by Muhammad Abdullah Javed
The lessons learnt in the holy month need to be refreshed
to strive for the aftermath of Ramadhan
After a few days, the dusk will not be the same. It will, God willing, raise the curtain from the month of Ramadhan. With the advent of Shawwal, we will celebrate one of the happiest days of our life, Eidul Fitr. Happy Eidul Fitr, in advance, may Allah accept our acts of devotion and prayers. Aameen
Just remember the blessings of the graceful month that passed. It all started with the sighting of moon which bids adieu to the month of Shabaan and welcomed Ramadhan. Now after a month of intense training we have been assigned with a phenomenal task of purification of self and development of talents. The task begins along with the celebration of Eid. The process of purification and development requires both individual and collective efforts and inter-personal and intra-personal efforts in order to make the entire humanity beneficial with what we have been bestowed.
Let us focus on the celebration first
Generally the way one celebrates his festival or any happiest occasion, reflects the tradition and culture that he follows. The traditional values, in turn, reveal the basic teachings of that particular religion. The religion of Fitr (original nature) – Islam – taught us to rejoice with Allah in view; celebration is absolutely incomplete if Allah is not remembered. If one remembers Him, the festivity limits to the extent of joy, never allows a person to transgress. The people around find a true way of expressing joy; they never get hurt with the behavioral attitude of the persons engaged in celebration.
How to Celebrate Eidul Fitr?
The way we have been ordained to celebrate the event has ‘remembrance of Allah’ at its nucleus. Obviously every beneficial thing is a favor of Allah as the Quran mentions (An-Nahl: 53). Allah has showered the moments of happiness; without His remembrance the celebration lack luster. The hearts should be filled with complementary feelings and the tongue must acknowledge the same with words of appreciation. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) has taught us to say Takbir (glorification) while on the way to prayer ground (Eidgah):
Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar. La ilaha ill-lal-lah. Allah Akbar, Allahu Akbar. Wa-lilahill hamd.
Allah is great, Allah is great. There is no god but Allah. Allah is great, Allah is great. And all praises are for Allah.
Offering of Salaatul Eid in congregation in an open place is highly preferable except in case of bad weather like rain. Usage of two separate routes to and from Eidgah is also favored as it sends a lively message to the walkers and viewers alike. One should try to accompany as many persons of his family as he can, not only men and children but women too. What Umme Atiyah (RZ) reported actually communicates the true spirit of such celebration, she said: “The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) ordained us to bring out on Eidul Fitr and Eidul Adha, young women, Hijab-observing adult women and the menstruating women. The menstruating women stayed out of actual Salaat but participated in good deeds and Dua (supplication). “(Muslim)
One should leave his home along with his family members and neighbors, march towards Eidgah collectively proclaiming the Greatness of the Almighty Allah. After offering prayers meeting with relatives and friends, both Muslims and non-Muslims and greeting them with good words is also taught.
Why such an intense joy?
The Eid celebration knows no bound. Though celebration on various occasions is usual, but the enjoyment of Eid is something different, isn’t it? After the completion of almost thirty days of dawn-to-dusk fasting we taste the true joy of Eid. This taste has its own exclusivity, can’t be expressed as such. Have you ever pondered over the facts behind such happiness? Here the list goes…
- Strict obedience of Allah and His Messenger (pbuh)
- Depiction of true love of Allah and His Messenger (pbuh)
- In-time and regular observance of prayers
- Strong attachment with the Quran
- Standing in the night in prayers.
- Seeking the Mercy of Allah
- Being merciful to one and all
- Helping the needy…
It means the true happiness lies in the obedience of Allah and His Messenger (pbuh), this brings not only joyous moments but also triumph that helps us emerge as a winner in this life and the hereafter, therefore obedience of Allah and His Messenger (pbuh) has been termed as greatest victory (Al-Ahzab: 70-71)
The lessons learnt
We often get stunned with the behavioral change after Ramadhan. Barring a few, the aftermath of Ramadhan tells a sad story. Comparatively the Masjids appear less filled; the Quran does not find its readers, the hands of beggars remain empty, dialects get the same old tone and the transactions lack transparency. It seems that a particular group had been subjected to a stereo type of ‘Ramadhan culture’ and that has immediately lost its shine. If this is the story of even today, nothing will result except deprivation from the Mercy of Allah.
Keep your hearts refreshed and the souls revitalized with the noble benefits of the blessed month of Ramadhan, this is the only way to be a Muslim of Ramadhan, always. Keen observation of the moments passed will certainly enlighten us again with numerous acts of loyalty, a few of them:
- Attachment with Allah – Don’t you think that getting up earliest in the morning, spending the whole day without food and water, abstinence from material desires and observance of prayers suggests that we had a very strong attachment with our Merciful Lord? When we term Talluq Billah or attachment with Allah, it means that we are forming, by virtue of our deeds, a strong relationship with Allah. The warmth of relationship with Allah can be voiced only in terms of deeds. Look in the Quran; it presents before you a variety of deeds while explaining what Talluq Billah is in real sense. Those who have strong attachment with Allah are the ones who: bow down humbly (Al-Maeda: 55), and patiently persevere and seek countenance of their Lord (Ar-Rad: 22) and so on.
Talluq Billah is not merely a term to spell out; it’s a Divine terminology that demands serious thoughts and disciplined actions to prove one’s true faith. Ramadhan actually nourishes this very nature.
- Patience – The days and nights of the blessed month are witness to our utmost patience, through fasts and various forms of worships we really stored in ourselves a very valuable treasure – patience. It is so valuable that the one who patiently perseveres finds none other than Allah by his side. Patience does not allow one to be surrounded with a pessimistic behaviour, rather it’s an exceptional attribute that in turn illustrates different shades of dynamic personality; the Holy Quran elaborates that through patience one can be steadfast (Al-Ahqaf: 35), courageous (Ash-Shura: 43) and victorious (Al-Anfal: 65) etc.
