Ramadhan has passed but I kept questioning myself if the Holy month did leave me with any good changes within me. Have I truly become a better Muslim? Have I changed my old, bad attitudes? What have I gained during the month? Am I still the same old me with no tiny good change inside of me?
Speaking of changes, I remember a hadith mentioned by Sheikh Hussain Yee at Al-Khaadem a few weeks ago:
It was narrated that Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) said:
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) ascended the minbar and said: “Ameen, ameen, ameen.” It was said: ‘O Messenger of Allah, you ascended the minbar and said, ‘Ameen, ameen, ameen.”
He said: “Jibreel (peace be upon him) came to me and said: ‘If Ramadhan comes and a person is not forgiven, he will enter Hell and Allah will cast him far away. Say Ameen.’ So I said Ameen.
He said: ‘O Muhammad, if both or one of a person’s parents are alive and he does not honour them and he dies, he will enter Hell and Allah will cast him far away. Say Ameen.’ So I said Ameen.
He said: ‘If you are mentioned in a person’s presence and he does not send blessings upon you and he dies, he will enter Hell and Allah will cast him far away. Say Ameen.’ So I said Ameen.”
[Narrated by Ibn Hibbaan, 3/188; classed as saheeh by al-Shaykh al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Targheeb, 1679.]
I came back home thinking of the hadith especially about being forgiven by Allah once Ramadhan leaves. Have I done enough to allow myself to be forgiven with the handful of deeds that I merely acted in the month? Astaghfirullahalazim… I just don’t know.
Once Syawal is here, it’s time to start evaluate ourselves on the persons we are becoming now. I would like to call this phase as ‘the post-mortem time’.
But I guess doing post-mortem will not do justice if things that we have done abundantly in Ramadhan just stay in Ramadhan. For example, we recite Quran every day in Ramadhan without fail. But after Ramadhan, the Quran is left on our rack purposely. Moreover, we became one of the bounteous donors when we spent hundreds of ringgits on charity during Ramadhan. But after the Holy month is over, we can’t even spend a Ringgit to a fakir by the road side. Things like these are somewhat common to most of us and being steadfast in acting good is not that easy.
Truthfully, we want to do as much ibadaah as we could but in the end of the day, those ibadaah will only stay for a month or less because there is no istiqamah or steadfast towards the actions.
Narrated by `Aisha: Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “Do good deeds properly, sincerely and moderately and know that your deeds will not make you enter Paradise, and that the most beloved deed to Allah’s is the most regular and constant even though it were little.”
[Sahih al-Bukhari 6464 Book 81, Hadith 53]
The key to being istiqamah is taking small steps at a time. Do start with a simple act or ibadaah which we can continue doing it every day. It may not be something big, but if we keep doing it every day, inshaAllah it will be a norm to us and we will be comfortable performing it without any compulsion.
Let’s say you want to make the Quran as your best friend. Best friends do stick together and always be for each other, don’t they? Thus, have a small Quran with translation with you all the time. All the time here means whenever you go out, bring it along. However, nowadays most smart phones are able to download the Quran application, so it is not a problem to access to the Quran whenever you are, right? Next, try to discipline yourself by reciting minimal one ayah or one page a day. Perhaps you might want to rectify which is the most suitable time for you to recite the Quran, in the morning before you start your daily tasks or before your bedtime or any other 10 minutes of your 1440 minutes a day. It sounds easy but keeping yourself steadfast in doing it every day needs strong determination. After some time of doing this, you might find yourself getting hooked up with the Quran and a day without Quran will make your heart feels empty and dull.
Small deeds which are carried out consistently and with good intention are better than doing something huge, but only once. Take the small steps first and keep up the momentum. But it must start with a single step. So go for it!