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~ Muslim by Choice ~
"Allah! None has the right to be worshipped, but He." Surat Al-Baqarah: 255

What's After Ramadan?

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Ramadan Nights 2004: What's after Ramadan?

12th November 2004

Amr Khaled

Translated by www.daralislamlive.com


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Introduction

In the Name of the Most Merciful, the Most compassionate, and prayers and peace be upon Prophet Mohamed.

I'd like to wish all the Muslims everywhere a happy feast, as the month of Ramadan is coming to its end.

I'd like to start this episode by something that we tackled at the very beginning of Ramadan. I'll remind you by the verses of fasting in the Holly Quran. Allah (SWT) says: "O Believers, Fasting is prescribed to you in order to be pious, for counted days. Those who are ill or traveling should fast on other days……" Also Allah (SWT) says: "And if MY people ask you about ME, I'm near, I grant the prayer of the one who prays to ME, if he prays"

Thank Allah, we all performed great things that we usually can't do in the ordinary days. Some of us completed reading the Holy Quran once; others completed reading it twice and more. Some of them spent the nights in prayer and others wept out of their fear from Allah (SWT); where they never thought their hearts were so pious.

Some of us donated a lot of money for the poor people and they weren't afraid from becoming poor themselves. Many people did their best to the extent that I met some youth who say that if they die on this current state of piousness and worship it is much better for them and they will be satisfied.

Some of us could achieve the night of power "Al-Qadr" while others just got conscious to the importance of Ramadan only a few days ago. For both; those who worshipped hard since the beginning of Ramadan and those who wasted Ramadan; both teams now feel sad for the departure of Ramadan.

We had a lot of lovely memories related to it. Dear fellows, if you remember all the good memories in your lives, you'll find most of it related to worship. One of the pious successors called "Ibn Rajab" wrote a poem long ago at the last night of Ramadan expressing his sad feelings for the departure of the Holy month. When I read his poem, I found my tears overflowing, as he really expressed how painful the departure of Ramadan is.

"Ibn Rajab" said:

O month of Ramadan, slow down. (Meaning: wait and don't go so quickly)

Tears of your lovers are overflowing. (Meaning they weeping for the departure of Ramadan)

Their hearts are about to be broken. (For the departure of the Holy month)

So, slow down, lest the last moment before going apart calms down our pains.

Lest a man who was away from Allah can catch up with those who are accepted. (Meaning that maybe some people who were away from Allah can repent in the last few moments of Ramadan).

Lest Allah (SWT) sets a man who committed a lot of sins free of his sins.

Lest Allah (SWT) forgives a man who deserves hell.

O month of Ramadan, slow down.

This poem really expresses the pious tender feelings of that man for the departure of the Holy month. Now we have to wonder: who were accepted and who were not?? For those who were accepted I say "Congratulations", while for those who were not I say: "May Allah (SWT) reward you for this disaster. We are all for Allah and we'll return back to Him"


After Ramadan Advices

Now, after the beautiful month passed away, we should be practical and think about what we'll do after Ramadan. Dear fellows, please take care of these coming words. They are not memorized words, but they are the result of experience of a man who attended many months of Ramadan and watched how people fell down after Ramadan and how others could remain steadfast after Ramadan.

Dear fellows, please accept my advices for what to do after Ramadan. My aim is not to say that I'm experienced or sophisticated, but my aim is to give you all my experience from what I watched myself. There are common factors between those who feel down and those who could continue after Ramadan.

My first advice for you is: Take care of your devil.

For the whole month of Ramadan, you've been doing your best in worship. Now, after Ramadan had come to an end, what will happen?? Certainly you'll decrease your worship efforts, seeking for a rest. It is normal that we need a rest after exerting a great effort. However, notice that in this time while you're saying that you need a rest, your devil is being set free from its jail. At this same moment when you're seeking rest, your devil is being set free and is in its worst cases of wildness and fury. That's because it's been exerting a great effort all through the year and now after Ramadan Allah (SWT) has forgiven you for all the previous sins and misdeeds.

Do you know what the devil wants now? It wants to make everyone commit a serious misdeed in this first week after Ramadan. He wants to do so, to make you become desperate of yourself, as in spite of all your exerted efforts, you fell in sins and misdeeds so quickly after Ramadan.

