Steadfastness after Ramadan 2/2
The third point is: Beware of falling determination (five things to help you stabilize your level of faith)
One of the things that please the sight, make the heart rejoice and expand the chest in Ramadan, is the sight of the mosque while filled with worshipers during the five prayers. Your sight falls either upon a kneeling (worshiper), a prostrating one, an invoker in supplication or a reader of the Quran.
You find all full of energy and vitality, determination and activity; and with the first day of Eid occurs apathy, laziness and inactivity. Among us are those who delay the prayer, and among us are those who shelve the Quran in the library for the following Ramadan (all of these from the plans of Satan), and leaves the supplication until the night prayer... So what do we do to preserve this energy?
Here, we should agree to commit to five things after Ramadan and not to neglect them in any way. As we eat and drink and look after food daily to feed the body, we also maintain these five things to feed the soul.
1) To maintain the five daily prayers in a congregation, especially the fajr prayer.
We have proven to ourselves in Ramadan that we are able to perform the congregational prayers in the mosque, and able to perform the fajr prayer daily. Let us maintain, after Ramadan, the prayers in the mosque as much as we can. If we cannot, let it be at the beginning of time (of prayer) together with the regular non-obligatory Sunnah prayers in any place you are in. Try not to delay it; do not leave an opportunity to Satan, stay steadfast on that for a week.
2) The Quran: Do not be of those who recited the Quran in Ramadan, for the Quran has been sent down for us to recite during Ramadan and other than Ramadan ... You were able to read every day a part or two or three and showed diligence in that, and allocated a time for that out of your day. Try to make for yourself a fixed daily recitation from the Quran, albeit one page per day (prove to Satan that you really changed).
3) Remembrance of Allah: try hard after Ramadan to keep the morning and evening invocations, bedtime invocations, invocations pertaining to coming out of the home; exploit your spare time at work or going to work in the remembrance of Allah.
4) Righteous companionship: choose those who help you to obey Allah; for the person follows the religion of his close friend, and friends on that day will be foes, one to another, except the righteous, and the believer to the believer is just like a building, its parts support each other, so select a companion, which if he saw a disobedience from your part, warned you showed you the path of goodness. As you yourself want a friend with good manners, likewise your friend also wants a companion who holds on his hands, so wish for good in yourself to gain what you want.
5) Supplication: (When My servants ask you concerning Me, I am indeed close (to them). I listen to the prayer of every suppliant when he calls on Me), (And your Lord says: call on Me; I will answer your (Prayer)) (whoever does not supplicate to Allah, He will become angry with him), a lot of verses and Statements on the virtue of supplication and its place, so take care to supplicate after, or don’t you have any requests with Allah after Ramadan? We are all in need of (the mercy of) Allah, and He is the One free of all wants, worthy of all praise. Allocate a time for daily supplications, even for two minutes after any prayer or make it at the end of your day; the important thing is let not a day goes by without a supplication, and ask Allah to make you steadfast in obedience.
Do not deprive yourself, as well, of the night prayers, even if for one day a week, and to understand the virtues of the night prayer and its impact, read a book or visit any Islamic sites and search for the virtues of the night prayers, and fasting too. There is fasting Mondays and Thursdays, and the white days of every Hijri month. Choose for yourself what you can perform from the acts of worship. The important thing is to make a difference in your life for the better after Ramadan and prevail over yourself and your fiend.
The fourth point (how do you know if Ramadan has been accepted from us or not)
First do not be pretentious about your worship, and do not say: I have fasted Ramadan in full, but thank Allah for having guided you and suffered you to witness the month of Ramadan, the month of goodness and charity, and praise Him for having suffered you also to fasting it and observing the night prayers therein. How many deprived and prevented! Seek Allah’s forgiveness, for that is the habit of the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, following every act of worship ... Seeking forgiveness.
Our master Ali says: the Companions of the Prophet used to perform the deeds actively, and when they are done, they suffered concern; whether the deed has been accepted or not.
But, what we mean in this point are good tidings, which the Quran elucidated for us, and our beloved one, peace be upon him, showed us. In the book of Allah, His saying, exalted He be: (O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that you may (learn) self-restraint). Therefore, the aim of fasting is piety; if piety is realized in you by the end of the month, then Ramadan has been accepted from you by the grace of Allah. Our beloved has shown us that from the signs of acceptance of the act of worship, that it is followed by an act of worship, and not followed by a sin.
We do not ask to be after Ramadan as we were in Ramadan, this is a difficult thing. The days of Ramadan have a special characteristic, a special ability and a special energy, but we take from this energy and ability that which helps us to remain steadfast after Ramadan. The most beloved deeds to Allah are the perpetual, even if small. And here the wisdom of the Hadith of the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, becomes clear (Whoever fasts Ramadan then follows it with six days of Shawwal, it is as if he fasted for a lifetime); and the wisdom is to remain steadfast in obedience and a confirmation to continue to do good deeds, and that the Lord of Ramadan is the Lord of all months.
The fifth point (Ramadan: a starting point and not the end point)
The Month of Ramadan is an opportunity for change, an opportunity to gain more skills. In Ramadan, we learn how to organize time; we eat at a specific time and refrain from food at a specific time, and we learn from it also the art of keeping balance. In Ramadan, we strike a balance between the sustenance of soul and the nourishment of the body. During the rest of the months of the year, we focus on the nourishment of the body and neglect the sustenance of the soul, so laziness, apathy and the inability to worship occur; while in Ramadan, our focus on the sustenance of the soul increases, such as invocations, the night prayers, the Quran. The soul becomes active, and when the soul is active the body becomes able to perform the act of worship and increase it. We learn from Ramadan, also, patience, tolerance and altruism. Often, I find at the breakfast table brothers of mine; before any one of them eats his date, he looks to the one on his side. If he does not see dates in front of him, he prefers him over himself, and lots of good morals. Why do we, after Ramadan, leave all this after we got used to it; and I have an example of a man who owns a car. He took it to the service centre for maintenance work and to repair that which deteriorated in it. Then, after the process of necessary maintenance has been completed, and supplying it with petrol, he parked the car and did not use it ... Does this make sense, now that the car is able to move with speed and power, he leaves it?
This situation happens after Ramadan. Following the charging of the batteries of faith in us, and we are able to proceed on the way of guidance and faith, we stop and neglect ourselves; we reconcile with Satan and focus on the nourishment of the body, not the soul and body together.
O Allah, You who is able deviate our hearts, keep our hearts steadfast in over your religion.
O Allah! Accept this work and make it purely consecrated to your noble sake, accept from us Ramadan and help us over obedience after it.
O Allah! Send your peace and blessings upon our master Mohammed, peace be upon him.
Prepared in Arabic by: The Life Makers Group - Ammar Jalal Imam