How to Keep a New Year’s Resolution in Islam
There is a famous hadith Qudsi, or saying, in which Allah (SWT) tells us, “If you walk towards me, I will run towards you.”
Setting an intention is the basis of everything in Islam. From ritual cleansing to praying to donating in charity (which can be easily done here!), we are called to set an intention before we begin each and every act of worship. In this way, we are being shaped into forming a habit – one in which we establish a solid and pure intention at the outset of all of our actions and decisions in life, not only those that we consider as “acts of worship”. This habit moulds our mindsets and outlook on every action we undertake.
When we set intentions, we are subconsciously fortifying our own will and desire to complete and see through an action. In this way, when Allah (SWT) is at the forefront of our intentions, by taking one small step towards a resolution, we are putting in place a cascade of events that will help us see through our resolution, through the help of God. This is how He will “run towards you”.
Perhaps your intention is to pray punctually so that you can establish more discipline in life and fervour in faith. Perhaps it is to give more in charity, recognizing that your wealth is an amanat, a favour that has been entrusted to you, that you have been given to share with those who truly need it. Perhaps you are in a phase of life in which you have extra hours to fill, and feel that you can truly benefit others who may value the time you have to offer. Or perhaps you would like to become more patient with loved ones so that you can find and give more joy in the relationships that Allah (SWT) has so meaningfully arranged in your life.
With the New Year approaching, we may feel the pressure to make and fulfill lofty, but short-lived resolutions. Islam gives us the opportunity to set intentions and resolutions every single day, and we are given a chance at a fresh start at every moment. Let that moment be now.