In Ramadan we talked about our ibadah being like a personal relay race. In the same grain, now that Ramadan is over, we must remember that the race continues. Star athletes do not leave their training once the competition is over. To maintain their good form, skills and success, they must continue training every day. In fact, to excel in any field, you have to constantly work on your goals.
As Muslims, our race towards good and the pleasure of Allah never ends. While we may exert ourselves with more dedication during Ramadan, the other 11 months are just as important in building our relationship with Allah. Truly Ramadan carries its blessings when it comes to worship – we naturally gravitate towards giving our best, surprising even ourselves with what we are capable of with the long fasts, hours of prayer, and acts of service and charity.
After Ramadan, we may find our energy and enthusiasm waning – we need to remember that Allah still deserves the best that we can give in all seasons. These months after Ramadan may require even more effort from us. However, among the blessings of this deen is that Allah has given us so many avenues, big and small, to seek His rewards.
The Prophet (saw) said “Take up good deeds only as much as you are able, for the best deeds are those done regularly even if they are few.’ (Ibn Majah). He also said. “The most beloved of deeds to Allah are those that are most consistent, even if it is small.” (Bukhari). Consistency then is key. Even if we might not be able to engage at the same level as we did in Ramadan, we should still strive to continue our training.
You may not have taraweeh, but keep praying more than the obligatory even if it’s just 2 rakats of qiyam ul layl or sunnah a day. You might not finish a juz a day, but don’t let your Quran gather dust – keep reading even if it’s just a few ayat daily. Your obligation to fast is over, but earn the reward of voluntary fasts – if you can’t commit to every Monday and Thursday or the 13th,14th and 15th of the month (Al-Ayyam ul Beed), which the Prophet (saw) recommended, then at least attempt special days like the Day of Arafah or Ashura. Make dhikr and remember Allah even if it’s just in the morning and evening supplications that our Prophet taught us. Keep giving your time and what you have been blessed with – choose one favorite charity that you can support with an ongoing donation or find one place you can volunteer regularly.
What is inspiring is that the Prophet (saw) gave us so many examples of small things we can do to earn Allah’s pleasure. On a daily basis, we can find ways to be a better Muslims. Let’s be consistent and continue our race towards good until next Ramadan.