The Divine Invitation (30)
The 4th infallible successor of the Prophet of Islam, Imam Sajjad -also called Zain al-Abedin- (Peace upon him), says in the special supplication for parting with the blessed month of Ramazan, "Farewell to you the month in which the hearts were softened and the sins decreased."
The blessed month of Ramazan is so great that Prophet Mohammad (SAWA) said, "If the servant knew the value of the month of Ramazan, he wished the entire year would be Ramazan."
Performing the obligatory fasting is not an easy job but it has very great gains, like training the spirit, strengthening the willpower and harnessing the instincts and desires. When a person abstains from eating, drinking and certain other acts, he is indeed fighting his desires and resisting his instincts. Such a person avoids some acts that are permitted in other months. Thus, he will be able to avoid sins and forbidden acts easier. When the human stomach is empty the light of faith shines in the heart and virtues like piety, honesty, truthfulness and kindheartedness are strengthened. One month of fasting is a great asset which cannot be compared with anything else. The achievements of Ramazan are priceless things that are prone to seizure by Satan if the individual is negligent.
One of the ways to safeguard the spiritual values and achievements is to calculate the deeds. In calculation of deeds, the faithful person finds his pros and cons and becomes aware of his ability to counter the barriers in its march toward the ultimate goal.
The seventh infallible successor of the Prophet, Imam Musa Kazem (AS) said, "He is not from us Ahl al-Bayt, who doesn't review his deeds daily so that he asks God for further help if he has done good; or else seeks His forgiveness and repents if he has committed a sin."
Imam Ali (AS) also said, "Reckon yourselves before you are reckoned [on the Day of Judgment]."
Man should recognize his good and evil deeds. Then he will thank for the good deeds and repent for the evil ones.
The Commander of the Faithful and the Leader of the Pious, Imam Ali (AS) said, "O servants of God! Piety is indeed an impenetrable fort."
As we have mentioned several times, the most important achievement of Ramazan is piety (Godwariness). This is stressed in ayah 183 of surah Baqara, "O you who have faith! Prescribed for you is fasting as it was prescribed for those who were before you so that you may be Godwary."
What should be noted is that after the end of Ramazan the devils renew their assaults on the faithful to foil their efforts in this month and destroy their spiritual successes. They exert their utmost to annihilate the blessings obtained in Ramazan. To counter this, the faithful should be very heedful and wakeful. God says in ayah 135 of surah Al-e Imran, "And those who, when they commit an indecent act or wrong themselves, remember Allah and plead forgiveness for their sins- and who forgives sins except Allah? - and who do not persist in what they have committed while they know."
The noble Qur'an is the word of God and practicing its commands will lead to success in this world and the Hereafter. The blessed month of Ramazan is the month in which this divine book has been sent down. Hence, there is a close bond between the Qur'an and Ramazan. Those who fast get closer to the Qur'an in this month and read it more than other months. Now, to preserve the spiritual gains of this month, we have to keep the habit of reading the Qur'an as it is emphasized in a hadith that a faithful should read at least 50 ayahs of the Qur'an every day.
Prayer and supplication is very important in Islam. Prophet Mohammad (Blessings and greetings of God upon him and his progeny) said, "Prayer is the weapon of the faithful, the pillar of religion and the light of the heavens and the earth."
Therefore, the good habit of praying and supplication should continue after the blessed month of Ramazan. However, the point should be noted that no hour is comparable with midnight and dawn. God recommends His Prophet in surah Muzzammil, "Stand vigil through the night, except a little, a half or reduce a little from that or add to it and recite the Qur'an in a measured tone."
The 5th successor of the Prophet, Imam Mohammad Baqer (AS), said, "From the dawn till sunrise the doors of heaven are opened and sustenance is divided at this hour and great demands are fulfilled at this hour."
At the time of dawn, the divine mercy is bestowed upon servants, prayers are answered and the sins are forgiven. That's why the scholars of ethics recommend their disciples, "Wake up at dawn even if you have the time just to drink a glass of water. Gain this much of the blessing of dawn."
Waking up at midnight is a good habit which should continue after the month of Ramazan.
In short, continuation of the deeds of Ramazan will cause them remain. Imam Baqer (AS) said, "The most loved deed with God is the one that the servant persists though it be a little one."
Persistence of good deeds will bolster virtues and weaken vices in human spirit.