Account / Muhasabah
Sayyidina Umar ibn al-Khattab RA (May Allah be pleased with him) once said:
“Take account of yourselves before you are brought to account, and weigh your deeds before they are weighed before you, and prepare yourselves for the Day of Revelation.”
This played in my mind this early Thursday morning as I was thinking of how I had wasted my night. There were many things I could have done but had instead spent a considerable amount of time just surfing the net. I mean, if there were specific things I was looking for, at least there’s an excuse there, but there wasn’t.
This is a reminder to me as much as it is to anyone who reads this: We are more than aware of the fleeting Time. It rushes past us faster than we can imagine & before we know it, the day has ended, night has fallen, a week has passed us by. We feel that all the time & yet we fail to properly make use of this time that we have.
I read this from the work of Professor Dr. Mahmud Es’ad Cosan (May Allah bless his soul), a Shaykh from the Gumush-khânawiyya Tariqa on one of the principles of the Way:
TIme is divided into 3: past, present & future.
The past has gone; you cannot do anything about it. The future is unknown. We are helpless about the past, the future is uncertain. We have the present time in our hands. We have to be aware of this fact, & pay attention to how we spend it. We must use the present time in compliance to Allah’s consent.
Although this blog is outwardly “Islamic” in its approach or writing, I really believe that the values & morals being taught in Islam are not confined to Muslims only, but has a universal relevance. So I do hope non-Muslims get to benefit from this as well.
Anyway, regarding the accounting process, we are far more lenient with ourselves than we deserve it. If we were only to use a mathematical calculation by accounting our deeds or our usage, we’d be so ashamed. Ustaz Abu Zaki used to say to us, “Just look at the time. We are able to let our eyes watch the television for one, two, three hours on end. But when it comes to looking at the Qur’an, half an hour is long.” He gave many examples by just comparing daily usage of our body parts in either ‘worldly’ activities or ‘religious’ activities.
One thing I try to keep in mind when making decisions about certain things or choosing to do one thing over another is this: If I choose to do this, would Allah accept my reason for doing so?
For example, I have 2 options: whether to go to the mosque for a class or to stay home. So lets say I decided to stay home, this scenario will come to my head. I’ll think of the Last Day when I am being brought in front of Him and He asks, “O my slave, on such and such a day, you chose to stay home while you could have come to My house and gained some benefit. What can you say to defend yourself?”
If on that Day, I can see myself saying, “O Rabbi, on such and such a day, I decided to stay home to help my mom clean the house and I used the time that would have been used to travel to the mosque to pray nawafil prayers”, then I would go on and do what I decided.
That is my way of accounting at least. Haha. Whatever I choose to do, I wonder if He’d be pleased with it. Of course, countless times I do things that I don’t think I’ll ever be able to come up with an excuse with if I were ever questioned about it later on. Why did you go to this place instead of that? Why did you spend your time doing this instead of that? Why do you wear this instead of that? Why did you say this, why did you do that? MasyaAllah, may our accounting process on the Last Day be swift & easy.
I think that believing in the Last Day and knowing that our deeds will be accounted for is the best motivation to be aware of our time and to do good. I know of some non-Muslims who are puzzled with our ‘obsession’ with the Last Day. But I wonder then, if I don’t believe in the Day of Resurrection, that I won’t be questioned for my actions, there is nothing to stop me from doing horrible things. Then the aim of this life is to just fulfill my desires and satiate myself; precisely what hedonism is all about. And exactly what is prevalent today: consumerism and materialism are merely synonyms for hedonism.
Surah Ibrahim (14)
48: One day the earth will be changed to a different earth, and so will be the Heavens, and (men) will be marshalled forth, before Allah, the One, the Supreme.
49: And you will see the sinners that day bound together in fetters-
50: Their garments of liquid pitch, and their faces covered with Fire;
51: That Allah may repay each soul what it has earned, and verily Allah is swift in calling to account.
52: Here is a Message for mankind: let them take warning therefrom, and let them know that He is (no other than) One God: let men of understanding take heed.
I pray we are in remembrance of Allah Most High at all times and that we will better use the time we have today to seek His Pleasure in the things we choose to do. I hope He forgives me for daring to advise others while I’m in need of it myself. I pray we will be more aware of our sins & deeds & account for ourselves at every hour instead of once a day, or instead of waiting to be accounted for.