Ramadan is over, now what?With Ramadan now a distant memory, it is extremely important we do not undo the efforts we made during this month. We found how much more we could do once we put our minds to it and really exerted our efforts into worshipping Allah. Don’t leave off good actions Imagine there was a person who exerted so much effort into doing something and then all of sudden un-done all this hard work. Imagine a person finishing the Quran numerous times during Ramadan then not picking it up after Ramadan. Alternatively, a person who would stand the night in prayer and then left if after Ramadan. This was a warning given by the Prophet SAW as he said to Abdullah ibn Amr: “يا عبد الله، لا تكن مثل فلان، كان يقوم من الليل ثم ترك قيام الليل” متفق عليه “Oh Abdullah, don’t be like such and such, he used to stand part of the night in prayer but then he left the night prayer” (Agreed upon) Allah blessed us with being able to pray the night prayers during this month. To avoid falling into what the Prophet SAW warned against, the least we can do is to keep up two optional units of prayer after Isha, and pray witr before we sleep. We can then work on things gradually to pray more and pray later in the night, because the most virtuous prayer, after the obligations, is the night prayer. Continue fasting! A person, just as he can continue with night prayers outside the month of Ramadan, can also continue with optional fast outside the month. There are many opportunities for this including: – 6 days of Shawwal Abu Ayyoob Al-Ansaari, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that the Messenger of Allah, , said: “Whoever fasts Ramadan and then follows it with six (fasts) of Shawwal, it would be as if he fasted for the whole year.” [Muslim] – The month of Muharram Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that the Messenger of Allah, , said: “The best fast after Ramadan is the fast in the month of Allah Al-Muharram [Muslim] – Fasting Monday and Thursday The Prophet Muhammad SAW said that deeds are raised to Allah on Monday and Thursday, I want my deeds to be raised and I am fasting (collected by Ahmad) – Fasting the day of Arafah “Fasting on the Day of ‘Arafah absolves the sins for two years: the previous year and the coming year, and fasting on ‘Ashura, (the tenth day of Muharram) atones for the sins of previous years.” Reported by all except Al-Bukhari and At-Tirmidhi
Close the door to evil!
So how can we preserve these good deeds? How can we keep them up after Ramadan?
Something important the scholars say is:
ليس المهم أن تَفتَح بابَ الخير فقط، المهم أن تُغلِق باب الشر
“It is not only important to open the door to good, but it’s also important to close the door to evil”
This is because if the door to evil is open, it’ll take over your good deeds. Just as we find people doing good deeds, they may at the same time be indulging in evil actions, this may be causing deficiencies in their good deeds.
Some doors of evil we can close are:
Safeguarding our tongue – maybe one word we utter may harm a person, this could be a cause for our good deeds to be taken away and becoming null and void.
We learn from the Prophet Muhammad SAW who when it was said to him about a particular lady, she prays at night, fasts during the day and gives charity but she harms her neighbour with her tongue, the Prophet said, there is no good in her, she is from the people of the fire. He was then told about a lady who prays her obligatory prayers but never harmed anyone, the Prophet said, she is from the people of paradise. If you want to preserve your good deeds, preserve your tongue and be mindful of what you say.
Not being envious of others
عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ أَنَّ النَّبِيَّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ قَالَ إِيَّاكُمْ وَالْحَسَدَ فَإِنَّ الْحَسَدَ يَأْكُلُ الْحَسَنَاتِ كَمَا تَأْكُلُ النَّارُ الْحَطَبَ أَوْ قَالَ الْعُشْبَ
Abu Huraira reported: The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Beware of envy, for it devours good deeds just as fire devours wood or grass.
Allah also says:
أَمْ يَحْسُدُونَ النَّاسَ عَلَىٰ مَا آتَاهُمُ اللَّهُ مِن فَضْلِهِ
“Or do they envy people for what Allah has given them of His bounty”
When we aren’t happy and pleased with what Allah has given us, we’ll envy other people for what Allah has blessed them with, but we forget what we have.
