As the crescent moon of Shawwal appears in the sky, Muslims around the world rejoice and celebrate Eid al-Fitr, marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan. But does Eid really mark the end of the journey of Ramadan reflection? The truth is, the lessons and practices that are instilled in us during this sacred month are meant to be carried on throughout the year.
As the month of Ramadan comes to a close, Muslims all over the world are experiencing a mix of emotions. The passing of this sacred month leaves many with a sense of sadness and loss, yet also a feeling of accomplishment and gratitude for having experienced it.
we will explore the concept of Ramadan reflection and the ways in which we can extend the blessings of this holy month beyond Eid. Join us as we delve into the introspective and highly meditative process of post-Ramadan reflection and renewal.
Ramadan: A Springtime of Worship
Ramadan is often referred to as the spring season of worship, a time of relaxation and peace for all believers. Just like the season of spring, it has a special appeal and symbolizes renewal and rebirth. Nature itself is adorned with an aesthetic variety, a sight that leaves poets, writers, and nature lovers in awe.
Similarly, Ramadan is the time when believers offer themselves to Allah, seeking closeness to the Lord as a reward. During this blessed month, the rate of worship, recitation of the Qur’an, remembrance of Allah, and recitation of His Word is heightened, allowing believers to truly immerse themselves in their faith and become the best versions of themselves. Just like spring, Ramadan is a time of beauty, growth, and renewal for all those who embrace it with an open heart and a sincere intention to connect with Allah.
Ramadan is the ultimate season of worship, similar to how most fruit trees bear fruit seasonally, offering both a favorable taste and price for consumers. The rewards or results of worship during this blessed month are unparalleled in comparison to other months and acts of worship. A Hadith Qudsi states that Allah SWT says,
“ كُلُّ عَمَلِ ابْنِ آدَمَ يُضَاعَفُ لَهُ الْحَسَنَةُ بِعَشْرِ أَمْثَالِهَا إِلَى سَبْعِمِائَةِ ضِعْفٍ . قَالَ اللَّهُ سُبْحَانَهُ إِلاَّ الصَّوْمَ فَإِنَّهُ لِي وَأَنَا أَجْزِي بِهِ
“The reward of every good deed is increased from ten to seven hundred times, but the fast is kept for Me alone, and I myself will repay it” (Sunan Ibn Majah 3823).
How to perform on Ramadan Reflection
Fasting in Ramadan is a means to attain the ultimate achievement of meeting God. The joyful moments of a fasting person are at iftar time and the time of meeting with the Lord. The month of Ramadan is a time for training oneself in worship and spiritual development, and this training should be utilized throughout the year.
The inner philosophy and teachings of Islamic worship are just as important as the act itself. The main goal of fasting is to attain taqwa or piety, which means to save oneself from wrongdoing and displeasing Allah, and to fear Him. Taqwa is like walking carefully through a thorny forest, choosing the right path and actions that please Allah. The spirit of worship during Ramadan should be carried forward throughout the year to attain and maintain taqwa.
وقد قيل إن عمر بن الخطاب رضي الله عنه سأل أبي بن كعب عن التقوى فقال له: أما سلكت طريقا ذا شوك؟ قال بلى، قال: فما عملت؟ قال: شمرت واجتهدت ، قال: فذلك التقوى
It was reported that ‘Umar ibn Khattab (RA) asked Ubayy ibn Ka’b (RA) about Taqwa. Ubayy (RA) asked, “Have you not traversed a thorny path?” When ‘Umar (RA) replied in the affirmative, Ubayy (RA) asked, “What do you do?” He replied, “I fold up my garment, and I [tread cautiously]. Ubayy (RA) said: “That is Taqwa.”
Ramadan is a time for change and transformation in the lives of Muslims. The desired change is from an underdeveloped, miserable, and hopeless life to a better, happy, and hopeful life, from the path of misguidance to the path of guidance. This change must start from within oneself. Allah Almighty says, ‘Surely Allah does not change a community (in their condition) until they themselves strive to change.’ (Surah Rad: 11)
Fasting is not just about abstaining from food and drink. It has physical, spiritual, moral, economic, and social benefits. Fasting helps to purify oneself and awaken the conscience, enabling it to triumph over human passions and emotions. It strengthens the idea of clairvoyance, suppresses brutality and animality, and opens the heart to humanity and sympathy. Fasting is a spiritual food that will serve as food for people in the Hereafter and is one of the signs of God’s love.
Man is a combination of body and soul, with the conflict between the animalistic and angelic nature being eternal. Fasting in Ramadan helps to suppress the dominance of animalistic qualities, teaching self-restraint and promoting self-control, modesty, and mutual love. As Muslim philosopher Shah Wali Ullah (R.H.) said, “There is no alternative to compression of these materials in animal suppression.” In this month, special acts of worship are prescribed, which should continue throughout the year. Ramadan is the month of liberation from hell, as Rasulullah (SAW) said, “Every night of this month, Allah Ta’ala frees many people from hell.” (Sunan Sugra: 1429)
Ramadan is the month of patience, worship, and self-control. Through fasting, we demonstrate a level of patience that cannot be found in any other form of worship. This holy month helps us establish a stronger connection with the Qur’an, motivates us to earn halal income and fosters a mentality of hard work. And this is how we should perform on Ramadan Reflection.
However, if we fail to incorporate the universal teachings of Ramadan into our daily lives ie. Ramadan Reflection throughout the year, then our achievements during this month will be limited to mere fasting. So, let us strive to continue practicing the virtues of Ramadan beyond this blessed month and make it a part of our daily lives. As the Quran says, “Those who are patient will be rewarded freely.” (Surah Jumar, verse 10)
Let us take a moment to remember the blessings of this holy month and the lessons it teaches us (Ramadan Reflection). Let us strive to continue the good habits we have developed during Ramadan throughout the year and let the spirit of this month stay with us always.
May Allah (SWT) guide us all on the right path and grant us the strength and patience to continue to strive for His pleasure. May He accept our fasts, prayers, and good deeds and bless us with His mercy and forgiveness. Ameen.