The Sweetest of Endings to Ramadan

Hababa Mona al-Kaf

All praise belongs to Allah for the bounty He has bestowed upon us and for these blessed nights that have passed us by in this month of Ramadan. Prayers and peace upon our blessed Prophet ﷺ and his companions and family and all who love him. May Allah bless us in this hour with an outpouring of His lights and secrets in these remaining days of Ramadan and what remains of our life span.

The gifts of Allah have no limit. It is beautiful that we stop and reflect upon the ending of Ramadan. The people of knowledge and gnosis and those who experience spiritual tasting are aware of the benefit of reflecting upon Ramadan. How is our state when we greet our guests and when we bid them farewell? When we bid them farewell, we have many feelings.

We greeted this month with love, longing and good intentions but we do not say goodbye to Ramadan. Rather we say to Ramadan, until we meet again. The scrolls are rolled up until we meet again with our good intentions.

We reflect on those things that will benefit us and hope to receive an outpouring of His Mercy. It is important that we establish with Allah a Khalwah (a place of spiritual retreat). How can we establish this khalwah with Allah, this intimacy with Allah?  Firstly by facing the Qibla in a state of wudu, presenting yourself to your Lord, remaining at His door waiting for the outpouring of His mercy. Sit in a state of love, and humility, as if you are sitting in front of Allah. In a state of longing for our Lord who wants to bring us close and who loves us and wants to extend goodness to us

How do we know this? When Maghrib enters there is a caller each night calling from the Heavens until Fajr: “Is there anyone seeking repentance? Is there anyone seeking forgiveness? Is there anyone who has a need? Is there anyone who wants to draw near?”

In a Hadith Qudsi Allah says: “If My servant draws close to me by a hand span, I draw close to him by an arm’s length, and if he draws close to Me an arm’s length I draw close to him a fathom’s length, and if approaches Me walking, I come to him at greater speed.” He is overjoyed with a servant returning to Him, repenting unto Him.

In that moment that he returns to his Lord, his Lord is happy and accepts him with complete love and manifests His name upon him of al-Wudud (the One that is Loving and Kind), al-Rahman (the Merciful), al-Tawwab (the One who accepts Repentance). So He forgives him and accepts his repentance, like a mother to her child.  Imagine the child has a dress that it has dirtied and is upset and goes running to its mother crying. This child has certainty that there is no one on the face of this earth that cares about her more than her mother, who has complete tenderness and love for her. And that is how a servant is with Allah. No one cares more for His servants than Allah.

And so you say O Lord I have done things which are wrong, but there is no one I can turn to in seeking forgiveness other than You, and no one can cause tranquillity to descend upon my heart, and bring joy to it, other than You. You are Allah the Great, the Kind, the Merciful. I am the one that is poor, broken and full of shortcomings.

When we have this khalwah (spiritual seclusion) with Allah we praise Him for what He has given us. The Prophet ﷺ  said that whoever fasts this month of Ramadan with true faith and certainty in the reward that Allah promises, then Allah forgives him his previous sins, and erases all his wrong deeds.

After the month of Ramadan, there is a new light that enters us. It is important that we find these moments of intimacy with Allah, being in our khalwah in a state of fear and hope. In a state of fear because Allah is able to punish us for our wrongdoings, but also in a state of hope that Allah can forgive us completely. He is the Most Merciful of the Merciful.

We hope that He will transform all our wrong deeds into good deeds. This is what it means to have a good opinion of Allah, and this is a sign of your faith. In the Hadith of the Prophet ﷺ Allah says: “I am as My Servant believes Me to be, so let him believe what he wishes.” So what opinion do we have of Allah?

Do we not see in this month of Ramadan Allah has made it easy for us to enter Jannah? In the first night of Ramadan Allah opened the doors to Jannah. We could smell the beautiful scent of Jannah and Allah allowed us to perform the actions of the people of Jannah. This is so that we will be with Allah in every single moment, and longing for Jannah. One of the fruits that is borne by this is that we develop a sense of seeking constantly the good pleasure of Allah.

We try and praise Allah in the most beautiful and blessed of ways. When we have this time when we are alone with Allah, we start by sending prayers upon the Prophet ﷺ, then ask for what we wish, and then end by sending prayers upon the Prophet ﷺ.

When we praise Allah, we acknowledge our shortcomings and ask Allah to forgive us for them. We ask Allah that we end this month with the same level of faith that we had during this month and we value what has been given. Imagine a precious jewel of great value. It can either be given to a young child or to an adult who understands its value. If this jewel is given to a child, she will be happy but when she goes outside and starts to play with her friends, she will forget about it and probably throw it onto the ground, because she does not really appreciate its value. If it was given to an adult who had intelligence and understood its value she would take all steps to protect it. Will we be like the child who does not know the value of this jewel?

The blessings and outpourings in this month are a gift from Allah and have an indescribable value. What is it that Allah has given us in this month? Forgiveness. One of the gifts is the gift of forgiveness that Allah pours upon us in this month. Ramadan isn’t like any other month. For some it has little impact on them and their faith for others it has an incredible impact.

