Ramadan is almost over. It feels like it just flew by. Where did the time go?
Maybe you are sad because this holy month is coming to an end too soon. Perhaps you are heartbroken because you did not make the most of this blessed time. Either way, it is upsetting. If only you had more days, more hours.
While most of us feel some sadness, we may also be overburdened with guilt. Another Ramadan has come by, and still no major changes in your life.
Ramadan is, of course, designed to be special; but it is special for a number of reasons: it is supposed to bring us to taqwa (God consciousness), to reflect on the Quran, to purify ourselves through fasting, to increase our worship, and to rectify our character.
The beautiful thing about Ramadan is that Allah exalted is He shows us what is possible – He reveals to us our potential. Even if you disappointed yourself, the Day of Judgment has not come yet, meaning it is not the end – you can still make up the shortcomings.
Keep with the Lord of Ramadan
As long as there is time, there is hope. So what prevents us from doing these things outside of Ramadan?
Remember that you can still worship Him. You can still be close to Him. God is there – with the same attributes – inside and outside of Ramadan.
Do not define your relationship with Allah by your mistakes during this Holy month. If you do, you are the one moving away from Him, He did not push you away. As for God, He is al-Baqi – the Everlasting – and He remains. His attributes remain as they are.
The Lord whom you begged for mercy during Ramadan is the same Merciful Lord outside of Ramadan – indeed:
Your Lord has decreed upon Himself mercy. (Quran 6:54)
The Creator whom you pleaded to for forgiveness and pardon during this month – His forgiveness is open to you 365 days a year; He Himself says:
But indeed, I am the Perpetual Forgiver of whoever repents and believes and does righteousness and then continues in guidance. (20:82)
God, whom you expressed your fears and hopes to, whom you asked to give you the good of this world and the Hereafter – He tells you:
I respond to the invocation of the supplicant when he calls upon Me. (2:186)
Whenever your guilty soul or Satan want to trick you into thinking you are too far to be rectified, God Himself tells you:
I am near. (2:186)
That is all you need to know, and that is all you need to remind yourself of when you feel far.
Take Habits of Ramadan with You
If you want to continue your good deeds or make up for your shortcomings, you can do that. You can follow Ramadan by fasting the six days of Shawwal, fasting twice a week (Mondays and Thursdays) or you can fast three times a month (the Bright Days). The Prophet tells us:
Every servant of God who observes fast for a day in the way of God, Allah would remove his face farther from the Fire to the extent of seventy years’ distance. (Muslim)
You can give charity any time of year. The Prophet said:
None gives charity from what is good, for Allah only accepts what is good, but that the Merciful takes it with His right hand. Even if it is a date, it is nurtured in the hand of the Merciful until it becomes greater than a mountain, just as one of you nurtures his young horse or camel. (Muslim)
You can volunteer. The Prophet said:
Allah will aid a servant [of His] so long as the servant aids his brother. (Muslim)
You can wake up for qiyaam (the night prayer), even if you only do it on the weekends or even once a month. The Prophet said:
The best prayer after the obligatory prayers is the night prayer. (Muslim)
You can make it a point to help to uplift people. The Prophet said:
The most beloved of deeds according to Allah the Mighty, the Magnificent, is that you bring happiness to a fellow Muslim. (Tabarani)
And you know what? If you do these things, you will find that by next Ramadan insha’Allah (God willing), your heart will already be softer, ready to soak up the blessings of the month.
So intend to continue to do good after Eid, and make a plan for that. It is easy to slip back into bad habits, so follow up your intentions with concrete actions.
Keep the Bond with Him
And if your heart is still broken by the last iftar (meal of breaking fast) of this month, turn to Him. Make time before you break your fast to be alone with Him and pour out your heart and soul to God.
Tell Him all of your hopes for this month, and how you feel about not having been able to fulfill them. Express to Him your fears about coming out of Ramadan and losing that connection with Him. Talk to Allah. He hears you, at every second of every day.
And as long as you still breathe, you can turn back to Him and make the most of wherever you find yourself. It could be that you are accepted because of your sincere worship in one of these remaining days.
Do not let your connection to God stop at Ramadan – let your connection be to the Lord of Ramadan.