Saturday, October 28, 2006
We Flew the Coop!
Ramadan has come and gone... Now that Eid is finished and the excitement and celebration has died down, I want to encourage all Muslims to sit and reflect on their month of Ramadan-- What did you learn? What did it mean to you? How did it change your life? Did it change your life??
I was recently discussing a Khutbah from a mosque in Toronto where the Shaikh was asking his community why now that Ramadan was finished did the community vanish? Over the month of Ramadan the mosque was full for Isha prayer and the morning prayers, but now that the month is over everyone has "flown the coop" and doesn't come to the mosque unless it is for the Friday Jummah prayer (which is obligatory for men).
This really caused me to think about things... I am totally guilty of that. I went to the mosque for most of the month of Ramadan and now when the prayers are shorter and the time to pray is earlier I haven't been going... It should be easier for me now more than ever, but for some reason I haven't gone?
What is Ramadan if not to help train ourselves to submit to Allah (SWT) and give up our personal needs and desires and count on Him. Why during this amazing month is He and our religion important enough to get to the mosque for but on a regular basis it isn't. Granted I know that it is better for a woman to pray at home, but it is the principle.
Allah (SWT) loves consistency. He loves the deeds that we do on a regular basis. Ramadan is very much to help us to train ourselves to be in devotion to Him. What good is the reward and training of this month if we abandon it on Eid and go back to our old habits. No longer waking to pray at night, no longer fasting (now on optional days), no longer reading Qur'an feverishly...
Allah (SWT) says that for some their fasts will not be accepted despite the deprevation of food... I have recently been asking myself if this behaviour could be what nullifies a persons fast. The more I think about it the more I believe it would. Because even if we are given the amazing gift of having our fasts accepted during the month of Ramadan, the reward and blessings we are given will be easily negated by the actions that are unIslamic, or sinful in nature, or how we lose sight of the importance of Islam immediately after Ramadan.
The thought of this scares me, I pray to Allah for forgiveness as I realize that my focus and dedication to Him and his perfect religion has dwindled since the end of Ramadan.
I have been reading the book "The Ideal Muslimah" by Muhammad Ali-Al-Hashimi (which I recommed to all Muslim women-- There is also "The Ideal Muslim") and I found a quote which really spoke to me and I wish to share it with you all...
"The Muslim...may find herself becoming neglectful and slipping from the Straight Path, so she may fall short in her practice of Islam in a way that does not befit the believing [Muslim]. But she will soon notice her error, seek forgiveness for her mistakes or shortcomings, and return to the protection of Allah (SWT):
Those who fear Allah, when a thought of evil from Satan assaults them, bring Allah to remembrance when lo! They see [aright] ~Quran 7:201
The heart that is filled with love and fear of Allah will not be overcome by negligence... The heart of the sincere Muslim... is ever eager to repent and seek forgiveness, and rejoices in obedience, guidance, and the pleasure of Allah (SWT)."
Let us be like the those who prayed for six months after Ramadan for Allah (SWT) to accept their fasts, and then for the six months after that that Allah would accept our fast the following year. Let us reflect on the month and see if we are still devoting the same amount of time and effort to Allah (SWT). Insha'Allah the amazing mercy and grace of Allah will wash over us as we fall prostrate on the floor asking that Allah (SWT) would accept our fasts, and that He would forgive us if we have lost sight in only a few short days, of the importance of sincere worship and devotion to Him... Ameen