Ashkan Shokuri, 27, is from Germany. He and his wife are currently enrolled in the Madina Institute Bachelor of Arts in Usul al Din Program.
Maintaining the momentum after Ramadan
Many of us suffer from a Post –Ramadan- Depression (a down after Ramadan). It should be known that ups and downs are part of human life. We must understand and admit our weakness. Otherwise, we fall into a deep dark hole every time we sin after a so-called “pious phase”.
“Man has been created weak” (4:28)
Nonetheless, we strive to maintain good conditions. Good places, times, and people are factors that make us grow. In the absence of these factors, we feel bad. The fact that we do not feel the same outside Ramadan as we do in Ramadan is natural in that sense.
Allah continues to give us numerous opportunities to get close to him. This includes Friday and the Friday prayer, the Monday and Thursday and three days in the middle of the month for fasting, basically every prayer time, the last third of the night and many more. One of Allah’s great offers to us in Ramadan is fasting in the month of Shawwal. It is Sunnah to fast 6 days a month after Ramadan.
The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) himself stated this explicitly: “Fasting Ramadan is like fasting ten months and fasting six days [of Shawwal] is like fasting two months. That is like fasting a full year.” [Ahmad & Nasa’i]
So, if we fast the 6 days in the Shawwal, it is as if we fasted for a year. Fasting is a great way to get closer to Allah. Instead of leaving this act after Ramadan we are asked to nurture this great deed. Why we should abandon what was so good for us in the month of Ramadan? The fasting of the month Shawwal catches us and soothes the pain left behind by Ramadan’s absence.
In Yemen, it has become a tradition to celebrate Eid ul Fitr for one day after Ramadan and then to fast the 6 days of Shawwal in a row, even though one can fast them throughout the month. After these 6 days the people are happy again about the past celebration. With this they express how important fasting is in the Shawwal and that the departure from Ramadan is not an open invitation for laziness.
May Allah help us to keep the mode of Ramadan.