By Shaykh Abdul Qayum | 19 Apr 2024

All praise is due to Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate, who has blessed us with the religion of Islam and the sacred months of Ramadan. Allah has chosen us and guided us to the straight path. He has given us the month of Ramadan, in which we strive in fasting and good deeds, seeking His pleasure and forgiveness. What a great blessing and opportunity this is!

Now that Ramadan has concluded, it is important that we maintain the spirit of the month and continue to engage in worship and righteousness. The scholars have said that the sign of one’s deeds being accepted in Ramadan is that they remain steadfast upon good after the Blessed Month ends. The time we spend standing in prayers and recitation of the Qur’an decreases after Ramadan. That is to be expected. However, it is essential to uphold the excellence of our obligatory acts of worship, and our awareness of Allah must remain steadfast in the months after Ramadan.

As Allah states in the Qur’an, we should worship Him until the certainty of death reaches us:

And worship your Lord until there comes to you the certainty (death).

Qur’an 15:99

The believer knows that there is no break from obeying Allah and remembering Him. Any heedlessness or persistence in sin will surely be a source of regret on the Day of Judgment. We ask Allah to keep us firm and protect us from falling into disobedience.

Part of continuing the Ramadan spirit is attending the mosque for congregational prayers. It is unfortunate that some attend the optional Tarawih prayers in Ramadan but neglect the five daily prayers in the mosque after the Blessed Month. Prophet Muhammad ﷺ (peace be upon him) warned against this.

It is narrated by Abdullah ibn Mas‘ud, who reported that Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said:

I had thought of ordering the call to prayer to be given, then I would tell a man to lead the people in prayer, and I would go out with some men carrying bundles of wood to people who do not attend the prayer and would burn their houses down around them.

Let us reconnect with the mosques and make our attendance of congregational prayer a regular habit.

We should also continue to recite the Qur’an daily, even if less than what we did in Ramadan. The Qur’an is the best of remembrance and a source of guidance and healing. Let us not neglect this great gift. Other deeds like making du‘a, giving in charity, and doing righteous deeds for others should remain part of our daily lives as well.

After Ramadan, many of us will find ourselves preparing for Hajj, one of the pillars of Islam that requires able-bodied and financially capable Muslims to perform it at least once in their lifetime.

For Hajj are the months well known. If anyone undertakes that duty therein, let there be no obscenity, nor wickedness, nor wrangling in the Hajj. And whatever good you do, (be sure) Allah knows it. And take a provision (with you) for the journey, but the best of provisions is right conduct. So fear Me, O you that are wise.

Qur’an 2:197

Hajj is a journey like no other, in which the pilgrim leaves behind the material world and all attachment to it, focusing solely on Allah’s pleasure. There are many restrictions during Hajj that the pilgrim must obey, and arguing, losing one’s temper or committing any disobedience nullifies the Hajj. The believer must be in a state of utmost devotion, humility and self-restraint.

Although the rites of Hajj only span a few days, the months of preparation begin early, as the above verse indicates. Provisions must be arranged, both material and spiritual. Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said, “Take from me your rites of Hajj” meaning the Hajj should be performed exactly as he did it. It is necessary to learn the rites of Hajj, its etiquettes, what is permissible and prohibited, and the deeper spiritual dimensions. This requires time and dedication.

Above all, the best provision for Hajj, as Allah says, is righteousness (taqwa). Taqwa is to be ever-conscious of Allah, fearing Him and hoping for His reward, such that one is motivated to obey Him and refrain from all He has prohibited. Let us use these blessed months to increase our taqwa, seeking Allah’s forgiveness with sincere repentance, fulfilling the rights we owe to Him and to His creation. In this way, we pray that Allah grants us a Hajj mabroor (an accepted Hajj) and allows us to return as a new-born, with no sins on our record.

May Allah bless us to continue the spirit of Ramadan throughout the year, remaining steadfast on His obedience. May He aid us in making the most of the sacred months of Hajj, accepting from us our worship and granting us His pleasure.


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