- Zikr and Dua – If one stays away from evils and performs good deeds, the attitude reveals that his inner self is adorned with remembrance of Allah, had if Allah was not remembered he would have indulged in evil things. So remembrance (Zikr) is not just uttering of words of praise but also adhering to the Divine injunctions. We have been taught that the supplications before Iftaar (breaking the fast) have a great chance of acceptance by Allah, so we prayed a lot, for self and for near and dear ones, all the days of Ramadhan witnessed our intense interest is seeking the Mercy of Allah. Zikr and Dua are vital weapons as far the struggle in day today life is concerned. In order to face the onslaught of capitalist materialism and materialistic thoughts one has to be well equipped with these weapons. The Quran says true success comes only with such remembrance (Al-Juma: 10) and Allah loves those who seek His Mercy through prayers (Al-Baqara: 186)
- Attachment with the Quran – Various forms of worship in the holy month were due to Quran, since Allah has sent down the book of guidance in the month of Ramadhan, as thanks giving we follow the Divine guidance. We have been subjected to a lot of exposure of this Holy Book, through its recitation and discourses. Moreover we stood in prayers and listened to the Quranic verses. It insists that this standing position should articulate into a constant and untiring struggle. Everyone should resolve to understand and disseminate the teachings of the Quran to entire humanity. The Quran presents blend of characters, it says the recitation of verses increases the faith (Al-Anfal: 2), our faith must. The verses are bound to compel one’s reflections (An-Nisa: 82), we must reflect. If one forms such an organic affiliation with the Quran, his behaviour would reflect the true understanding of the verses.
- Concentration in Worship – Right from the morning prayer we were quite regular to all the prayers of the day. In due process we learnt a very basic principle of doing right things at the right time, that is to make up the mind. The precise regularity, be it waking up early morning for Sahri or offering of prayers in time, was due to the mental (and heartily) preparation. If this practice is lengthened and if a strict self assessment system is evolved, the concentration in all forms of worship will surely find its due place. We will be Haneef (concentrated) then, as was the case of Hazrath Ibrahim (A) (An-Nisa: 125 & Al-Anaam: 79)
- Control over self – Abstinence from food, water and vain desires is not that easy. By Allah’s Grace we had been bestowed with an exceptional power of self control, not to mention of the adults even children demonstrated an unmovable control over the self. If this power of self control is retained and groomed from time to time, the developmental process of one’s self will be in accordance with the Quran and the Sunnah.
- Mercy for others – If we think, another astonishing aspect comes into focus that we were simply merciful to everyone. In spending we showered mercy on the deprived ones. Through our dealings we benefited others. With Iftaar and a treat thereafter we addressed hunger and thirst. By means of Zakat and charity we fulfilled the needs of needy. Mercy of Allah played the role of a motivating force behind this merciful conduct. We need to grow higher with Mercy as one of the striking attributes of our personality. Today if we find millions of people suffering from hunger, it means the hearts of million others are void of Mercy. Here implies a reciprocity principle, show mercy gain mercy, this is what Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said show mercy on the dwellers of the earth, the One Who is in the heaven will shower His Mercy on you.
- Abundance in sustenance – We found abundance of sustenance all around. Though our stomach was empty for long duration of the time, but after breaking the fast we really enjoyed variety of foods. Alhamdulillah. Our hearts convinced that it’s the destiny that ensures resources of life. No man can earn more than what he has been destined with, nor can anyone earn less than that. In view of this Divine principle if one strives hard and keeps faith in His Lord certainly he will be bestowed with what he wants. Don’t you think today’s chaos about corruption lacks the description of people’s unrealistic approach towards the destiny?
- Discipline – Another noble character marked our efforts of Ramadhan. Right from the advent of a day till the end, everything has been dealt with discipline and sincerity. To be very precise we noticed even a second of the prescribed Iftaar time. The way we began fasting and the way we taught to put an end to it is simply hallmark of discipline. As per the sayings of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) keeping and breaking of the fasts is purely based on the sighting of moon. The nobility of Muslim Ummah is that the lesson of discipline is being taught with the promptness of a celestial object. It means if one is disciplined on the earth, the One Who is in the heaven will be prompt in rewarding over his good deeds. It also suggests that if one sticks to discipline finds his place at the highest ranks. Discipline should find its due place in all our engagements, be it personal or not, be it religious or so called worldly matters.
Stand up and change the world
We have been benefited with such invaluable Blessings of Allah, now it is expected of us that we must come out with a lively message for the entire humanity, teach others how to live and what the world is? Illustrate what human dignity is all about? Show the way how to serve the purpose of life and how to utilize the resources around? It’s simply an acid test for us. The advent of Ramadhan has an edge with its aftermath:
Ramadhan is the (month) in which was sent down the Qur’an, as a guide to mankind, also clear (Signs) for guidance and judgment (Between right and wrong). So every one of you who is present during that month should spend it in fasting….. (He wants you) to complete the prescribed period and to glorify Him in that He has guided you; and perchance you shall be grateful (Al-Baqara: 185)
Let’s remember the days and nights we spent for self purification and development. Every single moment of the graceful month witnessed our utmost submission to the will of Allah. After the faithful days of fasts and Qiyaam (Salaat), now let us stand up to change the world in and around. It’s the only way out to meet the demand of aftermath of Ramadhan…li tukabbirullaha ala ma hadakum
Writer is the president of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, Karnataka. He can be contacted by Email: firstname.lastname@example.org