Maximising the reward after Ramadhan

 

 

There I was, standing upright in my prayer, listening attentively to the imam’s beautiful recitation with tears rolling down my face from the fear of Allah and out of hope for Allah’s mercy. I had forgotten about the ache in my feet as I had been standing in prayer for over an hour now and I had just completed a long day fasting for the sake of Allah. All that mattered to me then was that Allah forgives my sins and that the imam continues reciting Allah’s beautiful and effective words that resonate through the heart.

 

Just over a month later, here I am struggling to read the Qur’an every day and finding it difficult to pray my sunnah prayers. What happened??? Not only has our ibadah decreased, but we have also forgotten a very important thing. Have we actually made du’aa to Allah that He accepts our righteous deeds? If so, do we make this du’aa very often as we should?

 

My brothers and sisters, this is the reality of the majority of us after Ramadhan and if we really care about our aakhirah, then we should stop and contemplate on what made us change, and how we can improve. Of course it is near impossible to maintain the same level of ibadah that we used to do in Ramadhan, but we should at least try to improve on last year and come out from Ramadhan with something that we continue for the rest of our lives.

 

In Ramadhan, there were many blessings which are not as visible throughout the year, and maybe it was the knowledge of the presence of these blessings that pushed us to work harder, and now that we perceive them to not be available anymore, we are beginning to slack. However, if we look deeper into the Sunnah of the prophet (peace be upon him) we will realise that many of the blessings that were available in Ramadhan are actually available throughout the year, so we should jump to this chance and ensure we take from the rewards that Allah had made easy for us to attain. Examples of these blessings are: the doors of Jannah are open, the shayateen are locked up, praying behind the imam until he finishes is like praying the whole night, fasting the whole month of Ramadhan with belief and hope of receiving Allah’s reward will have our sins forgiven.

 

There are many angles that one may take to approach the problem of reduction in ibadah, and this time I have taken the method of inviting you to do good by showing you the easy path you can take to receive similar rewards to what you received in Ramadhan. Below is how you can do so.

 

To get your sins forgiven:

 

It was narrated by Abu Qatadah, that the prophet (peace be upon him) was asked about fasting the day of Ashooraa’ (10th of Muharram), and he replied that it expiates the sins of the previous year. The prophet (peace be upon him) was also asked about fasting the day of Arafah (9th of Dhul hijjah. The day before Eid-ul-Adha), and he replied that it expiates the sins of the previous and upcoming year.

Reported in Ahmad and Abu Dawud

 

It was narrated by Abu Hurayra, that the prophet (peace be upon him) said:

“مَن قالَ سُبحانَ اللهِ وَ بِحَمدِهِ فِي يَومٍ مَائَةَ مَرَّةٍ، حَطَّت خَطاياهُ، وَ إِن كانَت مِثلَ زَبَدِ البَحرِ”

“Whosoever says in a day, “SubhanAllahi wa bihamdih” (Glory be to Allah and his Praise) 100 times, it removes his sins (between him and Allah), even if they were like the foam of the sea”

Reported in Bukhari in the chapter of supplication

 

Rewards for praying the whole night:

 

It was narrated by Uthman bin Affan, that the prophet (peace be upon him) said:

“مَن صَلَّى العِشاءَ فَي جَماعَةٍ فَكَأَنَّما قامَ نِصفَ اللَّيلِ، وَ مّن صَلَّى الصُبحَ فِي جَماعَةٍ فَكَأَنَّما صَلَّى اللَّيلَ كٌلَّه”

“Whosoever prays Ishaa’ in congregation, then it is as if he prayed half the night, and whosoever prays the morning prayer (Fajr) in congregation, then it is as if he prayed the whole night”

Reported in Muslim (656)

 

To get protection from the Shaytaan (Satan):

 

It was narrated by Abu Hurayra, that the prophet (peace be upon him) said:

“مَن قالَ لا إِلهَ إِلا اللهُ وَحدَهُ لا شَريكَ لهُ، لهُ المُلكُ وَ لَهُ الحَمدُ وَ هُوَّ عَلى كُلِّ شَيءٍ قَديرٌ. فِي كُلِّ يَومٍ، مَائَةَ مَرَّةٍ. كانَت لَهُ عَدلَ عَشرِ رِقابٍ، وَ كُتِبَت لَهُ مَائَةُ حَسَنَةٍ، وَ مُحِيَت عَنهُ مَائَةُ سَيِّئَةٍ، وَ كانَت لَهُ حِرزاً مِنَ الشَّيطانِ، يَومَهُ ذَلِكَ، حَتَّى يُمسِي. وَ لَم يَأتِ أَحَدٌ بِأفضَلَ مِمَّا جَاءَ بِهِ، إِلا أَحَدٌ عَمِلَ أَكثَرَ مِن ذَلِكَ”

