Keep Up Your Zeal in Ramadhaan - I
It is not an unfamiliar phenomenon that one observes as people pass into the middle of Ramadhaan, when their fervour begins to wane and their eagerness and determination to perform acts of worship diminishes noticeably.
Most people start Ramadhaan full of energy and enthusiasm, performing many virtuous deeds and feeling the sweetness of obedience and worship. However, as the middle of the blessed month approaches, the acts of worship become a routine, and the feeling of vigour and activity starts to decrease gradually. Then, as we go on into the last ten days, our activity is given another boost as we start performing acts of worship and supplicate Allaah The Almighty, seeking Laylat Al-Qadar (the Night of Decree).
The days and nights of the month of Ramadhaan are blessed, and during it Allaah The Almighty showers His favours and bounty upon the Muslims. Every new day, when we are given a chance to fast, pray, supplicate Allaah The Almighty and perform other acts of worship, we should thank Allaah The Almighty for extending our life that much longer. The death of many other people has prevented them from performing good deeds, and we should remember this every day of Ramadhaan.
Realising the bounties of Allaah The Almighty upon us during this month that energises us and makes us all the more determined to continue performing righteous deeds. Should we, then, feel a drop in our zeal in the middle of this month? Should we postpone virtuous deeds and look to means of entertainment for adding ‘variety’ to our routines and days? Is it alright to become lazy with regard to acts of worship, or should we seek to solve this problem? Of course, we need to combat lethargy and idleness, and make the most of every single day of Ramadhaan.
So, how can we make sure we remain enthusiastic and wholehearted in our worship throughout Ramadhaan, not just during the first few days? We must hold ourselves to account, asking ourselves: how were the days and nights past spent? Do we have a plan to increase in our good deeds? Are we taking full advantage of the many ways of doing good deeds during these days and nights – and do we intend to continue doing them in the coming ones?
In addition, there are a few steps one can take to avoid slacking, such as:
1. Having the intention to fast, purely for Allaah The Almighty, at all times:
We must always remember that we fast solely for the sake of Allaah The Almighty, and that the reason we refrain from enjoying permissible things such as food and drink is to please Allaah The Almighty, because the Prophetsaid: “Deeds are but with intentions.”
2. Remembering and pondering upon the reward for fasting and the virtues of this blessed month:
We must remember the saying of the Prophet: “He who fasts the month of Ramadhaan due to sincere belief and seeking the reward for his fasting, will be forgiven for all the sins he committed prior to it.” Again, the precondition for forgiveness is that one fasts sincerely and purely for the sake of Allaah The Almighty during the entire month, and not only the beginning of it.
Allaah The Almighty also said in a Qudsi Hadeeth (sacred narration): “Every act of the son of Aadam is for him, each deed will be multiplied (for reward) from ten multiples up to seven hundred multiples, except fasting. It is (exclusively) meant for Me and I (alone) will reward it.” Fasting eradicates all sins committed prior to it except major great sins as the Prophetsaid: “The five prayers, and from one Friday prayer to (the next) Friday prayer, and from one Ramadhaan to (the next) Ramadhaan are an expiation of the sins committed in between their intervals, if major sins are not committed.” These narrations should always be present in our minds as we approach the second third of Ramadhaan; we must remember that fasting will intercede for us on the Day of Resurrection, as in the Hadeeth: “Fasting will say: 'O Lord I forbade him from eating and drinking so let me intercede for him.'” This is what one's fasting will say on one's behalf.
To be continued …