Muslims do wait for the blessed month of Ramadan year after year, hoping that Almighty Allah may bestow mercy and forgiveness on them and keep them away from the Hellfire.
They start Ramadan extremely enthusiastic to worship Almighty Allah sincerely. They dust off their copies of the Qur’an and begin reading it daily. Moreover, most of them vie in finishing to read it completely whether one, two, or three times or more in Ramadan. Muslims also show great interest in offering the Tarawih Prayer and Tahajjud (late night Prayer). We see mosques full of people offering Prayers at times of the prescribed Prayers and even at other times to the extent that some may not find place inside the mosque and resort to praying on the pavement adjacent to the mosque. Muslims also show the best qualities in them in this blessed month. They offer the poor and the traveling iftar meals and give charity to the poor and needy. This, in fact, is the true Islamic atmosphere that should prevail all the year.
But one wonders if Muslims will keep practicing these good acts also after Ramadan.
And After Ramadan?
Almighty Allah honors Muslims by giving them this blessed month and enabling them to worship Him sincerely during it. But what about after Ramadan? In fact, I am afraid that Muslims, including me, may show negligence in worship after it.
Will Muslims after Ramadan give up reciting the Qur’an until the following Ramadan? Will they neglect offering congregational Prayers in mosques and abandon Tahajjud? Knowing the answer to these questions depends on how steadfast they will be on the right path one or two months after Ramadan. However, I fear that some will fail in keeping steadfast starting from the eve of `Eid following Ramadan!
To every person who has sincerely worshiped Allah, experienced the sweetness of worship during Ramadan, prostrated himself before Almighty Allah during Tahajjud, shed tears out of fear of Almighty Allah, and repented to Him sincerely: what will you do after Ramadan?
Almighty Allah has given us Ramadan as an opportunity to worship Him sincerely and do our best to strengthen our faith so that we continue in the same manner throughout the year until the following Ramadan, in which we exert further and further efforts to increase our faith and draw near to Allah.
Hence, one should not be a worshiper only in Ramadan but in all months, too, for the Lord of Ramadan is also the Lord of all months. One should not abandon the Qur’an or Tahajjud, or offering dhikr after Ramadan, nor should one give up voluntary fasting after Ramadan or neglect offering the prescribed Prayers in congregations in the mosque. One should, rather, keep offering these good acts after Ramadan even if in a lessened form: one, for instance, may recite only two pages of the Qur’an daily, offer few rak`ahs in Tahajjud, keep saying the morning and evening adhkar and observe fasting three days per (lunar) month (the thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth of each lunar month). This is the least that one can keep doing after Ramadan. But if one has higher ambitions in worship and aspires to be in the best place in Paradise, one is to exert one’s utmost and offers the best, not the least, which one can do in this respect.
Dear fellows in Islam, seize the opportunity given to you in this blessed month to strengthen your faith and worship Allah heart and soul. Strong faith and sincere worship are the best blessing that Almighty Allah bestows on believers. So do not waste this chance. Who knows, this may be the last Ramadan in your life, especially if you used to disobey Almighty Allah.
What About Non-Practicing Muslims in Ramadan?
Really lost is he who does not worship Almighty Allah in Ramadan and does not seek to seize the great chance given to him in this blessed month to strengthen his faith and reach the Night of Decree (Laylat Al-Qadr).
However, if Ramadan has passed and such a person has regretted wasting it, the chance of repentance is still there before him. His sincere repentance and wholehearted submission to Almighty Allah, even without his offering many acts of worship, may be better in Almighty Allah’s sight than lengthy standing in prayer offered by other worshipers. This person should try to get closer to Almighty Allah as if he were still in Ramadan: He is to observe congregational prayers in the mosque, offers Tahajjud, and recite the Qur’an regularly.
My final word is to those who have given up wrongdoings and sincerely worshiped Almighty Allah in Ramadan and turned unto Him Most High heart and soul. I would like to ask them: Is this devotion and worship out of your personal merits and skills? Of course not, it is Almighty Allah Who has bestowed upon you such a great honor of enabling you to worship Him. So you ought to be grateful and thankful to Him Almighty for making you Muslims and allowing you to worship Him along this blessed month. Surely gratefulness causes favors to persist. Allah Almighty says: [Remember My favor wherewith I favored you] (Al-Baqarah 2:40). He Almighty also says: [If ye give thanks, I will give you more] (Ibrahim 14:7).