Muslims after Ramadan: Change for the better or worse?
With Ramadan about to come to an end, an important question is raised: Will Muslims continue to worship Almighty Allah with the same enthusiasm they have been doing in Ramadan?
In fact, many of the Muslims who are used to worshipping Almighty Allah during Ramadan by offering Tahajjud (late night Prayer), remembering Almighty Allah, and reciting the Qur’an do radically change after Ramadan. They abandon these good acts, succumb to worldly temptations, and fall into sins. The mosques we see full of worshipers in Ramadan become almost empty after it. There are only a few who attend prayers in the mosque after Ramadan! Such a phenomenon requires contemplation and effective treatment on the part of reformers.
In this article we will try to shed light on some of the reasons behind this phenomenon and describe some treatment for it.
The most outstanding reason for this phenomenon may be that many Muslims no longer regard Ramadan as a month for purifying oneself and worshipping Almighty Allah sincerely, but as a month for practicing certain traditions that people are not supposed to neglect. We find, for instance, that some Muslims observe fasting but neglect to perform prayer, and may even offer the Tarawih Prayer without observing the prescribed Prayers.
It is not true faith that motivates those people to fast or offer Tarawih Prayer as much as it is the habit of doing such things in Ramadan. That is why those people return to the sins they used to commit before Ramadan, as soon as this blessed month is over.
Another reason for this phenomenon is the atmosphere of faith and peace that Muslims- even the sinners among them, feel during this blessed month. Almighty Allah causes evil spirits to be shackled in Ramadan and He causes the gates of Paradise to be opened. Besides, people find themselves inclined to obey Almighty Allah. This atmosphere makes it easy for people to get closer to Almighty Allah and avoid committing sins and wrongdoings.
However, when Ramadan is over and this atmosphere is gone, people return to the wrong way they used to follow before Ramadan.
A third reason is that people of weak faith get easily bored of worship. This can be seen by observing the number of people who perform Tarawih Prayer which shrinks gradually by the end of Ramadan in comparison to its beginning. Sincere worship provides the souls with tranquility and serenity, yet it requires one to resist one’s desires and whims so that it can be observed constantly.
To overcome these reasons, Muslims must bear in mind that their worship of Almighty Allah is not concerned with a certain place or time and that they are required to worship their Lord as long as they live. Allah Almighty says: [And serve thy Lord till the inevitable cometh unto thee.] (Al-Hijr 15: 99) [The ‘inevitable’ here refers to death]”
Muslims are also to realize that Almighty Allah has bestowed the month of Ramadan upon them so that they may seek to get closer to Him Most High and vie in doing good for His sake. If this is inculcated into the minds of Muslims, they will pay heed to worshipping Almighty Allah throughout their lives without relating this to the occurrence or departure of a certain month.
Concerning getting bored of worship, Muslims should take into consideration that sincere worship usually contradicts one’s whims and desires, and this requires them to resist themselves and strive to be true worshippers. Almighty Allah praises the believers who strive in His cause resisting their desires. He Almighty says: [And those who strive in Our (Cause), We will certainly guide them to Our Paths for verily Allah is with those who do right.]ž (Al-`Ankabut 29: 69)
The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) also said:
“The (Hell) Fire is surrounded by all kinds of desires and passions, while Paradise is surrounded by all kinds of disliked undesirable things.” (Muslim)
Hence, when a Muslim finds himself bored or tired of worship, he is not to yield entirely to this feeling; he should, rather, try to deal with it wisely. He should get some recreation, but at the same time he is not to give up worship altogether. He is to be moderate: neither should he excessively exhaust himself in worship, nor should he give vent to his desires of being amused and seeking worldly pleasures. One is to balance between spiritual and material desires.
When it comes to lacking the atmosphere of faith and peace that characterizes the month of Ramadan at times other than Ramadan, Muslims are to view this as a test of faith from Almighty Allah. Believers are always tested in this life; the self’s evil desires are a test and Satan’s whispers are another test, and so on.
Wise is he who avoids wrongdoings even if he is inclined to committing them and trains himself to obey Almighty Allah even if there is no one to support him in this regard. Allah Almighty has not set a certain time for worshipping Him; He Most High ordains people to worship Him, [till the inevitable cometh.] (Al-Hijr 15: 99)
Finally, he who truly worships Almighty Allah in Ramadan will change for the best after it, for it is a sign that one’s good deeds have been accepted when one is able to do further good deeds and vice versa.
Hence, we advise you, dear fasting Muslims, to continue performing good deeds that you were used to offering in this blessed month, bearing in mind that the most beloved deeds to Almighty Allah are those that are done constantly and regularly, even if they are little.
Allah Almighty says: [Say: truly, my prayer and my service of sacrifice, my life and my death, are (all) for Allah, the Cherisher of the worlds; no partner hath He: this am I commanded, and I am the first of those who bow to His will.] (Al-An`am 6: 162) According to this verse, one’s whole life is to be dedicated to serving Almighty Allah and obeying Him.
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