Dear fellows, do you notice the sins and misdeeds people commit on the first days of the feast (Eid)? That's because of the wildness and fury of the devil. It wants to make you fall in such misdeeds so quickly; it doesn't want to waste time! Remember that the devil has an aim that it works for so badly. It wants all of us in hell, so it will seize the opportunity of your slackness to make you commit serious misdeeds.

Such misdeeds like an illegitimate relation between a man and a woman, or a strong clash and trouble between a man and his wife or even a serious problem and trouble between you and your parents. In brief, Satan wants to make us lose all the reward we got from Allah (SWT) during the month of Ramadan. It wants to do so to make us become desperate of ourselves and think "we are so bad and we'll never be accepted by Allah (SWT), so no need to worship any more because this same seduction and falling in sins will always happen to us after worship"-That's what the Satan wants us to believe in.

This meaning is expressed in this verse of Holy Quran, when Allah (SWT) said: "and the devil achieved what it believed about them..."

What did the devil believe about them?? It believed that even if they fast, pray for whole nights, feel pious and weep out of fear for Allah (SWT), He'd seduce them again so easily and make them commit sins (like falling in sins on the first days after Ramadan).

But listen to the rest of the verse, where Allah (SWT) says: "and the devil achieved what it believed about them, so they followed him except a group of believers."

Now we have to ask everyone: are you among those whom Satan could seduce, or you are among that group of believers who resisted Satan and turned it down.

Dear fellows, I want you all to remember last Ramadan. Did the Satan achieve what I believed about you?? Did you fall in such sins right after Ramadan? Did you allow the devil to rejoice at your misfortune of falling in sins right after Ramadan?

Listen to this lovely simile of the Holly Quran, when Allah (SWT) says: "And don't be like a woman who tore down her yarn…" It's like when a lady keeps yarning a pullover or a coat for a long time and had already exerted a lot of effort and time for it, then at the last thread, instead of yarning it, she pulled it out so the whole pullover was lost!!

"And don't be like a woman who tore down her yarn, after its hardness"

So, what's the advice we should all follow now? The advice is:

1- Avoid sins on the first week after Ramadan. Avoid any illegitimate relation between a man and a woman, troubles between married couples, problems and troubles between you and your parents and avoid the bad friends who might take you to bad places, claiming that you've done your best for a whole month and it's now time for rest!

But why should we resist Satan especially in the first week after Ramadan? That's to make it know that you have really changed. Satan's expectations are that as soon as it seduces you, you'll fall for it. When it tries to seduce you and finds you resisting, it will know that you're really changed and that its old ways don't work any more! By the way, resisting sins has a very lovely taste, even more lovely than committing the sin itself. It's a great feeling when you find yourself strong, unlike the shameful feeling when you fall in misdeeds right after Ramadan. You'll feel so weak then. Notice that Satan uses all its strength and tricks to make you commit serious misdeeds in those first days after Ramadan. It will try its best to make you fall.

I'm not saying that you'll never commit sins again. Everyone of us commits sins, but try to steadfast in that first week after Ramadan in order to achieve a better place among believers and in order to assure for the Satan that you're really changed, so that its old ways doesn't work any more. Sure it will search for new ways to deal with you, but this means you are not that same as before. In other words, you've been promoted to a higher place during Ramadan. If every one of us did so, it means that the whole Islamic nation will be better after Ramadan and Satan will be astonished of how the whole Islamic nation was promoted after Ramadan. It's as if Ramadan is the month of prospering for the Muslims.

I'll give you an example to express this meaning. Winter is the season of prosper for the soil; it waits for winter every year because during that season, it rains a lot and the soil gets all its needs from water during winter. When winter is over, the good soil still keeps that storage of water and makes use of it for the rest of the year.

Ramadan is the same for Muslims. It's the month that gives us spiritual strength and worship will that we should keep for the rest of the year. Usually, after Ramadan we throw back all the blessings we obtained during Ramadan. Please, let's not do the same this year. Let's keep our storage of spiritual strength, not only for ourselves, but for the whole Islamic nation and make this be your intention: You'll keep and retain the blessings you obtained during Ramadan for the welfare of the whole Islamic nation. So, that was our first advice, which is to resist the Satan with all your strength in the first week after Ramadan.

