In the Western World, the New Year is always perceived as a time for looking back to the past, and more importantly, forward to the coming year. Many utilise the opportunity to reflect on the changes they want (or need) to make and thereafter resolve to follow through on those changes.
This optimism imbibed by the New Year and the anticipation for new beginnings may spur many on to develop New Year’s resolutions. These are, in essence, commitments that a person makes to one or more personal goals, projects, or for the reforming of a habit. People committing themselves to New Year’s resolutions generally plan to do so for the whole following year.
As Muslims, who constantly dwell in the awareness that Allah is Ever-Watching, and acknowledge that we will be accountable to Him for all our deeds, we are expected to take a critical look at our actions regularly, and not merely do so once a year.
Rasulullah (SAW) said: “Whoever wants to know what Allah has prepared for him, should look to what he has prepared for Allah.” [Abu Nu’aym, al-Hilyah. Silsilah as-Saheehah}
It is imperative that a person take his soul to account regularly and treat his deficiencies. Umar (RA) said, “Take account of yourselves before you are taken to account, weigh your deeds before they are weighed.”
Nonetheless, for those seeking to make a fresh start at any time during the year or hoping for a favourable outcome to a new or critical endeavor, a Hadith narrated in Imam Al-Bukhari’s Adab Al-Mufrad is replete with encouragement and offers a speedy solution for the believer:
“Jabir Ibn ‘Abdullah (may Allaah be pleased with him )said, “ The Messenger of Allaah(peace and blessings be upon him) supplicated to Allaah in this masjid(Masjid Al-Fath) on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. His dua was answered on Wednesday between the prayers of Thur and Asr. Jabir(may Allaah be pleased with him)said,” There wasn’t anything that was crucially important for me to have solved, except I called on Allaah during that hour of the day between Thuhr and Asr knowing He would answer.”
Collected by Imam Al-Bukhari in Adab Al-Mufrad (703)/Majmauz Zawaeed, Volume 4, Page 12
New Year or not, this Hadith motivates us to turn to Allah, following in the footsteps of Muhammed SAW, especially every Wednesday afternoon, and we would return assured of Allah’s Acceptance and a Fresh Start!