“Whosoever says “La illaha illa Allah, wahdahu la shareeka lahu, lahul mulku wa lahul hamdu wa huwa ‘ala kulli shay’in qadeer” (There is none worthy of worship but Allah. He has no partners. For Him is the dominion and praise, and He is able to do all things) every day 100 times, it is like the reward of freeing ten slaves, and 100 good deeds are written for him, and 100 sins are erased from him. And it was a protection for him from the shaytaan for that day until night enters. And no one comes with better than what he did, except for someone who does more than it” (e.g. someone who says this du’aa and does more deeds on top of it)

Reported in Bukhari in the chapter the beginning of creation

 

To guarantee Paradise:

 

It was narrated by Shaddad bin Aws, that the prophet (peace be upon him) said:

“سَيِّدُ الإستِغفارِ أَن يَقُولَ العَبدُ: اللَّهُمَّ أَنتَ رَبِّي، لا إِلَه إِلاَّ أَنتَ، خَلَقْتَني وَأَنَا عَبدُكَ، وَأَنَا عَلَى عَهدِكَ وَ وَعدِكَ ما استَطَعتُ، أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِن شَرِّ ما صنَعتُ، أَبوءُ لَكَ بِنِعمتِكَ علَيَ، وَ أَبُوءُ بِذَنبِي فَاغفِر لِي ، فَإِنَّهُ لا يَغفِرُ الذُّنُوبَ إِلاَّ أَنتَ. مَن قَالَهَا مِنَ النَّهَارِ مُوقِناً بِهَا، فَمـاتَ مِن يَومِهِ قَبل أَن يُمسِيَ، فَهُوَ مِن أَهلِ الجنَّةِ، ومَن قَالَهَا مِنَ اللَّيْلِ وَ هُو مُوقِنٌ بها فَمَاتَ قَبلَ أَن يُصبح، فَهُوَ مِن أَهلِ الجنَّةِ”

“The master of seeking forgiveness is to say, “Allahum anta rabbi, la ilaha illa anta, khalaqtani, wa ana ‘abduka, wa ana ‘ala ‘ahdika wa wa’dika mastata’tu, a’oothu bika min sharri ma sana’tu, aboo’u laka bini’matika ‘alayaa wa aboo’u bithanbi, faghfir lee, fa’innahu laa yaghfiru althunooba illa anta”. Whosoever says it in the day while he is certain of it (i.e. has full faith in its meaning), and he dies in this day before night falls, then he is from the people of paradise. And whosoever says it in the night while he is certain of it (i.e. has full faith in its meaning), and he dies in this night before the day breaks, then he is from the people of paradise.

Reported in Bukhari

It is clear from this hadeeth that we need to have full faith in its meaning, so for us to believe in it, we need to know what it means. Below is a translation of the supplication, but remember, you will only enter paradise if you are someone who fulfils the five pillars of Islam and doesn’t take partners with Allah, so don’t think you can ignore the five pillars of Islam and say this supplication and you will enter paradise.

The supplication is as follows: “Oh Allah, you are my Lord, there is none worthy of worship but you. You created me and I am your slave. I keep your covenant and my pledge to you so far as I am able. I seek refuge in you from the evil of what I have done. I admit to your blessings upon me, and I admit to my misdeeds. Forgive me, for there is none who may forgive sins but you”

 

Gem from the Ahadeeth:

 

It was narrated by Abu Hurayra that the prophet (peace be upon him) said:

” كَلِمَتانِ خَفِيفَتانِ عَلَى اللِّسانِ، ثَقِيلَتانِ فَي المِيزانِ، حَبِيبَتانِ إِلى الرَّحمنِ: سُبحانَ اللهِ العَظيمِ، سُبحانَ اللَّهِ وَ بِحَمدِهِ”

“Two words, easy on the tongue, heavy on the scales, beloved to the Merciful (Allah): “SubhanAllahi Al’Atheem, subhanAllahi wa bihamdih” (Glory be to Allah the Great, Glory be to Allah and his praise”

Reported in Bukhari in the chapter of supplication

 

To get a house in paradise:

 

It was narrated by Um Habiba (the prophet’s wife), that the prophet (peace be upon him) said:

“There is no slave that prays for Allah every day 12 rak’at voluntary, not obligatory (prayers), except that Allah builds for him a house in paradise”

Reported in Muslim (727)

The scholars have agreed that these 12 rak’at are the 2 sunnah before Fajr, 4 before Dhuhr, 2 after Dhuhr, 2 after Maghrib and 2 after Ishaa’.

 

To get the reward of fasting the whole year:

 

It was narrated by Abu Ayyub, that the prophet (peace be upon him) said:

“Whosoever fasts Ramadhan and follows it up with 6 (days) from Shawwal, it was like fasting the entire year”

Reported in Muslim (1164)

Shawwal is the month after Ramadhan in the Muslim calendar. Remember, the hadeeth says “follows it up” so you must make up any fasts you missed in Ramadhan before fasting these 6 days.

 

 

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