The Prophet emphasised the necessary of lhtisab or self evaluation at every opportunity: `Everyone starts his day and is a vendor of his soul, either freeing it or bringing about its ruin'. (Muslim.) Umar ibn al Khattab, may Allah be pleased with him, also said in this respect:
Judge yourself before you are judged, evaluate yourself before you are evaluated and be ready for the greatest investigation.
At every Prayer time, especially in the early hours of the morning, when you are alone and can feel your own heart beating -seek forgiveness from Allah. The time of Salat al-Fajr, before the start of each day, is an ideal occasion to take account of yourself and plan for the day ahead.
Imam Tirmidhi related that the Prophet said, on the Day of judgment no child of Adam will move from the presence of God, unless he has answered the following five questions:
- In what pursuits and work did he spend his time?
- For what ends did he use his mental and physical energies?
- By what means did he earn his wealth?
- How did he spend his wealth?
- How far did he act according to what he knew was right?
These five points can serve as a useful self-analysis programme. They can assist in checking our moral motivations, God-consciousness and determination to work for the cause of Allah. This self-analysis programme, when implemented on a regular basis, will serve as an important measure of your readiness to meet with Allah.