With the last few days of Ramadan dawning upon us, it is time to reflect on the past and plan ahead. We were meant to learn about the religion more, get closer to Allah, do better deeds and eliminate poor habits. How far did we get with our goals?
Regardless, Eid is not a full-stop to your “Ramadan deeds.” It is not a celebration to discard your learning and return to the bad habits you “put off because it’s Ramadan.” We went over 7 things to know before Ramadan starts; now, there is one super valuable thing you should note with the sighting of the Crescent.
Consistency and Steadfastness of DEEDS After Ramadan
Don’t leave your Ramadan self back in the month. Take it with you, and carry on with your goals. What we learned and practiced were essential components of Islam beyond avoiding your favorite Cheetos and soft drinks. I’m not saying you should continue to spend every day praying at midnight and extra hours like Taraweeh. Still, the other lessons from Ramadan and fasting need to be carried with you, such as:
- Taqwa; god-fearing; protection from punishments by doing good and avoiding evil (Quran, 2:183).
- Exercising self-control and embed piety in our hearts; prevent making sinful decisions (Quran 22:32).
People leveled up differently in Ramadan. Maybe you were disconnected outside Ramadan but started praying again; prayed for longer, or even prayed at midnight; started exercising more control in the online content you consumed; the type of music you listened to, the language you used; reciting and understanding the Quran; and other things.
Ramadan was also a break for all of us. We spent more time on religious activities than usual, which is normal. But, let’s not disregard the purpose of life and continue holding on to our learning.
Holding On To the Purpose of Life
“He is the One Who created death and life in order to test which of you is best in deeds. And He is the Almighty, All-Forgiving” (Quran, 67:2).
One of the best ways to fulfill that purpose is by learning more about the Quran and teaching it to others. As you may have noticed, the tagline of my blog is “when truth and falsehood come together, falsehood is bound to perish.” I like poetry and content writing that shuns misinformation, but this line isn’t mine. It’s actually from the Quran, Chapter 17, Verse 81. Many verses of the Quran guide modern-day advice and inspire me to do many things I do, although I don’t constantly talk about it.
Unfortunately, many think of being religious in a negative connotation. Opposing correlations to orthodoxy, learning the Quran is not a call to live in the stone age. It is possible to carry on with your lives ordinarily while being “religious.” You don’t have to migrate to the mountains of Saudi Arabia, communicating only via pigeons.
We have deluded ourselves by blurring the line between culture and religion, often making life seem more complicated than it is. Studying the Quran again will also help dissociate the two as well.
“And when it is said to them ‘Follow what Allah has revealed,” they say, “Rather, we will follow that which we found our fathers doing.” Even though their fathers understood nothing, nor were they guided” (Quran 2:170).
Fasting Outside the Month of Ramadan
While fasting in Ramadan is obligatory, it doesn’t end here. You can still choose to fast optionally on other days. Some recommended days to fast are:
- Mondays and Thursdays (Sahih, Sunan al-Tirmidhi 747).
- Six days of Shawwal after Ramadan (Sahih, Sunan Ibn Majah 1716).
- Three days per month (Sahih, Sunan Abi Dawud 2453).
- Ashura, 10th of Muharram (Sahih al-Bukhari 3942).
Life After Ramadan: Next Steps
Don’t abandon the things you did “because of Ramadan”; there are a lot of valuable lessons to continue implementing in your life.
Keep setting goals to learn and practice the religion better. Remember that you don’t have to migrate into unknown mountains.
Also remember that your goals don’t have to build Rome overnight. It is realistic to start off small. Many of you may have tried or heard others try overly ambitious Ramadan revolutions. But, these usually do not last and are a strong motivation to entirely leave behind once Ramadan ends. So, continue taking baby steps and be consistent, it is better than a grand attempt that dies out quickly.
A detailed and slightly different lecture I conducted a few years ago on the same subject can be watched on YouTube
I hope you had a wonderful and blessed Ramadan and will have a blessed Eid and year ahead. Eid Mubarak in advance! May Allah accept our deeds, fasts, and grant us a blessed Eid and life ahead.