By Fedwa Wazwaz, Engage Minnesota
A new year of growth inviting us to receive many blessings from God.
Every day and moment is a blessing of life from God.
We completed the month of Dhul-Hijjah, which contained within it the greatest day of the month and year, ‘Arafah’. This day represents our return to God, a day of return, accountability, and brotherhood.
Many are celebrating the Islamic New Year. Today is the first day of the sacred month of Muharram.
Muharram is the first month of the Islamic Hijri calendar, which follows the revolutions of the moon, hence the year is 11 days shorter than the Gregorian calendar.
Prophet Muhammad, upon him peace and blessings, called Muharram “the Month of Allah” which points to its sacredness and nobility.
Like the last month of the Hijri year, Dhul Hijjah, there is a great day within Muharram. This is the tenth or ‘Ashura.’ Fasting on this day wipes out the sins of the previous year. More days and months of opportunities full of many blessings.
Take this opportunity to mark it on your calendar and prepare to wipe out the old by fasting on Ashura and begin a new chapter of your life.
As we move forward, let us take a moment to reflect on the sacredness of this month and the many blessings of today, open up our hearts through prayers of repentance and gratitude on this holy day so we can receive all the blessings God is showering upon us. Do remember others in your prayers.
Many people speak of love, mercy, compassion, patience, peace, and give you endless snake oil treatments, asking you to submit to their cocktail. We expect these realities to manifest in our souls without struggle or nurturing from God. Only God can say ‘Do’ and it is ‘Done.’ Likewise, seeking guidance from God through prayer, patience, or assistance is not magic. We do not make these prayers, and poof, things change. Rather, we change and grow within to see the world differently.
Prophet Muhammad, upon him peace and blessings said, “The example of a believer is that of a fresh green plant the leaves of which move in whatever direction the wind forces them to move and when the wind becomes still, it stands straight. Such is the similitude of the believer: He is disturbed by calamities. but like the fresh plant he regains his normal state soon. And an example of a disbeliever is that of a pine tree which remains hard and straight till Allah cuts it down when He will.”
I like this saying as it best describes a true reflection of our lives. God is asking us to trust him in the journey and He gave no false expectations. In addition, He did not expect us to always be happy like a psychopath or cry crocodile tears on stage – unmoved and undisturbed by life’s blows. He asked us to pray and to be patient. What is requested is trust and a good opinion as one learns genuine patience within the calamity. If we can sit on a roller coaster and watch horror movies, trusting the horror will come to end, we can likewise just place our trust in God and know this chapter of disturbance will come to an end as well.
Then another chapter begins, of laughter and happiness with more lessons on gratitude, and the circle of life continues.
#MuharramMubarak or Blessed month of Muharram
And Happy New Hijri Year.
Celebrate with coffee, dates, and loved ones.
This is an excerpt from a forthcoming book, currently titled Reflections of Faith: Lessons from the Prophets.
Fedwa Wazwaz is a Palestinian-American born in Jerusalem, Palestine and raised in the US. She is a public speaker and writer and lives in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota.
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