Ramadan came and went away and now we are about to enter the last 10 days of shawwal. But if I look back and recall the last days of Ramadan and compare the state of my heart between now and then, I feel like I was a totally different person back then, so much focused on Allah and trying to please Him with all that I could do. And I feel like I have lost myself somehow.
But the question is: what happens to us the moment we step out of the blessed month? Why are we not able to continue our spiritual growth with the same zeal and fervour?
One reason is quite obvious and we all know it so well… and that is the arrival of the devil, who had been chained up in Ramadan. Obviously we cannot be expected to behave the same anymore with the wicked enemy always there to distract us one way or the other. But what about the TAQWA which we were supposed to achieve in Ramadan so that it would help us throughout the rest of the year… where did it go?
The answer could be one of the two:
1- either we were just too busy to follow the routine of the Ramadan and did not make any effort to achieve Taqwa… which is the power we need for an Allah-conscious life
2- or it might be that we did aim for taqwa and we did achieve it too… but we failed to preserve it.
If the second is true then the next question would be:
How were we supposed to preserve it?
And the answer is…
By remaining conscious and alert like holding onto some precious treasure… which we bought with so much effort in that month…
And also by a practical measure
Which is to keep the six fasts of shawwal… so as to re-develop the feeling of closeness with Allah…
It is a well known Hadith that whoever fasts for six days in shawwal will get the reward of fasting for a whole year… IMAGINE the pleasure and satisfaction of developing an ever growing bond with Allah!!
So even if it seems to be too late now to try… I strongly advise all those who have been in some kind of situation which prevented them to do it so far, to not lose hope and give their nafs one extra push to make use of shawwal while it is here…
We have to discipline our nafs and DO what is MOST BENEFICIAL for us… no matter how much it argues and gives false excuses… because
If we chose not to face the pain of discipline then we must be ready to face the other pain…
Which is the pain of REGRET
May Allah save us from that pain in both worlds… ameen