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Islam and Taking account of oneself or Self-Appraisal (Muhasebe)

Islam and Taking account of oneselfAccounting is a characteristic found in human nature, irrespective of his country, ancestry, community or religion. Man is always preoccupied about things that shall benefit or harm him; he is always worried about his future, his wealth, property and about other things. His mind is always analyzing his strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.

Accounting is of various kinds. Generally, man takes an account of those things that are related to this temporary world. At such times, he forgets that there is someone else too, who is taking (his) account and whose rewards are everlasting. He is so absorbed in the accounting of this colourful and attractive world, that he has forgotten the terrifying accounting that shall take place in the grave or the impartial accounting of the Day of Mahshar (Day of Gathering on the Last Judgment). Man is busy in finding faults in others. He forgets to take account of himself and see how much he is immersed in sins and how many flaws lie within his own self.

Rather, man should make his own self so strong and powerful, that it becomes his advisor. The 'self' of man should exhort him towards all obligatory acts and refrain him from committing all prohibited acts. Today, so much time is being wasted in backbiting, accusing others, watching television and committing other sins. Man must realize that everything will be accounted for. The way you trained your children, the way you spent your money, whether you have usurped any one's right, even if it is a material right, to the extent that even if you have done good or evil of the size of a mustard seed, it will be accounted for. The Day of Judgment is also referred to as 'The Day of Lamenting'. As Allah (SWT) mention in Noble Qur'an: Whether you show what is in your mind or conceal it, Allah is well aware of that and will call you to, account therefore. (2:284)

It is for this very reason that Holy Prophet Mohammad (saw) has narrated, "Take account (of your deeds) yourself before you are taken account of (by Allah [SWT])". Bihar al-Anwar

In the Wasiyyah (will) of Holy Prophet Mohammad (saw) to his companion (Sahabah) Abu Dharr al-Ghifari (ra), Holy Prophet Mohammad (saw) says:

Oh Abu Dharr! Take account of yourself before you're taken account of so your accounting will be easier tomorrow. And weigh yourself before you are weighed and prepare for the great staging; the day you will be presented, not the least of a hidden thing of you will be hidden from Allah (SWT).

Another companion (Sahabah) Abdullah Bin Mas'ud (ra) narrated that Holy Prophet Mohammad (saw) said, "A man shall be asked concerning five things on the day of resurrection: concerning his life, how he spent it; concerning his youth, how he grew old; concerning his wealth, whence he acquired it, and in what way he spent it; and what was it that he did with the knowledge that he had." (Tirmidhi 5197)

Take account of yourself before the weighing scale is established. And be prepared for a great accounting. Just as man carries a watch in order to keep track of time, in the same manner, he should assign a watch for himself that will keep a track of his daily activities. He should check everyday the actions that are beneficial to him and the actions that harm him. Every night when we lie down on the bed, we should analyze our entire day and scrutinize each and every of our actions. 'What did we eat?' 'What did we earn?' 'Did we commit any sin?' At the same time we should also remember about the Day of Qiyamat (day of resurrection). If we find that we have performed good actions, then we should praise Allah (SWT) and if we find that we have performed bad actions, then we should seek forgiveness from Him and resolve not to repeat them.

It was asked from Imam Ali (as): How should a person take account of himself?

Imam Ali (as) replied: When a person ends his day, then he should turn towards himself and say 'O self! This day that has passed will not return. Allah (SWT) will ask you about how you wasted your day. He will ask you about the actions you performed, whether you remembered Him and praised Him? Whether you fulfilled a right of your fellow believer? Did you remove a difficulty that befell upon a believer? Did you protect his children in his absence? Did you safeguard his rights after his death? Did you - on account of your position - prevent anyone from backbiting your believing brother? Did you help any Muslim throughout the day?

Thus every man should ponder over his actions that he has performed during the day. If he finds that he has done good actions, then he should praise Allah (SWT) for giving him the opportunity (Taufeeq). But if he finds that he has committed sins, then he should seek forgiveness from Allah (SWT) and make a firm intention that he shall not repeat that act again.

Then let us be strict with ourselves every time we account for ourselves, just as a master is strict with his slave, or as a partner takes account of another partner. So account of yourself before your account is taken which will be so severe that there shall be no scope for rectification.

Islam and Self-Appraisal (Muhasebe)

Islam and Self-Appraisal (Muhasebe)Imam Musa al-Kazim (as) says: Whosoever does not appraise his actions daily, is not from us. That is, he should evaluate and see that if he has done a good deed, he should ask more of the same from Allah (SWT), and if he has done any sin, he should seek forgiveness from Allah (SWT) and return to Him in penitence.

Holy Prophet Mohammad (saw) said to his companion (Sahabah) Abu Dharr al-Ghifari (ra):

Oh Abu Dharr! A human being would not be among the God-wary (Muttaqin) until he appraises himself every day with greater [scrutiny and] accuracy than [one] appraising his financial partner, and he knows where his food has come from, the source of his drink, and from where has he procured his dress; He should know whether they are from lawful or unlawful means.

Holy Prophet Mohammad (saw) said: "An intelligent person is the one who calls himself to account and and does deeds to benefit him after death and a foolish person is he who follows his desires and hopes from Allah (SWT)."

