AFTER RAMADAN WHAT NEXT?

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IN THE NAME OF ALLAH, THE BENEFICENT, THE MERCIFUL
BEING THE FIRST KHUTBAH FOR THE MONTH OF SHAWWAL, 4/SHAWWAL/1440AH (7/JUNE/2019CE)

AFTER RAMADAN WHAT NEXT?
Praise be to Allah in an exceeding degree, praise be to Him for His favours and comfort. Praise be to Allah exceedingly, Allah is the greatest. Glory be to Allah morning and evening. To Allah is due all praises as it is pleasing to Him for all His uncountable blessings. I bear witness that there is no god but Allah alone; He gives and takes life, He is able of all things. I bear witness that our leader, model, and master- Muhammad bn Abdullah is his chosen prophet and Messenger. May Allah bestow peace and blessings on him, his families, his companions and those who follow them in righteousness till the day of recompense. May Allah grant us the same and all righteousness servants of Allah.

Thereafter,
O Servant of Allah, I urge you to fear Allah in the secret and the public. Piety is the way out of every difficulty and a path to provision and abundance.
“And whoever fears Allah – He will make for him a way out. And will provide for him from where he does not expect. And whoever relies upon Allah – then He is sufficient for him. Indeed, Allah will accomplish His purpose. Allah has already set for everything a (decreed) extent (65:2-3)

Dear Muslims, we had beautiful moments in Ramadan filled with mutual hastening to goodness and acts of obedience. Mosques were filled with Worshippers morning and night showing existence of genuine faith in the souls and its penetration into the depths of the hearts.
Muslims strive to perform acts of obedience and worship in Ramadan, they guarded the prayer, adhered to the qiyamul- layl, they hastened to perform the Umrah, and I’tikaaf in the mosques of Allah. They spent in the cause of Allah, the Almighty and fasted the days, they were plentiful in dhikr, supplication, and in that manner they hastened to implement every command of Allah regarding established worship, hoping that Allah accept them all, and help them to maintain the efforts after Ramadan.
Firmness after Ramadan
Allah forbade His faithful worshipers from being like those who spent a long time spinning wool to make garment from it, and as he near completion, suddenly began to loosen it. Allah says: (وَلاَ تَكُونُواْ كَالَّتِي نَقَضَتْ غَزْلَهَا مِن بَعْدِ قُوَّةٍ أَنكَاثًا) “And do not be like she who untwisted her spun thread after it was strong.” This is similar to the case of those who quickly return to sins after Ramadan, they leave all forms of worship which they have perfected its implementation in Ramadan with all their energy and ability, but they discard all that immediately after the sunset of the last day of Ramadan.

If a person thinks about the reason for his quick return to sins after Ramadaan, he will discover that the escape of the devils who were chained in Ramadan are among the major reasons. The devil is keen to cause the entry of man into the fire, he is doing everything within his power to convince him to commit sins. At the end of Ramadaan, he is raged, knowing that Allah has forgiven the obedient Muslim, and he therefore begins a new journey of whispering and deceit to tempt the Muslim into disobedience and being distanced from the way of Allah, the Exalted. In order that man gain stability to ward off the tricks of the Devil, firmness is imperative after Ramadan, and continuity in obedience, and keenness of worship. The first task on man to ensure firmness is to guard his burning resolve. In Ramadan, man is full of positive energy and determination to make effort in the performance of worship. To ensure firmness the following five points are sacrosanct:
1 – Observance of the five daily prayers, especially the Fajr prayer, and better to be in the mosque, if he is not able, minimally he should perform it at its earliest time with the voluntary prayers.
2 – Perpetual reading of the Qur’aan. In Ramadan, a person reads one or two or more juz’ (parts) in one day. Thus he should sustain that after Ramadaan, like reading a few pages daily, he should not leave the reading and desert it until the next Ramadan.
3 – Frequent remembrance of Allah at all times; when sleeping, when going out, in the morning and evening, and in any situation.
4 – Concern for du’aa’, even for a few minutes a day, importantly, one should continue to supplicate to Allah, in addition to standing up at night at least once a week, and fast some days as voluntary fast, and such is better in maintaining steadfastness and continuity in obedience.
Fasting six days in Shawwal after Ramadaan
Of the recommended acts after Ramadan is the narration from the prophet (Peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) as he said: (whoever fasts Ramadan then follows it with (fasting of) six days in Shawwaal is like the fast of a year) (narrated by Muslim in the hadeeth of Abu Ayyub Al-Ansari. This fast is sunnah and not compulsory, though it has great reward. The scholars of Hanbalis and Shaaf’is said that fasting six days of Shawwaal after the fast of Ramadaan is equivalent to obligatory fast of a complete one year. The scholars said the fast represents compensation for the shortfall in the fast of the faster in Ramadan. Man, without doubt errs or commits sins which reduces his fasting rewards in Ramadan and thus comes the fasting of the six of Shawwal as supplement for this shortcoming. The hadith quoted to support this opinion is as follow: “The first thing man shall be put to question about among his deeds on the Day of Judgment is solat, our Lord the Exalted would say to His angel while being more aware than them, “Check the solat of my servant, whether he completes it or not? If it is complete, it will be written for him as complete, but if anything is deficient thereof,, He says: “Check, does my servant have any voluntary prayer? If he has voluntary prayers, he says: “Use it to complete the obligatory prayers of my servants, then deeds would be examined in that manner.” Narrated by al-Albaani, in Saheeh al-Jaami ‘, from Abu Hurayrah,: 2571.
Signs of acceptance of work in Ramadan
The Muslim hopes in Allah to accept his deeds after performing any act of obedience such as Hajj, fasting, charity, or others. Abdullah bin Mas’ud said: “O You whose deeds are accepted, congratulations, O you whose deeds are rejected may Allah cleanse your calamity.” Ali bn Abi Talib would He also says after the end of the seasons of worship: (Who is acceptable, for us to congratulate him, and who is the deprived, that we may sympathize with him? Allah the Exalted has made signs for acceptable deeds by which one gets comforted and reassured, the include the following:

