Tag Archives: accountability

Responsibility: The Islamic Perspective

By Sidra Adil

Responsibility and Accountability Spectrum

In Islam, belief in the Day of Judgement is one of the six articles of faith and is pivotal to the Islamic concept of accountability. The present life in this world is not the goal and it is the hereafter that is the focus. This means that Muslims make an effort to live by the rulings of Islam and exercise consciousness of Allah in making all decisions as they will held accountable for all their doings, whether in accordance with Shari’a or otherwise.

Allah, the Most High, created mankind. Man has been sent to Earth for a certain time. The free will given to man by Allah enables him to use it in doing good and useful deeds, obtaining knowledge, and worshipping Him. If man lays waste to these blessings and bounties without taking any advantage of them, undoubtedly he will be held responsible for them on the Last Day.

It was narrated from Ibn Mas’ood that the Prophet ﷺ said: “The son of Adam will not be dismissed from before his Lord on the Day of Resurrection until he has been questioned about five things: his life and how he spent it, his youth and how he used it, his wealth and how he earned it and how he disposed of it, and how he acted upon what he acquired of knowledge.” (Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 2422; classed as hasan by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi, 1969)

For that reason, man must be conscious of his responsibilities. He must feel a responsibility to Allah on the Resurrection Day. Consequently Allah, the Almighty, will hold him to account on that Day for all of his doings in Dunya.

In today’s day and age, with the ever-rising Fitnah surrounding us and the message of Islam being lost amidst its path, a reminder of its fundamentals can be the solution to bringing all those dissolved in the glamour of the world back to their real calling. The Spectrum of Responsibility and Accountability, the current theme on the YC Blog, focuses on identifying a Muslim’s responsibilities in this world and what the effects of his/her decisions will be on the Hereafter. A Muslim will be held accountable for the decisions he or she made, and will be rewarded accordingly.

Ultimately, it is heaven we are striving for. Are we truly being ambassadors of Islam or are we so consumed by this world and its illusions that we cannot recognise the path leading to Allah?

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Promises: A Spoken Bond

By Mariam Imran

“Oh, come on. You know you can trust me, Sarah. I won’t tell anyone”, I hastily replied on the phone, aware that I wasn’t intending to keep my promise. A pang of guilt washes over me. I was going to break a promise. “It’s just one silly old promise, it doesn’t mean anything”, I try to reassure myself. After what seemed like an eternity, I hear Sarah’s quavering voice on the other end, as she begins to trust me with her personal information. It takes not more than a minute after our phone call that I punch in another friend’s number, and spare no time to tell her: “YOU CAN NOT BELIEVE WHAT SARAH JUST TOLD ME!”

Sadly, we live in a day and age where this is an everyday practice. Keeping your word is something that is looked at with surprise, rather than being a norm. We have stopped recognizing it as a sin, rather justifying it with childish arguments such as “Well, everyone does it. What’s the big deal?” This has caused us great harm, not only on an individual level but as a society too.

As a Muslim and a Believer, it is our responsibility to take care of the promises that we make. We should recognize this as a spoken bond, one that should be kept under all circumstances. Our religion very strongly emphasizes on keeping promises and not breaking each other’s trust. It has gone so far to declare such people as hypocrites, which is indeed a very strong and harsh term.

“There are three signs of a hypocrite: whenever he speaks, he lies; whenever he makes a promise, he breaks it; and whenever he is trusted, he betrays his trust. (Al-Bukhari)”

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It is indeed quite frightening to think that one may fall in such a dangerous category if he or she doesn’t keep his or her word. In the book of guidance, we find Allah educating us about holding our oaths sacred in these words:

“Fulfill the Covenant of God when you have entered into it, and break not your oaths after you have confirmed them; indeed you have made God your surety; for God knows all that you do.} (An-Nahl 16:91)

There are a few sections in the Quran that portray the moral makeup of the faithful and many of them put fulfilling promises in the center of the meritorious traits of the faithful, indicating how necessary it actually is.

If we don’t take good care of this and fail to claim responsibility to fulfill our promises, then the repercussions of doing so will indeed be grave. People will stop trusting each other and will eye each other with suspicion. The community will harbor negativity and nurture mistrust, doubt and fear. The consequences are not limited to this world, but also the hereafter. Allah will question every vow that we failed to keep, about all the people we deceived. But indeed, we can’t deceive Allah. Allah says:

“And fulfill (every) covenant. Verily! the covenant, will be questioned about” (al-Isra’ 17:34)

Without further delay, we should all make it a point to take responsibility and not abuse the trust of other people. We should fear Allah and the Day of Judgement, because one day all of our broken promises will come forth to testify against us.

