Bismillahir rahmanir raheem
So, all the Christmas trees have come down, the drinking and revelry are over and I’m sure a multitutde of people have attempted to wish you a Happy New Year.
There are tonnes of debates, and I’m sure you’ve read through quite a few of them, that will either talk about the permissibility or impermissibility of wishing people a Happy New Year but how should we as Muslims react to the switching from one Gregorian year to another?
Now, me personally, I don’t follow the premise of saying “Happy New Year”. Technically, the Islamic New Year has already begun so for me, the deen rules out jumping on the ‘New Year New Me’ bandwagon. If someone says it to me, I respond with a simple “thank you”and leave it at that. For me, this change from one year to another only reminds me of my own mortality and how short life is in this duniya.
So let’s reflect.
We are repeatedly told in the Qur’an and hadith of how this duniya is a prison for the believer. We’re also constantly reminded of how short life is and how the only thing we will take with us is our good deeds.
Everyday we should be reflecting on these points but I find myself dragged into these thoughts especially when I hear those around me setting ‘New Year New Me’ goals. To lose weight, to find a new job, to get married, to have children…. But what we should really focus on is how we can improve our characters and increase in our good deeds. At the end of the day, on that fateful day, they’ll be the only things we can take with us.
Let’s put these points into context:
- Increase in your good deeds starting from now. Whether it’s a random act of kindness or something that you can do all year round, get on it inshaAllah!
- Reflect on Allah swt everyday, not just in your salah – just 5 minutes a day to shut yourself off from the duniya and reconnect with your Creator can do wonders
- Try and read atleast 1 ayah (verse) of the Qur’an a day – on your phone, on the go, there’s no excuse
- Count your blessings – some people didn’t make it to 2016. Remember that
- Don’t just think about the new year. Think about how everyday of your life so far, Allah swt has blessed you with a another chance. He swt retunred your soul and now it’s your responsibility to show your gratitude for it.
May Allah swt increase us in shukr (thanks) to Him and always provide us with the time to reflect on his majesty, Ameen.