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.

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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.

 

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A Way Out

basmalah

Allaah, the Most High, said:

“…And whosoever fears Allaah and keeps his duty to Him, He will make a way for him to get out (from every difficulty).

And will provide for him from where he does not expect. And whoever relies upon Allaah – then He is sufficient for him. Indeed, Allaah will accomplish His purpose. Allaah has already set for everything a [decreed] extent.” [Surat at-Talaq: 2-3]

When we face difficulty or oppression, our refuge should always be Allaah. None but He who can change our situation, comfort our hearts and give us the patience and wisdom we need to deal with these difficulties as they come. Ibn al-Qayyim (رحمه الله) said:

“Resort to no one but your Lord, for resorting to others is a disgrace.”

How unfortunate it is then to see that the slave will disgrace himself by seeking comfort and ease from people instead of his Lord. He knows that they can not change his situation but still humiliates himself before them. Were he to fear Allaah and resort only to Him, his heart would have been put right and his status would have been raised.

Ibn Kathir (رحمه الله) said about the ayah above:

“…whoever has Taqwa of Allaah in what He has commanded and avoids what He has forbidden, then Allah will make a way out for him from every difficulty and will provide for him from resources he never anticipated or thought about.”

Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that `Abdullah bin Mas`ud said:

The greatest Ayah in the Qur’aan that contains relief is: “And whosoever fears Allaah and keeps his duty to Him, He will make a way for him to get out (from every difficulty).”

`Abdullah bin Mas`ud and Masruq commented on the Ayah, saying:

“It pertains to when one knows that if Allah wills He gives, and if He wills He deprives, “from where he never could imagine.” from resources he did not anticipate”

And Qatadah said about the way out referred to in this ayah:

“Meaning, from every doubt and the horrors experienced at the time of death, “And He will provide him from where he never could imagine” from where he never thought of or anticipated.”

Allaah said:

“And whoever relies upon Allah – then He is sufficient for him.”

Imam Ahmad recorded that Ibn `Abbas said that he rode the Prophet’s camel while sitting behind the Prophet , and the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said to him:

“O boy! I will teach you words.Be mindful of Allaah and He will protect you, be mindful of Allaah and He will be on your side. If you ask, ask Allaah, and if you seek help, seek it from Allaah. Know that if the Ummah (the nation) gather their strength to bring you benefit, they will never bring you benefit, except that which Allaah has decreed for you. Know that if they gather their strength to harm you, they will never harm you, except with that which Allaah has decreed against you. The pens have been raised and the pages are dry.” [Also narrated by At-Tirmidhi who said it is Hasan]

How excellent is the advice of the Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم)! Were we to fully understand and act according to this, never would we despair, or feel alone. We would be patient; hoping and anticipating from Allaah the reward for doing so and realising that what is to be decreed has been decreed, and Allaah, the Most High is the Best disposer of Affairs. “The pens have been raised and the pages are dry” so why would be be hasty when we know that Allaah said:

“So be patient. Surely, the (good) end is for the Muttaqun (the righteous)” [Surat Hud: 49]

May Allaah grant us true tawakkul (reliance) upon Him and may His words be a source of our ease and comfort. May His Salaah and Salaam be upon the Final Messenger, his family, his companions, and all those that follow them in righteousness till the Day of Resurrection.

Arm yourselves with the Sunnah

Imaam Maalik رحمه الله said that it reached him that Zubair Ibn Al-`Awaam رضي الله عنه said to his son:

“Do not argue with the people using the Qur’aan (only) for you will not be able to (overcome them), but upon you is the Sunnah.”

The Muhaajireen and the Ansaar, as well as Ibn `Abbaas رضي الله عنهم debated with the Khawaarij (using the Sunnah) in regards to the issues pertaining to `Alee ibn Abu Taalib رضي الله عنه.

The Companions never prevented anyone from debating for seeking the truth. What is established is that the most praise worthy type of debating is for seeking the truth and aiding it, as well as exposing the falsehood and informing about the corruption it causes. But as for false argumentations then it is only quarreling and disputations about which the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said:

“The most despicable amongst persons in the eye of Allaah is the one who tries to fall into dispute with others (for nothing but only to display his knowledge and power of argumentation).” [1]

[al-Faqeeh wal-Mutafaqqih of al-Khateeb al-Baghdaadee (1/561)]

[1] Saheeh al-Bukhaaree (2457, 4523, 7188) and Saheeh Muslim (6447).

