Monday, 19 Aug 2019

Do you worship Allah or Ramadan?

By Rasheed Abubakar

Dear esteemed readers, remember I told you the intriguing story of Sir Fathy (real name, Abdulfattah), the street urchin who was preparing for Ramadan, in my first article for this column, titled The Secret of Man’s Godliness in Ramadan, as published by this medium? Sir Fathy has returned to his unGodly lifestyle of earning through gambling and hooliganism.

I live close to the betting centre at Ijeshatedo, Surulere, Lagos, hence it was easy for me to sight him as he stepped into the small betting cubicle on Thursday, June 6, the same day workers resumed for work after the two-day Eid holiday declared by the Federal Government.

Evidently, that is what he does for a living, and of course, it is a lucrative business for people like Sir Fathy, who lives in a city like Lagos where betting has been glamourised.

You would recall that he made some money through that filthy means before Ramadan. Sir Fathy has now reunited with his fellow gamblers and touts, whose company he had missed during the 29 days of spiritual holiness and discipline.

Did he actually keep the company of the righteous during the blessed month of Ramadan? If he did, why did he return to committing sins so soon? As a purified soul, one would have expected him never to go back to gambling.

Unfortunately, just like Sir Fathy, several Muslims who fasted have since gone back to their previous sinful way of life since the night the crescent of Shawwal, the tenth month of the Islamic calendar, was sighted.

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The hotelier who closed down his business for Ramadan and went to perform Umrah (lesser Hajj) in Makkah for spiritual rejuvenation has gone back to work.

What about fun spots, especially bars and clubs that witnessed low patronage during Ramadan? Fun seekers are happy to receive their colleagues after the month-long break.

All these events testify to the fact that the Shaytaan (devil) and his agents are now free after being locked in captivity for a whole month, and the gates of hell are now flung open again for unrepentant sinners, otherwise known as prisoners of worship, who didn’t benefit from the mercy of Allah during Ramadan.

I was a guest lecturer at a get-together organised in my community on Wednesday, a day after Eid-ul-Fitr, where I gave a lecture on the topic: What Next after Ramadan, which informed the thrust of this article.

I asked my audience: “How many of us here are with our noble Qur’an?” Only few signified but I was not surprised, because many Muslims developed a good mutual relationship with the Noble Qur’an due to the significant relationship between Ramadan and the Noble Qur’an.

Allah (SWT) revealed the noble Qur’an to the Seal of Prophets and Messengers, Muhammad (SAW) in the month of Ramadan. However, it is sad that many have deserted the Book of Allah few days after Ramadan. This is indeed a sign that Ramadan did not have positive impacts in the life of many.

As you read this, when last did you read your Qur’an since Ramadan ended?

My beloved brethren-in-faith, know that if you are upright in Ramadan, but immediately return to illegal and criminal activities thereafter, you are a Ramadaniyy.

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If in Ramadan, your heart was constantly attached to the mosque for worship, but you have now deserted the mosque, you’re a Ramadaniyy.

You kept vigil during Ramadan, observing Tarawih/Qiyamul Layl, weeping to seek Allah’s mercy, forgiveness and emancipation from Hell, but now, you no longer take these supererogatory acts serious, you’re a Ramadaniyy.

Ditto for Dhikr (remembrance of Allah), Sadaqah (giving alms to the poor) and other duties that come with Ramadan, you have discarded them. SubhanAllah! You no longer take them serious. You’re a Ramadaniyy.

Ramadaniyyah is an act of being upright only in Ramadan. Those who worshipped and performed good deeds only in Ramadan are the Ramadaniyyun.

Muslims should not worship Allah only Ramadan. Rather, Ramadan should serve as a training ground and school where the believers learn and imbibe what is expected of good Muslims throughout the year, before the next Ramadan.

It’s the opposite of Rabbaniyyah, meaning Godliness, which can be attained even after Ramadan.

Allah says: “It is not possible for a man whom Allah has given the Book, the Wisdom and the Prophethood, that he would say to the people: “Worship me instead of Allah.” On the contrary he would say: “Be devoted worshippers (kuunoo rabbaniyyuna) of your Rabb (Allah) in accordance with the Noble Book you have been teaching and reading.” (Qur’an 2:79)

Whoever worships Ramadan should know that Ramadan is dead/gone (till next year), but for he who worships Allah, verily Allah is ever-living and never dies, as established in the Qur’an 28:88, “Everything will perish save His countenance. His is the command, and unto Him ye will be brought back.”

Be a pious and Godly person always. Be in the company of righteous friends and don’t cut off the family ties you initiated during Ramadan. Be generous and kind to the poor and obedient to your parents and authority. Lastly, there is need for sincere evaluation of your deeds every day before “the day shall you be brought to Judgement, not a secret of you will be hidden.” (Qur’an 69:18)

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