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Visions of Heaven.

Answered by Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Question: Assalamu alaykum

Are people’s claim to see heaven true? Even if when the form of transport to heaven for the Prophet Muhammad (Peace and blessings be upon him) was on a winged horse?

Answer: Wa ‘alaykum as-salam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh

I pray you are well.

Yes, it is possible for someone on earth to be shown Paradise whilst still on earth. This is something rationally possible, and we have precedent for similar events from the lives of the prophets, Allah bless them and grant them peace, and the companions, may Allah be well pleased with them all.

The Visions of Ibrahim and ʿUmar

Allah Almighty said, ‘And no less than that, did We show Ibrahim the perfect, immense dominion of the heavens and earth, and our sovereignty over them; and [We did this] so that he may be of those of absolute certainty.’ (6:75). For Ibrahim to have been shown the whole universe, and beyond, as a child – as the Qurʾan indicates – is something in the realm of possibility.

If someone can be shown the furthest reaches of creation, then being shown Paradise is also a possibility.

Imam Ibn Kathir also narrated a rigorously authenticated narration regarding sayyiduna ʿUmar – whilst delivering a sermon in Medina – seeing a group of Muslims who were about to ambushed hundreds of miles away. He called out to warn them, and they heard his voice and reacted appropriately.

Miracles Granted to the Righteous

A vision is not the same as travelling a distance. Yet, it is also possible for a person to be transported from one place to another. Physicists affirm the possibility of the occurrent of a ‘wormhole’, which is the nexus of two distant points in the universe through the folding of space.

The occurrence of such events has been reported as having to many individuals, such as the grandfather of the great Moroccan saint and scholar, Ahmad b. ʿAjiba. He mentioned it himself in his autobiography, which is an excellent work.

Imam Ibrahim al Laqqani, in his great didactic poem, Jawhara al Tawhid (The Gem of Divine Oneness), said,

“You must affirm for the saintly miracles,
Those who deny them cast aside their rambles.”

Dr Mostafa al Badawi, a distinguished contemporary scholar, discussed these metaphysical matters in his work ‘A Higher Reality‘ which is highly recommended.

May Allah grant you the best of both worlds.

Wassalam,
[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat began his studies in Arabic Grammar and Morphology in 2005. After graduating with a degree in English and History he moved to Damascus in 2007 to study and sit at the feet of some of the most erudite scholars of our time.

Over the following eighteen months he studied a traditional curriculum, studying with scholars such as Shaykh Adnan Darwish, Shaykh Abdurrahman Arjan, Shaykh Hussain Darwish and Shaykh Muhammad Darwish.

In late 2008 he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continued his studies for the next six years, in Fiqh, Usul al-Fiqh, Theology, Hadith Methodology and Commentary, Shama’il, and Logic with teachers such as Dr Ashraf Muneeb, Dr Salah Abu’l-Hajj, Dr Hamza al-Bakri, Shaykh Ahmad Hasanat, Dr Mansur Abu Zina amongst others. He was also given two licences of mastery in the science of Qur’anic recital by Shakh Samir Jabr and Shaykh Yahya Qandil.

His true passion, however, arose in the presence of Shaykh Ali Hani, considered by many to be one of the foremost tafsir scholars of our time who provided him with the keys to the vast knowledge of the Quran. With Shaykh Ali, he was able to study an extensive curriculum of Qur’anic Sciences, Tafsir, Arabic Grammar, and Rhetoric.

When he finally left Jordan for the UK in 2014, Shaykh Ali gave him his distinct blessing and still recommends students in the UK to seek out Shaykh Abdul-Rahim for Quranic studies. Since his return he has trained as a therapist and has helped a number of people overcome emotional and psychosomatic issues. He is a keen promoter of emotional and mental health.

Is There a Place Between Heaven and Hell?

Answered by Shaykh Riad Saloojee

Question: Assalamu alaykum

Is there a place between heaven and hell?

Answer: Assalaamu’alaykum wa rahmatullah,

I pray that you are well.

There is no ultimate abode besides Paradise and Hellfire. Allah states: A party will be in Paradise; and a party will be in the Hellfire (al-Shura: 7).

The Qur’an mentions a temporary place called al-A‘raf which many commentators say is a temporary residence of those whose good and bad deeds are equal, before Allah’s final decree to enter the inhabitants of al-A’raf into Paradise.

There is also the temporary space of the barzakh, which is a transitional realm after death and before the Day of Judgement, and which, depending on the person, will be a reflection of either Paradise or Hellfire.

