Your early morning conversations with your friends, who are also up to eat suhoor, are over. Your nightly visits to the mosque have come to an end. The overwhelming feeling of community and belonging is no longer palpable. The imaan that you struggled to build up all month is fading away rapidly. Ramadan is over.
Above all, make sure you don’t lose your faith. Just because Ramadan is over, it doesn’t mean you suddenly don’t have to pray your five obligatory prayers, or that you don’t need to strive to be a better Muslim. As I mentioned in my first post at the beginning of this month, Ramadan is a time to better yourself and develop habits that make you the best version of a Muslim you can be, and carry those through the rest of the year.
Imagine, if you will, an athlete spends months training for a marathon. She gets up early and jogs every morning, spends hours at the gym, and only eats healthy meals to make sure she’s in top shape for the marathon. Once the marathon begins, she gives up after a few moments. Sounds crazy, right? But it’s exactly what we do when Ramadan, the training course, ends – despite the solid imaan and good habits we built up during the month of Ramadan, we are suddenly rendered without motivation and we stop worrying about our Islamic duties only a few days after Eid. This is what we have to avoid at all costs.
We should do right by our month spent in prayer and carry those good habits through the rest of the year. Ramadan isn’t the end of your good faith, rather just the beginning of it. Treat it as such, and you will be successful in your post-Ramadan journey.
How can you do that? By making worship part of your daily schedule.
In Ramadan, we focused on prayer and scheduled our days around that as well as we could: we scheduled times throughout the work day to pray in an empty office, we made sure we sat down at a convenient time at least once a day to read the Quran, we would listen to Islamic lectures on our commutes, etc. By basing our days around worship, rather than try to fit it into our schedule, it made worshipping easier. There’s no reason you can’t continue these habits in the post-Ramadan months.
Another easy way to keep up the vibe of Ramadan, is to fast Mondays and Thursdays, which is part of the sunnah. This way, you can keep a little bit of the Ramadan spirit with you throughout the year, along with making it easier for you when the next Ramadan comes around. These semi-weekly fasts can also help you make up the ones you missed during Ramadan.
A big part of Ramadan, and what most people feel the absence of, is the sense of community and belonging that came with nightly communal worship. Going from attending the masjid every night for nightly prayers and spending every night with those you are close with, to barely seeing anyone and going to the masjid only occasionally can be depressing. You feel like you’re missing something, and this can harm your worship. To rectify this, try to gather some friends to fast semi-weekly with, sometimes breaking fasts together. You guys can help motivate each other and you get the sense of community again. Also, attending the masjid for events and nightly prayers aren’t limited to Ramadan and can be practiced throughout the rest of the year.
If there is one thing that I will leave you with, it’s that Ramadan is never truly over. Perhaps the holy month and the time for its sacred traditions have passed, but there are things you can do to keep the Ramadan vibe in your heart and help it make you into a better Muslim.
May Allah swt accept our Ramadan and grant us the privilege of witnessing the next Ramadan. May He help us carry our imaan and good habits from this Ramadan into the rest of the year. Ameen!