What is the Constitution of Self-Judgment?
Ethicists have referred to the constitution of self-judgment in such a detailed method that it might be difficult for some to implement. I, however, can brief the matter in two precise and simplified points:
(1) First of all, to practice self-judgment properly, one must perform all the obligatory rites, such as the prayer, fasting, hajj, zakat, and the like. If such rites are performed properly, one must then thank God for so and hope for winning the great rewarding that He set for the obedient. If one, on the other hand, neglects such rites, he must remember the painful punishment with which God threatens the disobedient. He must also exert all efforts for settling them.
(2) Self-judgment must then be practiced on the sins that one committed, by means of severe reproach and censure. Regret and true repentance must then be felt so that they will help in avoiding the commitment of such sins.
The Prophet (PBUH) set the most excellent example of self-judgment:
The Prophet (PBUH), once, resided in a desert during a journey. He asked his companions to fetch firewood. They apologized that they were in a desert, but the Prophet (PBUH) asked them to search and fetch whatever they might find. Hence, they scattered in ever y direction. Afterwards, each one fetched a small quantity of wood and threw on each other. On that scene, the Prophet (PBUH) commented: “In this very way, sins are gathered. Beware of the insignificant sins, for there is an interrogator for each sin. That interrogator records ‘the deeds of human beings and their consequences. We keep everything recorded in an illustrious Book.’ (6) " (7)
Some disciples practiced appreciative styles in the field of self-judgment. For instance, it is related that Tawba ibn as-Summah used to call himself to account in most times of his life. One day, he counted his past age, and it was sixty years. As he counted the days, they were about 21500. He then shouted: “Woe unto me! I will meet Malik (8) with twenty-one thousand sins." Suddenly after that, he departed life. (9)
6. This statement is quoted from the Holy Qur’an; (36:12).
7. Quoted from al-Wafi; part 3 page 168 (as quoted from al-Kafi).
8. Malik is the angel in charge of Hell.
9. Quoted from Safinat ul-Bihar; part 1 page 488.
By: Sayyid Mahdi as-Sadr
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