Friday, November 19, 2004

As Salaamu Alaykum.

The month of Ramadhan has come to an end, taking along with it all the blessings and virtues that it brought. The effort that was needed to do a Nafl (optional good deed) in the month of Ramadhan required minimal effort in respect to the effort that will be required to discharge even a Fardh (obligatory act) in the months to follow.

For many, the month of Ramadhan was a month in which they were committed to making an effort on their Self, a month that would compensate for the lack of deeds in the other months before it. However, for others the month of Ramadhan was a month in which there were extra responsibilities to discharge, a month that they plodded through in order to carry on with their daily lifestyles. Thus, when the month of Ramadhan was over, so were their days of worship and prayers.

But despite these extremely different opinions, the same questions should be streaming through the minds of all the people that made even the slightest effort in the month of Ramadhan; was my Ramadhan accepted? Did I achieve the blessings of Ramadhan? Did I achieve the purpose of the month of Ramadhan?

The question then arises that how do we know if our Ramadhan was accepted? How do we know if the goal and purpose of Ramadhan was achieved?

Allah mentions in the Qur'an:

"And when my servants ask about me (then tell them) indeed I am close. I accept the supplications of those who supplicate"

From this verse Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala) tells us that he accepts our supplications and prayers when we call towards him. Does this mean that on the day of resurrection we will find out whether Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala) answered our calls? Or is there a way in which we will know this is this world as well?

The scholars say, when a person goes into the Masjid (Mosque) and says "Allahu Akbar" whilst beginning his prayer, this is the time when the servant is remembering his lord. After reading his prayer he says "Asalaamu Alaykum wa Rahmatullah" in denotes that he has now ended his prayer… The servant has done his part, he has remembered his lord, and it is now the time where he awaits the reply from his Lord.

Then again after a couple of hours he heads towards the Masjid, raises his hands whilst saying "Allahu Akbar". He stands in prayer remembering Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala) and finishes his prayer by saying "Asalaamu Alaykum wa Rahmatullah".

But the servant has remembered his Lord not once but twice! Where is the remembrance and acceptance from Allah? Where is the sign in this world? Well, the first time that the servant went into the Masjid, that was him remembering his Lord, but when he went the second time, that was his Lord, Allah, remembering him. It is only through Allah remembering him after his first prayer that the servant was fortunate and blessed with the ability to go to the second prayer. The sign of acceptance of his first prayer was the fact that he was present to attend the second prayer. This is the sign that Allah (SWT) gives in this world for those who call Him, but it is up to us to see if we can see the signs.

So going back to the month of Ramadhan, how do we know if our prayers and supplications were accepted?

Well, if after the month of Ramadhan we continue to remember Allah, we continue to frequent his house, the Masaajids (mosques) and we continue to obey Him, then this is a sign that the worship we done in the month has been accepted. This is a sign that just how we remembered Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala) in the month of Ramadhan he is remembering us in the months that follow.

Furthermore, it should be remembered that Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala) is the Most Merciful, His Mercy has no limits. Therefore, if we remembered Allah for one month, it will not mean that Allah will remember us for one month only. But instead, if we remembered Allah in a manner that would be classed acceptable, then Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala) will remember us throughout the eleven months to follow.

And Allah remembering us throughout the eleven months to follow is the sole purpose of Ramadhan. Ramadhan is a month in which a believer cleanses his heart so that he can create link with Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala) so that in the months to follow the servant can remember his Lord and take the glad tidings that his Lord is remembering him.

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