The Innumerous Blessings

‏        عن جابرِ بنِ عبد اللَّهِ رضي الله عنهما قال: ( خَرَجَ عَلَيْنَا النَّبِيُّ صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم، فَقَالَ: « خَرَجَ مِنْ عِنْدِي خَلِيلِي جِبْرِيلُ آنِفًا فَقَالَ: يَا محمَّد، وَالَّذِي بَعَثَكَ بِالْحَقِّ إِنَّ لِلَّهِ عَبْدًا مِنْ عَبِيدِهِ، عَبَدَ اللَّهَ تَعَالَى خَمْسَمِائَةِ سَنَةٍ عَلَى رَأْسِ جَبَلٍ فِي الْبَحْرِ عَرْضُهُ وَطُولُهُ ثَلَاثُونَ ذِرَاعًا فِي ثَلَاثِينَ ذِرَاعًا، وَالْبَحْرُ مُحِيطٌ بِهِ أَرْبَعَةَ آلَافِ فَرْسَخٍ مِنْ كُلِّ نَاحِيَةٍ، وَأَخْرَجَ اللَّهُ تَعَالَى لَهُ عَيْنًا عَذْبَةً بِعَرْضِ الْأُصْبَعِ تَبِضُّ بِمَاءٍ عَذْبٍ فَتَسْتَنْقِعُ فِي أَسْفَلِ الْجَبَلِ، وَشَجَرَةَ رُمَّانٍ تُخْرِجُ لَهُ كُلَّ لَيْلَةٍ رُمَّانَةً فَتُغَذِّيهِ يَوْمَهُ، فَإِذَا أَمْسَى نَزَلَ فَأَصَابَ مِنَ الْوَضُوءِ وَأَخَذَ تِلْكَ الرُّمَّانَةَ فَأَكَلَهَا ثُمَّ قَامَ لِصَلَاتِهِ، فَسَأَلَ رَبَّهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ عِنْدَ وَقْتِ الْأَجَلِ أَنْ يَقْبِضَهُ سَاجِدًا، وَأَنْ لَا يَجْعَلَ لِلْأَرْضِ وَلَا لِشَيْءٍ يُفْسِدُهُ عَلَيْهِ سَبِيلًا حَتَّى بَعَثَهُ وَهُوَ سَاجِدٌ، قَالَ: فَفَعَلَ، فَنَحْنُ نَمُرُّ عَلَيْهِ إِذَا هَبَطْنَا وَإِذَا عَرَجْنَا.

 فَنَجِدُ لَهُ فِي الْعِلْمِ أَنَّهُ يُبْعَثُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ فَيُوقَفُ بَيْنَ يَدَيِ اللَّهِ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ فَيَقُولُ لَهُ الرَّبُّ: أَدْخِلُوا عَبْدِي الْجَنَّةَ بِرَحْمَتِي، فَيَقُولُ: رَبِّ بَلْ بِعَمَلِي، فَيَقُولُ الرَّبُّ: أَدْخِلُوا عَبْدِي الْجَنَّةَ بِرَحْمَتِي، فَيَقُولُ: يَا رَبِّ بَلْ بِعَمَلِي، فَيَقُولُ الرَّبُّ: أَدْخِلُوا عَبْدِي الْجَنَّةَ بِرَحْمَتِي، فَيَقُولُ: رَبِّ بَلْ بِعَمَلِي،  فَيَقُولُ اللَّهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ لِلْمَلَائِكَةِ: قَايِسُوا عَبْدِي بِنِعْمَتِي عَلَيْهِ وَبِعَمَلِهِ.  فَتُوجَدُ نِعْمَةُ الْبَصَرِ قَدْ أَحَاطَتْ بِعِبَادَةِ خَمْسِ مِائَةِ سَنَةٍ وَبَقِيَتْ نِعْمَةُ الْجَسَدِ فَضْلًا عَلَيْهِ، فَيَقُولُ: أَدْخِلُوا عَبْدِي النَّارَ.

