The origin of every good deed is in being self-critical. Your inner critical voice will save you on the day of judgement.
The inner voice of a believer does not feel content, and always blames himself. Fearing Allah ﷻ and thinking that you are the least of the believers will stop you from committing sin. Rather than thinking: “I am doing good deeds, look at others, they are lost”.
Umar رضی الله عنه used to ask if his name was amongst the hypocrites. Why? Because he did not feel self-righteous, but self-critical.
If we feel self-righteous and think we have secured a special place with Allah ﷻ, we will start to feel we cannot make mistakes.
However, it is important to note that self-criticism should not run into self-destruction, that you blame yourself so harshly: i.e. telling yourself that you’re no good, never done a sincere good deed etc. you will eventually feel hopeless and abandon everything.
So this step to Allah ﷻ is to look deeply inward and turn back to Allah ﷻ seeking His help in overcoming the deficiencies you find inside yourself.
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Article inspired by Shaykh Zaqir’s classes