QUESTION: What advice can you give after Ramadaan?
ANSWER: Praise be to Allaah.I wonder whether the fasting person continued after Ramadaan to be as he was during Ramadaan, or is he "like her who undoes the thread which she has spun. after it has become strong" (QI6[Nahl]:92). I wonder whether the one who during Ramadaan was fasting, reciting and reading Quraan, giving and spending in charity, praying at night, making duaa, will he be like that after Ramadaan, or will he follow another path, I mean the path of the Shaytaan, so that he commits sin and does things that anger the Most Gracious, Most Merciful? If a Muslim continues to have the patience to do righteous deeds after Ramadaan, this is a sign that his (fasting) has been accepted by his Lord, the Most Generous, the Bestower of blessings.
If he fails to do righteous deeds after Ramadaan,and follows the ways of the Shaytaan, this is a sign of humiliation, meanness, lowly status and being deprived of the help of Allaah, as al-Hasan aI-Basri said: They were no longer of any significance to AIlaah, so they committed sin. If they had mattered to Him, He would have protected them." When a person becomes insignificant to Allaah, Allaah will no longer honour him. Allaah says: "And whomsoever Allaah disgrace none can honour him"(Q22 [al-Hajj]:18)
Turn a New Leaf
What is amazing is that during Ramadaan,you see-some people who fast and pray at night, who spend in charity and worship the Lord of the Worlds, then no sooner has the month come to an end, but their nature changes completely, and they begin to have a bad attitude towards their Lord.
So you see them neglecting prayer and avoiding righteous deeds, committing sins and disobeying Allaah in many different ways, keeping away from obedience towards Allaah, the Sovereign, the Holy, the One Free from all defects. How terrible it is, by Allaah, when people only acknowledge Allaah in Ramadaan. The Muslim should make Ramadaan an opportunity to turn over a new leaf by repenting, turning to Allaah, persisting in worshipping Allaah, always being aware that Allaah is watching at every minute of every hour. So after Ramadaan the Muslim should continue to obey Allaah and should avoid sin and evil actions, as a continuation of the way he was during Ramadaan and the things that he did then to draw closer to the Lord of creation Allaah says: "And perform As Salaah (Iqaamat as Salaah) at the two ends of the day and in some hours of the night [i.e. the five compulsory Salaah (prayers)].
Verily the good deeds remove the evil deeds (i.e. small sins)That is a reminder (an advice) for the mindful (those who accept advice)" (Q 11[Hood]:114)
The Lord of All the Months
Undoubtedly the purpose for which Allaah created everyone was to worship Him Alone, with no partner or associate. This is the ultimate purpose and the highest aim, which is to attain uboodiyyah (being a slave of Allaah in the truest and fullest sense). This was achieved in the most beautiful manner during Ramadaan, when we saw people going to the houses of Allaah in groups and individually, and we saw them striving to perform the obligatory prayers on time and to: give incharity, competing with one another in doing good deeds. And for this let (all) those strive who want to strive (Q83[Mutaffifeen]: :26), for they will be rewarded inshaAllaah. But there remains the case of those whom Allaah keeps firm with the word that stands firm in this world and in the Hereafter (Q14[lbraaheem]:27).
Whomever Allaah helps to be steadfast in doing righteous deeds after Ramadaan, Allaah says: "To Him ascend (all) the goodly words, and the righteous deeds exalt it (i.e. the goodly words are not accepted byA1laah unless and until they are followed by good deeds), but those who plot evils, theirs will be severe torment. And the plotting of such will perish"(Q35[Faatir]:10)
Undoubtedly righteous deeds are among the acts which bring a person closer to A1laah at all times, and the Lord of Ramadaan is also the Lord of Jumaada and Shabaan and Dhul-Hljjah and Muharram and Safar and all the other months. That is because the worship that Allaah has enjoined upon us includes flve pillars; one of which is fasting,which is for a set period which has come to an end. But there remain other pillars, Hajj, prayer and zakaah, for which we are answerable to A1laah. We must perform these duties in the manner which is pleasing to Allaah,and we must strive thereby to fulfil the purpose for which we were created. Allaah says: "And I (Allaah) created not the jinn and mankind except that they should worship Me (Alone)"(Q51[al-Dhaariyaat]:56) .
