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?|
The Day of judgment, though it is to be feared, must also inspire in us a desire and eagerness to meet Allah. Sayyida Aisha reported that the Prophet said:
`Whoever loves to meet Allah, Allah loves to meet with him; and whoever dislikes the meeting with Allah, Allah also dislikes the meeting with him.'Our eagerness and desire to meet Allah should therefore, be echoed in all our Prayers. The Prophet Muhammad used to supplicate repeatedly:
I asked: `O Prophet of God, is it because of the dislike of death, for all of us dislike death?'
He said: `It is not so, but rather it is that when the Believer is given news of Allah's mercy. His approval and His Paradise, he likes to meet Allah and Allah likes to meet him; but when the unbeliever is given news of Allah's punishment and His displeasure, He dislikes to meet Allah and Allah dislikes to meet him.' (Muslim.)
O Allah, I ask you for a soothing life after death, and I ask you for the pleasure of looking upon Your Face and for the yearning to meet You, free from suffering distress or from trial that leads one astray. O Allah, adorn us with the ornament of faith and make us guides and rightly guided. (an-Nasai.)This desire to meet Allah will calm our fear of death, which is only a natural instinct. Even the Prophet Musa, on whom be peace, out of fear ran away when he saw his staff turning into a serpent. [Ta Ha 20: 17-24.] Fear, though, can be conquered with dhikr, doing good and keeping ever before us, our meeting with the Lord and Master of the Day of Judgment.
Whoever hopes to meet his Lord He should do good deeds and associate none other in the service of his Lord [al-Kahf 18: 110.]