Ramadhan, What next??

End of Ramadhan does not essentially mean end to all the good that we did during the blessed month. The sign of the accepted Ramadhan is that we remain steadfast in whatever we did during the month till we meet our end. Allah SWT says: “And worship your Lord until the certainty (i.e. death) comes to you,” [Al Hijr 15:99].

Shawwal, Tenth month of the Lunar Calender

Now that Ramadhan is over, most of us find ourselves in a dilemma. How do we continue with the spirit of Ramadhan? The fact that “Shaytan’ is no more chained and the gates to the hell are no more closed, how do we bring the spirit of Ramadan into our lives for the rest of the year.

It is quite common among masses that once Ramadhan is over we drift away from the path of obedience to Allah SWT and start falling prey to satanic traps. People plan to watch a movie on the following days of Eid as a mark of celebration, try and watch the backlogs of missed TV serials, masjids will have a deserted look and five obligatory prayers are taken lightly to an extent that Fajr is constantly missed with congregation.

If a Muslim lived through Ramadan and spent the days of it in fasting and nights of it in praying, and habituated himself to doing acts of good, then he must continue to remain upon this submission to Allah SWT at all times. This is the true state of the servant (abd), for indeed, the Lord of the months is One and He is ever vigilant and observing His servants at all times. Therefore, the enthusiasm and the zeal of a Muslim must be constant and he must continue to remain in the service of his Master.

Shawwal is the following month of Ramadan. The first day of Shawwal is Eid-ul-Fitr, a day in which Allah SWT rewards HIS slaves for their submission to HIS will during the blessed month.

Its Sunnah (Tradition of Holy Prophet) to fast for six days in Shawwal, Abu Ayyub Al-Ansari RA related the Messenger of Allah PBUH said: “Whoever observes the Ramadan fast and follows it with six days of fast in Shawwal, it is as if he has fasted Dahr (the whole year).” [Bukhari]

The servant of Allah is obligated, after having Emaan in Allah, to persevere and be steadfast upon obeying HIM by performing the obligatory acts and avoiding the prohibited ones. This is achieved by following the Straight Path, which is the firm Religion, without drifting away from it. Indeed, the true manner of a Muslim is that of one who praises and thanks his Lord for having been bestowed the ability to fast and make Qiyaam (night prayer). His condition after Ramadan is better than it was before Ramadhan. He is more ready to obey, desiring to do good deeds and quick to implement the obligatory acts.

Steadfastness after Ramadhan and the rectification of one’s statements and actions are the greatest signs that one has gained benefit from the month of Ramadhan and striven in obedience.

Ramadan, as you know is considered to be a time for change. But changes that are not sustainable have little or no benefit to them

During Ramadhan, we do more Ibadah, recite more Quran and do more charity besides other acts of worship.  Keep up these things, even though little. The Prophet PBUH said, “The deeds most loved by God are those done regularly, even if they are small.” [Bukhari and Muslim]

The nature of change is that it should come from within. Here are a few ways we can continue the spirit of Ramadhan in our lives:

  1. Read a little of the Qur’an every day – you would just need to read 18 verses of the Qur’an per day to finish the whole Qur’an within the year. It is that simple.
  2. Give charity on a regular basis, even though it might be small. The Prophet said: “Give charity without delay, for it stands in the way of calamity.” [Al-Tirmidhi]
  3. Increase your connection with Allah through His remembrance. Prophet PBUH: “O Messenger of Allah SWT! Verily, the sanctions of Islam have become too heavy for me, so tell me something that I can easily follow, The Prophet PBUH replied “Let your tongue always be moist with the remembrance of Allah”. [Al-Tirmizi]
  4. Be more compassionate with your family, especially your parents.
  5. Always ask for Allah’s help and His favours even in the smallest of matters.
  6. See around your neighbourhood and see if anyone needs help. Try to help the needy in whatever way you can.
  7. While sitting with family or friends avoid frivolous talk and instead talk constructive.
  8. Take some time off every day to reflect upon yourself.
  9. Control your food and DO NOT overeat. The Prophet PBUH said: “No human ever filled a vessel worse than the stomach. Sufficient for any son of Adam are some morsels to keep his back straight. But if it must be, then one third for his food, one third for his drink and one third for his breath.” [Tirmidhi & others]
  10. Have self-control as practised in Ramadhan.
  11. Sleeping is necessary for human body. But do not oversleep and what is more than necessary.
  12. Develop patience.

