Life after Ramadan
All praise is due to Allah. We thank Him, we seek His help and forgiveness. We also seek His refuge against the evil within ourselves and that of our deeds. Whoever Allah guides, nobody can mislead him, and whoever He misleads will never be guided. I testify that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad is His Servant and Messenger. May Allah bestow peace and blessing upon the noble Prophet, his family and companions.
Dear Muslims! Months, days and years are made to determine the lifespan of humans and to afford them the opportunity to perform good deeds. Furthermore, death patrols day and night to take the souls of those whose time is due and everyone will be addressed on the Day of Resurrection to account for his/her deeds. In one of the Qudsi hadiths, Allah says: “These are only your deeds; I record them and for which I am going to reward you. So, whoever gets a good reward should be thankful to Allah and whoever gets otherwise should only blame himself.”
Dear brothers and sisters! Your month of Ramadan has now gone with your deeds. Let those who have committed wrong among you quickly repent and mend their ways before the door of Repentance is closed and let those who have done good continue on the same track for the best of all acts of obedience are those followed by their like. Be concerned more over the acceptance of your deeds than over the deeds themselves for Allah does not accept deeds except from the pious ones. Also, beware of following good deeds with bad ones because if we say that good deeds eradicate bad ones, it is also possible that bad deeds destroy good ones. Brothers and sisters in faith!
During the past month, you were fasting during the day, praying during the night, and doing different kinds of sacrificial acts in order to obtain a reward and be saved from Hellfire. With the departure of this month, a stage of your live has passed. This is how we pass the days of this life in stages on our way to the everlasting abode. Indeed, continuation of good deeds at all times is a characteristic of righteous people. Acts of obedience do not have a specific time. However, the month of Ramadan is an opportunity for the believers to race with one another towards good deeds and is an opportunity to direct one’s soul towards meritorious acts and keep it from vices; yet, it is incumbent on Muslims to remain on the path of righteousness even after Ramadan.
Worshipping Allah should not be restricted to Ramadan alone for there is no end to the Muslim’s worship except when he dies. What evil people are those who worship in only one month and do not know Allah except in Ramadan!
Dear Muslims! Certainly, there are signs for the acceptance and rejection of deeds in this month. Among the signs of acceptance of good deeds is to follow them with more good deeds. Likewise, it is a sign of rejection to follow one’s good deeds with evil ones. Allah says: [Establish Prayer at the two ends of the day and in some watches of the night. Lo! good deeds annul ill deeds. This is a reminder for the mindful.] (Hud 11: 114) The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) also said: “Fear Allah wherever you are, follow the evil deed with a good one to erase it, and treat people with good manners.” (At-Tirmidhi) Let those who are determined to go back to sins after Ramadan know that Allah is always pleased with those who obey Him irrespective of time, and is angry with those who disobey Him irrespective of the month in which the disobedience takes place. The person’s continuation of good deeds without restricting it to a certain period, particular month, or special place is a sign of one’s righteousness and acceptance of his good deeds.
Fellow Muslims! Though the Ramadan season is now gone, yet, fasting is still recommended in other months. The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) has recommended fasting on Mondays and Thursdays. Imam At-Tirmidhi reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Deeds are presented (to Allah) on Monday and Thursday and I would like that my deeds be presented while I am fasting.” It is also reported that he (peace and blessings be upon him) told Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) that fasting for three days in every month is equal to fasting forever. In another Hadith, the Prophet is reported to have said, “He who observed the fast of Ramadan and then followed it with six (fasts) of Shawwal; it would be as if he fasted perpetually.” (Muslim) Even though night prayer during Ramadan might have gone, night prayer throughout the year is also recommended. It has been authentically reported from the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) that Allah comes every night down on the nearest Heaven to us when the last third of the night remains, saying: “Is there anyone to invoke Me, so that I may respond to his invocation? Is there anyone to ask Me, so that I may grant him his request? Is there anyone seeking My forgiveness, so that I may forgive him?” Fellow Muslims! While there are a some youths, who during the noble month of Ramadan, were busy passing their time in lustful things, sins, and acts of obedience, there are others who were busy doing deeds of righteousness such as i`tikaf (spiritual retreat) in the houses of Allah. They gave obedience to their Lord preference over their own desires. You would see them bowing, prostrating, and reciting the Glorious Qur’an. Such youths are the hope and pride of this Ummah.
Dear Muslims! Fear Allah for fear of Allah is the head of all matters. Obey Allah and keep away from His restrictions, so that you receive His pleasure and are saved from His torment. Do not return to sinning and disobedience so as not to be entitled to His punishment.
Dear brothers and sisters, thank your Lord for enabling you to complete the fasting of this month. Enjoy your Eid by remaining consistent in doing good deeds and keep away from undesirable things that would lead to removing Allah’s favors from you. One of our righteous predecessors said, “Each day in which no act of disobedience to Allah is committed is Eid, and each day a believer spent in acts of obedience to his Lord is `Eid”. Friday sermon by Sheikh `Abdul Muhsin al-Qasim, the Prophet’s Mosque, Al-Madinah