Question: What is the correct way to take oneself to task?
Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
Thank you for your important question.
Allah Most High says, “And I swear by the reproaching soul.” [Qur’an, 75: 2] And the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “The intelligent one is he who takes himself to the task and works for that which is after death.” [Tirmidhi]
Regarding moral issues such as giving in to the sinful and not keeping to one’s moral resolutions, one should take oneself to the task and blame it for not being more resilient, sincere, and diligent.
However, at the same time, one should accept moral defeat, repent to Allah, and turn to Him for help. Getting frustrated with oneself constitutes relying on oneself and not relying on Allah. It is not about becoming morally strong but rather learning how physically and morally dependent we all are on Allah. Allah Most High has said, “O My slaves, all of you are astray save those I have guided. So seek guidance from Me and I will guide you.” [Muslim]
One should not beat oneself up about bad worldly decisions, or lack of worldly achievements.
I pray this helps.
[Ustadh] Farid Dingle
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadh Farid Dingle has completed extensive years of study in the sciences of the Arabic language and the various Islamic Sciences. During his studies, he also earned a CIFE Certificate in Islamic Finance. Over the years he has developed a masterful ability to craft lessons that help non-Arabic speakers gain a deep understanding of the language. He currently teaches courses in the Arabic Language.