With the arrival of the New Year, it is not uncommon for most people to see this as a time for “new beginnings” or a time for “change”. As soon as December comes around, we all subconsciously start to reflect upon how the year has gone, how far we have come; what we have managed to achieve, and what we hope to achieve in the new year.
New beginnings, for most, is a chance for change within their lives; be it a change in their working lives (i.e. a new job, promotion, career change), or a change in their personal lives (i.e. marriage, a new baby, losing weight etc).
While these goals are admirable to have, most of us, when seeking to start a new, tend to focus on changes that reflect something tangible, but what about internal change?
In Surah ar-Ra’d, we are told:
“Verily, Allah does not change the condition of people until they change what is within themselves.”
Many of us are actively seeking to change our lives in a number of ways, but often we forget that we must also seek to change what is within ourselves.Achieving our goals and being successful in life is a good mindset to have, however, we should also be working on our personal growth alongside this. We should be reflecting on the state of our hearts, our intentions, our actions and interactions, our bad habits and our characters as a whole.
Islam teaches us that on the Day of Judgement, our wealth and businesses will not be looked at. What we achieved and amassed in the Dunya, will not avail us unless it was for the sake of Allah alone.
The Prophet (pbuh) said, “No one who has an atom’s-weight of Pride in his heart will enter Paradise.” A man said, “O Messenger of Allah, what if a man likes his clothes and his shoes to look good?” He (pbuh) said, “Allah is Beautiful and loves beauty, Pride means rejecting the truth and looking down on people.” (Muslim)
This hadith teaches us how important it is to reflect on ourselves, and the intentions of our souls. We should constantly check up on the quality and substance of our hearts. Reflecting on ourselves and our lives in this way, should be a regular ongoing concept for us all as individuals, as without this continuous reviewing, we could be causing more harm to ourselves than what intended. So when we wait for a certain time frame (a new year or turning a certain age), in order to bring about change in our lives; we are essentially wasting the precious time that we have, and our personal growth is then limited due to this, and so too, our goals.
When we go to sleep at night, our souls leave our bodies, and they only return if our time in this world isn’t over. So when we wake up every morning, this is actually Allah SWT giving us another chance to change.
We need to remind ourselves of this constantly, so that we can actively start to seek our new beginnings in every day that we have left here in the Dunya, to build our everlasting home in the Akhira.
~ Qaddaruh Nur