By Yahya Abdul Rahman
(September 20, 2009) – Congratulations, you made it!
You have successfully completed the fast of the month of Ramadan.
Whether this is your first complete Ramadan fast or your 50th, you have done a wonderful thing because the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) has stated that, “whoever fasts during Ramadan out of sincere faith and hoping to attain Allah’s rewards, then all his past sins will be forgiven.”
One thing you have learned during this month of fasting is that sometimes it can be quite hard.
Some days you did not feel like fasting or praying as you were tired. But you overcame your desires and now today, on this first day of Eid, you are celebrating with millions and millions of other Muslims.
This makes you feel happy and proud, doesn’t it?
You also feel a sense of accomplishment because, despite the difficulties you encountered along the way, you did not give up and have won the victory over your desires.
One of the main lessons which Ramadan teaches us is that if we want to accomplish something important or worthwhile it takes effort.
Sometimes things can become really difficult and challenging but when we keep focused on our goal then eventually we will achieve that which we set out to do.
These lessons not only apply to Ramadan but to anything we are trying to achieve in life.
For example, many of you have begun a new year of studies at school.
Sometimes the homework can be really difficult and you feel like throwing up your hands in frustration.
“This is just too hard, I cannot do it,” you say.
But you keep working and applying yourself because you are aware of the long-term benefits of studying and being a good student.
You will want to graduate and find a good paying job so that you can lead a happy life and support a family of your own, or maybe you desire to become a scholar in your chosen field.
Everyday, you open your books and attend classes because you know that eventually all of your efforts will pay off.
And so it is with Islam also.
When we apply ourselves with patience and perseverance to please Allah we know there will be a pay off.
Allah will be pleased with us and He will grant us paradise, which is the ultimate achievement.
Yes, sometimes it can be really hard, but the ultimate prize – paradise- makes the effort worth it.
Remember the prophet Muhammad (peace be up him) stated that “for the fasting person there are two times of joy; a time when he breaks his fast and a time of joy when he meets his Lord.”
The Prophet also said, “The fast and the Qur’an are two intercessors for the servant of Allah on the Day of Resurrection.
The fast will say: ‘O Lord, I prevented him from his food and desires during the day. Let me intercede for him.’
The Qur’an will say: ‘I prevented him from sleeping at night. Let me intercede for him.’ And their intercession will be accepted.”
So today, as you celebrate the completion of your fast just, remember that you are one step closer to your goal of paradise.
Don’t give up now that Ramadan is over.
Keep making effort by remaining steadfast in your prayers and doing good deeds.
Read the Quran everyday and be kind to your parents as well as those you you deal with on a daily basis.
You will soon meet Allah and you will be happy that you fasted.
*See Yahya Abul Rahman’s blog: http://yahyaottawa.blogspot.com/