Hasten To Do Good
Sheikh ‘Alee al Hudaify
Rabee ath Thaani 26, 1429 ~ May 2, 2008
All praise is due to Allah. We praise Allah, and seek His help and guidance. We turn to Him in repentance and we put all our affairs in His hands. We seek refuge in Allah from the evil of ourselves and the evil of our bad deeds. Indeed, whoever Allah guides, none can misguide, and whomever Allah allows to fall astray, there is none who can guide him. I testify that there is no diety worthy of worship except Allah, the one true God who has no partner. I also testify that Muhammad is Allah’s servant and messenger. Oh Allah, send your abundant peace and blessing upon your servant and prophet Muhammad, his family, his companions, and whoever follows his guidance until the last day.
Oh servants of Allah, fear Allah so that you please Him. It is the fear of Allah that purifies hearts and souls and causes you to succeed in the hereafter. Allah says “...And whosoever fears Allâh and keeps his duty to Him, He will make a way for him to get out. And He will provide him from (sources) he never could imagine…whosoever fears Allâh and keeps his duty to Him, He will make his matter easy for him...and whosoever fears Allâh and keeps his duty to Him, He will expiate from him his sins, and will enlarge his reward.” [Surah Talaaq: Ayaah 2-5]
Fellow Muslims, through righteousness one attains all that is good and through disobedience one attains all that is evil. You will never see anyone who disobeys Allah and is happy, or anyone who obeys Him and is miserable. So Allah makes Jannah a reward for righteousness and avoiding evil, and He makes Jahannam a punishment for committing evil and avoiding righteousness. Allah says “As for him who gives (in charity) and keeps his duty to Allâh and fears Him, And believes in Al-Husna. We will make smooth for him the path of ease (goodness). But he who is greedy miser and thinks himself self-sufficient. And gives belies Al-Husna; We will make smooth for him the path for evil;” [Surah Layl: Ayaah 5-7] It is Jannah that believers will receive as a reward for their good doings. Allah says: “Then, for him who transgressed all bounds And preferred the life of this world, Verily, his abode will be Hell-fire;” [Surah Naziat: Ayaah 37-39]
Allah makes righteous deeds a means of attaining all that is good. So let every Muslim not belittle any good deed and let him be willing to do all that is righteous whenever possible for him to do so. Maybe a good deed that is small will weigh the heaviest in Allah’s scale and causes him to be accepted by Allah the Almighty in the hereafter. Allah says: “Then as for him whose balance (of good deeds) will be heavy, He will live a pleasant life (in Paradise).” [Surah Qari’ah: Ayaah 6-7] Doing more righteous deeds, even if they are small has a great effect in the hereafter. Allah says: “Surely! Allâh wrongs not even of the weight of an atom (or a small ant), but if there is any good (done), He doubles it, and gives from Him a great reward.” [Surah Nisaa: Ayah 40] There will be glad tidings for those who do different kinds of righteous deeds if the Muslim abides by what is obligated of and does many righteous deeds as he can then he is walking along path of salvation and success. Indeed there are many ways of righteousness and they are all easy.
Allah says: “And march forth in the way (which leads to) forgiveness from your Lord, and for Paradise as wide as are the heavens and the earth, prepared for Al-Muttaqûn.” [Surah Ale ‘Imraan: Ayah 133] And Allah says: “Race with one another in hastening towards forgiveness from your Lord (Allâh), and Paradise the width whereof is as the width of the heaven and the earth, prepared for those who believe in Allâh and His Messengers. That is the Grace of Allâh which He bestows on whom He is pleased with. And Allâh is the Owner of Great Bounty.” [Surah Hadeed: Ayah 21] Allah also says: “…so compete in good deeds. The return of you (all) is to Allâh; then He will inform you about that in which you used to differ.” [Surah Ma’idah: Ayah 48]
Just as the Muslim should be willing to do every righteous deed even if it is small, he is also to avoid every sin even if it seems trivial. In this regard, the Prophet (Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam) warned us against this in a narration saying “Beware of small sins, as they may be so many that may cause their doer to perish in disgrace.”
