2020 reflections and thoughts going into 2021

2020 was the year many of us will remember as the year of the global pandemic, the whirlwind elections, and- more widely- the worst. but like with anything in life, this past year has had it’s highs and lows. don’t get me wrong; i don’t ever want to experience that gut-wrenching feeling that preys on the pits of your stomach as you drive past a massive freezer truck stationed in the street to collect dead bodies. but i think it’s important to look at every aspect of the situation. undoubtedly, 2020 saw some horrific moments, but we also saw some incredibly heroic ones. local grocery drives, teachers who showed up outside of students’ houses to help explain difficult lessons, and those who gave it their all on the front line are all reasons for us to have hope for humanity yet. so, even though this past year doesn’t feel like a bag of mixed apples, we really do have a lot to be grateful for. and so, without further ado, here are my 2020 reflections:

  • Allah ﷻ is with me, regardless of whether i’m in the masjid, at home, or in the haram. He ﷻ can be found ‏أين ما كنتم
  • one of the greatest forms of worship is serving the creation. praying nawaafil salah is undeniably a good deed, but the positive affects seem to stop at the one praying. when you help someone else, your impact has a butterfly affect towards your whole community
  • sometimes things are going to be messy and imperfect and that’s ok. you might miss assignment deadlines or not keep up with your journaling routine, but that really is ok. you are allowed to make a mistake. just recognize that it was a mistake and go forward accordingly
  • Allah ﷻ’s plan is the best plan. simple as that. don’t stress too much about planning out the perfect route to graduation or the next steps of your career to the point where if things don’t go as you had planned, you start to spiral. instead, have an idea of what you want to do but don’t be too attached to things following your track, since Allah ﷻ will protect you from what’s bad for you and only give you what’s best for you in the long run.
  • be there for others without any expectation of reciprocation. just do it for the sake of Allah ﷻ. He ﷻ will reward you. expecting from the creation instead of the Creator ﷻ is like asking a baby instead of your parents; it’s bound to leave you disappointed and under appreciated.
  • even if you struggled to get through today, be optimistic about a better tomorrow. it’ll help you stay grateful to Allah ﷻ for what He ﷻ has given you.
  • lastly, no matter how hard things get and how low you fall, remember Allah ﷻ is looking at your heart. your relationship with Him ﷻ is constantly evolving, so stay focused on doing the next best thing. if you missed your salah, be sure to pray the next one. if you prayed your salah, be sure to read quran. if you read quran, be sure to implement what you recited. always focus on the next good deed you can do, because we can never do enough for the Lord ﷻ who has given us everything.

going into 2021, i have some personal goals for which i’m hoping to implement certain habits to eventually achieve them. feel free to adopt some into your own routine as well:

  • more punctual daily azkaar
  • reading daily
  • a healthy sleep routine
  • dressing for success
  • less procrastination, more action

i kept it real simple this year because i know that these new habits will lead to overall self improvement, rather than achieving any one major milestone. i’ve got a lot to say about why i chose the items that i did, so check back for updates inshaAllah.

‏ونسأل الله ﷻ التوفيق