Believers Bring Themselves to Account (Muhasabah) Regularly!

A Moment with Our Prophet, Muhammad (S)

By Imam Zijad Delic

Day 263: Believers Bring Themselves to Account (Muhasabah) Regularly!

Narrated Shaddad ibn Aws (r) that the Prophet (S) said: “The wise person is one who holds himself/herself accountable and performs good deeds to prepare for what comes after death. The foolish person is one who gives into his/her lowly desires and merely hopes in Allah (have wishful thinking).”

عَنْ شَدَّادِ بْنِ أَوْسٍ عَنْ النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ قَالَ الْكَيِّسُ مَنْ دَانَ نَفْسَهُ وَعَمِلَ لِمَا بَعْدَ الْمَوْتِ وَالْعَاجِزُ مَنْ أَتْبَعَ نَفْسَهُ هَوَاهَا وَتَمَنَّى عَلَى اللَّهِ

Source: Tirmizi

Transliteration: “Al Kayyisu Man Dana Nafsahu Wa ‘Amila Ba’dal Mawt; Wal ‘Ajizu Man Atba’aNafsahu Hawaha Wa Tamanna ‘Alallahi.”

As we approach the end of 2021 year, it is expected from a wise and productive Muslim to subject himself/herself to the Muhasabah – self-evaluation, retrospection, self-assessment, self-accounting, reckoning and self inventory in all aspects of life – intentions, behaviors and actions.

It is necessary for a wise individual to pause at the end of each day that has passed, in order to check himself/herself and run through his or her achievements.

What has been done in the course of the day?

Why has he/she done it?

What has he/she omitted?

Why has he/she omitted it?

What could be learned?

How excellent it would be if this self-criticism or self-inventory or assessment were to take place before one retired to bed.

How excellent it would be if we applied this model of assessment every day, every week, every month or every year.

This period of self-criticism, self-inventory, assessment and appraisal would certainly be counted among our moments of progress and success in Duniya and the Akhirah!

Indeed, if we do so, it is a moment when we impartially sit as a judge over ourselves and review our own yearnings and inclinations, instincts and motivations.

It is a moment when believers appoint, out of the conviction, a policeman to watch over themselves, an investigator to probe themselves, and a judge to condemn or acquit themselves.

In this way we progress from the state of “the soul that incites to evil” to the state of “the self- reproaching soul” which reproaches its owner whenever he or she plunges into sin or falls short of expectation.

And this is all for the sake of us attaining the state of “the soul at peace.”

‘Umar ibn Al-Khattab (r) said, “Call yourselves to account before you yourself are called to it and weigh your deeds before the day when they shall be weighed for you.”

Hasan Al-Basri (r) said, “The true believer is a guardian of his own self and continuously calls his soul to account for the sake of Allah.

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.”

So, the essence of self-examination is when a believer pauses after having performed a deed and notices that he/she is negligent in a matter and then addresses himself/herself saying, “What did I intend with this deed? I swear by Allah that I will not be excused for it. I swear by Allah that I will never do it again, Insha Allah!”

Among the issues that desperately need self-examination in the view of intelligent people nowadays is the examination of one’s deeds at the end of the done task or a completion of a year.

This is a time when wise people will ask themselves difficult questions that need sincere and honest answers.

Self-examination after each act and every stage in our lives is vital if we want our affairs to be upright and proper and we wish to have a good ending.

If we all did this, then we would all have a great victory in this world and in the Hereafter.

Allah cautions the believers: “O you who believe! Be mindful of Allah. And let every soul look to what it has put forth for tomorrow – and be mindful of Allah. Indeed, Allah is acquainted with what you do.” (Al-Hashr 18)

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَلْتَنظُرْ نَفْسٌ مَّا قَدَّمَتْ لِغَدٍ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ إِنَّ اللَّهَ خَبِيرٌ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ

Examining oneself and calling oneself to account is evidence of one’s intelligence and aspiration for things that may lead one to happiness, success, contentment and lasting peace.

Thus, let us be mindful of Allah and covetously continue to examine ourselves sincerely!

Especially during these days when we are bidding farewell to our past year, resuming our duties and opening a new chapter in our lives at the beginning of 2022 in a few days.

We must inevitably reflect on what has passed, determine to rectify it and have a constructive plan for the remaining days and years of our lives.

Thus, Muhasabah is about assessing our own actions with total honesty!

When Muhasabah is done with sincerity and honesty, it becomes the pathway to the proper and genuine faith (Iman)!

Ya Rabb! Guide us to be among those who are honest with themselves and who will regularly bring themselves to account in Duniya before we will be brought to account in the Akhirah.!

Allahumma Amin!