  قَالَ فَيُجَرُّ إِلَى النَّارِ فَيُنَادِي: رَبِّ بِرَحْمَتِكَ أَدْخِلْنِي الْجَنَّةَ، فَيَقُولُ: رُدُّوهُ فَيُوقَفُ بَيْنَ يَدَيْهِ، فَيَقُولُ: يَا عَبْدِي، مَنْ خَلَقَكَ وَلَمْ تَكُ شَيْئًا؟  فَيَقُولُ: أَنْتَ يَا رَبِّ،  فَيَقُولُ: كَانَ ذَلِكَ مِنْ قِبَلِكَ أَوْ بِرَحْمَتِي؟  فَيَقُولُ: بَلْ بِرَحْمَتِكَ.  فَيَقُولُ: مَنْ قَوَّاكَ لِعِبَادَةِ خَمْسِ مِائَةِ عَامٍ؟  فَيَقُولُ: أَنْتَ يَا رَبِّ،  فَيَقُولُ: مَنْ أَنْزَلَكَ فِي جَبَلٍ وَسَطَ اللُّجَّةِ وَأَخْرَجَ لَكَ الْمَاءَ الْعَذْبَ مِنَ الْمَاءِ الْمَالِحِ وَأَخْرَجَ لَكَ كُلَّ لَيْلَةٍ رُمَّانَةً وَإِنَّمَا تَخْرُجُ مَرَّةً فِي السَّنَةِ، وَسَأَلْتَنِي أَنْ أَقْبِضَكَ سَاجِدًا فَفَعَلْتُ ذَلِكَ بِكَ؟  فَيَقُولُ: أَنْتَ يَا رَبِّ،  فَقَالَ اللَّهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ: فَذَلِكَ بِرَحْمَتِي وَبِرَحْمَتِي أُدْخِلُكَ الْجَنَّةَ، أَدْخِلُوا عَبْدِيَ الْجَنَّةَ فَنِعْمَ الْعَبْدُ كُنْتَ يَا عَبْدِي، فَيُدْخِلُهُ اللَّهُ الْجَنَّةَ. قَالَ جِبْرِيلُ عَلَيْهِ السَّلَامُ: إِنَّمَا الْأَشْيَاءُ بِرَحْمَةِ اللَّهِ تَعَالَى يَا محمَّد» .  رواه الحاكم.

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         Narrated Jabir Ibn Abdil-Allah -may God be pleased with them- said: “Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- came out to us and said:

‘My close companion Angel Gabriel just left me and he had said: `O Muhammad, by the One Who sent you with the true message, there is a slave of God, who worshipped the Almighty God for 500 years.  The slave was granted a shelter on top of a mountain whose length and width were thirty by thirty arm-lengths, and which was surrounded by the sea for four thousand leagues from all sides.  The Almighty God made a stream of fresh water with the width of a finger to flow through the mountain and collect at the mountain base for him.  The Almighty God also raised for him a pomegranate tree that grew one pomegranate every night from which the man would eat during the day.  Every evening, the man would go down, make ablution, and eat from that pomegranate, then stand up in prayer to his Lord.

The man supplicated his Lord -the Almighty- to take his soul while in prostration, and guard him against the earth and everything else until he would be resurrected in that state.

Angel Gabriel said: the Almighty God answered his supplication and granted his prayer.  So whenever we come down to the Earth or go up to the sky, we find this man (dead) but in a perpetual state of prostration to God.

          We find in the future knowledge that on the Day of Judgment, the Almighty God would say to the the angels: ‘Take this slave of Mine to Paradise with My Mercy.’   But the man would say: ‘O Lord, reward me with my good deeds.’  The Lord would say: ‘Take My Slave to Paradise with My Mercy.’  But the man would say: ‘O Lord, reward me with my good deeds.’  The Lord would say: ‘Take My Slave to Paradise with My Mercy.’   But the man would say: ‘O Lord, reward me with my good deeds.’

So the Almighty God would instruct the angels: ‘Measure his good deeds in comparison to My blessings on him.’  It would be found that 500 years of his worship would not even equal the blessings of the eyesight, and the bounty of the rest of his body would still remain in excess.

