How to avoid sins in Shawwal
The Holy month of Ramadan came like seasonal rain and passed by. This rain did not water the plants and crops -it showered upon the hearts of believers. It is sad, but true, that the hearts of the majority of Muslims are stricken with spiritual drought and spiritual decadence. It is a drought caused by excessive indulgence in unIslamic activities, immoral behaviour, unjust actions, unfair dealings etc. Drought caused by lack of rain destroys crops -drought caused by lack of piety, lack of fear of Allah and lack of Allah consciousness destroys the SPIRITUALITY of the heart.
Ramadan’s spiritual rains brought to life the Masaajid and other prayer places. Ramadan had fanned the dying spark of charity. Ramadan had awakened the dying spirit of tolerance, patience and sympathy for the less fortunate.
Now that Ramadan has passed the big question is, what to do? Did we go through all the spiritual exercises in Ramadan in order that we may have the freedom to indulge, from Eid day, in all types of immoral, shameless and indecent amusement? Did we restrain ourselves from halaal food, drinks and other pleasures from dawn to sunset throughout Ramadan, so that we may return with renewed vigour to gambling, drinking, adultery and fornication? Will the spirit of tolerance, mercy, patience, charity and sympathy be still evident or will these noble qualities be shelved until the dawn of the next Ramadan?
Will the Masajids which were filled on most nights in Ramadan remain the same or will they become empty wondering where the faithful have gone? Our lifetsyles after Ramadan will show whether we used the month to bring about a total reformation within ourselves or are we going to waste the valuable opportunity?
The National and international position of the Muslim communities leaves much to be desired. Muslims are lamenting the loss of lives, destruction of property, oppression, tyranny, injustice and a host of other problems all over the world. They are wondering why the promised help of Allah to the believers is nowhere in sight. Just one glance into the lifestyles of the overwhelming majority of the Muslims is sufficient to answer the question. Millions of Muslims do not have much to their credit besides Muslim names.
Allah’s help comes with action and Islamic qualities -not with names or faces - Arabs or non-Arabs, African or European, Chinese or Indians. On the other hand every group, organization, society or individual who talks Islam, seems to have got its own brand of Islam. The Islamic teachings which were left behind for us, crystal clear and pristine pure, have become so adulterated with foreign customs, alien practices and unIslamic ideologies, that a new Muslim has to make an effort to search for the Quran and Sunnah brand of Islam or remain confused and ignorant.
May Allah Ta’ala give us the guidance to resolve that we shall make the Quran and Sunnah our guiding lights and practise Islam as much as possible. If the non-Muslim inhabitants of our country see Islam in the lives of Muslims, they will not require much persuasion to accept our beautiful deen.
When there is temptation to sin, or some fitnah approaching, we must avoid it. We must take a ’round about’ route. Some pretty face takes away the Imaan of a person, or some other temptation or invitation to Haraam leads to a spiritual crash. The environment of drugs, pornography, fornication and adultery, gambling, music, etc. are those areas.
The Muslim avoids all areas of sins - whether the cinemas, clubs, theatres or other venues of vice. To whatever extent he can avoid, he avoids. He takes a ’round about’ route so that he can reach his destination safely. And the destination of a Muslim is Jannat.
Take another route lest he gets caught in the fitnah and loses his Imaan and Aakhirah.”
There is no doubt that the environment around us is hazardous, dangerous and high-risk for our Imaan. Despite the scenario, a Muslim must be courageous. We do have the courage. We need to only make use of that courage.
Steer the heart and body away from fitnah if we want to reach the Hereafter safely, if we want to enter Jannat without delay; and above this, if we want to earn the Pleasure of Allah Ta’ala.
How do we build up this spiritual strength, whereby we avoid sins… ? We work on developing the quality of Ihsaan.
Rasulullah (PBUH) explained the quality of Ihsaan as: “That you worship Allah as if you are seeing Him, and if you cannot see Him, then He sees you (anyway).”
The understanding and knowledge has to be deeply impressed in the heart and mind : “Wherever I am, my Allah is watching.”
A Muslim works towards developing the sifat (attribute) of Ihsaan in all aspects of his life. It is not confined to the different forms of Ibaadah (worship), like Salaah, Fasting, etc.; rather it is a reality which should be found across the spectrum of our lives.