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Ask About Islam: Maintaining Nearness to Allah after Ramadan

Asalamu Alaikum brothers and sisters, 


Now that Ramadan and ‘Eid are behind us, many people find themselves feeling a void. All that worship in the month of Ramadan drew us nearer to our Lord, so how can we maintain that nearness now that Ramadan has come to a close?

The session host will be AboutIslam Counselor Dina Mohamed Basiouny. So, please write down your questions and join us Thursday, July 6th, from  6-8 PM GMT  (8–10 PM Makkah) (12-2 PM Chicago)

If you won’t be available during this time, but you have questions that need answers, don’t worry! You can email your questions in advance to [email protected], and our counselor will include them in the Live Session.

Thursday, Jul. 06, 2017 | 20:00 - 22:00 GMT

Session is over.
Views expressed by hosts/guests on this program (live dialogue, Facebook sessions, etc.) are their own and their appearance on the program does not imply an endorsement of them or any entity they represent.  

I am not a Muslim, actually, but I have friends who are. Now that Ramadan finished, I notice some of them are the same now as they were before Ramadan. They eat just as much food—and they eat so much of it! I feel like if Ramadan was successful as a practice of self-discipline, they would at least be eating smaller portions now or something. Am I misunderstanding the purpose of Ramadan as self-control?


Thank you so much for sending your question. We appreciate your interest in Islam and the thoughtful discussion you are raising with us.


The purpose of Ramadan is not solely to control one’s food intake. Rather, the purpose of Ramadan is to achieve “taqwa”; you can call it God-consciousness. This basically means being conscious of our Creator enough that we eagerly do what He pleases and what is right, and we refrain from what displeases Him and what is wrong.


If, as you mentioned, certain individuals come out of Ramadan the same way they entered it, then maybe they’ve missed the point. We ask Allah Almighty to guide them and show them the purest way of conduct in this life and reward them in the next.

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One observation I have is that you have made a generalization based on the few Muslim friends you know. But, can you say with certainty that there aren’t thousands or even millions of Muslims who have indeed benefited tremendously from Ramadan spiritually, physically, intellectually and socially?  The point is, we don’t have accurate data to make generalizations.


In all cases, Allah Almighty guides and instructs people and it is upon them to either follow or miss the point.


As they say, don’t blame the game, blame the players.


I personally am surrounded with people who have benefitted immensely from Ramadan, increased in righteous habits, abandoned harmful ones and are currently continuing the fast of the recommended 6 days of Shawwal as the Noble Prophet said:


Abu Aiyub Al-Ansari (RAA) narrated that The Messenger of Allah () said:

“Whoever fasts during the month of Ramadan and then follows it with six days of Shawwal will be (rewarded) as if he had fasted the entire year.” [Related by Muslim].


So, the point here is that we can’t make generalizations based on a sample that might not be representative. The best thing to do is ask like you’ve so graciously done.


For many people around the world, Ramadan continues to be a time of immense spiritual elevation. It is not merely about food, but rather the deep connection and consciousness of the Creator. It was Ramadan years ago when I first decided to wear the hijab after reading the beautiful explanation in the Qur’an, and I still reap the immense benefits of this decision in my life to date.


It was also in Ramadan when I made supplications to convey the message of Islam as best I could to all sincere seekers, and I still reap the fruits of my supplications to date.


It was also Ramadan two years ago when one of my dearest friends has embraced Islam, and the impact of this decision on her life has been indescribable. I can’t recall how many times she’s expressed being relieved, happy, and in-line with her purpose in life.


So, Ramadan is life-changing.  It is one of the greatest blessings we’ve been given by the Creator, truly, and I say this with utmost sincerity.


When it is lived as the Creator instructed, it becomes an unrivaled experience.


You can read here our previous answers on the purpose of Ramadan as mentioned in the Qur’an:

How Can I Make This Ramadan Memorable?
What Is Taqwa and What Is Its Reward?


And here is something I wrote also in this regard.


I truly hope this helps, and please continue to send us your questions; we’ll gladly respond to all of them.


I was able to pray Taraweeh only a few nights in Ramadan, but I loved those nights. How can we establish a habit of waking for tahajjud after Ramadan has ended? I have a baby who is 2 years old and she often keeps me awake in the night, so I am very tired already, but I want to use that time in the night to pray. 

Wa alaykum salaam, Maria,


InshaAllah, any rak’ahs (units of prayer) you’re going to perform after Isha prayer will count as qiyam (night prayer).


If you don’t think you can pray late at night due to your child’s situation, then pray two rak’ahs after Isha prayer, and then pray witr. This will count as qiyam for you.


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Narrated Abdullah ibn Amr ibn al-‘As:

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: If anyone prays at night reciting regularly ten verses, he will not be recorded among the negligent; if anyone prays at night and recites a hundred verses, he will be recorded among those who are obedient to Allah; and if anyone prays at night reciting one thousand verses, he will be recorded among those who receive huge rewards. [Sunan Abi Dawood]


So, again, if you pray two rak’ahs with 10 verses from the Qur’an, you will not be recorded among the negligent, and it will count as qiyam (night prayer).


Surat al-Fatiha is 7 verses. So, if you add another short surah from Juz ‘Amma (30th Juz of the Qur’an) you will satisfy the conditions of this hadith and fulfill a habit of regular night prayer.


