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Your Aakhirah Bank Account: How is your savings ?

Assalam Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barkatuh.

First of all, I will begin by narrating a part of my sweet childhood, and at the same time, I must confess that, it is the same memory that inspired me to write on this topic.

When I was much younger – between the age of 6 and 9, I used to keep several 20 leaves notebooks one after the other; my mum happily bought them for me.

What i used those notebooks for, I supposed amused her and really made her not only willing but happy to get them for me. I remember vividly the glow on her beautiful face whenever I asked for one.

I would use my pencil to write both my good and bad deeds in them. Good deeds like praying many units of salah that I became dizzy and also when I prayed two weeks salah in advance that I became nauseated and sick. My bad deeds like when I fought with my little sister and made mum upset and when I pinched the powdered milk and sugar from the cupboard to hide and lick!

Another thing is, I’d use my eraser to clean as many of my bad deeds as possible whenever I said Istighfaar or Subhanallahi wa bi Hamdihi. I’d still erase my bad deeds whenever for example, I talked about my bully cousin behind his back and then sought his forgiveness. I’d imagine Raqeeb and Ateed writing and cleaning my record books as I did mine.

Now that months have transmuted into years and years into over a decade, I wonder, with keen curiosity if any of you that did something like this still do it because I don’t! Sadly enough.

The point here is, as adults, we mustn’t write down our deeds as we did as kids because we are assumed to have more powerful and mature brains that can calculate, and ponder deeply. Therefore, the least we can do is keep an estimate by heart.

What do we center on while elaborating on one’s Akhira Bank Account?

To my understanding, basically, we’ll be talking of two things that this topic consists of; our Books of Deeds and the Balance of Scales on the day of Qiyamah.

As we all very well know, in this Dunya, there are two angels Raqeeb and Ateed, on our left and right sides respectively – one writing our good, the other our bad deeds . And on the day of Qiyamah, these two books will be presented to us by Allah and He will further set up scales to weigh our deeds and to demonstrate His perfect Justice –May He be glorified!

In the verses of the Qur’an and traditions of the Prophet (SAW), the fact that a scale would be established in order to weigh the good and bad deeds of people has been explained. Weighing of deeds is an Islamic principle and it is a part of accounting.

The Qur’an says:

وَنَضَعُ الْمَوَزِينَ الْقِسْطَ لِيَوْمِ الْقِيَمَةِ فَلَا تُظْلَمُ نَفْسٌ شَيْئاً وَ إِن كَانَ مِثْقَالَ حَبَّةٍ مِّنْ خَرْدَلٍ أَتَيْنَا بِهَا وَكَفَى‏ بِنَا حَسِبِينَ

And We will set up a just balance on the day of resurrection, so no soul shall be dealt with unjustly in the least; and though there be the weight of a grain of mustard seed, (yet) will We bring it, and sufficient are We to take account. (21:47)

The word Mizan (Balance) is an instrument of determining the heaviness and the lightness of our deeds. He, whose Mizan is heavy with good deeds is among the victorious. May Allah make us from among them. Ameen!

Al-Qurtubi said:

“When the Reckoning is completed, then people’s deeds will be weighed, because the weighing has to do with reward and punishment. So it is apt that it should come after the Reckoning. The Reckoning is to evaluate the deeds, and the weighing is to determine the amount of reward or punishment.”

Knowing this; do you ponder over your deeds? Do you evaluate them? Do you keep an estimate of them? Do you assume yourself as a judge in your own case?

If you don’t, then you may want to begin with that. But if you do, I say maa shaa Allah for you because you have a headway.

The next set of questions that follow are; how well do you think you are doing? How often have you doomed your nafs by your own hands and how often have you deeply felt you passed with flying colors?

Going by the above setting, below are a few ways to keep our akhirah bank account away from bankruptcy.

First, and most importantly, is your Tauheed! (Theology- the indivisible oneness concept of monotheism in Islam).

