2011 What should we make of it?
To all web site members and visitors I want to convey my warmest wishes for the New Year. New
starts are an opportunity to inspire us with the thought of fresh possibilities. What is past is past -
we can do nothing for it now except draw from it the lessons worth learning. If we can do this then
both its successes and failures ('those two imposters' to quote Kipling) can be transformed into
something beneficial. There is no need for time wasting nostalgia but intelligent reflection can be a
good starting point for buildng a better future.
New Year promises that we make lightly to ourselves are as easily broken as made. It requires a
deep concentrated effort to make the determination to change ourselves in a meaningful way.
Instead of making the promises to ourselves perhaps we should make those promises to our Creator
and ultimate Judge. We should also be aware that it is only with His aid we can make those
changes actually happen. So our prayer and our determination to change for the better must not
only come from deep inside but be prefaced by the thought - If God Wills. However according to
the Holy Qur'an it happens that God tends only to change those who make some effort to change
themselves so we should not use this phrase to weaken our own determination to change for the
We should review along with past events what goal we have set ourselves to achieve not only for a
year but for our lives. Too easily a life without a purpose becomes a purposeless life.
What sort of purpose is worthy of our effort? People might make apparently worthy resolutions
such as 'I will learn a new language' or 'I will visit my elderly relative more often' or 'I will give
more in charity or pray more often'. These no doubt can be worthy things in themselves but there is
a deeper level which can be more important. The things mentioned are in a sense outcomes we
might hope for as evidence of having made progress rather than a goal. If for example we
determine to seek for more wisdom or to increase the love in our hearts then we may find various
and even unexpected ways of doing this, Our prayer to change for the better then leaves us open to
the guidance of God. If our inward resolve is firm - for example to serve our fellow man with more
sincere selflessness then the specifics of how this may be brought about need not concern us too
much; that we leave in the Hands of the All-Powerful who can bring about whatsoever He wishes.
My prayer for you would be that you find inside yourselves that deeper purpose that may carry
even beyond this life. Our models are the Prophets, the saints and the wise such as Khawaja
Muinuddin Hasan Chishti, Hazrat Abdul Qadir al-Gilani, and Mevlana Rumi, whose sense of deep
purpose played its part in enabling them to remain alive even beyond the grave. May they help us
to finding this purpose within ourselves. I believe if we do it will not only be about our own
concerns but about being a helper of the poor, not just those without material means but those
whose lives have become poor for lack of spiritual nourishment.
May the blessings of the Prophets, the saints, the wise, enrich the New Year for us all. May the
soul of the patron of this site, Dr Zahurul Hassan Gudri Shah Baba be with us inspiring us towards