During the month of Ramadan, we often engage in extra acts of worship as we try to get the most out of the blessing of this month. As the month ends and we return back to life outside of this blessed month, there is the danger that we become complacent and think that we have achieved it in this life.
Dear brothers and sisters, we must not fall into the trap of believing that everything that we have done is enough and that we have performed enough to be saved. We need to be mindful that only through the maintenance of the acts of worship and through Allah SWT accepting them, will we be saved.
Firstly, we need to remember that alongside the bad deeds that play in our mind are those which our conscious mind has just got us forgetting and these will also be accounted for on the Day of Judgment.
The imam reminded us of the following ayats 8 and 9 from Sura Al-araf which are translated to say:
And the weighing [of deeds] that Day will be the truth. So those whose scales are heavy – it is they who will be the successful. And those whose scales are light – they are the ones who will lose themselves for what injustice they were doing toward Our verses.
Dear brothers and sisters, if we look into these verses, we are being reminded by Allah SWT that the scales never stop, never sleep, they are always counting our deeds, both good and bad and will continue to do so whilst we are still living this life.
And even that is not enough and this is really key to todays reminder. As Muslims we are only acutely aware that this life is all about intention and what our hearts were testifying to doing. If we are doing all these deeds but it was for the purpose of this life, i.e. showing off, then this will also come to pass on the day of Judgement and we will be held accountable for our lack of sincerity.
Our deeds should come through loving Allah SWT, loving the Prophet SAWS and loving the life of a Muslim. Our deeds should be through the fear that Allah SWT will not accept them and therefore keep our intentions in check to ensure they are sincere.
The imam reminded us of a story in the Quran. This is from Sura Al-Maida, ayat 27 and it is translated to say:
Narrate to them in all truth the story of the two sons of Adam. When they made an offering and it was accepted from one of them and was not accepted from the other, the latter said: ‘I will surely kill you.’ Thereupon the former said: ‘Allah accepts offerings only from the God-fearing.
Dear brothers and sisters, if we look into this ayat, we can interpret that Allah SWTs refusal to accept the sacrifice of one of the two brothers was not due to any wrong doing of the deed itself, but through the lack of piety or poor intention. The lesson for the brother was rather than attempt to kill his brother, he should be concerned with gaining that piety and that pure intention.
Therefore we should always be aiming to do good for our account and at the same time, asking Allah SWT to forgive our bad deeds and accept those good deeds as a source of mercy and forgiveness when we are in front of Him on the Day of Judgement.
And among the good deeds, we are reminded that through the Quran and Hadith, the best deeds are those which are consistent and not based on size. We shouldn’t overburden ourselves either, Allah SWT knows what we are capable of and what limits our individual lives has left us with being able to do.
The imam relayed a hadith in relation to this which is translated to say:
The Prophet SAWS used to construct a loom with a Hasir at night in order to pray therein, and during the day he used to spread it out and sit on it. The people started coming to the Prophet SAWS at night to offer the prayer behind him When their number increased, the Prophet SAWS faced them and said. O people! Do only those good deeds which you can do, for Allah does not get tired (of giving reward) till you get tired, and the best deeds to Allah are the incessant ones though they were few.
Dear brothers and sisters, we ought to ask ourselves if we have that beauty of sincerity within our good deeds and we can achieve this through the following 4 practical tips that concludes todays reminder:
- Have the love for Allah SWT and the Prophet SAWS in our hearts. This will ensure that when we are committing good deeds, its is the love that is propelling us to do the good deed and not some worldly reason. The Imam reminded us of a hadith in relation to this first point which is translated as saying:
The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “Whoever possesses the following three qualities will have the sweetness (delight) of faith:1. The one to whom Allah and His Apostle becomes dearer than anything else. 2. Who loves a person and he loves him only for Allah’s sake. 3. Who hates to revert to Atheism (disbelief) as he hates to be thrown into the fire.”
- To be pleased with Allah SWT for what we have been given. Alhamdullilah. This ought to be on our tongues and within our hearts. If it isn’t, use this month and a moment of solitude to reflect on the blessing that we have been given in our lives, from our five senses to our family to our provisions, the list is endless.
- Purify your deeds through charity. This is both through the obligatory charity of Zakat and through additional charitable acts from financial to just giving someone a smile.
- Continue to utilise the power of dua in asking for our deeds to be accepted and for Allah SWT to be pleased with us.
Dear brothers and sisters, we need to use this month almost as a stepping board to lift ourselves to another level. This is the month to establish and begin new habits of worship but following this month is to keep these acts consistently there as part of our everyday lives.
Remember, there’s only two weeks left now before the temptations of everyday life will also step up their game and so lets get into the habit of establishing good deeds now alongside continued pleas to our Lord that He accepts them from us.