The truth is, in general, it is a time of spiritual awakening for the Muslims, as their bodies and soul reach the higher level of purification and they seek a closer position to Allah (SWT). But what happens when Ramadan is finished, and our Eid Day has passed? How do we keep that closeness to Allah (SWT) and keep our sprits awake during the next eleven months?
Most Muslims look on the Holy Month of Ramadan, as a time of spiritual recharge. It is a time of fasting and charity, a time of giving and helping. Many focus on reading a little extra Quran and doing Nafl (Extra) prayers during this time, looking for a source of spiritual rebirth. Many new Muslims even chose this time, and the immense energy that it brings, to establish their schedule of five daily prayers, and some start classes to expand their knowledge of certain Islamic topics. The truth is, in general, it is a time of spiritual awakening for the Muslims, as their bodies and soul reach the higher level of purification and they seek a closer position to Allah (SWT). But what happens when Ramadan is finished, and our Eid Day has passed? How do we keep that closeness to Allah (SWT) and keep our sprits awake during the next eleven months?
It is surprising the vast number of Muslims that fall into this cycle every year. Muslims who only find joy and satisfaction in their religion one month out of the entire year. Now with Ramadan coming it is necessary for us to remind ourselves and our loved ones who have this problem that they can take heart, for Allah (SWT) has given us guidance in this matter. There is a way to enliven the heart, and connect to Allah (SWT) that are easy to do throughout the year. It is simply Dhikr/Zikr – Remembering Allah (SWT).
While there are some who argue against the necessity of Zikr, the argument becomes moot when the Muslim has left apart or all of their practice of Islam because of “spiritual death”. There are many advices from the Quran and the Sunnah of the Prophet (SA)about such a problem, and its cure. Some are:
To avoid that feeling that Allah (SWT) is running away from you: If anyone remembers Allah (SWT), he remembers that person: “Remember me, I shall remember you.” (Quran: 2:152)
To gain closeness to Allah (SWT): In hadith qudsi, the Prophet (SA) narrated: “Allah says: ‘I am to my servants as he expects of me, I am with him when he remembers Me. If he remembers Me in his heart, I remember him to Myself, and if he remembers me in an assembly, I mention him in an assembly better than his, and if he draws nearer to Me a hand’s span, I draw nearer to him an arm’s length, and if he comes to Me walking, I rush to him at [great] speed. (Bukhari and Muslim).
To feel alive again in the heart: The Prophet (SA) said: “The devotees have surpassed all.” They asked, “Who are these exceptional people (Mufarridun)?, O Prophet of Allah” He replied, “Those men and women who remember Allah unceasingly.” (Muslim) These are the people who are really alive.
Abu Musa reported, “The likeness of the one who remembers his Lord and the one who does not remember Him is like that of a living to a dead person.” (Bukhari).
To make practicing Islam light in One’s heart: Remembrance of Allah is the foundation of good deeds. Whoever succeed in it is blessed with the close friendship of Allah (SWT). That is why the Prophet (SA), used to make remembrance of Allah (SWT) at all times. When a man complained, “The laws of Islam are too heavy for me, so tell me something that can be easily followed.” The Prophet (SA), told him, “Let your tongue be always busy with the remembrance of Allah (SWT).” (Fiqh us-Sunnah 4.99)
To re-establish modesty and find satisfaction in one’s heart: The remembrance of Allah (SWT) have a greater impact in restraining one from shameful and unjust deeds than just the formal regular prayer. This is so because when the servants open up his soul to his Lord, extolling His praise, Allah strengthens him with His light, increasing thereby his faith and conviction, and reassuring his mind and heart. This refers to “those who believe, and whose hearts find satisfaction in the remembrance of Allah, for without doubt in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find satisfaction.” (Quran 13:28) (Fiqh us-Sunnah 4.101a)
To re-awaken humility: And when hearts are satisfied with the truth, they turn to the highest ideals without being deflected by the impulses of desire or lust… (but) words of a tongue unsupported by a willing heart are of no consequence. Allah himself has taught us the manner in which a person should remember Him, saying, “And do bring your Lord to remembrance in your very soul, with humility and in reverence, without loudness in words, in the mornings and evening, and be not of those who are heedless.” (Quran 7:205) (Fiqh us-Sunnah 4.101a)
To get a renewal of one’s Iman: Abu Hurairah also reported that the Prophet (SA), said: “Renew your faith.” “How can we renew our faith?” They asked. The Prophet (SA), replied, “say always ‘La Ilaha Ill-Allah’.” (Reported by Ahmed with a sound chain of authorities)
Here are some easy forms of remembrance according to the Sunnah:
Abu Hurairah reported that the Prophet (SA), said, “When the servant of Allah utters the word ‘La Ilaha Ill-Allah’ (there is none worthy of worship except Allah) sincerely, the doors of heaven opens up for these words until they reach the throne of Allah, so long as its utterer keeps away from the major sins.” (Tirmidhi)
Abu Hurairah reported that the Prophet (SA), said, “There are two phrases that are light on the tongue but heavy on the scale of rewards and are dear to (Allah) the gracious one. These are ‘SubhaanAllah wa bi-hamdihi (All glory is to Allah and all Praise to Him), and SubhaanAllah al-azim (Glorified is Allah the Great).” (Muslim, Bukhari and Tirmidhi)
Abu Hurairah also reported that the Prophet (SA), said: “I love repeating ‘SubhaanAllah, wal-hamdulillah, wa la-ilaha ill-Allah, wa-Allahu akbar’ (Glorified is Allah, all praise is due to Allah and there is no God but Allah, Allah is the greatest) more than all that the sun shines upon.” (Muslim and Tirmidhi)
Samura Ibn Jundab reported that the Prophet (SA), said: “The dearest phase to Allah are four: Subhan Allah (Glorified is Allah),
Alhamdulillah (All praise be to Allah),
Wa la ilaha il-Allah (There is no God but Allah),
And Allah-O-Akbar (Allah is the greatest). There is no harm in beginning them in any order you choose while remembering Allah.” (Muslim)
May Allah (SWT) help the Muslims use this advice to save any person a year of struggling with a ‘deadness’ in their heart and may Allah make us more excited about next Ramadan for having spent a year gaining strength, and life from our closeness to Allah everyday. Ameen.