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New Year, New Leaf

New Year, New Leaf

The New Hijri Year occasion is a time for reflection, assessment, and planning for the coming year.

One should seize this occasion by assessing his work in the past year(s) and planning to lead a better life in the coming year.

It’s high time for reflecting on and studying one’s relationship with God, with his own self, and with people.

In the occasion of the new year, one remembers that days and years that pass bring him closer to the time of his death. Therefore, he should prepare himself for departing the world by improving his relationship with God and with people.

After death, one will miss the great opportunity of correcting his mistakes and will then get the outcome of his work in this world. The new year constitutes a real opportunity for correcting one’s mistakes before it is too late.

According to `Umar ibn Al-Kattab’s sincere advice, one should bring himself to account before he is taken to account and weigh his deeds before his deeds are weighed on the Day of Judgment.[1]

Checking one’s deeds in this world helps in realizing one’s shortcomings and correcting his mistakes. The new year, therefore, could be a stop in one’s life to weigh his past deeds and better plan for the future.

Be Careful, It’s a New Leaf

The new year is like a new leaf. A Muslim should be careful to fill it with what pleases God and helps him lead a happy life in this world and in the hereafter. One’s wrongdoings should be corrected with no delay. Good deeds should be increased and maintained.

At the beginning of the new year, one should check his relationship with God and with people. If one finds out that he fails to carry out some religious duties, he has to resolve to make up for any missed obligations. He should observe his daily prayers, dhikr, religious practices, etc. Also, one’s relationship with people should be maintained and improved in case of any mistakes.

Repent, God Accepts It

One is advised to start the new year with repentance and starting a new leaf with God and people. Repentance, with its basic conditions and requirements, is highly recommended. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said,

Oh people, repent to Allah, for indeed, I repent to Allah 100 times every day.” (Muslim)

God accepts people’s repentance whatever their sins are. Allah forgives all sins as He, Almighty, is the Most forgiving, the Most Kind. Allah Almighty says,

{Say: “O my Servants who have transgressed against their souls! Despair not of the Mercy of Allah: for Allah forgives all sins: for He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.} (Az-Zumar 39:35)

So, the new year is a golden opportunity for a Muslim to renew and maintain sincere repentance. Repentance, moreover, cannot be considered as valid unless one takes the following steps:

1. One must feel deep remorse for the sins one has committed.

2. One must refrain from it totally while also abstaining from all those leads or circumstances that led him to such a sin in the first place.

3. He must be firmly resolved never to sin again, and immediately becoming occupied in whatever good deeds that he can in order to wipe out his past sins.

4. All of the above involve sins violating the rights of Allah; if, however, one’s sins violate the rights of human beings, then he must also do whatever it takes to return or compensate or redress the grievances of the person he has wronged. Paying the aggrieved person his dues or compensating him in whatever ways possible becomes an essential condition of valid repentance.

Once accomplished, repentance, as stated above, will undoubtedly wipe out one’s sins, and guarantee him a clean record. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “One who has repented of a sin (sincerely) is like one who has never sinned at all.”

Don’t Miss the Opportunity

The new year occasion is a chance to review one’s deeds and relationship with God and with people. Islamic events constitute opportunities to understand Islam and reform people’s behaviors. Days and years bring one’s closer to his death time; so a Muslim should be careful not to miss any opportunity to translate Islamic teachings into practice.

Finally, we should never lose hope in gaining Allah’s pleasure and forgiveness. The new year is like a new leaf that should be filled with good deeds and behaviors. Let’s repent to Allah and maintain good relationship with all people and work to spread Islamic values of justice, freedom, and equality.


[1] Ibn Kathir, Musnad Al-Farooq, vol. 2, p. 618.


About Dr. Wael Shehab

Dr. Wael Shehab has a PhD in Islamic Studies from Al-Azhar University. He is currently the Imam of the Downtown Toronto Masjid in Canada.

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