A new hijri year is around. As usual I am busying myself with a slew of to dos. Reflecting on the past year I wrote a long list of goals for the year ahead. These include spending more time with the family and managing money more wisely. This also included the continued promise to lose more weight and look after our health.
Unfortunately, I have an incredible love/hate relationship with this conception. Therefore I decided to look for something rejuvenating to start fresh. I decided to let go of the past year, and move forward with positivity and drive.
In reality, our goals should be fueling our day to day lifestyle (not just the beginning of a new year). I decided to use the hijrah as my catalyst to move forward and to follow through.
How powerful are your resolutions?
Many of us make resolutions to pray more, to read the Quran every day, and to attend more Islamic lessons regularly. These are fantastic goals. However, these fail just as often as the non spiritual resolutions, because there is no power in the resolution.
Resolving to start or stop doing a certain activity has no value unless you have the proper motivation. The proper trust and faith for stopping or starting that activity is also important.
For example, why do you want to read the Quran every day? Is it to honor Allah and grow spiritually, or is it because you have just heard that it is a good thing to do?
Why do you want to lose weight? Is it to honor God with your body, or is it for vanity, to honor yourself?
Let’s remember the mindset of the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) and his Companions when they made hijrah. Their resolution was to leave everything behind for their deen. They had very strong faith and passion that made such decision possible.
A Muslim is proactive and effective
We all understand that this migration was a turning point for Islam and Muslims. It was chosen to mark the beginning of the Islamic calendar. Here, hijrah teaches us a very valuable lesson about being productive and effective.
When the torment became severe in Makkah, and the idolaters wanted to assassinate the Messenger of Allah, the angel Gabriel informed him that Allah had given him permission to migrate to Medina.
Whereas it is significant to believe in Qadar and that everything is planned by Allah, it is also important that we do our utmost to protect ourselves.
Hijrah was a process of transfer to a better condition. it is a lesson that empowers us to be productive and active on Earth and in this life.
It is a lesson in taking action and optimism. We will need this lesson when applying our new year resolutions.
Act and trust Allah
Another lesson we take from Hijrah is recognizing the concept of balance: Balancing between taking the means and trusting in Allah in our lives. This involves a special approach that comes with training and continued assessment of our actions.
When we have goals, we need to force ourselves to prepare the utmost whilst at the same time praying to Allah as if we have no means at all.
It is worth contemplating that the Islamic calendar does not begin with the year of Muhammad’s birth (as the Christian calendar begins with the birth of Christ), nor does it begin with the commencement of revelation to Muhammad. Rather, it begins with this purposeful move of the Prophet Muhammad from Makkah to what became known as Madinah.
Hijrah is an example of full faith in the power of Allah, while simultaneously doing what is humanly possible to reach our goals.
Do we rest?
Just as the hijrah was in essence a process of transfer to a better situation so are our resolutions. They are not meant to find a comfortable place where we would relax and stop endeavors to better ourselves.
It is a search for an environment more favorable for ourselves to continuous, productive and constructive effort. An environment which will allow us not only to dream about our resolutions but to be able to successfully carry them out, follow through and reach the goal.
Therefore, this piece is another reminder to myself first and foremost to commit to our resolutions.
Everything above is helpful and a great reminder to stay focused and dedicated, but at the end of the day achieving our dreams and growing through life is in fact about doing the work.
Stay focused. Practice patience. Be positive and optimistic. And most importantly combine faith and work. Get out there and make the resolutions work.