'Continuity Of Actions After Ramadan'
The month of Ramadan, full of various privileges and benefits, has passed us by. Whether we are still given the opportunity to meet it in the future is uncertain.
What is certain is that the knowledge and results we gain during Ramadan should still remain within every Muslim's soul. Reflect on the hadith recorded by Imam al-Tirmizi as narrated by Abu Hurairah RA, where Rasulullah SAW once said: ُ "Woe to those who meet Ramadan, then Ramadan goes off just before the person is forgiven of his sins."
This reminder should be a reflection for ourselves. If during Ramadan, we practice good deeds diligently in the best way and even able to change ourselves to be better, then that is the greatest gift bestowed by Allah SWT.
In addition, know that the essence of Ramadan's education and effect is not only to summon Muslims to seize the various rewards that have been provided, but it also emphasizes on the continuity of the good deeds performed so that it continues persistently all the time. If during Ramadan we try to enliven the mosque or musollah by performing the obligatory and supplementary prayers, then why is it that after Ramadan we lose the ability to do the same?
If during Ramadan we are able to curb the tongue from lying and uttering futile words, then why is it that after Ramadan we swear to humiliate, spread slander and other nasty things that can invite the wrath of Allah SWT? Surely, the worst among us are those who recognise Allah SWT only during Ramadan.
Compare with the nature of the Believer, whereby the deeds they perform are sincerely for Allah SWT and they will perform it regardless of time or season.
This is the requirement instructed upon us by Allah SWT, as stated in Surah AlBaiyyinah, verse 5:: “And they were not commanded except to worship Allah, [being] sincere to Him in religion, inclining to truth, and to establish prayer and to give zakah. And that is the correct religion.”
Therefore, in order to ensure that we are able to safeguard the continuity of performing good deeds after Ramadan, let us perform some of the following practices and deeds that Islam has recommended to us, amongst others:
First: Perform the Six-Day Fast during Syawal This is a practice loved by Rasulullah SAW. The fulfilment of this fast is a driving force for us to continue being steadfast in performing good deeds after Ramadan.
In a hadith recorded by Imam Muslim, from a narration by Abu Ayyub Al-Ansari RA, Rasulullah SAW was reported to have said: "Whoever fasts during the month of Ramadan, then he goes on with the Six Day Fast during Syawal, the value is as if he is fasting throughout the year."
Second: Being consistent with our actions Being steadfast in performing acts of worship is a sign of acceptance of righteous deeds.
Generally speaking, Istiqamah requires us to practice diligently and steadfastly and without exaggeration.
In a hadith recorded by Imam Muslim and narrated by Saiyidatina Aisyah RA, Rasulullah SAW was reported to have said: “The practices most loved by Allah SWT are those practices performed consistently, even though minor in nature.”
Blessed indeed those who are steadfast in their good deeds because they are promised various rewards by Allah SWT. Among them, the angels will pray for their well-being, besides providing peace of mind and tranquillity to them when faced with problems and difficulties in life.
Therefore, discipline ourselves by practicing righteousness continuously, even though sometimes it seems small and trivial, as well as multiply our supplications for strength and patience.
Third: The beginning of soul and spiritual purification Indeed, Ramadan is suitable as the basis for every Muslim to change our lifestyles for the better. Ramadan teaches Muslims to always fight against, and control, our lust.
Ultimately, noble qualities like patience, discipline, affection for others, tendency towards unity, and dislike for disunity, would be shaped.
Ending the sermon today, the mimbar would like to invite the congregation to reflect upon the following points, as a guide and reminder:
First: The First (1st) of Syawal is not the end of the ‘act of worship festival’ we have attended during Ramadan, but it should be treated as the time and space for soul and spiritual purification in order to remain virtuous.
Second: Perform the Six-day fast during Syawal, in order to continue with acts of worship performed during Ramadan, and to achieve the great rewards offered.
Third: Strive to be steadfast with the acts and deeds performed throughout Ramadan, in order to achieve the mercy and love of Allah SWT.
As declared by Allah SWT in Surah Al Ankabut, verse 69: “And those who strive for Us - We will surely guide them to Our ways. And indeed, Allah is with the doers of good.”