By Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi
With the Eid-ul-Fitr around the corner, we are winding down to the end of the most glorious month of the year, Ramadan al-Mubarak. The departure of Ramazan puts us in a feeling of both eagerness and regret. On the one hand we are proud of passing Divine exams and fulfilling the commandments of Allah by fasting during Ramadan, but on the other hand we truly regret missing the period full of the blessings and divine bounties. By the arrival of Eid al-Fitr, Ramadan will leave us and our eyes will be gazed to its return till next year. Departing of this noble month is well felt by those who experienced the real pleasure of fasting, breathed in the blissful and compassionate atmosphere of this month, and who were relieved of evils of the Satan.
All Muslims, more or less, feel a sense of regret by departure of the Holy month of Ramazan. However, the best thing we could do on this occasion is to take an account of ourselves. We need to do an evaluation of where we stand now after remaining hungry and thirsty for so long. We should ask ourselves certain questions like where we were before the arrival of Ramazan and where we are moving now after passing the thirty days of fasting. Let this self-introspection lead us to feel infinite happiness for the good we have done throughout the month and remorse for the bad which we have not yet changed, even at the end of Ramazan. One of the best times to do this evaluation is the last part of the night. Hazrat Abu Hurayrah (May Allah be pleased with him) quoted the Prophet as saying: “When the last one-third of the night remains, our Lord, the Glorious One descends towards the lower heaven and proclaims: Is there anyone supplicating to Me, so that I grant his supplication? Is there anyone asking Me for anything so that I grant him his wish? Is there anyone who seeks My forgiveness, so that I forgive him?” (Reported by Bukhari and Muslim)
In fact, waking up one hour before Suhur (pre-dawn) to invoke Allah for anything is highly recommended by the Prophet pbuh. This can be done reciting the Du’a (supplication) recorded in Sunnah, but one is allowed to say Du’a in one’s own language with immense sincerity, introspection and spirited conviction.
Besides making prayers for our wellbeing, it’s time we turn inward and question overselves as to why our faith is so short-lived that it is mercilessly let down soon after the end of Ramadan? Why the effects of our thirty day-long fast with extreme thirst and hunger, nightly supplications, congregational prayers, group gatherings of Iftar and Dua gradually fade away and our bad habits and vicious acts rear their ugly head once the month is over?
Ramadan is supposed to enliven Taqwa (righteousness and God-consciousness, the holy Qur’an, 2:183) deep down in our hearts, but where does our Taqwa live during the rest of the year until next Ramadan? Is not astonishing to see the mosques, which were jam-packed by devotional Namazis during Ramadan, stand empty and deserted after the prayer of Eid-ul-Fitr? Most surprisingly, many tend to miss out even the mandatory Friday prayer if Eid-ul-Fitr happens to be on that day, not to speak of the daily mandatory prayers of Fajr (dawn prayer) and Isha (night-time prayer). It is really shocking to find that those who loudly claim themselves to be “practicing Muslims” by strictly guarding upon their five time prayers, reciting the Quran, giving charity and doing other virtuous deeds during Ramadan, come to a halt when the month draws to an end. They even abandon their obligatory religious duties and overlook essential social responsibilities once they finish with their thirty-day long exercise of fasting and praying. This goes completely against the true spirit of Imaan (faith) i.e. stability and steadfastness as enunciated in the following prophetic tradition:
Narrated by Sufyan Ibn Abdallah (r.a) who said, “O Messenger of God (peace be upon him), tell me something about Islam, which I cannot ask anyone else besides you.” He (pbuh) replied, “Say, ‘I believe in Allah’ and then be steadfast (upon that).” (Saheeh Muslim)