End of Year, Occasion to Question Oneself before End of Life
The main axes of the subject:
1- New Year’s Day
2- Time Set According to Priorities
3- Judgment Time
4- How to Review a Statement of Account
While others mostly act with negligence, man must alert himself, draw attention to the significance of accountability before the Day of Judgment, check the scales of deeds by feeling sorry before the time of the judging scales, and find the way that will spare him from the horrors on the day of greater exhibition.
Exporting the subject:
In a commandment of his to Abi Zar (RIP), Allah’s messenger (s.a.a.w.) said: “Question yourself before you are questioned; this is easier for your accountability tomorrow. Weigh yourself before you are weighed, and get ready for the day of the greater exhibition when you will be exhibited with none of your secrets concealed from Allah.”1
New Year’s Day:
Allah (the Exalted) said in his holy book: “Indeed, the number of months with Allah is twelve [lunar] months in the register of Allah [from] the day He created the heavens and the earth…”2
The author of al Mizan book said: “And the year: is solar and consists of three hundred and sixty five days plus part of a day. It does not apply to the twelve lunar months, which are three hundred and fifty four days, considering the leap year. Moreover, the month is divided into approximately thirty days, and this is how the year is divided into twelve months.”3 This means the New Year’s Day will be the very first day of the very first month.
This also means the beginning of a new cycle of time in life, the equivalence of which has passed while equaling twelve months, which means three hundred and sixty five days. This matter surely brings into light a new glimpse of hope and a new propitious chance to make right what went wrong and to fill the gaps that flawed the course of action and the movement of oneself in the past year. It also provides an opportunity and a new moment of leap in another periodical sector that Allah granted us out of his grace in order to benefit from the rest of our remaining lives.
Time Set According to Priorities:
A wise man must exploit his time as an opportunity to achieve the means and aspirations according to the ladder of priorities and grasp all that he can in this life.
Based upon the aforementioned explanation, now we understand that the month equals thirty days and that each week equals seven days, and that each day equals twenty four hours, hence the shortest periodical unit is the hour. Therefore, we can divide the cycles of life into sections based upon this division. A wise man must keep in mind his wish to achieve certain projects and aims in this year, accomplish this part of his projects in this month, and plan equally for the following month, and so on. Therefore, he must divide the month into four weeks, the week into seven days, and the day into the required (working) hours.
Since time is precious and cannot be compensated, a wise person must divide it according to this rule. Besides, a man’s breath represents one step towards the grave, as commander of the faithful (a.s.) said. Moreover, Allah’s messenger pbuh&hh was quoted as saying: “The wisdom of David’s family holds a great lesson for the intelligent person, telling him not to occupy himself but in four hours: one during which he implores his lord; one during which he questions himself; one during which he meets his brothers whom he entrusts coupled with those who advise him and inform him of his flaws; and one during which he withdraws to his privacy with his lord probing his good and bad deeds, the latter will help straighten deeds for the preceding hours.”4
In the same context, Imam al Kazim (a.s.) was quoted as saying: “Make efforts in dividing your time into four hours, one during which you implore Allah, one during which you make a living, one during which you accompany your brothers and trustees who will guide you to your flaws while being faithful behind your back, and one during which you withdraw to your privacy without sinning.”5
A wise person finds a duty in questioning his gains of the previous or previous years in order to stop from continuing with any faults that he may discover behind ignorance and negligence as well as stop from any misconduct and bad deeds. Besides, he must work hard by holding himself accountable and punish it when necessary. He must advance the time when he will stand before his lord in order to punish it and make a promise and pledge not to repeat his mistakes as well as accustom himself to good deeds with the will for righteousness.
The New Year’s Day is nothing but a moment for a fresh start and a promising leap on a way to achieve aspirations and fulfill aims. This issue is a daily task. Therefore, let the New Year’s Day be one of the stations for a statement of account. Imam al Sadiq (a.s.) was quoted as saying: “Each Muslim who knows us has a right to review his deeds each day and night, hence questioning himself by himself. If he finds good in it he must ask for more. If he finds bad in it he must ask for forgiveness to avoid ignominy on the Day of Judgment.”6
Imam al Kazim (a.s.) was quoted as saying: “He who does not question himself everyday is not one of us. If he finds good he asks for more and thank Allah for it. If he finds evil he asks Allah for forgiveness and repent.”7
How to Review a Statement of Account?
A number of titles and subjects must exist upon which man can review a statement of account without missing the important issues. He must also act with extremity and detail each issue regardless of how insignificance it may be. This way he will spare nothing that he might find himself accountable for on the Day of Judgment.
Allah’s messenger (s.a.a.w.) was quoted as saying: “A man is not pious unless he questions himself more than he questions his partner. Hence, he knows the source of his food, his drink and his clothes. Is it from Halal or Haraam?”8-9
This behavior will save man from the horrors of the Day of Judgment. It was also encouraged by the sacred doctrine. Allah’s messenger (s.a.a.w.) was quoted as saying: “Question yourselves before you are questioned. Weight them before you are weighed. And be prepared for the greater exhibition.”10
If one thinks about how the debauchers debauch on a New Year’s Day, he will suppress himself by contemplating on the horrors that will strike the sinners of the day of resurrection. Man must also protect himself by reviewing the content of the following saying of Imam Abu Abdullah (a.s.): “Question yourselves before you are questioned. There are fifty judge’s stands on the day of resurrection; each stand will take one thousand year. After that, he recited this verse: in the end will (all affairs) go up to Him, on a Day, the space whereof will be (as) a thousand years of your reckoning.”11
1- A’mali al Tousi, P. 534, H. 1163
2- Holy Quran: Surat Al Tawbah (the repentance): verse 36
3- Sayyid Muhammad Hassan al Tabtabaei, in his book Tafsir al Mizan, Vol. 9, P. 234 (summarized)
4- Kanz al Ummal, by Al Muttaqi al Hindi, Hadith 5381
5- Scholar Muhammad Baqir al Majlisi in his book Bihar al Anwar, Vol. 78, P. 321, H. 18
6- Ibn Shu’bah al Harrani in his book Tuhaf al Uqul, P. 301.
7- Scholar Al Tabarsi in his book Makarim al Akhlaq, Vol. 2, P. 375
8- Scholar Al Tabarsi in his book Makarim al Akhlaq, Vol. 2, P. 375
9- Halal means permissible, Haraam means forbidden
10- Book Bihar al Anwar, Vol. 70, P. 73, H. 26
11- Scholar al Mufid in his book al A’mali, P. 329, H. 1