Allah has blessed us with health, wealth and family, what else can we ask for? Yet we look around us and see our neighbour has more than us, they have a better car and here the envy starts! We’ll look at what’s in the hands of others, yet we won’t look at what we have! Allah says
وَفِي أَنفُسِكُمْ ۚ أَفَلَا تُبْصِرُونَ
…and in yourselves. Then will you not see?
Allah tells us:
لقد خلقننا الانسان في أحسن تقويم
“We have certainly created man in the best of stature”
Allah has created us in the best of stature, we have many blessings; our sight, being able to touch, smell, listen and walk, we’ve been given everything yet we’re still envious of others.
The Prophet SAW told us when it comes to the dunya to look at those below you and not above you.
انْظُرْ إِلَى مَنْ هُوَ دُونَكَ وَلا تَنْظُرْ إِلَى مَنْ هُوَ فَوْقَكَ
Only then, will truly realise and appreciate the blessings Allah has bestowed us with.
We ask Allah to accept our fasting and good deeds during the month of Ramadan, to make us continue with the good deeds and habits we strived to perfect and to make it a means for us to enter through the gate of Ar-Rayyan (one of the gates of heaven).
During Ramadan, we found out how much more we can do, so let’s try to keep up with those extra actions even if they are only “small”. Whether it was making sure you prayed every prayer on time, praying at the masjid at least once a day, giving a small amount of charity every day or being kind and gentle with your family; remember the words of our Messenger, peace be upon him:
“Take up good deeds only as much as you are able, for the best deeds are those done regularly even if they are few.”
Source: Sunan Ibn Mājah 4240
In society today we sees people around the world celebrating days such as: world women’s day which is then shortly followed by a day to acknowledge women in their role as mothers.
Whilst recognition for women is a good thing in itself, the fact that we need to have a day to mark the importance of women in society and to highlight their many struggles is a sad indictment of the world in which we live.
Women are the bedrock of society, they are daughters, sisters, mothers, and grandmothers. They are doctors and engineers, teachers and nurses, leaders, and pioneers in every field. To reduce this, by singling out just one day to acknowledge their contribution to society and all of the struggles they have faced and continue to face, quite often just for basic rights, is not Islam and not from Islam. Islam gave women these rights and the honour and status they deserve over fourteen centuries ago.
Sadly however, Islam is often attributed with being oppressive to women, with the hijab (Head cover) and niqab (face veil) the prime indicators for this incorrect label. Muslim women are seen as subordinate to Muslim men and thought to be subservient to the males in their families, be it their spouses, fathers, or brothers.
The truth couldn’t be far more removed from this. In fact, it is Islam above all other religions that gives women a high status and rights that other societies have only just acknowledged so many centuries later. This includes not only financial rights but the fundamental right of life, for the Prophet Muhammed peace be upon him was sent at a time when baby girls were being buried alive. Islam came to prevail over the barbaric practices and great injustices of the time. Islam is a religion of justice not of equality. Each and every person has a role to play, and each is entrusted with rights and responsibilities that they are answerable for to the highest authority, that of their Lord Allah Who will not let something even as small as the size of an atom be missed from their record of deeds
“So whoever does good equal to the weight of an atom (or a smallest ant) shall see it; And whoever, does evil equal to the weight of an atom or a smallest ant) shall see it.‘ (99.7-8)
There are so many great women in Islam, some of whom we will discuss in another article in shaa Allah (God Willing), they are revered for their intellect, their chastity and strength, They were honoured and respected and never belittled nor taken advantage of. Whether as mothers, daughters, or scholars, they were given rights, and declared sole owners of their own wealth, with rights of inheritance and maintenance, which so many are still battling for today. This was over fourteen centuries ago, and without a single protest movement or struggle.
This is one of the many reasons why so women are turning to Islam.
