A couple of Ramadans ago, I happened upon a tafsir on TV. The speaker (unfortunately couldn’t get his name) was talking about how death will meet one at a duty he performs consistently. While this may not be a hard-and-fast rule, it is often true.
Many of us wait until Ramadan before we dramatically turn a new leaf only to, even more dramatically, revert to our old ways. In all likelihood, the Angel of Death will come for us at that job that consumes all our time, having that meal we often eat, donning those clothes we most often wear, uttering the expletives we most often use, singing the songs we love to sing. At the time of death, if one is unused to dhikr or similar words will he suddenly say Laa ilaha illAllah? Will he not keep murmuring the lyrics he’s been trying to memorize all week, the lyrics to that song that topped the charts the previous week? If when calamity strikes, foul four-letter words grace our lips, these will spring to the fore when the vehicle tyre bursts at top speed.
We should develop a new routine; the routine of keeping our tongues moist with adhkaar (and there are many in Hisnu-l-muslim (Citadel/Fortress of the Believer) by Said bn Ali Al-Qahtani); a routine of doing good deeds, giving charity, helping out others, obedience to parents, Salat, fasting etc.
We should stop being part-time Muslims and part-time gangsters. The time for change is now, not tomorrow. Let us begin to practice Islam full-time!