Reflections & Change

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Alhamdulillah Allah has enabled us to see another year and we should be grateful to him. We all know people who were with us at the beginning of 2020 but did not make it to the end of the year. Likewise, there will be people who will be with us at the beginning of 2021, but only Allah knows if they will be with us at the end of 2021.
Life is short and temporary, so we must make the most of our existence by striving towards the path that will enable us to gain paradise’s sweetness.

Generally, across the world when it comes to the end of the year around December, our non-Muslim friends, neighbours and work colleagues plan to make New Year resolutions. People make intentions on 31st of December that for the New Year they will make a change to their life ranging from losing weight, eating healthy, quitting smoking etc. to simply being better to themselves. We must remember that January and December belong to Allah just as Muharram and Dhul Hijjah do. It’s mentioned in the Quran:

Allah decrees that there are twelve months- ordained in Allah’s Book on the Day when He created the heavens and earth

Qur’an 9:36

When it comes to the concept of resolutions, there is nothing wrong with them; it is a good thing for us as we have the intention to make a change, a change that can be beneficial. However, as Muslims, if we intend to change ourselves, it should not be from the 1st of January 2021 (or any other arbitrary date) as this approach is wrong. The approach to adopt is if you wish to make a change, do it there and then. If you want to lose weight or quit smoking or whatever you want to do, make that intention and follow the path to succeed in that intention. However, don’t wait for the 1st of January or Muharram’s 1st to make the change. Don’t put it on hold! Allah is very clear in how he helps with any such change:

‘He will not change the condition of people until they change what is in themselves’

Qur’an 13:11

If we look in our current society as Muslims, we see that everyone is committing a type of sin whether through the eye, the tongue, or the ears, we have to accept that no one is perfect. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) saidكُلُّ بَنِي آدَمَ خَطَّاءٌ – All the children of Adam are sinners’, but we have to accept that we have to make an effort to change.

However, most Muslims wait to start that change on the 1st of Ramadan and not on the 1st of January, this is the reality and the truth. Many individuals have said to me “Brother, I only pray twice a day, or I only read Quran one a month, I need to change myself.” So, we advise them on how they can change, but their response will be “insha’Allah I will try my best, it is hard, but when Ramadan comes, I will definitely change.” How do we know if we are going to live until the next Ramadan, Allah says in the Qur’an ‘Be, and it is’ (2:117).

Being Clear in our Intentions

SubhanAllah, it is surprising to see the thinking of our Muslims. It is surprising because our primary purpose, intention and goal is to please Allah and anything that can take us closer to that goal is what is best for us. We must reflect upon our lives and see how close we are to Allah. By reflecting and seeing where we can improve ourselves, we can then incorporate those changes within the grand scheme of resolution and intention.
We ought to question ourselves that whenever we do make a change, is it for ourselves?
The main difference between Muslims and Non-Muslims is, when Muslims make the intention of change we incorporate Allah into that intention. This means our direction of change and our intention is mainly for Allah (SWT); everything else becomes secondary. It is great that we want to improve our self-e.g. health, study, finance and others, however, we need to incorporate the aspect of Deen which allows us to get closer to Allah and his Rasool (SAW).

So let’s all start with the name of Allah and end with the name of Allah and make sure we don’t delay acting on our resolutions.

About the Author

Haseeb ul Haq is Principal of the Saturday School and Hifdh Class Coordinator. He is graduate in BA Islamic studies from SOAS University of London and a MA in Islamic Law. During the week he also works in the Education Sector

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