The end of another year… Time to reflect and renew your intentions and goals
The end of another year
It has been another challenging year globally, for the environment, for families communities and individuals.
This year we lost many blessed souls and personally I lost my dear father. May Allah envelop them in His mercy and grant them all jannatul firdaus.
As Muslims we have to be people of hope and optimism and look to a future of possibilities rather than dead ends.
We pray that Allah Almighty guides us to overcome the obstacles and unplug the blockages in our lives.
We pray that Allah inspires us to turn our difficulties into opportunities to excel and lead the way rather than follow and rely on others for solutions.
At the end of the year, it is important to reflect on what we have done throughout the past year. Our actions, our intentions, our priorities.
- How effective do you think you were this year?
- Did you hit your personal goals and targets?
- Was this a year of growth and personal insights?
- What were your highlights of the year?
- What were some of your regrets of the year?
What is in your account?
Allah Almighty encourages every one of His servants to look at their record and check what they are submitting for Tomorrow (the Hereafter). No one can escape Tomorrow.
Towards the end of Surat Al-Hashr, Allah Almighty says:
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَلْتَنظُرْ نَفْسٌ مَّا قَدَّمَتْ لِغَدٍ ۖ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ خَبِيرٌ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ
O you who have believed, fear Allah. And let every soul look to what it has put forth for tomorrow – and fear Allah. Indeed, Allah is Aware of what you do. (59:18)
Take yourself to account before it’s too late.
You have the chance to rectify some of your mistakes and wrongdoings. Once the record is closed, it is too late and no one knows when that will be.
إِنَّا أَنذَرْنَاكُمْ عَذَابًا قَرِيبًا يَوْمَ يَنظُرُ الْمَرْءُ مَا قَدَّمَتْ يَدَاهُ وَيَقُولُ الْكَافِرُ يَا لَيْتَنِي كُنتُ تُرَابًا
We have warned you of a near punishment—the Day when a person will observe what his hands have produced, and the faithless will say, “O, I wish I were dust.” (78:40)
Allah Almighty says:
ذَٰلِكَ بِمَا قَدَّمَتْ يَدَاكَ وَأَنَّ اللَّهَ لَيْسَ بِظَلَّامٍ لِّلْعَبِيدِ
That is for what your hands have advanced, and because God is not unjust to the servants. (22:10)
Do not be like those who have forgotten their Lord
وَلَا تَكُونُوا كَالَّذِينَ نَسُوا اللَّهَ فَأَنسَاهُمْ أَنفُسَهُمْ ۚ أُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الْفَاسِقُونَ
And do not be like those who forgot God, so He made them forget themselves. These are the sinners. (59:19)
Every breath we take shows that Allah is the Provider. It shows our utter dependence on Him. It is the delusion of the dunya, prioritisation of the dunya over akhirah that leads one to forget oneself. How can one forget oneself? The moment you feel invincible and secure because of your power, status, intellect and family, you lose sight of the reality – that you are in fact weak. You forget that you are in absolute need of Allah and in a moment, He can take everything away from you.
In a split second, our fortunes can change and Allah has shown us through the Coronavirus and its various mutations, that He can change the whole world overnight. We are powerless.
Yet, we see around us rulers in the Arab world and elsewhere behaving as if there is no Tomorrow. No Hereafter. They oppress people; they persecute, torture and kill people; they demolish houses. But Allah Almighty has confirmed that Tomorrow is coming and then there will be no time to regret what they have done. It will be too late.
فَكَيْفَ إِذَا أَصَابَتْهُم مُّصِيبَةٌ بِمَا قَدَّمَتْ أَيْدِيهِمْ ثُمَّ جَاءُوكَ يَحْلِفُونَ بِاللَّهِ إِنْ أَرَدْنَا إِلَّا إِحْسَانًا وَتَوْفِيقًا
How about when a disaster strikes them because what their hands have put forward, and then they come to you swearing by God: “We only intended goodwill and reconciliation”? (4:62)
What is important?
These last two years have made us reflect. It changed the way we think and prioritise our lives. It showed us what is important to us. It revealed our gaps and strengths, and helped us see that we have many wants, but our needs are limited.
We can live without our wants, and focus on our needs. We need to be more connected with Allah Almighty, our families and our principles, rather than being consumed by this world and our busy schedules.
Luxury can disappear at any time from your life, but what remains is important – your connection with your loved ones and your connection with Allah Almighty.
Shaddad bin Aws narrated that the Prophet (peace be on him) said:
“The clever person is the one who subjugates his soul, and works for what is after death. And the incapable is the one who follows his desires and merely hopes in Allah.”
“Who subjugates his soul” means he takes his soul to account in the world, before he is reckoned with on the Day of Judgement. ‘Umar bin Al-Khattäb also said:
“Reckon with yourselves before you are reckoned with, and prepare for the Greatest Inquisition. The reckoning of the Day of Judgement is only light for the one who reckoned with himself in the world.”
Maimun bin Mihran said:
“The slave (of Allah) will not be a Taqi (pious one) until he has reckoned himself, just as he would account for where his business partner got his food and clothing.” (Tirmidhi)
A chance to improve
Let’s reflect on our deeds and see how we can improve ourselves. Let’s start a new page with Allah Almighty. Let’s make tawbah and repent for all mistakes and shortcomings.
Let’s begin the New Year with determination to pray on time, to fulfil our obligations to our Lord, our family, our work and our employees.
Let’s make the intention to refrain from everything Allah Almighty prohibited.
Let’s become a better spouse, better child, better boss, and better person.
We pray that He grants us the honour and the ability to serve Him and to serve others.
We ask Allah to protect all our families, show us the truth, grant us guidance and enable us apply it in our lives.
We ask Allah to enable us to serve the community and spread knowledge.
We ask Allah to grant us personal and spiritual growth this year and for years to come bi’idhnillah.
Shaykh Haytham Tamim Khutbah 31.12.21
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May 25, 2023