good deeds

The Last Drops of this World

Khālid b. ‘Umayr Al-‘Adawī reports, ‘Utbah b. Ghazwān – Allāh be pleased with him – once gave us a sermon. He praised Allāh, then said:

The life of this world has announced its departure and is quickly turning away, and nothing remains of it save the likes of the last drop of water in a vessel as its possessor tries to catch it. You are moving on to an abode that has no end, so move on with the best [deeds] that you have. For it has been said to us that a rock can be dropped from the edge of Hell and fall for seventy years without reaching the bottom. Yet, by Allāh, it will be filled. Do you not then wonder? And it has been said to us that a single entrance to Paradise is as wide as a journey of forty years, yet there will come a day when it will be crowded.

I have seen myself as the seventh of seven [followers of] Allāh’s Messenger – Allāh’s peace and blessings be upon him; we had no food save the leaves of trees which put sores round our mouths. I once got a cloak which I tore in half to share with Sa’d b. Mālik: I used half as my waist-wrap and he used the other. And yet today, there is not one of us except he has become a governor over some city – and I seek refuge with Allāh that I consider myself great and important when I am small in front of Allāh. Verily there was never prophet-hood except that it gradually changed until it ended up being a kingship, and verily you will see what the governors after us are like.

Sahīh Muslim no. 7624

True Goodness

It is reported that ‘Alī b. Abī Ṭālib – Allāh be pleased with him – said:

Goodness is not in your wealth and offspring being plentiful; true goodness is when your [good] deeds are plenty and you have great understanding and forbearance, and when you compete to worship your Lord. If you do good you praise Allāh and thank Him, and if you sin you beg Allāh’s forgiveness. There is no good in this life except with two types of men: A man who sins but then corrects himself through repentance, and a man who strives and hastens to get [the good] of the hereafter.

Ibn ‘Asākir, Al-Tawbah article 13.

The Complete Man

Imām Al-Buwayṭī – Allāh have mercy on him – reports:

I heard Al-Shāfi’ī say, “A man does not become complete in this life except when he has four [qualities]: religiousness (al-diyānah), trustworthiness (al-amānah), safeguarding [from sin] (al-ṣiyānah) and sobriety (al-razānah).”

Al-Bayhaqī, Manāqib Al-Shāfi’ī 2:189.

Holy Man

Abū Al-Dardā` once wrote to Salmān Al-Fārsī:

Come to the Holy Land. [Salmān] wrote back, “Verily, the land does not make anyone holy; it is the deeds of a man that make him pure.”

Al-Dhahabī, SIyar A’lām Al-Nubalā 1:549.

Weapons of Mass Distinction

Abū Isḥāq [Al-Fazārī] states:

The enemy was never able to stand up to the Companions of Allāh’s Messenger – Allāh’s praise and peace be upon him, so when the news of the defeat of the Romans came to Heraclius at Antioch he asked [his people], “Woe to you, tell me about these people who fight you, are they not humans like you?” They replied, “Indeed, they are.” He asked, “So are you more in number or them?” They replied, “We outnumber them greatly in all places.” He said, “So how is it that you are defeated whenever you meet them [in battle].” A senior and esteemed elder amongst them replied, “Because they stand in prayer at night, fast during the day, fulfill their agreements and promises, enjoin what is right and forbid what is evil, they are fair and just amongst themselves; and because we drink wine, fornicate, commit sin, break our agreements, steal, oppress and do injustice, enjoin the committing of what angers Allāh and forbid what pleases Allāh the Mighty and Majestic, and we cause evil and corruption in the land.” Heraclius said, “You are the one who has told me the truth.”

Abū Bakr Al-Daynūrī, Al-Mujālasah wa Jawāhir Al-‘Ilm 4:91.