Continue with the spirit of Ramadan

By Imam Lavdrim Hamja – Kenosha, September 2, 2011

 All praise belongs to Allah, the Sustainer, the Cherisher of all which made it possible for us to fast during the month of Ramadan. We beseech You o Allah, to accept our fasting and give us power to continue in the spirit and actions of Ramadan. Peace and blessings be upon our beloved Prophet Muhammed, in which he said:“Whoever fasted the month of Ramadan with faith and conviction all his past sins have been erased.” Peace and blessings be upon his family, upon his companions and upon all those who pursue his path until the Day of Judgment.

Firstly: Let each of you ask yourself if you have “fasted” during Ramadan, or simply you just have abstained from food and water?

The difference between just simply abstain from food and water and fasting it means that we have changed, thus we have improved our morals and behavior, or we have just simply stayed without eating and drinking it means that nothing has changed within us, in our morals and behavior, it simply means that we are in the same manner as we were before Ramadan and now. Obviously there has been no change.

As for this last part, may Allah have mercy upon us, the Prophet has said: “Whoever does not cease from idle talk and evil deeds, Allah has no need for that person to abstain from his eating and drinking.”

Secondly: Everything has its own tracks and signs, for this the scholars have said that acceptance of good works is its continuation and constancy followed by more good deeds. This is also proof by the word of God where it says:

“من لم يدع قول الزور والعمل به، فليس لله حاجةٌ في أن يَدَعَ طعامه وشرابه”. رواه البخاري

“O you who have believed, fasting has been prescribed ofr you, as it was prescribed to those before you, that you may learn self-control.” (Bakare: 183)

Therefore, the purpose of fasting is to make us devoted.

While seeing the behaviour of muslims right after the ending of the last Tarawih and more specifically with the ending of the month of Ramadan, they abandoned quickly the mosques leaving them almost empty, the question arises: Is this a kind of devotion required by our Creator as an achievement during the month of Ramadan? For what purpose have we fasted this holy month of Ramadan? Why do we come nightly during that month, each night 1 to 2 hours praying and reading Quran? For what during Ramadan we would make iftars and give sadaka? Can a thinking and a wise man dare to say that with the ending of Ramadan we should close all doors of blessing, which we opened them during the month of Ramadan? God Almighty says in the Quran:

وَلَا تَكُونُوا كَالَّتِي نَقَضَتْ غَزْلَهَا مِن بَعْدِ قُوَّةٍ أَنكَاثًا

“And do not be like the one who breaks to untwisted fibers, the thread which she has spun, after it has become strong.” (Nahl: 93)

Dear brothers and sisters, have you seen a person in this world, which he is determined to achieve something good, and after he has achieved it, then he destroys it and abandons it? Have you seen a person who builds a beautiful house and after he completes it, he abandons it, or demolishes it? Have you seen a businessman, which he has formed a successful company and as he starts getting a good profit then he abandons it or close it? Have you seen a good student, which he is about to graduate to get his diploma, while his objective wasn’t only to get a diploma but rather his intention was complete his intention was complete his studies then to find a good job with a good income. That is why God says: “And do not be like the one who breaks to untwisted fibers, the thread which she has spun, after it has become strong.” (Nahl: 93)

روى البخاري (43) ومسلم : قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ. قَالَ :(… فَوَاللَّهِ لَا يَمَلُّ اللَّهُ حَتَّى تَمَلُّوا) وَكَانَ أَحَبَّ الدِّينِ إِلَيْهِ مَا دَاوَمَ عَلَيْهِ صَاحِبُهُ

The Prophet has said: “By Allah, truly, Allah is not bored with you until you get bored of Him”; the most beloved work with the Prophet was, that which a person would act constantly at all times. (Buhariu and Muslim)

This is the example of those Muslims who is devoted for one month, manages to receive and win the goodness and blessings of Ramadan, then to abandon those blessings by burning, destroying and losing them. For this we are our own witness, because until the last night of tarawih the mosque was full with believers, while last night where no tarawih is the mosque is empty, it seems like a house abandoned and barren, and it continues to be abandoned night after night.

You should know well that, this type of worship it is not an accepted form of worship, which God requires of us. We fasted the month of Ramadan in order that we may be devoted and to be as a food of energy for the rest of the months. We fasted Ramadan so the light of our supplication and works can lighten the road of our lives for the next 11 months. We fasted the month of Ramadan to give us power to face our challenges and obstacles in our daily lives.

