Answered by Shaykh Abul ‘Ataa Ahmad Banaja (may Allah preserve him)
What is your advice to us following the month of Ramadhan?
Barakallahu feekum. My advice to all my brothers and sisters in Islam regarding what we should do after Ramadhan, is to continue upon the goodness that they were upon during the month of Ramadhan. Because from the greatest of signs that Allah has accepted one’s deeds in Ramadhan is that a person continues to be upon the goodness that he was upon during the month of Ramadhan. Allah says in the Qur’an,
وَٱلَّذِینَ ٱهۡتَدَوۡا۟ زَادَهُمۡ هُدࣰى وَءَاتَىٰهُمۡ تَقۡوَىٰهُمۡ
“While as for those who accept guidance, He increases their guidance, and bestows on them their piety.”
Hence, continuing upon goodness is considered to be an evidence for the acceptance of one’s deeds in Ramadhan in sha Allah.
He continues to pray the night prayer as he used to do in Ramadhan according to his ability. The night prayer is an act of worship that can be practiced in two ways; The Partly Form and The Complete Form.
The complete form is that in which one prays whole eleven rakahs of prayer as it was performed by the prophet -ﷺ- And the partly form in which one prays any odd number of units lesser than eleven, even if he prays just one rakah. This is from the mercy of Allah subhanahu wa ta’la, that he has made the worship easy for us through such ways. And this also so that one doesn’t cut off completely from such acts of worship. So do not neglect Qiyam Al Layl , if he is not able to pray all eleven rakahs, then let him pray nine rakahs, if not then seven, if not then five, if not then three or at the least one rakah. The important factor is that he continues in this act of worship without leaving it off.
And similarly is the case of reading Qur’an, he continues to perform this act of worship like he used to do in Ramadhan. And likewise in Charity, and in voluntary prayers, and in fasting. All these deeds that he used to do in Ramadhan, they are to be done in the other months as well. So strive hard to be persistent upon these deeds and then ask Allah for his mercy and to accept your deeds. This is how one is supposed to be, always increasing in goodness.
And this is what is intended in his statement subhanahu wa ta’la,
قُلۡ إِنَّ صَلَاتِی وَنُسُكِی وَمَحۡیَایَ وَمَمَاتِی لِلَّهِ رَبِّ ٱلۡعَـٰلَمِینَ
Say (O Muhammad ﷺ): “Verily, my Salat (prayer), my sacrifice, my living, and my dying are for Allah, the Lord of the ‘Alamin (mankind, jinns and all that exists).
This means that the life of the believer is always in worship. Once you find him fasting, and then you find him praying, and then you find him giving in charity, and then find him reciting the Qur’aan, and then find him seeking knowledge , and so on. This is the way of the believers. And this what is intended in the statement of Allah subhanahu wa ta’la,
وَمَا خَلَقۡتُ ٱلۡجِنَّ وَٱلۡإِنسَ إِلَّا لِیَعۡبُدُونِ
And I (Allaah) created not the jinns and humans except they should worship Me (Alone).
This is how it is supposed to be. The creator of Ramadhan is the creator of Sha’ban and Shawwal and the other months as well.
Allah has asked us to worship him in all times, and not just in the month of Ramadhan.
So my dear brothers and sisters, be careful about cutting off from worship, and strive hard in order to be persistent in your acts of worship, for verily it is from the signs of acceptance of your deeds.
All praise be to Allaah alone.