Starting 2014 (Not A New Year’s Resolution)

I’m not really for New Year’s resolutions. My objection is not religiously based (I’m sure the bid’ah police have this covered), but more pragmatic: I see most so-called New Year’s resolutions little more than to-do lists for the first week of January (perhaps I’m projecting). But nonetheless, I am reminded of a beautiful supplication the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم made, as transmitted to us by ‘Ali bin Abi Talib—may God be pleased with him—in his witr prayer, to start 2014 off for me (as I was praying witr when the ball dropped, causing some number of crazy people to start screaming somewhere outside my front door):

اللهم إني أعوذ بك برضاك من سخطك وبمعافاتك من عقوبتك وأعوذ بك منك لا أحصي ثناء عليك أنت كما أثنيت على نفسك

“O’ God!, I ask protection with You, by your pleasure, from Your wrath, by your clemency, from your punishment. I am incapable of enumerating Your praises, for you are as you have lauded Yourself.”

This hadith can be found, amongst many other places, in Sunan Abu Dawud, #1427.