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Ramadhaan is almost over... now what?
by Dr. Shabaana Mitha

Send in by "Muminah Inshallah" [Jazak Allahu khayran sister, may Allah bless you and accept your fast, ameen!]

Once again Ramadaan the blessed month of mercy and forgiveness has passed by. For some of us we feel truly sad, as we ponder over how little time we had to carry out all the good deeds and actions, and ibaadah that we had planned. Some of us feel content, content at being able to dedicate a month, just a month, to the worship of Allah [swt]. Others however are relieved as for them Ramadaan was just a month a do's and don'ts by their parents! SubhanAllah what did they gain from this mubarak month? How has it changed them? Did they get a chance to 'recharge their batteries as Muslims?' or was it just a chance for them to attempt to lose weight?

If you are one of those that took full advantage of truly blessed time then you have to look ahead and think of how now we can remain steadfast throughout the year, by taking this month as a starting point. We all know that Allah [swt] multiplies all rewards during this month for any of our good actions that are carried out with pure intention, so we try to make the most of spending every second of this month carrying doing our 'extra' bit! But how can we continue this through the year? Below I have listed just a few suggestions, I know that there is no limit to how much we can do for Allah [swt], however this is just a starting point:


Increased reading of the Qur'an:


ok so Ramadaan is the month of the Qur'an, and Alhamdulillah many of us aim to read, contemplate on, and memorise as much of the noble book as we can during the days and nights of Ramadaan, but why stop there? The Qur'an has been sent down for all mankind at all times as a manual on how to live our lives, as a reminder, as a blessing, as a source of guidance, so why limit to reading it only in Ramadaan, and then wrapping it up in layers of cloth to sit on a shelf?

Brothers and sisters make the Qur'an a fundamental part of your everyday life! Read at least a page a day! Understand what you are reading! Feel as if Allah [swt] is talking to you directly through the words on the pages, or through the words being recited on the tape or c.d! And then see how much closer Allah [swt] will draw you to his deen insha'Allah ta'ala.
Ibn Mas'ud (may Allah be pleased with him) relates that the Prophet (may the blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said:
"When a person recites one letter from the Book of Allah that is one good deed counted as ten good deeds the like of it. I do not say that ALM is a letter, but A is a letter, L is a letter, and M is a letter." (Tirmidhi)


" Freeing your hand in charity:

Islam encourages the Muslim to spend from his money for Allah's Sake whenever he is capable of doing so. Other than the obligatory zakah, some of us become quite negligent in giving sadaqah [voluntary charity], are we not aware of the abundant blessings giving charity has in store for us, be it from protecting us from the hell fire to gardens in paradise in Insha'Allah. Rasul Allah (saws) said, "Charity never decreases a person's wealth."


Along with the intention if giving for the pleasure and sake of Allah [swt] charity also becomes a means for increasing our wealth so we should never ever be worried that by giving giving and giving, we should start fearing poverty.
Narrated byAnas ibn Malik: Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) said,
"When Allah created the Earth it began to oscillate, so He created the mountains, ordered them onto it, and it became steady. The angels marvelled at the strength of the mountains and asked their Lord whether there was anything in His creation stronger than the mountains, to which He replied that iron was stronger. They asked if anything in His creation was stronger than iron, and He replied that fire was. They asked if anything in His creation was stronger than fire and He replied that water was. They asked if anything in His creation was stronger than water and He replied that wind was. They asked if anything in His creation was stronger than wind and He replied, "Yes, the son of Adam who gives sadaqah with his right hand which concealing it from his left." (Tirmidhi)


" standing in prayer at night

'Qiyam al-Layl/ Tahajjud' could be translated as standing in prayer at night, or 'the voluntary night prayer' both bearing the same meaning. During Ramadaan Alhamdulillah, its amazing to see so many muslims come out of the woodworks to fill the masaajids at tarawee time, or hearing about brothers and sisters waking up in the middle of the night before suhoor with the intention of praying extra nawafil.

"The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said: "The best prayer after those prescribed is (the prayer performed) in the depth of night." [Sahih Muslim and Musnad Ahmad]


No one can deny that they love their sleep! Being woken up in the middle of the night during a tranquil beautiful dream? Having to get out of your warm blanket to go into the cold bathroom to do wudhu? Doesn't seem all that appealing does it? But then imagine all the blessings and how Allah [swt] would be so please with his servants when we give up our sleep to praise Him. In the Qur'an Allah Ta'ala says,

"As for the Righteous, they will be in the Gardens and fountains [of Jannah], with joy the rewards which their Lord gives them, before this [in the world] they were virtuous. They slept but little at night, and they prayed for forgiveness in the hours of early dawn. " [51:15:18]


so seeing as we have already got into the habit of waking up for suhoor, set that alarm clock or mobile an hour or so earlier, even if its just to pray two rakah and invoke on Allah's mercy.


" Fasting!


Well the obligatory fasting season has come to an end, but that shouldn't stop us from fasting all together, especially as we have already gotten used to it! When we make our daily salaat most of us [ I hope] don't just pray the fardh but also the sunnah and nafil, in the same way why should we only limit our fast to the fardh when we can also benefit from the nawafil fasts such as such as fasting six days in Shawwal, on Mondays and Thursdays, during sha'baan, etc.
Abu Hurairah reported that the most the Prophet would fast would be Monday and Thursday. He was asked about that and he said:
"The actions are presented on every Monday and Thursday. Allah forgives every Muslim or every believer, except for those who are boycotting each other. He says [about them]: 'Leave them."

We all know how being in a state of fasting controls us, whether its in terms of controlling our tempers, our actions, temptations, speech etc so if we are finding it hard to maintain our Islamic personality which we have Insha'Allah developed over Ramadaan than try fasting voluntarily on occasion during the year and see how it changes you as a person. As Allah [swt] knows us best He offers us opportunities to help us control our desires.


The Prophet (saw) ordered:


"Whichever of you is capable should marry for it will aid him in lowering his gaze and guarding his body (from sin). As for the one who is not capable, fasting is his protection."
(An-Nasaa'i - sahih)
These are just a few suggestions that we should aim to continue after completing Ramadaan. Insha'Allah we should emerge from Ramadaan as pure, sincere Muslims, there should be a transformation within our actions, our intentions, our habits, our manners etc, and Insha'Allah we should hope to carry this through the rest of the year, be it in physical terms or mental terms, the deeds of a servant do not come to an end with the end of a month! Allah [swt] says: "And worship your Lord until the certainty (i.e. death) comes to you." [Surah-al-Hijr: 99].
So let us make dua to Allah [swt] that he changes our hearts and minds to be obedient and servient towards Him, and that He showers us with his rahma and barakah through out the year to make it easy for us. Ameen. It is said that Allah [swt] will not change a people until they first change what is in their own selves, so let us take that first step towards Allah [swt] so that he may take ten towards us Insha'Allah.