New Year’s Day and Resolutions




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Assalaamu Alaykum Beloved Sisters,

It seems like every where I look, I see New Year’s Day and Resolutions. Happy New Year’s Day! goes the buzz. The lights, the ball dropping, the crowd gathering, and everything in between.  I see encouragement to make a bucket list of things to do and things to change.  It’s about fulfilling the unfulfilled.  But…why?

While I think that reflecting and improving are excellent thoughts in general, I just wonder why do we have to wait or designate one day, the first day of the year?  Why do we need January 1 to come around to muster up the motivation and desire to change?  Why not start the minute we feel we’ve slipped away from the slippery? (read below to find out a very strange fact about death and Jan. 1)

Right or wrong in Islam is not the crux of this article. People mark this day because it’s the trend. It’s what the world has come to join together in to do, an excuse to celebrate, an excuse to live a day of wrecklessness, and for some a day to look back and reflect on the good, the bad, and the ugly of last year.

It’s a day that people say whatever it is we’ve not done or left unfixed – we resolve to do that. People in large numbers promote the spirit of change and trying to be happy – which means there’s something going wrong all year long that ended up in an unsatisfactory year full of regrets. We shouldn’t go a day without taking our accountability. Every night we should reflect, correct, and forgive. Then we start the next day with a fresh, clean, rejuvenated heart.

A question I get all of the time is, “How do I keep up with my daily resolve?” So if we just imagine for a minute –  what if we change the kinds of people we’re around and start associating with whom we can unite and feel a part of who have very similar goals?  Don’t they say misery loves company?  Well happy people love company too. <3     Maybe the good effects of a large amount of positive, happy, deeni energy could help us stick with the changes we try to make and break the habits we wish to break.

If someone isn’t helping us to accomplish the good, we change our company. We call this suhbat.  What I tell my children to explain this a little bit is:

Imagine we visit a trash dump: when we leave, we’re going to have the same smell as that environment. Now Imagine we go to a perfume shop:  when we leave, we’re going to have the same smell as that environment. 

Which is better?

So our suhbat is like this. We want to keep company with people and the environment that can help us to be the best we can be. I also tell my children that we don’t want to hurt others or make them feel unwanted, but yet, we can’t allow ourselves to be harmed by them either. So it’s a delicate rope to balance on, but somehow we have to learn this skill of tight rope balancing.

Until we get good at it, then we can take support – by those who can help us and not knock us down. We can learn from those who are better than us. They can be like our stick that we use until we can run the tightrope without falling.

 

new year's day resolutions

 

What if We Fail?

Rather than asking that, we should be asking, “What do we do when we fail?” It’s life. Sometimes we’ll fail. But we should keep staying positive and know that we will sometimes succeed too.  My parents told me when I fall to get back up, dust myself off, and keep trying.  We don’t just give up because we fall down sometimes. We don’t just give up because it’s hard. The only time we give up is when we’re doing something that’s not right.

Balancing life and relationships require effort and practice.  So when we fail, we figure out what happened, and we try to fix it. We take on company who can help us, give us honest, sincere advice. We make friends with the gentle souls who share the same good values.

So whatever it was that we’ve left that was good for us and whatever it is that we feel like we need to improve upon – just start now. Start back up, keep trying, make taubah, and clean the heart and the soul. Redirect the gaze back to Allah swt.  He is always ready to help.

We never need to wait til January 1.  That date is really insignificant anyway.  Everyday is a chance to start over. We don’t need a special day to be our excuse.

 

About New Year’s Day and Its Death Rate

You can read up on  The Holiday Spot for how this day came to be as well as a mufti site about it.

We don’t need to imitate habits some have who are looking for a reason to engage in wrong behaviors and such on a given day and suffer from awful effects of that day.

The strange thing is that more people die on January 1 than any other day in the year. (ref)  Several studies show you have a greater chance of dying on Christmas, the day after Christmas or New Year’s Day than any other single day of the year. Cardiac mortality is higher on these holidays according to this study.  There is a spike in all age groups – except children.

The above should shake our hearts a little bit. Death is going to come, and for every person is an appointed time of death. But in what kind of state will we die? What will we be doing when our death comes?  What will those regrets be?  People are dying in regret. They are dying in celebration. What will our state be?

We are very fortunate that we’ve been given a great Book of guidance, and so if we act on the beautiful teachings of our deen, we’ll find ourselves with more blessings and help becoming the best we can be.

 

What is the Big Secret?

It’s simple: Good Suhbat.   It’s not the only secret, but it’s a big one.  What is Suhbat though? It’s whatever we have with us.

It is the company we keep, which can be people, environments, Allah swt, our Quran…it’s what’s with us.  What thoughts do we keep in our hearts even our positive or negative self-talk.  It’s whatever we use to fill our time.

Our best Suhbat is Allah swt.

If we acted upon the things our deen teaches us, we would have a better quality of life in all regards: from our health standpoint, to wealth, to emotional peace.  Our deen shows us the best of the best.

I hope and make dua that Allah swt grants all of us the best Suhbat possible so we can become the best we can be.  And I make dua that Allah swt inspires our hearts toward all of the good and the blessed and steer our hearts away from all that’s wrong. 

 


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