REFLECTIONS

Website: www.ummah.com/islam/reflections

Quarterly: Issue No 31

Rajab 1425

 

LET US TAKE ACCOUNT OF OURSELVES

Sayyiduna Umar ibn al-Khattab (radiyallahu anhu) said: "Take account of yourselves before you are taken to account." [Az-Zuhd of Abdullah Ibn-ul-Mubarak]

Allah, Glory be to Him, the Most High, says:

On that day every person will be confronted with all the good he has done, and all the evil he has done, he will wish that there was a great distance between him and his evil deeds. And Allah warns you against Himself (His Punishment) and Allah is full of Kindness to the (His) servants. [Surah Ale-Imraan 3:30].

Allamah Ibn Kathir explain the aforementioned ayah: "On the Day of Judgement all his good and evil deeds will confront him, as Allah, the Most High, says, 'On that Day man will be informed of what he sent forward (of his evil or good deeds), and what he left behind (of his good or evil deeds or customs)' " [Tafsir Ibn Kathir] 1/338].

One may feel that after doing an action he will never see it again. Especially, if it is an internal or hidden deed, like riyaa (show), jealousy, hatred for the believers, desiring the evil, etc. Allah says:

Knows he not that when the contents of the graves are brought out and poured forth (all mankind is resurrected). And that which is in the breasts (of men) shall be made known. (Surah Al-Adiyaat: 9-10). This means that "that which was hidden in themselves will be made apparent" (Tafsir Ibn Kathir) such that, whosoever does good equal to the weight of an atom shall see it. And whosoever does evil equal to the weight of an atom shall see it. (Surah Az-Zalzalah : 7-8).

A person's day is filled with actions. Actions are done and forgotten about. We may very well forget them, but it is them we will have to answer about on that Day. Allah says: That He may ask the truthful (Allah's Messengers and His Prophets) about their truth (i.e. the conveyance of Allah's Message that which they were charged with). (Surah Al-Ahzaab 33:8). If Allah (the Exalted) will question and account the truthful on the Day of Resurrection, then how can the rest of mankind be exempt?

Righteous actions are extremely valuable, for whichever person’s good deeds are more than his evil deeds and tips the scale by an atom's weight will enter into Jannah by Allah's Mercy.

Therefore, a believer must focus on his actions, and focusing of one’s actions entails the following:

PREPARATION

The servant of Allah needs to prepare and make his soul ready for the day ahead. After Salaatul-Fajr, he should make himself realize that the day has many hours. He should hope to fill every hour with that which will benefit his soul. He should try to grasp on to the treasures of righteousness that the day holds for him. He should hope to keep every hour free from that which will harm his soul. He should try to avoid the evil that the day has in store for him.

So, he should advise his soul to be a soul that strives to obey Allah, keeps away from laziness, does not waste time in vain talks, and takes a maximum benefit of the day. After advising his soul he should focus on self examination.

SELF-EXAMINATION OF THE SOUL

The examination of the soul occurs at three instances: before the action, during the action, and after the action.

Before the Action

The servant of Allah must check his intentions before the action. Is it going to be done for the pleasure of Allah or is it for something or someone else? If it is for someone other than Allah (not for the pleasure of Allah) then he must know that it might be something evil. It then necessitates that he busy himself in purifying his intention and making it solely to please Allah, Al-Wahid. He must also make sure that the act of worship will be done in the manner performed by the Messenger of Allah as understood and implemented by the Sahabas (his companions).

During the Action

The servant of Allah must be aware of Shaytaan and his evil whispering during the action. He must check to make sure that his intentions are continuously focused for the pleasure of Allah. He must strive to perfect his actions as much as possible.

After the Action

Allah says: O you who believe! Fear Allah and keep your duty to Him. And let every person look to what he has sent forth for the morrow, and fear Allah. Verily, Allah is All-Aware of what you do. [Surah Al-Hashr 59:18].

"And let every person look to what he has sent forth for tomorrow", Ibn Kathir said it means, "You take yourselves into account before you are taken into account." [Tafsir Ibn Kathir 4/342] Therefore, we have to be very wary and continuously assess what we have sent forth from our deeds for the Day of Judgement.

Just as after Salaatul-Fajr the servant of Allah prepares himself for the day, then similarly the servant of Allah must take himself into account at the end of that day. Like a businessman who accounts for his business at the end of the day and checks whether it was a profitable day or not, the servant of Allah must question his soul and ask: Did I fulfil my obligations? Did I make sure that I had Ikhlaas (sincere and pure intentions only to please Allah) in all my actions or did I do actions to show other people? Did I benefit from this day or not? And if he evaluates that he is in loss, then he should discipline himself for the future.

DISCIPLINE

We should discipline ourselves by doing as many good deeds as possible in the hope that the good deeds will wipe out the evil deeds.

This was the practice of the Sahabas, as indicated by a narration about Umar ibn Al-Khattab that he left his orchard to pray Salaatul-'ASR. Upon reaching there, he found that the people had already prayed, thus missing the Jama'ah. As a result, he returned to his orchard and gave it away as charity to the needy. [Mukhtasir Minhaaj-Al-Qaasideen p.379].

