Importance of Self-Reflection

People when they become religious, unfortunately, they have a tendency to do what? I start wearing the hijab, I start praying, I get my you know, my aqeeq ring, I start going to the Masjid, I do not miss Jumu'ah, I go to dua' Kumayl, I start praying Salat ul-Layl, I do all of these things. What do I start to do? Unfortunately, I start to judge other people, I start to feel that I am superior to them, I start to criticize those who are less religious than I am. I shift my focus away from tazkiyat an-nafs to what? 'tazkiyat al-ghayr', I try to purify other people, I focus on other people.

There is a beautiful hadith from Imam Ali ibn Musa Al-Rida, salaawat Ullahi alayh, where he says: 'Inna rajulan min Bani Israa'il', there was a man from Bani Israa'il, ' abada Allaha arba'ina sanah' he worshipped Allah, devoted himself to 'ibadah for 40 years. 'Wa lam yuqbal minh' but 40 years of 'ibadah was not accepted. He was worshiping, doing all of these rituals for 40 years and he saw there was no there was no improvement. You know, some of us we have been praying for 10, 15, 20 years coming to Majaalis 10, 15, 20, 30 years and we are the same people we were 30 years ago. There is no improvement.

Imam Al-Rida says, when he saw that there was no improvement, that he is not progressing, he blamed himself, he took responsibility, he says this is my fault. It is because of my sins, it is because of my lack of taqwa, he pointed the finger at who? Himself.

Imam Al-Rida, alayhi as-salaam, says: 'awh Allahu ilayh' Allah inspired his heart at that moment, at that moment where he criticized himself. ' awh Allahu ilayh dhammuka nafsak afdalu min 'ibadati arba'ina sanah'. This moment where you criticized your Nafs, where you criticized yourself, this feeling, this moment of self-examination was better than the 40 years of 'ibadah.

If 'Ibadah is not making you more humble, it is not 'Ibadah. If you are a religious person, but you are focused on what 'fulaan' is doing and why this girl, this sister is wearing makeup. If that is what you are only focused on, that is not real 'ubudiyyah'. Because someone who is fixated on correcting and perfecting himself, they are too busy to look and search for the shortcomings of others.