And Allah knows best.

[Shaykh] Riad Saloojee

Shaykh Riad Saloojee graduated and taught in an Islamic seminary in Cape Town, South Africa.  He is a lawyer by training and worked in the field of civil rights advocacy. Currently, he teaches and translates.

What Should I Know in Order to Enter Heaven If I Have Never Heard About Islam?

Answered by Ustadh Salman Younas

Question: Assalam aleykum

What is absolutely necessary for a person to know before knowing about revelation in order to enter Heaven? Is there any knowledge that is obligatory to know even though one has never heard of Islam?

Answer: assalamu alaykum

Yes, there is a difference of opinion between the Ash`aris and Maturidis regarding whether there is any moral responsibility prior to revelation.

The Ash`aris opined that there is no moral responsibility prior to the receipt of revelation. An individual is, therefore, unaccountable in terms of his or her belief in God and submission to His laws in the absence of revelation.

As for the Maturidis, the majority of them stated that belief in God is obligated by one’s possessing a sound intellect even if one was not conveyed the contents of divine revelation. This is narrated directly from Abu Hanifa who stated, “Even if a messenger were not sent, it would be obligatory upon creation to know their Lord through their intellects.” Here, belief in God does not relate merely to His existence but also His oneness, knowledge, power, and will, as well as His being the creator of the cosmos.

As for religious law in general, such as prayer, fasting, charity, and so forth, both groups agree that morally responsibility in connection to it is subject to having received the message although there are some nuanced here that beyond the scope of this answer.

[al-Bajuri, Sharh al-Jawhara (81-82); Ibn al-Humam, al-Musayara (185); al-Bayadi, al-Isharat (75)]

[Ustadh] Salman Younas

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Salman Younas graduated from Stony Brook University with a degree in Political Science and Religious Studies. After studying the Islamic sciences online and with local scholars in New York, Ustadh Salman moved to Amman. There he studies Islamic law, legal methodology, belief, hadith methodology, logic, Arabic, and tafsir.

For Whom is Jannah Prepared? by Shaykh Faid Mohammed Said

In this Friday sermon, Shaykh Faid Mohammed Said reminds us of what Allah wants for us, and not just what He wants from us. A beautiful reminder not to be missed.

 

The Story of Abdul Razzaq and Abdul Ghani, by Novid Shaid

Writer and poet, Novid Shaid, weaves a tale of two men who led very different lives with what they were granted by Allah.

There were once two men: Abdul Razzaq and Abdul Ghani.
Abdul Razzaq was a faithful man, who was very resourceful, with a talent for acquiring wealth. By the age of forty, he had paid off the mortgages of three properties, rented them out and his portfolio continued to grow promisingly.
He spent on local projects and was always generous to the mosque and community. When his daughters got married, he gave each of them lavish send offs, inviting the whole community and ensuring everyone left the hall with a satisfied smile on their faces. His wife was always cheerful and regularly invited the local ladies around her luxuriant house to read Quran and send blessings on the Prophet, Allah bless him and grant him peace. This house was always blessed with the pitter-patter of his daughters’ children, with guests from Pakistan, with local dignitaries and businessmen.
The only thing they seemed to lack was sons. But both husband and wife were grateful for what Allah had given them and inwardly they were content. When the couple passed on, it was noticed that a hint of a smile appeared on their faces and people reported that they had heard the shahadah (testimony of faith) from their lips. Thereafter, Abdul Razzaq was lauded and remembered as an exceptional individual, who had lived the best life possible, rich in this world and rich in the next world.
Abdul Ghani was a contemporary of Abdul Razzaq, who lived some two miles away from Razzaq’s spacious, detached property on the outskirts of town. Incidentally, the two men were frequently seen standing next to each other in the congregational prayers at the mosque. But unlike Razzaq, Abdul Ghani had struggled to make ends meet throughout his life, with jobs in factories, two of which had laid him off, and taxi jobs. He had never been clever enough to multiply his wealth and, for decades and decades, he had to graft just to subsist.
His worldly possessions did not amount to much: a terraced house in a cramped area of town and an old people carrier which doubled up as a taxi. His only child and son, Hasan, inherited his dad’s artlessness and did not amount to much at school, ending up working in the local supermarket. Hasan was wedded off in Abdul Ghani’s ancestral village in Kashmir and it took Hasan and his father several years of hard work to bring the bride to England. Mrs Ghani was a simple woman who seldom complained and phlegmatically moved to each phase of her life, enshrouded in her white chadour and her few friends, whom she would call to her house from time to time.
And that’s how Ghani lived, until old age took him and his wife. Fate had it that the next available space in the local graveyard was next to Abdul Razzaq. So there the two graves stood: Abdul Razzaq’s marble gravestone, inscribed with exquisite calligraphy and Abdul Ghani’s cheap and cheerful piece with the plain inscription from the Quran: “From Allah did we come and to Him we will return”.
One day, after a burial nearby, two old acquaintances of Razzaq stood before these two graves.
“Our friend, Abdul Razzaq. What a man! So generous, such a good Muslim. Masha Allah, he had been blessed with such wealth and I will never forget that smile on his face when he passed on.”
The other looked at Abdul Ghani’s grave: “Abdul Ghani… Poor man, he worked so hard…”
That night, these two men saw some familiar faces in their dreams. The first man saw Abdul Razzaq with a face radiant and pure, but there seemed to be a weight on his back.
“How is it with you Abdul Razzaq?”
“Life is blessed,” replied Abdul Razzaq, “this world is better than yours, but all the wealth that I did not use for His pleasure has become a burden on my back.”
The other man saw Abdul Ghani, enlightened, princely, ennobled.
“How is it with you Abdul Ghani?”
“In the dunya, I was nobody. No one thought of me much or praised my name. But every penny I had, I spent for His sake, and when everyone was asleep, I used to wake up and praise His name. Now the angels visit me in a lush garden filled with exquisite fruit. His sincere remembrance has the highest value here, and money… Money means nothing here, except what was for Allah…”
[cwa id=’cta’]

