Keeping That Imaan Strong after the Ramadan
Ramadan is one of the most beautiful times we experience in the year. There is a spiritual high in its true communal sense. However, soon after this month is over and we return to our daily life routines, many times we quickly lose the good practices we gained in this month. However, Allah ‘azza wa jall sent Ramadan as a beneficial gift to us through which we can attain a higher level of God-consciousness (taqwa) in our daily lives, to be continued even after Ramadan. Therefore, it is of great importance that we reflect on the ways we can maintain our taqwa in a sustainable manner even after Ramadan. In this article, I share 5 short tips that can help us maintain our taqwa after Ramadan has passed, inshaAllah.
1. Leaving sins
One of the key ways to gain taqwa is through leaving sins. This is because sinning is an obstacle between the slave and Allah SWT. Sins make our hearts ill and it makes good deeds feel like a burden. The less sins a slave is involved in, the more he can enjoy doing good deeds and get closer to Allah SWT The Prophet PBUH said:
“A person is certainly deprived of provisions because of a sin that afflicted them.” [Ibn Majah- Hasan]
And from the greatest of provisions is the closeness to Allah SWT and feeling the sweetness of emaan in our hearts. Apart from losing other provisions, sins will rip us off this great provision of being close to Allah SWT. Therefore, one of the easiest ways of maintaining our taqwa even after Ramadan is to deliberately stay away from sins that we know we easily tend to fall into. It can be sins of the tongue like backbiting, sins of the body like missing prayers, or sins of the heart like constantly assuming bad of other people.
Remembering Allah SWT through the dhikr taught by the Prophet PBUH is one of the easiest and most effective ways of maintaining our taqwa. And rightfully so, as soon as Ramadan is over and the evening of Eid arrives, we are encouraged to say the takbeer aloud. It is such a great reminder for us that we bid farewell to Ramadan with the dhikr of Allah SWT and come out of this month in His obedience, and not His disobedience.
Furthermore, the following hadith is one of the most relevant hadith for lay people like us who have a busy life and many responsibilities. Abdullah ibn Busr RA narrated that one of the Prophet’s Companions said, “O Messenger of Allah. I am overwhelmed by the so many injunctions of Islam. So tell me something to which I may hold fast.” The Prophet PBUH replied,
“Keep your tongue wet with the remembrance of Allah.” [At Tirmidhi]
From the many adhkar we can do on a daily basis, sitting, walking, going to work and any other ordinary situation, this hadith shows one of the easiest ways to remember Allah SWT that pleases Him:
Abu Hurairah narrated that the Prophet PBUH said: “There are two statements that are light on the tongue, heavy on the scales, and beloved to the Most Merciful: Subahana Allahi wa bihamdih, Subhana Allahi Al-`Azeem.” (Glory and praise be to Allah, Glorified is Allah, the Most Great) [Bukhari]
It is no surprise that Allah SWT has reserved tremendous rewards for fasting even after the month of Ramadan. Abu Ayyub RA reported that the Messenger of Allah PBUH said:
“Whoever fasts Ramadan and follows it with six days of Shawwal, it will be as if he fasted for a lifetime.” [Narrated by Muslim, Abu Dawud, al-Tirmidhi, al-Nasai and Ibn Majah]
If we reflect on this, we can see that fasting has been chosen as one of the obligatory acts in the month of Ramadan to help us increase in taqwa. Following the month, Allah SWT has also encouraged us to continue the practice of fasting even after Ramadan. Therefore, if possible, we can continue fasting regularly in the months outside Ramadan to help us maintain the beautiful taqwa we have been gifted in the month of Ramadan.
4. Continuing the small good deeds
Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said,
“Take up good deeds only as much as you are able, for the best deeds are those done regularly even if they are few.” [Sunan Ibn Ma’jah 4240]
It may have been that extra effort in Ramadan to pray a little more in your sujood, trying not speak ill of others even if they were on the wrong; whatever it was, try holding onto it. Our lives transform through these little habits we develop deliberately, and this is why taqwa is so crucial. It creates that heightened sense of awareness in us that helps us stay away from even the tiniest action that can make Allah SWT displeased with us. So, whatever good habits we developed in the month of Ramadan, let us intentionally identify them, and try to hold onto them post Ramadan.
5. Reciting the Quran
“Have glad tidings! Verily, one end of this Quran is in the hand of Allah SWT and another end is in your hands. Adhere to it, for then you will not be destroyed, and you will never go astray after it.” [Tabarani]
This hadith shows how beautifully the Quran connects us to Allah SWT. Allah SWT will never leave His end, therefore if the connection with us loosens it, is us who have abandoned our end of the Quran. The month of Ramadan taught us that if we intentionally make some time for the Quran, it is very possible to hold on to it after. We do not have to read a lot, but even that one ayah that we read sincerely with all of our heart can make us from His beloved and help us attain His forgiveness. And what else do we need when we have Allah’s SWT love and His mercy? Surely, He is enough for His slaves.
Ramadan comes and Ramadan goes. But it comes with a purpose. It comes to transform us. And the transformation will not sustain until we make a deliberate effort to maintain it on a more ordinary day outside of Ramadan. So I hope the above 5 tips helps us maintain that transformation, reach newer spiritual heights, and make us get closer and closer to our Rabb, Allah SWT.