As we prepare to turn the page on yet another year, the time has come to make resolutions for the upcoming year. Typical New Year’s resolutions, such as committing to lose weight or putting an end to a certain habit, are well and good.
However, for a revert to Islam, placing an emphasis on resolutions that can strengthen the faith while increasing one’s Islamic knowledge are much more rich and result in greater dividends that transcend our worldly existence.
The problem with making New Year’s resolutions is that many of us soon forget about them within a week. And we go through the motions of another year without even contemplating on the goals we wanted to achieve.
That is until another New Year approaches and we make the same empty promises without a clear goal for achieving them.
Why not shake things up this year and make New Year’s resolutions that you can strive to apply to each and every one of the upcoming 365 days?
It’s as simple as making a list of all of the New Year’s resolutions you would like to fulfill and keeping track of your progress throughout the year.
Here are just a few New Year’s resolutions that are beneficial to reverts and will help get them started!
There are many different kinds of patience.
The ability to keep calm in a distressful circumstance is one type of patience. Being able to cope with hardship and having total faith in God Almighty’s decree is another form of patience.
For a revert to Islam, patience is one of the greatest virtues that a Muslim can acquire. To be patient means that you put your very existence into the trust of God Almighty and accept whatever good or bad that befalls you. Prophet Job (peace be upon him) was an exemplar in patience and his story serves as a reminder for all of us even today.
Blessed with riches and loved ones beyond most people’s wildest dreams, Prophet Job had it all and was generous with everyone who crossed his path.
It wasn’t until the wiles of the Satan, under the permission of God Almighty, caused him to lose all of his worldly possessions and even his health.
And even at the end, when he was a mere shell of a man with nothing to alleviate his suffering, not once did he ask God to remove it nor did he ever give up his faith. As a reward for his patience, God Almighty doubled his wealth and world possessions.
This year, make it a point to remember the story of Prophet Job. Work to be patient in all circumstances. Guard your faith and place all of your trust in God just as the Prophet Job did.
Perfecting the Prayer
The importance of the prayer in Islam, as one of the five pillars of Islam, simply cannot be ignored. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:
The first matter that the slave will be brought to account for on the Day of Judgment is the prayer. If it is sound, then the rest of his deeds will be sound. And if it is incomplete, then the rest of his deeds will be incomplete. (Abu Dawud)
For converts to Islam, learning the Islamic prayer in Arabic can prove difficult. However, just because the task of learning is complex does not mean that you can ignore it. The Islamic prayer is a duty and a veritable call to faith every single day of your life.
For reverts whose prayers are lacking in any way, make a New Year’s resolution to perfect your prayers.
There are countless ways to ensure that your prayer is perfect whether enlisting the help of a trusted Imam to teach you how to pray, or investing in a new smart phone app that plays the adhan each time the prayer is near.
In our age of digital technology, with abundance of resources at our fingertips, it becomes easy to perfect your prayers.
The language of the Quran is Arabic. The reason being is that the Ummah is one community with one Lord and one language to unite us.
Whether you find yourself praying in a mosque in Spain, or even China, you’ll find that the Islamic prayers are consistently delivered in Arabic.
Having one language is truly a blessing as there is zero room for ambiguity or confusion.
All Muslims have to learn as much Arabic as required to fulfill our Islamic duties, such as remembering God. Others may go further and learn the entire language to facilitate reading the Quran in its original state of Arabic…
Making a New Year’s resolution to learn Arabic is often one of the first ones that many new Muslims make. However, in order to truly succeed in learning Arabic, you must take a series of steps to achieve this goal. Perhaps you might enroll in a beginner’s Arabic class at your local Mosque or an e-learning program.
No matter which medium of learning you choose, learning the Arabic language is one New Year’s resolution that can enhance your life exponentially. One day you might find yourself in a position to teach others the Arabic language.
Be an Ambassador of Islam
It’s no secret that Islam often gets a bad rap in the media. However, it’s important to note that it also gets a lot of negativity from some misguided preachers.
The negative message they deliver about Islam is misleading.
It is up to all Muslims, to be ambassadors of the Islamic faith. The best way to discredit the negative imagery is to serve as a shining beacon of the Islamic religion.
There are several ways to do this. The first is to always carry yourself within the dignity of Islam while enjoining what is good.
The second is to surround yourself with like-minded Muslims who engage in activities to uplift the community.
Last but not least, wear your faith proudly with a welcome smile that is endearing to even those confused about Islam.
(From Discovering Islam’s archive)