SELF EXAMINATION (MUHASBA) BY USAAMAH AL-KHAYYAAT
InnalhamdaLillaahinahmaduhuwanasta’eenahu wa nastaghfiruhu, wa na’oodhubillaahi min shuroorianfusinaa wa min sayi’aatia’maalinaa. Man yahdihIllaahufalaamudillalahuwa man yudlilfalaahaadiyalahu. Waashhadu an laailaaha ill-Allah wahdahu la sharikalahu wa ashhaduannaMuhammadan ‘abduhu wa rasooluhusallalahualayhi wa alaalihiwasallam.
إِنَّ الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ نَحْمَدُهُ وَنَسْتَعِينُهُ وَنَسْتَغْفِرُهُ وَنَعُوذُ بِاللَّهِ مِنْ شُرُورِ أَنْفُسِنَا وَمِنْ سَيِّئَاتِ أَعْمَالِنَا مَنْ يَهْدِهِ اللَّهُ فَلَا مُضِلَّ لَهُ وَمَنْ يُضْلِلْ فَلَا هَادِيَ لَهُ وَأَشْهَدُ أَنْ لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا اللَّهُ وَحْدَهُ لَا شَرِيكَ لَهُ وَأَنَّ مُحَمَّدًا عَبْدُهُ وَرَسُولُهُ
(Praise be to Allah, we seek His help and His forgiveness. We seek refuge with Allah from the evil of our own souls and from our bad deeds. Whomsoever Allah guides will never be led astray, and whomsoever Allah leaves astray, no one can guide. I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, the One, having no partner. And I bear witness that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger).
]يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ حَقَّ تُقَاتِهِ وَلَا تَمُوتُنَّ إِلَّا وَأَنْتُمْ مُسْلِمُون[
O you who believe! Fear Allaah as He should be feared, and die not except in a state of Islaam. Soorat-ul-Aal-i-'Imran ayah 102
]يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ اتَّقُوا رَبَّكُمِ الَّذِي خَلَقَكُمْ مِنْ نَفْسٍ وَاحِدَةٍ وَخَلَقَ مِنْهَا زَوْجَهَا وَبَثَّ مِنْهُمَا رِجَالًا كَثِيرًا وَنِسَاءً وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ الَّذِي تَسَاءَلُونَ بِهِ وَالْأَرْحَامَ إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ عَلَيْكُمْ رَقِيبًا[
O mankind, fear your Lord, who created you from one soul and created from it its mate and dispersed from both of them many men and women. And fear Allah , through whom you ask one another, and the wombs. Indeed Allah is ever, over you, an Observer. Sooratun- Nisaa' ayah 1
]يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَقُولُوا قَوْلًا سَدِيدًا يُصْلِحْ لَكُمْ أَعْمَالَكُمْ وَيَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ ذُنُوبَكُمْ وَمَنْ يُطِعِ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ فَقَدْ فَازَ فَوْزًا عَظِيمًا]
O you who have believed, fear Allah and speak words of appropriate justice.He will [then] amend for you your deeds and forgive you your sins. And whoever obeys Allah and His Messenger has certainly attained a great attainment.Soorat-ul-Ahzaabayaat 70-71 
All praise is due to Allaah. May peace and blessings be upon the Messenger, his household and his companions.
Brothers in Islaam! Fear Allaah and perform good deeds before the day comes in which there will be neither mutual bargaining nor befriending. That day, only good deeds shall be weighed and then every soul shall be paid what it earned and they shall not be dealt with unjustly.
Fellow Muslims! Have you observed how a skilful and resourceful merchant constantly reflects on how his business fluctuates; about his gains and losses and the causes for both? Have you seen how he looks for how to improve his business and how to prevent its decline and downfall? This is exactly how the vigilant Muslim should be during the course of his whole life; with the passing of each of its stages. They should pause at the end of every stage in their life and cast a critical look back at whatever they have said and done. They should call themselves to an accurate account and rectify themselves as necessary.
The examination of one’s conscience and calling oneself to account with intelligence has immense benefits. Among these benefits are that a person who does this will discover their weaknesses and defects as well as their strengths, good deeds and points of excellence. This will enable them the opportunity of working towards a constructive plan which will lead to a better pattern of conduct in the future.
Is it any wonder then, that the policy of examination of one’s conscience occupied such a prominent role in the life of our pious predecessors? This policy manifested itself in their practising it and encouraging others to do likewise.
‘Umar ibn Al-Khattaab said, “Call yourselves to account before you yourself are called to it and weigh your deeds before the day when they shall be weighed for you.” Ibn Katheer in Musnad al Farooq Vol.2: pg618
Al-Hasan Al-Basree said, “The true believer is a guardian of his own self and continuously calls his soul to account for the sake of Allaah. The reckoning of the Day of Resurrection will only be difficult for those who live the life of this world without ever examining their conscience and calling themselves to account.” He then explained that the essence of self-examination is when a believer pauses after having performed a deed and notices that he is negligent in a matter and then addresses himself saying, “What did I intend with this deed? I swear by Allaah that I will not be excused for it. I swear by Allaah that I will never do it again, In-sha-Allaah!”
Among the issues that desperately need self-examination in the view of intelligent people nowadays is the examination of one’s deeds during vacations. This is a time when a wise person will ask themselves difficult questions that need sincere answers.
What did everyone do for themselves in these days of vacation? Was this vacation a track for racing towards good and righteous deeds that are everlasting, or just another avenue to increase one’s store of evil deeds with wrongdoing? Was it an opportunity to gain additional knowledge and increase oneself in psychological, mental and physical maturity or just a period of time wasted in laziness? Were the journeys of those who travelled to various countries for the purpose of education or was it just another race towards the forbidden and harmful matters?
Was the vacationing person – during their vacation – carrying out their commitments toward their family and kith and kin, being kind to those who are unkind to them, making peace where there was discord and assisting the weak or did they just increase in negligence, rudeness and estrangement?
Dear brothers! Self-examination after each act and every stage in our lives is vital if we want our affairs to be upright and proper and we wish to have a good ending. If we all did this then we would all have a great victory in this world and on the Day of Judgment. Allaah says that which translates to, “O you who believe! Fear Allaah. And let every soul look to what it has put forth for tomorrow – and fear Allaah. Indeed Allaah is Acquainted with what you do.” (Al-Hashr: 18).
Brothers in faith! Examining oneself and calling oneself to account is evidence of one’s intelligence and aspiration for things that may lead one to happiness and success. Fear Allaah and covetously continue to examine yourselves sincerely. Especially during these days when you are bidding farewell to your vacation, resuming your duties and opening a new chapter in your lives. You must inevitably reflect on what has passed, determine to rectify it and have a constructive plan for the remaining days of your lives.