When the end of a year nears, it’s as if our minds are suddenly turned on, we realize a year has passed.
We turn; hopeful, towards the future.
We resolve to improve our lives, to get healthy, drop bad habits, avoid negativity.
What if you were to do that, nearly every moment throughout your life?
What if you added to those thoughts, the possibility that you might not be there to see another year, or even another day?
Imagine that for a moment.
Would you change?
Would your resolutions be more likely to be successful? Would you show more appreciation to the people in your life?
Would you begin to think about the source of life, and perhaps wake up more grateful every new day you’ve been given?
In Islam, we are encouraged to remember constantly, the fragility of life; while at the same time, being hopeful for the future.
Islam teaches us to always stay balanced between fear and hope.
We remember that this life is given to us and will one day be taken away. When we look back at our lives, we look for areas that need improvement, and like your New Year’s resolutions, we should choose and make efforts to be better in the future.
But the future is always now.
Islam is kind of like living on the cusp of a new year. It’s never a bad time to reflect and start anew. We all make mistakes, get lazy, and sin. It is human nature to falter. Islam encourages all good things, but inevitably we will fall into sin. Thankfully, that’s no reason to despair, because the Prophet Muhammad said,
“The best of those who sin, are those who repent.” (Narrated by al-Tirmidhi)
So while we feel remorse for our transgression and mistakes, we know we only need to turn in repentance to our Most Merciful Creator and then try to be better in the future. Just our intention and willingness to do that is enough of a start. Knowing we will not be taken to account for our mistakes that we have rectified, gives us the strength to move forward with confidence.
So, while you might not see many Muslims ringing in the New Year with you, remember that we see every new day as a chance for a new life.