Self-criticism and what we have to do


Allah has made every human the best creature; He has given them free will and mind. Man’s lousy mind leads him to evil deeds. At a higher rate, evil deeds harden the servant’s heart and turn him away from Islam. Every human being in the world is involved in evil deeds. So self-criticism is necessary to survive bad works. If a person takes account of his sins every day, for him, it will be much easier to refrain from sinning. It also makes people worthy of forgiveness.

So I will present some necessary information about self-criticism. I will also mention some of its benefits and methods which will help you know many unknown things. So let’s know its definition first.

Self-criticism and its definition

Self-criticism is to criticize oneself, to discuss one’s work. I mean, Thinking of all the good things that I will continue to do and which of the bad things that I will refrain from—asking for your accountability to yourself.

Some scholars say that self-criticism means separating one’s do’s and don’ts. Then always be ready to perform the obligatory and Nafl duties and be firm on abandoning the haram or forbidden things. They also say that self-criticism means focusing on the rights of Allah first in everything; Then keeping an eye on whether those rights are being appropriately fulfilled or not.

Imam Ibn al-Hajj (Rh) said: Self-criticism or self-reprehension is to suppress evil instincts, to control the five senses, keep an eye on the time, and to give priority to important (Hereafter) things. [Al-Madkhal, volume 1, page: 14]

Self-criticism and its importance

In this regard, Allah Ta’ala said: “O you who have believed, fear Allah. And let every soul look to what it has put forth for tomorrow – and fear Allah. Indeed, Allah is Aware of what you do. And be not like those who forgot Allah, so He made them forget themselves. Those are definitely disobedient.” [Surah Al-Hashr, verse 18 – 19]

Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) said: “The wise person is the one who subjugates his soul and works for what is after death. And the incapable is the one who follows his desires and merely hopes in Allah.” [Jami at-Tirmidhi, Hadith No. 2459]

Verily abandoning self-reprehension brings relaxation towards religion, undoubtedly it leads the soul to destruction in this worldly life and the Hereafter. Only the deceived and evil soul forsake self-criticism. As a result, he does not think about the consequences. All sin becomes very easy for him. Eventually, it became impossible for him to get out of evil. Even if he ever finds the right path, then for him, it becomes challenging to get out of his bad habits.

Benefits of self-reprehension

  • Increase acts of worship and avoidance of sins.
  • Knowing the fault and defects of oneself, and working to get rid of them.
  • Knowing the right of Allah Almighty and keening to perform it.
  • Turning back the rights to its owners.
  • Staying away from finding fault with others and Being quick to correct yourself.
  • It is the most effective means of gaining firmness in the religion, which includes people in the court of Allah as obedient and sincere slaves.
  • It inspires thanksgiving for Allah’s blessings.
  • Self-criticism prevents the conscience from committing any sin a second time.

Words of Allah Ta’ala

Allah Ta’ala said: “The Day every soul will find present what it has done of the good and what it has done of evil, it will wish that between itself and that (evil) was a great distance. And Allah warns you of Himself, and Allah is Kind to (His) servants.” [Surah Ali ‘Imran, verse 30]

And fear a Day when you will be returned to Allah. Then every soul will be compensated for what it earned, and they will not be wronged. [Surah Al-Baqarah, verse 281]

On the Day when Allah will resurrect them all and inform them of what they did. Allah had enumerated it, while they forgot it, and Allah is, over all things, Witness. [Surah Al-Mujadila, verse 6]

That Day, the people will depart separated (into categories) to be shown (the result of) their deeds. So whoever does an atom’s weight of good will see it, And whoever does an atom’s weight of evil will see it. [Surah Az-Zalzalah, verse 6 – 8]

Messages of Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him)

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: “Fear Allah wherever you are, do good deeds after doing bad ones, it (good deeds) will wipe out that (bad deeds), and behave decently towards people.” [Jami at-Tirmidhi, Hadith No. 1987]

Narrated Abdullah ibn Amr ibn al-‘As (R): When we were around the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him), he mentioned the period of commotion (fitnah) saying: “When you see the people that their covenants are mixed (i.e., spoiled), their deposits have become lighter, and they have become like this, and He put his fingers in the gap between his fingers.” Abdullah ibn Amr ibn al-‘As (R) said: I then got up and said: What should I do at that time? May Allah make me ransom for you. He (peace be upon him) replied: “Keep to your house, control your tongue, accept what you know, abandon what you disapprove, attend to your affairs specifically, and leave the public affairs from you.” [Sunan Abi Dawud, Hadith No. 4343]

Saying of wise

‘Umar bin Al-Khattäb (R) said: “Reckon with yourselves before you are reckoned with and prepare for the Greatest Inquisition. The reckoning of the Day of Judgement is only light for the one who reckoned with himself in the world.” [Az-Zuhd lil-Imaam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, Page: 177]

Maimun bin Mihran (Rh) said: “The slave (of Allah) will not be a Muttaqee until he has reckoned himself, just as he would account for where his business partner got his food and clothing.” [Madarij al Salikeen, volume 1, page 79]

‘Uthman (R) told that when he stood over a grave, he would weep so sorely that the tears moistened his beard. Someone said to him, “You remember Paradise and Hell, you do not weep, and you are weeping over this?” He (R) replied that Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) said, “The grave is the first stage of the next world; if one gets exemption from it, then its next stage will easier than it, but if one does not get exemption from it, then its next stage will more severe than it.” He (R) further quoted Allah’s messenger as saying, “I have never seen a sight as horrible as the grave.” [Sunan Ibn Majah, Hadith No. 4267]

Methods of self-reprehension

People will self-criticize in two things: before work and after work. The method of self-criticism before work is: At first, he will see if what he wants to do is according to the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger. If it is according to these, then he will go towards it. And if it is not according to these, he will abandon it. Then he will notice whether it is better to do that work or not. If it is better not to do it, he will give up the work and not move towards it. Then he notices that if the work is for Allah, he will implement it. And if that work is for the sake of honor, praise of the creatures, and wealth, then he will discard it. [Ighasa tul Lahfan, volume 1, page: 148]

The method of self-reprehension after work

It is of three types. 1. After doing good deeds, to check whether he has fulfilled the right of Allah in it. The right of Allah in good deeds is:

  • Working with sincerity.
  • Proper belief in the oneness of Allah.
  • To do according to the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah.
  • Acknowledging the grace of Allah.
  • Acknowledging one’s own imperfections in good deeds.

2. He will self-criticize through a few things after sinning. E.g., To be ashamed for sinning, to condemn oneself, to seek forgiveness from Allah, to repent, and to do a good deed quickly after sin.

3. He will verify his regular Nafl (optional) deeds. If he misses any Nafl deeds, he should feel sorry for it and be prepared for it not to happen again in the future.

Therefore, a believing Muslim should, daily, continue to think and self-criticize his deeds and acts of worship. It will lead people to the right path. Properly self-critical makes beautiful life in this world and the Hereafter.

Supplication to Allah

May Allah Ta’ala grant us the Tawfiq to find out our own mistakes and correct ourselves. And may give everyone the Tawfiq to walk on the right path of Islam too. Ameen.


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