This is a month that is distinguished from others. The one who has safely passed through this month of Ramadan will safely pass through the entire year. It is important to understand that.

Look and check inside your heart, from the very first night you tasted the beauty of prayer, you have tasted the bliss of being close to Him, the beauty of fasting, even if you were not aware of it. Sometimes we are busy with life and we do not feel these things, we are not aware of the blessed spiritual breezes and gifts that have touched our hearts and souls.

If we reflect, we realised something beautiful has touched our hearts. The month of Ramadan is a month in which the faith of a believer is renewed and Allah causes one to wear the clothing of God-consciousness, and hearts are changed to hearts of God-consciousness. We are exiting Ramadan with a pure heart. It is like a sick person who has entered a hospital. He goes from being attached to one device to another. He may be first attached to a machine that monitors his heart, and then to another checking his blood until he is healed. In this month we fast, stand in prayer and try to show good character. All that we have been busy with, has been set by our Lord. Such as interacting with the people around you in a beautiful manner and guarding your limbs. In Ramadan we enter into the hospital of our Lord to be healed and cured of our illnesses.

Another example is that of a perfume shop. When we are in a perfume shop we are not aware of the scent we have sprayed on us, but when we go outside the shop and we meet other people they are immediately aware of the scent and may even say, “what is that beautiful scent you are wearing?” In this month you are immersed in the perfume of prayer and fasting and your heart is attached to this scent.

Ramadan and its effect are present upon us and will spread to those around us, just like perfume. We will supplicate to Allah at the end of this fragrant month, calling upon Allah, and the effects of this are great.

Ramadan is here to purify us, to change from engaging in those things which are not befitting for us to engage in. The main goal of Ramadan is the purification of the soul, and we continue after Ramadan to seek to purify our souls and engage in that which assists it.

We try to do this by choosing what Allah wants us to do. Exiting from the month of Ramadan and having a list of things that we will aim to achieve.  Having a sense of holding on to that which keeps us connected, that which benefits us. Remaining firm and being guided to that which benefits us and that which Allah wishes us to hold on to, being exposed to the utmost in Allah’s Mercy. This includes worshipping Allah, establishing the prayer, reciting the Quran, saying a good word, showing good character, lowering the eyes from that which is forbidden, wearing the hijab and holding fast to what He wants

When we leave this month we have firmness in these things and a desire to do that which Allah wants us to do. You may have lived a life thinking just about yourself, your needs and desires. When we leave Ramadan we should think what does Allah want from me? We should leave this month with a new programme based upon what Allah wants from us. Leaving Ramadan organising our lives so we attain the happiness of this life and the next. We do this by organising our daily affairs, knowing everything has a time and place. For example, keeping our prayers on time. The idea is that Allah directs us toward worship and that we do not feel this as being burdensome.

Sometimes we become so busy with life but we do not realise that it is those moments that you engage with Allah and supplicate and worship Him that are the foundations of bliss and happiness that can be attained in this life

If you reflect upon this month it is like a short programme you have engaged in. Purification of the soul, illumination of the hearts, a feeling of a sense of tranquillity, a feeling of closeness to Allah, and the following the Prophet ﷺ in all that we do.  Every act that we have done is in reality following in the footsteps of the Prophet ﷺ. We have been venerating the sacred symbols of Allah, hastening to break our fast and supplicating when we break our fast. One of the main obligatory acts that strengthen our faith in Ramadan is the prayer and the recitation of the Quran.

We acknowledge our shortcomings and ask Allah to forgive us and overlook our faults, and we hope, O Allah, that You will forgive us and gather for us in Your Mercy, Forgiveness, and have an awareness of You. We ask for all of those gifts that descended upon the hearts of those drawn close to you, to descend into our hearts. That You O Lord gather us in those things which You love and Your blessed servants love. Those who love to stand in prayer and supplicate. The nights passed them by and they were engaged in worship to you O Allah. Allow us to receive their secret by which You accepted them, what You poured upon them from this cup of love, make us drink from it and taste that which they experienced of love and longing for You. Join our hearts with the people who prayed in the Musalla of the People of the Cloak in Dar al Mustafa. Make us from them and with them. Cause to descend upon us all that has been descending on the people of Medina, all those visiting the Prophet ﷺ, and all of those standing at the door of the Ka’bah. Make all of us here that are present, and all of those that are absent, and all of those that wish to be here, remain constantly under the eye of Your Divine protection. We are in need of Your assistance so please take us by our hands to You

My final word which I advise myself and you all is to be present on the night before Eid. It is a night when Allah distributes the reward for fasting, in the way a worker is given their wages. It is a night that Allah forgives and frees the necks of people from the fire, in this night of Rewards. Present yourself to Allah and be ready to receive the reward, even if it is by praying a few extra cycles of prayer.

May Allah accept from us Ramadan and forgive our sins. O Allah You love to pardon, so pardon us and make our last words in this world “There is no God but Allah and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.”