The Power of Doing- Part two

Find Part One here

“…O My servants, it is but your deeds that I account for you, and then recompense you for. So he who finds good, let him praise Allah, and he who finds other than that, let him blame no one but himself.”

We know then that our deeds are a reason for a good end or a bad end. They are the reason for our receiving mercy and entrance to Gardens of Bliss, or they are a reason for torment. The responsibility to act is on us, yet we are not and never will we be able to perform enough deeds to “deserve” entrance in to Paradise. It is but a mercy from Allaah as His Messenger صلى الله عليه و سلم said in the narration by Abu Huraira:

I heard Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) saying, “The good deeds of any person will not make him enter Paradise.” (i.e., None can enter Paradise through his good deeds.) They (the Prophet’s companions) said, ‘Not even you, O Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ)?’ He said, “Not even myself, unless Allah bestows His favour and mercy on me.” So be moderate in your religious deeds and do the deeds that are within your ability: and none of you should wish for death, for if he is a good doer, he may increase his good deeds, and if he is an evil doer, he may repent to Allah.” {Saheeh Al-Bukhari: 5673}

It is clear from both hadeeth therefore that it is upon us to ask for guidance and strive in worship but it is Allaah that guides and facilitates us to perform deeds of righteousness:

O My servants, all of you are astray except those whom I have guided, so seek guidance from Me and I shall guide you.

We can not fathom the mercy of Allaah upon His slaves. He is more merciful to us than our mothers; He admits to Paradise those who fulfill His Covenant though He is Free of need. Were He to wish that every one of us went to the Fire then it would not be an injustice as He is the Creator. He recompenses based on our deeds, whether good or bad therefore it is upon us to act:

“So whosoever does good equal to the weight of an atom (or a small ant), shall see it.

And whosoever does evil equal to the weight of an atom (or a small ant), shall see it.” {Surat Az-Zalzalah 99:7-8}

These actions, whether large or small, must be in accordance to the Shariah, based on the Qur’an and the Sunnah and they must be for the sake of Allaah alone. It is not enough that an action has a good intention, seeking the pleasure of Allaah and His reward, but it is an innovation that neither the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم did, nor his companions, nor the righteous predecessors. The one that commits such an act is making the claim that either he is more knowledgeable about a deed which gets one closer to Allaah than the Messenger صلى الله عليه و سلم or that there is an action which the Messenger صلى الله عليه سلم concealed and only the “special Awliya” are aware of these acts. Both premises are dismissed as ignorance as the Messenger صلى الله عليه و سلم said:

“If anyone introduces in our matter something which does not belong to it, will be rejected”. {Agreed Upon}

And he صلى الله عليه وسلم said:

“I am leaving you upon a (path of) brightness whose night is like its day. No one will deviate from it after I am gone but one who is doomed. Whoever among you lives will see great conflict. I urge you to adhere to what you know of my Sunnah and the path of the Rightly-Guided Caliphs, and cling stubbornly to it. And you must obey, even if (your leader is) an Abyssinian leader. For the true believer is like a camel with a ring in its nose; wherever it is driven, it complies.” {Sunan Ibn Maajah: Book 1 H:45}

There is, therefore, only one way of action that will lead to Paradise and that is the way of the Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم. Any action that does not comply with his Sunnah is rejected. In the same way, if an act is from the Sunnah but it is dedicated to other than Allaah, or used to seek nearness to other than Allaah then it is rejected. The act may be small but the Noble Angels are recording. The All-Mighty is Ever-Watching and All-Knowing. He knows the actions of the limbs and the actions of the heart. The power of doing an action, is that be it small or large, difficult or easy, it will all add up on the scales. Mountains, after all, are made up of small stones.

2016 - 1

We can not expect to follow our desires at every turn and neglect the obligations of Allaah upon us and expect that we will not be recompensed accordingly. It is as Ibn-ul Qayyim رحمه الله said:

“The intelligent person perceives forbidden things like a delicious food, which contain fatal poison. Whenever its pleasure arouses his interest, the reality of the poison would push him away from it. Also, he perceives the orders of Allaah as bitter medicine that leads to good health and recovery.” {Al-Fawaa’id (pg. 232 eng. trans)}

Let us not be deceived by the adornments of this worldly life. Let our actions reflect those of the righteous in order that we receive Mercy from The Merciful. We must remember that:

“The Paradise is surrounded by hardships and the Hell-Fire is surrounded by temptations.” {Saheeh Muslim: 2822}

We must remember that both are closer than we anticipate as the Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم said:

 “Jannah is nearer to anyone of you than your shoe-lace, and so is the (Hell) Fire”. {Saheeh Al-Bukhari: 6488}

May Allaah make our deeds those of righteousness, our hearts the hearts of the Muttaqeen and may He facilitate us towards evil and protect us from evil. May His Salaah and Salaam be upon the Final Messenger, his family, his companions and all those that follow them in goodness until the Day of Resurrection.