People who are really wise are those who take themselves into account before they are taken into account in the Hereafter, which is not a light matter. Hazrath A’isha (radiyallahu anhaa) said that the Messenger of Allah once said: "None will be called to account on the Day of Resurrection, but will be ruined." I said: "O Allah's Messenger! Hasn't Allah said: "Then as for him who will be given his record in his right hand, he surely will receive an easy reckoning?" (Surah Al-Inshiqaaq : 7-8) Allah's Messenger said: "That (Verse) means only the presentation of the accounts, but anybody whose account (record) is questioned on the Day of Resurrection, will surely be punished." (Sahih Al-Bukhari: Kitab-ur-Riqaaq: Hadith 545).

So let every soul take itself into account and exert itself to improve its deficiencies and shortcomings for today there is action but no accounts, and tomorrow there will be accounts, but no deeds to be done. Always remember what Allah says:

"Until when death approaches one of them, he says: ‘My Lord! Send me back, so that I may do good in that which I have left behind!’ No! It is but just a word that he speaks; and behind them is a barrier (Barzakh) until the Day when they will be resurrected." (Surah Al-Mu’minoon : 99-100)

"Allah accepts only the repentance of those who do evil in ignorance and foolishness and repent soon afterwards; it is they to whom Allah will forgive and Allah is Ever All­ Knower, All­ Wise. And of no effect is the repentance of those who continue to do evil deeds until death faces one of them and he says: ‘Now I repent’ nor of those who die while they are disbelievers. For them We have prepared a painful punishment."  (Surah An-Nisaa : 17).

 

WHAT ARE THEY TEACHING OUR CHILDREN?

As concerned Muslim parents, we --- not the schools --- have the ultimate responsibility for our children's education, and we cannot afford to abdicate this responsibility. With this in mind, there are several things we can do to protect our children against false information.

Statistics reveal that many Muslim children melt into the Westernised Kuffaar system in just a few generations and become just like other Westerners. No doubt, the public school system contributes greatly to this socialisation process. Unless we constantly communicate with our children and their teachers and unless we constantly keep an eye on their books and an ear open to what they are saying about school, the education that we are so concerned about giving them may cause more harm than good. The loss of their Islamic identity is a terrible price to pay for their learning at public schools.

Muslim children in a non-Muslim society are in danger on two fronts. On the first, they may be fed negative images of Islam, and on the second, they may be fed attractive pictures of non-Islamic activities. How can they distinguish between true and false?

Read your children's textbooks to see what they are being taught. If you discover any misinformation or anything that disturbs you, put your objections, along with the appropriate corrections, in writing. Arrange a meeting with your child's teacher or the Principal to discuss the problem. Always be polite and present yourself as someone who wants to help, not as a critic. They may or may not agree to implement your corrections. If they agree, thank them for their consideration. If they reject your corrections, you should seek additional help from an Islamic organisation that deals with these kinds of issues.

1. Teach your children the Islamic view of the "holidays," and the proper relationship between the sexes to counter what they might learn at school.

2. Develop a close relationship with your children, and encourage them to confide in you if anything at school concerns them.

3. Recognise that your children are not only learning from their teachers, but also from their friends.

If your children begin to act in un-Islamic ways and talk about un-Islamic ideologies, try to correct them as early as possible. Take your children to the masjid regularly, and encourage friendships with good well-mannered and educated Muslim children.

 

DA’WAH – OUR OBLIGATION

An important matter for Muslims to realize is that da'wah is an obligation upon them. Allah (Subhaanahu waTa`ala) says in the Glorious Qur'an:

"Invite to the Way of your Lord (i.e. Islam) with wisdom and fair preaching, and argue with them in a way that is better. Truly, your Lord knows best who has gone astray from His Path, and He is the Best Aware of those who are guided." [Surah an-Nahl(16) :125]

The Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) has said: "Convey from me whatever you can, even if only one verse." [Sahih al-Bukhari]
Conveying the message therefore does not require a high level of scholarship. It is in fact a responsibility of each and every Muslim, according to his or her ability. The obligation is further emphasised by the following verse which explains that not conveying the message - hiding knowledge - is disobedience to Allah that causes Allah's curse to descend upon such people, which shows that such a sin leads to the Hellfire.  Allah says:

"Verily, those who conceal the clear proofs, evidences and the guidance, which We have sent down, after We have made it clear for the people in the book, they are the ones cursed by Allah and cursed by the cursers." [Surah al-Baqarah(2) :159]

In this same connection, the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) has stated: "Whoever hides knowledge, Allah will brand him with the branding iron from the hellfire." [Ahmad]

Calling people to Allah also means completing our own worship, the reason for which we are created. It is one of the noblest acts that entails a high reward. Allah says:

"And who is better in speech than he who invites to Allah and does righteous deeds, and says: 'I am one of the Muslims.'" [Surah al-Fussilat(41) : 33]

With regards to the reward, the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) has said: "Whoever guides [another] to a good deed will get a reward similar to the one who performs it." [Sahih Muslim]

 

I request your humble du'aas.

 

Abdul Haq Abdul Kadir

Umhlanga Rocks, KZN

South Africa