The end of the fasting month of Ramadhan does not mean that Muslim faithful should abandon acts of ibadah (worship). But instead aspire to apply lessons learnt their in our daily lives
After a month-long exercise characterized by dawn to dusk fasting and other intense acts of ibadah (worship) such as prayer, giving to charity, reading the holy Qur’an, night long prayers as well as other good deeds; many Muslims could be wondering; what next after Ramadhan?
Just like graduates stepping into the job market or next level of their academic journey, graduands are usually optimistic of a prosperous future. It is expected that in one way or another, they will supposedly apply skills/knowledge learnt for the betterment of their future.
Similarly, Ramadhan is referred to by many Islamic scholars and lecturers as a Madrassa / training /workshop where Muslims go through a period of intense reflection and devotion, seeking guidance and forgiveness. It is also an opportunity to ‘re-charge’ their iman (faith) in hope that it will inculcate piety besides making us better persons. It is therefore hoped that the spiritual lessons learnt therein will be applied in our lives.
Surah Baqarah 2:184 in the holy Qur’an mentions Ramadhan as being Ayyaman Ma’doodath (a few days only). However, it is a month of bounty and plenty for those who seriously aspire and dedicate themselves to reaping maximum thawabs (spiritual rewards) from every available opportunity.
Thus during Ramadhan, Muslims go over-board competing to do good only to slow down or even abandon these deeds when it’s over.
What is interesting about the fast of Ramadhan is that, its effect is not immediately evident in our lives but at a later stage. Our conducted during this month will act as a bench mark by which to gauge and guide our deeds for the rest of the year.
Before we go further it would be worthwhile to briefly revisit a few helpful lessons learnt during the month of Ramadhan.
With piety, a Muslim is able to be conscious of Allah and would think twice before committing something that is likely to anger Him.
It demonstrates our submission to God and keeps the mind focused spiritually.
A developed sense of self-control in areas including diet, sleeping and the use of time. Other areas of self-control include back-bitting, avoiding ill speech, arguments, loss of temper, malicious behavior and refraining from sexual relations for married couples during the day time of Ramadhan.
SUNNA FASTING OF MONDAY AND THURDAY
If Muslims have managed to observe the fast of the month of Ramadhan successfully, then it is possible to fast the sunna fasting of Mondays and Thursdays as well as those of 13th,14th and 15th of each month.
Others lessons include time keeping, patience and forgiveness/mercy.
From the above lessons, it is clear that this spiritual-physical training is meant to strengthen our will power to refrain from doing things that would place us on a collision course with Allah (SWT)-no matter which month of the year it may be.
Therefore, one wonders whether the end of Ramadhan symbolises the end of our Ibadah?
Marhaba Life and Style has over the years observed with utter dismay that actually lessons learnt in Ramadhan are thrown out of the window on the eve of Idd-ul-Fitr festivities being announced.
The once submissive MuslimS has now backslide to their former ways.
In our previous issues of Marhaba Life and Style touching on Idd festivities, we actually highlighted how the gains made during the month of Ramadhan are washed away in the name of celebrating Idd-ul-Fitr. Truly, the devil has been set free!
However, the most disheartening observation is the desertion of mosques at the end of Ramadhan.
It is a phenomena hard to explain given that Muslims witness mosques being filled to capacity with safs (prayer rows) stretching all the way to car park yards and lawns.
Actually, Muslims begin deserting mosques during the home stretch of the holy month and backslide to routine of praying only Friday/Idd prayers or in worst case scenario, the next Ramadhan.
According to Husna Adan, the holy Qu’ran is the next casualty as it is sidelined-probably be read come the next Ramadhan.
Ali Kamau shares that what we are witnessing is the confusion of worshipping the month of Ramadhan and not Allah (SWT).
“For this kind of Muslims, they seem to worship and revere the month more than Allah. Its as if Allah exists only during the month of Ramadhan.”
Omar Musa also wonders why many refrain from fasting the six sunnah days of the month of Shawwal. “The six day sunnah fast of the month of Shawwal which if fasted successfully would be as if we fasted a whole year,” he says.
Meaning that the 30 days of Ramadhan is deemed as similar to having fasted 300 days and when 6 days are added; it would be as if a Muslim fasted 360 days.
According to a sahih hadith from the Prophet (SAW). Abu Ayyub (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Messenger of Allah (SAW) said: “Whoever fasts Ramadhan and follows it with six days of Shawwal, it will be as if he fasted for a lifetime.” As narrated by Muslim, Abu Dawud, At-Tirmidhi, An-Nisa’i and Ibn Majah.
Omar recommends that this is best time for those who have unsettled Ramadhan arrears of previous fasting periods to settle their accounts. “Your body is still in the ‘fasting mode’ so take advantage of it.”
In his Khutbah (Friday sermon) during the last Friday of this Ramadhan 1439 A.H, Ustadh Suleiman Issa-the Assistant Imam at Adams Mosque in Nairobi says that after fasting there must be some change within us. “Your iman (faith) will be stirred and stop you from doing bad. If you proceed to do bad, then your fast in Ramadhan was in vain.”
“Anything good you do during fasting is for you alone and you shall find it before you upon resurrection. You are not doing it for anybody,” he says.
When Ustad Sharif Said Omar was giving a darsa (lecture) on Muslim FM Radio station Iqra FM 95.0 on the same, he noted that if Ramadhan was able to bring changes to your life, then each one of us has the will power to change for the better.