When the Gregorian calendar comes to an end then every person is fully aware of the end of the Christian year. The Muslims also celebrate the new year by going around hooting, lighting fire crackers, etc. We should recognise our new year which is the month of Muharram.
Allah Taála says in the Quraan,
إِنَّ عِدَّةَ الشُّهُورِ عِندَ اللّهِ اثْنَا عَشَرَ شَهْرًا فِي كِتَابِ اللّهِ يَوْمَ خَلَقَ السَّمَاوَات وَالأَرْضَ مِنْهَا أَرْبَعَةٌ حُرُمٌ ذَلِكَ الدِّينُ الْقَيِّمُ فَلاَ تَظْلِمُواْ فِيهِنَّ أَنفُسَكُمْ وَقَاتِلُواْ الْمُشْرِكِينَ كَآفَّةً كَمَا يُقَاتِلُونَكُمْ كَآفَّةً وَاعْلَمُواْ أَنَّ اللّهَ مَعَ الْمُتَّقِينَ
Indeed the number of months (in a year) according to Allaah is twelve months (as specified) in the Book of Allaah (the Lowhul Mahfoodh), (on) the day He created the heavens and the earth. Of these, four are sacred (Dhul Qa’dah, Dhul Hijjah, Muharram and Rajab – sacred because no fighting should take place during these months). This is the straight Deen, so do not oppress (wrong) yourselves in these months (by committing sins). Fight all the Mushrikeen (in every country) just as they fight all of you (wherever you may be), and know that indeed Allaah is with those who possess Taqwa (and will assist them against their enemies).
Generally to count in decimals of ten is quite easy for one and all. The Islamic month is either 29 or 30 days for us which is quite easy to calculate. According to the Gregorian calendar, the month of Febrauary is 28 days for three years and on the fourth year it is 29 days. The Gregorian calendar is calculated according to the solar year and the Islamic calendar is calculated according to the lunar year and both are quite in order.
We should make an effort to remember the special events in our lives according to the Islamic dates. Generally if a person is asked the year he had qualified Madrasah, or the year of marriage, etc. he will immediately quote the Christian year and not the Islamic year.
The Islamic calendar commenced from the Hijrah of Rasulullah Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam. There were various other events in Deen which could be used as the start of the Islamic calendar such the first revelation to Rasulullah Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam, or the birth of Rasulullah Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam or the battle of Badr which were great events. However the Hijrat of Rasulullah Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam was used as the start of the Islamic calendar so that we remember the Hijrat of Rasulullah Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam.
There are various types of Hijrat. One is the physical Hijrat that a person makes. In the Hadith Rasulullah Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam is reported to have said,
فَمَنْ كَانَتْ هِجْرَتُهُ إِلَى اللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ فَهِجْرَتُهُ إِلَى اللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ وَمَنْ كَانَتْ هِجْرَتُهُ لِدُنْيَا يُصِيبُهَا أَوِ امْرَأَةٍ يَتَزَوَّجُهَا فَهِجْرَتُهُ إِلَى مَا هَاجَرَ إِلَيْهِ ».
Whoever makes Hijrat towards Allah and His Rasul then his Hijrat (he will attain the reward) towards Allah and his Rasul Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam. Whoever makes Hijrat (in order) to acquire the Dunya or marry a woman then his Hijrat will be towards that which he made Hijrat.
The actual Hijrah is that which Rasulullah Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam had made reference to in another Hadith,
المهاجر من هجر ما نهى الله عنه
The true Muhajir is the one who migrates from that which Allah Taála has prohibited.
Therefore a person should take stock of himself. Did he really give up sins or not? We should record our weaknesses and downfalls (i.e. our liabilities), then the achievement and progress (i.e. our credit), try to reconcile our accounts and finally should draw up the balance sheet. A person that does so is ready for progress. A business that takes stock on a yearly basis will have an idea whether he is running a profitable business or whether he is at a loss. By drawing up a balance sheet we will no longer be concerned of the faults of others but rather be concerned of our very own faults.
On the day of Qiyaamah each person will be given his book of deeds and told,
اقْرَأْ كَتَابَكَ كَفَى بِنَفْسِكَ الْيَوْمَ عَلَيْكَ حَسِيبًا
(It will then be said to him) “Read your book. Today you are enough to take stock of yourself (you can see your actions for yourself and you need no one else to question you).”
Our deeds are recorded by the angels and then transferred to the ledger. Thereafter it is transferred to the journal and then finally reconciled which is then shown on the balance sheet. A person then knows whether he has passed or failed. Therefore we are told,
حاسبوا انفسكم قبل ان تحاسبوا
Take stock of yourself before your stock is taken
Once the stock taking is complete one should now make new resolutions for the future. A person should merely make one or two resolutions per year and within a short period of time one will completely change his life. May Allah Taála grant us the Taufeeq to correct our lives and make firm resolutions at the start of this new Islamic year. Ameen!