Cii News | 06 August 2014/08 Shawaal 1435
Keeping the Connection is a 5 Part series of advises, transcribed from a recent lecture delivered by Sheikh Kamaludeen Ahmed*
The month of Ramadan actually came to make us the lover of Allah SWT. Ramadan was not the month of fasting. If you think Ramadan was the month of fasting, then it’s finished on Eid. It’s a mistake. People tell their children that Ramadan is the month of fasting. You have to complete the sentence. Ramadan is the month of fasting in order to get the Nearness of Allah SWT. Ramadan was the month I fasted in order to become the lover of Allah SWT. Ramadan was the month I fasted in order to become the beloved of Allah SWT. Now that the fasting is finished the nearness and companionship is supposed to continue. You have to complete the sentence then you can complete the mission. If people think that Ramadan is just the month of fasting, then it’s finished, it’s all finished. Wait another 11 months then.
Ramadan is the month of Wilayah, fasting in order to become the Wali of Allah SWT. And it is a cheap price to pay. To get the Wilayat of Allah SWT, all you have to do is stay away from food and drink and lawful relations inside Nikah from Fajr to Maghrib. It is a very cheap price to pay. But the question is do we have that Wilayah, do we have that nearness? Do we feel that intimate friendship to Allah SWT, His Companionship and Nearness? Most of us say no, fresh out of Ramadan. We need to reflect on this. If you want this Ramadan to be different, the only hope that you and I have of making it different is right now in Shawwaal. Shawwaal is the make and break month, it will be determined whether Ramadan has any effect on you or not. Within Shawwaal it will be manifested and realised by ourselves and everyone around us whether Ramadan had any effect on us at all. It’s up to us.
How do we achieve this closeness to Allah SWT? We want to feel close to Him when we pray Salaah, we want to feel close to Him out there, in the shop, in the market, in the factory, in the office. Everybody feels close to Allah SWT in the Masjid. That’s the nature of the Masjid. The test is can you feel close to Allah SWT out there. Everybody feels close to Allah SWT in Ramadan, the test is can you feel close to Allah after Ramadan.
The way to get closer to Allah SWT is through two basic prime things. To feel more love for Allah SWT and to do more Dhikr (remembrance) of Allah SWT. The more we love Allah SWT and the more we remember Allah SWT, the closer you will feel to Allah SWT. Actually that’s what was happening in Ramadan. When you unpack the ingredients of Ramadan, it wasn’t the hunger and the thirst. When we were fasting for Allah SWT, what was happening? Why would anybody do that? Why would you stay away from lawful things? It can only be one reason, out of your love for Allah SWT.
And we love Allah SWT so much that none of us even thought of cheating in the fast. Otherwise every time you make Wudu with water right there in your mouth, you could just take a gulp and no one would have ever known. You weren’t even tempted, it wasn’t even in your range of thought. This is called love. Love means to obey to obey your beloved so entirely, to be so loyal to your beloved, that you can never ever imagine betraying them. The thought of being disloyal to them could never cross your mind. We were feeling love for Allah SWT in Ramadan. The same thing about Dhikr. When we were fasting, throughout the day we remembered that we were fasting. Nothing could make us forget that we’re fasting. This is perpetual Dhikr of Allah SWT because we were fasting for Allah SWT, out of Ibaadah (worship) to Allah SWT.
All that time we were in dhikr and all that time we were feeling love for Allah SWT, these were the two ingredients in Ramadan that enabled us to feel closer to Allah SWT. If we still want to feel that closeness to Allah SWT we have to find ways to do the same thing. These are feelings. Love is a feeling in the heart. Dhikr is also a feeling. Taqwa (piety) is also a feeling. All of these things in Deen, they are called the feelings of Imaan. Sabr (patience) is a feeling. Shukr (Gratitude) is a feeling, Tawakkul (trust) is a feeling – these are all feelings. and we are supposed to feel these feelings all the time. Not just in Ramadan.
*Shaykh Kamaluddin Ahmed was born and raised in Manhattan, New York City. He recieved a BA in Political Science and Arab & Islamic Civilization from the University of Chicago. Shaykh Kamaluddin then spent many years in Pakistan, studying full-time the classical disciplines of Islamic learning including tafsir of the Qur’an, Hadith, Arabic grammar, law and legal theory. He recieved the ‘alimiyyah degree as well as formal authorization to transmit legal opinion (ifta).
From 2005-2010, he was a lecturer in Islamic Intellectual History, Legal Theory, Spirituality and Ethics at one of Pakistan’s leading universities. In 2012, he completed a Masters degree from the University of Oxford and currently is a Doctoral Fellow in Islamic Intellectual History at the Berlin Graduate School.
For over seventeen years, Shaykh Kamaluddin has consistently remained in the close company of the highly respected Shaykh Zulfiqar Ahmad, and was granted ijaza by him in tasawwuf (islamic spirituality) in 2002. Since then, he has continually tutored seekers on the path to becoming closer to Allah.
Shaykh Kamaluddin divides his time between the UK and Pakistan, guiding students and delivering lectures at masajid, universities and institutions of learning.
The Shaykh and his wife have also established Zaynab Academy, an Islamic educational institute which offers free online courses for women the world over.