Resources for seekers

Will People Who Lived Between Prophets Go to Hell?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam
Question: Salam,
I would like to know the people who lived in between the time of Prophet Jesus and Mohammad (Peace be upon them), will they go to paradise or hell? They never received a messenger to warn them…
Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
I pray that you are in the best of health and faith, insha’Allah.
Yes, those people who lived between Prophets and didn’t receive the message are saved. [Bajuri, Tuhfat al-Murid]
Allah Most High said, “No soul will bear another’s burden, nor do We punish until We have sent a messenger.” [17.15]
Sawi comments, “the generality of this verse indicates that the ahl al-fatra are saved by the Pure Generosity of Allah…” [Hashiyat Sawi `ala Tafsir al-Jalalayn]
Please see also: Are Non-Muslims Who Lived Good Lives Condemned to Hell? and: What is the Fate of Non-Muslims in the Afterlife?
And Allah alone gives success.
Wassalam,
Tabraze Azam
Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Why are we not in Heaven or Hell Already?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam
Question: Salam alaykum,
Since Allah knows who will go in Heaven and who will go in Hell why He is putting us on Earth? Why not just throw us all into Heaven or Hell?
Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
I pray that you are in the best of health and faith, insha’Allah.
This life is an opportunity.
Allah Most High said, “Exalted is He who holds all control in His hands; who has power over all things; who created death and life to test you [people] and reveal which of you does best––He is the Mighty, the Forgiving” [67.1-2]
He wants the believers to strive so that He can grant them the everlasting favour of Paradise according to the degree of their efforts.
There would be no appreciation in being created in Paradise– but toil, struggle, and pray for 80 years then see Paradise and you’ll be grateful for eternity.
And Allah alone gives success.
wassalam,
Tabraze Azam
Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Taking Someone Out of Hell and Raising Someone’s Level in Paradise

Answered by Ustadh Salman Younas

Question: I have two questions.

1. If you are in jannah (heaven/paradise) can you bring someone out of hell and into jannah because they say in jannah whatever you wish for comes true.

2. If you are in a lower level of jannah and your family or someone is in a higher level and you want to be with them can you elevate to the higher levels? Or if you want someone in a lower level to come.to your level is that possible?

Answer: assalamu `alaykum

Dear Brother,

Yes, the Qur’an says that the people of Heaven will receive “whatever they wish” (16:31) and this includes being in the company of other people who are in Heaven. One of the Companions of the Prophet (Allah bless him) narrated the following:

A man came to the Prophet (Allah bless him) and said, “O Allah’s Apostle! What do you say about a man who loves some people but cannot catch up with their good deeds?” Allah’s Apostle said, “Everyone will be with those whom he loves.” [Bukhari]

The Qur’an and prophetic traditions also mention that people will be given permission to intercede for others. Intercession includes asking Allah to remove people from Hell and raising their ranks in Heaven.

