In the absence of better words for the occasion, a late Eid Mubarak!
Wow what a month! So yet another Ramadan has past us by, yet another Ramadan we find ourselves bidding farewell to. Farewell to the month of good manners, farewell to the month of kindness, farewell to the month of generosity, farewell to the month of mercy, farewell to the month of discipline.
When we actually contemplate on the good we have achieved in this month and the spiritual calmness we felt within ourselves, do we really understand the purpose of ramadan. The reality is, ramadan to us was nothing but a school and a teacher. We all attended this school whether we wanted to or not. Some of us achieved great marks during it, some accomplished average marks, and some unfortunately failed.
Sadly, I am finding myself realising a disturbing trend amongst us Muslims where we take astonishing steps forward during Ramadan. Our manners improve without borders; our worship is both increased in amount and in sincerity and our generosity is unsurpassed. But as we take these great steps forward during the month, we seem to end up taking far more steps backwards as the year progresses. I find it particularly interesting how people immediately go back to their old ways once ramadan is over with facebook being filled with status's saying 'back to shisha' or 'back to my non hijabi days' and so on. Why must there be going 'back' to our old ways, when instead we should be moving 'forward'. Why is it that for every positive step forward during Ramadan, we’ll take two negative steps backwards during the rest of the year. We become the ramadan Muslims! Yes, even THEY have labels!
So I can’t help but take it as a personal obligation to remind my brothers and sisters to use the good we have gained during Ramadan as a training month for the upcoming year. Being a Muslim doesn't stop here, it continues amidst all the trials and tribulations we face throughout the year. So regardless of the month, regardless of where you are, who you are and your situation...don't let the end of Ramadan stop you from continuing to practice your religion as it SHOULD be practised. Rise in the night and pray like you prayed in Ramadan. Fill the Masjids like you did during Ramadan. Read the Quran the same strong-willed conscious effort as you did during Ramadan. Let your heart be filled with serenity and calmness like it did during Ramadan. And always, always, remember that you may not live to see the next Ramadan.
Ramadan came to us as a school, as a teacher - one to renew and recharge our Emaan. Now that it has completed its objective and given us a graceful and beautiful uplifting of spiritual awareness, it is now upon you and I to remain constant upon what it has given us. There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting.
So start and go all the way! ;)