Nigeria: 'After Ramadan, Should You Go Back to Sins?!' (II)

opinion

Yes! If indeed you fasted during the just concluded month of Ramadan, that means you should have undergone training in how to avoid gossips and 'gisting' about your fellow brothers and sisters such that after the month you would become busy not with other people's infirmities but your own inadequacies.

If indeed you fasted the way you should during the month of Ramadan, that means you should have become, post-Ramadan, conscious of the less privileged in your milieu. It means you should be conscious of the fact that the completion of fasting does not translate to the occlusion or deletion of the less privileged from our reality.

Thus, not to assist them anymore would amount to infidelity to the oath you swore during the month of Ramadan -that like the Almighty you shall continue to be compassionate to those who are not as fortunate and privileged like ourselves; the oath you swore during the month of Ramadan that you shall avoid all indecencies since the Law-giver in the month of Ramadan does not go on sabbatical thereafter!

To have fasted in the month of Ramadan would have meant you became an angel throughout the nights of the days of the month. Brother, were you not surprised how strong that younger brother of yours became in observing extra supererogatory prayers? Was it not a matter of wonderment that she could forsake the luxuries of this world in order for her to walk with the Almighty? But would it not be more surprising if you were to find her or him once again in the abyss of infamy and indecency all of which they avoided throughout last month? Would you not wonder about that sister or brother who observed night vigils during the month of Ramadan and in line with Quran 17: 78 only for him to go in search of spiritual succor outside Islam? Such brethren usually work with the assumption that to stand by and with the Almighty is to be free of trials and tribulations. What an error-ridden view of life. Therefore, bear this in mind- to walk with the Almighty is to make a choice to stand on the same 'podium' where Prophets Ibrahim, Nuh, Musa, Isa and Muhammad (a.s) were precursors and exemplars; a podium that was circumscribed by trials and tribulation; a stage was emblazoned by want and deprivations. Not to stand by and with the Almighty is to become a foot-soldier for Shaytan; to become a priest in the cathedral of charlatans and the denizens of hell. Thus we must counsel ourselves thus: "So remain on the right course as you have been commanded, and do not be among those condemned to ruination (Quran11: 112). To 'remain' on the path and steadfast is to not consider the month of Ramadan as the consultancy period of the Almighty; that it is only then He can attend to our needs. No. He is the Lord of the month of Ramadan and Shawwal. He is the Lord in the season of pain and gain. He is the Lord in times of prosperity and adversity. He is the Lord who grants favours and blessings and withhold same. He is the Lord who elevates and debases.

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Let those who are determined to go back to sins after Ramadaan know that He is always pleased with those who obey Him regardless of the month or the season the obedience takes place and that he is angry with those who disobey Him irrespective of the moment the disobedience takes place. As far as He is concerned, to be prosperous and successful is to enjoy long life full of good deeds. The good deeds that He would accept are those without spatial or time markers.

Thus, though the month of Ramadan has gone, acts of fasting are on-going. Begin with the fasting of six days in this month. Remember our Prophet says whoever fast six days in the month of Shawwal would enjoy the reward of a year's fasting. He says: "Whoever fasts in the month of Ramadan and then follows it with six days fasting in Shawaal would be deemed to have fasted for live." (Reported by Muslim). Also remember the fasting of Mondays and Thursdays. He is reported to have said again: "Deeds are presented to the Almighty on Mondays and Thursdays and I would like that my deeds be presented while I am fasting."

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