Now, of course, we need to first try our best to become people of Heaven by living balanced and righteous lives, being good to those around us, as well as always asking Allah for His blessings, mercy, love, and guidance. I say “try our best” because we as human beings will of course make mistakes and do things which are wrong. We might even do these over and over again. This shouldn’t frustrate us. We just need to learn from these mistakes and continue improving.

We should also realize that words alone can’t describe Heaven; it will be something more beautiful than anything we can imagine. Allah has given us an offer that only He is able to: live a good, righteous life for a few years on Earth and in return receive entry into Heaven forever where you can have anything you want.

I hope this helps, and feel free to ask any other questions you have.

Salman

What is the Islamic Concept of Heaven?

Answered by Shaykh Ilyas Patel

Question: Assalamailaikum.

My Christian friend has asked me what is the Islamic concept of heaven.  How should I answer this question?

Answer: Wassalamu alaykum warahmatullahi wa barakatuhu,

Muslims do believe in heaven and hell, in eternal reward or punishment depending on whether human beings follow the will of Allah and act with justice and mercy towards others in their lifetime. The Qur’an emphasizes moral responsibility from each believer. The Qur’an’s understanding of afterlife is both physical and spiritual.

Bodies and spirits will be joined together and the pleasures of heaven will be fully experienced. Heaven is an eternal abode of peace, mercy and love without any emotions of sadness or pain. Hell on the other hand is an eternal abode of misery, pain and sadness.

Wassalam,

Ilyas Patel

Good Deeds & Salvation: Putting Our Works Into Perspective

Answered by Sidi Salman Younas

Question: What role do actions play in salvation?  There are, of course, Muslims out there who have adopted ideas similar to the Christians that belief is all that you need to be saved. What would you advise that I tell them.

Answer: assalamu `alaykum

All that one needs to be saved is Allah. Neither actions nor beliefs alone guarantee one’s salvation.

`A’isha (Allah be well pleased with her) narrates that the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) said, “Perform your deeds properly and in moderation, and know that one’s deeds will not cause anyone of you to enter Heaven, and that the most beloved of actions to Allah are the most consistent ones even if little in amount.” [Bukhari]

Abu Hurayra (Allah be well-pleased with him) narrates that the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) said, “There is no one whose deeds will cause him to enter Heaven. It was said, ‘Not even you, Messenger of Allah?’ He (Allah bless him and grant him peace) said, ‘Not even me unless my Lord envelops me with His mercy.'” [Muslim]

In another narration the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) said, “There is no one whose deeds will cause his salvation. It was said, ‘Not even you Messenger of Allah? He (Allah bless him and grant him peace), ‘Not even me unless my Lord takes hold of me with mercy.'” [Muslim]

Understanding Allah’s Greatness:

In order to understand  the narrations properly, as well as the relation of one’s deeds to salvation, some key points of belief need to be outlined. The most essential is knowledge that Allah is not obligated to do anything.

Imam Nawawi, while explaining the above narrations, states, “Know that the position of Ahl al-Sunna is that reward, punishment, obligatoriness, impermissibility, and other than them two from the categories of moral responsibility, are not established by the rational intellect (`aql). All of this and other than it is not established except by recourse to divine revelation. The position of the Ahl al-Sunna is also that there is absolutely nothing obligatory on Allah Most High. Rather, the cosmos is His possession, and this world and the next are subject to His mastery; He does in them whatever He wills. So, if He punished every obedient and righteous slave and caused them to enter the Fire this would be considered equitable justice from Him, and if He honored them, blessed them, and entered them into Heaven then it is a gracious favor from Him. If He graciously favored the disbelievers and entered them into Heaven it would also be akin to this. However, He Most High has informed us – and His message is true – that He will not do so…” [Sharh Sahih Muslim]

Similarly, Imam Bajuri states, “So, the position of Ahl al-Sunna is that His rewarding us is due to pure gracious favor that is not admixed with compulsion or obligation [to do so].” [Tuhfat al-Murid]

Imam Haramayn al-Juwayni, the teacher of Imam Ghazali, states, “Similarly, with a person who is highly respected within his family, if he is generous with his son and provides all his needs, and the son honors him, respects him and seeks his approval and strives to earn it, therefore, that person is not owed in regard for his assistance anymore then he has already obtained from the beneficence that has accrued to his credit. If then this is the situation with a person who provides services to another like himself, a servant who tried to compare his own acts of service with God’s bounteous generosity to him in any single instance would find the beneficence of God completely acquitted and fulfilled in regard to any of his own good deeds.” [Kitab al-Irshad]

