New year is time when one tends to look back at the previous year, and assess how it went. It is like a fresh beginning for a person, an instant which could prove to be the pinnacle of one`s fate in its upcoming journey of life. It is the perfect moment to get back on track and develop oneself. Our fortune lies in our hands as per the famous axiom “God helps those who help themselves”. The Holy Quran says in this respect:
“That is because Allah would not change a favor which He had bestowed upon a people until they change what is within themselves. And indeed, Allah is Hearing and Knowing”. [Quran: 8:53]
2015 has arrived and it is the occasion to formulate a life transforming plan of action at the start of this year. Even though Islamic New Year is already started, but we have to walk along with rest of the world in a positive way. So, this is perfect time for all of us to evaluate our past and strategize future to achieve goals.
Following are some of the most important resolutions that we could consider to make this year count for ourselves.
Simplicity is considered to be one of the most noble and appreciated characteristic of a Muslim`s personality. Islam teaches us to avoid any kind of pride and lavishness, no matter what our social status, income, and stature is. Our Holy Prophet (PBUH) spent His whole life in contentment with whatever He had and never wished for more.
“Look at those who stand at a lower level than you but don’t look at those who stand at a higher level than you, for this would make the favors (conferred upon you by Allah) insignificant (in your eyes).”(Muslim)
This Hadith urges us to be thankful to Allah Almighty for all we are blessed with, and that we should not complain on any misery because there are millions of other people who have got very less compared to us.
Allah Almighty has ordered us Muslims to pray five times a day regularly. It is the way to show gratitude and thanking the Almighty for His blessings. It also lets us get closer to the Creator of this universe.
“O you, who have believed, seek help through patience and prayer. Indeed, Allah is with the patient”… [Quran, 2:153]
According to the above stated Quranic verse, all of our problems could be solved if we pray to Allah as He likes and accompany the ones who offer Salah. Without a shadow of doubt, when Allah is with someone, that person can never experience failure in life.
Unfortunately, most of us Muslims read Quran just for the sake of reading it and do not ponder on the teachings mentioned in it. It is our utmost duty to not only comprehend the verses of Quran but also act upon them accordingly; as they are they are the basis for living a flourishing life.
“Alif, Lam, Ra. [This is] a Book which We have revealed to you, [O Muhammad], that you might bring mankind out of dark into the light by permission of their Lord – to the path of the Exalted in Might, the Praiseworthy”. [Quran, 14:1]
So it is clear from this Ayah that Quran is the source of enlightenment, as we get to know about many issues of daily life which we are doing wrongfully, e.g. backbiting is said to be a major sin in the Holy Book, but we do not care much about this delicate subject. So by realizing about such and many other things will improve our personality as a Muslim.
Recommendation – If you are someone who is interested in understanding as well as learning to read Quran, then attend online classes of Quran Reading Academy. These classes will enable you to be able to know how to read Quran with correct pronunciation and further Quran Translation classes will help in knowing the verses with meanings.
Zakah (charity) is one of the five pillars of Islam which means to assist others with something valuable like money, food or clothes etc. to help the needy and also to purify own wealth for avoiding greed and accumulation of extra wealth. It is obligatory on every Muslim to carry out this deed and it should be done regularly.
“And establish prayer and give Zakah, and whatever good you put forward for yourselves – you will find it with Allah. Indeed, Allah of what you do, is Seeing.” [Quran, 2:110]
Such is the importance of donations in our religion that it is discussed together with prayer as seen in the above lines from the Holy Book of Quran. The Almighty has promised us for the Ajar (reward) from Him. It is also a superlative means of thanking Allah for all His blessings, realizing the fact that there are others who are in need of ours and those who do not beg to others but they are poor.
Excelling in humbleness
Humility and modesty are the prominent behavioral traits of a true Muslim. Our beloved Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) has put great emphasis on the importance of humility towards others.
“Shall I tell you about the inhabitants of Paradise? They are all modest persons.” “Shall I tell you about the inhabitants of Hell? They are all ignoble, rude and proud ones.” (Bukhari)
Having read this saying of the Prophet (PBUH), it is evident to us that humbleness is the core part of one`s character. Allah admires those who stand out in gentleness and dislikes those who are rude and insult others.
And the servants of the Most Merciful are those who walk upon the earth easily, and when the ignorant address them [harshly], they say [words of] peace, [Quran: 25:63]
Speaking the truth
Islam has put a great emphasis on the significance of honesty and candor. It is regarded as one of the top most virtues of Mo`min (true Muslim). It not only includes the straightforward speech while communicating with others, but also being truthful to what one believes in. There should be a high deal of conformity between what we have faith in and what we do.
“O you, who have believed, fear Allah and be with those who are true”. [Quran, 9:119]
The previous verse from Quran shows that just believing in the religion is not enough, one should escort with the candid persons, for they are rated very high near Allah. The most sincere person who has ever lived on earth is no doubt Muhammad (PBUH), whose openness was even respected by His enemies. Abdullah ibn Mas’ud narrates:
“Verily, truthfulness leads to righteousness and righteousness leads to Paradise. A man may speak the truth until he is recorded with Allah as truthful. Verily, falsehood leads to wickedness and wickedness leads to the Hellfire. A man may tell lies until he is recorded with Allah as a liar.” (Muslim)
It is clear from this Hadith that integrity leads to morality which in turn guides to paradise. As moral values are the basis of any society, without which it cannot survive, therefore, once we adopt ethical behavior, it saves us from many other sins originating from dishonesty.
Remembering the Day of Judgment
One of the best ways to avoid committing sins is by frequently thinking about the Judgment Day, when all of us will be summoned in front of Allah and will be given the return for our conduct in the world. Anas (R.A) tells:
“The time that comes on people is followed by a time that is worse than it. This will go on forever, till you meet your Lord. I had heard this from your Prophet (PBUH).” (Bukhari)
The above mentioned Hadith clarifies that a person should act like a passenger in this world, who would soon reach its actual destination after dying, i.e. hereafter.
Cooperation with others
It is moral duty of a Muslim to help and assist whoever is in the state of need, but this act is limited to good deeds only. On many occasions in Quran, Allah has stressed on the value of unity but has also added some good deeds afterwards, no doubt Islam only preaches to be supportive when it done for right cause.
The believing men and believing women are allies of one another. They enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong and establish prayer and give Zakah and obey Allah and His Messenger. Those – Allah will have mercy upon them. Indeed, Allah is Exalted in Might and Wise. [Quran, 9:71]
The Holy Prophet`s (PBUH) life is full of examples where He executed collaboration, e.g. before the battle of Khandaq, He participated in digging a trench outside city of Madina. He showed us by example that unity leads to productivity and success. On a common note, one can not only achieve personal success through cooperation, but also learn from others and share its own experiences with them.
Preaching Islam to others
Being on the right path and living life according to Islam is undoubtedly a praiseworthy deed, for it makes person a true Muslim. But the even noble action in our religion is urging others towards Islamic teachings. The entire biography of Muhammad (PBUH) circles around preaching the religion of righteousness (Islam) to others.
“Whosoever directs a person to do good, will have a reward similar to the one who does that good.” (Muslim)
Therefore, it means that we can double the reward for single good deed by teaching it to others as well as acting on it. Its importance is apparent from the fact that it is Sunnah of all the Prophets to preach goodness. So it is our moral duty to speak for Islam and clarify the suspicions of the doubters who speak against it.
Shortly, a new year is like an inauguration of a new set up, where a business can restart its operations by adopting the right strategies and plans. We are in same state too: we can learn more about Islam, act upon its teachings dutifully, and improve our lives in future by avoiding making mistakes in daily life.