By Tajuddin B. Shuaib
The believer should be cognizant of the fact that the month of Ramadan is nearing to end and its departure is imminent.
Ramadan may be a witness for or against you. Whoever is blessed to fill it with faith and good deeds should thank Allah for the honor, and must be assured of reward in the Hereafter.
For Allah (Glory be to Him) will never deny a soul his or her just and complete reward. Whoever fills it with unseemly acts should return to Allah in repentance, which He has promised to accept.
Allah (Glory be to Him) has mandated acts of worship at the end of Ramadan in order to assist us in our desire to express our love for Allah, to strengthen our faith and increase the weight of our deeds. He mandated fast breaking alms (Zakat al Fitr); legislated glorification and exaltation of Allah, (Takbir) on the eve of Eid beginning from sunset until the time of Eid.
He (Glory be to Him) stated:
He wants you to complete the prescribed period and to glorify Him in that He has guided you and perchance you shall be grateful. (Al-Baqarah, 2:187)
The Takbir goes like this: “Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, la ilaha ill Allah, wallahu Akbar Allahu Akbar wa lillahil hamd.”
Men will say this Takbir aloud in Masjids, market places, and in homes affirming Allah’s Glory and publicizing His Mercy upon them. Women will express their Takbir silently as they are commanded to conceal their voices. Allah (Glory be to Him) legislated `Eid prayer. It culminates in the remembrance of Allah (Glory be to Him).
The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) commanded his followers, men and women, to fulfill this act of worship and His commands must be obeyed by all, as Allah (Glory be to Him) said:
O ye who believe, obey Allah, and obey the Messenger, and make not vain your deeds. (Muhammad 47: 33)
He commanded women to leave their homes and attend Eid, whereas their praying at home is at other times more preferable and better.
In a hadith related by Umm Atiyah, she said, “The Messenger of Allah commanded us to leave our homes for Eid al-fitr and Eid al-Adha prayers, including mature, menstruating women and virgins. As for the menstruating women, they should keep away from the place of worship but should participate in good deeds and duaa (supplication) . Umm Atiyah interrupted: ‘O Messenger of Allah, some of us do not have the outer garment (Jalbab)!’ He replied: ‘She may borrow it from her friend.’” (Muslim and Al-Bukhari)
It is recommended to eat a few dates in odd numbers before leaving for Eid in Eid al-fitr, in accordance with the report from Anas ibn Malik (may Allah be pleased with him), who said: “The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) will not leave for Eid al-fitr until he eats some dates in odd numbers.” (Ahmed and Al-Bukhari)
It is recommended to go to the Eid site walking instead of riding unless the place is far or the person is unable to walk due to age or illness. Men should wear their best clothes, but should avoid silk and gold. Women should wear modest and decent long dresses, and avoid flashy or immodest outfits and perfumes in their outing for Eid. Eid prayer should be observed in the most humble and devoted manner.
One should praise Allah often and seek His mercy and should remember the ultimate gathering in the Hereafter. He should be cognizant of the fact that there is inequality and disparity among the ranks of the believers on Eid day as there will be disparity in ranks among the believers in the Hereafter.
Allah (Glory be to Him) stated:
See how We have bestowed more on some than on others, but verily the Hereafter is more in rank and gradation and more in excellence. (Al-Israa 17:21)
One should be jubilant that he or she is blessed to fast during Ramadan and has been able to observe prayers, recitation of the Quran and giving of Zakah. These acts are better for us than this world. Allah (Glory be to Him) says:
Say in the bounty of Allah and in His mercy, in that let them rejoice; that is better than the wealth they hoard. (Yunus 10:58)
Indeed, if the `ibadah of this Ramadan is finished and the `Eid prayer is completed the `ibadah of the believer will not finish until death.
Allah (Glory be to Him) states:
O ye who believe, fear Allah as He should be feared, and die not except in a sate of Islam. (Aal `Imran:102)
And serve thy Lord until there comes unto thee the Hour that is certain. (Al-Hijr, 15: 99).
The Messenger of Allah said: “When the servant of Allah dies, his deeds are cut off.” (Muslim) So, the service to Allah is continuous until the end of life. The end of Ramadan does not mean the end of fasting. There is the highly recommended fasting of six days in Shawwal, and three days sunnah fasting in every month, as well as on Mondays and Thursdays, and fasting most of Shaban and Muharram. If Ramadan is over, night prayers are not. Praise be to Allah, this remains a sunnah of the Messenger (peace be upon him) every night of the year forever.
In a Hadith by Mughirah ibn Shu`bah (may Allah be pleased with him) he said: “The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) regularly prayed at night until his feet swelled’. He was asked, ‘Why (this hardship)?’ He responded: ‘Why shouldn’t I be a servant who expresses his gratitude this way.’” (Bukhari)
In another Hadith related by Abdullah bin Salam (may Allah be pleased with him), the Messenger said: “O people if you disseminate salutations (salam) among your ranks, feed those who need to be fed and maintain the family ties and pray at night while people sleep, you will enter paradise with peace.” (Tirmidhi)
The Sunnah prayers (Rawatib) before or after the five daily prayers are 12 raka`at: four before Zuhr (Noon prayer), and two after; two raka`at after Maghrib (Evening prayer); two raka’aat after `Ishah (Night prayer), and two raka`at before Fajr (Morning prayer).
In a Hadith related by Umm Habibah (may Allah be pleased with her), she say: “I heard the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: ‘Every servant who observes twelve raka`at of supererogatory prayers other than the obligatory prayers, Allah (Glory be to Him) will build for him a house in paradise.’ ”
In another version: “Whoever prayed twelve raka`at (of supererogatory prayers), day and night, Allah (Glory be to Him) will build with them a house for him in paradise.” (Muslim)
Remember the remembrance of Allah after Salat. Allah (Glory be to Him) sates:
When ye pass (congregational) prayer celebrate Allah’s praises standing, sitting down, or lying down on your side.. (An-Nisa’, 4: 103)
The Messenger would seek forgiveness three times after salutations (salam) following prayer. He prayed: “Allahumma antas Salaam wa minkas salaam tabarakta yaa dhaljalaal wal ikraam.”
He (peace be upon him) is reported as saying: “Whoever glorifies Allah at the end of every Salat 33 times (subhanallah), and praises Allah 33 times (Alhamdulillah), and utters the word of Greatness 33 times, (Allahu Akbar) that is ninety nine, then completes it with one hundred, saying: ‘Laa ilaha illallah wahdahu laa sharika lahuu lahul Mulk wa lahul hamd wa huwa `alaa k ulli shay in qadeer,’ his shortcomings will be forgiven, even if it is as large as the froth of the sea.” (Muslim)
Dear believer, strive in the path of Allah and obey His Messenger’s commands. Avoid disregarding His commands so that you will deserve a good life in this life and the life after. Allah stated:
Whoever works righteousness, man or woman, and has faith, verily to him will We give a new life, a life that is good and pure, and We will bestow on such their reward according to the best of their actions.(An-Nahl 16: 97)
O Allah, keep us firm in our faith and good deeds and bless us with a good life, and make us join the ranks of the righteous people!
Source: Taken with modifications from the author’s Ramadan the Fasting Month.