As the month of Ramadhan draws to a close, insha’allah, we have much to be thankful to Allah (SWT) for. We also can take this time to reflect on our Ramadhan. To take stock of how we did. What we felt, how was our intention. We can use this to remember for the whole rest of the year and to remind ourselves how to improve our ‘abd how to increase our Taqwa.
The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: “Whoever fasts in the month of Ramadhan out of sincere faith, and hoping for a reward from God, all his previous sins will be forgiven.”
Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 3, Hadith 125
We can ask ourselves, did I fast out of sincere faith? Did I sincerely hope for a reward from Allah (SWT) as Rasul Allah (SAW) said? Did we have Yaqin that our rabb would give us that reward? Certainty of this reward shows our faith, our Iman in Allah (SWT).
Did we give up our anger and our greed and our desire for worldly pleasures?
Remember “Whoever does not give up false statements, evil deeds and speaking (harshly) to others, God is not in need of his giving up food and drink.”
Did we remember generosity? Were we generous with our family and our friends and with all people with our kindness and our possessions? If not then were we generous in our heart toward them? Thinking kindly and forgiving others are part of generosity. Rasul Allah (SAW) was the most generous of people and he was most generous during Ramadhan. We can see this in the hadith.
A man once came to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) distraught because he had intentionally broken his Ramadhan fast. The Prophet asked him: “Is it possible for you to feed 60 poor people (to make up for breaking the fast)?” The man said he was too poor. The Prophet then told him to sit, and a basket of dates was brought out. The Prophet said to the man: “Give this in charity.” The man said: “To someone poorer than us? There is no family in this city poorer than mine!” The Prophet laughed until his molars could be seen and said: “Go and feed your family with it.”
Do we not see the generosity that Rasul Allah (SAW) exhibited in this?
Did we exert ourselves more in worship? Did we ask for forgiveness? Stand in Prayer? Give in Charity? Did we take advantage of this time when all our acts of worship are intensified in their benefit?
Are we looking for laylat al Qadr in these last ten days?
Remember that A wife of the Prophet Muhammad (saw) asked him what prayers she should say on Laylat al-Qadr (Night of Power) if she knew which night it was. The Prophet told her to say: “O God, Thou art forgiving and love forgiveness, so forgive me.”
Allahumma innaka `afuwwun tuhibbul `afwa fa`fu `annee
And Allah (SWT) says in Quran Sharif:
Inna anzalnaa -hu fe laylah mubaarakah Inna kunnaa mundhiren
We revealed this Quran in a blessed night (Laylat al-Qadr); for We wanted to forewarn mankind.
fe -haa yufraq kull ‘amr h.akem
In that night every matter is decided wisely
The Holy Quran, 44:3-4
The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:
“Every action is based on the intention (behind it), and everyone shall have what he intended.”
What is our intention for our life? Are we not servants of Allah (SWT)? Do we not have as our deepest intention to worship him and to follow the sunnah of our beloved prophet (SAW)?
Are we taking advantage of this night? What is our intention? Is our intention to gain in our knowledge and our wisdom? What are we doing in our lives it achieve this?
Remember that Ramadhan is so essential to our deen it is one of the most basic parts. One of the pillars that holds up the whole rest of the deen. Without the pillars there is nothing. But without our own intention we cannot benefit from this holy time.
But remember also that it does not stop there. We have this wonderful mercy. This wonderful opportunity to improve ourselves to understand our nafs. To expose our faults and to improve them. To sympathize with those around us who are not as well off and to help them. But this does not and should not stop when the crescent is sighted for Shawwal.
We can and should continue to strive to obey Allah (SWT) in the things that he has commanded us to do and to avoid the things he (SWT) has told us to avoid. We can continue in our acts of worship as well.
The Prophet has exhorted us to fast during the following days: six days of the month of Shawwal, first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah for those not performing the pilgrimage, month of Muharram.
Abu Ayyub al-Ansari reported that the Prophet, upon whom be peace, said:
“Whoever fasts during the month of Ramadhan and then follows it with six days of Shawwal will be [rewarded] as if he had fasted the entire year.”
Do we truly understand this? This is because every day we fast in Ramadhan is worth ten days of fasting every other time. If we make the intention to extend that fast in Shawwal, as Rasul Allah (SAW) tells us then each of those days is also worth ten. So 36 days times ten is a whole year of days. But more important than that is that we intended in our heart to glorify and obey Allah (SWT). And we reap the benefit of that intention if it is pure and sincere.
And each and every day, even when we are not fasting we can remember Allah (SWT) in our prayers and make the intention to do more and remember more.
The Prophet Muhammad’s (peace be upon him) companions once said to him:
“The rich achieve the highest degrees of prestige and permanent pleasures (in this life and the life to come).” The Prophet asked: “How is that?” His companions replied: “The rich pray as we pray, and strive in God’s Cause as we do, and spend from their surplus wealth in charity, while we have no wealth (to spend).” The Prophet then said: “Shall I not tell you a deed, by doing which, you will catch up with those who are ahead of you and supersede those who will come after you…That deed is to recite ‘glory be to God’ ten times, and ‘praise be to God’ ten times, and ‘God is great’ ten times after every prayer.”
Remember Allah (SWT) says in the Quran
wa- qabaa’il li- ta’aarafo ‘inna akram -kum ‘inda ‘allaah atqaa -kum ‘inna ‘allaah ‘alem khaber
Verily the most honored of you in the sight of Allah is (he who is) the most righteous of you. And Allah has full knowledge and is well acquainted (with all things)
And this means that we should not be worried about our station in life. Allah (SWT) is not concerned with how rich we are, with how much worldly possessions we have or what kind of car we drive. He is concerned with what is in our hearts, what is our niyya, our intention for our life? He is concerned with the state of our souls and what we are doing to guard that state, to guard our purity. He is concerned with our worship of him and our obedience to him. And those of us that follow that and know that, and intend that and obey him are the most righteous in his eyes.
Friends, let us go from here today and make our intention in our hearts to remember what we learn and how we worshiped during Ramadhan, and insha’allah let us make our intention to not give that up at its end, but to continue in all ways that we are able, to find and do those things that will increase our deen, our iman and our benefit throughout the rest of the year.
Wa allahu alim. And God knows best.