2015 has come and gone, and 2016 is finally here. Have we made the right New Year resolutions that will grant us the best outcome in dunya and akhirah?
Allah said in Surah Al-Baqarah, 2:200-201:
فَمِنَ النَّاسِ مَن يَقُولُ رَبَّنَا آتِنَا فِي الدُّنْيَا وَمَا لَهُ فِي الْآخِرَةِ مِنْ خَلَاقٍ
وَمِنْهُم مَّن يَقُولُ رَبَّنَا آتِنَا فِي الدُّنْيَا حَسَنَةً وَفِي الْآخِرَةِ حَسَنَةً وَقِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ
And among the people is he who says, “Our Lord, give us in this world,” and he will have in the Hereafter no share. But among them is he who says, “Our Lord, give us in this world [that which is] good and in the Hereafter [that which is] good and protect us from the punishment of the Fire.”
Meaning: Man is divided into two groups:
Those who want success and pleasure in this world, wherein this group will have no portion in the Hereafter, and
Those who want success and happiness in this world and the Hereafter.
The worldly take on New Year usually means something material – whether these are new clothes, new shoes, a new handphone, etc. However, the spiritual meaning of New Year means a resolution to renew our faith, spirit, determination and commitment to meet new challenges and the greater fitnah that follows for the betterment of this world and the next.
Let us ring in this New Year by resolving to change to save ourselves and our families from the destruction and devastation of both worlds. The Prophet (ﷺ) was sent by Allah to bring change, saying (meaning): “Renew your faith. Say always ‘Laa ilaha illa Allah.'” (Narrated by Ahmad).
Undoubtedly, all Muslims are familiar with the Six Articles of Faith. Yet, many remain confused and lack understanding on how to believe correctly in Allah.
The Prophet’s (ﷺ) saying indicates that traditionally Man is already upon a certain belief. Whether that belief is true or otherwise remains questionable, but the fact is that everyone believes in something. The Prophet (ﷺ) however was sent to ensure that ours is the true faith (iman haqiqi), and that our belief is Divinely guided, not one influenced by culture or tradition. This stance will determine the success of a person in the sight of Allah.
Indeed, Allah says in Surah Al-Mukminun, 23:1, meaning: “Successful indeed are the believers.” The Prophet (ﷺ) also said, meaning (Sahih Muslim): “You will not enter Paradise until you believe.” Therefore, it is time to revisit our faith and rethink the right belief we all should have towards Allah, His Angels, His Books, His Prophets and Messengers, the Last Day and His Qada ‘and Qadr.
Undoubtedly, all Muslims are familiar with the Six Articles of Faith. Yet, many remain confused and lack understanding on how to believe correctly in Allah. Do we practice our belief in Him in our own way or, do we practice our belief in the way that God has commanded us to believe? Similarly, how do we believe in His Angels – is it sufficient for us to know just their names and responsibilities or, should we believe in the Angels as God has prescribed us to do? The same consideration should also be given to the other pillars, including the Five Pillars of Islam.
Renewing our faith can help transform us into better Muslims, those who are more positive, proactive and constructive; able to solve all kinds of challenges guided by Revelation instead of following our feelings and desires.
Islah requires us to sit down and collectively ponder upon our strengths while acknowledging and overcoming our shortcomings to move forward
This attitude is especially vital in upholding the ties of kinship or silaturrahim. One of the most important virtues in the sight of Allah is Islah (reconciliation) among fellow Muslims. He has reminded us in Surah Al-Hujurat, 49:10 that says (meaning): “The believers are but brothers, so make peace and reconciliation between your brothers. And fear Allah that you may receive Mercy.” Islah requires us to sit down and collectively ponder upon our strengths while acknowledging and overcoming our shortcomings to move forward – refrain from seeking out each other’s flaws to humiliate one another.
This is important because as humans, no one is perfect. If we can establish this spirit, God willing, we will be able to solve many issues facing humanity today. It will not be easy to address challenges if we do not resolve our renewed faith sincerely. This is the faith that we want to reflect on and renew for the sake of Allah as we enter a new year.
Sheikh Hussain Yee