وَكُلَّ إِنسَانٍ أَلْزَمْنَاهُ طَائِرَهُ فِي عُنُقِهِ ۖ وَنُخْرِجُ لَهُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ كِتَابًا يَلْقَاهُ مَنشُورًا
And [for] every person We have imposed his fate upon his neck, and We will produce for him on the Day of Resurrection a record which he will encounter spread open. (Surah al Isra: 13)
The word طَائِرَ is used for a bird that flies in the sky. It also means ‘fate’. In this ayah however, the word refers to deeds, because a person either flies high or low due to his actions.
And just like how difficult it is to catch a bird once it has flown away, our deeds too cannot be retrieved once we have committed them. Which is why it is so important to think before we say or do anything. Because once the words are out of your mouth, you can’t really take them back.
It takes many good deeds to build a good reputation, and only one bad one to lose it.Benjamin Franklin
So none of us can detach ourselves from our deeds. Everything we do is being recorded, and on the Day of Judgment we will be presented with our record of deeds…
اقْرَأْ كِتَابَكَ كَفَىٰ بِنَفْسِكَ الْيَوْمَ عَلَيْكَ حَسِيبًا
[It will be said], “Read your record. Sufficient is yourself against you this Day as accountant.” (Surah al Isra: 14)
In this Dunya we can hide our vices, delete our emails and erase our messages. But not on the Day of Judgment. Our record will be thrown wide open and its contents will be real, accurate and readable. Every single thing will be there. Including those things we did in private, thinking no one was watching.
So we need to ask ourselves how we are spending our days and nights, and what we’re doing during our private moments and public ones. Are our deeds ‘presentable’? Will we be happy when we see it?
The Prophet (ﷺ) said: “Whoever loves to be pleased by his book of deeds should fill it with excessive Istighfar.” [Al Mu’jam Al Awsat Lit-Tabarāni: 843]
So work on your ‘book’ today. Edit it. Beautify it with good deeds. Make it presentable and fill it with Istighfaar. For tomorrow, you may never get a chance.