Depending On Good Deeds

Question: What is the ruling on a person who does good deeds that are guaranteed to save him from Hell, and after doing them uses them to do bad deeds? Sometimes after doing the bad deeds, at their worst feels that something is wrong, but continues to do them on the basis that he will be forgiven?


Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for your question. The question that you ask represents the same struggle that we all have. Weighing our bad deeds against our good deeds leaves us all with an uneasy feeling that we have not done enough good. So, one must continually strive to do good and never be satisfied.

Guaranteed salvation

Unfortunately, there is no guaranteed salvation for anyone except the Prophets, Messengers, and the ten Companions who were promised Paradise. Some others are also mentioned in the Qu’ran and seerah. If you feel that your good deed will save you from your sins, I am afraid the Devil is making ground with you.

If one has performed a great deed, such as performing hajj or some other act of magnanimity, one should thank Allah for it and pray that He accepts it, for He says in His book, “…Indeed, Allah only accepts from the righteous [who fear Him]” [Qur’an, 5:27]. There is no guarantee whatsoever that Allah will be pleased with, or accept your good deed.

Feeling safe from Allah’s plan is the most dangerous feeling a believer can have. I strongly advise you to not be pacified but to strive to repent and eliminate your bad deeds. My teacher in Jordan told me that a Muslim strives in his life until he has nothing haram (unlawful) left in his life, and then he strives until he has nothing makruh (disliked) left. Even then he would not meet his Lord satisfied. Allah, Most High, says, “Did they feel secure against Allah’s planning? None would feel secure from Allah’s planning except the losers” [Qur’an, 7:99].

Follow your instinct

If you feel like something is wrong when you are committing a bad deed, your gut, or your fitra (innate disposition to good), is talking to you. Listen to it and stop yourself. This gift of instinct from Allah to us is very useful and you should always follow it, for it is your conscience.

Please see these links about the fitrah and the Devil’s plot and don’t be fooled by him:

I pray that you can look beyond yourself and your deeds and know that Allah deserves to be obeyed and worshipped, for that is why He created us. May Allah give you the best in this world and the next.

[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, tafseer, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She recently moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.