Alhamdulillah… Infinite praise and thanks are due to Allah, Lord of the worlds, for His abundant Blessings during and outside Ramadhan. May His Peace and Blessings be upon Habibi Muhammad, his household, his companions and all those who follow his guided path.
10 days have elapsed from this year’s Ramadhan, which Allah has granted us another privilege to experience… Alhamdulillah. The bad news is; the keenness, with which we started the blessed month, seems to have started to fade out. This claim may not be true in your case, but it is, in the case of many. Whether we admit it, or not, it can be seen easily. I can see it in myself, first and foremost.
I’m not a marathon runner, nor am I a fan of it. I also don’t follow its events on the TV, nor do I pay attention to headlines about marathon events. But once in a while in the news, I see the crowd who successfully make it to the finish line, to be one-fourth less the crowd, that started, at the start line.
I see the beginning of Ramadhan as the start line of any marathon race. Everyone seemed energetic and excited, before the blow of the whistle. The excitement continues for the first few minutes (in the case of marathon race) or days (in the case of Ramadhan). Gradually, people start to fall out. We talked and discussed about Ramadhan impressively. But we have started to show demoralizing attitudes towards Ramadhan. I thought we have made enough provisions to sustain the entire journey of Ramadhan. Or was I wrong?
From day 5 of this year’s Ramadhan, one could notice, that the crowd has started to shrink. The figures started to drop. And the mosques, too, started to complain loneliness.
One can’t deny the fact, that Muslims look forward to Ramadhan with lots of excitement and love, and hence, the longing for mercy, forgiveness and acceptance from Allah, subhanahu wata’aalaa. That remains everyone’s wish. But we forget that, true excitement and love have to come with effort, been put in. When this is not achieved, and that’s the case this Ramadhan, the mosques start to be empty, while theatres gain more goers. A theatre (in the context of this article) is anywhere one goes for entertainment, be it at home (in front of the TV or computer) or outside the house (at the eateries, shopping malls or the literal theatres).
It’s also true, that, in order to achieve happiness, there must be a struggle. If going to theatres brings happiness, one must has worked hard and harder, in order to afford to go to such theatres. It’s never free. Likewise, the rewards, which we all aim for, and which we are all certain about, that they are distributed every day, throughout Ramadhan, don’t come for free, either. The price it requires is to fill up the mosques, in addition to other righteous deeds.
Perhaps, we all agree, that performing 8 Raka’ahs for Taraweeh is allowed. Performing 20 Raka’ahs is also permissible. The matter remains according personal preference. But honestly, it’s difficult to be convinced, that the congregation who leave the mosque after 8 Raka’ahs do leave, because they are really busy and/or are committed to very important matters. Neither are they physically unfit to stand to the end of the Taraweeh, with the Imam. The truth is, only a few have planned, from the very beginning to do 8 Raka’ahs throughout the blessed month of Ramadhan.
The evidence is, in the first few days, the number of those who performed 20 Raka’ahs till the end was bigger than those who stayed to finish 20 Raka’ah, after 5 days of Ramadhan elapsed. And the figure continues to drop, sadly.
As I write these lines, an old man comes across my mind.
This old man is in his late 60s, I guess (Update: The old man’s 78 years old! as of 2013). He can’t sit the normal/proper sitting, during the Tashahhud, and thus I see him kneeling, whenever we sit for Tashahhud. Despite that, as described, he has programmed his mind to start with the Imam, and finish with the Imam. The old man therefore stands as another Ramadhan inspiration for me, any time, I start to tell myself of tiredness.
Ramadhan is an annual event, but no Ramadhan is like any other Ramadhan. The possibility of you and I living to witness another Ramadhan is certainly uncertain. The amount of time we devote for Allah in this blessed month will reflect on how handsome and abundant our rewards shall be.
وَاصْبِرْ فَإِنَّ اللَّـهَ لَا يُضِيعُ أَجْرَ الْمُحْسِنِينَ
It means, “Be steadfast; for surely, Allah does not let the wages of the righteous be wasted.” [Surah Houd, 11:115].
The first 10 days of this Ramadhan, is now a matter of the past. The remaining two “10 days” (20 days) are future, in which we can still seize the opportunity to make history, for our Hereafter.
In other words, the beginning of the event is important. But to the achiever, the most important part of the event is rather the ending. The Prophet Muhammad, salla Allahu ‘alaihi wasallam, would spent all nights, come the last 10 days of Ramadhan. He would also enjoin his household, as he didn’t want any of them to be left behind. That’s what Sayyidatuna ‘Aishah, radhiya Allahu ‘anha, said in the Hadeeth authenticated by Imam(s) Al-Bukhari and Muslim:
كَانَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ إِذَا دَخَلَ العَشْرُ الأَوَاخِرُ مِنْ رَمَضَانَ أَحْيَا اللَّيْلَ وَأَيْقَظَ أَهْلَهُ وَجَدَّ وَشَدَّ المِئْزَرَ
It means, “When the last ten nights (of Ramadhan) would begin, Rasulullah, salla Allahu ‘alaihi wasallam. would keep awake at night (for prayer and devotion), awaken his family and prepare himself to be more diligent in worship.”
The most significant du’a we can supplicate to Allah with, in the remaining days of Ramadhan, especially when we pursue for Lailatul-Qadr, is the supplication the Prophet, salla Allahu ‘alaihi wasallam, taught Sayyidatuna ‘Aishah, radhiya Allahu ‘anha, when she asked him (in the Hadeeth reported by Imam Al-Tirmizhi):
قُلْتُ: يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ، أَرَأَيْتَ إِنْ عَلِمْتُ أَيَّ لَيْلَةٍ لَيْلَةُ القَدْرِ، مَا أَقُولُ فِيهَا؟ قَالَ: قُولِي: اللَّهُمَّ إِنَّكَ عَفُوٌّ تُحِبُّ العَفْوَ فَاعْفُ عَنِّي
It means, “I asked: “Yaa Rasulullah! If I realize (coincide with) Lailatul-Qadr, what should I supplicate in it?” He replied: “You should supplicate: Allahumma innaka `afuwwun, tuhibbul-`afwa, fa`fu `anni (O Allah, You are Most Forgiving, and You love forgiveness; so forgive me).”
Nothing worth rewards is can be achieved without bearing some pains. Many have started at the start line of the race, but only a few will make it successfully to the finish line. I hope to see you there!
May Allah empower us with the mental and spiritual determination required, to reach the finish line, and be entitled for the best prize possible, from Ramadhan. Ameen!
May Allah bless the one who finds this article useful and shares it. May Allah bless the Reader of this article. And may Allah accept from the Writer. Ameen.
I welcome your comments and would love to hear from you. Ramadhan Kareem!
Allah knows best.
Allahu Hafiz 🙂