And if you want a pictorial summary of us from Shawwal until Shaban, just read from right to left….
[Side note: Would you mind filling out the poll on my tafsir blog? Jazakumullah kheira.]
Which boat, you ask?
– The Boat containing those who have trouble sustaining their Ramadan spirit.
– The Boat containing those whose iman goes up and down like a yo-yo.
– The Boat containing those who struggle daily to follow this great religion.
– The Boat containing those who have lots of problems.
You get my point.
I’ve noticed that many sisters* who’ve come to me with their problems seem to think that their problems are unique.
[*I keep mentioning sisters because I interact with sisters obviously, not with the brothers.]
And they’re quite surprised that I’m unsurprised at their problems (usually related to their iman). And I’m surprised that they’re surprised that I’m unsurprised at their problems.
Why? Because I’ve noticed that everyone has similar problems. I’ve yet to come across a completely unique issue.
And it struck me that this is Shaytan’s plan: divide and conquer. He makes a person feel as if he or she is the ONLY loser on this planet with this problem and shames him/her to a point where he/she:
– Feels ashamed to ask for help.
– Thinks that there is no solution.
– Feels that he/she is the biggest sinner in the world and nobody has done what he/she has done.
Now don’t misunderstand what I’m saying. I’m not asking you to feel happy that everyone has problems sustaining the Ramadan routine, for example. It doesn’t matter if everyone failed to sustain it. We’ll all still be questioned by Allah about why we could do these acts of worship in Ramadan and not outside of it.
What I AM trying to say is: you are not the only who has this problem. We are all in the same boat. And, insha-Allah, we’ll all work together to solve this problem.
[Sorry, this post was longer than the last one.]
[Okay, you voted. And apparently, most of you want short posts on a daily basis. Alright then.
Starting from tomorrow, insha-Allah, I’ll be posting twice a day: once for the Recover Ramadan posts and another for the regular posts. However, on some days, I’ll just have the Recover Ramadan posts. Hey, Tita Umm Muawiyah needs a break too.]
So, how do get back into the Ramadan Routine of Righteousness?
Step 1 was to realise that your iman was in shambles.
Step 2 is to realise that you can change.
Huh, you say?
Erm, yes. I’ve met many sisters who seem to doubt their ability to actually become righteous. And this of course is from Shaytaan (the devil) because he wants to defeat us before we even begin!
Reformation starts from the heart and then it affects the limbs. If the heart does not believe that it can be more obedient to Allah, then do you think the tongue and the limbs will behave in a righteous manner?
So, what do we do? First we accept that we need to change. Second, we need to accept that we can change, insha-Allah.
[Hope this was “short” enough for the daily Recover Ramadan posts. Or do you want them to be shorter?]
Sad but true…
Project “Recover Ramadan”(or “Restore Righteousness”) – Step 1: Realise that your iman is in shambles
Yes, it’s me again. And I just got another idea.
Now, you might be thinking: “What’s the difference between this project and the Remember Ramadan series (which we have yet to see) and the Post-Ramadan Teensie-Weensie Tips (we’re still waiting for the Learning Arabic post!)?”
[Er..I am planning on restarting both series, insha-Allah.]
Well, firstly, there’s a difference because I say that there’s a difference. Simple.
Secondly, the difference is as follows:
1) Remember Ramadan Series (first part is coming soon, insha-Allah): That’s for us to remember what makes Ramadan…Ramadan. See?
It’s to enable us to compare Ramadan and the other months from a variety of different angles. Or at least, that was the plan.
2) The Post-Ramadan Teensie-Weensie Tips was to maintain whatever we got from Ramadan and also some ways in which we can be ready for next Ramadan, insha-Allah.
3) The Project Recover Ramadan is as the name says. Unlike the above two, this will be a step-by-step guide to help us reach the level of Ramadan (or close to it). [The first two series will support this one.]
Look, ultimately the point is not to have a good Ramadan, it’s to have a good death. We don’t know if we’ll reach Ramadan again. What we do know is that we’ll all die. It could be before Ramadan or after Ramadan. In the end, it doesn’t matter. The important thing is that we strive to be obedient slaves of Allah in our lives so that we attain His Pleasure and so get Paradise.
