The departure of Ramadan is a bittersweet one. Although we are filled with gratitude for being a part of it, and feel elated from our spiritual journey, it is also a time of sadness. The gates of the Heavens will be open only for a few more fleeting hours. Then Shawwal will be upon us. We do not know if we will witness another Ramadan.
This blog post will outline a few of the ways we can make use of the end of Ramadan, and move forward into Shawwal!
1) The Night Before Eid
The night before Eid is often referred to as Laylatul Jaiza, the Night of Reward. It is said that if you spent your Ramadan sincerely in the worship of Allah (swt) then your prayers on this night will be accepted.
It was the practice of the Messenger of God (pbuh) to stay up in the night before Eid, performing nufl (superogatory) prayers.
He (pbuh) is reported to have said,
“Whoever stands up (in worship) in the nights preceding the two Eids expecting rewards from his Lord, his heart will not die when the other hearts will die.” (Ibn Majah)
Thus, it is recommended to perform as many nufl prayers on the night preceding Eid as you are able to.
2) Sunnahs of Eid
Reap the most benefit from Eid day by practicing some of the Sunnahs. These include:
- Wake up early
- Clean teeth, ideally with miswaak
- Make ghusl
- Wear your best clothing
- Men should wear perfume
- Eat a sweet food before going to the masjid, ideally dates
- Recite the takbir
- Pay Zakat al-Fitr before the prayer
- After performing the Eid prayer, take a different route home from the one you initially took.
For more detail on how to teach your children about the Sunnahs of Eid in a fun way, visit our blog post 9 Fun Ways To Celebrate Eid With Your Children!
3) Fast Six Days of Shawwal
After Ramadan is over, it can be so tempting to go back to old habits, eating as we normally would. However, this was not the way of the Prophet (pbuh) who would fast six days in the month of Shawwal.
Why Fast in Shawwal?
– Reward of Fasting For 1 Year
Abû Ayyûb al-Ansârî reported that the Prophet (pbuh) said:
“Whoever completes fasts of Ramadan then adds to them the fast of six days in the month of Shawwal, it will carry the thawab (reward) of fasting for the whole year.” (Sahih Muslim (1163)
This is because the reward of each good deed in Ramadan is multiplied by ten, so fasting the whole of Ramadan is like fasting for ten months; and fasting the six days of shawwal, is like fasting for 60 days (2months).
It was reported that the Prophet (pbuh) said:
“Allah has made for each hasanah ten like it, so a month is like fasting ten months, and fasting six days completes the year.” (An-Nisa’i and Ibn Majah)
– Make up for our shortcomings in Ramadan
We all make mistakes, knowingly or unknowingly, in the month of Ramadan. By fasting the Sunnah fasts in Shawwal, hope that these ill compensate for any shortcoming in our Ramadan fasts.
We are taught that on the Day or Resurrection, nufl deeds will be used to ‘makeup’ for shortcomings in obligatory deeds from in this Hadith:
It is reported that the Prophet (pbuh) said:
“The first thing for which people will be brought to account on the Day of Resurrection will be their salah (prayer). Our Lord, may He be glorified and exalted, will say to His angels – although He knows best – ‘Look at the salah of My slave, whether it is complete or incomplete.’ If it is perfect, it will be recorded as perfect, and if something is lacking, He will say, ‘Look and see whether My slave did any voluntary (nufll) prayers.’ If he did some voluntary prayers, [Allah] will say, Complete the obligatory actions of My slave from his voluntary actions.’ Then all his actions will be dealt with in a similar manner.” (Abu Dawud)
– Habit already formed
After fasting for the entire month of Ramadan, your body will have become accustomed to fasting, and so this may be the easiest time for you to complete nufl fasts.
– Sign of Acceptance
We are taught that if Allah (swt) accepts our good deeds, He (swt) will Bless us with more righteous actions, allowing us to earn more reward. Subhanullah!
So, if after Eid, you are quick to start your six days of Sunnah fasts, it is a good sign! Perhaps your Ramadan has been accepted!
So as Ramadan draws to a close, do not lose hope in the Mercy of Allah (swt). He has provided us with ample opportunities to draw closer to Him (swt) in the coming days. Do not let these opportunities pass you by!
Take the good deeds and habits that you established in Ramadan, and let them continue into Shawwal.
If you are disappointed in your Ramadan, then remember that it is never too late to turn to Allah. In these last moments, finish as you meant to start!
How did your Ramadan go this year? What lessons did you learn, that you hope to implement after Eid?
Please share with us in the comments below.