We should treat Ramaḍān as a period of spiritual recovery and treatment. If someone spends a month in hospital due to a serious illness, they have a unique environment where everything is controlled for them so that they can recover. Upon discharge they need to follow medical advice regarding lifestyle, diet and exercise otherwise their recovery could be compromised and their illness could be fatal. This is analogous to the spiritual rehabilitation we undergo in Ramadan.
When Ramaḍān arrives, a unique atmosphere and climate is prepared by Allāh. Allāh places salvation, forgiveness and mercy in this month. This is to help us train for our life outside of Ramaḍān. Similar to the analogy of the patient discharged from hospital, we need to ensure that we do not lapse back in to our normal routine after Ramaḍān, once that special, sanitised atmosphere is no longer there.
Taqwá is the greatest lesson that we can take with us beyond Ramaḍān. Allāh سبحانه و تعالى says in the Holy Qurʾān:
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الصِّيَامُ كَمَا كُتِبَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ
O believers, fasting has been prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those who came before you so that you may attain Taqwá [al Baqarah 2/183]
Taqwá means more that the ‘fear of Allāh’. Taqwá literally means to guard; it can mean anything that guards, shields or protects. We need to guard ourselves from the displeasure of Allāh. How can we do this? By guarding our limbs from sin and therefore the displeasure of Allāh.
[This short excerpt is based on a lecture delivered by Shaykh Riyadh ul Haq on 30th June 2017].