How to Ensure You are Not Overdrawn on Your Bank Balance
Review Time – Where Do You Stand?
O you who have believed, be conscious of Allah. And let every soul see what it has sent forth for tomorrow – and be conscious of Allah. Indeed, Allah is aware of what you do. (59:18)
Allah Almighty is talking about the concept of time in this ayah. The importance of our lives when we consider them from the perspective of time.
What is on Your Balance Sheet?
When Allah Almighty says ‘Let every soul see what it has sent forth for the tomorrow’, He is asking what we have put in our akhirah bank account. Some of us have savings accounts – though I doubt it, these days! Nevertheless, we all have a bank account for the akhirah (hereafter), where we send our actions.
If our actions are good then Alhamdulillah, it is a very profitable account, but if the actions are bad, God forbid, then we will be punished for that.
Our lives are punctuated by beginnings and ends – the beginning of a month, year, school term or new job. And every good business has a special month when it reviews its accounts and its books, and check its balances, and see its profitability throughout the year.
We as individuals, as communities, as an ummah also have the opportunity to look back and reflect on our year. What did we do? Was it profitable and full of goodness on a personal level, on a community level, and on an ummah level? Or did it fall short?
Sometimes we might feel ashamed of some of our actions; we might feel ashamed of what happened in our communities, or in our ummah, so I think it’s the right time now to open these books and check.
Why do we need to do this review? Because it’s better doing this now than being held accountable in the akhirah for things we cannot change. At this moment in time, we have the chance, as long as we are breathing, to make some changes.
Going forward, we have hopes and aspirations. We have dreams. But before we look forward, let’s talk about the actions which we have done, and the deeds which we have sent forth for the tomorrow for the account in the akhirah.
So let’s talk about reality then, rather than talking about dreams, or about the future: how was our salah over the past year? Were we regular in our salah? How many salah did we miss intentionally? Or how many salah did we neglect? Let’s be honest with ourselves. Take a pen and paper and make an account for the salahs between you and Allah Almighty.
What have we done in our zakat? Did we pay our zakat? What have we done with our siyam? What have we done with our earnings (which are a bit difficult these days)? The Prophet (peace be upon him) mentions that we will be asked on the Day of Judgement, among many things, including our money: was it acquired from a halal or haram source? And, how did we spend it? Did we earn it from sources which were halal? Or from haram? Or from something doubtful?
The son of Adam will not pass away from Allah until he is asked about five things: how he lived his life, and how he utilized his youth, with what means did he earn his wealth, how did he spend his wealth, and what did he do with his knowledge. (Tirmidhi)
Let’s be honest with ourselves. How did we spend this money? Did we spend it in a halal way or a haram way? Have we wasted the money that Allah Almighty has given to us, or have we utilised it in the right way? Have we saved this money for a good cause, or for something which will not please Allah Almighty?
The list of questions is long, but we should fill it in.
How is your relationship with your parents? If you have parents, how do treat them? With respect, dignity, and obedience, or, with disrespect, and complaints and neglect, which is displeasing to Allah Almighty.
How is your relationship with your spouse? How is your relationship with your children? With your siblings? With your relatives? Do you still have conflicts flaring up in the family? Have you resolved these conflicts or are they still pending till the Day of Judgement? Sometimes it just takes you a few moments to pick up the phone and say ‘Asalamalaikum, I am sorry for what I have done.’ (Whether it was your fault, or even if it was not.) It will not decrease your level before Allah Almighty if you apologise and restore relationships.
What have we done with our relationships in the community? Have we put enough energy into our community to support it? To help the needy, the poor?
Have we put our energy enough in the right channels to support goodness? Am I part of the solution in the community, or part of the problem in the community?
What Good Have You Earned?
And what about our relationships with Allah Almighty in the first place, not just with regards to salah, it’s the level of ihsan (excellence) that the Prophet (peace be upon him) talked about in the very long hadith of Jibreel. Am I observing Allah Almighty in whatever I’m doing, or planning to do? In my actions? In my words? How many good things do I recall doing over the past year? Some people may say ‘Alhamdulillah, I have done plenty of things.’ Okay, name ten things, ‘Um, you know I forgot.’ If you can’t list them, then it is a problem.
What Mistakes Have You Made?
How many bad things have you done? I’m not asking you to publicise this on the web – this is between you and Allah Almighty. We need to check our actions; and acknowledge the things we did wrong. Then, the way to move forward is to seek Allah Almighty’s forgiveness, or people’s forgiveness if it was related to them. And try to move on and pick yourself up and move on. Make taubah (repent sincerely), and not go back to that.
This is on the individual community level, what about the ummah level?
The Prophet (peace be upon him) loved optimism, and he encouraged people to be optimistic- we also see this in the Qur’an, which is always looking forward to tomorrow, for the change and this is the part where aspirations, and dreams come, where hopes come. But they have to be rooted in a solid foundation. Allah Almighty will not give our ummah respect unless they connect back to Him and we’ve seen this with our own eyes. Alhamdulillah people are choosing Islam, and they are longing for change. Sadly, we still see many people suffering, many fatalities and casualties and prisoners and so on and so forth.
We ask Allah Almighty to shower his mercy upon all the martyrs (shuhada) of this ummah and ask Allah Almighty to strengthen us to be good citizens, to be optimistic, productive and accountable in everything we do and everything we say. Because, our life is an accumulation of time, every day we lose, we are losing a part of our life – and we might not even see tomorrow. Who knows? Allah Almighty. So let’s do this accountancy business between us and Allah Almighty and gear our accounts and pay our debts and let’s start a new page-full of hopes, full of new aspirations, new covenants with Allah Almighty we will be better this year than the last year insha’allah. So, let’s hope these clouds which cover the horizon of the ummah will disappear insha’allah, and the bloodshed will stop insha’allah, and the dignity of respect for every single human will come back to our ummah insha’allah, and we have the opportunity to lead again as we were leading before, but it needs every single energy in this ummah– we shouldn’t be just spectators, sitting and listening and watching, no. We should be the makers of the future, not just the watchers of the future, and every one of us should be that productive person who contributes something good to this community insha’allah, starting from himself, his family, his community and so on and so forth.
So, let’s be more optimistic than any other year that we have witnessed, and let’s be more hopeful inshaallah that the future is better than the past and this is possible insha’allah, and it will be better than yesterday, tomorrow.
The one last thing that I hope is that the so called leaders who are leading the atrocities in the ummah, definitely not all of them, but the tyrants and oppressors , I hope that they will learn their lesson, but sometimes as Allah Almighty in the Qur’an, they have eyes but they cannot see, ears but cannot hear, hearts but they cannot comprehend. Just leave, and let people live with liberty and respect. We still cling to hopes and ask Allah Almighty that they leave and stop with the bloodshed and atrocities in the ummah. So we ask Allah Almighty to protect our ummah. Ameen
Khutbah delivered by Shaykh Haytham Tamim at the Muslim World League Office London 20th December 2011
Transcribed by Sana Zuberi
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