Friday, July 1, 2016

What After Ramadan?

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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 Allaah have mercy upon him, was asked, “Which is better: Sha‘baan or Rajab?” His answer was, “Be a worshipper of Allah The Almighty rather than a worshipper of Sha‘baan.”
‘Aa’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, was asked, ‘Did the Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, choose some special days (for fasting)?’ She replied, ‘No, but he used to be regular (constant) (in his service of worshipping).’ The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, 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 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).} [Quran 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 for the believer’s work other than death.” Then he recited: {And worship your Lord until there comes to you the certainty ‎‎ (death).}[Quran 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 Shawwaal, 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}[Quran 51:17]
If the time of Zakaat Al-Fitr has ended, then there is the obligatory Zakaah 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}[Quran 70:23]
  • {And they who carefully maintain their prayers -}[Quran 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, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, 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, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, 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 Quran every day will read the whole Quran 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 ‘Abdullaah ibn ‘Amr ibn Al-‘Aas, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “The Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said to me: ‘O ‘Abdullaah! 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. ‘Aa’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, said that whenever our beloved Prophet Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, missed the night prayer because of illness or sleep, he would pray twelve Rak’ahs the next day.[Muslim]
The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, also once missed ‘Itikaaf (staying in seclusion) and he made up for it in Shawwaal. Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, said that the Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said to Bilaal, may Allah be pleased with him: "‘O Bilaal, 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.' Bilaal, 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 Taalib, may Allaah be pleased with him, used to do in response to the advice of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, when he once visited him and found him sleeping with his wife Faatimah, may Allaah be pleased with her, (daughter of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam). ‘Ali, may Allaah be pleased with him, said, “The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, placed his leg between me and Faatimah, may Allaah 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 Subhanallaah (Glory be to Allah), thirty-three times Alhamdulillaah (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-Haakim: 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, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, 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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