The Simplest Life Hack to Track Your Life

By Sara Ahmad

planner 2018

I learned something in 2017- the importance of tracking my life and my habits. Before I started doing this, I felt that time was flowing through my fingers and I was just standing there, unable to grasp it. I felt that I was declining spiritually, mentally and physically but had no way of determining at what pace and why. I wanted to take snapshots of my life at different times and analyse them. I started making complicated timetables to keep an hourly log of every single thing I was doing in a day. I thought it would help me see how productive or how lazy I was. Well, that didn’t turn out to be sustainable… I quit doing that in less than a week. Then I tried a daily journal, but again, it was hard to keep up with and it was hard to ‘measure’ my weekly and monthly progress from pages and pages of written information.

Just as 2017 started, I found a table calendar (the kind which has blank boxes for every day) which unintentionally evolved into one of the best tracking methods I have ever used. I started recording the habits which were most important to me. For example, I wanted to see how much of the Quran I recited in a month, so I chose a pink color and added ‘juz 1’ on the first day and then ‘juz 2’ the next day. If I did not recite, I left the box blank.  After a month, I looked at all the pink ink and was able to see how much I recited and also measure how many days I wasn’t able to recite and figure out if any patterns existed. I used different colours for other habits:

Purple- dawah activities

Green- exercise

Orange- money spent

Blue- times I hung out with my friends

Red- habits I wanted to get rid of but still ended up engaging in them

Black- general activities like studying, spending time with family etc.

I thought I would eventually stop using this method, but it’s so easy that I still haven’t! By the end of 2017, I had a clear idea about which areas I had made progress in and which I still need to work on. For 2018, I’ve been using the same method on a planner instead of a table calendar and it’s working just as well Alhumdulillah. I hope these ideas benefit you in some way and that you are able to look back at your week/month/year/decade and give yourself a reason to smile!

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.” (Surah Al Hashr:18)

 

 

My Ramadan Diary: Hold Your Tongue!

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We’re almost done with the 1st ashra of Ramadan. Just a couple of hours left now. The rest of Ramadan will also zoom by at the same speed, if not faster. It is a good idea to sit down and evaluate how we have been spending our days and nights, and what areas are we lacking in, so that we can start focus more on those areas. I have identified 4 areas where I need to redouble my energies and efforts: Controlling the Tongue, Duas, Time Management and Refraining from Social Media.

Controlling the Tongue is a particularly tough one. At night, when I sit down to analyze the day and mark a checklist of deeds, the scariest question in the checklist is often: Did I fast with my tongue? Yes, this is indeed a scary matter.

Sufyan bin Abdullah said: “O Messenger of Allah! What do you fear most about me?” He took hold of his own tongue and said: “This.”
[At-Tirmidhi].

It is easy to fast from food and drink, but it is difficult to fast from speech that displeases Allah. This includes lying, backbiting, slander, useless gossip, foul language, boasting and the list goes on. We are so used to letting words roll off our tongues without thinking and weighing that we don’t even realize when we slip and say horrendous things.

Rasulullah (sallalahu alaihi wasallam) said:

“A person utters a word thoughtlessly (i.e., without thinking about its being good or not) and, as a result of this, he will fall down into the fire of Hell deeper than the distance between the east and the west.” [Bukhari and Muslim].

Once you realize the need and importance to control your tongue, the foremost things needed are:

1- the sincere intention to do it and
2- the consciousness that Allah is watching.

Aren’t these the two things that stop you from taking even a sip of water in scorching Ramadan afternoons? Aren’t these the two things that stop you from taking even a single spoonful of scrumptious biryani despite the fact that your stomach is growling and your head is spinning with hunger?
Armed with the intention to fast and the consciousness that Allah is watching, you can refrain from halal, pure food even if you have the need and desire for it, and if everyone around is indulging in it.

Why can’t you then refrain from haram, impure speech? There is no shame in staying silent and holding your tongue for a while if you don’t have anything good to say.

The words that we utter are like seeds that we sow. They bear fruit; this fruit often causes regret in this world as well. As for the Hereafter, they can result in unbearable regret and irreparable loss. The pure and pious predecessors were very strict in accounting themselves for their speech. The sahabi Abdullah ibn Mas’ud is reported to have said:

“By Allah, besides Whom no God exists, nothing deserves a long prison sentence more than my tongue.”

What then of our tongues?

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