There are three categories of righteous deeds. The first includes acts of worship that only benefit the person who does them, such as salaah, fasting, and the like. The Prophet (Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam) encouraged Muslims to exert effort in this area. Abu Hurayrah (Radiallahu Anhu) has narrated that the Messenger of Allah (Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said “The best prayer after the obligatory one is that which is done at night. And the best fast after those of Ramadhaan are those performed during the month of Muharram.” [Nawawi] Anas ibn Maalik (Radiallahu Anhu) narrated that the Prophet (Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said “Whoever prays the Fajr salaah in congregation and then engages himself in devotion until sunrise and then concludes this state of devotion with a 2 rak’ah prayer, Allah will give him the reward of Hajj and ‘Umrah.” [Tirmidhi and Tabarani]
Every day everyone is required to give charity for every joint in his body. A two rak’ah prayer in the forenoon is enough to exempt him [as it is equivilant]. The narration states that every joint in a persons body is a blessing for which he must express gratitude to Allah by giving charity for every joint every day. However, if a person does not have the means of giving in charity, he can just perform a two rak’ah prayer in the forenoon. It is also narrated by Abu Darda (Radiallahu Anhu) that the Messenger of Allah (Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said “Allahs says, “Oh son of Adam! Perform a four rak’ah prayer in the beginning of the day and I will protect you the rest of the day.” [Tirmidhi] This four rak’ah prayer is different from the Fajr salaah and it is an optional prayer. It is narrated by Abu Dharr (Radiallahu Anhu) that the Messenger of Allah (Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam) was reported to have said “No one does a prostration to Allah but He gives him a reward and forgives him a sin.” Abu Darda (Radiallahu Anhu) has narrated that the Messenger of Allah (Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam) once said to his companions “Shall I tell you of the best of righteous deeds in Allah’s sight and the most likely to raise your rank in the hereafter? Such deeds which are better than spending gold and silver in charity and fighting in the cause of Allah.” The companions said “Yes, oh Rasulullah.” The Messenger of Allah (Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said: “It is the remberance of Allah.” [Ahmad, Tirdmidhi, and Haakim]
Abu Hurayrah (Radiallahu Anhu) has narrated that the Messenger of Allah (Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said “Whoever says one hundred times La illaha illallah wahdahu la sharikalah lahul mulk walahul hamd wa huwa ‘ala kulli shayin qadeerwill be given the reward of setting ten slaves free and a reward of one hundred good deeds. In addition, he will have one hundred of his sins forgiven and he will be protected from the temptation of Shaytaan until the end of the day. No one will be like him in the hereafter except another who did the same or more than that.” [Saheeh Bukhari wa Muslim] It is narrated that the Messenger of Allah (Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said “Whoever says one hundred times Subhanallahi wa bihamdi in the day no one will be better than him in the hereafter.” [Saheeh Muslim]
The best kinds of invocations is that which is said immediately after performance of the five daily prayers. Such invocations are a means of attaining all that is good and being protected from all that is evil. Another way of righteousness exists in the Messenger of Allah’s (Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam) instruction where ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar (Radiallahu Anhum) has narrated “Fast three days of every month, then you will have the reward of fasting an entire year.”
The second category of righteousness includes deeds and acts of worship that involves benefits for other people. Such deeds are good for oneself as well as for others. This is a great field of competition in which whoever wins attains real success in this life and in the hereafter. ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar (Radiallahu Anhum) has narrated that the Messenger of Allah (Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said “There are forty good deeds, the best of which is giving milk in charity. Whoever does any of these deeds seeking Allah’s reward and believing in in the Prophets promise of such reward will enter Jannah.” [Bukhari] Jaabir (Radiallahu Anhu) has narrated that the Messenger of Allah (Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said “Every good deed is a charity and among the good deeds are that you smile at others and help people when they are in need.” [Ahmad]
Abu Dharr (Radiallahu Anhu) once asked the Messenger of Allah (Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam) “Oh Rasulullah tell me about a deed that will enable me to enter Jannah.” The Messenger of Allah (Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said to him “Believe in Allah.” Abu Dharr then said “Oh Rasulullah, belief requires practice to prove it.” The Messenger of Allah (Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam) then said to him “You can give in charity.” Abu Dharr then said “Oh Rasulullah, what if I am not that good to do such a job?” The Messenger of Allah (Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said to him “Then you can support an oppressed person.” Abu Dharr then said “Oh Rasulullah, suppose I am weak.” The Messenger of Allah (Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said to him “You can work for the one who is disabled.” Abu Dharr then replied “Oh Rasulullah, suppose I cannot do that.” The Messenger of Allah (Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said to him “If you do not have the means of doing that which is good, then refrain from doing what is evil.” Abu Dharr then replied “Oh Rasulullah, all that you have mentioned is easy to be done.” The Messenger of Allah (Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said to him “If anyone does any of the good deeds I have mentioned while seeking only Allah’s satisfaction he will be saved on the Day of Qiyaamah and will attain Jannah.” [Ibn Hibban]
In the same regard, Abu Hurayrah (Radiallahu Anhu) narrated the Messenger of Allah (Salallahu Alayh Wasallam) said “A prostitute was forgiven by Allah, because, passing by a panting dog near a well and seeing that the dog was about to die of thirst, she took off her shoe, and tying it with her head-cover she drew out some water for it. So, Allah forgave her because of that.” [Saheeh Bukhari wa Muslim] The Messenger of Allah (Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam) also stated “Kindness with any living thing is a good deed for which one is rewarded.” [Saheeh Bukhari wa Muslim]
The third category of righteousness is to refrain from doing evil or harm to others. The Muslim is to keep his tongue and all parts of his body from doing evil to others. In this way, he will retain the reward of his good deeds and relieve others from his evil. Abu Dharr (Radiallahu Anhu) asked the Messenger of Allah (Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam) “Ya Rasulullah, which deed is the best?” The Messenger of Allah (Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam) replied “It is to have belief in Allah and fight in His cause.” Abu Dharr then asked “What if I cannot fight?“ The Messenger of Allah replied “Help a laboror or work for the one who is disabled.” Abu Dharr then said “Ya Rasulullah, suppose I cannot do that?” The Messenger of Allah (Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam) “Desist from doing mischief to the people. That is your own charity for your self.” [Saheeh Bukhari wa Muslim]
Allah the Almighty says “Whosoever does a good deed, it is for his ownself, and whosoever does evil, it is against (his ownself). Then to your Lord you will be made to return.” [Surah Jathiya: Ayah 15] Allah also says: “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.” [Surah Zalzala: Ayaah 7-8] And Allah says: “If you avoid the great sins which you are forbidden to do, We shall expiate from you your (small) sins, and admit you to a Noble Entrance (i.e. Paradise).” [Surah Nisaa: Ayah 31]
I ask Allah to benefit us all from the Quran and Sunnah and benefit us from its clear signs, judicious speech, and wisdom. I seek the forgiveness of Allah for myself, you, and all the Muslims, so seek His forgiveness for He is the Oft Forgiver, Most Merciful.
