With Ramadan and Eid officially over and summer not far behind, we find ourselves getting back into the routine of our non-fasting, non-Taraweeh-praying schedules. On Eid, the Imam at the prayer I attended reminded the congregation: Eid is not the day to break the connection established with Allah during the month of Ramadan; rather, Eid is a day to celebrate the connection.
That means, not diving head-first into the old habits of watching television/browsing the Internet for countless hours a day, uncontrollably blasting music with all sorts of questionable messages into our ears, and abandoning fasting/praying regularly.
To prevent falling into these traps and becoming heedless, the Imam suggested we maintain our connection with Allah by keeping up the good habits we developed in Ramadan. While it’s highly unlikely to maintain a Ramadan schedule at other times during the year, a little consistency can go a long way.
1. Keep on Qur’an
You may not be able recite the same one-plus juz as you did in Ramadan, but you can make time for something. Try half a juz, or even a page. Can’t do a page? Do half a page. Something–anything. The Imam even suggested reading the shortest chapter in the Qur’an, Surah al-Kawthar, if you’re feeling tired and drained out from a long day. Don’t allow the day to pass without some Qur’an apart from the daily prayers.
2. Fasting is not only for Ramadan
The Prophet (PBUH) fasted many days outside the month of Ramadan. For starters, try the six days of Shawwal (the month we’re in right now!) to get used to upholding the spirit of fasting throughout the year.
Abu Ayub al-Ansari (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said: “Whoever fasted Ramadan, then followed it with six days in Shawwal, will (have it count) as the fasting of all time.”
So fasting 36 days equals fasting eternity…Wow, that sure is a bargain! In addition, we can do our best to fast the 13th-15th of each Islamic month or Mondays and Thursdays–encourage your families and friends too. Spread the blessings!
3. Pray those extra prayers
The Imam reminded the congregation about the Day of Judgment scene, when we will be questioned about our salaat. There will be holes in our salaat, but Allah will allow us to present our extra, nafl, prayers to fill in the holes. So each time our minds wandered in salaat, we could be covered if we perform some extra prayers.
I loved the example the Imam gave in regards to these extra prayers. Picture this: open your closet. See all those extra shoes, clothes, and glasses we have just in case something rips, stains, or breaks? Now, open the fridge. Alhamdulillah, that’s more food than we can eat in a day. It’s clear we spend a lot of time and money ensuring we and our families have enough to wear and eat. Now, post-Ramadan, we need to maintain those extra prayers, just in case we need them on the Day of Judgment.
Let’s keep the adrenalin going and maintain our good habits in these next 11 months. We want to keep strengthening or connection with Allah, not destroy it to smithereens. What are your plans to keep the Divine relationship going strong?