By Asma Nemati
While I wash dishes every morning, after the rush of sending kids and husband off to the world, I enjoy a beautiful view of the city of Amman. I live on the third floor of a sandy brown apartment building located on the hills of Amman. When I look out the window from my cozy little kitchen, not only is the bustling city of Amman right before me, but also the vast blue and cloudy sky. My sight and thoughts oscillate between the bustling city below and the clam and cool and serene sky above as I get tough, stubborn grease stains out of my beloved set of dishes.
On one such morning, I was thinking about the coming year. I was thinking how, when the New Year is around the corner, so much marketing effort is put into it; we hear about the events happening on New Year’s Eve, the numerous sales going on just on this special day, the oh-so-many motivational headlines to get us on a right footing on this ostensible day….And, of course, the new year’s resolutions we are told to think about: Weight loss? Perhaps eating healthy? Maybe giving your career another or deeper look? How about finally getting that house renovated?
For me, the New Year is an opportunity to start anew with my Lord. In fact, not only during the new year, but reaching out to Allah after any shortcoming — large or small — gives me a sense of a new beginning, a novel and refreshed opportunity to get back on track and start again. I’ll be honest: I make mistakes, and I make a lot of them. Sometimes I get into big trouble because of these mistakes and sometimes no one notices — apart from me — that I’ve done something wrong. I find it so liberating that our deen allows us to fix any wrong with Allah just like that — by a simple turning towards Him directly in sincere repentance. And our kind and forgiving Lord loves to hear our voices; He loves our duaas.
“By Him in whose hand is my soul, if you do not sin, Allah would replace you with people who would sin and they would seek forgiveness from Allah and He would forgive.” Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him.
The spiritual motivation that comes from renewing one’s trust and love in Allah is simply beyond words; we may not feel it physically, but it sure is there. This powerful pact with Allah is a renewal of hope in His favour and bounty and it is something that Allah loves – it comes up many times in the Quran. My heart jumps for joy when I remember this concept. How many a times I had a problem in my life and not even knowing whence it came from, I simply turned to Allah and soon after, I found solutions right before me, or that my heart had changed about something that pained me, or a person that had wronged me.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the concept of tawba or repentance was marketed to us at the end of each year…actually, on a regular basis?!?! Sometimes we get so caught up with the things we need to do, places we need to go, and people we need to see, that we forget this simple yet profound concept of starting anew; the basis of sincerity. Like the composed sky above us as we go about our lives every day, we should look up and realize that the connection between the Divine and us is just there. Let bygones be bygones, now all we need to do is to turn to Him.
About the author:
Asma Nemati is a full-time mother who lives in Jordan with her husband and three children. She loves to cook, organize and deepen her understanding of Islam as much as possible.