The blessed month of Ramadan has finally come to an end.
It is the time to review our performance. You should ask yourself, “How did I do?” You should answer too, because except Allah, no one knows more about you than you.
As for me, I was doing OK at the beginning. As long as the initial enthusiasm of Ramadan was there, attending taraweeh, making dua, reciting the Quran-everything seemed very easy. However, when the initial enthusiasm emptied and I continued forcing myself, my nafs cried out, “Will you not relax a little bit?”
The irony is I relaxed thereafter.
Once you loosen up in a race where you should only improvise, it is very difficult to bounce back. Before I could get out of my relaxed state, the Ramadan was almost over, and I ended up the month with a feeling that I could have achieved more.
Suddenly I now remember the sacrifice of the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ).
Since the starting of the revelation, the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) stood before his Lord every night to pray the night prayer. Good days, bad days, war, starvation- nothing mattered. He (ﷺ) would stand before his Lord. And he (ﷺ) would spend more than half of the night standing before the Most High-glorifying Him, crying before Him, and seeking His forgiveness for himself and for his nation. He (ﷺ) continued this practice for t-w-e-n-t-y t-h-r-e-e years.
He never wanted rest.
Such was his companions. They would worship Allah relentlessly.
Their nafs did not ask for rest.
But my nafs failed to sustain a month. It cried for rest. It could not give up worldly comfort for the sake of Allah even for a month.
Why is it that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) and his companions could dedicate their whole life in worshipping Allah and I could not sustain a single month?
It is because they had conquered their nafs. They had Nafs al-Mutma`inna. Such kind of nafs finds tranquility in nothing except in the remembrance of Allah. This type of nafs loves nothing more than the remembrance of Allah.
Whereas I have a nafs that in theory loves the remembrance of Allah, but when put in practical test, it craves for rest and comfort.
That is why it is no wonder that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) and his companions brought a revolutionary change in 23 years whereas today the condition of the Muslim Ummah is not changing.
Nothing is free in this world. Change comes with a price tag. It demands your time, effort, money, and even life.
As for the companions of the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ), they were satisfied with the remembrance of Allah. Everything else compared to the remembrance of Allah was totally insignificant. That is why they could sacrifice their time, wealth, and even life without thinking twice. Thus Allah granted them victory.
As for us, we fail to sacrifice our time and comfort for the sake of Allah even in the blessed month. It means we have failed to love the remembrance of Allah above anything else. And unless the remembrance of Allah becomes everything in our life, we will not be able to dedicate our worldly comforts for the sake of Allah and for the sake of Muslim Ummah, and unless we are able to do so, our condition will also not change.
Presently there are one billion Muslims. O-n-e B-i-l-l-i-o-n. Still the brothers and sisters in East Africa had to spend this Ramadan in starvation. The answer is clear. How can I spend for my brothers and sisters, when I cannot give up seemingly simple comforts for the sake of remembering Allah, who has given me everything?
This is something I need to reflect about. This is something I believe many of us need to reflect about too.
Aside from this refection, we also need to remind ourselves something else-something very important.
That the remembrance of Allah has yet not been the most beloved thing of our hearts, it means that we are still in a precarious situation. It means we are still vulnerable about falling back into sin and going back to our old habits. We should thus be very watchful and continue to strive hard for the rest of the year to achieve Nafs al-Mutma`inna, lest we fall into the trap of Shatain, who is now extremely enraged as he failed to perturb the believers for a month, and commit a sin that may nullify whatever we have achieved in the holy month in the blink of an eye.
Finally comes the rejoicing part.
What do we rejoice about? What do we celebrate on the Eid day?
We celebrate the Praise of Allah. We entertain His Glroy. We rejoice by saying:
اللّهُ أكبر اللّهُ أكبر
Allah is Great, Allah is Great
لا إلَهَ الا اللّه
there is no God, but Allah
اللّهُ أكبر اللّهُ اكبر
Allah is Great, Allah is Great
و لِلّه الحمدَ
to Him belongs all Praise.
During his last day on this earth, when the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) was too sick to perform prayers, Abu Bakr [رضى الله عنه] was about to lead the Muslims in Fajr prayer. As reported by Anas Ibn Malik [رضى الله عنه], the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) wanted to see the Muslims praying one last time. He (ﷺ) raised the curtain of Aisha [رضى الله عنه]’s room, smiled cheerfully, and put the curtain down.
The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) may have also shed a tear of joy.
Even at times of such physical pain, the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) got comfort seeing the believers praying. He (ﷺ) got comfort thinking that Muslims after him will be praying like this for centuries, celebrating the Praise and the Glory of Allah.
And by the mercy of the Allah, the legacy of the Messenger (ﷺ) continued. Muslims have been rejoicing the Glory and Praise of Allah for fourteen hundred years, and the biggest demonstration of such rejoicing in any Muslim community is the Eid Prayer.
Every Eid day I thus remember that smile of the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) when I see Muslims reciting the takbeer and glorifying Allah. Do you not feel proud when you think that Allah has blessed you to be part of such glorious legacy? Do you not feel humbled and overwhelmed that Allah has blessed you with such honor? Do you also not shed a tear of joy and humility?
Taqabbalallahu minna wa Minkum. Eid Mubarak!