The second advice is:

2- Avoid losing your spiritual energy after Ramadan. Do you remember what you did during Ramadan? Do you remember those nights when you kept praying for long hours and those tears you shed? Now after Ramadan is over, the first thing that crosses your mind is that you want to take a rest. Usually people take a rest those first days and start missing the dawn prayers. Also, when you go to mosques after Ramadan, you feel sad when you find them empty of people. When you ask why, you find the only reply is: because Ramadan is over. You also find the Holy books dusty again as no one reads in it any more.

You find many people's worship wills starting to fade right after Ramadan and the worship tasks they were used to during the month, are fading one after another.

So, what should we do now? Should we keep the same as we were during Ramadan? That's completely impossible!! Let's be realistic!! We can't be at that same spiritual level of Ramadan because Ramadan is a blessing from Allah (SWT) for all Muslims. Let's agree on the minimum level of worship tasks, so that when our spiritual will decreases, it stops at the minimum level. Let's agree on some tasks that we should do during the first two weeks after Ramadan. Let's agree on five main tasks that we MUST keep on them, during the first two weeks after Ramadan.

Start reading the Holy Quran from its beginning again. I'm not asking you to complete reading it in 30 days as before, but at least read one page every day. I know it's feast time (Eid) and we all want to have fun, so I'm asking you to read only one page of the Holy Quran.

Supplicating to Allah (SWT), even for two minutes after our fifth daily prayer. I'm not asking you to pray the same way you did during Ramadan, but at least two minutes after the fifth prayer. I think the events in the Islamic countries will urge us enough to pray.

Praising Allah (SWT) every day, even the day and night praising only (Thikr).

Pray the five prayers in congregation. For men, pray as much as you can at the mosque, but not less than two prayers at mosque. For ladies, pray in congregation too. The most important prayer is the dawn prayer, dear all.

The last thing that will help you do the previous four tasks is having good pious friends. Choose a pious friend and catch up with him/her. Ask him/her to support you the first two weeks after Ramadan.

If you stick to these five tasks for only 2 weeks after Ramadan, you'll find yourself promoted greatly. That's because you remained on the way of Allah (SWT) even with a less effort than that of Ramadan. Just make sure you're keeping those five daily tasks.

Some people might ask: when will we take a rest then?? For them I reply: there's no rest in this world, the rest is in the grave!!!

Once, the imam "Ahmed Ibn Hanbal" was asked: when can a human rest?? The imam replied: "when he puts his first leg in paradise"

We'll find rest only when we enter paradise. There we'll meet our dear prophet (PBUH) and his companions; we'll meet all our beloved people of family and friends, we'll find the happy relations between married couples and we'll find all what crosses our minds. That's the rest in paradise; but till then we have to work and exert effort because this world is just a place for work and exerting effort. Don't ever say that you'll rest for the whole feast (Eid)!! As for myself, I'll pass the first day of feast with my family and starting from the second day we'll start preparing the program of "life makers". We all have a lot of work and we all should reform and add to this life.

There's one last chance. On the last day of Ramadan and at the last minutes before the sunset, try your best to pray for Allah (SWT) to set you free from hell. This shows that till the last minutes, when the door of forgiveness is being closed, you're still begging Allah (SWT) to forgive you.

I'll never forget that scene of Egyptian youths at the mosques of Egypt, who used to gather on the last day of Ramadan before the sunset and pray for Allah (SWT) with all their strength and abject for HIM as much they can to set them free from hell. I'll never forget how abject they were between the hands of Allah (SWT) at the last minutes before the last sunset, i.e. before the end of Ramadan, asking HIM (SWT) to forgive them and set them free from hell.

There's one last question that crosses the minds of all of those who listen to us now. Everybody wonders: "Are we accepted this Ramadan? Are we set free from hell this Ramadan?" does anybody know the answer for such a question?

The prophet's companions used to worship hard and exert their efforts. When they finished, they were so worried and disturbed, wondering if Allah (SWT) had accepted what they did or not?

Once, the lady "Aisha" asked the prophet (PBUH): what does this verse of the Holy Quran mean: "And those who do what they did and their hearts are scared…" She asked the prophet (PBUH) if that verse meant those who commit serious misdeeds then become afraid of Allah (SWT)?? The prophet (PBUH) replied: "No, Allah (SWT) meant those who worship hard, then become so disturbed and scared wondering if Allah (SWT) accepted their worship or not"

Dear fellows, I have a method that makes us figure out if we are almost accepted or not. Of course we don't know what Allah (SWT) accepted and what HE didn't, but it's an approximate way to give us a guideline and hope.