So God would say to the angels: ‘Take My slave to Hell-Fire.’  The man would be dragged toward Hell-Fire but he would plead: ‘O Lord, let me enter Paradise with Your Mercy.’   God would say: ‘Bring him back.’

The Almighty God would then say to him: ‘O My slave, Who created you from non-existence?’  The man would reply: ‘You have created me, O My Lord.’  God would say: ‘That was because of you or because of My Mercy?’  The man would reply: ‘Rather because of Your Mercy.’  God would say: ‘Who granted you the ability to worship for 500 years?’  The man would reply: ‘You, O My Lord.’  God would say: ‘Who placed you on the mountain surrounded by the ocean? Who created a stream of fresh water to flow in between the salty water? Who made a pomegranate to grow every night for you while it grows once a year?  And you supplicated Me to take your soul in a state of prostration, who did that?’  The man would reply: ‘‘You, O My Lord.’

The Almighty God would say: ‘Indeed, all of that happened with My Mercy, and with My Mercy you will enter Paradise.  Take My slave to Paradise.  Indeed, a righteous and good servant you were, O My slave.’  So God would let him enter Paradise.  Angel Gabriel -peace be upon him- said: O Muhammad, everything is by the Mercy of the Almighty God.` ’ ”  Related by Al-Haakim.

 

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Indeed, humans have been granted blessings in everything: in health, in wealth, in progeny, in food, in dwelling, and in everything.  Yet, man being ungrateful often dwells on the few problems he has and forgets the many blessings he enjoys. 

God says in Qur’an: { And God has given you of all that you asked for, and if you try to count the blessings of God, never will you be able to count them. Verily, man is indeed most unjust, ungrateful} (Surah 14, verse 34).  Man is unjust when he uses the blessings of God in a bad way or to do sins, and he is ungrateful when he does not thank God for the many blessings but only remembers the few problems he may have.

          The Muslim should thank God for every single blessing he has and should never take it for granted.  And in case a problem or a calamity strikes him, then instead of focusing on this one single problem the Muslim should think of the many other blessings that God has granted him and should thank God for them.

In another verse, God says: { And (remember) when your Lord proclaimed: “If you thank Me, I will give you more; but if you are thankless, verily, My punishment is indeed severe”} (Surah 14, verse 7).  Thus, God promises increase and prosperity for those who thank Him and loss and punishment for those who are ungrateful.

          The Mercy of God is limitless and has no bound, but the Muslim is asked to take some effort and try to get the most of that mercy by obeying God’s commands, avoiding sins, and showing thankfulness and gratitude to God.  Indeed, the Muslim should thank God for every single blessing he has and never take it for granted, rather should know that these blessings are only possible because of the favor of God and His Great Mercy.  And God and His Messenger know best.

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The Miraculous Rock

 

عن عبدِ الله بنِ عمرَ بن الخطابِ رضيَ اللهُ عنهما، قَالَ: سمعتُ رسولَ الله صلى الله عليه وسلم، يقول: « انطَلَقَ ثَلاثَةُ نَفَرٍ مِمَّنْ كَانَ قَبْلَكُمْ حَتَّى آوَاهُمُ المَبيتُ إِلى غَارٍ فَدَخلُوهُ، فانْحَدرَتْ صَخْرَةٌ مِنَ الجَبَلِ فَسَدَّتْ عَلَيْهِمُ الغَارَ، فَقالُوا: إِنَّهُ لا يُنْجِيكُمْ مِنْ هذِهِ الصَّخْرَةِ إِلا أنْ تَدْعُوا اللهَ بصَالِحِ أعْمَالِكُمْ.
قَالَ رجلٌ مِنْهُمْ: اللَّهُمَّ كَانَ لِي أَبَوانِ شَيْخَانِ كبيرانِ، وكُنْتُ لا أغْبِقُ قَبْلَهُمَا أهْلًا ولا مالًا، فَنَأَى بِي طَلَب الشَّجَرِ يَوْمًا فلم أَرِحْ عَلَيْهمَا حَتَّى نَامَا، فَحَلَبْتُ لَهُمَا غَبُوقَهُمَا فَوَجَدْتُهُما نَائِمَينِ، فَكَرِهْتُ أنْ أُوقِظَهُمَا وَأَنْ أغْبِقَ قَبْلَهُمَا أهْلًا أو مالًا، فَلَبَثْتُ- والْقَدَحُ عَلَى يَدِي- أنتَظِرُ اسْتِيقَاظَهُما حَتَّى بَرِقَ الفَجْرُ والصِّبْيَةُ يَتَضَاغَوْنَ عِنْدَ قَدَميَّ، فاسْتَيْقَظَا فَشَرِبا غَبُوقَهُما. اللَّهُمَّ إنْ كُنْتُ فَعَلْتُ ذلِكَ ابِتِغَاء وَجْهِكَ فَفَرِّجْ عَنّا مَا نَحْنُ فِيهِ مِنْ هذِهِ الصَّخْرَةِ، فانْفَرَجَتْ شَيْئًا لا يَسْتَطيعُونَ الخُروجَ مِنْهُ.
قَالَ الآخر: اللَّهُمَّ إنَّهُ كانَتْ لِيَ ابْنَةُ عَمّ، كَانَتْ أَحَبَّ النّاسِ إليَّ- وفي رواية: كُنْتُ أُحِبُّها كأَشَدِّ مَا يُحِبُّ الرِّجَالُ النساءَ- فأَرَدْتُهَا عَلَى نَفْسِهَا فامْتَنَعَتْ منِّي حَتَّى أَلَمَّتْ بها سَنَةٌ مِنَ السِّنِينَ فَجَاءتْنِي فَأَعْطَيْتُهَا عِشْرِينَ وَمائةَ دينَارٍ عَلَى أنْ تُخَلِّيَ بَيْني وَبَيْنَ نَفْسِهَا فَفعَلَتْ، حَتَّى إِذَا قَدَرْتُ عَلَيْهَا- وفي رواية: فَلَمَّا قَعَدْتُ بَينَ رِجْلَيْهَا، قالتْ: اتَّقِ اللهَ وَلا تَفُضَّ الخَاتَمَ إلا بِحَقِّهِ، فَانصَرَفْتُ عَنْهَا وَهيَ أَحَبُّ النَّاسِ إليَّ وَتَرَكْتُ الذَّهَبَ الَّذِي أعْطَيتُها. اللَّهُمَّ إنْ كُنْتُ فَعَلْتُ ذلِكَ ابْتِغاءَ وَجْهِكَ فافْرُجْ عَنَّا مَا نَحْنُ فيهِ، فانْفَرَجَتِ الصَّخْرَةُ، غَيْرَ أَنَّهُمْ لا يَسْتَطِيعُونَ الخُرُوجَ مِنْهَا.
وَقَالَ الثَّالِثُ: اللَّهُمَّ اسْتَأْجَرْتُ أُجَرَاءَ وأَعْطَيْتُهُمْ أجْرَهُمْ غيرَ رَجُل واحدٍ تَرَكَ الَّذِي لَهُ وَذَهبَ، فَثمَّرْتُ أجْرَهُ حَتَّى كَثُرَتْ مِنهُ الأمْوَالُ، فَجَاءنِي بَعدَ حِينٍ، فَقالَ: يَا عبدَ اللهِ، أَدِّ إِلَيَّ أجْرِي، فَقُلْتُ: كُلُّ مَا تَرَى مِنْ أجْرِكَ: مِنَ الإبلِ وَالبَقَرِ والْغَنَمِ والرَّقيقِ، فقالَ: يَا عبدَ اللهِ، لا تَسْتَهْزِئْ بي! فَقُلْتُ: لا أسْتَهْزِئ بِكَ، فَأَخَذَهُ كُلَّهُ فاسْتَاقَهُ فَلَمْ يتْرُكْ مِنهُ شَيئًا. الَّلهُمَّ إنْ كُنتُ فَعَلْتُ ذلِكَ ابِتِغَاءَ وَجْهِكَ فافْرُجْ عَنَّا مَا نَحنُ فِيهِ، فانْفَرَجَتِ الصَّخْرَةُ فَخَرَجُوا يَمْشُونَ».  متفقٌ عليه.

 

 Narrated Abdul-Allah Ibn Omar Ibn Al-Khattab -may God be pleased with them- that he heard Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- say: “Three men amongst those before you set out on a journey till night came and they took shelter in a cave.  A big rock rolled down the mountain and blocked the entrance of the cave. They said: ‘Nothing will save you from this rock unless you invoke God with your righteous good deeds.’

Thereupon, one of them said: ‘O God, I had parents who were old, and I never provided my family or servants with milk before them.  One day, I went far away in search of grazing and could not come back until they had slept.  When I milked as usual and brought the drink I found them both asleep.  I hated to disturb them and also disliked to give milk to my family or servants before them.  So I waited for them to wake up with the bowl of milk in my hand and the children crying at my feet.  When it was dawn, my parents awoke and drank the milk.  O God, if I did so to seek Your Pleasure, then deliver us from the distress caused by the rock.’  So the rock moved slightly but they were unable to get out.

The second man said: ‘O God, I had a cousin whom I loved more than anyone else (in another version he said: as a man can love a woman). I wanted to have sexual relations with her but she refused.  Hard pressed in a year of famine, she approached me.  I gave her one hundred and twenty dinars on condition that she would yield herself to me.  She agreed and when we got together, she said: ‘Fear God and do not break the seal unlawfully.’  I moved away from her in spite of the fact that I loved her most; and I let her keep the gold I had given her. O God, if I did that to seek Your Pleasure, then deliver us from the distress in which we are.’  So the rock moved aside a bit further but they were still unable to get out.

The third man said: ‘O God, I hired some laborers and paid them their wages except one of them departed without taking his due.  I invested his money and it prospered greatly.  He came back to me after some time and said: ‘O slave of God, pay me my dues.’  I said: ‘All what you see of camels, cattle, goats and slaves is yours.’  He said: ‘O slave of God, do not mock at me.’  I assured him that I was not mocking at him, so he took everything, drove the herds away, and left nothing.  O God, if I did so seeking Your Pleasure, then deliver us from the distress in which we are.’ So the rock rolled away completely and they got out walking freely.”  Related by Al-Bukhari and Muslim.

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          These are true stories that happened to those before us and were related to us both in Qur’an and Hadith, as a lesson to learn and a model to follow.  God says in Qur’an: { Indeed in their stories, there is a lesson for people of understanding. It (the Quran) is not a forged statement but a confirmation of God’s existing Books (the Torah, the Gospel and other Scriptures of God); and a detailed explanation of everything, a guide and a Mercy for the people who believe} (Surah 12, verse 111).

In the above true story, we see three examples of righteous deeds done sincerely for the sake of God.  We see how God accepted these good deeds and not only rewarded the performers of these good deeds with deliverance and salvation, but also set their example as a lesson and a model for later generations.

The three good deeds relate to three great morals: Dutifulness to parents, Chastity and Honesty.  All three morals are experienced by most of us in our daily lives.  Some may succumb to temptation and may give in, but others stand strong in their conviction and try to follow their conscience and adhere to morality.

Indeed, how often do some of us show impatience with our parents or do not go out of our way to serve them; how often do some of us give in to the temptation of looking at unlawful women; and how often do we ignore honesty and integrity to advance our interests and desires.

But as the story above shows, dutifulness to parents, chastity and honesty are three morals that lead to eventual salvation and success, even if some may look at them with disdain.  On the other hand, disobedience to parents, shamelessness and dishonesty ultimately lead to loss and disgrace, even though some may consider them profitable in the short term.

Thus, the people of understanding always adhere to high standards and good morals during times of ease and hardship.  Then they can invoke God to deliver them from any distress or calamity that befalls them.  And God has promised salvation and success to those who follow His commands and those who adhere to the good morals He prescribed.