1 – The abandonment of sins permanently and not return to them after the obligation of obedience. The return to sin is a sign of loss. Man should seek help from Allah and be determined not to return to sins ever again.
2 – To have fear of own’s work not being accepted; the true believer is the one who when he performs a good deed, he become compassionate to himself, fearful of not being accepted by Allah, and continue to supplicate to Allah to accept it from him. The prophet, peace be upon him said on the tafsir of the verse: (وَالَّذِينَ يُؤْتُونَ مَا آتَوْا وَّقُلُوبُهُمْ وَجِلَةٌ), (And they who give what they give while their hearts are fearful because they will be returning to their Lord) (23:60) He (peace be upon him) said: They are those who fasted, prayed and gave charity but then became fearful that it might not be accepted from them, they are those who hasten to good deeds, and they are foremost therein.” Narrated by al-Albaani, in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi, on the authority of Aisha, the mother of the believers: 3175.
3 – Following obedience act by more acts of obedience. Allah honours His servants by guiding them to acts good deeds after good deeds, and He opens the door of nearness for them towards Him.
4 – To avoid self- conceit or being amazed by one’s deed, it should be belittled in the face of Allah’s favour. This is the situation of the sincere servants, they recognize the right of Allah on them and they realize they have not been able to do anything of this great right.
5 – Attachment to obedience and hatred to disobedience and sins. Allah endears obedience to the hearts of his slaves from whom He accept their deeds, and He makes them hate sins.
6 – Fervent supplication to Allah with hope in Him. Man relates with Allah, the exalted in both fear and hope not by one of the two only, he is afraid of his deed not being accepted, at the same time he hopes for the acceptance, thus he employ the tool of dua to actualize that.
7 – The inclination of the heart towards the righteous and its dissociation from the sinners. Allah endears to the heart of his servants people of rightousness, and He makes them hate people of sins. This is the foundation for the believers to love for Allah and hates for Him too.
8 – Seeking a lot of forgiveness. Many of the acts of worship are required to be concluded by seeking forgiveness, and this is because, no matter how high the status of obedience, man remain deficient in the fulfilment of the rights of Allah.
9 – Continuation in obedience, this is the guidance of the Messenger of Allah peace be upon him, has narrated by Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) saying: (The Messenger of Allah- peace be upon him, when he does an action he affirms it.” Narrated by Muslim, in Saheeh Muslim.
Oh Allah accept our fast, prayers, bowing and prostration. O Allah ease for us Your remembrance, gratitude to You and sound worship. O Allah make the Qur’an the succor to our hearts, light to our faces, remover of our grief and sorrow. O Allah show us the truth and grant us the wherewithal to follow it, show us falsehood and grant us the wherewithal to desist. O Allah forgive the believers; men and women, and the Muslim men and women, both the living and the deceased, You are All- hearing, most near, answerer of prayers. O Allah make this nation- Nigeria peaceful, safe, generous, with abundant welfare, and all other Muslim nations.

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