بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ
In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
All praises are due to Allah and may the the peace and blessings of Allah be upon his beloved Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ). We are blessed to be here. We were blessed to have completed the month of Ramadan. After many nights of worship, many verses of the Quran were recited, many dua’s were made. May Allah accept from all of us, all of our fasts, all of our prayers. May Allah accept all our dua’s, our charity, and our generosity in this month. May Allah accept every word that we recited from the Quran, every opportunity that we were able to take advantage of to worship Him and to show Him our devotion. May Allah accept it from us. Ameen.
It is forbidden to fast on Eid. No one can say, “I am an extra pious Muslim. I am so pious that I am fasting even on Eid.” It is actually forbidden, even after Ramadan. The Prophet (pbuh) said, “if you are to fast, then you should fast three days a month.” Three times a month, you should fast. Why? Because when your deeds are multiplied by 10, that completes the month. If you want to do more than that, then Mondays and Thursdays. And if you want to do more than that, then the very most that you can do is the fast of Dawood (as), the father of Suleiman (as). He used to fast one day and leave one day. So at no other time of the year should we be fasting every single day.
That is something that is chosen just for Ramadan. That really tells us something. That really tells us a whole lot. It tells us that Ramadan is a type of training ground. Ramadan is like the school you go to. Ramadan is how you get ready for the rest of the year. Ramadan is your annual software updates at your best version. The bugs are fixed. New features are released. MashaAllah. This is Ramadan for us as Muslims. We are prohibited from replicating that- we cannot fast every single day. We’re not allowed. SubhanAllah.
People think back to Ramadan when they enjoy the worship and they enjoy the tiredness and they enjoy the hunger and the thirst. Of course, it’s a struggle and it’s hard and it’s an effort and you have work and you have school and you have obligations and you have responsibilities. But you still look back and you think, “wow, it was a great time. There was still some good there, and I felt the blessings of Ramadan this time, and I wish I could continue.” But Allah tells us to continue in a different way. You take the lessons of Ramadan and continue in a different way. What is that way? Well, we have to go back to the purpose of Ramadan.
We have to go back to why? Why do we do it? Why do we sacrifice food and drink and our sleep? Why do we go through all of that? Allah tells us two reasons.
- لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ – so that you may be more mindful of Allah.
- لَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُونَ – so that you may be more grateful to Allah.
I’m sure all of us will be grateful when after the Eid prayer, we take that date and we stop for a moment and think, ‘should I be eating this? Am I fasting?’ Even a week from now, we might still have that moment, ‘am I fasting?’ And then you remember you’re not fasting and you appreciate that moment and you appreciate the food and you appreciate the drink and you are able to appreciate the thankfulness that Ramadan has instilled. May Allah make make us grateful. Ameen.
The other side of the coin, in addition to the gratitude and appreciation, is the mindfulness. What does it mean to be mindful of Allah? What does it mean to have Taqwa? Taqwa is translated in a way which makes it seem unattainable. That I, as an average person, could never be a person of taqwa, and the people of taqwa are select a few. You go to them, you ask them for your prayers and you hope for the best, but it’s not for the average person. But in fact, taqwa is for every single person because every single one of us can be mindful of Allah.
Before we sign the deal, when we get the promotion or we don’t get the promotion, we get the job, we get married, we have a child, whatever situation we might be going through. If we are able to start with bismillah, in the name of Allah, then we are having taqwa. We are being mindful of Allah. The Prophet (pbuh) told us that in the month of Ramadan, there are people who fast, but all they get out of their fast is hunger and thirst. You might think to yourself, “wait a second. Isn’t that what fasting is, hungry and thirsty?” But the Prophet (pbuh) told us that, “all they get out of fasting is hunger and thirst.” What did he mean by that? He meant that when it comes to fasting, there’s so much more that can be obtained and that so much more is that taqwa, mindfulness of Allah. It’s that trust in Allah in your daily life.
The Prophet (pbuh) was not someone who used to speak very long. Even his khutbahs, the amount that he used to speak was equal to the amount that he would pray. Nowadays, we give the khutbah for twenty-five minutes and we pray for five minutes. The Prophet’s (pbuh) khutbah or sermon was equal to the amount that he prayed on Fridays. He was not a person that used to speak a lot, but when he spoke, his words were full of wisdom and he explained mindfulness. He explained taqwa in very short and beautiful words. He said,
“اتَّقِ اللَّهَ حَيْثُمَا كُنْت، وَأَتْبِعْ السَّيِّئَةَ الْحَسَنَةَ تَمْحُهَا، وَخَالِقْ النَّاسَ بِخُلُقٍ حَسَنٍ”
Have taqwa (fear) of Allah wherever you may be, and follow up a bad deed with a good deed which will wipe it out, and behave well towards the people.
