Will you live to see 2008? What about June 2007? None of us knows. That's why planning and implementing our plans help us use our short time on this planet wisely. God wants us to live a thoughtful life of hope, working for the future of this world and the hereafter.
"O ye who believe! Observe your duty to Allah. And let every soul look to that which it sendeth on before for the morrow. And observe your duty to Allah. Lo! Allah is Informed of what ye do" (Quran 59:18)
The community is nothing but each one of us collectively. If we individually plan our contribution to society while begging for God's help, two things will happen, God willing. First, we will gradually emerge from our current state of despair. Second, we will be personally successful in this world and in the everlasting world to come. And that is where real success lies.
Below are some ideas that can help jump-start your own thinking and planning process to benefit the community in the next 12 months.
1. Develop A Personal Plan
Our prayers are not only an expression of our desires but also of our goals. The most common Dua Muslims make is: Rabbana atina fiddunya hasanatan wa fil akhirate hasanatan wa qina azaban nar. (Quran 2:201). Our Lord! Grant us good in this world and good in the life to come and keep us safe from the torment of the Fire.
This dua can serve as a guideline for us to plan for the goods of this world and for the benefit of everlasting life.
2. Save More & Give More
Develop a family budget along with a personal plan to see if your goals of the year are properly financed.
The earnings of Muslim men working in the US dropped about 10 percent in the years following the 9/11 attacks. Although Muslim wages have gone down, things will be much worse in the event of another terrorist attack on America, which most experts and pundits have been predicting. Whatever we have, we must save five percent more, but also spend five percent more on not just the standard causes of providing relief abroad, the local mosque or Islamic school. We must also support innovative projects that aim to build bridges of understanding in society, like RadioIslam.
3. Connect with your neighbors
Over half of Americans want to see Muslims? civil liberties curtailed. About 75 percent of Muslim Americans surveyed by Zogby International say they have been discriminated against or know someone who has been. But polls also note that people who know Muslims hold a less negative opinion of us than those who don't.
What kind of relationship do you have with your neighbors? Consider this Hadith: Prophet Muhammad. peace and blessings be upon him. once said, "Jibreel kept recommending treating neighbors with kindness until I thought he would assign a share of inheritance" (Bukhari and Muslim).
Relating to neighbors, therefore, is not just a survival strategy, but an obligation for a believer.
4. Strengthen Your Family
Is everyone in your family happy? What is happening around you? Are Muslim families together? Are more divorces happening? This is a time of stress for Muslims in America. Most news is negative about Islam. Making our homes a zone of comfort is important. That will happen when we are listening to each other, spending less time with TV and more time doing things together. Is your family running on the Shura model? It is one way to strengthen you family.
Let's submit to God Almighty by achieving something better for humanity in 2007 before our time is up in this world.
(You may want to check our recommendations for 2005 and 2006 to see if you want to adopt any of those items for your 2007 plan).
Photo Attribution: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:2007#mediaviewer/File:Cna_happy2007.jpg