Source

True Profit

Muhammad ibn Abi Ali al Asbahaanee recited the following lines of poetry:

“Act upon your knowledge and you will profit, O man
Knowledge doesn’t benefit so long as one doesn’t perfect his actions
Knowledge is beauty and Taqwaa (Fear) of Allaah is its decoration
Those with Taqwaa are always preoccupied with their knowledge
The proof of Allaah, O possessor of knowledge, is immense
Neither plotting nor scheming concerning it is of any use
Acquire knowledge and perform deeds as much as you can
And do not let vain pastimes and argumentation distract you
Team the people and always make it your goal to benefit them
And beware, beware of fatigue and weariness overtaking you
Admonish your brother with gentleness when he makes a mistake
For knowledge is affectionate with those who are overcome by errors
And if you are amidst a people that have no religious morals
Then command them to do good when they act ignorantly (i.e. sin)
And if they disobey you, then remind them without getting annoyed
And be patient, strive in patience and do not let their actions worry you
For every goat is attached to its two feet
Have patience whether they are oppressive or fair.”

Quoted in Iqtidaa ul ‘ilm al amal

The importance of one’s speech

Abu Hurairah (may Allaah be pleased with him) reported:
The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم ) said,

“He who believes in Allaah and the Last day must either speak good or remain silent”

Abu Musa Al-Ash’ari (may Allaah be pleased with him) reported:
I asked the Messenger of Allaah (صلى الله عليه و سلم ): “Who is the most excellent among the Muslims?” He said

“One from whose tongue and hands the other Muslims are secure”

Abu Hurairah (may Allaah be pleased with him) reported:
The Prophet ( صلى الله عليه و سلم) said,

“A man utters a word pleasing to Allaah without considering it of any significance for which Allaah exalts his ranks (in Jannah) ; another one speaks a word displeasing to Allaah without considering it of any importance, and for this reason he will sink down into Hell.”

Ibn ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him) reported:
The Messenger of Allaah (صلى الله عليه و سلم ) said,

“Do not indulge in excessive talk except when remembering Allaah. Excessive talking without the Remembrance of Allaah hardens the heart; and those who are farthest from Allaah are those whose hearts are hard”

 

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Source – Riyadhus Saliheen: all ahadeeth are Sahih

Our Deeds

Abu Dharr (رضي الله عنه) narrated that the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said:

“Allaah, the Exalted, and Glorious, said;

‘O My slaves, I have prohibited Myself injustice; and have made oppression unlawful for you, so do not oppress one another.

O My slaves, all of you are liable to err except the one whom I guide on the Right Path, so seek guidance from Me so that I will guide you to the Right Path.

O My slaves, all of you are hungry except the one whom I feed, so ask food from Me, I will feed you.

O My slaves, all of you are naked except those whom I clothe, so ask clothing of Me and I shall clothe you.

O My slaves, you commit sins night and day and I forgive all sins, so seek My forgiveness and I shall forgive you.

O My slaves, you can neither do Me any harm nor can you do Me any good.

O My slaves, were the first of you and the last of you, the human of you and the jinn of you to be as pious as the most pious heart of any man of you, that would not increase My dominion a thing.

O My slaves, were the first of you, and the last of you, the human of you and the jinn of you to be as wicked as the most wicked heart of any man of you, that would not decrease My dominion a thing.

O My slaves, were the first of you and the last of you, the human of you and the jinn of you to stand in one place and make a request of Me, and I were to give everyone what he requested, that would not decrease what I have, any more than a needle decreases the sea if put into it.

O My slaves, it is but your deeds that I reckon for you and then recompense you for, so let him who finds good (I.e. in the Hereafter) praise Allaah and let him who finds other than that blame no one but himself’“. [Sahih Muslim]

Sincerity

The starting point with any sort of tazkiyah (purification) is intention.

Umar ibn al-Khattab (رضي الله عنه) said:

“I heard the Messenger of Allaah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) say: ‘Indeed an action depends on the intention behind it. A man will be rewarded only for what he intended. The emigration of one who emigrates for the sake of Allaah and His Messenger (صلى الله عليه و سلم) is for the sake of Allaah and His Messenger (صلى الله عليه و سلم); and the emigration of one who emigrates for gaining a worldly advantage or for marrying a woman is for what he has emigrated.’” [Sahih Muslim, Book 020, Number 4692]

A sincere intention is not something that is beyond our scope since Allaah said:

“Allaah burdens not a person beyond his scope…” [Surat Al-Baqarah: 286]

So it is possible, it is just a matter of striving for it:

“As for those who strive hard in Us (Our Cause), We will surely guide them to Our paths. And verily Allaah is with the Muhsinun (good doers)” [Surat al ‘Ankabut:69]