stories and narrations should make you persist in doing good deeds and attempting to imitate the righteous predecessors and following their path.

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Taken with slight editorial modifications from islamweb.net.

 

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