Personally I feel that a New Year resolution should not exist for a Muslim. A resolution which one makes at the dawn of the new year and then waits for the arrival of the next New Year for the next resolution. Rather, every night we should beg for Allah's forgiveness for our sins and account ourselves. We should make a resolution that tomorrow I shall do this better whilst refraining from such and such act etc. This ideology that at the beginning of every year we attempt to better ourselves is a non-Islamic ideology.
Islam and our prophet Muhammad, Peace and blessings be upon him, taught us how betterment and fighting our egos and desires is a daily struggle which lasts for life not a year. We are told that the journey to God was one of continuous struggle and persistence. It seems as though we have forgotten the way of simplicity of the elder generations. Yes, they never lived with the tech we have today, nevertheless they repelled the distractions of their respective times and succeeded; this principle we must embed within our hearts and minds. For indeed god says, “Do not let the worldly life distract you from Allah.” (31:33)
How lost are we in the world? It is unbelievable. No time for parents and siblings yet plenty for friends and virtual friends online. Prioritise you're life! Also, there was incredible perseverance to tread the path of truth displayed by the men of Islam. Today those who are followers of this religion have but the name and rendered the soul of this transformative cure inactive and silent. Rise and rebel against the norms in which you find yourself to attain new heights and to stand at the doors of divine grace. The previous year was turbulent. Numerous incidents took place which we must reflect over, personally and collectively. In particular, a global attempt to portray Islam as a religion of terror and an advocate of extremism was one of them. If we are to make a resolution, then our resolution should be to cause a reformation. A personal and then a community reformation, whereby, one strengthens himself in knowledge and piety, gained through implementation- the decoration of knowledge.
Promulgation of Islam on social platforms is not Islam. An unfortunate situation has befallen the young Sunni Muslim community, such that it is perceived uploading information and images fulfils the obligation of our religious duties. Social media is not Islam! It is a fragment of servitude to religion. It is a medium, positive or negative, beneficial or detrimental. To defeat the negativity, in this global village, against Islam requires pursuit of personal study. Let us wake up from our slumber! For how long will the Muslims continue to suffer?
Finally, whenever a nation rose from the midst of darkness it was the Sufis who were at the forefront bearing light in their chests and illuminating those around them. History verifies this! The rise of a nation demands social, economic and political advancement. None of which can be achieved without personal study. The great, luminary, gnostic Shaykh Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani said, 'I sought knowledge until I became a Qutb (saint),” (Qasida Ghowthiyyah). A clear indication towards the initial obligation- seeking knowledge and then the increase of piety will follow, God willing.
The struggle (Jihad) of today is intellectual and not physical on the battlefield. To surpass the world powers of today and rise once again we must nurture our intellects, beautify our actions and illuminate our souls so that the angels stand in unison ready to fulfil our every command! “Indeed, those who have said, "Our Lord is Allah” and then remained on a right course - the angels will descend upon them, [saying], "Do not fear and do not grieve but receive good tidings of Paradise, which you were promised.” (41:30)
Allah is with us and we shall not fail! Allah and his messenger know best.
Mawlana Wasif Mahfooz
Graduate, Jamia Al-Karam