We can all remember the feeling we had this Ramadan. That intense determination we felt as we tried our best to come out of it changed people. The pressure that was on us and the weight of each moment was so immense. Time felt heavy as each hour, minute, and second held an opportunity we would never receive again. Eventually that time ran out for all of us…
We regretted every moment wasted. The exhaust we felt from fasting and staying up at night turned into a melancholy. All that was left was hope.
Hope that Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala (Exalted is He) would accept our deeds.
As the days of Eid passed, we settled into our daily lives. We slowly became more disconnected from the masjid, our community, and eventually from our souls.
The only way we had to measure how deeply this Ramadan had affected us was by examining ourselves through our deeds and hearts.
How many good habits had we established, and how many of those bad habits that we gave up came back to haunt us?
Did our hearts feel enlightened with each page of Qur’an we continued reading, or did the spark that had ignited our iman (faith) die out?
For many of us maybe we have destroyed what we had earned by sinning after Ramadan. Maybe we immediately returned to our sins. Maybe on the first day of Eid, all that we had worked for quickly unraveled for the pleasure of this dunya (worldly life).
However for many of us, we have not yet destroyed what we earned. We may have only tattered it a little. We’ve just lost some momentum—doing less than what we had done before.
Some of us haven’t yet given up—we are holding on with all our might trying not to return to our previous state.
We haven’t yet given up on ourselves but we feel ourselves falling.
For all of us, whether we have totally lost ourselves, are barely holding on, or have only just slipped up a bit, Allah (swt) has provided us with a second chance. A chance to build ourselves up once more so that we may regain the strength that we slowly diminished.
We are now in the 10 days of Dhul Hijjah—meaning the most blessed ten days of the year are upon us. The weight of these days is as heavy as the last ten nights of Ramadan.
Yep, that’s right, the last ten nights!
Those nights that you drank that extra cup of coffee to keep you going in qiyam (night prayer) till fajr (dawn prayer).
Those nights that you crammed your daily Qur’an reading to make sure you completed those extra few pages you had slacked on before.
Yes, those ten nights…the nights you felt the spirituality all around you, the nights full of peace and prosperity, the nights that can only make you wish for more.
These ten days are just as weighty, just as honorable, and just as important. They are the opportunity for you to go the extra mile and up your score.
SubhanAllah, Allah (swt) has so much wisdom and mercy in the way He revives our soul.
These ten days could have been set six months from Ramadan, mid-way through the year giving us two annual chances to gain spirituality. However Allah (swt) in all His wisdom granted us these blessed ten days at a time where many of our habits are only beginning to waver.
As for those who gave up those habits, this is a time when our memory of Ramadan is still close—we haven’t completely forgotten those feelings we had felt. That intense desire for forgiveness is still fresh in our minds, and so our second chance has come before we have let all those feelings go.
As I’ve said before Ramadan is not a marathon, it is a training session to prepare us for the rest of the year.
Everyone knows that while running a marathon, we are so energized at the beginning but eventually we all get tired. However those who complete the race are the ones who refresh themselves, the ones who stay determined, and the ones who keep the goal in their mind.
These ten days are a reminder of that goal. They are here to catapult us into victory, so that we never have to reach the end of the year ashamed of our failure.
None of us are perfect. We all need a little boost every now and then.
When it comes to our souls—only Allah (swt) can give us that boost. Only with good deeds and worship can we gain that internal energy that revives our hearts and our souls.
And for those who feel like they’ve completely messed up, like they’ve lost it all and can feel no sense of intensity during these coming days—You should never give up on yourself. Allah’s (swt) mercy is greater than any sin you can commit, and He gives everyone a chance for redemption.
The Messenger of Allah ﷺ (peace be upon him) said, “Fasting the Day of `Arafah [9th of Dhu’l Hijjah] expiates for two years, one prior and one forthcoming.”
The 9th of Dhul Hijjah is tomorrow, Thursday October 25th.
SubhanAllah this hadith (narration) mentions a reward for the future. It is amazing the amount of mercy Allah (swt) has allowed us in this time.
We always hear that ‘It’s never too late for a second chance’—well it’s true, but here is the twist. Allah (swt) has given us our second chance early, and made it so that we haven’t given up on ourselves just yet. We were all asking for forgiveness and redemption in Ramadan and we were waiting for an answer. The answer however is found once we reflect on our heart, our actions, and our soul; and only a few months after our du`a’ (prayers) in Ramadan, this second chance has come early for us all.