The Assured Hearts
Alsalam alaikom wa rahmtullahi wa baraktuh. I ask Allah subhanahu wa taala that this Ramadan does not end without our sins forgiven and our good deeds written and accepted… Ameen.
With all the blessings we have been showered with throughout this month, from the devils being chained to witnessing the month of the Quran, the sadness of witnessing the end of it might hit most of us after Eid, if not on Eid day. This is when we return back to delaying prayers and not praying witr often etc. However, my beloved fellow Muslims, this is a chance for us to carry on with all the beautiful actions we have been doing the past month.
Psychologically, it takes 21 days to acquire a habit. Fortunately, we have all been doing these extra acts of ibaadah for much longer than 21 days. This means we have likely already acquired a habit of these acts of worship. So, all we need to do now is sustain it after Ramadan and maintain all/any/some/one of the following: pray witr, fast Mondays and Thursdays, read and ponder the holy Quran, etc. Let it be your resolution after this Ramadan.
After this blessed month, we witness Eid-ul-Fitr with such high spiritual and cleansed souls. If you feel that you might not be able to keep up, then quality over quantity. Choose one action that you think is feasible to keep on track with after
Ramadan. That may be attending lectures online or in circles (Halaqaat), reading the Quran, memorising, or praying tahajjud. You can choose your most feasible action to keep on track with. But make sure you carry at least one habit with you as you leave the month of Ramadan.
Remember the beautiful advice given by the Prophet (pbuh) narrated by Aisha (raa): “The Prophet used to construct a loom with a Hasir at night and order to pray therein, and during the day he (pbuh) used to spread it out and sit on it. The people started coming to the Prophet (pbuh) at night to offer the prayer behind him. When their number increased, the Prophet (pbuh) faced them and said: O people! Do only those good deeds which you can do, for Allah does not get tired (of giving reward) till you get tired, and the best deeds to Allah are the incessant ones though they were few.”
Moreover, there’s an Arabic saying which means “few but lasting is better than many but discontinued.” One of the biggest problems we encounter in today’s world is this overwhelming sense of lack of available time to do ibaadah and not knowing when to do it. A tip to maintain your actions is to always connect it with a main event in your day. This allows you to create time for it. For example, the allocated time for reading or memorising the Quran can be set after praying Fajr. This designation of a specific time of the day to a specific act of worship means you don’t have to worry about when to do it. Importantly, it prevents you from procrastinating or delaying it to another time.
Another example is praying tahajjud, which doesn’t have to be straight after Ishaa, since the times are always changing. It can be a bit later, such as before going to bed and can be however many rak’aas (i.e. two rak’aas) followed by one rak’aa witr. On your unproductive days, you can even pray one rak’aa only. This allows you to associate bedtime with tahajjud and therefore makes you more likely to sustain this habit. The main goal is to connect our action with something we do on a daily basis, so that it lasts with us forever.
Remember, brothers and sisters in Islam, Allah subhanahu wa taala has ordered our Prophet (pbuh) to call people, invite them, and to remain on the straight path; “So to that [religion of Allah] invite, [O Muhammad], and remain on a right course as you are commanded..” (42:15). What we can understand from this beautiful verse, is that Allah subhanahu wa taala has given us a tip in order to stay on the right path, which is dawah (calling people to righteous acts or religion). Therefore, one of the conditions to stay steadfast is to call people; or as Allah subhanahu wa taala says “Invite”. Call people to whatever act of worship you do! For example, if you are going to pray tahajjud, you can invite your family members to pray together. Alternatively, if you are going to read the Quran after Fajr, tell your siblings to come and read with you.
Another condition is the company that surrounds you: parents, siblings, spouse, friends, etc. It is helpful to have a companion so that you can stay productive. Remember, quality over quantity! It doesn’t matter if you skip days, that’s why there is a companion that can encourage you to get back up, maybe by just having him/her beside you. Sometimes, one can feel safe knowing that someone else is going through what we are going through.
One last advice, for myself first and foremost, is to always remember the reward of the action we are doing. If it is reading the Quran, remind yourself “what am I gaining from this act? In both worlds, it is increasing my Imaan? As Allah subhanahu wa taala says: “The believers are only those who, when Allah is mentioned, their hearts become fearful, and when His verses are recited to them, it increases them in faith; and upon their Lord they rely” (8:2). Is it providing me with tranquility? Allah subhanahu wa taala also says: “Those who have believed and whose hearts are assured by the remembrance of Allah. Unquestionably, by the remembrance of Allah hearts are assured.” (13:28) This is an example to those who feel they can carry on reading the Quran and make it an ongoing act of worship.
• Allocate a specific time for a voluntary act of worship and connect it with a main event of your day
• Call people and encourage them to it
• Remember why you are doing it and the reward you will be gaining from it
My brothers and sisters remember to renew your intention every time. Even if you feel your productivity has gone down or your Imaan has dropped, just remember to ask Allah subhanahu wa taala for His aid and help, knowing that He is near. I ask Allah subhanahu wa taala to help us and give us the tawfeeq to worship Him in the best manner and to accept all our fastings, prayers and duaas.
Moustafa Aboughadir is an Aerospace engineer, currently in the final year of a sought PhD. He is interested in Quranic studies and Sociology. Part of education team in MABY North London.