|Imam Zijad’s Corner: SELF-APPRAISAL: THE WAY FORWARD
It is crucial for an individual to pause at the end of each day that has passed, in order to check the achievements of the day: What has been done in the course of the day? Why has that been done? What has been omitted? Why has that been omitted?
How excellent it would be if this self-criticism were to take place before one retired to bed every single evening.
This period of self-criticism and appraisal should certainly be counted among person’s moments of progress; it is a moment when a person impartially sits as a judge over himself/herself and reviews his/her yearnings and inclinations, his/her instincts and motivations. It is a moment when the believer appoints, out of his/her conviction, a policeman to watch over himself/herself, an investigator to probe him/her, and a judge to condemn or acquit him/her.
In this way the person progresses from the state of “the soul that incites to evil” to the state of “the self- reproaching soul” which reproaches its owner whenever he/she plunges into sin, or falls short of expectation.
Muhammad (S) said: “It behooves any sane person to have four periods of time” and one of the four periods is “a period in which he engages in self-criticism.”
‘Umar bin al-Khattab said: “Criticize and appraise yourselves before you are criticized and appraised on the Day of Judgment, and weigh out your deeds, before they are weighed out for you.”
Almighty Allah reminds us: “On that Day will men proceed in groups, sorted out, to be shown their Deeds. Then shall anyone who has done an atom’s weight of good, see it! And anyone who has done an atom’s weight of evil, shall see it.” (Qur’an 99:6-8)