That one sacred Month where Satan was shackled and the only thing stopping you from committing to good deeds was your soul. And now, this morning after, how are your good deeds rippling into your lives?
Scholars say that Eid is the acid test to Ramadan. Whatever happens on Eid, how one behaves, how one arranges his thoughts, is a reflection on how Ramadan had unfolded for him or her.
The ripple effect of good deeds vs. bad ones is also a telling sign as to how Ramadan has changed a person. If a good deed is followed by another good deed, this person is amongst those who have successfully committed themselves to spiritual enlightenment throughout Ramadan.
It is never too late to change one’s route however, and for those who feel that they have succeeded well throughout Ramadan, there is most certainly a chance to continue on a good deed reel, even after Ramadan. Here are a few tips to continue being the best of Muslims.
REMEMBER AND SAVOR THE IMPORTANCE OF THE FAST
There is no time like Ramadan, as that is the pillar of Islam that requires us to commit to such an activity for the entire month. However, the benefits of fasting trickle throughout the year.
It first starts with the six days of Shawwal at the very earliest on the 2nd day of the month. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:
Whoever fasts in the month of Ramadan and then follows it with six days fasting in Shawwal has done as if he has fast for life. (Muslim)
Following suit, there are opportunities to fast throughout the year:
Fasting for three days in every month is equal to fasting forever. (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
It is also well known that Prophet Muhammad used to fast on Mondays and Thursdays as that is when our deeds are presented to Allah.
This is the simplest way to experience the magic of the fast outside of Ramadan.
TAKE TIME TO PERFECT YOUR PRAYER
Another integral part about Ramadan is prayer. This is mostly because of the special Tarawih (Night prayer).
Praying Tarawih is always a humbling experience as we only put our foreheads on the floor for God so many times late at night. And sometimes it is during Ramadan that we also pay more heed to our obligatory prayers. This is a good reminder that we should pay more attention to perfecting our daily prayers.
Study the Sunnah of prayers. Are your movements correct? Are your recitations correct? What could you do to achieve a higher focus?
What could you do to add to your merits (in accordance to the Sunnah)? When we perform our prayers we are effectively asking for guidance, something that should never cease from our invocations.
Our Lord, do not cause our hearts to deviate after You have guided us; and give us mercy from You; You are the Bestower. (Quran 3: 8)
Perfecting our prayers shows gratitude towards God, because on Judgment Day, our prayers will be the first to be questioned.
BE IN CONSTANT REMEMBRANCE OF THE DAY OF JUDGEMENT
There is nothing more humbling that constantly remembering the Day of Judgment for Muslims. The Day of Judgment is not hearsay; it has been fully recorded in numerous Prophetic sayings in detail. Remembering the Day of Judgment is vital throughout the year, even after Ramadan.
Constantly remembering the Day of Judgment automatically forces us to be better Muslims, to be more conscientious of our deeds, to take more care in our behavior and to be wiser in our speech.
Every soul shall have a taste of death: And only on the Day of Judgment shall you be paid your full recompense. Only he who is saved from the Fire and admitted to the Garden will have succeeded. For the life of this world is but goods of chattels of deception. (Quran 3: 185)
A reminder of a temporary life is a good reminder that just like the month of Ramadan that passes each year, our lives are also temporary. They pass.
So while we love Ramadan for all its blessings, we need to actively work on our lives to have them showered with blessings as well. This is the only way to attain Paradise, the most sought after resting abode in the Hereafter – and to attain such pleasure would be to engage in good deeds.
CONSTANTLY FIND WAYS TO ENGAGE IN GOOD DEEDS
What deeds did you cultivate during Ramadan? Would you like to see more?
Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, advised:
“The best of deeds is the one that is little but is consistent.” (Al-Bukhari)
Keeping consistent in good habits, in good deeds, in helping others engage in good deeds will pay benefit in the long run. So as Ramadan passes, keep in mind this hadith so that all the charity you gave away during the sacred month will not be in vain.
All the kind words you uttered will continue throughout the year. And all those supplications and dhikr (remembrance) will become extremely light on the tongue.
KEEP GOOD COMPANY WHO CAN REMIND YOU OF RAMADAN
Keeping good camaraderie who can enjoin in good and shun evil is often the key to any successful day for a Muslim. Good company would keep you abreast with good deeds.
Good company would keep the Quran in our hearts, accompany us to religious classes and remind us of Ramadan throughout the year.
Besides that, good company helps dispel bad habits that we have tried to break throughout Ramadan. While breaking these habits during Ramadan may be possible, the true test surfaces after the month are over: can you really continue on that route?
That’s the best thing about keeping good friends, you share thoughts, so there is a sense of camaraderie, just like the companions who advised each other humbly and held on to each other for the sake of God.
Ramadan comes and goes. When it comes, it’s normal for Muslims to go rushing to perform good deeds to capitalize on the month. As it leaves, a little sadness ensues, maybe a little concern.
After all, there is no month like the blessed Ramadan, where there is some sort of safeguard to work on performing good deeds. But there are plans for everyone even after Ramadan. It takes willpower and constant remembrance of God to make that happen. It all starts the day after Ramadan.