If you want to follow the recommended way of praying shaf’ and witr, then scholars say you can do the following:


Pray 3 rak’ahs. In the first rak’ah, recite “Sabbih isma rabbika al-‘a’la” (“Glorify the name of your Lord, the Most High”) (Chapter 87). In the second one, recite a Surat Al Kaferoon (Chapter 109). In the third rak’ah, recite Surat al-Ikhlaas (Chapter 112).


Try to maintain this daily and you will get great rewards insha’Allah and will be counted among those who pray qiyam regularly.


If you feel you can add more, when your child sleeps, pray as you please in the last third of the night. Just don’t pray witr again (the singular prayer).


Also, make sure during this period–the last third of the night–that you make dua and ask for forgiveness. This is to correspond with the following hadith:

Abu Huraira reported Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) as saying:

Our Lord, the Blessed and the Exalted, descends every night to the lowest heaven when one-third of the latter part of the night is left and says: Who supplicates Me so that I may answer him? Who asks Me so that I may give to him? Who asks Me forgiveness so that I may forgive him? [Sahih Muslim]


And remember to renew your intentions while taking care of your child. Raising a firm believer is, in-and-of-itself, a huge act of worship. Ask Allah to reward you and count your raising of your child for His sake as an act of worship, and He will ease your affairs and put barakah in your time and in your child.


May Allah facilitate all of your affairs for you

Salaamu Alaykum! This was my 3rd Ramadan as a Muslim and it was harder than all the rest. I made a plan to read some Qur’an daily after Ramadan, but I feel so exhausted. I find myself now dreading when the time for reading Qur’an comes in my day. Any advice to renew that spirit?

Walaykum Assalam waRahmat Allah,

Glad tidings to you, sister! The harder the effort, the greater the reward; we ask Allah to make your scale heavier this year than all the rest as a result of the hardships you faced.


Not a moment of hardship goes unnoticed or unrewarded by Allah (Glorified and Exalted). Remember, it is not about how easily we perform the acts of worship, but how sincerely and earnestly we seek Allah (Glorified and Exalted) and struggle for His Sake with love and patience because He is worth it!


And those who strive for Us – We will surely guide them to Our ways. And indeed, Allah is with the doers of good. (Qur’an 29:69)


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Perhaps a moment of sincerity with Allah Almighty you had this Ramadan will be heavier on your scale than everything you’ve done for the past 3 years.


So, rejoice and have hope in Allah!


Now, regarding your question, I have one request: please love the Qur’an!


Don’t look at it as a chore or a task that you have to check off your list. Look at it as the haven you resort to in order to heal you, purify you and elevate you… The Qur’an is the Direct Word of The Most Merciful and He says,


Allah is the ally of those who believe. He brings them out from darknesses into the light… (2:257)


Every second you spend with the Qur’an is heavily rewarded. You can’t get that many rewards per second with anything other than the Qur’an, every letter equals a reward and Allah multiplies the reward by ten folds. Look at His Generosity! SubhanAllah. He is giving us this opportunity to help us, encourage us, guide us and connect us with Him. So, don’t look at it as a burden.


Now for the practical tips:


First and foremost, no one will ever be able to progress in this path without the Help of Allah Almighty. Allah literally can make things easy beyond your own imagination or expectations.


This is why He taught us to say in Surat Al-Fatiha –which we recite at least 17 times a day throughout the five daily prayers-

It is You we worship and You we ask for help.” (Qur’an 1: 5)


So ask Allah for His Help, and this process will deeply connect you with Him.


Next, Remember Allah told us,

So when you recite the Qur’an, [first] seek refuge in Allah from Satan, the expelled [from His mercy].” (Qur’an 16: 98)


So, if you’ve been finding it difficult to read the Qur’an, then maybe you haven’t been taking proper precautions against Satan. So, make sure you do that, especially now that shayateen have been unchained after Ramadan.


Also, pay attention to the daily adhkars that protect you from the evil whispers. If you’re not reciting the morning and evening adhkar that are there to protect us against the evil whispers, weakness, and weariness, then you’re making yourself an easy target to Satan.


So, protect yourself and maintain your morning and evening adhkar. Download them on your phone and read them, or keep a copy of the “Fortress of the Muslim” and read them when their time comes. You’ll find in our previous answer here more tips from the Qur’an and Sunnah on how to take precautions.


Also, try to set a small number of pages that you read every day from the Qur’an. Don’t overwhelm yourself. Start with small portions and enjoy them. The best deeds in the Sight of Allah are those that are performed regularly even if they’re small.


Narrated `Aisha:

The Prophet (ﷺ) was asked, “What deeds are loved most by Allah?” He said, “The most regular constant deeds even though they may be few.” He added, ‘Don’t take upon yourselves, except the deeds which are within your ability.” [Sahih Al Bukhari]


If you’re looking for more tips to help you with the Qur’an, I’ve written a short reminder here on how to read the Qur’an productively. Please take a look at it, and I’m hoping insha’Allah it will have some useful tips for you. Also, please find our previous answer on “How to Get The Most Out of Reading The Quran?” for more tips.


Lastly, so as not to get overwhelmed, exhausted or feel underachieving in worship, try to seek easy acts of worship that are effortless, yet heavily rewarded, like dhikr.


Dhikr is immensely elevating spiritually. Keeping yourself and your tongue constantly in remembrance of Allah has a deep impact on your heart. Find more information on this in our previous answers here:


What’s the Importance of Dhikr (Remembrance of Allah)?

Effortless Acts with Great Rewards


I hope this answer helped you even a little bit, you can find more ideas here as well:

How to Maintain the Ramadan Spirit Post Ramadan?

Jazaki Allahu Khairan, and praise be to Allah alone.