حدثنا عبد الله أن رجلاً كان يتّبع سفيان الثوري فيجده أبداً يُخرج من لبنة – أي: طوب – رقعة ينظر فيها، فأحب أن يعلم ما فيها، فوقعت الرقعة في يده فإذا مكتوب فيها: سفيان ! اذكر وقوفك بين يدي الله عز وجل
“Abdullah told us that there was a man who used to follow Sufyan Ath-Thawri RH. He noticed that time and time again, Sufyan would take out a piece of paper from a small box which he had and gaze into it. This man became curious as per what was on the paper. It so happened that this paper fell into his hand and on it was written:
“Sufyan! Remember that you shall stand before Allah.”
What you just read was in fact common practice of our predecessors.
Many Muslims validate their lack of Islamic commitment by arguing that ‘my environment is full of haram’ or ‘no one is advising me’ This category of people won’t snap out of their sins till a third party comes along and advises them. The earlier generations didn’t wait for other people’s advice, but they would actively speak to themselves.
The companion, Anas Ibn Malik RA says:
سمعت عمر بن الخطاب يومًا، وخرجت معه، حتى دخل حائطًا، فسمعته يقول، وبيني وبينه حائط، وهو في جوف الحائط: “عمر بن الخطاب.. أمير المؤمنين.. بخ بخ، والله لتتقين الله يا ابن الخطاب، أو ليعذبنك!”
“I was once walking with ‘Umar Ibn Khattab till a walk separated us. I heard him saying to himself from the other side of the wall, “Umar Ibn Khattab?! Leader of the believers?! Well, you will either fear Allah, O ‘Umar or He will punish you!!”
It may be something which you hang up in front of your desk, or it may be Islamic lectures which you keep your ears plugged in with on the way to and back from work/school, or righteous friends whom you regularly ask for advice or it may even be a piece of paper which you keep with you, similar to Sufyan Ath-Thawri’s RH piece of paper.
Allah grant us his awareness and consciousness. Ameen Ya Rabb!