Ramadan Not Just For One Month But For Everyday Of Our Lives!
Many of us are just Ramadan Muslims:
Many of us both Muslim men and women are unfortunately just Ramadan Muslims. We become devoted to our Deen (way of life) for just one month of the year and the rest of the year we spend chasing our desires with our only or main concern being the worldly and materialistic life. Why do we desire a life that is so temporary and can end at any second?
Just for this one month we reach to our top shelves and blow off the dust from our Qur'an's and get the prayer mats out from within our cupboards. Many of our sisters put their makeup sets, high heels and tight clothes away for the month and bring out the hijaab and Jilbaab. Many of our brothers put away their ear rings, chains and chaps and shape their beard lines for the month to loo as holy as possible for just this one month.
Mash Allah we become so much more practicing during this blessed month than any other time of the year. We fast and do the prayers. We stand in the night for Taraweeh prayer and even do good deeds that we have not done or even thought of doing outside of Ramadan. We sit and spend more time with our families. We recite the Qur’an; do dhikr of Allah and visit the Masjid so much more than at any other time of the year.
We feel a wonderful sense of peace and satisfaction in our hearts because we feel a deeper sense of awareness of Allah during this blessed month than we do throughout the year.
The night before the day of Eid:
The night before the day of Eid, shaythan gets released from the chains and shackles and runs to see what state we are in after this blessed month. He does not like what he sees. So straight away he gets to work trying to undo the good habits we have acquired throughout this blessed month. Then we see that during the night before Eid, our sisters take out their makeup sets, high heels and tight clothes and put away their Hijaab and Jilbaab for another year. Even if many of our sisters do wear hijaab it will be bright and colorful worn with the tight and revealing clothes and high heels. Is that hijaab? We can fool ourselves but not our creator!
We see the brothers take out their ear rings, chaps and chains and get their wacky hairstyles cut many of which are gravity defying and intricately shaped patterned haircuts that even Siberian tigers would be envious of. Remember those who imitate the disbelievers will be raised amongst them on the day of Judgment:
Narrated by Ibn Umar (Ra): "Whoever imitates a group, then he is from amongst them" (Abu Dawud, Mishkat)
Back to old habits:
That very same night before Eid the Masjids are EMPTY! The Isha prayer is abandoned! We see many of our brothers and sisters blasting music from their cars, beeping in the high streets, busying themselves preparing for Eid day and in doing so abandon the prayer which is the purpose of our creation!
We see our brothers and sisters going out intoxicating themselves and meeting up for illegal sexual relations that very night. We see our brothers and sisters go back to old bad habits that we were supposed to have stopped and asked Allah to forgive us for. We begged of Allah to forgive us and we go back to our evils that very night before Eid? Subhaanallah what a sad state of affairs we are in!
Instead of thanking Allah on the night before Eid we ridicule and mock him by going back to the evils we begged of him for forgiveness for! This month was a chance for us to redeem ourselves and to change our state but rather than go forward and get closer to Allah and bring our Deen into every aspect of our lives we go backwards again and back into old and evil habits.
Is the purpose of Ramadan that we become pious and practicing for just this one month and for the rest of the year we follow our desires, imitate the disbelievers and hardly practice our faiths at all. We are Muslim just by name but not by action. Many of us fast and pray during this blessed month only because we have to or others are doing it and not solely for the pleasure of Allah or to get closer to him. What a sad state of affairs!
O believers enter into Islam completely and do not follow the footsteps of Shaythan, surely he is your clear-cut enemy. If you falter after receiving the clear-cut message, then keep in mind that Allah is Mighty, Wise. Are they waiting for Allah to come down to them in the shadow of clouds, along with the angels, and make His decision known? Ultimately all matters will be presented to Allah for decision. (Surah Al-Baqara, Ayah 208-210)
There are no excuses for not praying:
Allah does not expect us to be perfect angels but he will judge us on the amount of effort we made throughout our lives. When we say "I try to read Salaah or i try to do what i can". Then are we really trying our best? Surely If we really tried our best to do something then we would do it. If we get a warning from work for being late and that we must be at work on time from now on or face the consequences then there is no doubt that we would make sure that we reach work on time even if it means leave our houses early in order to avoid traffic as we would not want to be late again and face the consequences.
Similarly if we know that we must do our prayers and if we do not then we must face the consequences in this world and the next then why do we not pray? Why are we so heedless? We are in a state of delusion if we think that we will be saved by not praying and doing a few good deeds. We may deceive ourselves but we cannot deceive Allah!
Therefore there are NO excuses for us to miss a single prayer. Allah has created us for only one reason: to worship him! What is the best and most important form of worship? The Salaah (prayer).
Abandoning the prayer is kufr (disbelief)
The Prophet, (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), said, "The agreement that is between us and them is the prayer: whoever leaves it has disbelieved." [Reliance, p4.2]
In another hadith, it is narrated on the authority of Abu Zubair that he heard Jabir b. 'Abdullah saying, 'I heard the Prophet (Salalallahu Alaihib Wasallam) observing this,' "Between man and polytheism and unbelief is the abandonment of salat." [Muslim]
Only 3% of our day on praying:
If we calculate how long it would take to pray 5 times a day then you could sum it up to around 40 minutes a day. Now there are 1440 minutes in a day and 40 minutes out of 1440 of our day is ONLY 3% of a day and we still can't manage that? Many of us spend that much time eating, excreting or in front of a mirror and we can't even spend it praying and fulfilling the very purpose of our creation? We spend hours on end in front of the television or listening to Music or playing our playing the latest play station games or seeing who's poked us on Facebook but we can't spend a few minutes praying to the one who has given us EVERYTHING we can possible imagine and far more? We are truly at loss!