A Dirham Heavier than a Dinar?
The Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) taught his Companions to compete in doing good, and he said, "One dirham may weigh more with Allaah than a dinar, and the best of charity is that a man gives when he is rich. He explained that If the person gives charity when he is disinclined to do so and is in good health, but fears poverty, that charity will weigh heavily with Allaah in the balance of good deeds; whereas the one who delays it then when he gets sick he starts to spend in charity here and there, fearing that his good deeds will be rejected, there is the danger that his (charity) will not be accepted, we seek refuge with AlIah. Allaah says: "Allaah accepts only the repentance of those who do evil in ignorance and foolishness and repent soon afterwards; it is they whom Allaah will forgive and Allaah is Ever All Knower, All Wise. And of no effect is the repentance of those who continue to do evil deeds until death faces one of them and he says: "Now I repent;" nor of those who die while they are disbelievers. For them We have prepared a painful torment" (Q4[al-Nisaa]:17-18).
The pious and sincere believer should fear Allaah and strive to obey Allaah at all times, persisting in his taqwa and always striving to do good, call others to Allaah, enjoin what is good and forbid what is evil. For the believer, his days and nights in this world are storehouses, so let him see what he can deposit in them. If he deposits good things in them, it will testify in his favour before his Lord on the Day of Resurrection; if it is the opposite, then it will be a disaster for him.
We ask Allaah to save us and you from that loss.
My sister, the scholars (may Allaah have mercy on them) said: Among the signs of acceptance (of good deeds) is that Allaah causes one hasanah (good deed) to be followed by another, for the hasanah says, "My sister, my sister!" And the sayiah (evil deed) also says, "Mysister, my sister!" -we seek refuge with Allaah. If Allaah has accepted a persons Ramadaan, and he has benefited from this period of (spiritual) training and has remained steadfast in obeying Allaah, then he has joined the caravan of those who have remained steadfast and responded to Allaah. Allaah says: "Verily those who say: Our Lord is A1laah (Alone),and then they stand firm, on them the angels will descend (at the time of their death) (saying): Fear not, nor grieve! But receive the glad tidings of Paradise which you have been promised! We have been your friends in the life of this world and are (so) in the Hereafter.Therein you shall have (all) that your Inner selves desire, and therein you shall have (all) fo which you ask (Q41[Fussilat]:30-31).
Also, Allaah says; "And whosoever takes Allaah,His Messenger, and the who have believed, as Protectors, then the party of Allaah will be the victorious" (Q5[al-Maaidah]:56). And He says, "Verily those who say: "Our Lord is (only) A1laah," and thereafter stand firm (on the Islamic Faith of Monotheism), on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve" (Q46 [al-Ahqaaf]:13)
This standing firm should continue from one Ramadaan to the next, because the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) said: "From one prayer to the next, from one Ramadaan to the next, from one Hajj to the next, this expiates for whatever (sins) were committed from one to the next, so long as you avoid major sins. And Allaah says: "1f you avoid the great sins which you are forbidden to do, We shall expiate from you your (small) sins, and admit you to a Noble Entrance (I.e. Paradise)" (Q4[al.Nisaa]:31)
Stand Firm and Steadfast!
The believer should join the caravan of those who stand firm and should board the ship of salvation from the time when he reaches the earliest age of discretion until he draws his last breath. He should remain in the shade of "Laa ilaaha ila-Allaah", enjoying the blessings of A1laah.This religion is the truth and the way in which we steadfastly adhere to it in Ramadaan is that with which A1laahhonours us by the bounty of His giving, His gracious blessing and His great favour, so that we might continue to pray qiyaam and to worship Him after the month of Ramadaan. So strive to cultivate goodness and happiness on your way, and to keep company with those who remain steadfast (in Islam),and to seek A1laah and His Messenger and the Home of the Hereafter. I ask Allaah Who has blessed us and you with fasting, itikaaf, umrah and charity to bless us with guidance, piety and acceptance of our good deeds; may He help us to persist in doing good deeds and to remain steadfast, for persistence in doing good deeds is one of the greatest means of drawing closer to Allaah. Hence when a man came to the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) and said, "Advise me," he said, "Say,I believe in Allaah,and remain steadfast.". (Bukhari, Muslim).
