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Friday, August 9, 2013

AFTER RAMADAN WHAT NEXT?

Praise be to Allah in an exceeding degree, praise be to Him for His favours and comfort. Praise be to Allah exceedingly, Allah is the greatest. Glory be to Allah morning and evening. To Allah is due all praises as it is pleasing to Him for all His uncountable blessings. I bear witness that there is no god but Allah alone; He gives and takes life, He is able of all things. I bear witness that our leader, model, and master- Muhammad bn Abdullah is his chosen prophet and Messenger. May Allah bestow peace and blessings on him, his families, his companions and those who follow them in righteousness till the day of recompense. May Allah grant us the same and all righteousness servants of Allah. Thereafter, O Servant of Allah, I urge you to fear Allah in the secret and the public. Piety is the way out of every difficulty and a path to provision and abundance. “And whoever fears Allah - He will make for him a way out. And will provide for him from where he does not expect. And whoever relies upon Allah - then He is sufficient for him. Indeed, Allah will accomplish His purpose. Allah has already set for everything a (decreed) extent (65:2-3) Dear Muslims, we had beautiful moments in Ramadan filled with mutual hastening to goodness and acts of obedience. Mosques were filled with Worshippers morning and night showing existence of genuine faith in the souls and its penetration into the depths of the hearts. Farewell to Ramadan: Brothers in faith, behold the season of soul revival is gone, wherein piety, ideological unity and Muslim solidarity existed. A season of solat- prayers, gatherings, and according the mosques its dignity. It is also a season of spending and charity, a season of purifying the hearts, upholding chastity of the tongues, lowering the gaze, guarding the listening faculty, purifying intention, and reforming speeches and deeds. Muslims’ condition after Ramadan: Dear Muslims, the sincere believers is in one of the two states after Ramadan: 1- State of diffidence, fear and concern that perhaps their good deeds may be rejected and not accepted- they hope in Allah, calling and beseeching Him to accept their deeds, as stated in the hadith of Aisha, she asked about the verse: )وَالَّذِينَ يُؤْتُونَ مَا ءَاتَوا وَقُلُوبُهُمْ وَجِلَةٌ أَنَّهُمْ إِلىَ رَبِّهِمْ رَاجِعُونَ( (المؤمنون 60) (And they who give what they give while their hearts are fearful because they will be returning to their Lord) (23:60) ' O messenger of Allah, are they those who fornicate, and consume alcohols, and steal? The prophet (pbuh) replied: “No, O daughter of siddiq, they are those who observed solat, observed the fast, and gave charity, and then became fearful that it might not be accepted from them.” (Ahmad & Tirmidhi) What an excellent state of humility of the believers! Having concluded acts of obedience in succession, they became afraid over the acceptance. Thus it was related that some of the righteous predecessors do ask Allah for six months after Ramadan for acceptance of their deeds. Ali, may Allah be pleased with him said: “Be more concerned about acceptance of your deeds than the deed itself, haven't you heard about the verse: ({إِنّمَا يَتَقَبَّلُ اللهُ مِنَ الْمُتَّقِينَ} (المائدة 27)) { "Indeed, Allah only accepts from the righteous [who fear Him]} (5:27), ' (narrated by Abu Na'eem in Al-Hilyah). Fudalah Ibn Ubayd said: “If I know that Allah have accepted the weight of the mustard grain (of deed) from me, that is more beloved to me than the entire world and all it contains” 2- The second case is the state of sincere believers who after Ramadan keep-up with the level of obedience and righteousness. They are not servants to Ramadan rather, they choose to worship Allah- Who is their Lord, the Lord of Ramadan, and the Lord of other months. It is unfortunate that people that were repentant, submissive, and dedicated to worship – (such as bowing down, prostrating and reading the Quran) return to sins and destruction of all beautiful deeds they did in Ramadan. (( وَلاَ تَكُونُواْ كَالَّتىِ نَقَضَتْ غَزْلَهَا مِنْ بَعْدِ قُوَّةٍ أَنْكَاثًا ) النحل 92 (And do not be like she who untwisted her spun thread after it was strong) (16: 92) ( يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ أَطِيعُواْ اللهَ وَأَطِيعُوا الرَّسُولَ وَلاَ تُبْطِلُواْ أَعْمَالَكُمْ ) محمد 33 (O you who have believed, obey Allah and obey the Messenger and do not invalidate your deeds.) (47:33) Sign of Acceptance of Good deeds after Ramadan Some of the most important signs of acceptance after Ramadan include: Elevation in the level of God’s consciousness. This is manifested in a fasting person when he increases in traits of shamefulness and reverence before Allah, because Ramadan is a practical training platform for being God- conscious. Another sign of acceptance is sincere repentance and not returning to sins after Ramadan. Also is hastening to obligatory and supererogatory acts of worship. Developing increased and continuous interest towards obligatory acts after Ramadan; where one hasten in responding to the call to prayer, in addition to persistent supererogatory acts without delay or wasting time, then such person have actually tread the path to acceptance of his deeds. In addition to that, he would have earned God’s companionship, protection and guidance as stated in the hadith Qudsi: (Nothing endears My servant to Me than doing of what I have made obligatory upon him to do. And My servant continues to draw nearer to Me with supererogatory (nawafil) prayers so that I shall love him. When I love him, I shall be his hearing with which he shall hear, his sight with which he shall see, his hands with which he shall hold, and his feet with which he shall walk. And if he asks (something) of Me, I shall surely give it to him, and if he takes refuge in Me, I shall certainly grant it to him.'). In summary, continuation in acts of obedience and worship is an evidence of acceptance, for if Allah accepts the work of a servant of His, He guides him to be engaged in righteous deeds thereafter. Scholars say: “the reward of good work is succeeding it with good work” one who does a good act and follows it with more good acts is a proof to its acceptance, while good work followed by bad one is a proof for its non-acceptability and rejection. Hoping for reward from Allah; a condition of worship acceptability. Brothers in Islam, Ramadan have come and gone, you have observed the fast and night prayers in faith and hope of reward from Allah. This is a vital condition in the acceptance of all forms of worship. Allah says: {وَمَا أُمِرُواْ إِلاَّ لِيَعْبُدُوا اللهَ مُخْلِصِينَ لَهُ الدِّينَ حُنَفَاءَ} (البينة ٥) And they were not commanded except to worship Allah, [being] sincere to Him in religion, inclining to truth, and to establish prayer and to give zakah. And that is the correct religion. (98:5) Observe supererogatory fasts out of faith and with hope for reward from Allah, that is the core of sincerity and the soul of closeness to God, it is an all time obligation which is not confined to the month of Ramadan alone. Continuous Act is the Best: Dear brothers in Islam know that the ability to fast daily in Ramadan is an evidence of the ability to fast the supererogatory ones outside Ramadan. Therefore maximize the designated times for non-obligatory fasts such as the six days in Shawwaal, Monday and Thursday, the three mid days of every lunar month, the fasting of the day of Ashura etc. The benefits include, apart from complementing deficiencies in the obligatory acts, elevating status of a believer and cleansing shortcomings, thus follow bad deed with good deed. Be mindful of solat! Perfect the solat postures in the congregational prayers and outside it, e.g: bowing, prostration,. Be aware also that establishment of solat is not confined to the month of fasting, rather, solat is a well established pillar of Islam through the year. (إِنَّ الصَّلاَةَ كَانَتْ عَلَى الْمُؤْمِنِينَ كِتَابًا مَوْقُوتًا)) النساء ١۰۳ . (Indeed, prayer has been decreed upon the believers a decree of specified times.)) women 103. In Ramadan some completed the Qur’an once or more, do not desert the Qur’an thereafter, listen to words of Allah revealing the the prophet’s complain (pbuh) to Allah on the day of Resurrection: وَقَالَ الرَّسُولُ يَا رَبِّ إِنَّ قَوْمِى اتَّخَذُواْ هَذَا الْقُرْآنَ مَهْجُورًا} (الفرقان ۳۰) And the Messenger has said, "O my Lord, indeed my people have taken this Qur'an as [a thing] abandoned. (25: 30), In Ramadan also, your limbs and organs shared in the fast of abstinence from the haram- forbidden things. This act of abstinence from evil is not confined to the month of Ramadan, rather to guard the heart, and the hearing and sight faculty from prohibited things is a legislation that spreads throughout the year. Allah says: ((إنَّ السَّمْعَ وَالْبَصَرَ وَالْفُؤَادَ كُلٌّ أُولَئِكَ كَانَ عَنْهُ مَسْئُولاً )) الإسراء 36. (And do not pursue that of which you have no knowledge. Indeed, the hearing, the sight and the heart - about all those [one] will be questioned.) (17: 36) Likewise you have displayed exemplary Islamic character in Ramadan, you therefore need to uphold this trait always because, as stated by the prophet (pbuh), character is the heaviest thing in the scales of measure: (Nothing is heavier in the scale of the believer than good character on the day of Judgement) (Al-tirmidhi). Join the ties of kinship, with your brothers, and neighbours. Keep up generosity and kindness after Ramadan, as well as other acts of worship. Allah says: ({وَاعْبُدْ رَبَّكَ حَتىَّ يَأْتِيَكَ الْيَقِينُ} (الحجر ۹۹) ) {And worship your Lord until there comes to you the certainty (death).