2021 – the beginning of something new – lessons from the Quran

The lunar new year. It is celebrated globally although none of us actually contribute anything to it’s occurrence. We look beyond it with hope no matter how bleak the past year had been. In fact the new year is a sign for those who contemplate.

We made the day and night as two signs. So We made the sign of the night devoid of light, and We made the sign of the day ˹perfectly˺ bright, so that you may seek the bounty of your Lord and know the number of years and calculation ˹of time˺. And We have explained everything in detail. (Quran 17:12)

He is the One Who has made the night for you to rest in and the day bright. Surely in this are signs for people who listen. (Quran 10:67)

So as we are on the verge of the long-awaited 2021, let’s have a look at some of the verses on the Quran pertaining to the day and night, and what it can mean for us. Full disclosure; I am not a religious scholar. But I long to derive lessons from the Quran according to my understanding, and perhaps you may understand a verse differently. May Allah guide us to better understand our religion.

That is because Allah causes the night to merge into the day, and the day into the night. Indeed, Allah is All-Hearing, All-Seeing. (Quran 22:61)

He merges the night into day and the day into night. And He knows best what is ˹hidden˺ in the heart. (Quran 57:6)

To Him belongs whatever exists in the day and night. And He is the All-Hearing, All-Knowing. (Quran 6:13)

These verses point to the fact that Allah knows all our thoughts, deeds, actions, plans, aspirations. We may make plans for the next year, but Allah knows better what is going to happen. So always remember this and try to make everything that happens or you bring into your life in the next year are things that would be pleasing to Allah.

And He is the One Who causes the day and the night to alternate, ˹as a sign˺ for whoever desires to be mindful or to be grateful. (Quran 25:62)

The passage of time is a sign for us to be grateful for what Allah has given us in the past. It should inspire us to count our blessings. It should motivate us to make more zikr. It should be a call for us to make a determination to show our gratitude in our actions, buy adhering to the religion more closely and doing more good deeds.

Do you not see that Allah causes the night to merge into the day and the day into the night, and has subjected the sun and the moon, each orbiting for an appointed term, and that Allah is All-Aware of what you do? (Quran 31:29)

And He is the One Who gives life and causes death, and to Him belongs the alternation of the day and night. Will you not then understand? (Quran 23:80)

He created the heavens and the earth with truth; He rolls the night around the day, and He rolls the day around the night. And He has subjected the sun and the moon, each running for a stated term. Undoubtedly, He is the Almighty, the Forgiving. (Quran 39:5)

The verses points to the limited nature of time. It alludes to the fact that even the night and day is meant to alternate until a set time. Just as we are on this earth for a set period of time. So whatever you do, do it in the time that is given to you. Tomorrow is not assured.

You cause the night to pass into the day and the day into the night. You bring forth the living from the dead and the dead from the living. And You provide for whoever You will without limit.” (Quran 3:27)

He is the One Who has made the night for you to rest in and the day bright. Surely in this are signs for people who listen. (Quran 10:67)

Allah is the owner of all wealth, blessing and barakah. So use the daytime to seek His bounty. Do honest work and earn a respectful living.

and for part of the night prostrate yourself to Him, and highly exalt Him long into the night. (Quran 76:26)

And glorify the praises of your Lord before sunrise and before sunset, and glorify Him in the hours of the night and at both ends of the day,1 so that you may be pleased ˹with the reward˺. (Quran 20:130)

Allah has appointed times in the day for work, rest and prayer. You can only be successful in this world and the next by following this guidance and balance.

˹Beware of˺ the Day the Trumpet will be blown, and We will gather the wicked on that Day blue-faced ˹from horror and thirst˺ (Quran 20:102)

May Allah protect us from the fear, suffering and punishment of that day. May Allah enable us to do deeds that would ensure our success on the only day that matters.

Author: Ahmed Siyah

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Maldivian Community Foundation

The Maldivian Community Foundation (MCF) is a non-governmental, non-profit organisation registered at the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Community Empowerment of the Maldives (reg. no. CR/158/2019), and registered as a tax exempt organisation at the Maldives Inland Revenue Authority. Its mission is to enable individuals, communities and partners to sustainably administer their charitable and philanthropic aspirations. It does this through the management of donated funds and disbursement of grants, scholarships and financial aid. We aim to follow the well-established community foundation model, tweaking it to the Maldivian context, and thereby positioning ourselves as the premier fundraising and grant making organisation in the country. We plan to provide tools and instruments for the Maldivian community to partake in perpetual charity (sadagah jariyah) and philanthropy, and support the non-governmental sector by providing grants and technical assistance. We would also be working closely with the government and national development partners to strengthen the governance and accountability of the non-profit sector.

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