Do we have "Double Intentions" this Ramadan?
As we fast approach the end of Ramadan we should reflect upon what we have achieved this Ramadan. Whatever good we have acquired then we must continue to implement it throughout the year and not just in Ramadan.
Unfortunately many of us have "double intentions" in our hearts. What i mean by double intentions is that many of us have the intention in our hearts just to stop bad habits and evil for the duration of Ramadan, but as soon as Ramadan is over then we intend to go back to our bad habits & evil ways.
Many of us intend to go back to our evil ways after Ramadan
Many of us before Ramadan take drugs, or drink, go clubbing, fornicate or commit adultery. Others may put on their hijaab and wear modest clothing just for Ramadan and then take off their hijaab and continue wearing tight clothes when Ramadan finishes. Or many of us pray our Salaah in Ramadan but as soon as it is over we abandon our Salaah and go back to our old ways neglecting the very purpose of our life and living for this world as if they are going to remain in it forever.
Allah knows our intentions
We must realise that Allah KNOWS us better than we know ourselves and he knows EXACTLY what we are thinking and what our intentions are deep in our hearts. So we must NOT think that we can gain mercy and forgiveness for all of our past and present sins and have all of our fasts and good deeds accepted when we have these "double intentions"in our hearts that we intend to go back to our old ways again straight after Ramadan.
So those of us who have such intentions should know that Allah knows exactly what is in our hearts and what we are intending. We may be able to hide it from others but we cannot hide anything from Allah. How can we think our fasts & good deeds throughout Ramadan will be accepted by having such intentions in our hearts? Those of us who have such intentions are just wasting their time and effort because we cannot expect acceptance of good deeds when we "intend" in our hearts to go back the our evil ways.
By having such intentions we are in effect throwing away our fasts and good deeds and instead of gaining anything from Ramadan we will be more worse off than before. Surely this will be a source of HUGE regret in the Hereafter.
What use is giving up food & drink if we have "Double intentions"?
We should think to ourselves what use is our giving up food and refraining from all evil just for this one month when we intend go back to the evil we did after Ramadan is over?
Ramadan is an amazing opportunity for us to better ourselves and get rid of bad habits and evil so that we can get closer to Allah and become better Muslims. This training will prepare us for the rest of the year. Ramadan is a perfect opportunity for us to gain Allah's mercy and his forgiveness for ALL of our sins past and present.
A time when we can strengthen our imaan (faith) and get closer to Allah. A time when we can change our lives FOREVER! Where we can realise the purpose of our life and start making the necessery changes so that we can make the best of our time in this world to prepare for our final destination - THE HEREAFTER!
A time where we can top up our good deed balances and empty our sin accounts. How unfortunate is the peson who gains NOTHING in his good deed account but only increases his bad deed account.
But how can we expect to gain anything from Ramadan when we have "double intentions" in our hearts? How do we expect to gain Allah's mercy and his forgiveness where our intentions are to go back to our old ways as soon as Ramadan ends?
Some only gain hunger from fasting and sleeplesness from praying all night
The Prophet (Salallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said:
”Perhaps a fasting person will gain nothing from his fast except hunger, and perhaps the one who stands to pray at night will gain nothing from his standing except sleeplessness.” (Ibn Majah)
How unfortunate is such a person who fasted the whole month and made so much effort praying in the nights when all along he had other intentions in his heart and has wasted all of his good deeds and gains nothing from them except hunger, thirst and tiredness.
Its not too late to change our intentions
It is not too late to redeem ourselves. We CAN still change our intentions if we want our fasts and good deeds to be accepted. We can still change our intentions if we want Allah's mercy and forgiveness for ALL of our sins. We can still change our intentions if we want to get closer to Allah. And we can still change our intentions if we want to be successful in this world and the next.
Therefore we must abadndon these double intentions. We must NEVER intend to go back to our evil ways and bad habits that we had before Ramadan. We must continue to implement and build upon the good we acquired throughout Ramadan and continue to try to become better Muslims. We must make effort on our imaan so that we may get closer to Allah and only then will we realise why we are here and the purpose of our life so that we may make the necessery changes to ourselves so that we may fulfill that purpose to the best of our ability.
Our daily lives are FULL of distractions so we must keep reminding ourselves that we are not in this world for our own pleasures. That we are not here to live for this world but that we are here to prepare for the hereafter which is our eternal abode. We are just travellers here on a journey to the hereafter which is our ultimate and final destination.
This Ramadan may be our last
It is a bit of a cliche nowadays when people say "this Ramadan may be our last" but for some of us it really WILL be our last and that is a reality and not just a cliche.
How many of us know or have heard of people who have died recently? How many times have we been to a grave yard and have seen amongst the dead, Muslims of ALL ages.
How many of those who died knew at the time of their death that they were going to die? Many of us are living a life of deception as we think we will live until old age. That is not the case. Many of us will go a long time before that. We must not deceve ourselves into thinking that we have a long time left in this world. This life is very short and death for many of us will come sooner rather than later.
We all have 50% chance of dying at ANY moment and 50% is a huge chance of dying yet we live everyday like we will live forever in this world but we are asleep and so heedless. We must now awaken for time will not wait for any of us!
When the deceased are buried at the cemetery, the grave next to it is dug straight away ready for the next burial. It may you or me that could be buried next.