} (15:99). Unity and brotherhood in the Islamic Ummah Ramadan comes every year to contribute to maintaining the unity of the Islamic Ummah, while Muslims in the world participate in fasting in the blessed month. The Islamic Unity is considered the strongest element and most reliable binding force in terms of unity in faith and doctrine, worship, communal fraternity and brotherhood, which is above all forms of affiliations; nationalism, ethnicity and geographical. Allah says: { إِنَّمَا الْمُؤْمِنُونَ إِخْوَةٌ فَأَصْلِحُوا بَيْنَ أَخَوَيْكُمْ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُرْحَمُونَ }(الحجرات 10) {The believers are but brothers, so make settlement between your brothers. And fear Allah that you may receive mercy.} (49: 10) The doctrinal interdependence within the Islamic Ummah is manifested in mutual cooperation, compassion, empathy, and exchange of affection and love, as graphically described by the messenger of Allah thus: From Nu'man bin Bashir (R.A), he said: “The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said: ("You see the believers as regards their being merciful among themselves and showing love among themselves and being kind, resembling one body, so that, if any part of the body is not well then the whole body shares the sleeplessness (insomnia) and fever with it.") (Bukhari) Thus fasting consolidates the brotherly relations between fasting Muslims- despite the difference in status, race, colour- through practical demonstration of mercy, compassion, forgiveness and pardon advocated by Islam. The global leadership is for the Muslim nation: For this reason, the Islamic nation deserves to attain the rank of global leadership and perfection through her characteristics of medial balance and fairness which positioned her to be witness to mankind, Allah says: {كُنْتُمْ خَيْرَ أُمَّةٍ أُخْرِجَتْ لِلنَّاسِ تَأْمُرُونَ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَتَنْهَوْنَ عَنِ الْمُنْكَرِ وَتُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللَّهِ} (آل عمران 110) “You are the best nation produced [as an example] for mankind. You enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong and believe in Allah”. (3:110) {وَكَذَلِكَ جَعَلْنَاكُمْ أُمَّةً وَسَطًا لِتَكُونُوا شُهَدَاءَ عَلَى النَّاسِ وَيَكُونَ الرَّسُولُ عَلَيْكُمْ شَهِيدًا}(البقرة 143) “And thus we have made you a just community that you will be witnesses over the people and the Messenger will be a witness over you”. (2:143) Having said this, I seek forgive from Allah for me and you and all Muslims, do seek His forgiveness He is Oft-forgiving. THE SECOND SERMON Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the worlds, the lord of the foremost and later generations, and may peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his companions and those who follow them in righteousness. Dear Muslims, you need to sustain the level of worship and obedience after Ramadan. Succeed Ramadan with fasting of six days in Shawwal, that is like fasting for the year. This is understood because a good deed is of ten folds of reward; the month of Ramadan is equivalent to ten months while the six days in Shawwaal is equivalent to two months while a year is made up of twelve months. The prophet (pbuh) said: (whoever fasts Ramadan then follows it with (fasting of) six days in Shawwaal is like the fast of a year) (narrated by Muslim). Finally, it is permissible to observe the fast consecutively or non-consecutively. Oh Allah accept our fast, prayers, bowing and prostration. O Allah ease for us Your remembrance, gratitude to You and sound worship. O Allah make the Qur’an the succor to our hearts, light to our faces, remover of our grief and sorrow. O Allah show us the truth and grant us the wherewithal to follow it, show us falsehood and grant us the wherewithal to desist. O Allah forgive the believers; men and women, and the Muslim men and women, both the living and the deceased, You are All- hearing, most near, answerer of prayers. O Allah make this nation- Nigeria peaceful, safe, generous, with abundant welfare, and all other Muslim nations.

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