New resolutions for the new year ahead

Assalamua’alaikum Warahmatullahi wabarakatuhu;

I have come across this wonderful article which I’d like to share on

the blog, may you all who read it benefit from it, by Allah’s will,

Ameen.

By Sadullah Khan

We realize that another year has passed; minutes move into hours, hours

into days, days into weeks, weeks into months, and months into years,

seemingly faster than ever before; yet every moment is a precious

component of life and every moment counts.

The pertinent question one should ask about tomorrow is, “What have I

done with my yesterdays?” In the Qur’an, we are commanded to carefully

consider what we are sending forth or doing for the future:

(O you who believe, observe your duty to Allah, and let every soul look

to that which it has sent on for the morrow) (Al-Hashr 59:18)

This introspective question should evoke critical self-evaluation ineach individual: “What am I doing with my today?” Our attitude towards time indicates our attitude toward the value of the capital of life. That

is why the Qur’an exhorts us to value the time we have before life comes to an end, so that we may realize that time is the measure of life.

Time is an amaanah (trust); what we do with time is what we do with our lives.

Almighty Allah says,

(And spend of that wherewith We have provided you before death comes

unto one of you and he says, “My Lord, if only You would respite me to anear term, so that I would give alms and be among the righteous!”)

(Al-Munafiqun 63:10)

(He Who created death and life that He may try you — which of you is best in deeds, and He is the Mighty, the Forgiving) (Al-Mulk 67:2)

One might ask, “How can I make my life count? Where do I begin? And

what should I change?” Muhammad Iqbal, the great poet and philosopher,

echoed that question in one of his poems when he reminded us that Allah never changes the condition of those who do not consider changing themselves. He was echoing the following Qur’anic verse:

(Verily Allah does not change the condition of a people until they

[first] change their own condition) (Ar-Ra`d 13:11)

Are we accepting our conditions as they are? Or are we willing to take the responsibility of changing them? Ultimately, we have to be the change we want to see. Iqbal said,

When you are enslaved, neither arms nor reflection by itself is of real use:

But if you have a sense of dignified determination, then you can break  up all shackles;

Can anyone really know the strength of a principled believer?

Destiny can be changed by the glance of a determined believer.

Principle Priorities

Without a clear sense of our personal principles and priorities, it is

most difficult, if not improbable, for us to make our lives really count. We must acknowledge that the right thing to do is always the best  thing to do, provided that it is done with propriety (i.e. at the right  time and in the right manner)- thus deserving to be called muqmin  (true believer). This fulfills the following Prophetic advice:

“If doing right pleases you and doing wrong displeases you, then you  are truly a believer.” (Authenticated by Al-Albani)

As those who performed Hajj and returned sinless as newborns are being  welcom ed and as the new Hijri year is being ushered in, it is a good  time to make personal resolutions.

New Year’s Resolutions

A resolution is one’s commitment to an attitude, a moral task, a habit,  or a change in lifestyle that is beneficial to one and to others. Such  a commitment sets goals to be achieved. It is a means of  self-assessment and repentance, which demand personal honesty, moral commitment,  humility, and dedication.

Stay wide-awake. Always ask yourself, “Where am I? And where am I going  to?” Our lives are being continually shaped by the choices we make and  the convictions and values that underlie them. In this sense, our  lives are like works of art that are in progress.

Anyone can take the material of life and either react to it passively,  always remaining life’s victim, or take it and use it creatively,  becoming the architect of their life and a participant in shaping their  destiny and in designing their true personality.

Reach your full potential. Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be  upon him) is reported to have said,

“Verily Allah has prescribed ihsan [goodness and excellence] for all  things.” (Muslim)

In relation to evolving human potential and developing the personality,  this statement motivates a person to utilize his or her life skills in  the most progressive and proactive manner. This demands the  demonstration of dignity with pride, courage with conviction, patience with  perseverance, power with mercy, authority with justice, duty with  commitment, principle with wisdom, freedom with discipline, and honor with

compassion.

Leave small thing small. Do not make a major issue of small matters. Be  more compassionate, less confrontational. Let’s all make a resolution  that we will genuinely be more loving, more respectful, more  accommodating, less hurtful, less demeaning, and less confrontational. Let’s put  our house in order, beginning with our relationships with our family  members at home.

Value five before five.

The Prophet is reported to have said,

“Take advantage of five before five: your youth before your old age,your health before your sickness, your wealth before your poverty, your  free time before your becoming [too] busy, and your life before your  death.” (Al-Hakim in Al-Mustadrak)

Do something for someone. Our function in life is not merely to have  and to hold but also to give and to serve. The Prophet is reported to  have said,

“Allah helps the servant as long as this servant helps his brother [or  sister].” (Muslim)

We should always remember the promise that we will enter Paradise by  the mercy of Allah and also through the generosity of our spirits and  soundness of our hearts.

Learn from your mistakes. There is a Prophetic hadith that captures a  reality in all human endeavors. That reality is the fact that all human  beings err. The Prophet said,

“All the children of Adam are bound to constantly err, but the best of  those who constantly err are those who constantly repent.”

(At-Tirmidhi)

Regard failures as learning opportunities. Think of how you can learn  from failure a lesson that can help you in the future. But how can this  be possible? Ask yourself the following questions:

* What was the mistake?

* Why did it happen?

* How could it have been prevented?

* How can I do better next time?

The ability to utilize our unpleasant experiences requires a

willingness to learn from our mistakes. The Prophet said, “People are like mines  of gold and silver; those who were excellent during [the time of]  jahiliyyah [pre-Islamic ignorance] are excellent during [the time of] Islam,  as long as they have an understanding” (Muslim). We should then do our  best to learn from our mistakes.

Live every day as if it were your last. Do remember, however, that one  cannot do an act of kindness too soon, for one never knows how soon it  will be too late, so do the good once you can and never postpone it.

Kindness is indeed a most noble quality; it is a characteristic of the Supreme Being.

`Abdullah ibn `Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) is reported to have  said, “When you go to sleep, do not assume you will live to see the  dawn. And, when you wake up, do not assume you will live to see the  sunset. Take from your health what will benefit you in your sickness, and  take from your life what will benefit you in your death.”

Our attitude toward future influences our mindset in the rest of our

lives. Being positive is a great motivator. Hope is the best attitude one  can harbor toward future. It is the realistic expectation that something good or better can happen if one continues to do his or her best.

So, let’s determine to do what we have to do. May Allah help us all keep  firm on the right path. Ameen

Sent by Sister Humayra

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