All for Nothing?

Assalaamu-Alaykum – Peace be Upon you

Just as you know when you’ve done something bad, it’s also true that you know when you’ve done something good….

Either by actually seeing how much you’ve helped someone (or people) or that warm fuzzy feeling you get in your heart after a ‘good deed’ – it’s clear that you’ve done something good.

And obviously, human nature being such, we tend to feel good about it, we may even go and tell other people, or it may be that other people give us some sort of reward for the work that we have done (think of your salary bonus!)

So now you can ask the question, why do we do good deeds – whom do we aim to please?

Well Islam teaches its followers that no matter what good deed you do – whether it is the Hajj (Pilgrimage), Sawm (fasting), or even everyday things like removing a harmful obstacle from your path, helping someone, jobs at home or even jobs at work – Islam teaches that all these acts should be done with the intention of pleasing Allah.

Isn’t it interesting to see how the acts to please Allah are not just limited to obvious acts of worship?  I have been taught that even if you bring a glass of water for your mother, your intention should not only be to help your mother but also to please Allah.

But Islam does not stop there – no.

Not only does Islam teach a person to rectify his or her intention so that all acts are done to please Allah, Islam also teaches us that even after we have done the good deed, we should not be content with ourselves and, therefore, the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) taught us to pray to Allah to accept our good deeds.

Who knows – we might have carried out an extremely good act, given a vast amount of money in charity, and people are praising us, but because our intention may not have been correct, or for some other reason, our good deed may not even be worth the weight of a grain of sand in the eyes of Allah.

That is why in the teachings of the Prophet (PBUH) it is found that it is better to give a date in the Way of Allah with the intention of pleasing Allah, than to give mountains of gold with the wrong intention.

These days we are quick to blow our own trumpet and point out our good deeds and how much we have been of benefit, but we seldom stop to think what the quality of our deeds are and whether or not it is worthy of acceptance in the eyes of Allah.

Obviously, at the end of the day, we are also taught to do as much as we can to the best of our ability and have faith that Allah will accept our broken deeds through His sheer Mercy, otherwise it may be that whatever we have done has been all for nothing.

And Allah knows best.

Ma’as-salaam – With Peace

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One Response to “All for Nothing?”

  1. Salams and duas to one and all – This piece from our learned host “all for nothing” got me thinking – allah almighty is oft forgiving most merciful. We live in difficult spiritual times – sins are committed openly and sinful exploits are sung about long and loud by sinning perpetrators. At a time when people are seeking to emulate each other in the commission of sins anyone prepared to stop the rot and perform good deeds should be congratulated!

    True all deeds are according to the intention as the words of the well known bukhari hadith go. But in another authentic narration we are reminded of course that “allah almighty treats his slaves according to their expectations of him” – so let us not question the doer of good and what intention may lie behind it – I am not qualified to express some theological opinion and I do not purport to do so but the allah I believe in is that merciful, forgiving, almighty, all embracing, being who is all too willing to accept, to acknowledge and reward the deeds of those prepared to so engage –

    So come on brothers and sisters lets not doubt allah’s preparedness to accept – of course our deeds if challenged are likely to be found wanting – but allah almighty knows we are weak – indeed in the holy quran allah himself declares that he so created human beings WEAK – so whilst our deeds may in the end be weak – we should never doubt allah’s infinite ability to overlook faults and to accept. So FOR ALLAH IT IS WITH RESPECT -NEVER FOR NOTHING, Inshallah and Ameen – your sinful brother Elyas

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