Edition #4, January 12th, 2021
May peace be upon you.
This past break, the Youth Committee felt it was imperative to utilize our days off by focusing on school, completing college applications, and establishing a team of writers for The Core in preparation for the year 2021.
We are so thrilled to be back and hope to continue publishing articles written by us all. Inshallah.
As we all continue to reflect on 2020 and jot down our resolutions for the new year, I would like to share my own goals, and how I tackle “New Year Resolutions.”
When I was 14, I was given a beautiful, brown leather journal.
Since 2017, I've thoroughly reflected on each year and written resolutions for the following one. It's allowed me to document my personal growth and progress as a writer.
Often, we enter a new year with great determination, having that motivation fade with time as we let “reality” belittle our dreams.
We convince ourselves the goals we set are just far too unrealistic, and that the change needed to reach them is immensely grave.
When I entered 2020, I feared releasing the attachment I had to this dangerously-alluring dunya (world) when deciding to pursue a spiritual journey.
It was difficult to envision a life without all the fleeting people and objects I treasured, and while I sure of my desire to become closer to Allah ﷻ—
“I hope to regain faith in Allah ﷻ. I hope to seek His help actively, and remove what may be preventing me from making Him, my single confidante.”
The words I wrote in my journal on January 1st, 2020, were brought to life only when I acknowledged this fact:
Change lies within us, but we must be willing to sacrifice our comfort if we wish to see a transformation unveil itself.
We will walk aimlessly through life,
utterly confused and absolutely terrified—
unless we recognize where the light is.
Above us, Allah ﷻ.
Around us, Rasulullah's ﷺ Ummah.
Inside us, Taqwa (God consciousness).
Amidst all darkness
channel your Noor,
and watch it illuminate your path towards success.
And in the moments I felt helpless,
close to giving up on my pursuit—
I raised my hands in dua and always pleaded,
“O, Allah ﷻ! Please move me onward and upward into your safe, comforting arms —instead of backward into the malicious, preying hands of my desires.”
Each time I felt unmotivated, I fostered willpower through Salah (prayer).
Admittedly, I wasn’t always overwhelmed by God’s presence, and I’m not even sure if any human could feel that nearness every single time they prayed?
But I acknowledged my obligations, and reminded myself that this journey was never guaranteed to be easy. Prayer in itself established consistency in my daily life; it reminded me that I was on the right track.
And it seemed as if the days I felt least motivated to worship, were the ones that truly tested my willingness to change.
Without them, I would not have pushed myself to make any efforts in deeply understanding Islam.
So for every painful moment this year, I am infinitely grateful.
The knowledge I gained in the dark made my Noor so much brighter.
I want to stress that by no means is it necessary to set incredibly transformative resolutions that seem challenging to tackle.
No matter how small your goals may seem, establishing any plan for yourself is a step in the right direction.
It is often the small changes we make in our daily lives that ultimately lead to remarkable results.
(This very topic is discussed in the novel “Atomic Habits” by James Clear, which I include in my list of book recommendations below.)
However, if you are hoping to make significant change within yourself this year, consider what may be restraining you as team, together!
In case the link above fails, please click here.
I promise that you are so much more capable and worthy of change than you think you are.
I wholeheartedly believe in you and your journey.
My resolution for 2021 is to grow closer with all of you, to dedicate more time to The Core, and continue publishing work that has the potential to resonate with young Muslims.
May Allah ﷻ make 2021 a memorable year for us all.
“Take up good deeds only as much as you are able, for the best deeds are those done regularly even if they are few.”
Prophet Muhammad ﷺ
Here were my top reads in 2020, books that I HIGHLY recommend for spiritual/personal development:
Reclaim Your Heart- Yasmin Mogahed (Spiritual, my favorite)
Secrets of Divine Love- A. Helwa (Spiritual)
The Alchemist- Paulo Coelho (Personal, Fiction, Inspirational)
Atomic Habits- James Clear (Personal, Prioritizing, Healthy-Habit Implementation)