When I was really young, like 6 years old or something. I read a story in an Urdu Magazine for kids (Taleem o Tarbiyat).
It was about New Years Eve how a child celebrated with his family and then quietly retired to his room to pray and cried and cried and prayed to be absolved of his sins in the past year and that another year of his life had ended.
It had a very profound impact on my little heart. Somehow I looked at every passing year as opportunity lost to do more good than I had managed et al.
Some 30 years later I sit here with mixed feelings about that story.
1. What kind of sins would a child be begging to be absolved from? This trend of embedding shame and remorse without solid reason needs to stop. Our religion teaches Allah to be Rehman Raheem and Kareem. Stop scaring the kids and making them recite scary duaas meant for elders!
2. It made me reflect on my year past. Every single year. Which is a good thing. Just that I somehow connect it to Ramzaan and not New Years Eve.
3. It showed me the importance of public celebrations as well as our intimate and private connection with Allah. I follow that to this day.
4. I still pray every New Years Eve or at the very least have a heart to heart talk with Allah ta’ala. just that it’s not really forgiveness for sins. It’s all about reflecting on the past year and what I think the new year will be like.
5. You know he’s the one when your man, unaware of any of this aforementioned “history” comes to the darkened bedroom where your sleeping like a wrestler (toddler) has held you hostage, just to pray for you as he wishes you A Happy New Year. He gives a duaa. That’s what he does. Every year. Completely unaware of all of this.
Alhamdulillah a million times and over.