Every day is blank page. You decide what to write on it.

The New Year begins

Today is a new day: it’s like a blank page, a new chapter. We decide what to write on it.

We have a new day; we have a new year. So we should decide what to write on this new page in our lives. And without doubt, it’s recorded.

We create this recording through our deeds, actions, intentions and so on. Everything is written in our record: Allah has mentioned this in different places in the Quran, like in Surah Isra:

And we attach every person’s deeds to his neck, and on the Day of Resurrection, We will bring out for him a book which he will find wide open. And he will be commanded: “Read your book. Today you are sufficient to call yourself to account.” (17:13-14)

This is the book of our deeds. And the Prophet (peace be on him), in the hadith which Abdullah bin Busr related, said:

‘Glad tidings to those who find a lot of istighfar in their book of record. (Ibn Majah).

Decide what to fill your page with

As we start this new year, new day, new chapter in our lives, let’s decide what to write in our book, and let’s be observant of what we do.

Pure intention is the most important thing, and we should have with that intention an action. Action has to be based on knowledge, and this knowledge has to be based on authenticity. And then we need our actions to be in line with the shariah, with the prophetic guidance.

Keep track of your progress and regression

Let’s monitor our deeds on a daily basis, and see what we have done and where our shortcomings and mistakes are, so we can try to rectify these through a lot of istighfar and accountancy.

The Prophet (peace be on him) frequently mentioned the way to correct these:

‘Follow up a bad deed with a good deed’.

We as humans have a tendency towards making mistakes, but this should not hinder our progress and journey to Allah Almighty. So we pick ourselves up and seek forgiveness, and follow up bad deeds with good deeds.

Embrace opportunity

We have an opportunity every day – every day is a new opportunity, and every year is a new opportunity. Despite all the challenges and pain we might have, life is passing by. It will not stop. So let’s organise ourselves.

What we’ve seen in the past year wasn’t in anyone’s imagination. I went out to do some shopping a few weeks ago and I couldn’t imagine how many people were putting masks on their faces, it felt like a dream, and I thought, ‘I never imagined that I would see myself and everyone around me putting masks on our faces.’ But subhanallah, it’s one of the challenges Allah is putting us through. Let’s take advantage of this, and write our deeds and our book in the way that when we read it, we will be pleased with it inshallah.

It was narrated that ash-Sha`bi said:

`Umar passed by Talhah, and he narrated a similar report. He said: ‘Umar passed by Talhah and saw him looking worried. He said: Perhaps you are upset because your cousin was appointed (as caliph)? – referring to Abu Bakr.

He said: No, but by Allah, I heard the Messenger of Allah (peace be on him) say: `I know a word which, if a man says it when he is dying, it will be light in the record of his deeds, or he will find comfort in it at the time of death.`

‘Umar said: I will tell you of it; it is the word that he wanted his paternal uncle to say, the testimony that there is no god but Allah. He said: It is as if a great veil has been lifted from me. He said: You are right. If he had known anything better than that, he would have instructed him to say it. (Ahmad)

In our record the shahada, istighfar – we need to keep monitoring ourselves. Keep purifying our intention and having patience. We’ve seen that patience, patience and patience is important, and it will pay off inshallah. Don’t over burden yourself. If you try to carry too many things, otherwise you will drop them. Carry a few things this new year, and consider every day as a blank page. You write your deeds on that blank page, through your actions and intention. Do this properly. Let’s have a lot of istighfar and a lot of la ilaha il allah and dhikr, and let’s have more sabr and tawakkul of Allah inshallah. It’s a new start and inshallah He will lift this pandemic sooner rather than later, and we will look back at these days and say yes, we did make it inshallah.

Thought for the Week by Shaykh Haytham Tamim. Transcribed by Hana Khan

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Shaykh Haytham Tamim is the founder and main teacher of the Utrujj Foundation. He has provided a leading vision for Islamic learning in the UK, which has influenced the way Islamic knowledge is disseminated. He has orchestrated the design and delivery of over 200 unique courses since Utrujj started in 2001.His extensive expertise spans over 30 years across the main Islamic jurisprudence schools of thought. He has studied with some of the foremost scholars in their expertise; he holds some of the highest Ijazahs (certificates) in Quran, Hadith (the Prophetic traditions) and Fiqh (Islamic rulings). His own gift for teaching was evident when he gave his first sermon to a large audience at the age of 17 and went on to serve as a senior lecturer of Islamic transactions and comparative jurisprudence at the Islamic University of Beirut (Shariah College).He has continued to teach; travelling around the UK, Europe and wider afield, and won the 2015 BISCA award (British Imams & Scholars Contributions & Achievements Awards) for Outstanding Contribution to Education and Teaching.