[By Shaykh-ul-Hadīth, Hadrat Mawlānā Muhammad Saleem Dhorat hafizahullāh]
Having just completed a year, the ‘New Year’ is seen and heard all around us. However, the question remains as to what should be a Muslim’s take on these events.
Upon the passing of a year, the common trend is to celebrate; people have birthday parties, wedding anniversaries, etc. However, in certain spheres this is not the case; take the example of a businessman who at the end of the (financial) year will first take stock of the past year. He will meticulously go through the accounts of the past year taking into account every single penny. He will check to see if he made a profit, and if so then how can he make more in the coming year. He will check his expenses: where did he spend his money? Can he make further savings? All of this is done so that he can make the coming year more profitable than the one that has passed.
This should be the case at the end of the year in every Muslim’s life for we too have been sent to this world as businessmen with the commodity of time; which is life. We will have to one day give account for every second in the Court of Allāh ta‘ālā, when our books of deeds shall be presented.
We will bring forth a book for him that he will find wide open, (and We will say to him) ‘Read your book. Enough are you today to take your own account.’ [Qur’an 17:13-14]
Sayyidunā ‘Umar radhiyallāhu ‘anhu, emphasising the same, says:
Take stock of your own lives before Allāh ta‘ālā reckons you. And assess yourself before you are assessed by Allāh ta‘ālā. And prepare yourselves for the great summoning.
It is our belief that on the Day of Judgement, Allāh ta‘ālā will reckon us for everything that we did in the world.
On the day when everybody shall find present before him whatever good he did and whatever evil he did, he will wish there would have been a wide space between him and that (day). [Qur’an 3:30]
No matter how minute or trivial an act we did, we will find that it is present in our book of deeds.
So, whoever does any good act (even) to the weight of a particle will see it. And whoever does evil (even) to the weight of a particle will see it. [Qur’an 99:7-8]
This will be to the extent that in awe people will say:
‘Woe to us! What a book is this! It has missed nothing, minor or major, but has taken it into account.’ Thus they will find whatever they did present before them, and your Lord will not wrong anyone. [Qur’an 18:49]
We need to keep this reality in mind and spend our lives with regular reflection on our actions with Murāqabah and Muhāsabah.
Murāqabah means to supervise and oversee oneself to ensure that he/she stays away from disobediences to Allāh ta‘ālā and spends every moment seeking the Pleasure of Allāh ta‘ālā.
Muhāsabah means taking account of one’s activities at the end of the day, week and year; and thanking Allāh ta‘ālā for the ability to have performed any good actions and seeking forgiveness for any sins one may have committed. Inshā’allāh, if this is adhered to, then we will see a great change in our lives. We will find ourselves spending every second of our lives with great care.
The end of a year is a time to reflect and say to yourself, ‘Another year from my precious life has passed. Who knows how many more years, if any, I have remaining?’ Let us spend them in those avenues that bring the pleasure of Allāh ta‘ālā and stay away from those things that bring His displeasure, so that we can meet Allāh ta‘ālā in a state that He is pleased with us.