Many of us work full time jobs having to work almost everyday of the year having to get up at early hours in order to do so. If we can do this then can't we pray Salaah 5 times a day for a few short minutes that it takes to pray them? If we really did try then we would not fail in praying our 5 prayers but we decieve ourselves and we end up wasting our lives decieving ourselves and then regret it later on when it is too late! Let us not be of those who will regret it forever
The month of training:
If we had training at work so that we can become better at our job and then after the training is finished we disregarded what we learnt and did not implement it into our jobs throughout the year then what is the use of the training? Our employer will be angry with us that they provided us with an opportunity for training and we did not even implement it in our daily lives. Similarly Allah has provided us with the blessed month of Ramadan as a month where we can train ourselves and improve ourselves as Muslims for the rest of the year in order to gain the fear of Allah and get closer to him. It is to make us practicing Muslims every day of our lives not just for Ramadan.
Therefore let us change our ways and not be one month Ramadan Muslims. There is no such thing as a part time Muslim for Allah tells us to go fully into our Deen and not partly. Let us immerse ourselves into our beautiful way of life and not let ourselves stop practicing as soon as Ramadan is over for the best way to know if our Ramadan has been accepted or not is if we actually make changes to our lives after Ramadan is over. If we go back to how we were before Ramadan started then how can we except for our Ramadan to be accepted?
We are not expected to become saints overnight but surely the least we can do is to fulfill our obligations unto Allah and that is to establish our 5 times prayers and to keep away from that which Allah has forbidden. Does he not deserve even a little amount of our time each day? Has he not given us enough that we are so ungrateful to him? How much is he asking from? Is half an hour a day too much when he has given us EVERYTHING we can see, hear, touch and imagine? Remember he does not need us but we sure do need him.
Let us not abandon the Qur'an:
So the brothers should not abandon the house of Allah as soon as Ramadan is over but we should establish a close connection with the best and most favorite place of Allah which is the Masjid. We should not put away our prayer mats and our Qur'ans on the highest shelves to gather dust for another year but we should recite from the Qur'an everyday even if it is a few lines. We should read and try to understand the message of the Qur'an and contemplate and ponder over it and try to implement it into our daily lives as that is the purpose of the Qur'an for it to be used as our daily guide and not to gather dust on the top shelf.
Make changes for the whole year and not just during Ramadan:
Our sisters should not put away the hijaab and Jilbaab away for another year but should realise that to cover is an obligation from Allah and would they rather want to please Allah or to please the eyes of other men and shaythan who is our worst and sworn enemy and only wants the worst for us? Do our sisters not feel good and at peace by wearing the hijaab and Jilbaab during this month? Was it not a freedom from the shackles of the way the glossy magazines want women to dress and be like? Then do not put away the hijaab and Jilbaab but continue to wear it throughout the year. Those sisters who do wear colorful, bright hijaab with tight clothes, high heels and excessive make up should know that this is a mockery which goes against modesty which is the very purpose of hijaab. Those sisters should know that by wearing tight clothes along with excessive makeup they are in fact contradicting the very purpose of hijaab. Instead those sisters should wear proper Hijaab with Jilbaab as that is closest to what true modesty is really about.
The brothers who try to imitate the disbelievers by wearing chains, chaps and ear rings as well as getting inappropriate haircuts should know that this is not the way a Muslim should be. Our role model is the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) not the latest celebrity’s and rappers. If we look into their lives then we will know they are mostly unhappy and not content. This is because Allah has informed us that the ONLY way to bring true contentment is through his remembrance, NOT money, cars, fame etc.
So we should not make them as our role models who or what the latest trend is but we should copy and imitate the best of creation and the best example for us and there is no better example for us and the whole of mankind but our beloved Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam).
Make the changes NOW!
Forget the past now, it is gone and will never come back. There is no use worrying about the future because it is uncertain and we may not even live to be alive tomorrow. Therefore we must concentrate on making the changes NOW. This is by far the best opportunity for us to change our lives for the better forever!
Therefore let us practice our beautiful way of life EVERYDAY throughout the whole year. Ramadan is like a training month for us where we train ourselves for the rest of the year. If we have not yet made a commitment to Allah then let us make it NOW! What are we waiting for to change ourselves? DEATH? Death will NOT wait a second but it will take us at its appointed time.
Change before the soul reaches the throat:
We have until our souls reach our throat to ask for forgiveness from Allah and make the necessary changes. So we should not wait to die before we make changes. We should never think that we can change next week, or next month, or after marriage or after this and after that. It is shaythan who wants us to keep putting it off so we never make those changes. That is why shaythan keeps telling us to change tomorrow but tomorrow never comes and that is why we MUST change NOW!
Why do we chase a life which is so temporary and short and can end at any second when the Hereafter is FOREVER and will never end? Surely something that never ends is so much better than something that will end so quickly! Then let us devote ourselves to something that will last forever not something that may end today! Let us devote ourselves to our creator who gave us so much that we can never comprehend. We should imagine that we are in this life on a journey and our final destination is the Hereafter. This journey is very short as it may end at any second, so surely we should be preparing for the end to our journey as we almost reach our final destination.
So make the firm commitment:
So we must make a firm commitment to Allah now and also internalise this commitment and the need for change in our minds and hearts and do everything we can to ensure that we make the necessary changes and not put it off otherwise tomorrow maybe too late so the time for change and commitment is NOW!
May Allah enable us to carry the positive changes we made during Ramadan throughout the rest of the year. Ameen