What Are Your Deeds? Allah’s Creation

The above becomes clearer when one realizes what one’s deeds really are: a creation of Allah. Unlike certain groups that believed that humans create their own choiceful acts, the Ahl al-Sunna unanimously agree that all of one’s actions are created by Allah. This is clear from the verse, “Allah created you and that which you do.” [37: 96] The commentators of the Qur’an agree that the vast majority constituted this as a proof of Allah’s being the creator of all actions. [Razi, Tafsir al-Kabir; Baydawi, Anwar al-Tanzil; Qurtubi, Jami` al-Ahkam al-Qur’an]

Similarly, the scholars defined “divinely given success” (tawfiq) as “Allah’s creating the ability to perform acts of obedience within the slave.” [Bajuri, Tuhfat al-Murid; Sawi, Sharh `ala al-Jawhara]

As such, since our actions are a creaton of Allah and only came into being due to His will and omnipotent power, the servant has no right to claim that his deeds will cause his salvation, or that he deserves salvation due to them, since his deeds properly belong to Allah who created them, not the servant himself. Deeds not only include outward rituals, but also inward belief and convictions, all of which are blessings bestowed upon us by Allah. As the Qur’an states, “Whatever blessing you have, it is from Allah.” [16:53]

Imam Nawawi, while explaining the verse “enter heaven enveloped in what you did [of good acts]” [16: 32], states that “entering heaven is due to actions, yet divinely give success (tawfiq) to perform those acts, being guided in having sincerity in them, and their acceptance is due to Allah’s mercy and gracious favor.” [Sharh Sahih Muslim] Ibn Hajar `Asqalani stated that some scholars, such as Ibn Battal and Qadi `Iyyad, stated that one’s entry into heaven is purely out of Allah’s mercy whereas the degree where one will be in heaven is commensurate with one’s deeds. This was also mentioned by Ibn al-Jawzi, who added that since actions are only for a limited earthly time-span, the eternal reward of heaven is not, strictly speaking, due to them but due to Allah’s blessing upon the servant. [Fath al-Bari]

The Goal is Allah: Putting Deeds Into Perspective

At the same time, this does not mean that one can leave performing the deeds that one has been commanded to perform. It remains an obligation on every morally responsible individual to fulfill the command of Allah Most High and strive to do so with excellence. This is not only decisively conveyed in the Qur’an but the narratives in question also state this unequivocally, such as the statement “perform your deeds properly and in moderation”. When closely looked at, it becomes clear that the purpose of these narratives is not to completely deemphasize the place of works, but to put them into correct perspective. The lessons that the narratives convey include:

[1] Being moderate and not excessive in one’s worship: The Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) said, “This religion is ease and none makes it difficult except that it will overwhelm him. So, perform your deeds properly and in moderation…” [Bukhari] The wording of this narration is akin to the wording of the narratives related to our discussion here.

Imam Sakhawi quotes `A’isha (Allah be well-pleased with her) as stating that the ploy of the devil in relation to the servants duty to perform certain acts revolves around making him go to excess or making him lax in fulfilling these duties. [Maqasid al-Husna] The best way is to take the middle path and do a moderate amount of work with presence and purity of heart. Bakr al-Muzani said, “Abu Bakr did not surpass the Companions of the Prophet with [abundant] fasts and prayers but due to something in his heart.” [Saffarini, Ghida al-Albab; Ghazali, Ihya’ `Ulum al-Din]

[2] Being consistent in one’s deeds (mudawama): Some of the narrations, after mentioning that deeds are not a guarantee of one’s entry into heaven, clearly state that the most beloved of works to Allah is the good deed that is done consistently.

[3] Reflecting on the mercy and generosity of Allah (tafkir): Qadi `Iyyad says that the purpose of stating that none will enter heaven except he whom Allah shows mercy and generosity towards is not to demean the status of righteous acts. Rather, it is to allow the servant to contemplate on the fact that actions are only carried out and completed by the favor and generosity of Allah. Good deeds are in fact a sign to the slave of Allah’s mercy pouring down upon him. [Munawi, Fayd al-Qadir; Ibn Hajar, Fath al-Bari]

[4] Thanking Allah for all of the blessings He has given one (shukr): The Qur’an states, “If you are thankful, I shall certainly increase you.” [14: 8] The scholars have defined “thankfulness” as “the slaves directing all that which he has been blessed with towards that which it was created for.” [Bajuri, Tuhfat al-Murid] This should be expressed with one’s heart, tongue, and all of one’s limbs. This should not only be for the continual bestowal of these blessings, which include acts of worship, but also out of realization that Allah is truly deserving of all thanks. Even the mere existence of a person is enough of a reason to thank Allah.

