Yes, Ramadan was our second chance (remember?) and Dhul Hijjah is our third.
So, why should we stick to “remembering” (i.e. dreaming about) Ramadan? Why don’t we just take advantage of the ten best days* that are coming up in order to give ourselves another little Ramadan?
[*Actually, even the days of Tashreeq (11th-13th) have some virtues so we shouldn’t forget about them. Sadly, most people do exactly that because they’re too busy partying their brains out because it’s Eid.]
What should we do?
1) Aim for a fresh start (don’t wait for Dhul Hijjah, do it NOW). Seek Allah’s Forgiveness and ask Him to make things easy for you.
2) Read about the virtues of Dhul Hijjah and write down all the specific deeds that can be done during this time (e.g. fasting, takbeer, etc).
[Note: We need to read about Eid Al-Adha and the days of Tashreeq too as they are a religious celebration, not a 4 day party.]
Rather than waiting for next Ramadan to come, we need to pretend that it is already here and that we are in the last ten days (hey, there’s even an Eid after them!).
3) Bring out all those Ramadan Resolutions papers out from the bottom of your drawers. Oh yes.
However, now we’re going to call this “Dhul Hijjah resolutions”.
Look over those resolutions and then write down your goals for these 10 days.
4) Write down all the good things that you did in Ramadan and then aim to do them in Dhul Hijjah as well.
5) Write down where (and why) you messed up in Ramadan and take steps to rectify that in Dhul Hijjah.
6) Try to get the Eid shopping done before these 10 days.
7) Encourage everybody to participate in Dhul Hijjah.
See, one of the great things about Ramadan is that everybody is trying to be good, so it’s much easier for us to be good.
8) Try to prepare a checklist for Dhul Hijjah (we have so many Ramadan checklists but not even one Dhul Hijjah checklist!).
It’s always easier to remember things when you have a checklist (we’re not elephants, remember?)
[Note: To the menstruating women, remember that even though you can’t pray or fast, you can still do a lot.]
9) Try to prepare a dua list as well (remember the wonderful day of Arafah?)
10) Remember that ultimately the purpose of Ramadan is the same as Dhul Hijjah: to get closer to Allah.
Therefore, we should once again aim to continue the good deeds even after Dhul Hijjah. If we just intend them for Dhul Hijjah and don’t want to bother doing them after that, it means we have a problem with our sincerity.
So, let’s get going, insha-Allah. We don’t want to waste our third chance, would we?
[Yes, the Remember Ramadan Series is finally here.]
Yes indeed. Elephants are quite sharp (although they look quite dumb). They remember old acquaintances and they can harbour grudges for years.
Human beings? Well, the word “insaan” (humans in Arabic) actually comes from the word which means “to forget” (ditto for the word “nisaa” which is the word for women in Arabic, which makes perfect sense as women are especially forgetful).
So, what did we (i.e. Muslims) forget this time?
Ramadan, of course.
Remember Ramadan? It ended just 27 days ago. That’s less than a month.
Remember Ramadan? That’s the month we all love because we can finally stop all our excuses and submit to the Lord of the Worlds.
Remember Ramadan? That’s the month that exposes us for the big frauds and liars that we really are.
Was I too blunt?
Well, sorry. Someone had to point out that elephant* in the room.
[This elephant has no relation to the aforementioned elephants. It’s just that the English language seems to have far too many sayings dedicated to elephants.]
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.