|Photo by Horacio Maria|
Maghrib creeps in as the sun descents into the horizon; it's like Ramadan is waving goodbye while walking away, slowly disappearing from sight.
But just because Ramadan is leaving, that doesn't necessarily mean that it's going to totally disappear. The spirit of Ramadan can live on, but that depends on us. We have to keep Ramadan alive in our hearts and in our deeds.
A good test to know whether we did well or not in Ramadan is to observe ourselves outside of Ramadan. Have I changed to become a better person? Or am I reverting to my old ways?
Will I go all out, to "compensate" for all the "opportunities" that I've missed in Ramadan? Because you know, I can't be bad in Ramadan. I have to watch myself closely in Ramadan. But when Ramadan is over, the party is on right?
How many of us are thinking in this manner? That question is for you to answer and for no one to find out.
Ramadan is not there for us to be temporarily "angelic". Allah gave us Ramadan as a 30-day opportunity for self-improvement. After Ramadan is over, that self-improvement will be put to the ultimate test once our nemesis is back again - Shaytan.
We have 11 months of constant struggling ahead of us. I hope that the 30 days we've spent in Ramadan has equipped us with the motivation and the strength to go through the other months with increasing awareness of God (Taqwa).
"O you who have believed, decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may attain Taqwa." (Surah al-Baqarah: 183)
The Prophet gave a brilliant analogy to distinguish between a good friend and a bad friend:
“A good friend and a bad friend are like a perfume-seller and a blacksmith: The perfume-seller might give you some perfume as a gift, or you might buy some from him, or at least you might smell its fragrance. As for the blacksmith, he might singe your clothes, and at the very least you will breathe in the fumes of the furnace.” [Bukhari, Muslim]
Just by virtue of being around a good friend, like a perfume-seller, the fragrance will stick to us. Ramadan is our good friend and we have spent 30 days together.
The fragrance of Ramadan can last forever, if only we don't rub it off.
A reflection to remember as we go on with our lives, past Ramadan.
Eid Mubarak everyone!