Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam
How to reconcile between stories where Allah shows mercy to great sinners like the man who killed one hundred people and the fact that people who have made a lot of acts of worship will nonetheless be punished like evil scholars?
I pray that you are in the best of health and faith, insha’Allah.
Such narratives are sufficient to teach us not to rely upon our deeds.
Ibn ‘Ata’illah said, “Among the signs one is relying upon actions is a lessening of hope when a slip or setback occurs.” [see: Contemporary Wisdom – Imam Zaid Shakir on the Hikam of Ibn Ata’illah]
Allah will grant the believers Paradise out of His Infinite Largesse and Bounty, not due to their imaginations of the greatness of their deeds. In reality, we can never fulfill what is due to Allah.
However, this doesn’t negate the importance of deeds. Deeds must be there, and anybody who understands anything about the one ordering will rush to lift his dues. The entire religion revolves around acts of worship.
Allah Most High said, “But those who believe and do good deeds will be given the Gardens of Paradise. There they will remain, never wishing to leave.” [Quran, 18:107-108]
And Allah alone gives success.
[Ustadh] Tabraze Azam
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadh Tabraze Azam holds a BSc in Computer Science from the University of Leicester, where he also served as the President of the Islamic Society. He memorized the entire Qur’an in his hometown of Ipswich at the tender age of sixteen, and has since studied the Islamic Sciences in traditional settings in the UK, Jordan, and Turkey. He is currently pursuing advanced studies in Jordan, where he is presently based with his family.