“Obstacles are things a person sees when he takes his eyes off his goal.” ― E. Joseph Cossman
Have you ever feel like your adrenalin is sky high during Ramadhan? That you feel so motivated to do many good deeds and sunnah acts and everything is made easy. Everyone around you is also encouraging others to do good and is supportive of your efforts. You don't feel alone because there are many others on the same journey with the same goal - to be a better Muslims.
Then come Syawal. You start to feel alone again. Gone are the pom pom girls and the cheerleaders who kept your spirits high. No one is standing at the side lines to cheer you on anymore. Gone are the words of wisdom and encouragement, even on Facebook!
Suddenly, you feel like it's a mammoth's task to keep continuing doing what you have been doing all the while during the month of Ramadhan. You start dragging your feet at the simplest sunnah act. Sounds familiar?
You then find that you don't spend the same amount of time reciting the Qur'an as you did before or that you're not as generous as before or that you're not performing the same number of sunnah prayers as you did before. Night prayers? Well ...that stopped when 'sahur' stopped.
So what happened?
One easy but lame excuse would be to blame it on satan which was chained during Ramadhan but now has been unleashed again. Blame satan! Satan has made us lazy. Yup! That would be the most convenient excuse but then again satan has no hold or influence on the believers.
" [Iblees] said, "Do You see this one whom You have honored above me? If You delay me until the Day of Resurrection, I will surely destroy his descendants, except for a few."
"Indeed, over My [believing] servants there is for you no authority. And sufficient is your Lord as Disposer of affairs."
So, did we stop believing?
The truth is I think, we just ran out of steam. We were going non- stop at high speed, caught up with the excitement that we ran out of breath even before reaching the finish line. Our finish line should when we finally return to our Creator and not the end of Ramadhan.
A seasoned marathon runner would tell you to pace yourself and not sprint in the beginning of the race. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that we shouldn't take full advantage of the blessings of Ramadhan by doing as much as possible but also bear in mind that there is still life after Ramadhan. We should try to continue with our deeds and acts even after.
Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Take up good deeds only as much as you are able, for the best deeds are those done regularly even if they are few.”
Hadith Ibn Majah
Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) said, "Do good deeds properly, sincerely and moderately and know that your deeds will not make you enter Paradise, and that the most beloved deed to Allah is the most regular and constant even if it were little."
Of course it will much more difficult with satan being loose and all but that is the challenge. To rise above the obstacles.
Find someone or people who can help, be it spouse, family or friends. People who can even join you in your quest.
"Among the people are some who open the way to goodness and close the way to evil."
Hadith Ibn Majah
If you can't find anyone to join you, don't despair. Set out your goals starting with the littlest and simplest of act. Once you feel that the act have become a norm then gradually add to it. Eventually, you will find yourself doing more but with ease and most importantly, with consistency.
"And those who strive for Us - We will surely guide them to Our ways. And indeed, Allah is with the doers of good."