Sincerity in calling oneself to account
Both a mu’min (believing man) and a mu’mina (believing woman) are quite content to let a year, another year, the third year, the fourth, indeed the tenth year, pass them by whilst neither of them have called themselves to account with sincerity. They do not examine their states with the passage of time.
What have I gained this night? And what have I gained this day? Last night has passed us by and has passed you by – what did we gain last night? Yesterday – the whole of yesterday – has also passed us by, both you and me – in what have we increased? What have we gained? What provision did we make that day?
And if it is the case that the day and the night and the day succeeded by another day, and again the night succeeded by another night, pass us by pointlessly without us gaining anything of the essence of approaching Allah, nor have we experienced the reality of yearning for Allah, or used the days as a means to scale the ladder of sincere companionship (with Allah), then what is the worth of this life?
Is the worth of this life food and drink? Is the worth of this life robes and garments? Is the worth of this life wealth and gold – ephemeral things (that will surely perish)? Is the worth of this life prestige in the hearts of human beings which is prone to tarnish or to betray? Is the worth of this life to have man, who was created by his Lord SWT, be content to fall from the rank of living for his Lord – which is the most sublime of ranks – to the rank where he lives for his nafs? He lives to the measure of his desires? He lives for this world? He lives for human beings?
Indeed, that is abasement itself: for Allah to turn the heart of a servant away from seeking to attain nearness to Him! For He has sent our sayyid and our mawla Muhammad SAW, and before him He sent envoys (may the blessings and peace of Allah be upon all of them) as deputies from His presence – so that they may awaken us to this aspiration, and guide us to this quest, so that each one of us would devote complete attention to this matter of wayfaring to their Lord SWT!
A day passes you by, and then a night, yet within the day and the night lie treasures of Allah’s Munificence that are beyond count and comprehension. No one can comprehend what Allah SWT has placed within them. Indeed, were your senses to be enhanced, you would find that the mere second which goes by contains treasures of Allah’s Munificence that are beyond imagination, beyond comprehension, beyond count.
This is because Allah SWT has called Himself the Giver, the Gracious, the Bountiful, the Generous, the Pardoner, and the Beneficent. These names are attributes and predicates of the Lord Most High SWT, and Allah, Sublime is He, did not establish them to idle purpose.
Habib Ali Zain Al-Abideen Al-Jifri in “Wayfarers to God”