I got that method from the Holy Quran, as Allah (SWT) says: "O Believers, Fasting is prescribed to you in order to be pious…" this means that if we fast correctly, we'll become pious after fasting. Being pious means that you are mostly obeying Allah (SWT) and avoiding misdeeds and sins. So, watch yourselves after Ramadan. If you find that your worship faded and that you committed misdeeds, this means you didn't fast correctly. If we fast, yet we don't become pious, it means our fasting was not accepted. But if you find yourself better and more pious after Ramadan, with less misdeeds than before, this means that your fasting and worship are accepted. You might find people who quit smoking and other sins after Ramadan. You might find others really different after Ramadan and changed to the better, even a slight change. All of those are signs of the acceptance of their worship and that they're set free from hell.

I always try this method after Ramadan to see if I'm accepted or not and I know many youths who do it as well, so let's all try it.


Maintaining your Companionship with Allah

Now we come to the last point of our episode. I just want to remind you with that companionship we had with Allah (SWT) during the month of Ramadan. Remember the worship, the prayers, the tears…etc. Please dear fellows, don't forget that companionship and keep it in your hearts.

Here I want to address our Muslim youths and ladies. I ask them to remain on the way of Allah (SWT) and never sell that precious companionship. That's because youths are our last hope. Yes, you youths are the last hope for Islam, so I beg you not to sell Islam or not to be careless dealing with issues for the welfare of our Islam. We need every man and every lady to carry this issue of welfare of Islam on their shoulders.

Ladies have a serious role in this issue. Ladies are our mothers, sisters, wives and sometimes work owners, when they truly carry that issue of welfare of Islam; they are very much effective and can move hundreds of men. For that reason, the enemies of Islam tried their best to convince ladies that Islam was unfair to them and that Islam deprived them from their rights, which is not true. I beg you all dear fellows to steadfast after Ramadan and never to give up supporting our religion.

One of the Orientalists studied Islam deeply and after he finished his studies he said: "What a great religion is Islam, but it has no true men to work for it". That's why we have to continue our "Life Makers" program and every one of us has to work hard for Islam by reforming and adding to this life. It doesn't matter if we failed at the first trials; we'll try again and again till Allah (SWT) knows that we're true in our intentions and finally grants us success.

Now, I want to ask one more question: "Is the feast (Eid) itself happy?!" We all celebrate it by new clothes, eating sweets, congratulating each other and visiting each other, but is the feast itself happy?? The answer is: How can the feast be a happy one, while Muslims in other countries are sad and live in distress, humiliation and poverty?? How can the feast be happy, while the "Aqsa" mosque is still captured??

I'm not asking you to not be happy at feast, but I'm asking you never to forget your brothers and sisters who are suffering in other countries. Remember them in your prayers and pray for them a lot. Enjoy your time, laugh and be happy, but never forget your Muslim brothers and sisters. Remember that the feast is for all of us, not only for you.


Concluding Thought

Now, the last thing I'd like to say is what we will do after Ramadan. We'll stop for sometime then resume the episodes of "Life Makers". That stop is not for a rest, but it's to prepare for "Life Makers" a strong preparation that we hope Allah (SWT) accepts.

I ask the youths of "Life Makers" to attend management courses as we work together in teams, so we should know how to manage such teams. Please continue in the project of ending the illiteracy of computer and also think about other projects. We have a job to do and you too have a job to do, so that when we resume the "Life Makers" we'll be all ready.

I ask those who didn't participate before in "Life Makers" to send us any ideas they have and those who already participate to keep on working hard. We should all keep this spiritual charge we got through Ramadan and use it to start a strong start soon. Please don't waste it.

Now let's all ask Allah (SWT) to accept our worship. Happy feast (Eid) for you all and may Allah (SWT) reward us good for every thing we did during Ramadan.

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Translated by the www.daralislamlive.com team. Copyright 2004-2005 © Daralislamlive.com E-Translation Publishing House. All rights reserved.

For more of these lectures, visit DaralislamLive.com.

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