According to a report narrated by Ahmad, he said, "Say I believe in Allaah,then remain steadfast." [The man] said, "O Messenger of Allaah,all the people say that." He said, "Some people who came before you said that, but they did not remain steadfast." So the believers must continue to be steadfast in obeying Allaah: "Allaah will keep firm those who believe, with the word that stands firm in this world (i.e. they will keep on worshipping Allaah Alone and none else), and in the Hereafter. And Allaah will cause to go astray those who are Zaalimoon (polytheists and wrongdoers), and Allaah does what He wills" (Q14[lbraaheem]:27)
The one who is steadfast in obeying Allaah is the one whose duaa will be answered.
People after Ramadan and the end of Ramadaan,
the people are divided into various types, two of the most prominent of which I will describe here. The first type are those whom you see in Ramadaan striving hard in worship. You never see them but they are prostrating or standing in prayer,or reading Quraan, or weeping, so much that they remind you of some of the worshippers among the salaf, and you even feel compassion for them because of the intensity of their efforts and striving. Yet hardly has the month ended, before they go back to negligence and committing sin, as if they were prisoners of that worship, so they turn their attention to their desires and become negligent and commit sins which they think will take away their distress and grief. But these poor people forget that sin is the cause of doom, because sins are like war wounds, one of which may turn out to be fatal. How often has sin prevented a person from saying Laa ilaaha ila-Allaah when in the throes of death.
After spending this entire month with faith, (reading) Quraan and other acts of worship, these people then backslide! Laa hawla wa laa quwwata illa Billaah (there is no power and no strength except with A1laah)! These are the occasional worshippers who only acknowledge Allaah on certain occasions or at times of calamity and distress, then after that there is no more obedience or worship. What a bad habit that is. "The worshipper prayed for something that he wanted, and when the matter was done, he neither prayed nor fasted." [Arabic poetry]
What is the point of worshipping for a whole month, if that is going to be followed by a return to dishonourable ways?
The Second Type
The second type are those who feel distressed at the departure of Ramadaan, because they have tasted the sweetness of being safe from sin, and the bitterness of patience became insignificant to them, because they came to realize the true nature of their weakness and need for their Master (Allaah) and their need to obey Him. They fasted in a true sense and stood in prayer at night out of love, so when they bade farewell to Ramadaan,their tears flowed and their hearts were broken.
Those among them who were burdened with sin hoped to be freed from sin and ransomed from Hell, and to join the caravan of those who are accepted. Ask yourself, my brother, which of the two groups do you belong to? By Allaah,are they the same? Praise be to Allaah, but most of them do not know. The mufassireen said, commenting on the aayah: "Say (O Muhammad to mankind): Each one does according to Shaakilatihi (i.e. his way or his religion or his intentions) "(QI7[al-lsraa]:84) every person acts according to his way or the character that he is used to. This is condemnation for the kaafir and praise for the believer.
Continuous, Even If Little You should know that the dearest of deeds to Allaah are those that are continuous, even if they are little. The Messenger (sallallahualayhi wa sallam) said: "O people, you must do whatever you can of good deeds, for Allaah does not get tired until you get tired. The most beloved of deeds to Allaah are those which are continuous, even if they are little. The family of Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), when they did something, they would persist in doing it." (Muslim).When the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) was asked about which deeds are most beloved to Allaah, he said, "Those which are continuous, even if they are little."
Aishah (RA) was asked about what the Messenger of Allaah (sallalahu alayhi wa sallam) did and whether he used to do certain things on particular days. She said, "No, his good deeds were continuous. Who among you could do what the Messenger of Allaah (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) used to do?" The acts of worships described in Islam are based on certain conditions which must be fulfilled, like remembrance of Allaah, Hajj and Umrah and their naafil actions, enjoining what is good and forbidding what is evil, seeking knowledge, jihaad, and other good deeds. So strive to worship continuously according to your capability. May Allaah bless our Prophet Muhammad and his family and companions, and grant them peace.
This article was culled from the publications of Deen Communication Limited