• Raya Shokatfard

FAREWELL TO RAMADAN : WHAT’S NEXT

Updated: Jun 25, 2020



By: Raya Shokatfard


The month of mercy, supplication and forgiveness of sins is just about over.

For the sincere believers, this is a huge loss of intense connection with our Creator and purification of the self internally, and externally.


Many mourn that it will be one more year before they will have this chance again to communion with their Lord and focus more intensely on the self.


But do we have to look at the passing of Ramadan as a loss or are there better ways to say farewell to this blessed month?


It would be very important to note that the most important aspect of the month of Ramadan is the start of the revelation of the Quran.


{The month of Ramadan in which Quran was revealed, a guidance for mankind and clear proofs for the guidance and the criterion (between right and wrong)} (Al-Baqarah 2:185)


To take the blessings of Ramadan with us after this month, there is only one way. That would be to continue using the Quran as a guidance, for which Ramadan was sanctified and used as the month of purification. This must be our number one goal. Yet we can only put to practice such divine guidance by applying it in our daily lives.


Looking Forward to What’s Next


Giving the Quran its due respect by utilizing it on a daily basis is our first assignment. What next?


If one can imagine that they just finished an intensive university course; learned many things; and they are now ready to put into action what they learned for the coming year, then the feeling of loss becomes start of the gain!


The most important factor here and now is the state of mind of a believer. What is the priority now? Is it possible to give God priority over all things as we did in the month of Ramadan or would He be of secondary importance?


Many may think that in order to worship properly and adequately, they would have to give up on their work time, household responsibility, childcare, studies and usual daily chores.


In order to be effective in this process, one must prioritize and organize their daily lives, no matter how simple or complicated it might be.


It is important to note that gaining the pleasure of God means remembering Him in all facets of life. When we are conscious of Him and move forward with all our responsibilities while focusing on pleasing our Lord, then all acts with this intention will be considered acts of worship in addition to all the obligatory ones.


If we truly recognize this fact and act upon it, then we may start taking an inventory of our present life, our actions, jobs, treatments of others, raising of our kids, choices of topics we study, people we associate with and sincerity we have in our hearts.


Prioritize


In order to be effective in this process, one must prioritize and organize their daily lives, no matter how simple or complicated it might be.


Proper worship and attending to all obligatory duties must take supreme place in one’s daily activities. The Creator with His grand mercy has made this part easy for us and has not put burden upon us greater than we can bear.


{As for those who believe and do right actions—We impose on no soul any more than it can bear—they are the Companions of the Garden, remaining in it timelessly, forever.} (Al-A’raf 7:42)


It would only take a fraction of one’s daily time to devote sincerely and attentively to their religions duty and worship. The fruit of this is God-consciousness and sincerity is having the honor of being called a “Muslim, believer.”


If God consciousness precedes all other actions, then one can rest assured that all that follows can be credited as acts of worship. In this sense, one may be doing a lot more acts of worship after Ramadan without really being aware of it.


Acts of Worship


Let us use some examples here:


When a mother cleans her home, cooks food for the family and changes the dirty diapers of her baby with the intention of providing a tranquil and safe environment for the family and to raise righteous children, all her actions are rewarded twice. One, for doing good for her family and second, and most importantly, doing all that she does for the sake of pleasing God and encouraging God-consciousness within the family by being a great example.


A father goes to work to provide for the family. If his intention is to just cover the needed expenses, he gets reward for that. If, however, in addition to the above he intends to do this for the pleasure of God and to give security and comfort to his family, then he also gets the highest reward and his actions are also considered a form of worship.


We can expand this to all actions in life and test ourselves to really test our intentions toward our duties.


We Are Being Tested


One important element for us to consider is realization that we are all on this earth for a very short time and are put to various tests by our Creator to see what courses of actions we will take.


{He (Allah) created death and life that He may test you, to see which of you is the best in deeds.} (Al Mulk 67:2)


These tests include nearly everything in our lives. Some lose hope and some remain patient in face of calamities.


{Be sure We shall test you with something of fear, and hunger, some loss in goods, or lives, or the fruits (of your toil); but give glad tidings to those who patiently persevere.} (Al-Baqarah 2:155)


Those who intend to pass the test and are conscious about the worthless life of this world.


They focus on the next life and closeness to their Creator. They are:

{Those Who say, when afflicted with calamity: “To Allah we belong and to Him is our return.} (2:156)


God shows His pleasure towards them, gives them glad tidings and describes them clearly as:


The piety has been introduced as the best provisions for the Hereafter, and greatest means for achieving salvation.


{They are those on whom (descend) blessings from Allah and Mercy; and they are the ones that receive guidance.} (2:157)


So we come out of our intensive Ramadan course into the world or worship, action and tests.


We observe that we have much greater challenges to face after Ramadan and have to be prepared to do our best.


Final Destination through Piety


A believer with all the challenges of life in this world may find it easiest to achieve his destination through one noble character: piety.


This word embodies all characteristics one has to have in order to achieve success not only in this world, but the Hereafter. This word and its synonymous have been mentioned numerous times in the Quran.


{Lo! the noblest of you, in the sight of God-Almighty is the best in conduct.} (Al-Hujurat 49:13)


The piety has been introduced as the best provisions for the Hereafter, and greatest means for achieving salvation. According to the word of God in the Quran:


{For such of them as do right and word off (evil), there is great reward} (Al-Imran 3: 172)


And also:


{Then whosoever refrains from evil and makes peace-there shall no fear come upon them neither shall they grieve.} (Al-A’raf 7:35)


Lastly, the simple act of warding off evil has such an immense reward one cannot afford to ignore.


{And compete with one with another for forgiveness from your Lord, and for a Paradise as wide as are the Heavens and the earth, prepared for those who ward off (evil).} (Al-Imran 3:133)


We now circle around to the beginning and recognize that with our new resolve to maintain a pure, productive and satisfying life, we must include God, His messenger, his guidance and His book in all spheres of our lives.

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Published on: Tuesday, 06 August 2013

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