How fast the year has gone and what a reminder this is to how fast the  moments of life run by us, how true is the statement of the great Imam Shafi’  ‘Life is but a moment; therefore make it a moment of worship.’

As we enter the year 1433 we are reminded that one thousand four hundred and thirty three years ago the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him)took flight from Mecca to Medina in order to establish what was to become the first Islamic state. As our Beloved Messenger (peace be upon him) left Mecca he stood looking at his city of birth and called out ‘ Oh Mecca you are the most beloved of God’s earth to me…’ (Tirmidhi). The hijra was indeed an act of love and immense sacrifice, a migration not only towards Medina but also towards the Divine, the great men and women of this migration left that which they dearly loved in order to flee to their greater love, Allah the Most High.  When the Prophet (peace be upon him) arrived in Medina he built a Mosque, opened a market place and established a brotherhood between the people of the land and the new migrants of Mecca. Through bringing together the spiritual, the communal and economically empowering the new Muslim community the Prophet (peace be upon him) produced a community that was healthy and whole; they lived and breathed Islam in every part of their lives. This flight or the Hijra as it is known as in Arabic represents a great turning point in the lives of the first Muslims; in Medina they thrived, practicing Islam openly gaining the strength to spread this word of truth beyond the Arabian Peninsula.

Ustadha Munirah al-Junayd- a blessed teacher of mine- once told me that Hijra should be part of the spiritual development of every believer upon this path, just as the first community took flight fleeing to Allah so too should we take flight, she would say, ‘Flee from darkness to light, from falsehood to truth, from the temporal to the eternal, from illusion to reality, from the impermissible to the Halal and lawful; flee from responding to the Nafs to solely seeking the pleasure of the Divine…’.whilst reading with her Imam al-Hadad’s  ‘ Manners of the Wayfarer unto God’ she would remind me; ‘ Migration, migration our state should always be in migration’.

As we strive to remind ourselves of the internal hijra the end of the year has arrived bringing with it a reminder of how little our effort to take flight has been.

Today my dear sisters/brothers is a day of self reflection; a day of looking back in order to learn how to move forward, a day of repentance and remorse as well as a day of new resolve and renewed determination for as we have been given the 30th of Dhul Hijja to end the year we have also been give the 1st of Muharam to begin a new year.  How blessed we are to be given another chance to re-align the soul and turn our entire being to He the Most High. As the year 1432 comes to a close let us endeavour to bring a good ending to it in the hope that we are blessed with good deeds being the last of our actions, The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) has said; ‘One of you behaves like the people of The Garden until there is but an arm’s length between him and it, and that which has been written overtakes him, so he behaves like the people of the fire until he enters it. And one of you behaves like the people of The Fire until there is but an arm’s length between him and it, and that which has been written overtakes him, so he behaves like the people of The Garden until he enters it’ (Bukhari)

It is because of this Hadith that our teachers would call out in the gatherings of remembrance Oh Allah bless us with a good ending, a life that ends with good deeds. Habib Muhammad al-Hadar the late Mufti of Bayda (In Northern Yemen) and father of my blessed teacher Hababa Nur bint Muhammad would say to his students ‘Do not just ask for a good ending, but ask for the most excellent of excellent endings, ‘Kamal husnul, khatimah . Let us end the last moments of this year in prayer, fast and charity. Let us raise our hands and call upon our Lord, seeking forgiveness for the sinful states we find ourselves in; for our inability to exact meaningful and continuous change in our lives; for our love of the world and how we have allowed it to consume us. Let us raise our hands and ask a Most Generous, Most Giving, Most Merciful Lord to give us the strength and resolve we need to walk this path unto Him, the path that has been trodden by His beloved prophets and saints (the awliya), the path of love, longing, sacrifice and true surrender. In these last moments of this year let us renew our faith and call out La ilaha ila Allah from the depths of our souls asking the almighty that He makes us courageous enough to live by these words. Let us strive and struggle with all of our strength; with every last breath and with every beat of our hearts to take flight; a Hijra that is true and sincere, fleeing unto Him, a Most Gentle and Loving Lord.

I ask you all to forgive this poor slave for her shortcomings with yourselves and for any pain she may have caused any one of you, we ask Allah that He grants us all the most excellent of excellent endings. Amin Allahumma Amin

Love and peace always, Ustadha Umm Abdullah

Below is a supplication that is traditionally recited at the end of the year as well as the supplication of Imam Ali al- Habashi which he (may Allah preserve him) would recite on the first day of the year may we all benefit from it.

End of year supplication:

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful, and God bless our beloved Messenger Muhammad and his family and companions and grant them peace. O God, whatever actions I have committed this past year which have not pleased You, which I may have forgotten though You do not forget, while You are forbearing with me though fully capable of punishing me, while You called me to relent and atone even after my audaciousness before You — O God, I surely seek Your forgiveness for this, thus forgive me. O God, as for my actions that have pleased You and for which recompense and forgiveness have been promised, please accept them from me. And do not dash my hopes in You, 0 Generous, O Most Merciful of the Merciful. And God, the Exalted, bless our beloved Messenger Muhammad and his family and companions and grant them peace. (3 times)

Beginning of year supplication:

