By Abdur Rahmaan Umar
Zaid peered at the multi-coloured graphs scattered on the table, some half buried beneath paper-piles of calculations. Taking a cautious step back, he ran his hand through is untidy mop of hair, a few flakes of dandruff floated gently down to rest on his shoulder.
"What's up, brother?" he questioned, gently prodding Yusuf on his shoulder.
Yusuf barely looked up and continued tapping away at his keyboard. Numbers flew across the screen giving birth to multi-coloured graphs.
Zaid prodded him again, forcing his chair to glide away from the desk, "What's with the graphs?"
Yusuf pulled himself back into position sending a few pages drifting to the floor, "Year-end audit," he mumbled, as he reached for the fugitive pages.
Zaid bent his head low, brushing his falling mop out of his eyes, looking at Yusuf in the eye, he exclaimed, "Let me get this right! Just let me get this right!" he sighed deeply. "You, Doctor Yusuf Ismail working for a government clinic are doing a year-end audit?"
Throwing his arms in the air in mock defeat, he continued, "What in the world do you need to do an audit for? You get your salary, you spend your salary and you see what's left, simple! What's to audit?"
He pulled a brightly coloured graph off the table and peered at it intensely. Yusuf gently tugged the sheet away from him, turned it around and handed it back, "Upside down," he said, straightening the papers close to him.
"Ok so what's this," asked Zaid reading from the page, "Salaah analysis? What kind of year end audit is this?"
Yusuf nudged his chair away from the table spinning round to face Yusuf, "That's what I'm analysing! My salaah and other religious actions."
"But why?" queried Zaid, cocking his head to one side scattering a few more flakes of dandruff.
"So I can see if I'm improving or not"
Zaid dusted his shoulders and making vain efforts to bring his hair under control, sending a fresh crop of dandruff snow. Cupping his puzzled face in his hands, he asked, "I don't understand. I really don't understand."
"Let me explain"
"Yes, please do! 'Cause I really don't understand why you doing year end audit stuff on your salaah, charity and Quran."
"You see," explained Yusuf, taking a long sip from his bottle of Voss mineral water, "Sheikh Hamaad was explaining some time ago that time passes, and with every passing year we come closer to our end."
"Hey yes, tell me about time passing," interjected Zaid, "It's another year gone, the Haajjis are back and next week it will be Muharram and then we start all over again. Crazy how time's flying."
"Time will pass," continued Yusuf draining the last of his bottled water, "But what we do with that time is our choice. We can use it in good or bad."
"True! But what's that got to do with this year-end stuff?"
Yusuf flashed an irritated glance at his friend, "Will you let me finish?"
"Ok, ok me I'm silent. You be the lecturer then" laughed Zaid putting his finger on his lips, "I will be the silent student."
"That's better," exclaimed Yusuf, "Sheikh explained that time is valuable and that Allah Ta'ala even took an oath on time in surah Asr to emphasise its importance."
"وَالْعَصْرِ إِنَّ الْإِنسَانَ لَفِي خُسْرٍ " Zaid began reciting, "By time, verily man is at a loss"
Yusuf frowned and said, "I thought you were going to be quiet"
"But this is Qur'an! Can't be quiet for Qur'an," replied Zaid, staring delinquently at his hands.
"So every year passes and if we don't check on ourselves the time will just go by and in the end we will be the losers. Hazrat Umar (Radia Allahu anhu) used to say – take your own reckoning before your reckoning is taken," Yusuf paused, reaching for another bottle of water from under his desk.
"You're a heavy drinker," chuckled Zaid.
"And you're a lousy listener," complained Yusuf flinging a crumpled page at his friend.
"If we don't check what we doing," he sighed, "and that's what I was trying to do, before you rudely interrupted me, then we will not progress. Sheikh explained that every good business checks its program every month if not daily. And, you could see all the sharp traders in the audience nodding their heads. But if we check then we will know where we can improve and progress."
"You mean like improve our Aaghirah(Hereafter) profits?" interrupted a smug smile crossing his lips. "We can make the big time up there."
Yusuf threw another crumpled page, "I give up with you! But yes, that's the whole thing. If we focus on developing our spiritual selves as much as we do other things we will iron out the problems, and progress so that we are not losers in the end."
"So I was comparing my salaah, how many I prayed with Jamaat (congregation) and on time. That's that graph you holding. See, I improved on Esha but Fajr is still my problem, gotta work on that one. So that's my focus for the next year –Fajr with Jamaat(congregation)!"
"You've done pretty well since you started checking on this, exclaimed Zaid waving the page triumphantly in the air, "From one with jamaat to four. That's a three hundred percent increase. Wow!"
Yusuf looked away bashfully not intending his details be exposed, "Alhamdulillah, only by the Mercy of Allah Ta'ala. When you determined to do some good then Allah Ta'ala will help you. But if I wasn't checking then I wouldn't have been aware and I wouldn't have made the effort to change. I would have been happy with my condition and then regretted in the end."
"So I check every-day," he said, proudly waiving his iPhone , "I even have an App called Qamr Deen to record this on a daily basis."
"Ok, doctor Accountant", mocked Zaid, "I think you are a techno freak but come let's draw up some fancy charts for me too. Come next Muharram I also want to show a profit"