Tauheed matters more than you think. Al-Tirmithi, among other scholars, reported a Hadith narrated by Abdullah ibn ‘Amr ibn Al-‘As –May Allah be pleased with him and his father (Amr)– where Prophet Muhammad – May Allah’s Salat and Peace be upon him – said:

“Allah will salvage a man from among my Ummah in the presence of all creatures on Resurrection Day. He will unfold for him ninety-nine registers where his sins had been recorded; the size of each register reaches the horizon. Then, Allah –to Whom belong all might and majesty– says: ‘Has any of my angel scribes (who minutely record human deeds) been unfair to you?’ The man says: ‘No, O Lord!’ Then, Allah says: ‘Do you have any excuse?’ The man replies: ‘No, O Lord!’ Allah says: ‘Oh yes! You have a good deed in Our registers. There is definitely no injustice today! Then, a card is brought forth to the man, on which is written: ‘I bear witness that there is no deity except Allah and I bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.’ The man says: ‘What can this card do in front of all these registers?’ Then, the card will be placed on one plate of the scales while all the registers of the bad deeds will be placed on the other. So, the registers will be ejected out and the card will weigh heavily, for nothing can outweigh the name of Allah, the Almighty.”

Allahu Akbar!

Note that the two shahadas that have outweighed this servant’s multitudes of sins and have weighed heavily on his scales on Resurrection Day are not ‘mere shahada’ like the shahada of the story of the Shaikh and the parrot. This is effective because the servant uttered them wholeheartedly with full dedication to Allah; he did not commit actions which contradicted or breached them, such as supplicating to or worshipping any other divinity except Allah, believing in sorcery and fortune-telling, or being a slave to anybody else except Allah.

Second, equally very important, is the concept of sincerity of intent.

A sincere intention can convert a small deed into an enormous reward that will weigh heavier than many deeds; so, it is on you to ask yourself before and after you do anything if you will do it or did it only for the sake of Allah. If yes, you may go on and do it or be grateful to Allah if you did it already. If the above is not the case, do stop yourself and if it’s already a done deed, seek for Allah’s forgiveness. However, in case you feel the need to do that particular act then put it at the back of your mind that your act will not be beneficial to you, it would not fatten your akhirah account in any way (that is if your act does not amount to Riyaa (show off) which is a minor shirk, or other heinous crimes. And if it does then it will only increase one’s bad deeds).

Allah subhanaHu wa ta’ala says in Surah Aal-e-Imran, Verse 30:

يَوْمَ تَجِدُ كُلُّ نَفْسٍ مَّا عَمِلَتْ مِنْ خَيْرٍ مُّحْضَرًا وَمَا عَمِلَتْ مِن سُوءٍ تَوَدُّ لَوْ أَنَّ بَيْنَهَا وَبَيْنَهُ أَمَدًا بَعِيدًا وَيُحَذِّرُكُمُ اللَّهُ نَفْسَهُ وَاللَّهُ رَءُوفٌ بِالْعِبَادِ

“On the day that every soul shall find present what it has done of good and what it has done of evil, it shall wish that between it and that (evil) there were a long distance of time; and Allah makes you to be cautious of (retribution from) Himself; and Allah is Compassionate to the servants.”

Third, another deed which weighs heavily on the Scale is nobility of character.

Abu Al-Darda’ –May Allah be pleased with him– narrated that Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said:

“Nothing weighs heavier on the scales than nobility of character.”

Thus, if there is a choice between words that are kind and others that are kinder, then choose the ones that are kinder. The Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) also said,

“The best amongst you are the best of you in character.”

Fourth, you should train your mind and tongue to be in constant remembrance of Allah as this is among the most effective deeds that will fatten your bank account. The Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam said:

“There are two words that are light for the tongue to utter, heavy on the scales and are dear to The Merciful: ‘Subhana-Allahi wa bihamdihi! Subhana-Allahi-l-Azim [Glory be to Allah and His is the praise! Glory be to Allah, the Great]’.”

This is the last hadith in the Sahih of Imam al-Bukhari.

You should as well train your mind to always think of the Aakhirah, in this way you’ll be able to keep an off head record of your deeds. Constantly remind yourself that on that day nothing will be hidden, on that day every single deed counts; good and bad. You can achieve that by simply reminding yourself of this caliber of verses:

Surah At-Tariq, Verse 9 and 10:

يَوْمَ تُبْلَى السَّرَائِرُ

“On the day when hidden things shall be made manifest,”

فَمَا لَهُ مِن قُوَّةٍ وَلَا نَاصِرٍ

“He shall have neither strength nor helper.”