اتَّقِ اللَّهَ حَيْثُمَا كُنْت – be mindful of the Allah wherever you may be. and in Arabic, we call this Jumla Tafsiriyah. We call it a sentence which explains that which proceeds it. Then he explains what he means by being mindful of Allah. The first thing he says is, حَيْثُمَا كُنْتَ – wherever you may be. Mindfulness is not restricted to Ramadan. Mindfulness is not restricted to when you are in the masjid. Mindfulness is not restricted to when you are with your family or when you are alone or when you are in public, when you are with other Muslims or non-Muslims. Mindfulness transcends. Mindfulness goes beyond.
And then he says, وَأَتْبِعْ السَّيِّئَةَ الْحَسَنَةَ تَمْحُهَا – and follow any misdeed with the good one, which will replace it and erase it. That’s beautiful because it’s not saying that mindfulness means you are perfect. It’s saying that mindfulness means that you are inherently flawed and you are inherently someone who sins and inherently, you are someone who makes mistakes. Mindfulness is for you to follow any misdeed with the good one, which will erase it. That is what mindfulness means. Mindfulness does not mean that you are perfect. Mindfulness does not mean that you are the most perfect Muslim. Mindfulness means that when you do something that you know is wrong, that you’re able to follow it up with something good. And you try to erase that and you try to do better.
So the first thing he said is, حَيْثُمَا كُنْت – wherever you are, be mindful.
The second thing he said, وَأَتْبِعْ السَّيِّئَةَ الْحَسَنَةَ تَمْحُهَا – follow any misdeed with a good one.
The third piece of that, he says, وَخَالِقْ النَّاسَ بِخُلُقٍ حَسَنٍ – and treat people well.
That is the end of this advice of the Prophet. Nowhere does it say, “and pray, and be generous and fast and be a certain kind of worshipper that we have in our mind that is what a pious Muslim looks like.” But he stops there of all the things that he could have said. He could have said be mindful of Allah and pray every night, be mindful of Allah and fast every day. He could have said that, but what did he say? What did he actually say? He said, any time you do something wrong, do something good. Anytime you are with people, then treat them well. That is what mindfulness is.
This worship that we did in Ramadan, what is going to be the result of that worship? What is going to be the result of that devotion? How is it going to have an impact in our life? Think of the example of someone who’s going to the gym every single night for an hour. And when they get home, they feast like a fiend. You know the fasts where people binge eat, it was worse than that. And then eventually they realized, “I’m going to the gym every single day. I’m doing all this hard work and then I’m erasing it all by not eating well.” That is the same as the person who worships and that worship does not have any impact, any residual impact on any other part of their life. It’s as if they’ve compartmentalize that ‘this is my connection to Allah, and it has no impact on the rest of my life. It doesn’t have impact on how I earn, how I spend, how I am with my family, how I am with others.’ But no, rather every act of worship should have an impact on the rest of our life.
The fact that we went through Ramadan and we became closer to Allah should mean that the rest of our lives begins to align accordingly. That is how we know it is accepted. That is how we know that there was acceptance. That is how we know there was sincerity and genuineness- when there is some impact in the rest of our life. That is how we know. May Allah accept from us. Ameen.
Allah tells us about salah, about prayer. He says,
إِنَّ الصَّلَاةَ تَنْهَىٰ عَنِ الْفَحْشَاءِ وَالْمُنكَرِ
inna alssalata tanha AAani alfahshai waalmunkari
Indeed, prayer prohibits immorality and wrongdoing
(Surah Ankaboot, Quran 29:45)
certainly prayer should stop us from shameful things and misdeeds. But prayer is not done only in and of itself, but it’s done in a way which impacts the rest of our life. In this month of Ramadan, we were aiming to increase our mindfulness of Allah. We were aiming to increase our gratitude. So how is that going to reflect in the rest of our lives? For the rest of these 11 months? How is that going to reflect what kind of changes will happen? Now that we’ve gotten our annual software update, what kind of changes will there be in our life from this day forward? We ask Allah that He helps us to do that. Ameen.
When I was first learning about Islam and about the Quran, then one of the verses that always I looked to was a verse that said –
وَمَن يَتَّقِ اللَّهَ يَجْعَل لَّهُ مَخْرَجًا
waman yattaqi Allaha yajAAal lahu makhrajan
And whoever fears Allah – He will make for him a way out
(Surah At-Talaq, Quran 65:2)
that whoever is mindful of Allah, Allah will find a way out for them out of any situation
وَيَرْزُقْهُ مِنْ حَيْثُ لَا يَحْتَسِبُ –
Wayarzuqhu min haythu la yahtasibu
And will provide for him from where he does not expect.