Every stage of a woman’s life is given its due importance and mentioned in the Quran and Sunnah, as an infant; when the mother of Maryam (Mary) realised she had given birth to a baby girl whom she put into the service of her Lord Allah. As daughters; the Prophet Peace be upon him, mentioned the importance of raising daughters or looking after one’s sisters and the reward for doing so by saying, Abu Sa’eed Al-Khudri narrated that; the Messenger of Allah said: “Whoever has three daughters, or three sisters, or two daughters, or two sisters and he keeps good company with them and fears Allah regarding them, then Paradise is for him. (Jami` at-Tirmidhi 1916)
As spouses, the Quran mentions that women should be treated well and the Prophet peace be upon him said;
“The best of you is the one who is best to his wife, and I am the best of you to my wives” (Sunan Ibn Majah 1977)
Then, as Mothers, we are reminded of the great debt we owe to the one who gave birth to us, whose rights over us are so much greater than that of our fathers.
The Prophet Muhammed Peace be upon him was asked “Allah’s Messenger, who amongst the people is most deserving of my good treatment? He said: Your mother, again your mother, again your mother, then your father, then your nearest relatives according to the order (of nearness)” (Sahih Muslim 2548b)
Mothers are not just treated well on one day out of the year, they are honoured every day of the year and granted the status of being the key to paradise for their children.
1) The twelve months of the year are like the twelve sons of Prophet Yaqub. Just as Prophet Yusuf was the most beloved to Yaqub, the month of Ramadan is the most beloved to Allah.
2) Just as Allah forgave the eleven brothers by the du’a of one (Yusuf), He can forgive your eleven months of sins by your du’as in Ramadan.”
3) Just as Yusuf was loving and forgiving and forgave his brothers when he said:(سورة يوسف 92) لَا تَثْرِيبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الْيَوْمَNo blame will there be upon you today (Surah Yusuf – 92) Similarly, we find the month of Ramadan full of blessing, love and forgiveness, it saves a person from the hellfire and is a month in which Allah forgives us!
4) The brothers of Yusuf came to Yusuf in a state of loss after having committed grave sins, but Yusuf treated them with love and respect; he fed them, was good to them and gave them hope. Likewise, we reach the month of Ramadan with deficiencies, sins and in a state of loss. The month of Ramadan provides us with an opportunity to reconnect with our Lord, self-reflect, and rejuvenate our worship for His sake.We ask Allah to make the most of what is left of this blessed month, Ameen!
|How can one take their worship up a level in this blessed month of Ramadan? Here are 6 things that will help you take your worship up a level:|
Bring yourself to the present moment and truly experience it all. When you wake up for the pre-dawn meal (suhoor), don’t do it heavily, dragging your weight about while groggily shoving food down to sustain you for the day. Instead, do it with purpose. Plan to wake up simply because it is a sunnah of our Prophet ﷺ, and because you know there are blessings in it.
Learn the words
When you stand for your salah, it has little impact when you don’t know what you’re actually reciting. Start small. Study the meanings of the various phrases said in salah as you transition from one position to another; study the meaning of Al-Fatiha if you don’t know it already. And when you know it, feel every verse. If you’re not sure where to start, why not download our Tell Me How to Pray E-Book.
Talk to Allah
More than anything else, Ramadan should be about building our relationship with Allah. And it only makes sense that part of the reason we feel disconnected and unconscious in our worship is because we don’t know who we’re worshipping, or who we’re talking to. To start to find out more about Allah swt, why not download our Tell Me About Allah E-Book.
You will stumble
You might fall. But the absolute most important thing is that you never stop trying. If you slip up one day and feel like your fast has been empty, void of all consciousness of what you were doing and why don’t use that as the go-ahead for the rest of your month. Use it as a turning point and a reminder of what you should be working for. And when you know it, feel every verse. If you’re not sure where to start, why not download our Tell Me How to Pray E-Book.
Do only as much as you can handle
Don’t become overzealous, planning to do everything that gets reward during this month. Hours of lengthy Qur’an recitation cease to be meaningful when you’re reciting just to get through them but your heart is not connected.
Remember the reward
Our hunger means nothing when it is mindless and unconscious of Allah. we need to remind ourselves of our reward with Allah. Without that, everything is pointless and empty.
