The Month of mercy, forgiveness, and blessings
Once again, the blessed month of Ramadhan has passed. The month of mercy, forgiveness, and blessings has sped away from us. It seems as if it was just yesterday when we were all preparing for Ramadhan, the buzz of Ramadhan was just beginning, and people were rushing to the supermarkets for food. That was more than thirty days ago, but did we feel like it was thirty days? I remember talking to the Sheikh two days after Ramadhan started, and he said to us, “Ramadhan is over”. At the time I was a little confused about what the Sheikh meant, but now I realize that he was emphasizing the importance of time this month. For some of us, we feel emotions full of agony and sorrow, seeing this amazing month of opportunities fly by. Others are relieved that the rituals of fasting are done so that they can fulfill their worldly appetites. Now that the month is done, a critical analysis has to be done on these thirty days we spent in the ibaadah of Allah. Did we gain from the month of Ramadhan? Did our Iman increase? Did our relationship with Allah (SWT) strengthen? Did we get rid of our bad habits? Did we fight our desires? Did we recharge our spiritual batteries so they can last us until next Ramadhan?
Taking Advantage of this month
If you are one of those that took full advantage of this month, you are probably anxiously waiting till the next time Ramadhan comes around. Ma’la Ibn al-Fadhl said about the Salaf (the pious predecessors): “They used to call upon Allah for six months until Ramadhan reached them, then they would call on Him the other six months that Allah may accept it from them.” And Yahya Ibn Abee Katheer said, “Their supplication used to be, O Allah, keep me safe until Ramadhan, and make Ramadhan faultless for me, and secure it for me as an accepted (month of virtue).’ The early generations of the Ummah used to make Du’a 6 months after Ramadhan that Allah accept their deeds in Ramadhan. And for the next 6 months, they would make du’a to Allah to grant them the blessing of being alive in the coming Ramadhan. This is the kind of determination that we need to have when waiting for the month of Ramadhan.
On the contrary, for us that did not take advantage of Ramadhan, The Prophet Muhammad said, and “If any Muslim comes out of Ramadhan without gaining forgiveness and goodness, he is a real loser.” (reported by Ibn Hibban and At-Tabarani). This is a warning from Prophet Muhammad, emphasizing the advantages to be taken this month. The question that we have to ask ourselves is, would we like to be a loser in front of Allah (SWT)? None of us would like to be in that situation; therefore we have to make an extra effort to gain the forgiveness of Allah (SWT). Remember, that Allah (SWT) does not need any of our ibaadah, he has enough beings to worship him, it is us that are in the need of forgiveness of Allah (SWT). We are the sinners; we are the guilty ones, we are the ones that need the mercy of Allah (SWT) on the Day of Judgment. The change in this has to come from within us. We may be encouraged by our elders and peers but the bottom line is we are the only ones that can make a true change. It astonishes me that during the month of Ramadhan the mosques are full however once it is over then they become vacant again. We only see the “regulars’. Is it because Allah was here during Ramadhan and then he left or because we should only pray during Ramadhan? Is Allah the lord of every month or only the month of Ramadhan?
Our levels of energy
Perhaps the most ironic element of the equation of Ramadhan is that of our levels of energy. The entire day we do not eat and the night is spent in the worship of Allah; however, we still find the energy to engage in all our other activities. Outside the month of Ramadhan, we may eat as much as we please and usually our nights are not so busy but remarkably we don’t find the time to come to the mosque.
In conclusion, the month of Ramadhan is no longer with us and we have no certainty that we will see it again. It is time to make a firm resolution to change our religious habits. As Allah says has the time not dawned upon the believers to be affected by Allah’s reminder and that which has been revealed from the truth? lest they become like the previous nations that their hearts were hardened and many amongst them became disobedient? ( Sura Al-Hadeed 16)