“By the time, humans are at loss, except those who believed and did righteous deeds and encouraged each other to be truthful and patient.” (Surat Al-Asr)
Time is precious, every breath we take and every minute of life is valuable. The more we are conscious of our Provider, Sustainer, Owner and Loving Lord the more worthy time becomes. How did your last 365 days pass? Let’s cherish the happy memories and ensure 2023 has even more goodness for us.
Hafiz Kamal and Maryam, my old friends have already sent me new year’s Mubarak. It was a card, but it was not the usual one. Instead, it was a photo montage, twenty photos make up the pictorial diary of the retired couple’s happy life in 2022. Here they are having fun with their children and grandchildren, they are hiking with their friends, in another photo Maryam is wearing a chef’s apron and volunteering in a soup kitchen.
Looking at Hafiz and Maryam’s photo montage, I was encouraged to dig into my own diary and I was pleasantly surprised to see dozens and dozens of amazing, pleasant and wonderful scenes. From being in an audience with Pope Francis in Bahrain to visiting a local nursery in Hyson Green, celebrating Eid in Halifax with scores of nieces, nephews and grandchildren, hiking in the Pennines, enjoying the graduation ceremony of our mosque students and it goes on and on. I am sure we all had lots of such fun days this year.
Life is a great gift and so is our city a bastion of peace and prosperity. Our little country, a mere dot on the globe is the fifth richest country in the world, with tremendous geopolitical clout. When Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was distressed by the criticism and hate speech spouted by his fellow citizens in Makkah, Allah consoled him with the following verses “Your future will be better than your past and soon Your Lord will give you so much that you will be pleased” (Al-Duha: 4-6). How was the Prophet (peace be upon him) convinced that this will be the case? Allah reminds him of the past successes in his life, just look at your orphan childhood and how Allah took care of you, you were poor and He provided for you and protected you. The way to overcome these crises is to be patient, positive and appreciative of all the gifts we are blessed with.
This is a far cry from the appalling cost of living crisis, thousands of miles from Putin’s war in Ukraine and millions of miles from the rail strikes. When we turn on the news we see another world, perennial gloom and doom. Yet, ordinary folks are quietly and calmly getting on with their lives as normally as they can.
Let’s finish 2022 on a positive note. Let’s look forward to a happy new year and open a new chapter. Let’s begin 2023 with the hope that it will be even better and more fun, Insha-Allah.
I’ll leave you with some of my fond memories of 2022.