Holy Prophet Mohammad (saw) said: "He whose two days (of life) are the same (making no spiritual progress) is at loss."

Imam Ali (as) said, If your two days are similar, then you are in loss.

Time for Self-Appraisal (Before final evaluation by immediate/Super Boss):

A little boy went into a drug store, reached for a soda carton and pulled it over to the telephone. He climbed onto the carton so that he could reach the buttons on the phone and proceeded to punch in seven digits (phone numbers).

The Store owner observed and listened to the conversation:

Boy: "Lady, Can you give me the job of cutting your lawn?"

Woman (at the other end of the phone line): "I already have someone to cut my lawn."

Boy: "Lady, I will cut your lawn for half the price of the person who cuts your lawn now."

Woman: "I'm very satisfied with the person who is presently cutting my lawn."

Boy (with more perseverance): "Lady, I'll even sweep your curb and your sidewalk, so on Sunday you will have the prettiest lawn in all of Palm beach, Florida."

Woman: "No, thank you."

With a smile on his face, the little boy replaced the phone receiver. The Store owner, who was listening to all this, walked over to the boy.

Store owner: "Son... I like your attitude; I like that positive spirit and would like to offer you a job."

Boy: "No thanks."

Store owner: "But you were really pleading for one."

Boy: "No Sir, I was just checking my performance at the job I already have. I am the one who is working for that lady, I was talking to!"

This is what we call "Self-Appraisal (Muhasebe)", which is highly recommended, because it encourages you to be proud of your accomplishments and candid about your weaknesses.

Have you checked the performance of your job, whatever it is? Do you strive to make it perfect? This is what we call "Self Appraisal". Even the word 'IMPOSSIBLE' says 'I M POSSIBLE'.

Noble Qur'an: "And you see the mountains, which you suppose to be stationery, while they drift like passing clouds. It is the handiwork of Allah, Who has made everything PERFECT." (An-Naml 27:88)

Holy Prophet Mohammad (saw) said, "May Allah bless the person who performs a job with precision and perfects it". Allah is Perfect and likes those who strive to make things perfect.

Islam and Self-Judgment and Self-Control

Islam and Self-JudgmentAyatulla Agha Haji Mirza Mahdi Pooya says this state of cautiousness and precaution is Taqwa, the highest form of God mindedness.

Self-Judgment is to call oneself to account every day regarding the good deeds and wrongdoings. If the scale of acts of obedience overweighs that of acts of disobedience, we must thank Allah (SWT), lest we must discipline ourselves.

Self-Control stands for protecting oneself against breach of the obligatory religious rites and the commitment of the forbidden.

It is necessary for the rational to train himself on self-judgment and self-control, since all human souls are susceptible to evil. If they are neglected, they go away from the right, but if they are controlled by means of guidance, they shine with virtues:

"... And (I swear) by the soul and that (Power) which designed it and inspired it with knowledge of evil and piety, those who purify their souls will certainly have everlasting happiness and those who corrupt their souls will certainly be deprived of happiness." Noble Qur'an (91:7-10)

Holy Prophet Mohammad (saw) said: "Before you do a matter that you intend, you should investigate its end result; if it is good, you then should keep on. If not, you should not do it."

Imam Ali (as) related: When he received the warriors that he had appointed for a campaign, Holy Prophet Mohammad (saw) said to them: "Welcome to the people who performed successfully the minor Jihad. Their mission now is to perform completely the major Jihad. The major Jihad is self-control. The best form of Jihad is to strive one's desires and whims."

Self-Confidence that gave him the power:

A business executive was deep in debt and could see no way out. Creditors were closing in on him. Suppliers were demanding payment. He sat on the Park bench, head in hands, wondering if anything could save his company from bankruptcy.

Suddenly an old man appeared before him. "I can see that something is troubling you," he said. After listening to the executive's woes, the old man said, "I believe I can help you." He asked the man his name, wrote out a check, and pushed it into his hand saying, "Take this money. Meet me here exactly one year from today, and you can pay me back at that time." Then he turned and disappeared as quickly as he had come.

The business executive saw in his hand a check for $500,000, signed by John D. Rockefeller, then one of the richest men in the world! "I can erase my money worries in an instant!" he realized. But instead, the executive decided to put the un-cashed check in his safe. Just knowing it was there might give him the strength to work out a way to save his business, he thought.

With renewed optimism, he negotiated better deals and extended terms of payment. He closed several big sales. Within a few months, he was out of debt and making money once again. Exactly one year later, he returned to the park with the un-cashed check. At the agreed-upon time, the old man appeared. But just as the executive was about to hand back the check and share his success story, a nurse came running up and grabbed the old man.

"I'm so glad I caught him!" she cried. "I hope he hasn't been bothering you. He's always escaping from the rest home and telling people he's John D. Rockefeller." And she led the old man away by the arm. The astonished executive just stood there, stunned. All year long he had been wheeling and dealing, buying and selling, convinced he had half a million dollars behind him.

Suddenly, he realized that it wasn't the money, real or imagined, that had turned his life around. It was his newfound self-confidence that gave him the power to achieve anything he went after.

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Islamic Moral Stories is designed by Akramulla Syed Last Updated: Thursday, December 14, 2017