After being in a state of living from day to day for the past two years, I am thinking of many things including what I need to be doing with the rest of my life.
All my life that I can remember I have always planned celebrations to bring in the new year. However this year is different. I feel mortal, vulnerable, and unsure whether I will make it into 2008.
There also this feeling that this New Year is fake as it is not truly the muslim New Year, which begins on the first of Muharram.
I don’t know enough about the Sunnah to follow for the first of Muharram. I do know that on the 9th and 10th of Muharram. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) fasted for those two days because historically that was when the red sea parted and Allah Subhanawataala saved Moses (AS) and his people from his enemies.
But what of 2008? Shouldn’t I be doing something special on the eve of 2008?
Mulling the possibilities of how to usher in 2008, I have an idea! Perhaps to recreate a portion of a retreat that we once held on the beach in the fall:
There are twelve of us from different walks of life, and different ages. We are meeting at a house on the beach for a retreat to rejuvenate our emaan. The guest speaker is a lady who walks the walk and practices what she preaches in other words a rare bird in today’s world.
One night from the retreat that can be recreated for New Years Eve would be:
After an early dinner we meet in the living room for a candle light halaqa and talk about inspirational figures in Islamic history. Or rather our guest talks and we listen. It is a surreal atmosphere, listening to the waves crashing on the beach, the candlelight playing with the shadows of the women in hijab and the red light of the coffee maker alerting us that the water is hot for tea for us. Ayesha (RA) is the topic for this evening. she is an inspiration for the young and old alike. As we listen to the story of Ayesha unfold and her fascinating memory, which has served to immortalize the Sunnah, I want this evening to go on……..
The halaqa regretfully ends and we prepare to pray Isha with Jamaat and follow it with silent reading of the Quran with meaning. Some of us walk under the stars and then go to bed. We arise two hours before fajr and pray tahajjud. It is a beautiful night, some of the younger folks go out to walk on the beach and return for fajr. The rest of us make the most of our time with our Lord. The last third of the night is when He (SWT) is looking out for people praying and He wants us to ask Him for favors. Each one of us spends time in prolonged sujoods feeling closest to Him, asking Him, and finally begging Him for everything we can.
Fajr adhan is a CD recording from the Haram, which brings everyone together in Jamaat. We fall into line and pray in synchrony. At the end of it we remain seated on our prayer rugs and flow into our individual morning supplications. A magic circle is drawn around each of us, transporting us into His presence. We are together with each other and yet individually present before Him.
Can we adapt this to bring in 2008?
‘ and men who remember God much and women who remember God, God has prepared for them forgiveness and a vast reward ‘