At around 7:00 yesterday, I dashed out of class as fast as I could before Iftar time to make some final du’as. There’s this pathway on campus that’s cut off from most other buildings and subhanAllah, every time I go there it’s always empty. I usually take a stroll or sit under a tree to get some reading done if I have time and yesterday alhumdulillah, I was able to get there just in time before I had to start setting up for iftar. I made du’a for everything and anything I could think of and luckily, I had my handy dandy du’a list with me so I went through the entire thing for like the 80th time this month. I’m usually pretty good about controlling my tears (well, not really) but subhanaAllah, I just could not stop crying. This special guest Allah blessed our homes and our masajids with, has now left us and just the thought of being away from this beautiful month should be enough for all of us to make a firm intention to maintain what we learned and changed. One of the greatest thing we can ask Allah for is istiqaamah. What’s the use in learning an action and teaching it to others when we ourselves have not made it a regular part of our life..
I’ve experienced three events in my life that felt somewhat similar to the feeling I get when Ramadan ends. The first– the day we left Madinah to go to Makkah during Umrah about 10 years ago. The second– the day the jamaat from Cali left our home after staying for 3 days. Unlike the last two, this third event was mostly sad but hopeful at the same time– when Abbu was in the hospital for over a week for his heart surgery. The reason these events relate best is because I remember my reaction to all three of them being exactly the same. I cried and made du’aa to Allah to reunite me with these special guests as soon as possible because of the emptiness I felt without them. Ramadan is similar in that we all look forward to ‘Eid but at the same time, it’s as if we are being separated from our beloved. This month brings so much mercy, tranquility, and much needed change into our lives every year, and suddenly it leaves. Allahumma ballighna Ramadan..
They say the litmus test for an accepted Ramadan are one’s deeds in the following months. As we enter the month of Shawwaal, take a moment to ask yourself three questions. If you can answer these with sincerity, then inshaAllah you have a great year ahead of you!
1. What did you do this past Ramadan, how much did you increase in your ‘ibadah and your love for Allah?
2. What did you change about yourself or your lifestyle?
3. What are you going to do between now and next Ramdan inshaAllah?
If you spent the last 30 days like any other days of your life, and if you did not make a single deliberate change in the way you worship or in your relationship with Allah, and you if plan to do nothing in the next 11 months, then undoubtedly you have lost an opportunity of a lifetime. Allah showered His favors and blessings upon us and granted us the ability to do so much good, so what are we going to do to thank Him, ‘azzawajal? If you were able to do a khatam of Qur’an or two, start again from Al Fatiha and keep going. If you were able to stand in Qiyam every night, make Tahajjud a daily or weekly habit. If Allah granted you the time and energy to help out at the masjid or with an MSA, don’t stop offering your help. If Allah made you a sabab to bring someone to Islam, continue in your da’wah efforts. If Allah gave you the strength and health to fast, continue fasting throughout the year as much as you can. If Allah blessed you with wealth to give generously, why stop giving now? And the list goes on.. The Allah we worship in Ramadan is the same Allah we worship throughout the year and our entire lives. Don’t be among those who only turn to Allah in their time of need. He ‘azzawajal blessed you and I in an infinite number of ways, think..what are we going to do to thank Him, subhanabu wata’ala?
May Allah ‘azzawajal accept any and all of the actions we did for His sake this month.. our Siyam, Qiyam, Sadaqa, du’as, taubah, tilawatil Qur’an and all else (Taqabbalallahu minna wa minkum). Allhumma Ameen. And may we all be blessed to welcome this special guest again and again throughout our short time in this dunya.
الْحَمْدُ لِلّهِ الَّذِي هَدَانَا لِهَذَا وَمَا كُنَّا لِنَهْتَدِيَ لَوْلا أَنْ هَدَانَا اللّهُ
“Praise to Allah , who has guided us to this; and we would never have been guided if Allah had not guided us.” (7:43)
Eid Mubarak =)
p.s.: The part about the three questions is not from me, a brother gave a speech at our iftar yesterday and he mentioned them in his talk. I thought it was beneficial.