Jummah Reflection: Personal Accountability

Jummah Reflection: Personal Accountability

Jummah Mubarak, Shabbat Shalom & TGIF!

{Say: “Shall I seek a lord other than Allah, while He is the Lord of all things? No person earns any (sin) except against himself (only), and no bearer of burdens shall bear the burden of another. Then unto your Lord is your return, so He will tell you that wherein you have been differing.” – HQ 6:164}

It’s easy to start feeling virtuous once you start putting more attention on your religious practice, isn’t it? Suddenly, after a week of fasting and reading the Qur’an daily I find myself battling my nafs (ego), and comparing myself to what others are doing.

This is surely a sign that my worship isn’t focused where it should be. Perhaps I’m going through the motions and doing all the things I ought to be doing religiously–but my intention isn’t entirely focused where it should be if I’m worried about what others are up to.

Because if I were fasting purely for the sake of Allah (SWT), I wouldn’t need to compare myself to anyone else. My worship would be sufficient in and of itself, with no external validation required, and my heart would be assured of that.

This is the challenge of worshiping in community. This is WHY we worship in community. We test one another in so many ways, not the least of which is in our personal accountability to God.

How often do we see bad actions or bad motives being blamed on others? We excuse ourselves and the awful things we say and do by pointing to others and saying either, “I had no choice but to act this way… because of what THEY did!”

My worship, practice, faith and actions–these are my choices. I do them with a unique set of gifts and challenges that are only mine. It is useless to compare myself to anyone else. It is useless to judge anyone else by what I can or cannot do.

When we are finally judged for how we’ve spent our time in this world, we can’t point the finger at anyone else and say that they are the ones who caused us to do things we know are wrong…or prevented us from doing what we know are right. We can’t ride on the spiritual coattails of a sheikh or our parents.

We have been giving a clear warning in the Qur’an regarding our personal accountability to The Creator–and an assurance that He will set us straight about our differences when all is said and done.

May we all find the focus we need to fast purely for the sake of Allah (SWT). Ameen.