There is no end to such a list. But it will take commitment and perseverance to imbibe the spirit of Ramadhan throughout the year. Suffice to say that as Muslims, we have to be good in our words and deeds and it should reflect all thru our life.


Hajj: Journey towards salvation

The holy pilgrimage of Hajj is fifth pillar of Islam. Let’s get enlightened about this obligation. Hajj was made obligatory in 9th Hijri (Islamic lunar calendar). Islamic terminology defines Hajj as a specific journey to the holy city of Makkah on the prescribed days of Zil-Hajj (Islamic month).

“learn rituals from me.” Prophet Muhammed PBUH

Hajj is a compulsion on a believer when one meets the two criterions of physical health, to perform the challenging obligation and sufficient wealth to accomplish the journey. The Quran says, “Hajj to the House is a duty that mankind owes to ALLAH for those who can afford the journey.” [Al Imran 2:97]

While explaining the above mentioned verse of Quran, Prophet PBUH said, “Whoever can afford this journey to the sacred House, by provision and transportation and he does not make the pilgrimage, there is no blame if he dies as a Jew or a Christian. This is because Allah SWT says, “Hajj to the House is a duty that mankind owes to ALLAH for those who can afford the journey.” [Al Imran 2:97]

All Scholars and Islamic Jurists are in agreement that, one who denies the importance of Hajj will be deemed out of the folds of Islam. The severity of opinion of the second Caliph of Islam, Omar bin Al-Khattab, about those Muslims who abstain from performing their Hajj as early as possible, could be gauged by one of his suggestions: he proposed to one of his cabinet members that Jizya (tax imposed on non-muslim for their welfare in an Islamic State) shall be levied on those who refrain to fulfil this Islamic obligation (Hajj) without any genuine rationale.                                                                                            

A number of traditions of Prophet of Islam PBUH speak about the virtues of Hajj. Once, the Messenger of Allah PBUH was asked: What is the best deed? He stated “Belief in Allah and His Messenger PBUH.” He was then asked: What next? He said “Jihad in the way of Allah.” He was again asked: ‘What next? He replied: “The Hajj which is preformed correctly and accepted by Allah.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim]

He PBUH also said: “One Umrah until the next Umrah is an expiation for what is between them. And the Hajj that is accepted by ALLAH and performed properly has no reward other than Paradise.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim]

Furthermore, for women in Islam, Hajj is their Jihad. When the Messenger of Allah PBUH was asked, whether a woman is required to take part in Jihad or not? He replied: “Yes, upon them is Jihad which does not contain fighting: Hajj and Umrah.” [Sahih by Shaikh Al-Albanee in Irwa al-Ghaleel fi-Takhreej Ahadeeth Manar al-Sabeel]

Also, Ibn Umar (RA) reported the Prophet PBUH saying: “The one who fights for the sake of ALLAH and the pilgrim who goes for Hajj or Umrah are all guests of Allah. HE called them and they responded; they ask of HIM and HE will give them.” [Termed Hasan by Shaikh Al-Albanee in Silsilat al-Ahaadeeth as-Saheehah]

It is universal fact that believer cannot sustain without the mercy and help from Allah SWT. Hence to be successful it is crucial to establish and strengthen our relationship with our Sustainer Allah SWT. Man is a servant of Allah and he ought to live like one. This relation is best established while performing Hajj. When one analyzes the rituals of hajj, every step will make us feel we are nothing more than the dust. Pride is crushed paving way for hidayah (guidance).                                                                                               

One, who desires to strengthen ones relationship with Allah, should be willing and prepared for any kind of sacrifice for its creator. The holy Quran explains this concept in a very unique manner. “Say! My life, my Prayer and my Death everything is for the sake of Allah.” This is the most important thing that every pilgrim realizes “I am for Allah and I must be ready to sacrifice everything for Him.”

The second aspect which every pilgrim learns is that Hajj must be performed according to Sunnah of Prophet. Prophet said“learn rituals from me.” Thereby it inculcates a habit to adopt Sunnah in all walks of life. Subhanallah

Let me conclude by quoting a hadith of the holy Prophet PBUH: “Hurry to perform Hajj (the obligatory one), as none of you knows what may happen to him.” [(Saheeh) by Shaikh al-Albanee]