I am driving back to the south, and have a few days sojourn enroute before going home. It is Friday and I debate with myself if I should stop and pray juma at the local mosque. After all I am out of town, and can thus pray Qasr (shortened ) prayer. I am a woman and I have rukhsat not to pray juma in a mosque. However I do have to pray Dhur somewhere. Suddenly, I realize that it is the age old adversary of man and woman that is discouraging me. I turn the corner and decide to stop and pray Jumma at the local Mosque.
I have been mulling about New Year Resolutions, they seem juvenile, and yet this is something I have done for as long as I can remember. It is an integral part of my tradition.
I am no longer sure if one should make resolutions just once a year. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said pick one thing, even if it is small but do it consistently. My musings about New year resolutions end as I enter the mosque and realize I have forgot to ask Allah Subhanawataala to ‘open the doors of His Rahma for me’ which is the paraphrased version of the dua for entering the mosque. So much for trying to follow the Sunnah.
I find that the mosque is spacious, and has a soothing atmosphere. I am early so I complete my tayyiyat-e masjid prayer at leisure and am soon into the second half of Surah Kahf. It is flowing with a fluency that surprises me.

The Imam begins his Khutba and the first words after his introduction seem to be the answer to my questions about New Year Resolutions:
He says there are twelve things recommended to a muslim if he wishes to increase the bounties of Allah in this world and help him in the next:
1. Be honest, transparent and steadfast
2. Strong in Emaan
3. Have piety
4. Be thankful
5. Learn to depend on Allah
6. Pay Zakat
7. Pay Sadaqa
8. Obey Allah Subhanawataala and remember Him in everything you do.
9. Make Dua (supplications)
10. Have ‘Birr’ Do all good deeds, these are actions that will give you happiness in this dunya, in Barzakh and in the Hereafter.
11. Keep good relations with relatives (Silah Rahmi)
12. Work in Halal jobs, i.e. make sure that your source of income is halal.

I get up from prayer and leave the mosque with renewed vigor and an agenda. Thank you Allah, my mind reader!

Jazaaik Allah hu Khairan


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