All praise is due to Allah and I testify that there is none worthy of worship but Allah the One true God who has no partner. Allah is the Supporter of those who are righteous. I also testify that Muhammad is Allah’s servant and messenger. Muhammad is the leader of those who came earlier and those who came later. Oh Allah, send your abundant peace and blessing upon your servant and prophet Muhammad, his family, and his companions.
Oh Muslims, fear Allah, for fearing Allah is a means of felicity, while following one’s desires is way to misery.
Fellow Muslims, keep your duty to Allah in the most proper way. Perform acts of worship in the way that the Prophet (Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam) taught us so that you will be accepted by Allah the Almighty. Beware of things that may render your righteous deeds void, things which happen when a person follows good deeds with bad deeds. Beware of Shaytaan and his temptations. Keep in mind the advice of the Prophet (Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam) where he said “Indeed Allah obligated you to do some things, so do not neglect these obligations. He also set laws, so do not violate them, and forbade some things, so do not approach them. And He remained silent about other things out of His grace, so do not ask about them.”
Oh Muslims, do more righteous deeds, as Allah says “O you who have believed! Bow down, and prostrate yourselves, and worship your Lord and do good that you may be successful.” [Surah Hajj: Ayah 77] Hold yourselves to account before you are taken to account, and let everyone turn unto Allah in repentance from every sin committed. Mu’aadh ibn Jabal (Radiallahu Anhu) narrated the Messenger of Allah (Salallahu Alayh Wasallam) said “Fear Allah wherever you are. Follow a bad deed with a good one, then what is good will erase what is bad. And have good morality with people.”
Fellow Muslims, fill your hearts with sincerity towards Allah, then your deeds will come sincere and will be accepted. The Messenger of Allah (Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said “Indeed Allah does not look at your appearance or your deeds, He looks at your heart.” [Saheeh Muslim] He (Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam) also said “Fasting, giving in charity, attending funerals, and visiting the sick, if anyone happens to these deeds all in one day, he will enter into Jannah.”
Servants of Allah, Allah says “Allâh and His angels send Salât on the Prophet. O you who believe! Send your Salât on him, and greet him with the Islâmic way of greeting.” [Surah Ahzaab: Ayah 56] The Messenger of Allah (Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam) also says “Whoever invokes Allah to send a single blessing on me, Allah will send ten blessings on him in return.”
Oh Allah, bestow your favor on Muhammad and the family of Muhammad, as you have bestowed favors on Ibraheem and the family of Ibraheem. Indeed you are Praise worthy and Glorious. And bless Muhammad and the family of Muhammad as you have blessed Ibrahreem and the family of Ibraheem. Indeed you are Praise worthy and Glorious. Peace and blessings be upon them all.
Oh Allah, be pleased with his four rightly guided khulafa, Abu Bakr, ‘Umar, Uthmaan, and ‘Ali, the Prophet’s household, all the venerable companions, tabi’een, and those who followed them in righteousness until the Day of Judgment.
Oh Allah, be pleased with us along with them, out of your Favor, Mercy, and Beneficience. Indeed you are the Most Merciful of those who show mercy.
Oh Allah, cause Islaam and the Muslims to triumph.
Oh Allah, support your religion, your book, and the sunnah of your prophet. You are the Lord of the universe.
Oh Allah, let us recognize the truth and follow it, and let us recognize falsehood and avoid it. Oh Allah, we seek your protection from being confused in religion. Oh Allah, you are the Lord of the hearts, so make our hearts steadfast upon your religion…