My cell phone allows me to dictate all of the messages or articles that I write. I speak into my phone and my words turn into text. I did not write the words, but nevertheless, I am the author. The words that show up on my screen are the words that I have uttered and nothing will show up that I did not say.

And this, dear readers, is like our book of deeds in which everything we have done or said in the course of our lives is being recorded even now (see Quran 82:10-12). We did not write the book with our hands, but nevertheless, we are its author because that which is found in this book is a 100% accurate account of everything we did without leaving anything out whatsoever. (See Quran 17:13-14; 3:30; 18:49; 84:7-12; 99:6-8)

So we have to ask ourselves in a very truthful and honest way regarding what kind of entries are being made in our book of deeds. And those entries, of course, are the actions we carry out and the words that we speak in our lives. This book is waiting for us and will be presented before us when we stand before Allah and we will exclaim “what kind of book is this? It leaves nothing out whatsoever!” (see 18:49) In other words, it is a true account of everything we have done, even as the words that I see on my screen are a true record of the words that I have spoken, with one small difference. Sometimes my phone does not read my words correctly and makes a mistake. As a result, I have to manually go back and make the necessary corrections. But with our book of deeds, there will be absolutely no mistakes whatsoever and we will not be able to dispute what is written therein.

But while we are still alive and breathing we can choose which deeds we wish to have recorded in our favour. This means that if we don’t want to have deeds that we will be ashamed of when we meet Allah, then we should avoid them and instead carry out those deeds which are pleasing to Allah.

We all are very much aware of the truth of our own records, at least to a certain extent. There are some deeds that we have committed that we have totally forgotten about, while there are other deeds that we wish we could forget about but cannot. But in this book of deeds, there will be no forgetting or anything being overlooked.

But what hope do we have if there are so many bad deeds on our record? First of all, Allah loves to forgive His servants when they call upon Him and ask for forgiveness. (see Quran 39:53) One way to do this is to carry out those acts that Allah has prescribed, such as the five daily prayers, fasting the month of Ramadan and, if able, performing the Hajj and other such righteous deeds. 

Consider the following hadeeth Qudsi in al-Bukhari:

On the authority of Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him), who said that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said:

Allah (mighty and sublime be He) said: Whosoever shows enmity to someone devoted to Me, I shall be at war with him. My servant draws not near to Me with anything more loved by Me than the religious duties I have enjoined upon him, and My servant continues to draw near to Me with supererogatory works so that I shall love him. When I love him I am his hearing with which he hears, his seeing with which he sees, his hand with which he strikes and his foot with which he walks. Were he to ask [something] of Me, I would surely give it to him, and were he to ask Me for refuge, I would surely grant him it. I do not hesitate about anything as much as I hesitate about [seizing] the soul of My faithful servant: he hates death and I hate hurting him.

We should also keep in mind, as stated in the Quran, that every bad deed counts as one while every good deed counts as 10. (See Quran 6:160) This is an example of the generosity of Allah towards His servants even when they are disobedient.

When we stand before Allah and our good deeds are placed on one side of a scale and our bad deeds are placed on the other, if our good deeds outweigh our bad deeds then this will be good news for us. But if our bad deeds outweigh our good deeds then this is not very good news at all. (See Quran 23:102-103; But, as I stated, Allah has made the weight of the good deeds much greater than the weight of the bad deeds.

And Allah says: “And we place the scales of justice for the Day of Resurrection, so no soul will be treated unjustly in any way.” [Sūrah al-Anbiyā, 21:47]

During this blessed month, there is an opportunity to carry out more good deeds as they are more rewardable during this time of fasting. In addition, this month contains Lalatyl Qadr which is better than 1,000 months. This is why we should take every opportunity we can to carry out as many good deeds as possible during this blessed month, as well as on the night of  Lalatyl Qadr. Doing so helps to ensure that our record of good deeds will be heavier when we stand before Allah. 

And we should never discount any good deed as insignificant. Recall that Jabir ibn Sulaym reported: I came to the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, and I said, “O Messenger of Allah, instruct me.” The Prophet said, “Fear Allah and do not belittle any good deed, not even emptying your bucket in a cup for someone to drink or speaking to your brother with a cheerful face.” — (al-Sunan al-Kubrá lil-Nasā’ī)

We should always hope that Allah will accept all that we do and know that He is most generous to those who turn to him in sincerity and hope.