Around the New Year, people start making their new year’s resolutions to lose weight, study harder and stop procrastinating, amongst numerous others. Though all these are good means to improve our lives, we Muslims should have set priorities in which our faith is the first to improve. If we call ourselves Muslims, we must then God-willing act upon this statement to the fullest. Many of us may not realize how much we might lack when it comes to our religious beliefs, so let us consider making resolutions to improve our religious practices. Below are some useful tips we may consider:
Prayer: The foundation of our faith and the greatest act of worship. Yet unfortunately, too many of us pay it little importance, be it delaying it because of worldly things, sleeping through the morning prayer or neglecting it altogether. However as Imam Baqir (peace be upon him) has said, “On the Day of Reckoning, the first thing that a servant will be reckoned for is the prayer; if it is accepted, all good deeds will be accepted too (otherwise, his other good deeds will not avail him).”
“Keep up prayer; surely prayer is enjoined upon the believers at prescribed times.” (4:103) If Allah has prescribed times for us to pray then we must be adamant on praying at these times. To ensure the time of prayers here is a link to prayer schedules. Let us try to begin the New Year by perfecting our prayer, our communication with our Creator. If any of us have any prayers to make up, we should start on that as soon as possible and if not, extra prayers will always reap many benefits, God-willing.
Doing More Du’a (Supplication): Whenever in need, turn to your Lord, because no will be there for you like the One who created you. A lot of us get bored easily and end up spending hours on end on sites such as Facebook, rather than using our time to talk to Allah. In a Hadith Qudsi Allah says: “My servant continues drawing near to me through voluntary, optional and extra acts of worship (such as dua’as), until i love him, and when i love him, i am the hearing through which he hears, the sight through which he sees, the hand through which he grasps and the foot through which he walks.”
We have plenty of du’as we are blessed with such as, Du’a Kumyal, Du’a Tawwassul, Du’a Mashlool, many of which can be found here. We should take full advantage of these du’as and ask Allah for forgiveness because when no else is around to help us, He certainly is. With the help of Allah and our Ahlul Bayt we can exceed to our highest Islamic ability as Muslims, God willing!
Increasing Our Love for the Ahlul Bayt: Allah has blessed us with the Ahlul Bayt as our perfect role models. Many of our young Muslim brothers and sisters have taken up the wrong role models. We should all strive to live our lives as they did theirs. When we have closeness with them, we have closeness with our Creator. If the Ummah of Muhammad knew to what extent the Ahlul Bayt would help us in our lives and in our afterlives then our hearts and minds will never let a moment go by where we do not think or remember them. The Holy Prophet said: “The likeness of my Ahlul Bayt amongst my followers is similar to Noah’s Ark. Those who embarked on it were rescued and those who rejected it perished.”
Preparing for Imam Mahdi: The time of Imam Mahdi (may Allah hasten his reappearance) is growing nearer and some of us are growing further, further from the truth and reality of who our Imam is and what he stands for. We should work to achieve the status of being the soldiers and aids of Imam Mahdi by doing what is good and preventing what is evil. There are many different du’as we can recite to hasten the arrival of our Imam and also help us be a part of his army, such as Du’a Al-Hujja. Du’a Ahad is also to be recited for those who wish to be part of the arrival of our Imam. Regarding this du’a Imam Sadiq says, “He who supplicates to Allah for forty mornings with this (supplication of) pledge will be from the companions of our up riser (Imam Mahdi), and if he dies before his advent, Allah will bring him out from his grave and give him in return of each word he says one thousand good deeds and he will remove one thousand sins from his book of deeds.”
Improving on Our Hijab: Both Muslim men and women need to improve on their hijab etiquette. We are slowly losing sight of the importance of Hijab and its significance in our everyday lives as Muslims. We might live in a society that is non-Islamic but we must try to maintain our Islamic beliefs and identities to the fullest, especially with our Hijab. It is more than a piece of fabric; Hijab is a way of living, a code of conduct. We should make sure that the way we act and dress correspond with what is Hijab is. Women should make sure their Hijab stays as simple and humble as the women of the Ahlul Bayt. Do not let Hijab become another trend everybody wants follow, let it be something everybody wants to embrace. As stated previously, Hijab is applicable not only to Muslim women, but Muslim men also. Men also should make sure they are observing Hijab in the right manner, conducting themselves in a manner that the men of the Ahlul Bayt did.
For sisters out there who have not yet considered wearing the Hijab, here is an inspiring read of a fellow Hijabi sister.
Fatima Fakhreddine is a student at Henry Ford Community College and plans to attend the University of Michigan and study journalism.