There is a famous saying in Arabic that says that the heart of a believer is the dwelling place of Allah. This means that Allah lives spiritually in the heart of the momin. If someone breaks the heart of the believer, it is like breaking the abode of Allah. On the other hand, if someone wins the heart of a mother, it is tantamount to winning the favor of Allah.
The above thought is significant in light of the fundamental importance that Islam attaches to good deeds. Every individual is bound to perform good deeds to win the hearts of his fellow men. Winning hearts with good deeds is the key to becoming close to Allah, in addition to gaining dignity, respect and honor in society. Deeds can be done in this world but are elevated to heaven.
Good deeds first originate in a person’s mind and then they are performed in the physical world. If the doer of a good deed repeats this performance several times, it becomes a habit as well as a feature of his character. However, the original intention is essential to earn Allah’s favor even before the act is actually performed. This intention that originates in the mind and heart not only brings satisfaction and happiness to a believer, it also motivates him to access resources that could lead to the accomplishment of the goal.
There are hundreds of thousands of good deeds one can do for the benefit of society. However, each act has its own weight. A well-known hadith states that deeds done to seek fame and popularity will be wasted. On the other hand, a smaller act, but propelled by a sincere desire to please Allah, will carry more weight. Good deeds include our routine work done with a sincere wish to please Allah. Additionally, providing selfless service to the needy, helping to alleviate the pain and suffering of those who are weaker than us, and showing love for our fellow human beings can also be classified as good deeds.
Good deeds can make life immortal.
All Islamic schools of thought emphasize that believers should perform good deeds, but some Sufis have pointed out that good deeds are an essential feature of the Muslim faith. Since doing good is the way to win hearts, you have to be socially aware and aware of the consequences of all your actions. Once a disciple visited his Sufi master in a hut. He saw a lot of mice wandering around. The disciple was amazed. He proposed to his master to keep a cat in his hut in order to scare away the mice. Then the master said, “Yes! Several times I thought the same thing. But I’m afraid that these mice will go to my neighbor’s house and cause him trouble. As a result, I avoid keeping a cat in my cabin. I don’t want to cause trouble for my neighbour.
The Quran says, “Do good, as Allah has done good for you” (28:77). Another verse says, “And do not forget liberality among yourselves (2:237). Likewise, the Holy Prophet (PBUH) is said to have declared that a Muslim is one whose tongue and hand are safe from other Muslims.
Thus, Islam is an action-oriented religion. He attaches great importance to good deeds. He says that as long as a believer is alive, he should perform good deeds and pass them on to his spiritual account in the hereafter.
Through good deeds, one can change the world, eliminate human suffering, and realize the dream of peace and tranquility in society. Therefore, Islam insists that one should not impose on others what one does not desire for oneself.
A popular proverb says: “you reap what you sow”. You have to face the consequences of your action. Whatever action one takes in life, it never goes in vain in the hereafter. If someone does good in this world, he or she is entitled to a good reward. If he or she does wrong, then the expected result is not good.
As the poet of the East, Allama Iqbal, beautifully explained the importance of action in his famous verse: “Amal se zindagi banti hai jannat bhi jahannum bhi/ Ye khaki apni fitrat mein na noori hai na naari hai” ( By action, life can become both heaven and hell; this creature of dust in its nature is neither light nor fire.)
Our life is limited on this earth. He is mortal but can be made immortal by good deeds. A person can leave behind a legacy of good deeds that society can emulate. They can become a model for future generations. In every period of history, believers have contributed to their respective societies by performing good deeds. They lit up their era like a beam in the dark. They put their name on the list of those who wished well for others. It is said in a hadith that when a person dies, his deeds come to an end, but their benefits never cease.
The author is a pedagogue who is interested in religion.
Posted in Dawn, March 18, 2022