By Mostafa Al-Khateeb
Translated by Tal`at Farouq
Unlike many of us, the righteous Salaf (early Muslims) would feel grief and fear during the last days of Ramadan. They would feel grief for the farewell of this noble month, which is full of numerous opportunities of repentance and great reward. They would also feel fear that their deeds might not be accepted. They were an embodiment to whom Almighty Allah referred in the Qur’an saying,
(Those who dispense their charity with their hearts full of fear, because they will return to their Lord; it is these who hasten in every good work, and these who are foremost in them.) (Al-Mu’minun 23:60–61)
When the end of Ramadan approached, these feelings would be expressed by many of the sayings and deeds of the Salaf. Below are examples of their manners at the turn of Ramadan.
Mu`alla ibn Al-Fadl said about some of the Salaf, “They would supplicate Allah for six months so that He may let them live until they witness the month of Ramadan, and then [after Ramadan] they would supplicate Allah for six months so that He may accept [their deeds in] it.”
Wahb ibn Al-Ward once saw some people laughing carelessly on the day of `Eid; he then said, “If the fasting of those people was accepted, then such is not the conduct of the thankful, and if their fasting was unaccepted, it is not the conduct of the afraid.”
`Umar ibn `Abdul-`Aziz (may Allah be pleased with him) once went out on the day of `Eid and said in a sermon, “O people, you have indeed fasted for 30 days and performed supererogatory Prayers for 30 nights for the sake of Allah, and today you have come out asking Allah to accept it from you.”
One of the Salaf would look sad on the day of `Eid, and when it was said to him, “It is a day of joy and delight,” he answered, “This is true, but I am a slave who has been commanded by his Lord to do some work for His sake, and I am not sure whether He will accept it from me or not!”
It was also reported that Al-Hassan Al-Basri said, “Indeed Allah has made the month of Ramadan a racecourse in which His creatures compete in worshipping Him to win His Pleasure. Hence, some people gained precedence and thus they won, while others lagged behind and therefore they lost.”
It was reported that `Abdullah ibn Mas`ud would say on the day of `Eid, “Who are those whose deeds were accepted, so we may congratulate them? And who are those deprived [of acceptance of deeds], so we may console them? O man of accepted deeds, blessed are you. And [as for] you who were deprived [of acceptance], may Allah relieve your affliction.”
This is how some of the righteous Salaf reacted to the end of Ramadan. It is beneficial to feel like them, react like them, and — above all — worship Allah like them.