(Surah At-Talaq, Quran 65:3)
And Allah will provide for that person who is mindful of Him in a way that they cannot imagine, that they could not fathom. And this is a beautiful verse about mindfulness. You might think, what does it mean to have taqwa? Is it my connection to Allah? But then you look- where is this verse located? In which Surah is it located? Is it in a surah named after prayer? Is it in a chapter named after fasting? Is it in a surah named after any act of pure worship? No, it is mentioned in a chapter called At-Talaq.
What is talaq? Divorce. So taqwa is mentioned in the surah named after divorce. Let’s reflect on what that means- that you’re going through something which is a challenging time in your life. People who go through divorce, for some it’s a mercy, but even if it’s a mercy, it’s still a challenging situation. You feel like you’ve failed. You feel like you did not live up to expectations, your parents’ expectations, your own expectations, society’s expectations. You feel like you have to start over. Rather that you are behind. You’re restarting everything. You have to start from scratch and everything is more difficult. That you lost someone who played such a crucial role in your life.
Allah says in that challenging circumstance, that is where mindfulness will be useful. That is where taqwa is truly tested. For it is easy to be mindful in good times. It is easy to be mindful in great times. But in challenging times, that is when that bismillah, when you say, “in the name of Allah,” is tested. That, are you still able to say bismillah? Are you still able to be mindful in such a challenging situation? And that’s just one challenging situation. May Allah protect us. Ameen. But for any challenging situation in your life, Ramadan prepared us for that. Ramadan made us more mindful. Ramadan brought us closer so that we’re ready for the rest of the year. And may we be so. May we be ready for any challenge that comes before us.
May Allah bless you all. May Allah give you good in this life, in the next life. May Allah accept your Ramadan. May Allah accept even one sujood. All we need is one sujood, one genuine, sincere prostration for His sake, that is all we need. We don’t need quantity. We need quality. We did the quantity because we were searching for the quality. We were searching for that one prostration, that one بسم الله – bismillah, that one سُبْحَانَ رَبِّيَ الأَعْلَى -Subhaana Rabbiyal-A’laa, that would be accepted and would be enough. So that on the Day of Judgement, when our scale is before us and the misdeeds are there, but this one genuine moment with Allah that changed our lives, is weightier and heavier than all the misdeeds. That’s all we need.
So may Allah accept that from us. May Allah accept all of your duas. May Allah fulfill your hopes and your dreams. May Allah give you good in this life and the next. May Allah fulfill your needs. May Allah cure those that are sick. Those that have passed, may Allah have mercy on them and forgive them. May Allah reunite them with their loved ones in the highest levels of paradise. That when we pass from this earth, may Allah give us gardens as graves. Gardens from the gardens of paradise. And when we are raised for the accounting, may Allah give us ﺣِﺴَﺎ ﺑًﺎ ﻳَّﺴِﻴْﺮًﺍ – an easy accounting.
May Allah, make us from those who are in the fast lane, the easy lane that goes straight to paradise, from those who get His shade on the day when there is no shade but His. May we get His shade on the Day of Judgment. May Allah, accept from us. May Allah unite us. May Allah protect our families and guide them and preserve them and bless them. May Allah give a righteous spouse to those who need a spouse. May Allah give a righteous child to those who need a child.
May Allah bless your deeds and accept from you and forgive your shortcomings and your misdeeds and all of us. Ameen.
أقول قولي هذا وأستغفر الله لي ولكم ولسائر المسلمين فَاسْتَغْفِرُوهُ إِنَّهُ هُوَ الغَفُورُ الرَّحِيمُ
I say what you have heard and I seek forgiveness from Allah for me and you from every sin.
أَسْتَغْفِرُ ٱللَّٰ أَسْتَغْفِرُ ٱللَّٰ أَسْتَغْفِرُ ٱللَّٰ
I ask Allah forgiveness, I ask Allah forgiveness, I ask Allah forgiveness
سُبْحَانَ رَبِّكَ رَبِّ الْعِزَّةِ عَمَّا يَصِفُونَ
Exalted is your Lord, the Lord of might, above what they describe.
وَسَلَامٌ عَلَى الْمُرْسَلِينَ
And peace upon the messengers.
وَالْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ
And praise to Allah, Lord of the worlds.
عيد كوم مبارك
Eid kum Mubarak
كل عام و انتم بخير
May you have a blessed rest of your day, of your Eid, and your year.