0161 225 0225

6 Tips on How to Start the Islamic New Year the Right Way

by Musa Bukhari


We thank Allah for allowing us to complete another year and to start a new year. Alhamdulillah for every blessing that Allah has provided us, whether big or small. There are so many ways in which people start the new year. The Gregorian calendar New Year, cultural New Years’ celebrations around the world such as Chinese New Year or Nowruz, the Persian New Years, and many of them involve food and family, which is great, but many others also involve (haram) partying, drinking, and other things that displease Allah. The Islamic New Year is a special time. It marks the end of Dhul-Hijjah (a sacred month) and the beginning of Muharram (also a sacred month). It befits us to know as Muslims what the best possible way to welcome the Islamic New Year is.

Let’s discover 6 things that we can do to start off this New Year on the right foot (literally and figuratively!) inshaAllah.

1. Sincerely repent to Allah.

The Prophet (SAW) said, “Allah is more pleased with the repentance of His slave than anyone of you is pleased with finding his camel which he had lost in the desert.” (Al-Bukhari)

There are four conditions of repentance that the scholars have identified:

1. Guilt/regret (Hadith: “Guilt/regret IS tawbah.”)

2. Sincerity towards Allah (Sometimes people repent only because they want the worldly benefits of istighfar like wealth and children (like we learn from Surah Nuh). We should repent to seek Allah’s forgiveness and pleasure, first and foremost.

3. To give up sinning (whatever sin was done should be given up and corrected, i.e. a neglectful person when it comes to salah should pray the salah on time after he repents).

4. To make a firm resolve not to continue the sin (Sometimes people sin and repent without any remorse. Rather, the correct way is to feel the remorse and turn to Allah with it and renew the intention not to commit the sin, and in renewing that intention, to leave the place of sin as well).

2. Ask people for forgiveness.

If we have wronged someone or taken away someone’s rights, or even hurt their feelings by being harsh and rude, we should ask for their forgiveness. Fixing the pain/harm that we have caused to others is the 5th condition of repentance.

3. Make a list of your blessings.

“And [remember] when your Lord proclaimed, 'If you are grateful, I will surely increase you [in favour and blessings]; but if you deny, indeed, My punishment is severe.'” (14:7)

In Surah Ad-Duha, after mentioning His favours upon the Prophet (SAW), Allah says: “And proclaim the blessings of your Lord.” (93:11)

The Prophet (SAW) said, “Whoever is not grateful for little will not be for much; whoever is not grateful to people will not be to God; speaking of blessings is gratitude and leaving this ingratitude; congregation is mercy and division is punishment.” (Musnad from An-Nu’man)

It is not just recommended, but necessary to take audit of our blessings and thank Allah for them. It is necessary to reflect deeply on how we benefit from what Allah gave us (even the hardships left us with gifts!).

4. Thank the people.

Abu Huraira reported: The Prophet (SAW) said, “Whoever does not thank people has not thanked Allah.” (Sunan Abi Dawud)

Showing gratitude to people verbally and through your actions is necessary not only for healthy relationships but also for your gratitude to Allah to become complete.

5. Invest in yourself.

“Life is growth. If we stop growing, technically and spiritually, we are as good as dead.” -Morihei Ueshiba

It is crucial that in this new year, we make the decision not to live our lives on autopilot. It is crucial that we show our thanks to Allah for this life and for this new year by investing in our own personal growth. There are different areas that we should consider when choosing to invest in ourselves: spiritual life, finances and productivity, and our emotions and relationships. It is important to set goals for your time, for your energy, for your relationships, and for your money.

Psychologist and author Jordan Peterson says, “Specify your goals…make a schedule–and stick to it! Set the schedule up so you have the day you want!”

Imam Shafi’i said about time management: “Time is like a sword: if you don’t cut it, it will cut you. Second is yourself: if you don’t busy it with right, it will busy you with wrong.”

In a ProductiveMuslim article, it is stated that: “Professor Salim Hassani, the founder of the incredible Muslim Heritage and 1001 Inventions projects. He explained that efficiency = input/output. The Muslims in our Golden Age, with even a little input (dhikr, ‘ibaada, salah, etc.), would produce huge output (service to humanity). In contrast, in our times we have barely any input let alone the miniscule output we proffer to the world.”

This idea of input and output is huge. We have to consciously make an effort to put the right things into our heart so that our heart and limbs can be set right (as per the famous hadith of the Prophet (SAW) on the heart influencing the rest of the body).

When it comes to our relationships, we need to be extremely careful about how we handle them. The Prophet (SAW) said, “Do not desert (stop talking to) one another, do not nurse hatred towards one another, do not be jealous of one another, and become as fellow brothers and slaves of Allah. It is not lawful for a Muslim to stop talking to his brother (Muslim) for more than three days.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

Anas ibn Malik reported that the Messenger of Allah (SAW) said, “Whoever is pleased to have his provision expanded and his life span extended, let him keep good relations with his family.” (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Sahih Muslim)

Building our emotional capacity and receptivity to keep good relationships with friends and family (especially our own spouses) is immensely important in Islam and immensely rewardable by Allah.

6. GET EXCITED! (Make a du’a list for your goals)

Allah says in the Qur’an: “Call upon Me; I will respond to you.” (40:60)

The Prophet (SAW) said, “Nothing is dearer to Allah than supplication.” (Al-Albani)

The Prophet (SAW) said, “Let one of you ask his Lord for his every need, until he asks Him for salt, and asks Him for the strap of his sandal when it breaks.” (Jami`at-Tirmidhi)

All of the points mentioned above will never be possible without Allah’s support. This is why our tongues and our hearts (yes, our hearts) should be in du’a to Allah as much as possible. Allah LOVES the one who calls out to Him!

Since this is the time to rid ourselves of our bad habits, our excuses, and our sins, it is helpful to learn a beautiful du’a that focuses on the removal of sins from oneself. Sometimes, the Prophet (SAW) would recite this eloquent du’a in salah right after the takbir in place of the thanaa’ (the du’a we are used to reciting before Fatiha):

“Allaahumma baa’id baynee wa bayna khataayaaya kamaa baa’adta baynal-mashriqi walmaghribi, Allaahumma naqqinee min khataayaaya kamaa yunaqqath-thawbul-‘abyadhu minad-danasi, Allaahum-maghsilnee min khataayaaya, bith-thalji walmaa’i walbarad.”

“O Allah, separate me from my sins as You have separated the East from the West. O Allah, cleanse me of my transgressions as the white garment is cleansed of stains. O Allah, wash away my sins with ice and water and frost.”

(Bukhari and Muslim)

May Allah forgive our sins and protect us from their bad consequences. May Allah put a great distance between us and our sins such that they do not follow us into the future. May Allah cleanse our hearts with water, snow, and ice. Ameen.

Back to news