During this month we witnessed that we can, as much as we are able to come every night to the mosque to answer the call of Allah, but we did not keep our promise more than one month. Allah says in the Quran:

((وَأَوْفُواْ بِعَهْدِ اللّهِ إِذَا عَاهَدتُّمْ وَلاَ تَنقُضُواْ الأَيْمَانَ بَعْدَ تَوْكِيدِهَا وَقَدْ جَعَلْتُمُ اللّهَ عَلَيْكُمْ كَفِيلاً إِنَّ اللّهَ يَعْلَمُ مَا تَفْعَلُونَ وَلاَ تَكُونُواْ كَالَّتِي نَقَضَتْ غَزْلَهَا))

“And fulfill your promise taken in the name of God, when you make it, and do not break your promise after you agreed to keep them; In reality you have made Allah your witness; Verily, God knows all that you do. “And do not be like the one who breaks to untwisted fibers, the thread which she has spun, after it has become strong.” (Nahl: 93)

Where are the people in the mosques and why have they abandoned their prayers? Some Muslims, the tarawih prayer which is sunnah have made it farz (obligatory) while other prayers which are obligatory they have made them sunnah! Only in Ramadan we should pray and read Quran, and after Ramadan we should forget them? May Allah protect us from those people, who have turned their backs on salat (prayers) and the reciting of the Quran, of which Allah says in the surah Furqan: “And the Messenger will say:

((وَقَالَ الرَّسُولُ يَا رَبِّ إِنَّ قَوْمِي اتَّخَذُوا هَذَا الْقُرْآنَ مَهْجُورًا))

“O my God! Truly, my people abandoned this Quran.” (Furqan: 30)

Brothers and sisters, how many times the Muslims will continue to think, to believe and to act in this manner, supplicating to God only in specific days or nights, they will be in suffering and humiliated, small and trampled, worthless and wasted. Allah says in the Quran in surah Ali Imran:

وَمَن يَنقَلِبْ عَلَىٰ عَقِبَيْهِ فَلَن يَضُرَّ اللَّهَ شَيْئًا ۗ وَسَيَجْزِي اللَّهُ الشَّاكِرِينَ

“Whoever turns back, he will not do the least harm to Allah, Allah will reward those with gratitude.” (Ali Imran: 199)

وصية رسول الله(صلى الله عليه وسلم) لعبد الله بن عمرو بن العاص رضي الله عنهما قال : “يا عبد الله لا تكن مثل فلان كان يقوم الليل فترك قيام الليل “.

In one hadith narration the Prophet (a.s) advised Abdullah: “O Abdullah! Do not be like the one, which he prayed at night, then he abandoned the prayers all together.”

Respected brothers and sisters, there are two important things which a Muslim must maintain after the month of Ramadan.

First thing is to make an intention to walk in the footsteps of fasting and to pass this month by following to fast 6 days in the month of Shawal. The Prophet (a.s) has said:

جاء في حديث رسول الله –صلى الله عليه وسلم-:”من صام رمضان ثم أتبعه بست من شوال كان كصيام الدهر” رواه مسلم في كتاب الصيام بشرح النووي (8/56)، يعني: صيام سنة كاملة.

“Whoever fasts Ramadan and then follows that with 6 days of Shawal it is as he have fasted the whole year.” (Muslim)

These 6 days can be fasted in random days and does not have to be in a row, one or two days a week or you can fast the whole 6 days straight. Important is that a believer fast these days in order to receive a reward of a whole year of fasting, because good deeds are multiplied 1 with 10, therefore, 1 month, 30 days times 10 equals 300 days and 6 days times 10 equals 60 days, completing the year 360 days. May God make it possible and easy to fast these 6 days.

Second thing is to restart once more reciting the Quran from the beginning, since we completed it during the month of Ramadan and we should not close the book until the next Ramadan.

روى الترمزي وغيره عن ابن عباس رضي الله عنهما أن رجلا سأل النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم : أي الأعمال أحب إلى الله تعالى ؟فقال : (( الحال المرتحل )) قال : وما الحال المرتحل ؟قال : (( الذي يضرب من أول القرآن ــ أي يبدأ من تلاوة أول القرآن ــ كلما حل ارتحل )) أي كلما ختم ختمة أخذ بغيرها , وهكذا مواظبا”

Transmitted by Tirmidhi from Ibn Abas that a person asked the Prophet: What is the most loved work to Allah? He said: “Al-Hal al-murtahal”. The person said: And what is al-Hal al-murtahal? The Prophet (a.s) said to him: “That person, who reads the Quran from the beginning and after he completes it he starts again”, that is, as soon as he finishes one (hatme) complete reading then he starts again a new one.

Lastly, let us not forget that the ending of the month of Ramadan is not the end, but rather a beginning of a new life, refreshed, with more energy, with determination, more active, with more patience, much more meaningful for the true believer. Let us show our Creator, that we fasted the month of Ramadan to empower and to give us more willpower and force in our life and not to cease with its ending. To show to our Creator that we are to Him devoted and we submit to Him the whole year and not only one month, because He feeds us and gives us all bounties during the whole year not only one month. Also we should make Satan understand and disappoint him further that we do not listen nor do we obey him, rather we listen and submit to the Creator of universe, our God.

O Allah, only You we worship and only Your help we seek. Guide us to the straight path, in the path of those whom you have bestowed Your mercy. Amin

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