Surah Al-Isra, Verse 15:

مَّنِ اهْتَدَىٰ فَإِنَّمَا يَهْتَدِي لِنَفْسِهِ وَمَن ضَلَّ فَإِنَّمَا يَضِلُّ عَلَيْهَا وَلَا تَزِرُ وَازِرَةٌ وِزْرَ أُخْرَىٰ وَمَا كُنَّا مُعَذِّبِينَ حَتَّىٰ نَبْعَثَ رَسُولًا

“Whoever goes aright, for his own soul does he go aright; and whoever goes astray, to its detriment only does he go astray: nor can the bearer of a burden bear the burden of another, nor do We chastise until We raise an apostle.”

This verse tells us that in the Final Judgment, we are accountable for our actions, and that no injustice will be done to anyone. Whatever it is that you do – be it good or evil, it shall be spread right before you and it will count, just like Allah’s saying in Surah Al-Zalzala, Verse 7 and 8:

فَمَن يَعْمَلْ مِثْقَالَ ذَرَّةٍ خَيْرًا يَرَهُ

“So he who has done an atom’s weight of good shall see it.”

وَمَن يَعْمَلْ مِثْقَالَ ذَرَّةٍ شَرًّا يَرَهُ

“And he who has done an atom’s weight of evil shall see it.”

So, put it at the back of your mind that no one is exempted from this, not even the prophets of Allah, and certainly not you and I. This is the more reason we should bother our hearts by thinking about this coming reality as much as we can.

Finally, humility; no matter what good you do, be fearful that your deeds will be worthless on the day of Qiyamah and remain humbled by this thought because this is one of the most serious thoughts that give the righteous sleepless nights and prevent many of the pious from sleeping comfortably. I do not mean that you should be hopeless and lose faith in Allah’s mercy, no, but be cautious that you don’t fall among the people that Allah described in Surah Al-Furqan, Verse 23:

وَقَدِمْنَا إِلَىٰ مَا عَمِلُوا مِنْ عَمَلٍ فَجَعَلْنَاهُ هَبَاءً مَّنثُورًا

“And We will proceed to what they have done of deeds, so We shall render them as scattered floating dust.”

Wal yadhu billah!

On that day, one would wish to gain an extra good deed to raise the status of one’s belief or any good deed which could weigh heavy on the scales. Be sure not to hurt any other creature of Allah and imbibe it in your habit to seek for others forgiveness. This is important because the little pain that one causes to others can make them claim his own good deeds for compensation or at worst where one’s good deeds are finished he would be forced to take away his victim’s bad deeds.

Conclusively, amongst the important aspects of keeping record of our deeds in this Dunya – either in writing or mentally, is that you’ll always be cautious of the acts of your limbs to that of your tongue and that of your thoughts. You’ll forever remain humble, which is a sign of the people of Jannah. Allah says in Surah al-Furqan, Verse 63:

وَعِبَادُ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الَّذِينَ يَمْشُونَ عَلَى الْأَرْضِ هَوْنًا وَإِذَا خَاطَبَهُمُ الْجَاهِلُونَ قَالُوا سَلَامًا

“And the servants of the Beneficent Allah are they who walk on the earth in humbleness, and when the ignorant address them, they say: Peace”

Moreover, you will be more honest to your Nafs and to the world at large. You’ll sanctify and purify your system, your soul. Because you are in constant remembrance of Allah – His Mercies and His Punishments, you will be able to worship Allah as if you see Him even though you do not actually see Him. You’ll be grateful to Allah and to yourself in the hereafter, Bi Ithnillah. With every step you take, with every word of your lips, with every breath you take, you’ll always be imagining either Raqeeb or ‘Ateed penning it down in your book!

Hence, I leave you with verse 14 of Surah al-Isra:

اقْرَأْ كِتَابَكَ كَفَىٰ بِنَفْسِكَ الْيَوْمَ عَلَيْكَ حَسِيبًا

“Read your book; your own self is sufficient as a reckoner against you this day.”

May Allah protect us from being asked to be judges in our own cases on the day of Qiyamah.

Your sister, Ruqayya Modibbo.

Editor: Umm Naml

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