Self reproach during Ramadan
The one who ponders upon the essence of this life, will realize that its pleasure is nothing but a test and that it is continuous suffering and grief. People are always wondering what will happen to them next and thus live a life of uncertainty.
The one who becomes inclined towards it will continually feel insecure and it will result in his humiliation … it will betray anyone who places his trust in it … it will forsake anyone who relies upon it … it will turn down anyone who seeks its support … it will sadden anyone who rejoices for possessing it.
The one who is heedless will lose his time in vain, and will regret it later on. What is more sorrowful than one whose own life becomes a witness against him? What could be worse than the one whose days have recorded in them deeds that would lead to his misery and punishment?
Do we ever think about death and its agonies? How severe are its sufferings? How scary is the moment of the departure of the soul? It was said that death is more difficult than being hit with the sword, being sliced by a saw and being cut into pieces by metal clippers.
O you deceived with this life!
Remember death and its bitterness … death does not fear anyone … death does not skip anyone … it does not feel merciful towards the one whose time has come. Allah Says (what means): “Every soul will taste death” [Quran 3 185].
Remember that there is no difference between young and old, eminent and humble or rich and poor.
Remember that all people will lie in a whole of dust … their company are worms … they will all be questioned by the two angels Munkar and Nakeer.
Remember that all people will have the grave as the transit place in their journey towards the Hereafter to the final destination of Hell or Paradise.
Remember that the one who realizes these facts should have nothing else busying his mind and occupying his thinking except how he should prepare for this moment and how to attain the provisions to take on this journey.
Remember the darkness of the grave … Remember the narrowness of the grave … Remember the lonesomeness of the grave.
Remember that this narrow dark place will contain the ruins of all the dead, whether kings or slaves … it is either a sample of Paradise or a pit of Fire.
How strange is the case of the disobedient people who realize that they are heading towards their graves yet remain heedless?
No one will be of any help … no companion … no wife … no children … no friends … no relatives. The only companion is ones deeds.
Imagine yourself three days after your death in your grave … you will be left lying in dust without any of your beloved ones around, and nothing can be of any assistance except your good deeds … what would you find awaiting you? Send them forth so that you can find them then, when you need them the most.
Remember the time when the trumpet will be blown.
Remember the time of resurrection.
Remember the time when everyone’s record of deeds will be exposed.
Remember the time when you stand in front of Allah for account; when He will ask you about every minor and major act.
Remember the time when the precise measuring scale will weigh your deeds.
Remember the time when you will have to pass over the Siraat (i.e. the bridge over Hellfire).
Remember that on that day, the outcome will be either Hell or Paradise … so you chose for yourself.
Imagine yourself being resurrected astonished with the terrifying scene … people all around you terrified … they stand with humility and fear awaiting to find out their destiny … standing for a long day; a day as long as fifty thousand years … they will be suffering the heat of the sun that will be commanded to draw closer to people … everyone around you naked … how will your situation be?
Allah Says (what means): “On the Day We will gather the righteous to the Most Merciful as a delegation. And will drive the criminals to Hell in thirst” [Quran 19: 85-86].
At that time, all that was from the knowledge of the unseen and unknown will become reality, and people will be in two groups, those destined to Paradise, and those destined to Hell.
Did you ever sit alone and reproach yourself for what you have said and done? Did you ever try to count your sins and shortcomings? Did you ever reflect on the way you perform your acts of worship to see how much of it is mixed with showing off? How can you feel at ease whilst your road to the Hereafter is surrounded with danger? How will your situation be when you are brought forth to meet Allah with all these sins and shortcomings?
Allah Says (what means): “O you who have believed, fear Allah. And let every soul look to what it has put forth for tomorrow — and fear Allah. Indeed, Allah is Acquainted with what you do.” [Quran 59: 18]
Abu Barzah may Allah be pleased with him, reported that the Messenger of Allah, , said: “Man's feet will not move on the Day of Resurrection before he is asked about his life, how did he consume it, his knowledge, what did he do with it, his wealth, how did he earn it and how did he dispose of it, and about his body, how did he wear it out.” [At-Tirmithi].
‘Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, said: “Call yourself to account, before you are called to account; weigh your deeds before it gets weighed for you; and prepare yourselves for the great exhibition.”
Invest in your health before you become ill … Invest in your free time before you become busy … Invest in your wealth before you become poor … Invest in your life before you die … live in this life as if a stranger who is passing by a town … when you wake up in the morning do not expect to live until the evening … if you live until the evening do not expect to wake up in the morning.
This great month of Ramadan is approaching you after a long wait; it came bringing all kinds of good and glad tidings; during it mercy descends and sins are forgiven and pardon is granted; the gates of Paradise are opened, the gates of the Hellfire are sealed and the devils are chained … so will you utilize this opportunity and take advantage of this great chance?
Take advantage of this month to hold yourself to account and practice self reproach … it is the right time for one to rectify the ruined relation with his Lord and open a new page in his life … it is a good chance to return to Allah and rush towards Him.
You must sit with yourself in seclusion every once in a while and reproach yourself and hold yourself to account … Start with the obligatory matters and make up the shortage in them … Refrain from any sin you are committing, like severing ties with kinfolk, lying, backbiting, gazing at things that are forbidden, and so forth … Sincerely repent from all the sins you have committed, and express your regret to your Lord and supplicate for His forgiveness and weep … Rush to performing good deeds to make up for what you have missed out on.
Before doing anything hold yourself to account as to why do you want to do it and what do you intend? For whose sake will you do it? How will you do it and will it be in accordance to the way of the Prophet, or not? What will you benefit from doing it?
When one asks himself these questions, he will always be alert and controlling himself … this is the only way towards winning the eternal happiness and success, as Allah Says (what means): “And whoever obeys Allah and His Messenger and fears Allah and is conscious of Him — it is those who are the Successful.” [Quran 24: 52]