Below is our featured article from Mishkah’s newsletter for May 28, 2020. You can view the full newsletter at Seeking the Blessings of Shawwal
For past newsletters, click here.
The Prophet (saw) said “Whoever fasts Ramadan, then follows it with six days (of fasting) of Shawwal, it is as if he fasted the entire year” (Muslim)
Why is it like fasting a year? Because Allah, Most High, multiplies the rewards of good deeds tenfold.
This month provides us with the opportunity to continue seeking Allah’s mercy and earning reward. It is especially important to keep up the good habits that we built up during Ramadan.
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. 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.
Once we enter Shawwal, 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.
Keep praying more than the obligatory even if it’s just 2 sunnah rakats a day. Don’t let your Quran gather dust – keep reading even if it’s just a few ayat daily. Earn the reward of voluntary fasts – such as every Monday and Thursday, the 13th,14th and 15th of the month (Al-Ayyam ul Beed), or at the very least special days like the Day of Arafah or Ashura. Make dhikr and remember Allah with your morning and evening supplications. Keep giving your time and what you have been blessed with – choose a favorite charity you can support with an ongoing donation or find one place you can volunteer regularly.
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.