Muslims almost all over the world are in festive mood. We are happy to have successfully completed Ramadan fasting. We started this year fasting on Thursday and it ended on Thursday. This is not unique. Probably many of us do not observe that the day Ramadan commences is likely the day it ends. The only exception is when Muslims have to fast for thirty days due to difficulty in sighting the crescent which heralds the end of the month. That is the Sunnah of Allah.
What is also interesting is the fact that this year’s ‘id coincides with another ‘id which is Friday. This coincidence is becoming frequent in recent years. We can still count it as Allah’s mercy on us. Should we therefore over celebrate? Over celebration would lead to transgressing Allah’s limit. Can we then over thank Allah since what He requires from us is to thank him. But over thanking Allah gives the impression that Allah’s favors on us are countable. The Qur’an teaches otherwise. It teaches that Allah’s favors are uncountable. Even without the Qur’an, common sense in a healthy body should be able to realize the limitlessness and uncountableness of Allah’s favors. What then should we do to show our appreciation to Allah for combining two festivals for us in a single day? The best way is to, while thanking Him immensely, maintain that high spiritual level and acts of righteousness which we were accustomed to in Ramadan after Ramadan.
Having said this, nothing excites me about rituals in Islam than the fact that they are not determined by any authoritarian mortal; they are determined by Allah. As the crescent has been sighted, no powerful Muslim ruler anywhere in the world, no matter how powerful, can ask Muslims to fast the day of ‘id. If power intoxicates him to give such command, then no Muslim is obliged to obey him. In fact, Muslims are obliged to disobey him.
All we can say is Alhamdulillah for the gift of Islam which makes everyone equal before their Creator (Allah). Ramadan has come and gone. It is, figuratively, a great disciplinarian and a great teacher. The most stubborn ones among us are disciplined invisibly by invisible Ramadan such that we became disciplined. Allahu Akbar! Similarly, it teaches us generosity, mutual love, selflessness, and ethics such that many of us unconsciously and literally became ethicists. One amazing fact about this great teacher (Ramadan) is that it doesn’t need a classroom to teach. The service it renders (teaching) is not paid for lest it becomes the exclusive right of those who can pay for it. It teaches for an unbroken length of twenty-nine days and might add one more day for revision of what is taught if lessons are considered not well understood.
Ramadan is never a bad teacher. Yet, it has many poor performing students. let’s not forget that all its students are Muslims. Some are less concerned about what Ramadan teaches despite being a great teacher. Some are attentive to its teachings but forget so soon after its departure. Some are loyal students who try their utmost to assimilate and practice what was taught. Thus, they are determined to please Allah.
The question is: which kind of students are we? In other words, what kind of Muslims are we in relation to Ramadan? let’s be loyal students to Ramadan. Only then can we please Allah as we celebrate Sallah. So, we should not forget what the great teacher (Ramadan) taught us. Allah instructs us and expects us to magnify His name as we celebrate. We have every reason to celebrate but we have no reason to transgress Allah’s limit in celebration. Transgression either leads to forgetfulness of what has been learnt or it (transgression) is the actual consequence of forgetfulness.
Those who will soon ignore the good morals Ramadan taught them and those who have forgotten them even right now, are those who allow Shaitan to follow them. They are dangerous creatures. May Allah not count us among them. They were taught and given the moral lessons but then put them aside.
They are like those to whom Allah instructed the Prophet SAW to recite His verses But thereafter, rather than listen, they threw them away. Allah says in the Qur’an (7:175) “And recite (O Muhammad SAW) to them the story of him to whom we gave our Ayat (lessons, signs, revelations etc.), but he threw them away so Shaitan (Satan) followed him up, and he became of those who went astray”
Ramadan is one of the signs and revelations of Allah. Whoever throws away its lessons throws away Allah’s revelations. What happens to such person? Shaitan follows him. He graduates from being a follower of Shaitan into being followed by Shaitan. Anyone who is followed by Shaitan is doomed. His case is a terrible one.
Shaitanwho leads astray is now being led by him. This is the most unfortunate swapping of roles. This is so because lessons learnt in Ramadan or from Ramadan (the great teacher) are forgotten. The one who forgets the lessons learnt becomes the one followed by Shaitan. He has surpassed Shaitan in evil. How and why? The reason is that Shaitan has no ability to be good because he is doomed. But a Muslim has the ability to be good and has shown good conducts during Ramadan. He then suddenly bids farewell to righteousness. Thus, such a Muslim can only be followed by Shaitan. He is now the leader, he becomes the master; not Shaitan.
How Excellent and Perfect is Allah! His expression in the above verse is superb. How can any mortal imagine being followed by Shaitan? How can Shaitan become so subservient to a being whom he should lead? This is the case of a Muslim who reverts to his immoral lifestyle. It is a terrible case. He goes back to his usual assembly to resume idle talk after vacating it. He divorces the Qur’an after being wedded to it. He becomes tightfisted after being generous. He kisses, hugs, appreciates, and admires Shaitan who, in turn, becomes his servant. He ultimately becomes one of those who goes astray.
May we not be followed by Shaitan.
‘Idul Mubaarak. Taqabbalallahu Minna wa minkum.