[5] Realizing one’s complete neediness towards Allah (faqr): This is the very definition of “God”, namely He whom all others are in utter need of and who Himself is in need of nothing. [Bajuri, Tuhfat al-Murid; Sawi, Sharh `ala al-Jawhara] Abu Bakr al-Shibli said, “Neediness is that a slave not be in need of anything other than Allah.” [Qushayri, Risala]

[6] Relying on Allah alone, not one’s works (tawakkul): The Qur’an repeatedly mentions reliance on Allah stating, “Place your reliance in the Living God, the Undying” [25: 58] and “Whoever places his reliance on Allah then He is his sufficiency.” [65: 3]

Reliance on Allah entails recognizing His oneness, which is a oneness in essence, attributes, as well as acts. When one realizes that the acts one performs are in reality not from oneself but from Allah then one ceases to rely solely on works. Rather, the servant then turns to the Creator of those works. Imam Ghazali states, “When this was unveiled to you, you did not cast a glance towards anything other than Him. Rather, your fear was now from Him, and your hope towards Him… If the doors of unveiling were opened to you this reality would be made patently clear to you with a clarity more complete than witnessing with actual sight.” [Ihya’ `Ulum al-Din]

Abu `Abdullah al-Qurshi was asked about reliance and he stated, “It is being attached to Allah in every moment.” Ibn Masruq stated, “It is submitting to the blows of fate and sacred rulings.” Abu Usman al-Hiri said, “It is sufficing with Allah while being dependent upon Him.” [Qushayri, Risala]

It was in this context that Ibn Ata’illah said, “One of the signs of relying on deeds is loss of hope when a misstep occurs.” [Hikam] Those who rely on Allah never lose hope, whereas those who rely on themselves eventually slip and plummet. The prophetic narratives regarding the insufficiency of deeds is a reminder of this point.

[7] Being sincere in servitude (ikhlas): All of the above indicates a higher reality, a reality seldom understood or consciously realized, which is that the reason why Allah is worshipped and should be worshiped is because He is Allah, the Master of everything. There is a difference, as scholars have stated, between an individual who carries out the command of a king because he wants to spend the night at his castle, or have some gift bestowed upon him, and between someone who does so because the king truly deserves such service, regardless of any benefits that may accrue from it.

Among the definitions of sincerity given are: “It is singularizing the Real in one’s obedience through resolve, and this is that one desires to seek closeness to Allah through his obedience and nothing else”; “It is forgetting that deeds exact reward in the next life”; “Lowering one’s gaze from catching sight of [one’s] actions”; “It is a secret between Allah and the slave”; “It is that its possessor not desire repayment for it in the two abodes [this world and the next]”; “That you not see in your acts other than Allah”. [Qushayri, Risala]

Conclusion: Opening the Doors to Allah’s Bounty

The conclusion to all of this is that neither faith alone nor deeds suffice in guaranteeing salvation for one. Rather, it is only though Allah’s mercy and favor that any individual will enter heaven. This is indicated by numerous prophetic narratives.

Yet, at the same time, this does not absolve anyone of the duty to believe and perform righteous deeds, as commanded by Allah. Doing so is a sign of Allah enveloping the slave in His mercy and blessing him with divine success. The narrations of the Prophet (Allah bless him) seek to make people understand the role and place of deeds in our Islamic tradition, and to turn hearts towards the one favoring one with those acts, towards the one who is sought through those acts.. When this is done and the heart attaches itself to Allah through purity, complete reliance, thankfulness, need, sincerity, and faithful following of the sunna, one will be blessed with righteous works and divine favors, both in this world and the next.

In essence, the prophetic words and teachings are a means for us to find increase in our worship, to optimize it, and to allow us to be submerged in the immense bounties of Allah Most High. It is a key to the door that leads to divine bestowals, if followed and understood correctly.

May Allah grant us success in this life and the next.

And Allah Knows Best
Wasalam
Salman

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani