Post Ramadan is always difficult living in the West. The mosques are not as full and the reminders of Allah and His Messenger (ﷺ) are not as common. However it is incumbent that we keep the momentum we started in Ramadan to continue, so as to refine ourselves further to please Allah Azza wa Jall.
There are five points we can apply in our lives for the journey to next Ramadan to be successful, InshaAllah.
1. Keep close to the Quran
The Quran is a wonderous book. For many Muslims, they successfully completed the recitation of the entire Quran in Ramadan, whereas some were unable to read as much as they could. The Quran not only provides solace to the heart and mind but is a guidance for our lives. The epic stories of the Prophets (as) and the path of struggle they conquered is a lesson for all Muslims today. The advice which Allah Azza wa Jall gives us, warning mankind of the repercussions of disobedience should be a reminder everytime we recite the verses. Indeed our lives are empty and unprincipled if we do not keep the Quran close to our lives and opened in our homes. Therefore the Quran should be an active companion in our lives. It should not be reopened next year, rather it should be opened on a very regular basis in our homes. We should invest time and effort into understanding what each verse is explaining to us and aim to apply its teaching in our lives.
Allah سبحانه وتعالى says:
أَفَلَا يَتَدَبَّرُونَ الْقُرْآنَ أَمْ عَلَىٰ قُلُوبٍ أَقْفَالُهَا
“Will they not then ponder the Quran or are there locks upon their hearts?” [Muhammad: 24]
2. Reflect on our speech and actions
Ramadan provided a period of deep reflection of how we spoke to people and how we conducted our actions. It provided us with a month to restrain our tongues and limbs. It allowed us to be conscious of our actions pleasing Allah (swt). Foul language, backbiting and lying were all interrupted due to being aware that these were highly inappropriate in our fasting. Our eyes and ears were controlled, knowing that this month did not allow it to see and hear aspects of this society which are evil. This mindset of reflection needs to be instilled in our minds every day so that Allah can be pleased with our conduct in life. Discipline is an important matter and we need to reflect constantly on how our speech is with each other in society and how we conduct ourselves.
“Whoever can guarantee (the chastity of) what is between his two jaw-bones and what is between his two legs (i.e. his tongue and his private parts), I guarantee Paradise for him.” [Bukhari]
3. Maintaining our salah
Salah is our lifeline and relationship to Allah Azza wa Jall. It is an open line of communication with Allah, for our happiness, sadness and worries. Muslims around the world prayed and were diligent in their obligatory prayers but even went further and prayed Taraweeh so that Allah may descend His mercy upon us all. Salah should be part of our lives, just as our arms and legs are connected to us. Muslims who seek support in all aspects of their lives should not be only strict in their obligatory prayers, but also in their optional (nafl) salah too. To maintain our prayers after Ramadan is to be successful in the dunya and the akhirah.
إِنَّ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ وَأَقَامُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَآتَوُا الزَّكَاةَ لَهُمْ أَجْرُهُمْ عِنْدَ رَبِّهِمْ وَلَا خَوْفٌ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلَا هُمْ يَحْزَنُونَ
“Truly, those who believe and do righteous deeds, and perform Salah, and give Zakah, they will have their reward with their Lord. On them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.” [Al-Baqarah: 277]
4. Appreciate the unity of the Ummah
Attending the mosque and praying with a greater number of Muslims is always a highlight of Ramadan. With our mosques becoming more diverse, it is common to be praying next to Muslims from around the world; it provided an opportunity to realise that the Muslim Ummah is a unique brotherhood. Colour of skin, different languages and country of origin cannot break the bond that exists which Allah and His Messenger (ﷺ) gave us. Borders drawn by the colonialists in the Muslim world cannot split our love for each other, regardless of being labelled with different nationalities. Islam is our identity and always will be. We must always appreciate our brotherhood so that this unity remains with each other until there is a political unity with the re-establishment of the Khilafah Rashidah.
وَاعْتَصِمُوا بِحَبْلِ اللَّهِ جَمِيعًا وَلَا تَفَرَّقُوا
“And hold firmly to the rope of Allah all together and do not become divided.” [Ali’-Imran: 103]
5. Hope and victory
Previous Muslim generations achieved great blessings and victory in Ramadan. Under the leadership of the Prophet (ﷺ), Muslims defeated the leading tribe, the Quraish, at the Battle of Badr. This was despite the fact that the army was small in number, poorly equipped and was outnumbered three-fold. Also, during Ramadan, the Opening of Makkah (Fatah Makkah) brought the Quraish under the Islamic authority, ending their tyranny over others and paved the way for the rapid expansion of Islam throughout the lands.
In the centuries of Islamic rule after the era of the Prophet (ﷺ), the Islamic Khilafah State achieved major victories during Ramadan whilst facing powerful enemies. Muslims succeeded in expelling the occupying Crusaders from Ash-Sham. Muslims gained victory over the Tartars at Ain Jaloot, even though they had inflicted terrible destruction upon the Muslims before.
Today the Muslim world is in tatters, including in Syria, Iraq, Myanmar, Kashmir and Palestine. In every land of the Muslims there are corrupt rulers who refuse to implement Islam, rather they prefer to follow their masters in London and Washington.
We must continue to remind ourselves of the stories of victory we read in Ramadan and know that the victory of Allah is near.
Allah سبحانه وتعالى says,
وَلاَ تَهِنُوا وَلاَ تَحْزَنُوا وَأَنْتُمْ الأَعْلَوْنَ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ مُؤْمِنِينَ
“So do not become weak, nor be sad, and you will be superior (in victory) if you are indeed (true) believers.” [Ali’-Imran: 139]