During Ramadan, the month of blessing and forgiveness, our hearts felt the love of Allah and his Deen. Our nights were filled with Ibada (Worship), Taraweeh (Optional Ramadan prayers), Qiyam (middle of the night prayers), and recitation of the Quran. Our days were filled with the spirit of fasting, feeding others, and giving for the sake of Allah. We wished the whole year could be like Ramadan. A feeling of having accomplished some good and adding a credit for "Akhira"... But also remember the Hadith of Prophet Mohammed (SAW), which roughly says, "As a sign of Allah's acceptance for a deed is to follow it with more good deeds."
Therefore, in order that our fasting and hunger not be wasted, for standing at night in prayer, for the recitation of the Quran...for all our efforts, perhaps we need to gear up and continue this mode of Ibada. Continue our frequent visits to the Masjid, our humble approach to our Muslim brethren and to mankind, recitation of the Quran and nightly Qiyam.
What if we made a "resolution" to Allah that this Ramadan is the beginning of the "new me". As others make their resolutions for New Year, Ramadan should be as a new resolution for us. What if we approached Ramadan as a whole month to 'practice' this new resolution and now we are set to continue this lifestyle.
For the Sahaba, and the pious ones after them, Ramadan was actually a totally different experience. They used it for total seclusion from the material world and a total feeling of spiritual evolvement. They slept little at night as they were engaged in Ibada. Their days were filled with "Ikram" (hospitality), giving "Charity", and assistance to others. Their habits of "Ibada" after Ramadan exceeded in many ways the habits of the best of us in Ramadan. In other words, what we do in Ramadan by visiting the Masjid daily, nightly Salah and recitation of the Quran is the minimum standard of "Ibada" we could be doing in our daily lives.
The Prophet Mohammed (SAW) roughly said that "The Salah of a person in the Masjid is equal to 27 times of his praying at home or at his job."
He also said, "For every step a person takes toward the mosque, a good deed will be added, a bad deed will be forgiven, and one level in Heaven will be credited."
Also he said, "Whoever prays "Isha" in congregation in the "Masjid", it is as if he prays half of the night, and who also prays "Fajr" in Congregation it is as if he prays all of the night."
Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) advised us to continue with our recitation of the Quran and said, "Whoever recites one letter of the Quran, he/she will get one good deed," and also, "Whoever reads Surat al-Baqara in his home will drive the evil out of your home for the entire week" and "On the day of judgement a caller will call to the one who regularly reads the Quran to recite it as beautifully and slowly as you did in your life time, your high level in paradise will be till the last verse you read from the Quran."
Also, let's not forget kindness, feeding and giving to others. This increases our love for each other and the love of Allah to us. The Prophet (SAW) said, "Your smile to the face of your brother is Sadaga (Charity)", and, "Oh people, feed the food to others, and say "Salam" to each other and pray at night while the people are sleeping (Tahajud). You will surely enter Paradise in peace."
May Allah accept this Ramadan and strengthen us all in our continuing efforts.
The Islamic Bulletin
P.O. Box 410186, San Francisco, CA 94141-0186
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