Alas ... it is here ... It's the time for parting. The countdown that marked the arrival of Ramadan, the excitement of the coming month of boundless mercy, now turns to wistfulness and grief.
All too soon, the few fleeting days of the month of Ramadan will pass away. The question is ... did we make an effort to gather the uncountable blessings from Allah (SWT) that this month brings in?
The question is ... did we do enough?
Allah (SWT) blessed us with the month of Ramadan, and bestowed His favor upon us with the fasting of its day and the praying of its night.
I ask Allah (SWT) that He accepts from us our fasting, our standing in prayer, and our recitation of Holy Quran and that He makes us from the people who are saved from Hell Fire.
Soon, as we bid farewell to this blessed month ... this beloved, noble guest, it is a good time to remind ourselves ... and to take a moment to reflect upon our actions during Ramadan, our motives and perhaps even chart a course for the continuity of our good deeds. We should ask ourselves a few questions for which we need to find some honest answers.
An answer, it is said, is only as good as the question that precedes it. For it is only when we frame a query searching enough, that we can hope to find a reply that is comprehensive and just. It is these answers that may have a chance to awaken us from our absent-mindedness, our heedlessness and help us remain steadfast and virtuous.
These questions are in their utmost simplicity:
Who did you fast for?
Why did you fast?
What is to be done after Ramadan?
Yet, the answers are only the bare truth. Why, nothing else could be clearer! I fasted for Allah (SWT) alone, to worship Him, seeking the rewards from Him alone.
Yes, these answers are correct and clear. But, what about those of us who fasted the month of Ramadan as a tradition and not as an act of worship?
Do we not know of someone who got used to fasting this month because they inherited it from their parents and their societies and they do not want to go against their traditions?
Do we see someone fasting because everyone around them, their family, peers and colleagues are fasting, and they want to belong? Perhaps a part of us also does the same?
Are we among those people who abstain from all sorts of permissible food and drink during the long hours of the day, only to fall upon the food and drink at Iftaar, unmindful of what is unlawful during the nights and days of the rest of the year? This is because of the feeble self-control over overwhelming desires of the Nafs (soul), that is not bothered to be reined-in, except for mighty efforts during the days of Ramadan.
Have we not observed someone we know, who fasts meticulously as if fasting is a habit that has been inherited, and yet does not pray? Have not we, at some time or the other, fasted as if a bag was tied to a Camel's mouth to prevent it from eating until dusk, because we have not prayed nor observed the limits set by Allah (SWT), achieving nothing out of it except hunger or thirst?
Certainly, the obligation of fasting is one of the pillars of Islam, but the greatest pillar of Islam is the Salah. The five daily prayers are greater than fasting. Some people regularly fast the month of Ramadan, but do not regularly pray. Some do not pray at all.
The One who prescribed fasting is the same One who prescribed Salah. The One who said, "O you who believe, Fasting is prescribed for you." [Al Baqara 2:183] is the same One who said, "...Perform Salah. Verily, the prayer is enjoined on the believers at fixed time." [Nisa 4:103]
Does Allah (SWT) deserve to be worshiped during the month of Ramadan by fasting, and then He does not deserve to be worshiped in the five daily prayers?
Similarly, we see people staying away from lying, backbiting and cheating during the month of Ramadan, only to go right back to their evil ways, the very evening the moon is sighted for the month of Shawwal!
Will we do the same? Will we go right back to the way were before the month of Ramadan? Or have we changed for the better?
Will we abandon Holy Quran, the Word of ar-Rahman, that we recited so whole heartedly during the month of Ramadan and replace it with music, the words of as-Shaitan?
Will we forget all that we learnt from this blessed month of Ramadan in the blink of an eye? Will we run straight back into Haram (forbidden) that we worked so hard to stay away from during the month of Ramadan?
We all prayed Tahajjud / Salatul Fajr but sadly now we will pray only when we get time.
We sacrificed our daily evening routine for 1 hour of Esha Salat and Ramadan duas ... and now if we are to ask to devote 1 hour for namaz, we would think twice.
Does Allah (SWT) deserve from us to be worshiped only in the month of Ramadan, but not in the rest of the year?
Its far easy to keep fasting in Ramadan (as everyone is fasting) but now because we have got the habit lets first start continue fasting for next 6 days of Shawwal followed by Sunnat fasting of Monday and Thursday and 13,14,15 of every month.
Has this month of fasting become more of a tradition for us than anything else ... going from one Khatam to another, trying to catch the blessing of Khatmul-Quran, yet when it comes to our practical every day lives, this very Quran lies dusty upon our shelves, having no impact on our lives, having no change in our attitude and with no effect on our submission to Allah (SWT).
Did we really learn nothing from this blessed month of Ramadan? Or did we???
Rather, this month should be a starting point for further piety because from the signs of Allah's acceptance of our fasting is that He helps us to become steadfast in the Deen after Ramadan.
Today, even with the imminent departing of the month of Ramadan, let us be able to say, "... Verily, my Salah, my sacrifice, my living, and my dying are for Allah, the Lord of the Worlds. He has no partner. And of this I have been commanded, and I am the first of the Muslims." [Al Anaam 6:162-163]
It is a farewell to the month of Ramadan, but also a renewal, a reaffirmation, a resolution, a positive change, and with the Will of Allah (SWT), also our labors end and its just recompense.
By: Asma bint Shameem