by Khawlah Bint Yahya
It was night time.
He whipped his right foot and said to it, “What have you done today?”
Who was this?
He was one of our great role models— the companion Umar ibn al-Khattab.
Bring Yourself to Account!
Bringing yourself to account is called muhasabah in Arabic. And we will all get the hisaab (the account) of all that we did in this life on the Day of Judgement.
Umar ibn al-Khattab radiyallahu ‘anhu said in one of his most powerful statements:
“Bring yourself to account before you are taken to account (on the Day of Judgement),” and, “Weigh your deeds before your deeds are weighed.” (“Hasibu anfusakum qabla antuhasabu, wazinu anfusakum qabla antuzanu.”)
This issue of questioning yourself and bringing yourself to account was practiced by the salaf (predecessors) of our Ummah. Many of the sahaaba would make up the account for themselves at the end of each day, repenting for the wrong they did and determining to do better the next day.
Start of the New Year
This week the Islamic year will end and a new year will start. This is an excellent opportunity for us to look back at the past year and, more importantly, look at how we can set new goals for the new year ahead, insha’Allah!
Hasan al-Basri (rahimahullaah) said, “You will never meet a believer except that he brings himself to account.”
How Can You Bring Yourself to Account?
Before we look at some examples of goals we can set this year, let’s look at the benefits of muhasabah— bringing yourself to account before the Day of Judgement.
- Bring yourself to account before an action.
Before you do something, pause and ask yourself: Is this action pleasing to Allah [swt] or not pleasing to Allah [swt]? Hasan al-Basri said, “May Allah have mercy upon the slave who pauses at the thought of doing an action, and, if the action was for the sake of Allah, he proceeds; and if it was for other than the sake of Allah, he abstains.”
- Bring yourself to account after an action.
After you perform an action, ask yourself: Why did I do this? Did I do it to seek Allah [swt] and the Hereafter or did I do it to seek the worldly life?
The most dangerous thing is being too relaxed, paying no mind to checking on your intentions and actions. Shaytan fools us when we don’t bring themselves to account and therefore miss so many opportunities to better ourselves and reach our goals in life!
Don’t shut your eyes at the result— rather imagine your success if you can just bring yourself to account for every deed.
Examples of Goals: Three Study Goals Plus Three Character Goals
I’ve heard statements like: “I have been yelling at my parents for far too long now”, “I have been wanting to learn Arabic for months now, but don’t know where to start”, and “I really want to read more Quran, but I don’t seem to get to it.”
This is your chance.
1. Set three goals for this year. You can set three “study goals”, that is goals involving gaining Islamic knowledge, and three “character goals”, 0r ways in which you would like to improve your character.
2. Write these three goals down on a card. Keep this card on your desk.
My Three Study Goals:
By the end of the year, insha’Allah:
- I will understand 50% of the Quran in Arabic.
- I will have memorized Juz ‘Amma (the last part of the Quran).
- I will have memorized the 99 Names of Allah [swt] with their meanings.
My Three Character Goals:
- Anger: When I get angry with my parents I will apologize straight away.
- Gossip: When I want to say something about someone else I will first ask myself: Would I like it if someone said that about me?
- Generosity: I will spend one hour a week doing a good deed for someone else.
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Looking forward to being inspired!
The Understand Quran Academy Team
PS: Learn 50% of the Quran in just 9 hours!