Adieu Ya Ramadan Kareem – The Finest Way to Bid Farewell
The moon is sighted, the sirens are going off, and the announcement of Eid-ul-Fitr (the post Ramadan Islamic Festival) is making its way in the lives of Muslims. The blessed month of Ramadan once again touched the lives of the Muslims around the world, stayed for some time, showering Allah SWT’s mercy and forgiveness over the worshippers, and now it is departing, leaving behind its essence, granting forgiveness, washing away polluted hearts, purifying souls, amending lives, fixing worships, harmonizing relationships and developing the Muslim behavior and actions.
However, as they bid farewell to Ramadan the blessed guest, some of the unfortunate believers fail to realize that they acquired almost nothing out of this month, or that all of what they gained, they are on the verge of losing it just because of how they respond to the last night of the month, the night when the labor is supposed to get his reward.
The last night of Ramadan holds immense significance in terms of worship and reward. However, as the moon is sighted, Muslims instead consider as if they have been freed of restrictions and are liberated of religious obligations. The night before Eid-ul-Fitr is often seen as the night of celebrations, partying and shopping. Muslims in my country leap out of their houses, hop into their cars and head for shopping. Shopping malls are crammed with the local public, people of all age enjoying their night out, after a long month of ibadahs (Worships). Roads are blocked due to severe traffic jams, and markets are filled with people.
It is generally witnessed that heavy music is being played in the respective venues, as if with the liberation of Shaytan (Devil), the immorality has also been liberated and respect and esteem for the month has been caged, and Muslims are issued a free ticket to commit all types of obscenity. Mixed crowds of men and women, with young girls and women attracting the opposite sex, with inappropriate behaviors and immoral gestures, are a sight lamentable enough for the Muslim Ummah. People are busy in shopping, purchasing clothes, home decors and jewelry, with henna being applied at a number of venues. Beauty parlors are packed with females, waiting in queues for their turn for beauty treatments and other cosmetic touches.
With such activities and attitudes around the end of Ramadan, Muslims forget the purpose of the month and what they were supposed to maintain and gain during these days. A believer must remember and realize that in this world they are liberated to the point where their Lord Almighty has permitted things for them, and they are bound to the point where their Lord Almighty has placed restrictions and boundaries upon them. This is indeed being submissive and obedient to the commandments of Allah Subhana Hu Ta’ala, the core of the true believer.
A true joy and happiness of the fasting believer lies, not in immodest and un-Islamic celebration activities but in breaking the fast and meeting his Creator Almighty. The Prophet Sal Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam said,
“He who fasts has two joys: a joy when he breaks his fast and a joy when he meets his Lord.” (Sahih Bukhari)
Eid-ul-Fitr is an occasion of joy and happiness. However, the celebrations to be made in this festive occasion should and must all be halal (permissible in Islam) and as prescribed by Allah Subhana Hu Ta’ala. The Quran mentions:
“…and to glorify Allah for that [to] which He has guided you; and perhaps you will be grateful.” (2:185)
The month of Ramadan was a month of guidance and mercy, a month of opportunity to wash and rectify, and with its departure, one must glorify the Lord Almighty for such a precious and remarkable blessing granted to them. Even in other moments of happiness, a true believer never fails to forget his Lord Almighty, for the feeling of gratitude must persist in all moments of bliss.
Eid-ul-Fitr is indeed a day of celebrations that marks the end of Ramadan. However, it does not end the mission and the purpose of Ramadan, but requires one to remain steadfast in the deeds and worships after this month ends, and maintain the spiritual development, which is the major key of this month.
The night preceding this day is Layla Tul Jaiza (The night of Reward), when Allah Subhana Hu Ta’ala grants rewards to the true laborers of the month, who strived hard the whole month and absorbed themselves in long and rigorous exercises of worship. This night is the night of ibadah, supplications and prayers, and Allah Subhana Hu Ta’ala accepts the prayers of the believers and rewards Muslims, as much as forgiven during the whole month of Ramadan.
The Prophet Sal Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam is reported to have said:
“Whoever stands up (in worship) in the nights preceding the two Eids expecting rewards from his Lord, his heart will not die when the other hearts will die.” (Ibn Majah)
The Prophet Sal Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam had a practice of not sleeping in this night and worshipping Allah Subhana Hu Ta’ala. On the other hand, most of the Muslims do remain awake in this night but they are not preoccupied in worship, in seeking reward from their Lord Almighty for all the efforts they made during the whole month. Rather they are busy either in household chores, cleaning, sweeping, dusting for the next day, or preparing food and other delicacies in the kitchen, for the upcoming Eid dinners, and for guests. Or else, they are busy in celebrating, partying out the whole night, with music, and henna, bangles, gifts, shopping and Chand raat (Night of the moon) dinners, violating the bounds and laws laid by Shariah (The Islamic Law).
In order to make the most out of the Layla Tul Jaiza (The night of Reward), a believer is supposed to pray for steadfastness and consistency on taqwa once Ramadan ends and the ultimate enemy of the momin, Shaytan returns. One must also make special prayers for an inspiration to maintain recitation of Quran-e-Kareem, Tahajjud etc after Ramadan as well. One must pray for acceptance of their worships, their fasts, Qayam-ul-Layls (The Night Prayers), and for all their endeavors.
A true believer must also feel regretful and remorseful of the precious moments f the blessed month wasted in ghaflah (forgetfulness of Allah SWT), and must do Istighfaar (seek forgiveness) for it in abundance. One must also seek Allah Subhana Hu Ta’al’s protection from sins. One must pray Nawafil prayers for Shukar (Gratitude) and Tauba (Repentance). Quranic recitation and other tasbehaats are also prescribed so that they may be maintained in the nights after Ramadan, with the blessing and barakah of this last night.
Eid-ul-Fitr should mark the beginning of a new chapter in the life of a Muslim. A believer must start anew, with an intention not to return to his previous sinful life. Rather make an intention to fulfill the promises of submission and obedience made during the month and make an effort to preserve the proximity created with the Lord Almighty.
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