Shaykh Abd ar-Razzaq al-Abbaad:
All Praise is Due to Allah the Lord of the Universe; He is Alone; He has not partners; and I bear witness that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His slave and messenger. May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, his family and his companions.
As to what follows:
“يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَلْتَنظُرْ نَفْسٌ مَّا قَدَّمَتْ لِغَدٍ ۖ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ خَبِيرٌ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ”
“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.” [59:18]
This verse is a great principle in the matter of holding the soul accountable, and that it is obligatory upon the slave that he takes account for himself and that he looks at what he has prepared for tomorrow before Allah takes account of him on the Day of Judgement. For verily, it is from goodness for the slave that he looks at his actions and to what he has prepared for the meeting with his Lord. Are they righteous, obedient, purified actions and distant from the prohibited actions and evil acts, such [that] it pleases him to meet His Lord with that? Or are they affairs which enrage and anger Allah, and [that] make permissible upon him the punishment [of Allah]?
So he looks at what he has prepared for tomorrow. And he is [continuously] remembering that day, and [continuously] remembering the standing in front of Allah, and [continuously] remembering the taking of account [by Allah] and the presentation of the deeds. And that all that he has done will come present, written, and inscribed in a book.
“وَوُضِعَ الْكِتَابُ فَتَرَى الْمُجْرِمِينَ مُشْفِقِينَ مِمَّا فِيهِ وَيَقُولُونَ يَا وَيْلَتَنَا مَالِ هَٰذَا الْكِتَابِ لَا يُغَادِرُ صَغِيرَةً وَلَا كَبِيرَةً إِلَّا أَحْصَاهَا ۚ وَوَجَدُوا مَا عَمِلُوا حَاضِرًا ۗ وَلَا يَظْلِمُ رَبُّكَ أَحَدًا”
“And the record [of deeds] will be placed [open], and you will see the criminals fearful of that within it, and they will say, “Oh, woe to us! What is this book that leaves nothing small or great except that it has enumerated it?” And they will find what they did present [before them]. And your Lord does injustice to no one.“ [18:49]
On the Day of Judgement the Lord will say:
“O My servants, these deeds of yours which I am recording for you I shall reward you for them, so he who finds good should praise Allah and he who finds other than that should not blame anyone but himself.” [Muslim]
Is it not appropriate of the slave, while the matter is like that, that the taking of account should be now?!
“..so he who finds good should praise Allah and he who finds other than that should not blame anyone but himself.”
Is it not from appropriateness that this should be during the period of the action?! If he finds good he praises Allah for what He has made easy and has assisted [in], and if he finds other than that he rectifies himself. On the Day of Judgement Allah will say:
“..[he] should not blame anyone but himself.”
Because he has no chance for rectifying, for acting, for repentance and turning back [to Allah]. But if he takes himself to account now and looks at his actions, if he finds good he should praise Allah, and if he finds other than that then he should rectify himself. As for on the Day of Judgement if he finds other than that he should not blame anyone but himself because there is no chance, not for repentance nor for turning back [to Allah] nor for returning to this life a second time to do righteousness, [which is] other than what he used to do.
And in this meaning, Umar – may Allah be pleased with him – says:
“Hold yourself accountable before you are held accountable, weigh yourselves before you are weighed, and be prepared for the biggest gathering before He Whose knowledge encompasses your deeds, (That Day shall you be brought to Judgement, not a secret of yours will be hidden [69:18]).”
Taking account of the soul, as the scholars have clarified, is of two types:
1. Taking account after the action
2. Taking account before the action
As for the accounting which is [done] after the action:
It is that the slave looks at that which has passed from his actions, and that which has come forth from his deeds, and that which he will be held accountable for by his Lord. He looks at his past actions in his life. Are they upon obedience and appropriateness? Or are they upon disobedience and deviation? Or is he mixing between that? So he looks at the elapsed from his actions, and everything which has passed the slave will be held accountable for on the Day of Judgement. Everything which he has brought forth, the slave will be held accountable for. But in the Shari’ah (Legislation) of Islam, Allah has favoured upon us with a great and blessed thing, it is none other than the matter of Tawbah (repentance). And our Prophet – sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam – informed us that repentance demolishes what was before it. And he – sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam – informed us that regret is repentance. So he should look at his past actions, if they were pure, righteous, upright, upon the obedience of Allah, then he should praise Allah. And if in them there was disobedience and transgression, the negligence in regards to the Right of Allah, then he should repent.
“قُلْ يَا عِبَادِيَ الَّذِينَ أَسْرَفُوا عَلَىٰ أَنفُسِهِمْ لَا تَقْنَطُوا مِن رَّحْمَةِ اللَّهِ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَغْفِرُ الذُّنُوبَ جَمِيعًا ۚ إِنَّهُ هُوَ الْغَفُورُ الرَّحِيمُ”
“Say, “O My servants who have transgressed against themselves [by sinning], do not despair of the mercy of Allah. Indeed, Allah forgives all sins. Indeed, it is He who is the Forgiving, the Merciful.” [39:10]
“..do not despair..” – meaning: do not despair, for Allah accepts [the] repentance however big the sin [reaches] and immense the crime [is]. For He forgives those who ask for forgiveness. So a truthful repentance to Allah, and a sincere repentance from every sin is better than the slave meeting Allah with his huge sins and many disobediences.
The second type of taking account is before the action:
It is looking at the action that he will carry out. He does not take a step nor motion in a direction except that it is in agreement in its way [the way of the action he will carry out]. As some of the Salaf have said: “From the understanding of a man is his food, his drink, and his walk.” That he understands that which he steps towards and that which he puts forth from action. Is it legislated which is authorized or is it prohibited? He does not befriend whoever he wants, he does not eat whatever he wants and he does not do whatever he wants, and verily all of that is only weighted upon the scale of the Legislation. So he takes himself to account upon the action before he does it so that his actions are weighed on the scale of the Legislation of Allah so there is agreement in it [the action] with the Prophet – sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam.
I ask Allah al-Kareem the Lord of the Great ‘Arsh, by His Good Names and High Attributes, that he rectifies for all of us all of our affairs. And that He does not leave us to take care of ourselves even for a blink of an eye. Oh Allah give our souls its Taqwa, and purify it, you are the Best of who purifies it, you are its Wali’ and Mawla.
And Allah knows best. And may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon the Messenger of Allah.”