Islamic New Year 1446

    0
    39

    Sunday, July 7 will mark the beginning of Muharram (depending on moon sighting), the first month of the Islamic calendar. As we transition into the new year, it is a time for us to reflect on our past achievements, acknowledge our failures, and consider the challenges we have faced.

    Start of the Islamic Calendar

    Muharram is the first month of the Hijri calendar and one of the four sacred months (the other three being Rajab, Dhul Qa’dah and Dhul Hijjah). Muharram is so important to Allah that He gave His own name to it (Shahru-Allah), something He has not done for any other month.

    Many of us understand the importance of Ramadan but often neglect other holy months like Muharram.  The fact is that these holy months offer us a wealth of opportunities to seek the mercy and favours of Allah, the likes of which cannot be found at any other time of the year.

    “A year contains a limited number of days, which is what makes up our lifespan. When a day passes then a part of you has passed along with it. We are a body and spirit existent in a limited time period. When that period comes to an end, you come to an end. It is only those of sound intellect who realise the true value of time. Whatever anyone has achieved throughout the day that has not increased them in reflection and gratitude has missed the purpose and fundamental wisdom for which we were created” (Shaykh Habib Umar bin Hafiz).

    Continuing the struggle

    The path of submission and devotion to Allah is a laborious one, strewn with thorns and scarped with potholes. There are vast spaces of arid deserts to cross as well as perilous jungles. It requires enormous courage and bags of enthusiasm to reach the destination. However, Allah is Kind and Caring, He does not leave the seeker of truth wandering in the wilderness. He comes to every sincere seeker, holds their hand and leads them on the path. The following verse from The Majestic Quran alludes to this when Allah says “those who strive hard for our sake, we shall guide them along on our ways. Allah is with those who do good” (Ankabut: 69).

    This heralds good news for the passionate and enthusiastic believer as it helps to transform the torturous path into a path carpeted with scented roses. ‘Strive hard’, which commentators define as: ‘Jihad’ and ‘Mujahada’ meaning to expend whatever capability one has defending against an enemy. There is an external enemy and an internal enemy. To fight on the battlefield is jihad and to strive hard against Shaitan and the human ego is an even greater jihad, known as Mujahada.

    Striving in the Path of Allah

    Those who spend their every joule of energy in Allah’s way are welcomed with open arms as beautifully described in this Hadith Qudsi, Allah says: “When my seeker draws a hand-span near me, I come an arms-length to him, when he comes near me an arms-length, I draw near to him two arms-lengths. If he comes walking I come running to him” (Muslim).

    With such promises why shouldn’t the true seeker strive? The beloved Messenger (peace be upon him) would stand in the night vigil for so long that his feet would swell and start bleeding. His wife Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) could not bear to see this and would lament, “O Messenger, why do you do this? You are sinless!” He would reply “Shouldn’t I want to be a grateful servant of my Lord?” (Bukhari).

    The Plight of the Palestinians

    It’s now been over 270 days since the genocide began. Let us not forget our brothers and sisters enduring this suffering. We must continue to raise awareness of their plight, advocate for their rights, and keep them in our prayers. Our collective voice and unwavering support can bring hope and draw attention to their struggle. The tide is slowly changing and people are seeing it for what it is.

    O Allah, make a way out for the Palestinians from every distress and grant them sustenance from unexpected sources. O Allah, bestow upon them Your mercy and favour and grant them victory over those who oppress them.

    Conclusion

    How much time, effort and wealth do we expend in Allah’s way? We can measure the degree of our relationship with Him by quantifying our struggle. How well do you think you will fair on a scale of 1-10? Where 1 is the least effort and 10 is the effort of our venerable ancestors. Make this your new year’s resolution to go up a few points.

    The sacrifice of Prophet Ibrahim provides us with a beautiful example of serving the Lord. The wish to please Allah at any cost is a real challenge for us in an age of plenty and abundance. Can we control our carnal desires and work for Divine pleasure? May Allah guide us and protect us.

    Have a happy and prosperous new year!