As we leave the blessed days and nights of Ramadhan and restart our normal lives outside of it, we may have a feeling that we are missing something very special.
What happened was that in the month of Ramadhan, we were so engaged in worship, in fasting, in the recitation of the Quran and praying Taraweeh and then all of a sudden it came to an end.
Yes, it came to an end with the blessed celebration of Eid-al-Fitr, but what are we supposed to do after it’s all done? Are we simply to go back to how our lives were before Ramadhan?
What Have We Gained from Ramadhan?
1. All Our Previous Sins Have Been Forgiven
We should know that if we spent our Ramadhan in the best way possible, fasting for the sake of Allah and hoping for the rewards and mercy of Allah, while at the same time using its days and nights to beg Allah for the forgiveness of our sins, then we are on a clean slate and all our previous sins have been forgiven by Allah.
This has been mentioned in the hadith of our Prophet Muhammad ﷺ when he said:
مَنْ صَامَ رَمَضَانَ إِيمَانًا وَاحْتِسَابًا غُفِرَ لَهُ مَا تَقَدَّمَ مِنْ ذَنْبِهِ
Whoever fasted the month of Ramadan out of sincere faith and hoping for reward from Allah, then all his past sins will be forgiven. (Bukhari)
2. Ramadhan Was a Time of Spirituality & Transformation
Ramadhan is a time when we stop to recharge our spirituality. It is a time when we reconnect with Allah. It is a time when we reconnect with the Quran and it is a time we learn to stay away from sins and bad deeds.
Ramadhan is also a time of transformation, where we change our lives, our actions, our habits and manners in accordance to the religion of Islam and the ways Allah loves.
Hopefully, we have achieved all this and more in the month of Ramadhan which has now passed.
Just imagine, there was a person who built a building, he built its foundation, layered it brick by brick, designed it beautifully until it was fully complete. Then after it was completed, he looked at it and started tearing it down, smashing it and breaking it until it falls to pieces.
Or a farmer who spends his time, money and effort growing his crops, he planted the seeds, he fertilized, he made sure it got water and everything else it needs. Then when it was fully grown, instead of harvesting it, he lit it on fire and watched it as it all burnt to ashes.
This is the condition of those who spent their Ramadhan in worship, in seeking forgiveness, in increasing their good deeds and decreasing their sin, only to return to their old ways immediately after Ramadhan is over.
Whatever they have gained during the month of Ramadhan, they are watching it slowly break down and burn away just like the builder and farmer.
What Should We Do After Ramadhan?
Ramadhan has ended but our lives have not yet ended.
وَاعْبُدْ رَبَّكَ حَتَّى يَأْتِيَكَ الْيَقِينُ
And worship your Lord until that which is certain comes to you. (15:99)
The irony of life is that the only thing which is certain about it is that death is going to come. Nothing else is certain. Not how much we’re going to earn, not where we will be tomorrow, not whether we will even be healthy and walking tomorrow. The only thing which is absolutely certain is that death will come to us.
So Allah says in this verse, continue to worship Allah until your last breath.
Ramadhan has ended and with it, obligatory fasting has ended for another year. But this doesn’t mean that fasting has to come to an end.
Optional fasting is still available for us to do at any time throughout the year.
In fact, our Prophet Muhammad ﷺ tells us:
مَنْ صَامَ رَمَضَانَ ثُمَّ أَتْبَعَهُ سِتًّا مِنْ شَوَّالٍ كَانَ كَصِيَامِ الدَّهْرِ
He who observed the fast of Ramadan and then followed it with six (fasts) of Shawwal. it would be as if he fasted the whole year. (Muslim)
Ramadhan has ended and with it the Taraaweeh prayers has ended. But this doesn’t mean that night prayer has to come to an end.
Standing in prayer at night and asking Allah for your wants and needs can be done at any night time throughout the year.
Ramadhan has ended and with it our opportunities for huge reward from our charity has ended. But this doesn’t mean that our charity has to come to an end.
Charity can be done at any time, at any place and in multiple ways throughout the year.
The Need for Consistency in Our Actions in Islam
We should choose at least one action for ourselves to continue doing after the month of Ramadhan. Whatever actions we choose, we should be moderate and consistent in them.
There are 2 extremes we should not go to. The extremes of not doing any actions whatsoever, and the extremes of doing too many actions at once and then stopping them due to not being able to continue doing them.
Our Prophet Muhammad ﷺ tells us:
أَحَبُّ الأَعْمَالِ إِلَى اللَّهِ تَعَالَى أَدْوَمُهَا وَإِنْ قَلَّ
The acts most pleasing to Allah are those which are done continuously, even if they are small. (Muslim)
Whether it is praying 2 Rakaat of extra Nafl Salaat every single day or giving one dollar every day in Sadaqah, whatever action we choose to do, we should do less but do it with consistency.
A great example of this is seen in the life of Bilal (r.a):
عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ ـ رضى الله عنه ـ أَنَّ النَّبِيَّ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ لِبِلاَلٍ عِنْدَ صَلاَةِ الْفَجْرِ “ يَا بِلاَلُ حَدِّثْنِي بِأَرْجَى عَمَلٍ عَمِلْتَهُ فِي الإِسْلاَمِ، فَإِنِّي سَمِعْتُ دَفَّ نَعْلَيْكَ بَيْنَ يَدَىَّ فِي الْجَنَّةِ ”. قَالَ مَا عَمِلْتُ عَمَلاً أَرْجَى عِنْدِي أَنِّي لَمْ أَتَطَهَّرْ طُهُورًا فِي سَاعَةِ لَيْلٍ أَوْ نَهَارٍ إِلاَّ صَلَّيْتُ بِذَلِكَ الطُّهُورِ مَا كُتِبَ لِي أَنْ أُصَلِّيَ
At the time of the Fajr prayer the Prophet ﷺ asked Bilal, “Tell me of the best deed you did after embracing Islam, for I heard your footsteps in front of me in Paradise.” Bilal replied, “I did not do anything worth mentioning except that whenever I performed ablution during the day or night, I prayed after that ablution as much as was written for me.” (Bukhari)
Bilal (r.a) would pray nafl Salaat after every wudhu he did consistently and this action was so loved by Allah that it raised his status with Allah and with his beloved Prophet ﷺ.