Adapted from an article posted by Free Quran Education
Holding on to that rope of Allah swt whilst facing so much aversion from family, friends etc is extremely hard. It takes so much strength and passion in wanting a different lifestyle for yourself. In honesty, it takes a great amount of love and fear of Allah swt with the aim to please Him, to do the right thing. But it usually comes with insults, threats, being ostracised, loneliness, rejection, being told you are mental and so on. Telling your family is not an easy conversation.
Anas bin Malik narrated that the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w) said:
“There shall come upon the people a time in which the one who is patient upon his religion will be like the one holding onto a burning ember.”
Remember this Ramadhan, do not take your Islam for granted. Your ability to fast and pray openly is a blessing. The blessing is this – you can develop yourself inwardly and outwardly. When you are not being restricted or practising in secret, you can really make huge changes in your life, there is no limit to how much you can advance yourself in faith.
We pray Allah swt protects all our revert brothers and sisters, who from fear, hide their faith. We ask Allah swt the Most-Wise, to grant them the ease to practice their faith openly. Ameen.
عن أنس بن مالك -رضي الله عنه- قال: كان رسول الله -صلى الله عليه وسلم- يقول: ((اللهم إني أعوذ بك من العَجْزِ، والكَسَلِ، وَالجُبْنِ، والهَرَمِ، والبخل، وأعوذ بك من عذاب القبر، وأعوذ بك من فتنة المحيا والممات)) مسلم 2706Anas RA said that the Prophet SAW used to say: O Allah, I seek refuge with You from weakness, laziness, cowardice, senility, and miserliness. And I seek refuge with You from the torment of the grave. And I seek refuge with You from the trials of life and death.’ (Muslim) This is one of the oft-repeated dua’s made by the Prophet SAW. From amongst the things the Prophet SAW sought refuge from was laziness. He would ask Allah to protect him from this and this is the point of discussion in this reminder; laziness.
1) Laziness of the mind – This is when a person cannot and does not reflect or ponder over the great blessings Allah has bestowed upon us with from our health, wealth and children. Alongside this we don’t see the creation around us from its natural beauty and lush green lands. As Allah says in the Qur’an
الَّذِينَ يَذْكُرُونَ اللَّهَ قِيَامًا وَقُعُودًا وَعَلَىٰ جُنُوبِهِمْ وَيَتَفَكَّرُونَ فِي خَلْقِ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ (ال عمران:191)
Who remember Allah while standing or sitting or [lying] on their sides and give thought to the creation of the heavens and the earth (Al Imran: 191)
2) Laziness of the body – This is everything that culminates concerning our limbs falling short in the worship of Allah. This includes things like not praying in congregation, not seeking knowledge, not rushing to do those deeds which are beloved to Allah from the acts of worship. All of this is to do with laziness pertaining to our body.
This month is a month where we train our bodies and mind to reflect on the blessings we have been given by Allah and to remove laziness from our bodies when it comes to His worship. We ask Allah to remove all forms of laziness from our lives, Ameen!
عَنْ ، أَنّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ ، قَالَ:”الصِّيَامُ وَالْقُرْآنُ يَشْفَعَانِ لِلْعَبْدِ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ، يَقُولُ الصِّيَامُ: أَيْ رَبِّ، مَنَعْتُهُ الطَّعَامَ وَالشَّهَوَاتِ بِالنَّهَارِ، فَشَفِّعْنِي فِيهِ، وَيَقُولُ الْقُرْآنُ: مَنَعْتُهُ النَّوْمَ بِاللَّيْلِ، فَشَفِّعْنِي فِيهِ، قَالَ فَيُشَفَّعَانِ”`Abdullah ibn `Amr reported that the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم, said: “The fast and the Qur’an are two intercessors for the servant of Allah on the Day of Resurrection. The fast will say: ‘O Lord, I prevented him from his food and desires during the day. Let me intercede for him.’ The Qur’an will say: ‘I prevented him from sleeping at night. Let me intercede for him.’ And their intercession will be accepted.” (Imam Ahmad)