Majlis Ugama Islam Singapura
27 December 2013 / 24 Safar 1435
Self-Reflection At The End Of The Year
Dear Friday jemaah,
Let’s take the opportunity on this noble Friday to strive to boost our takwa towards Allah s.w.t. Perform the good deeds that Allah s.w.t. has commanded upon us and avoid what He has prohibited.
My blessed brothers,
As we all know, today, 27th of December is the last Friday of the year. This means that we are very close to the end of the 2013 and will soon welcome 2014. Although most of us do not welcome the Gregorian new year like how we usher in the Hijrah year by reciting the doa for the end of the year and the new year, it does not mean we should just let the time pass by and the year move along without thinking about the changes that can better our lives and strengthen our iman.
The coming of the New Year, whether it is the hijrah year or otherwise, is a reminder of the many blessings or nikmat that Allah s.w.t. has showered upon us. The nikmat of being able to live our lives, able to eat, drink and walk. The nikmat of being granted the ability to see, speak and hear, of having family and friends, and the nikmat of living as Muslims who have faith. These are just some of the numerous blessings and pleasures that Allah has constantly showered upon all of us.
As we age, it also means that the nikmat that we receive from Allah increases, whether we realise it or not. And whether we are grateful or otherwise, Allah still showers His blessings upon us, granting us these pleasures every second of our lives, without seeking any returns from us. Allah, the Most Compassionate, never seeks any rewards from us in return for the countless favours He has blessed us with. This despite the fact that we are always forgetful and careless. Allah never stops showering us with His blessings and gifts despite the fact that we constantly disobey Him and commit sins.
Thus, with the coming of the New Year, let us remind ourselves to increase our sense of gratitude towards Allah s.w.t. by following what Allah s.w.t. has said in surah Al-Baqarah verse 172:
Which mean: “O ye who believe! eat of the good things that we have provided for you, and be grateful to Allah, if it is Him ye worship.”
We can express our gratitude to Allah through various forms of ibadah or worship, be it ibadah through our relationship with Allah, such as giving thanks; increasing sunnah acts of worship, or also through strengthening our relationship with His other creations. For example, giving back to the community by donating to the mosque; contributing to the Rahmatan Lil Alamin Fund; boosting the achievements of our children by supporting our children’s education or that of other children through donating to bursary funds, and so on. Rasulullah s.a.w said in a hadith narrated by Imam Ibnu Majah which serves as a useful reminder for us:
Which mean: “Eat, drink and dress (well) as long as you are not arrogant and not for the sake of ostentation and extravagance”.
Allah s.w.t., The Provider, said in surah Ad-Dhuha verse 11:
Which means: “But the bounty of the Lord – rehearse and proclaim!”
Dear blessed jemaah,
Besides expressing our gratitude for the continuous nikmat Allah has given to us, the arrival of the new year is a reminder that every moment that passes, every day that moves along and every year that we get through means our age has increased.
Today is different from yesterday. We have increased in age and with this, it should bring a sense of remorse in ourselves, and a reminder that we are approaching closer to death. Thus, let us ask ourselves, have we performed enough good deeds to prepare ourselves for our death? Do we have enough deeds as our investment when we are resurrected and questioned after our death later? If the Angel of Death comes knocking on our doors later this afternoon, are we ready?
My beloved brothers,
Our beloved Prophet, Nabi Muhammad s.a.w, once said in a hadith narrated by Imam Tirmidzi from Abdullah bin Busrin Al-Aslami which means: “The best of you are those with the longest lives and best in action”
Saiyidina Ali r.a once said: “I suffer the greatest loss if today I am the same as yesterday!”
Thus, let us reflect upon our time and remind ourselves that with every moment, day and year that passes we are moving closer to our death.
We do not need to wait until the end of the year to better ourselves, strengthen our resolve and increase the good deeds that we have done and are doing. Everyday, we should realise that we need to improve ourselves. For, there are days where we are healthy and well, and there are days when we are sick and weak. And aren’t there days were we are happy, and there are days when we are sad? Indeed, this is the cycle of life.
While we may be busy with our daily activities, whether as employees, students and so on, this does not prevent us from taking some time to take step back and reflect upon what we have done and what we plan to do. This is what is called reflection or muhasabah and self-reflection should be done daily. We need to set aside some time in our busy schedules to reflect and weigh out our actions; have we performed more good deeds and contributed to the well-being of others, or does the scale tilt in the opposite direction?
If we can do some self-reflection after solat, we should do so. If we can spare some time just before going to bed, then we can do so before we go to bed.
At times, we need to embark on self-reflection with the person closest to us. For example, the husband can ask his wife to take time and reflect upon how they can further better themselves and their family. The husband can remind his wife of her responsibilities and the same goes for the wife, she can remind her husband of his responsibilities as a leader and the compassion and love that he needs to express.
This is the meaning of the life of a mukmin. He will always strive to be an obedient servant of Allah and the best towards those around him.
Thus my dear brothers loved by Allah, it is not too late for us to increase our good deeds and better ourselves. Let us welcome 2014 by planting the seeds of awareness in ourselves that we are moving further away from this temporary world and moving closer to the hereafter which awaits all of us. With that in mind, let us prepare ourselves for our death and for our lives in the hereafter.
Let us pray to Allah The Most Merciful and Compassionate to grant us hidayah and His guidance.
“Allahumma Oh Allah Our Rab,
Forgive our wrongdoings, forgive the wrongdoings of our parents, and forgive the sins of our children and the sins of our brothers and sisters. Forgive our sins and correct our shortcomings”
“Oh Allah Oh Our Rab, we are your weak servants, and You are The Lord Almighty. We are in need of hidayah and guidance from You in our lives. We need Your help to strengthen our iman and takwa. Hear our cries oh Allah, grant our prayers and our requests oh Allah.” Ya Rahman Ya Rahim Ya Rabbal ‘Alamin.