In the Name of Allah the All-Merciful the All-Compassionate All praise is Allah’s, Lord of all creations. O Lord, with all beauteous names (Allahuma),bestow blessings and peace upon our beloved messenger Muhammad, our supreme access to You in the answer to what we supplicate for, the achievement of what we aspire to, and the forgiving of such wrongdoings as we have committed, and upon members of his household and his companions and those who support him. Indeed, elapsed in our span of life is a whole year, You have garlanded us in it with Your bounties for which we are unable to offer gratitude, and You have protected us in it from evils and unpleasant things from which we could not have protected ourselves, and we have put into it works of which You are All-Knowing. Such good deeds which You have enabled us to do in it, may You please accept that from us, and may You record them in Your presence as virtuous works, and may You forgive us the blemishes of ostentation, and self-glory, and self-embellishment, and other things as have interfered with them, and may You make them a means through which we are led to Your good pleasure and drawn near to You, and such evil deeds and errors as we have committed. And actions unpleasing in Your sight. And intentions which are unrighteous [such of these that we may have committed] with our limbs and our hearts we ask You, Allahumma, by virtue of Your essence and Your names and Your attributes and by virtue of the sublime Quran and Your revealed books, and by virtue of our beloved messenger Muhammad, Allah bless him and bestow peace upon him as well as members of his household, and by virtue of whosoever has rank before You amongst all Your created beings, that You will forgive all those wrongdoings and cover all those defects, and that You will favour us from Your ample, magnificent, generosity with all that we aspire to, and that You will exchange our evils actions for good ones, and that You will enable us to attain Your good pleasure at the highest level of our aspirations and the uppermost limit of our wishes. And we, as You know us, have our forelocks in Your hands and our entire affair, in all our states, comes back to You, and whatever good opinion we cherish regarding You, You are well aware of it, and our absolute dependence upon You, and extreme need of You, are not concealed from You, and here are our hands stretched out towards You and our hearts are focused upon You, do not therefore, turn us away empty handed, O, the Hope of all aspirers! And the Refuge of all refuge seekers! Show mercy unto he who calls You when he believes that You are his Lord and comes exclusively to You, when indeed, You are his sufficiency. After the outgoing year a new year has come upon us while we do not know what has been pre-ordained in Your knowledge regarding us. And our hope is that You will open for us in this new year a door of sincere, genuine, repentance from which we shall not renege, and that You will grace us in it with the ability for virtuous works, acceptable to You, that will in turn grace us with Your good pleasure towards us, and that You will employ our limbs in obedience that is well-pleasing in Your sight, and our hearts with love for You, and love for whomsoever You love, and love for whatsoever You love, and that You will expand our hearts and grant them the capacity for Your special knowledge, with which You have ennobled such of Your servants that are possessed of knowledge about You and virtuous saints, and that You will sustain us with taqwa with which You have ennobled servants of Yours who are endowed with taqwa [that You will sustain us] with its essence, its fruit, its main roots and its branches and may You lodge us in the highest stations of rectitude, and raise us to certainty at the highest levels of certainty, and that You may grant us entry to the path of following, in words, deeds, intentions, and works ,Your beloved, the most honoured of created beings in your presence, namely our beloved messenger Muhammad, may Allah bless him and bestow peace upon him, as well as his household, and that You may make ample our share of love for this beloved and of following him in all our states and that You make us, O our Lord, among the happiest of people by virtue of him, and those closest to him, and among those who cherish the greatest lasting love for him, and may You honour us with the vision of his honoured face, Allah bless him and bestow peace upon him and his household whilst he is well pleased with us, in sleep and our wakeful moments, in this world, the world in between and the hereafter, and may You honour us, O our Lord, with complete and copious blessing in our works, our intentions, and our sustenance and in our movements and stillness, and may You make the coming years of our lives rotate around firmness in our religion and dedication to Your service, and may You protect us in all this from the evil of Satan, and his works, and from the evil of the evil-commanding soul, and its work, and from the evil of worldly temptation, and may You protect us from plunging into its gewgaws, and its decorations, and from such tests as derive from it in the area of wealth and dependents and things other than these, and from yielding to ruinous passions, and may You protect us from being overwhelmed in the domain of ephemeral desires, and from evil companions and their companionship, and may You make our renewed spans of life all employed in what is well pleasing to You, and such bounties as You have generously bestowed upon us, may You enable us to offer gratitude for that, and may You make us, O our Lord, among those who hold firm to the firm handhold of sincerity towards You, in all our pursuits, and may You embrace in all these supplications, our children and our parents, and our friends and our brethren in religion, and endow us with an immense strength which will [further] strengthen us in obedience to You, and in the discharge of Your obligation upon us, in the manner that You like, and with which You are well pleased, and may You grant us a plentiful share with which to strive vigorously in Your service, and in the constancy of such works as will earn Your good pleasure, and may You open for us, a manifest opening, in the reflection of the magnificent Quran, and in the access to its secrets, and in the excellent manners at the time of reciting its verses, and when listening to them, and may You grant us, O our Lord, the memorisation of its words and the fulfilling of its obligations, and the response to its call, and the hastening to abide by its commands and the avoidance of its prohibitions, and may You make us amongst a people who are loyally wedded to its rights, and may You appoint it for us, in Your presence, a witness of sincerity through fulfilling what it calls us to, O Most Merciful of the Merciful, [since every merciful one receives the gift of mercy from You], and may Allah bestow blessings on our beloved messenger Muhammad and his household, and upon his companions in their entirety, and the praise is Allah’s, Lord of all universes.

Allahumma Amin. Allahumma Amin. Allahumma Amin.

Please keep me, my family, teachers and the ummah in your prayers.

May Allah accept from us. Allahumma Amin.