Self Examination

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Jumâdal-âkhirah 5, 1422 (August 24, 2001)

(NOTE: If you want to build a strong and powerful relationship with Allah, check out Islamia TV, where you can watch Islamic speakers from across the globe deliver inspiring and motivational courses. Learn more at www.islamia.tv.)

All praise is due to Allâh. May peace and blessings be upon the
Messenger, his household and companions.

Brothers in Islam! Fear Allâh and do good deeds for yourselves before a day comes in which there will be neither mutual bargaining nor befriending. Only good deeds shall be weighed, and then every soul shall be paid what it earned and they shall not be dealt with unjustly.

Fellow Muslims! Have you seen how a resourceful and clever merchant
reflects every now and then about how his business moves; about his gains and losses and the causes for both and looking for how to improve his business and how to avoid decline and downfall of the business? That is how a watchful Muslim should be during the course of his mundane life; and his passing of each of its stages. He should wait at the end of every point in his life and cast a look back at whatever he has said and done; call himself to an accurate account and censor himself accordingly when necessary.

The examination of one’s conscience and calling oneself to account that is done by intelligent people has great benefits. Some of these benefits are that man will know his weaknesses and defects as well as his strengths, good deeds and points of perfection. This will afford him the opportunity of working towards a constructive plan and a better path to be followed in the future.

No wonder then that the policy of examination of one’s conscience occupied a prominent role in the life of our pious predecessors. This policy manifested itself in their practising it and encouraging others to do likewise.

Umar ibn Al-Khattab said,

  “Call yourselves to account before you are called to it and weigh your deeds before a day when they shall be weighed for you.”

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Al-Hasan Al-Basrî said,

  The true believer is a guardian of his own self and continuously calls his soul to account for the sake of Allâh. The reckoning of the Day of Resurrection will only be difficult for those who live the life of this world without ever examining their conscience and calling themselves to account.”

He then explained that the essence of self-examination is when a believer pauses after having performed a deed and notices that he is negligent in a matter and then addresses himself saying,

  “What do I want by this deed? By Allâh I will not be excused for it. By Allâh I will never do it again, Insha Allâh!”

Among issues that mostly need self-examination in the view of intelligent people nowadays is examination of one’s deeds during these concluding vacations. It is an occasion where a wise person asks himself some questions that need sincere answers. What did every person do for himself and his brothers and sisters in these past days? Was this vacation a field for racing towards good and righteous deeds that last or just another avenue to increase one’s stock of sins and enrich one’s store of deeds with wrongdoing? Was it an opportunity to gain additional knowledge and increase oneself in psychological, mental and physical maturity or just a period of time wasted in laziness? Were the journeys of those who travelled to various countries for the purpose of learning or was it just another race towards the forbidden and harmful things?

Was the vacationing man eager – during his vacation – to carry out his commitments towards his family and the kith and kin by being kind to those who are unkind to him, making peace where there was discord and strengthening the weak or did he just become more negligent, rude and estranged?

Dear brothers! Self-examination is a stance one must take with himself after each act and after each stage of his life if he wants his affairs to be upright and proper and to have a good ending, so as to have a great victory in this world and on the Day of Judgement.

Allâh says:

  “O you who believe! Fear Allâh and keep your duty to Him. And let every person look to what he has sent to the morrow and fear Allâh. Verily, Allâh is All-aware of what you do.” (Al-Hashr 59: 18)

Brothers in faith! Examining oneself and calling oneself to account is evidence of one’s intelligence and aspiration for things that may lead one to happiness and success in one’s undertakings. You should fear Allâh and covetously continue to examine yourselves sincerely especially during these days when you are bidding farewell to your vacations, resuming your duties and opening a new chapter in your lives. You must inevitably reflect on what has passed, determine to rectify it and have a constructive plan for the remaining days of your lives.

(NOTE: If you want to build a strong and powerful relationship with Allah, check out Islamia TV, where you can watch Islamic speakers from across the globe deliver inspiring and motivational courses. Learn more at www.islamia.tv.)



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