Dear brothers and sisters, with Ramadhan over now we are embarking on another 11 months of striving and struggling until the blessed month approaches us once again.
For those of us who reflect back on the month gone, we often are self-critical and wonder whether our deeds were even good enough? Was our Ramadhan a productive one? Were our fasts, our deeds and our prayers accepted?
Scholars state that one of the signs of our good deeds being accepted is the continuation of the good deeds we established during the month of Ramadhan. Likewise, a sign that we may be amongst those whose deeds weren’t necessarily accepted by Allah SWT is when the bad deeds that were left out in Ramadhan are resumed after Eid. Allah knows best.
Allah SWT communicates to us the obligation to be steadfast in our religion. It is an obligation on us all. But what does it mean to be steadfast?
This is when a person remains firmly on Allah SWT paths and commands as they have been instructed by Him to do so.
Allah SWT reminds us of this in the Glorious Quran when in Sura Ash-Shuraa, ayat 15 it says:
So to that [religion of Allah ] invite, [O Muhammad], and remain on a right course as you are commanded and do not follow their inclinations but say, “I have believed in what Allah has revealed of the Qur’an, and I have been commanded to do justice among you. Allah is our Lord and your Lord. For us are our deeds, and for you your deeds. There is no [need for] argument between us and you. Allah will bring us together, and to Him is the [final] destination.”
Dear brothers and sisters, Ramadhan enabled us to boost our levels of worship to Allah SWT. But now with Ramadhan gone, we must keep hold of our habits and whatever standard we established to the best of our ability. Nobody is perfect but the effort and intention must be there if we are to be successful in front Allah SWT.
Allah SWT mentions the reward of steadfastness in the Holy Quran, in Surat Fussilat, ayat 30 in which He says:
Indeed, those who have said, “Our Lord is Allah ” and then remained on a right course – the angels will descend upon them, [saying], “Do not fear and do not grieve but receive good tidings of Paradise, which you were promised.
Dear brothers and sisters, therefore the remainder of this khutba offers 5 boosters to achieve steadfastness and maintain the standard we set for ourselves last month:
- Clinging to the Quran. The Quran is the rope of Allah. Whoever clings to it then inshAllah Allah SWT will prevent him from slipping. Make it a part of your life. Through recitation, listening and understanding it through translation, it will provide you with tranquility and the ability to remain focused in your efforts inshAllah.
- Dua. Staying steadfast is essentially a matter of the heart my dear brothers and sisters. Therefore the best way to achieve this is to implore our Lord to instill that desire to be steadfast into our hearts and thus into our minds.
- Dhikr. The rememberance of Allah SWT is also a key to steadfastness. Whether that is through quiet contemplation of his mercy and blessings in our lives to clutching the tasbih, dhikr is like a strong fortress that protects us from falling.
- Keeping righteous company. We are already blessed in that we have this place which is our collective home. And everyone here is our family. We should lean on one another to be steadfast and this can be best achieved by establishing the practice of coming to the masjid for congregational prayers every day.
- And lastly, remembering death and the hereafter. Dear brothers, it is a certainty of this life and although we live in a society where death is a taboo topic, we shouldn’t feel that and instead we should be comfortable with this fact. As a result it will enable us to keep us on our toes as we will become acutely aware of how fickle life really is. Dear brothers and sisters, try to think of the Jannah that awaits your arrival insh’Allah. It is worth giving your all and then some. It is worth every drop of blood, sweat and tears. You can convince yourself to keep walking if you remind yourself of the beautifully amazing abode that lies ahead.
Dear brothers and sisters, this life wouldn’t be a test if it was easy. However, with these tips we can continue to achieve the standards we set for ourselves in the blessed month of Ramadhan and more insh’Allah.
May Allah SWT maintain the boost we acquired in Ramadhan. May Allah SWT make us steadfast in our worship. And may Allah SWT reward us for every single act of steadfastness we perform for the sake of Allah SWT.
Ameen wal hamdullilahi rabilalameen.