I can do one of two things:
1) Alternate between the above three and the other posts (which may contain post-Ramadan lectures/articles, resources, etc.)
2) Alternate between the first two and the other posts (which may contain post-Ramadan lectures/articles, resources, etc.) and have the Recover Ramadan on a daily basis. It will be short (seriously) and to the point (insha-Allah), with baby steps that we can take to improve ourselves.
So, what do you think? Comments please. Do you want the first option or the second option? Is there anything that you’d like discussed?
[It’s strange. I keep asking all of you but 99% of the time, I get zero response.]
The first step towards solving any problem is to accept that one has a problem and to want to change. And that acceptance is the biggest step that one can take towards solving the problem.
Now, you might say “My iman is really high! It’s not in shambles.” If so, that’s excellent, alhamdulillah. Just two questions though: 1) Is it as high as it was in Ramadan? and 2) Do all your actions reflect this?
I’ve seen many people who don’t seem to care that they were much more religious in Ramadan. It doesn’t seem to bother them that they’ve dropped off.
That, my friends, is a catastrophe.
So, my question to you is: If your iman has dipped after Ramadan, have you noticed? Does it bother you? Do you even want to recover what you lost? Do you want to be as righteous as you were in Ramadan?
If your answer is “yes”, then you might benefit from this series, insha-Allah.
My question exactly.
[Not to you. The question was to myself.]
Another day (night?), another brand new lecture.
I just found this one today so I haven’t listened to it yet.
Has your taqwa of Allah increased after Ramadan by Taalib Alexander (Download)
Here’s a nice lecture that I came across today. It talks about seeking Allah’s Forgiveness outside of Ramadan.
Doing Istighfar Outside Ramadan by Abu Saifillaah Abdul Qaadir
You know, it’s amazing. We bawl like babies on Laylatul Qadr asking Allah to forgive our sins. Then a few days after that, we return back to our sorry states. And then we return the next year all ready to bawl like babies on Laylatul Qadr.
Is this really sincerity? Or do we just keep deluding ourselves?
You know, if we were really sincere (and I have no idea about your sincerity so I’m not judging you), we wouldn’t need to be standing in prayer, listening to the Imam’s dua in the last ten nights of Ramadan, in order to desperately ask for Allah’s Forgiveness. We’d do it every time we transgressed against the rights of Allah, regardless of whether we were on top of Burj Khalifah or in Masjid An-Nabawi. For the sincere person, the place doesn’t really matter because they know that Allah is watching them all the time and that He is the All-Hearer and All-Seer.
“And march forth in the way (which leads to) forgiveness from your Lord, and for Paradise as wide as are the heavens and the earth, prepared for Al-Muttaqoon (the pious). Those who spend [in Allah’s Cause – deeds of charity, alms, etc.] in prosperity and in adversity, who repress anger, and who pardon men; verily, Allah loves Al-Muhsinoon (the gooddoers). And those who, when they have committed Fahishah (illegal sexual intercourse etc.) or wronged themselves with evil, remember Allah and ask forgiveness for their sins; – and none can forgive sins but Allah – And do not persist in what (wrong) they have done, while they know. For such, the reward is Forgiveness from their Lord, and Gardens with rivers flowing underneath (Paradise), wherein they shall abide forever. How excellent is this reward for the doers (who do righteous deeds according to Allah’s Orders).” [Surah Aal-Imran (3) :133-136]
And no, being from amongst the above mentioned people is not a dream. If it was not possible to do it, then Allah would not have mentioned it. So, ask Allah to make you from amongst them and then do the best that you can.
As long as you are still alive, it’s never too late for a fresh start.
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
Well, the flood of post-Ramadan articles continue. I think we should all keep reading and pondering of them.
From what I’m seeing, the post-Ramadan dip (or should I say “ditch”?) has started and we need to be aware of it. Now is really the time that we need to pay attention to our ibaadah.