good deeds

An advice at death about direction in Life

It is reported that when Al-Ḥasan Al-Baṣrī was on his deathbed, some of his companions came to him and said:

O Abū Sa’īd, offer us some words you can benefit us with. He replied, “I will equip you with three words, then you must leave me to face what I am facing. Be the farthest of people from those things you have been forbidden, and be the most involved of people in the good you have been commanded to do; and know that the steps you take are two steps: a step in your favor and a step against you, so be careful where you come and where you go.”

Abū Nu’yam, Ḥilyah Al-Awliyā` 2:154

An Insult with a Gift [Backbiting]

It is reported that ‘Abd Al-Rahmān b. Mahdī – Allāh have mercy on him – said, “If it were not for the fact I hate that Allah is disobeyed, I would have wished that no one remain in this city except that he had spoken ill of me and backbitten me; for what is nicer than a good deed a man finds in his records on the Day of Resurrection without having done a thing or even having known?”

Abū Nu’aym, Hilyatu Al-Awliyā` 4:45.

Notes

This is a reference to a person who has been backbitten receiving good deeds on the Day of Judgment from the person who backbit him and didn’t repent and make amends, as mentioned in some narrations from the Prophet – Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him. The narration reminds us of the dire consequences of backbiting others: your good deeds may go to them if you don’t repent and make up for what you have done. It also provides assurance for those who have been backbitten: if left wronged in this life, they will be given good deeds in the hereafter as compensation and justice will be done.

The Salaf and the Quran in Ramadan

It is reported that Al-Aswad [b. Yazīd Al-Nakha’ī] used to complete the recitation of the Quran in Ramadan every two nights; sleeping between al-maghrib and al-‘ishā. Outside of Ramaḍān, he used to complete a recitation every six nights.

Abū Nu’aym, Ḥilyatu Al-Awliyā` 1:250.

It is related from Al-Rabī’ b. Sulaymān, “Muḥammad b. Idrīs Al-Shāfi’ī used to complete reciting the Quran in the month of Ramadan sixty times, all in the prayer.”

Ibid. 4:107

It is reported that Abul-Ash-hab said, “Abū Al-Rajā` [Al-Aṭārudī] would complete with us a recitation of the Quran in the night prayers of Ramadan every ten days.”

Ibid. 1:348

It is reported that Qatādah used to complete a recitation of the Quran once every seven nights, and when Ramadan came, once every three nights. During the last ten nights, he would complete a recitation every night.

Ibid. 1:364

It is reported that Al-Bukhārī used to complete a recitation [of the Quran] once a day in Ramadan, and would pray after Tarāwīḥ every night, completing another recitation every three nights.

Al-Dhahabī, Siyar A’lām Al-Nubalā` 12:439

Notes

After mentioning some similar examples from the Salaf, Ibn Rajab says in Laṭā`if Al-Ma’ārif p319:

The prohibition of reciting the Quran in less than three days [found in some ahadith] refers to doing so regularly [throughout the year]. As for virtuous times, like Ramadan – especially the nights in which it is hoped Laylatu Al-Qadr will occur – or virtuous places, like Makkah – for those who enter it and are not residents there, then it is recommended to increase in reciting the Quran, making the most of the time and the place. This is the position of [Imam] Aḥmad, Isḥāq [ibn Rāhūyah] and other Imams, and the practice of others [from the Salaf] indicates [they held the same position].

Secret Devotion

It is reported that Shurayḥ the Judge used to have a house in which he would spend time alone on Fridays; no one knew what he did in it.

Al-Dhahabī, Siyar A’lām Al-Nubalā` Vol.4 p105.

It is reported that Abū Al-‘Āliyah said, “I learned writing and the Qur`ān without my family noticing, and not a drop of ink was ever seen on my garment.”

Abū Nu’aym, Ḥilyatu Al-Awliyā` Vol. 2 p217.

It is reported that when Ibn Abī Laylā prayed [at night], if someone entered [his house], he would lie down on his bed [as if he was sleeping].

Ibid. Vol. 4 p351.

It is reported that Ayyūb Al-Sakhtiyānī used to pray all night and hide it. In the morning, he would raise his voice as if he had just woken up.

Al-Dhahabī, op. cit. Vol. 6 p17.

It is reported that Dāwūd b. Abī Hind fasted for forty years without his family knowing, he would take his lunch out with him and donate it in the street.

Ibid. Vol. 6 p378.

Righteous Women and the Maidens of Jannah

It is reported from Hibbān b. Abī Jablah that he said, “The women of this world who enter Paradise will surpass Al-Hūr Al-‘Īn by the deeds they did in this world.”

Ibn Al-Mubārak, Al-Zuhd wa Al-Raqā`iq Vol. 4 p463.

Hibbān b. Abī Jablah is from the Tābi’ūn. He died in 122 or 125H.

Allāh knows best.