 

Inability

Abu Hurairah (رضي الله عنه) narrated that the Messenger of Allaah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said:

“Allaah, the Exalted says:  ‘I am as my slave thinks of me, and I am with him when he remembers Me. If he remembers Me inwardly, I will remember him inwardly, and if he remembers Me in an assembly, I will remember him in a better assembly (i.e., in the assembly of angels).” [Bukhari and Muslim]

We are all slaves of Allaah, willingly and unwillingly. It is He who gives us our sustenance, causes us to live and causes us to die. So it is no surprise when the slave sees that his affairs have been so perfectly handled that he would remember Allaah. It is not strange that the helpless would be grateful to the one he is constantly reliant upon. What is incredible however, is that the Lord of the Worlds, the One who is free of all need would remember he who sincerely remembers Him.

Allaah said:

“Therefore remember Me (by praying, glorifying, etc.). I will remember you, and be grateful to Me (for My countless Favours on you) and never be ungrateful to Me.” [Surat al Baqarah: 152]

It is when we are forgotten (neglected and left to our own desires NOT excluded from the knowledge and ability of Allaah) that we are destroyed.

“And it will be said: ‘This Day We will forget you as you forgot the Meeting of this Day of yours. And your abode is the Fire, and there is none to help you.'” [Surat Al-Jathiyah: 34]

How miserable then is the case of the one who is heedless. He does not remember Allaah, therefore he is accordingly forgotten. He indulges in every sin, follows every whim and sees himself as self sufficient. He is so corrupted that, the thought of doing righteous deeds does not even enter his mind. The Angel that accompanies him withdraws from the vileness of his behaviour and the Shaytan (devil) gets closer to him for his evil.

“And whosoever turns away (blinds himself) from the remembrance of the Most Beneficent (Allaah) (i.e. this Qur’aan and worship of Allaah), We appoint for him Shaytan (Satan – devil) to be a Qarin (an intimate companion) to him.” [Surat Az-Zukhruf: 36]

He is lost in a world of vain desires and amusements, while thinking he is successful. When he is reminded of the eternal (the afterlife, paradise and hellfire), he is not affected. The Qur’aan, the speech of Allaah about which Allaah said…

“And if there had been a Qur’aan with which mountains could be moved (from their places), or the earth could be cloven asunder, or the dead could be made to speak (it would not have been other than this Qur’aan). But the decision of all things is certainly with Allaah…” [Surat Ar-Ra’d:31]

…does not affect him, and he is as Allaah described him:

“Have you seen him who takes his own lust (vain desires) as his ilah (god), and Allah knowing (him as such), left him astray, and sealed his hearing and his heart, and put a cover on his sight. Who then will guide him after Allah? Will you not then remember?” [Surat Al-Jathiyah: 23]

He has lost the ability to do good, because of his persistence in evil. He is punished in this world and the punishment of the Hereafter is greater. Ibn al Qayyim (رحمه الله) said:

“The slave is not afflicted with a punishment greater than the hardening of the heart and being distant from Allaah. For the Fire was created to melt the hardened heart.The most distant heart from Allaah is the heart which is hardened. If the heart becomes hardened, the eyes become dry.”

We seek refuge in Allaah from a hardened heart, the inability to do righteous deeds and eyes that do not weep in fear and hope of Him. May the Salaah and Salaam be upon the final Messenger, his family, his companions and those that follow them in goodness till the Day of Resurrection.

The Aayaat of Allaah

“Verily, in the creation of the heavens and the earth and in the alternations of night and day, and the ships which sail through the sea with that which is of use to mankind, and the water (rain) which Allaah sends down from the sky, and makes the earth alive therewith after its death, and the moving (living) creatures of all kinds that He has scattered therein, and in the veering of the winds and clouds which are held between the sky and the earth, are indeed aayaat for people of understanding.” [Surat-ul-Baqarah: 164]

“We will show them Our signs in the universe and in their own selves, until it becomes clear to them that this (Qur’aan) is the truth.” [Surah Fussilat: 53]

“But those who disbelieve and belie Our Aayaat such are the dwellers of the Fire, they shall abide therein forever.” [Surat-ul-Baqarah: 39]

“Except for those who repent after that and do righteous deeds. Verily, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” [Surah Ali ‘Imraan: 89]

 

*Aayaat (singular: aayah)= verses, signs, miracles, proofs, evidences, lessons, revelation