This could be our last chance
Therefore let us not miss this opportunity to make necessery changes to ourselves and the way we live our lives. We must never decieve ourselves into thinking that we always have next Ramadan to change or that we will change after this or that event. Or after we are married or at old age etc. This is pure deception of shaythan. We must live everyday like it is our last because it very well could be.
Therefore the time to change is NOW. We must try and maintain the good we acquired throughout Ramadan and build upon it throughout the year. We must control our tongues and abandon false speech like lying, backbiting, slandering, gossiping, swearing etc otherwise:
The Prophet, (SalAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said, “Whoever does not abandon lying and evil actions, Allah is not in need of him abandoning his food and his drink” (Al Bukhari)
How can we possibly go back to our old bad habits and evil ways again?
We must NEVER go back to our old ways ever again. We must leave the past behind us now and move forward. Yesterday is gone and will never come back. But what matters is NOW for we still have time to repent and change our ways until our soul reaches our throat and by then it will be too late.
The sisters must continue to wear their hijaab properly and dress in a modest manner. Those of us who use intoxicants must abandon such evil for we are raised the way we died. so the one who dies intoxicated we will be raised that way and Allah will not even look at the one who died in such a wretched manner. Surely for him there is eternal doom. So is a short buzz really worth risking eternal doom? You decide..
Those of us who go clubbing or other places of evil must abandon going near such places. Those are the places of shaythan. What if the angel of death were to take our soul whilst we were in such places? May Allah have mercy on us.
Most of all we MUST NEVER abandon our Salaah. It is the very purpose of our lives and the first question on the day of judgement will be about our Salaah. If we fail to answer those questions then we will fail in the hereafter.
The Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: "The first thing which will be judged among a man's deeds on the Day of Resurrection is the Prayer. If this is in good order, then he will succeed and prosper, but if it is defective, then he will fail and lose." [Tirmidhi]
Those of us who abandon the Salaah have abandoned our belief. Some scholars have said he who abandons it is no longer Muslim. This is said based on a hadith such as this one: "The covenant between us and them is prayer, so if anyone abandons it, he has become a disbeliever." [Ahmad]
We must NOT let the Qur'an gather dust for another year but we jmust maintain a good relationship with the Qur'an for it will be our intercessor on the day of judgement:
The Prophet (Sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said, “Read the Qur’an, for it will come as an intercessor for its reciters on the Day of Resurrection.” [Sahih Muslim]
Therefore we should continue reciting the Qur'an throughout the year and aim to complete it at least once a month if not more. If not then at least a page a day. We should try to recite it with its meanings so that we may understand what Allah is telling us and what he wants from us. If we want to know Allah then we should try to understand his words.
We should continue to sincerely repent for Allah loves those who repent. We should continue asking of Allah and begging him for mercy and forgiveness. We should thank him each day for he gives more to those who are thankful. We should remember him and glorify and praise him.
We should continue to guard and protect our eyes, ears, tongue and privates away from sin and harm. We should continue to be the best towards our families, relatives and towards ALL Muslims and non Muslims. We should maintain the ties of kinship.
Let us continue with the good we have acquired as well as continuing to make the necessery changes to ourselves so that we may continue in bettering and improving ourselves as Muslims. Let us NEVR go back to our old habits or the evil we did before Ramadan because by leaving our Salaah and going back to our bad habits and evil ways we would have wasted our WHOLE Ramadan and it will be of no avail.
How do we know whether our good deeds in Ramadan were accepted or not?
Eid day and beyond will be the biggest test for many of us. It maybe that our supposed "friends" call us up to try and influence us to go back to our evil ways and bad habits. Those are NOT our real friends! We must keep away from such people for such company is POISON!
We must be strong and fear Allah. We must distance ourselves from such people and NOT be ashamed to tell them that we fear Allah and our desire is to get closer to him so thereafore we will not be indulging in such activities.
If we want to know whether or not our good deeds in Ramadan is accepted or not then the best way to know is if we continue praying our Salaah on time and we continue implementing and building upon the good we acquired throughout Ramadan. We will know if our good deeds were accepted if we are not the same as we are before Ramadan but that we have changed our ways for the better and we are obeying the commands of Allah and refraining from the bad habits and evil we left before Ramadan.
We must fear Allah and think what if we were to die in a state of committing sins? Surely we would die the death of a wretched dog! We do not want to die in such a manner.
Do we not want the best pleasure imaginable which is to see the face of our creator in Jannah?
The Prophet (Sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “When the inhabitants of Paradise enter Paradise, Allah will say to them,
‘Do you want Me to give you anything more?’
They will reply, ‘Have You not made our faces bright? Have You not brought us into Paradise and moved us from Hell?’
The Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) then said: Allah will then remove the Veil and they will feel that they have not been awarded anything dearer to them than looking at their Lord.” [Sahih Muslim]
Subhanallah there is NOTHING more pleasurable than looking at face and appearance of the one who created us!
This is our opportunity to change and gain such an amazing opportunity! But our time is short and any moment can be our last!
May Allah enable us to continue with the good we acquired throughout Ramadan and save us from going back to our bad habits and evil ways. May he prevent us from doing anything which angers or displeases him. May Allah make us of the righteous and accept our fasts, good deeds and efforts throughout Ramadan and help us to become better Muslims to live for the hereafter. Ameen