What is After Ramadan?
(Friday Speech was delivered by Imam Mohamed Baianonie at Islamic Center of Raleigh, NC on January 7, 2000)
Allah (S.W.T.) has blessed us with the month of Ramadan, and bestowed His favor upon us with the fasting of its day and the praying of its night. We ask Allah (S.W.T.) that he accepts from us our fasting as well as our praying and that he makes us from the people who are saved from Hell Fire, and that he allows us into Paradise from the gate of Ar-Rayan.
Allah (S.W.T.) said in surat Az-Zariat, (verse 55), what can be translated as, "And remind (O Muhammad), for verily, the reminding benefits the believers." We understand from this verse that reminding the believers, is one of the duties of the prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) and also the duty of the Muslims. Also we understand from this verse, that reminding will benefit the believers because they have Iman (faith) in their hearts. And the amount of benefit of everyone according to the level of his Iman.
Today I like to remind myself first, and every one of you while saying good bye to this blessed month, and this great guest; we should take a moment to reflect and contemplate. We should ask ourselves a few questions for which we need to find honest answers.
We ask you all these questions, and ask you all to find the answers so that these answers may awaken us from our absent-mindedness, and help us remain steadfast doing good.
The questions are:
- Who did you fast for?
- Why did you fast?, and
- What to do after Ramadan?
Ask yourself these questions. Yes, the answer is very clear. I fasted for Allah (S.W.T.) to worship Him, seeking the rewards from Him alone.
Yes, these answers are correct and clear. But, what about those who fasted the month of Ramadan as a tradition and not as an act of worship? Is there someone who fasts out of tradition and not to worship Allah (S.W.T.)? Yes, because you find some Muslims who got used to fasting this month because they inherited it from their parents and their societies and they do not want to go against their traditions. Yes, this is why they fast because of the following:
You see that they fast off the Halal (lawful) food and Halal drink for hours during the day, then they eat and drink what is not Halal (unlawful) during the nights and days of the rest of the year. This is because they did not get used to abstaining from the Haram. If their fasting off the Halal is for the sake of Allah (S.W.T.) during Ramadan, they would have abstained from the Haram in all other times.
Yes, their fasting is a habit that has been inherited, and it is not to worship Allah (S.W.T.) because they establish the obligation of fasting which is one of the pillars of Islam, and they leave the greatest pillar of Islam, the prayer, because they do not used to pray.
The five daily prayers are greater than fasting. Some people regularly fast the month of Ramadan, but do not regularly pray (Some do not pray at all).
The one who prescribed fasting is the same one who prescribed Salah. The one who said in surat Al-Baqarah, (verse 183), what can be translated as, ""O you who believe, Fasting is prescribed for you… " is the same one who said in surat An-Nisa', (verse 103), what can be translated as, "…Perform As-Salat (the prayer). Verily, As-Salat (the prayer) is enjoined on the believers at fixed time."
So, does Allah (S.W.T.) deserve to be worshiped during the month of Ramadan by fasting, then He does not deserve to be worshiped in the five daily prayers!? That prayer that the prophet (S.A.W.) told us that it is the most important pillar of the Deen, whoever establishes it, he establishes the Deen, and whoever leaves it, he destroys all of the Deen. He (S.W.T.) also said what was reported by Imam Muslim: "Between the man and the Kuffr (disbelieve) and Shirk (polytheism) is leaving the Salah." Not praying five daily prayers regularly, is a really serious problem because that is the difference between a Muslim and a Kaffer.
So, Does Allah (S.W.T.) deserve from us to be worshiped in the month of Ramadan, but he does not deserve to be worshiped in the rest of the months of the year!? The Rabb (Lord, God) of Ramadan is the same Rabb (Lord, God) of all other months of the year.
We must take this matter seriously, and we must answer these questions with deeds and accusation not just uttering. We must resolve this issue as long as we are still alive, before a day comes when we can not answer or resolve the issue (The Day of Judgment).
We must consider this month as a starting point for a better Islamic future because from the signs of Allah’s acceptance for our fasting is that He would help us become steadfast in the Deen after Ramadan.
And if our fasting off the Halal food during the days of Ramadan is an act of worship for Allah (S.W.T.), then we ought to fast off the Haram in the other months of the year.
And if our fasting in the month of Ramadan is an act of worship and obedience to His orders, then we ought to obey His orders by regularly praying the five daily prayers, paying Zakat, and performing Hajj.
Let our motto always be the motto of the true believer that Allah (S.W.T.) declared in His book in surat Al-A'nam, (verse 162& 163), what can be translated as, "Say: Verily, my Salat (prayer), my sacrifice, my living, and my dying are for Allah, the Lord of Al-Alamin. He has no partner. And of this I have been commanded, and I am the first of the Muslims."
Finally, I remind you all of the importance and desirability of fasting six days in the month of Shawwal after Ramadan. Imams Muslim and others reported that the prophet Muhammad said: "He who observes As-Saum (the fast) in the month of Ramadan, and also observes As-saum for six days in the month of Shawwal, it is as if he has observed As-Saum for the whole year."
"O our Lord! Do not punish us if we forget or fall into error, our Lord! Do not lay on us a burden like that, which You did lay on those before us, our Lord! Do not put on us a burden greater than we have strength to bear. Pardon us and grant us forgiveness. Have mercy on us…" Ameen