Dear brothers, the month of Ramadan is one that leaves the believer with a renewed feeling of Imaan, with a desire to be a better version of themselves and do carry on the standards set in the month.
We need to work hard in achieving this and the task is not an easy one. As we ask Allah SWT to keep us on the Straight Path in every prayer we read, we need to be able to arm ourselves with the means to be able to do this.
The imam referenced the 112th ayat of Sura Hud which is translated to say:
So remain on a right course as you have been commanded, [you] and those who have turned back with you [to Allah], and do not transgress. Indeed, He is Seeing of what you do.
Alongside this, the imam reminded us of the following hadith of the prophet SAWS in which he said:
“Fear Allah wherever you are, do good deeds after doing bad ones, the former will wipe out the latter, and behave decently towards people”
Dear brothers, we need to remember that the world is designed to veer us off this straight path. From the events around the world that tug at our hearts, to the everyday worries that distract us from worship and remembrance of Allah SWT.
We need to remain steadfast but also remember that this isn’t a challenge to overburden ourselves either. For many this has been a tough month and so the right course is to maintain a steady state of worship.
The imam reminded us of the following hadith to emphasise this point. It is translated to say:
“The religion (of Islam) is easy, and whoever makes the religion a rigour, it will overpower him. So, follow a middle course (in worship); if you can’t do this, do something near to it and give glad tidings and seek help (of Allah) at morn and at dusk and some part of night”.
And so what do we do to keep the imaan strong? The reminder concludes with 3 short practical tips which have been proven to keep the faith strong.
- Recite the Quran daily. Whether it’s a single ayat or a whole juz. Your journey is your own and its not to be compared to anyone else. Manage what you can and remember, Allah SWT loves consistency over everything else.
- Keep the masjid as your second home. Attend as many congregational prayers as possible. The strength of the congregation is a key part of keeping the faith strong. The reward of attending Isha and Fajr congregation is as if you prayed the whole night so the incentive is there.
- Fast sunnah fasts. Start small if you find this daunting but aim to get to a point where you are able to fast the sunnah prayers as often as possible. This affects the physical, mental and spiritual state in the best of ways. Begin with the 6 fasts of this month as the reward for fasting 6 in Shawwal is as if you fasted the whole year.
Dear brothers, the incentive for keeping the faith strong is many and the imam mentioned a few of them. Three of those are as follows:
- The main one is having a connection with Allah SWT at all times which leads to peace and tranquillity in the mind and heart.
- It will prevent you from falling into the traps of Shaitaan and adopting bad habits that you quit in the month of Ramadan.
- The highest of reward which is that Allah SWT will be pleased with you and grant you into Jannat insh’Allah.
Dear brothers, the month of Ramadan is now over and we are beginning our long stretch of 11 months before our blessed month returns back to us. Let us be of those people who are mentioned by Allah SWT in the 30th ayat of Sura Fusilat which is translated to say:
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.