How does Imam Ali (a) recommend to deal with ‘post Sh Ramadhaan blues?’ [video here]
One of the common phrases we hear after finishing a journey or interval from somewhere is ‘I have post holiday blues’. This is because after returning to normality or worse still, the rat race, we feel a low compared to the fervour and pace of what what before. We also hear this type of phrase of ‘post Ziyarat blues’ and ‘post Shahr Ramadaan blues’ for this same reason: So much enjoyment from the spirit and efforts of the month become replaced by a return to our daily grind and so we feel a disconnect or shortfall in our spirituality. Why does this occur and how do we navigate this?
The Qur’an gives a clear reasoning for this low feeling. وَمَنْ أَعْرَضَ عَن ذِكْرِي فَإِنَّ لَهُ مَعِيشَةً ضَنكًا وَنَحْشُرُهُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ أَعْمَىٰ “And whoever turns away from My remembrance, his shall live a depressed life, and We will raise him on the day of resurrection, blind” (20:124)
In the context of the Month of Ramadaan, we build up so many good practises and God-consciousness by virtue of creating a new environment for ourselves personally and communally, that a return to what it was like previously will certainly leave a deficit. The verse gives both a worldly and next-worldly outcome of turning away from Allah swt’s reminders: In this world, one will live miserably but worse still in the next world be raised blind. The subsequent verses explain such a person will ask on the Day of Judgement قَالَ رَبِّ لِمَ حَشَرْتَنِي أَعْمَىٰ وَقَدْ كُنتُ بَصِيرًا “He shall say: My Lord! why hast Thou raised me blind and I was a seeing one indeed?”
The reply enforces the warning of not turning away from Allah swat’s remembrance: قَالَ كَذَٰلِكَ أَتَتْكَ آيَاتُنَا فَنَسِيتَهَا وَكَذَٰلِكَ الْيَوْمَ تُنسَىٰ “He will say: Thus it is so, Our communications came to you but you had forsaken them; thus shall you be forsaken this day.” (20:125-126).
Narrations indicate to the necessity of holding onto that environment that has been created and especially its people, those who will retain the good practises of the holy month such that you would too.
Imam Ali (a) is narrated to have said, لا تَتَمَسَّكَنَّ بِمُدْبِر، ولا تُفارِقَنَّ مُقْبِلاً “Never hold on to one who turns back and do not separate from the one who moves forward.” This means that he who turns back into his normal practises, as he will feel those lows, one should not hold onto him as you will partake and absorb from him whilst those whom you find keep up their fervour, we are instructed not to separate from him.
But Imam Ali (a) tells us to have a watchful, discerning eye stating, لَرُبَّما أقْبَلَ المُدْبِرُ، وأدْبَـرَ المُقْبِلُ “It may be that sometimes the one who turns back moves forward and the one who moves forward turns back”. In this occasion the one who turns back, means he who turns back to God such as through Tawbah. It may be that he regrets not maximising the blessed month and has vowed to improve thereafter while he who thinks he is moving forward may not be due to something corrupting his service such a pride or impatience.
May Allah swt make us amongst those who uphold the accomplishments of the Month of Ramadhaan and allow us to witness it again next year.