All Praise and thanks are due to Allah the Almighty who has blessed us with witnessing yet another Ramadan! The Prophet (peace be upon him) said that actions are judged by their ending (Al-Bukhari). So while many of us have started preparing for `Eid , we should also make sure that we end this blessed month in a great way.
End It By…Repentance
We end this month by returning to Allah the Almighty in a state of humility and repentance. We seek forgiveness of Allah and repent to Him because we acknowledge that our deeds are deficient, and we acknowledge that we have wronged ourselves and others.
Repenting to Allah is a reminder that Allah is the One who guided us to righteous deeds, and we do not know if He will accept them from us. It is recommended that that when we end a deed, we end it with seeking forgiveness. We seek forgiveness after finishing our prayers and after we end a gathering just as Allah told the Prophet to seek forgiveness and to repent after the Opening of Makkah.
We end this month in a state of gratitude to Allah. Allah says:
… to complete the period and to glorify Allah for that [to] which he has guided you; and perhaps you will be grateful. (Al-Baqarah 2:185)
We must thank Allah for all that He has given us during this month. He blessed us to be among those who worshiped Him and He gave us the health and ability to fast, to pray, and to increase in our good deeds.
Gratitude is a trait of the believers that is highlighted throughout the Qur’an and Sunnah (tradition of the Prophet). We even see that when the believers enter Paradise, they proclaim:
Praise to Allah, who has guided us to this; and we would never have been guided if Allah had not guided us. (Al-A`raf 7:43)
Being grateful to Allah and thanking Him reminds us to be humble, because we would not have received anything good or have had the opportunity to do any good without the Help of Allah.
Proclaiming the Greatness of Allah
We end this month by declaring the Greatness of Allah for what He has guided us to. Allah says:
… to complete the period and to glorify Allah for that (to) which he has guided you; and perhaps you will be grateful. (Al-Baqarah 2:185)
Takbeer is to declare the Greatness of Allah, to exalt Him, and magnify Him. Saying “Allahu Akbar” is the highest and best way to exalt Allah.
We make takbeer from the night of `Eid until the `Eid prayer by saying:
Allahu Akbar Allahu Akbar (Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest),
La ilaaha il Allah (There is no deity worthy of worship except for Allah),
Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar (Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest),
wa Lillahil Hamd (and for Allah Alone is All Praise).
We repeat this throughout the night and day, reminding ourselves that Allah is Greater than everything else and we declare His Praise for having guided us to finish Ramadan.
Shaykh ibn `Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) says: “What is more beautiful than seeing the people proclaiming the greatness of Allah and declaring His Magnificence in every area and place, filling the horizon with Allahu Akbar (Allah is Greater than everything), Alhamdulillah (Praise be to Allah Alone) and La ilaaha il Allah (There is no deity worthy of worship except for Allah), while hoping for His Mercy and fearing His Punishment!”
Intention to Change
We end this month with the intention to continue fasting, praying and doing good. Ramadan is a month of change that is meant to give us a spiritual cleansing that will last us the whole year.
The virtues of fasting and praying do not end after we celebrate `Eid; rather, `Eid should be the beginning of a new chapter for us to continue doing the habits we started in Ramadan. We can continue reading the Qur’an, fasting Mondays and Thursdays, or the White Days (the 13th-15th of each lunar month), and we can pray the night prayers every night (or once a week).
We’ve tasted the sweetness of standing during the night; we’ve tasted the sweetness of raising our hands to Allah in supplication; we’ve tasted the sweetness of breaking our fast after a long day; we’ve tasted the sweetness of giving charity. So how can we return to disobedience and leaving good deeds after having tasted this sweetness?
Al-Hafizh ibn Rajab (may Allah have mercy on him) says: “O one who has been freed from the Fire by His Owner! Be cautious of returning to enslavement after having been freed! Your Protector has removed you from the Fire and you are coming closer to it? And He has saved you from it, and you are falling into it?”
Do not be a “Ramadan Muslim” by intending to return to your old habits after the `Eid prayer. Ask Allah, the One who guided you to worship Him in Ramadan, to help you continue in your worship and good deeds. Remember that Ramadan has left us but the One who created this month will never leave; for He is Living and His reward is Everlasting.