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January 16, 2004
What Now?

by Ibn Muzaffar Syed Hussain

So, it has been one week since the end of Ramadhan and the question arises where do we go from here? Do we return back to how we were before Ramadhan or are we supposed to take some lessons from the month and all that it stands for and apply them in our lives until the next Ramadhan? I would like to think it's the latter really, I mean what good is it to fast for a whole month and stay away from all that our nufoos desire when on the day after Ramadhan, like some lightswitch, we go back to our pathetic conditions that were present before that month? That would just give support to the hadith of our beloved Prophet (upon whom be prayers and peace) in which he said that, and I'm paraphrasing (I'll try to provide reference later), cursed is the one who when he comes upon Ramadhan he can't get his sins forgiven and all he gains from the month is hunger and thirst. Unfortunately, and I pray I'm wrong, I see most of our states in that manner - we seem to gain nothing from the month of Ramadhan, heck some of us don't even make an effort to gain anything from it except for the fact that we "have to fast."

Nevertheless, and we should always give our fellow Muslims the benefit of the doubt, now that Ramadhan is over and gone for another 11 months, how do we keep ourselves from slacking? The answer I think lies in consistency. Alhamdulillah as we can all attest, good acts become easier in Ramadhan due to the fact that the Shayateen are chained and thus we can concentrate more on worshipping Allah and leaving whatever He wants us to leave. Yet there is no reason why we can't, at least partly, continue that now. If we were reading one page of the Qur'an every day during Ramadhan, then can't we at least read half a page now? Of course the best would be to continue that one page but like I said, everything is easier in Ramadhan Alhamdulillah. It's truly amazing how Allah helps us and makes things easy for us whenever we need it the most. Truly, we are ever so ungrateful to all the bounties bestowed upon us by the Almighty, the Ever Merciful. As Allah states in Suratul Ma'arij, "Truly man was created very impatient; Fretful when evil touches him; And niggardly when good reaches him; Except those devoted in prayer" (70:19-22)

The main Ayah there is that except those devoted in prayer. Of course we know that we HAVE to pray five times a day, there is no way around it but how many of us offer those extra nawafil just to be thankful to Allah? Or do we think we deserve all that He has given us? Some of us walk around as if we are God's gift to this planet - truly we can't be that arrogant can we? The reality of death is ever so apparent that, if we truly understood it, we wouldn't leave our houses because we would be engrossed in worshipping Allah and trying to salvage our souls. Yet, we are ignorant and we think that we will be forgiven no matter what we do. Brothers and sisters, our memories of Ramadhan are still fresh and it's NEVER too late to turn to Allah to ask Him to forgive us and to help us. Verily, the help of Allah is near as the Qur'an states. BUT, we have to make an effort to do whatever He told us to. How do we expect to receive any help from Him when we are so ungrateful? Allah only helps those who help themselves as we all know but does helping ourselves involve in not obeying His Orders?

Seeker beautifully explained backbiting and our sheer ignorance towards it in her article and Sr. Nadia touched upon the gratefulness issue in her article about the one Eid this year but there are SO MANY other small things that Muslims just ignore which might just contribute to our doom, Allah forbid. The little things in our behaviors and actions which our pious predecessors possessed we so blatantly lack. There is no sense of modesty or of respect in our daily lives and the saddest part is that we think there is. We claim to be modest but how many of us, and in us I always include myself, talk to members of the opposite sex for no real reason? The wonders of the Internet, the IMs and the chat rooms. We think that if we're just talking about Islam then it's ok. It's not at all because Shaytan will use that "halal talk" to lead us to do haram. Unless we're talking to the person to consider him or her for marriage, or if there is no other person that knows about a certain issue, then what excuse will we have to give to Allah on the Day when there will be no excuses? We claim to be respectful but how many of us talk back to our parents when the Qur'an CLEARLY states that we can not even say 'Uff' to them? How about respecting our teachers, do we even know what respecting our teachers means? I don't think so, for if we did then some of the stuff that goes on in the various classes would cease to exist.

I know you probably think I'm rambling but my point is that we can't just leave everything that we did or started in Ramadhan now that it's over. In order to protect us from the devils, firstly we have to ask Allah to protect us and then also DO something about it. Attach ourselves with the Qur'an, pray extra Salah, associate ourselves with pious people, spend more time in the Masjid, and so many others. We have to try to cut back, if we haven't done so already, from all those acts which help Satan to further deceive us and lead us away from the Siratul Mustaqeem. Remember also that the days of Hajj are coming up soon Insha'Allah and the first ten days of Zhul Hijjah are considered by many to be the holiest of the year. It is recommended to fast the nine days before 'Eid ul-Adha if at all possible, but if we can't then at least we're supposed to fast on the day of 'Arafah, the 9th of Zhul Hijjah. It is not mandatory to fast then but why wouldn't we want to do whatever the Prophet (saws) did? We need to do as much of the Sunnah as we can because we need those extra good deeds to help us on the Day when there will be no help except the Help of Allah.

Remember Ramadhan is a training ground for the rest of the year, so let's continue our good acts until, Insha'Allah, we live to see the next Ramadhan. Let's also pray to Allah that we all die in a state of Islam because we're only Muslims if we die as Muslims. Let's pray that Allah increases us in Iman so that we can eventually reach the level of Ihsan where we worship Him as if we can see Him and even if we can't see Him we know that He sees us. Let's pray that we see the Haqq as Haqq and we are able to follow it and we see the Batil as Batil and we are able to stay away from it. All that is true is from Allah, the rest is because I know nothing.

of and relating to...

Ameen ya rab al3alamin

Posted by: Amr bin Muhamed Gharib at December 4, 2003 06:59 AM

My only beef is that you didn't cite a source for the hadith.

Posted by: Gillette at December 5, 2003 11:05 AM

Bukhari - Number 127, Volume 3:
Narrated Abu Huraira:

The Prophet said, "Whoever does not give up forged speech and evil actions, Allah is not in need of his leaving his food and drink (i.e. Allah will not accept his fasting.)"

Abu Hurairah reported that the Prophet (PBUH) climbed upon the mimbar (pulpit) and said: "Aameen [O Allah grant it], aameen, aameen". So it was said, "O Messenger of Allah, you climbed upon the mimbar and said : "aameen, aameen, aameen"? So he said:"Jibraa'eel, `alaihi assalam, came to me and said, 'Whoever reaches the month of Ramadan and does not have [his sins] forgiven and so enters Fire, then may Allah distance him, say aameen". So I said "aameen". [Ibn Khuzaimah, Ahmad and al-Baihaqui : Sahih]

Posted by: Seeker at December 5, 2003 11:49 AM

JazaakAllah khair akh Arif... these Little Reminders are definitely serving their purpose, inshaAllah.

Posted by: Talal at December 5, 2003 02:23 PM

Insha'Allah just keep me in your prayers as I ask of nothing else but that. Seeker, jazakallahu khair for the reference, I'm pretty sure that is the hadith but if there is another reference then I'll post it too. Things are hectic right now so please excuse my incompetence. Gillette, always keeping me in check. Keep up the good work :)


Posted by: Arif at December 5, 2003 02:36 PM

So, in other words ... Prepare for Battle?

Posted by: Mostafa Khalifa at December 5, 2003 10:21 PM

Assalam u alaikum,
We have not had "little reminders" for a long time now. I am sure Hidaya is in dire need of such reminders.

Posted by: Nadia at December 31, 2003 11:12 PM