Imagine this: You’ve just written one of the most amazing books, making it shoot into the best-selling list. You have your name plastered all across the world. You have just been given the most coveted literary award, after being generously appreciated by some of the world’s famous literary giants. The feeling of excitement and joy is palpable. (If you can’t imagine any of this, just think of yourself as J.K. Rowling :P)
But, stop. Just for a moment. What if I told you that one day you will indeed read a book which you and solely you were responsible for writing? What if I told you, on that Day, that book will have a record of ALL your words, thoughts, intentions, actions, every unspoken word and every wrong reaction? What if that book holds the keys to your eternal abode? Would you be eager to open it and gasp with happiness or would be perspiring and hoping you had righted the wrongs?
Your Book of deeds…
A man insulted Khalid ibn Walid , so he turned to him and said, “It is your scroll of deeds, so fill it with whatever you wish.” This statement was so profound that I had to remind myself to breathe for a second. Subhan Allah!
Imagine, your book of deeds being filled with every single letter that came out of your mouth, every single breath you took, every single unwanted gaze you enjoyed, every single letter you murmured and thought no one heard?
So whilst trying not to get overwhelmed and rather look at how I could make this book more pleasing to myself and in the process earn Allah’s mercy, these are the set of reminders I came up with and I hope it would be of benefit to you readers as well, in sha Allah.
You are the sole author…
While we tend to rush and claim copyrights for our written/spoken words in this world, whether it is in an online space or otherwise, remember that on the D-Day, you will be the sole author of your book, the ownership is all yours.
What if your book of deeds was filled with:
Big or small, good or evil, justified or exaggerated. Imagine if all your thoughts were
automatically connected to Twitter or Facebook and were published immediately for your
friends to see? Reality is, every second spent here will be recorded and read out on the Day of Recompense. How much more powerful is that?
Okay, so you tend to gossip once in a while, maybe about a stranger or friend. If not, then probably you wasted time talking ill of some celebrity. Sadly, this is the most common form of gossiping these days and celebrities become easy targets.
Imagine on the D-Day, *those* people asking for justice in front of our Lord by telling “Oh Allah! You are the Most Just, they slandered me, gossiped about me, spread lies about me, so give me justice,Oh Allah”. So what would happen?
The Prophet is reported to have said: “Do you know who is bankrupt?” The Companions replied, ‘The bankrupt amongst us is the person who has no money or property.” The Prophet said, “The bankrupt from amongst my Ummah is the one who will come on the Day of Resurrection with a good record of Salah, Saum and Zakah. But he also had cursed someone, slandered against someone, unlawfully took the property of another, killed someone or beat someone. Then all of these abused persons will receive parts of his (abuser’s) Hasanaat. When all of his (abuser’s) Hasanaat have been removed from his record after he (abuser) pays back for what he owes, then the aggrieved persons’ sins will be transferred to and thrown on him (abuser) and he (abuser) will be thrown into the Fire.”
Imagine having to transfer your good deeds into their account. Subhan Allah! Good deeds into strangers accounts? What for, ya Ummah!
And if this is the case with strangers/celebrities, then how much more grievous the sins when we slander or talk ill or wish for ill things to happen to our own Muslim brethren, your own friends/cousins/family members/extended family members?
Yes, you will be surrounded with people who belittle your Islamic activity, your struggle to get closer to Allah will be greeted with smirks, but remember when they belittle you, it’s their book of deeds and they can fill it whatsoever they wish. But, you don’t have to fret over them or waste time to get “justice”. It will be given in its due time in the way He wishes. So, don’t go about talking ill about anyone, ever.
The art of self-righteousness…
Shaitan will make you proclaim self-righteousness and make you feel like you are more pious than that sister who doesn’t wear hijab or that brother who doesn’t attend the prayers at the masjid. But Allah knows, maybe He will allow them to live long enough to accept their repentance and forgive their ignorance but not your arrogance. Maybe that sisters’ act of charity or a kind word or a hidden “small” deed seemed mighty in Allah’s eyes. Remember, shaitan was thrown out of paradise for his arrogance and pride. May Allah save us from arrogance. So, NO, don’t fill your book of deeds self-righteous thoughts and don’t look down at others.
Book filled with judgement…
“I’m better than her/him. I pray, I wear hijab; I’m dutiful to my parents, but look at my friend/cousin/neighbor. Oh My Allah, they don’t pray, she doesn’t even wear a proper hijab and even when she does, it’s just for showing off.” Sounds familiar?
This is being recorded into your book of deeds and you will be asked about what you uttered. Remember when Allah Himself gives time for His slaves to turn back and doesn’t close the door of repentance until their time is up on Planet Earth, who are we to judge someone? Remember the hadeeth where a prostitute was given paradise for being kind to a dog  and a murderer being given paradise just because he chose to repent? 
Subhan Allah, it’s your book of deeds. Don’t fill it with false judgements.
Your own mini book of deeds:
Instead, maintain a journal. Let this be your mini book of deeds for you to read, here and now.
Write down how you spent your time today. Make two columns of Rights and Wrongs.
Your Rights could be:
- Prayed on time,
- Recited Qur’an, learned its meaning,
- Did a secret good deed between me and Allah
- Put in extra effort to help my mum in the kitchen, or
- Spent quality time with younger siblings, etc.The possibilities are limitless.
Your Wrongs could be:
- Missed prayers/ prayed lately,
- Was rude to parents,
- Wasted time,
- Spoke/thought ill of someone, etc. Again the possibilities are limitless.
Now, this is how you hold yourself accountable before you are held accountable:
Once you’re done with this, open your book at night and go through, repent where you have to, ask Allah to bless you for what you have achieved. Begin with bismillah and keep your journal a secret. Let no one know about it. The more the secrecy, the better your chances of improvement. Additionally, you may have done a good deed and only Allah knows about it, so you get your reward in the hereafter in front of all of mankind!
Imagine being awarded with something and having yourself being splashed all across television channels. Now imagine being given Jannah in front of ALL of mankind?! The happiness you would experience could be unfathomable.
So, it’s your book of deeds, fill it whatsoever you wish, and ask Allah to help you all along this journey. May Allah make us of those who utilize our time and health in doing beneficial things. May He make our accountability easy and forgive us for our shortcomings. May He cover us into His mercy and forgive us for the sins we’ve committed knowingly or unknowingly. May He help us fill our book of deeds with what pleases Him. Ameen
1: Related by Muslim and Tirmidhee
2: Allah’s Apostle said, “A prostitute was forgiven by Allah, because, passing by a panting dog near a well and seeing that the dog was about to die of thirst, she took off her shoe, and tying it with her head-cover she drew out some water for it. So, Allah forgave her because of that.” (Sahih al-Bukharee, 4/538)