 

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The Repentant Man (True Story)

 

    وعن أَبِي سَعِيدٍ الخُدْرِيِّ رضي الله عنه أَنَّ نَبِيَّ اللَّهِ ‏صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم ‏قَالَ: « ‏كَانَ فِيمَنْ كَانَ قَبْلَكُمْ رَجُلٌ قَتَلَ تِسْعَةً وَتِسْعِينَ نَفْسًا فَسَأَلَ عَنْ أَعْلَمِ أَهْلِ الْأَرْضِ فَدُلَّ عَلَى رَاهِبٍ فَأَتَاهُ، فَقَالَ: إِنَّهُ قَتَلَ تِسْعَةً وَتِسْعِينَ نَفْسًا فَهَلْ لَهُ مِنْ تَوْبَةٍ؟ فَقَالَ: لَا. فَقَتَلَهُ فَكَمَّلَ بِهِ مِائَةً، ثُمَّ سَأَلَ عَنْ أَعْلَمِ أَهْلِ الْأَرْضِ، فَدُلَّ عَلَى رَجُلٍ عَالِمٍ فَقَالَ: إِنَّهُ قَتَلَ مِائَةَ نَفْسٍ فَهَلْ لَهُ مِنْ تَوْبَةٍ؟ فَقَالَ: نَعَمْ، وَمَنْ يَحُولُ بَيْنَهُ وَبَيْنَ التَّوْبَةِ، انْطَلِقْ إِلَى أَرْضِ كَذَا وَكَذَا فَإِنَّ بِهَا أُنَاسًا يَعْبُدُونَ اللَّهَ فَاعْبُدْ اللَّهَ مَعَهُمْ، وَلَا تَرْجِعْ إِلَى أَرْضِكَ فَإِنَّهَا أَرْضُ سَوْءٍ، فَانْطَلَقَ حَتَّى إِذَا نَصَفَ الطَّرِيقَ أَتَاهُ الْمَوْتُ ( وفي رواية أخرى:  فَأَدْرَكَهُ الْمَوْتُ فَنَاءَ بِصَدْرِهِ نَحْوَهَا)، فَاخْتَصَمَتْ فِيهِ مَلَائِكَةُ الرَّحْمَةِ وَمَلَائِكَةُ الْعَذَاب.ِ فَقَالَتْ مَلَائِكَةُ الرَّحْمَةِ: جَاءَ تَائِبًا مُقْبِلًا بِقَلْبِهِ إِلَى اللَّهِ، وَقَالَتْ مَلَائِكَةُ الْعَذَابِ: إِنَّهُ لَمْ يَعْمَلْ خَيْرًا قَطّ.ُ فَأَتَاهُمْ مَلَكٌ فِي صُورَةِ آدَمِيٍّ، فَجَعَلُوهُ بَيْنَهُمْ، فَقَالَ: قِيسُوا مَا بَيْنَ الْأَرْضَيْنِ، فَإِلَى أَيَّتِهِمَا كَانَ أَدْنَى فَهُوَ لَهُ. فَقَاسُوهُ فَوَجَدُوهُ أَدْنَى إِلَى الْأَرْضِ الَّتِي أَرَادَ، فَقَبَضَتْهُ مَلَائِكَةُ الرَّحْمَةِ».  متفقٌ عليه.

 

Narrated Abu Sa’eed Al-Khudri may Allah be pleased with him- that the Prophet -prayer and peace be upon him- said (English translation):

“There was among those before you a man who had killed ninety-nine souls. Then he asked about the most knowledgeable person on earth, and was directed to a monk. He went to him and said to him that he had killed ninety-nine souls, so was there any repentance for him? The monk replied: ‘No.’ So he killed him and completed with him one hundred.

  He then asked about the most knowledgeable person on earth, and was directed to a scholar. He asked the scholar that he had killed one hundred souls, so was there any repentance for him?

The scholar replied: ‘Yes, what stands between you and repentance. Go to so and so land, for there is a group of people who worship God there, so worship God with them. And do not return to your land, for it is an evil land.’ The man set out until he reached half of the way when death struck him.

The angels of mercy and the angels of punishment had a dispute about him. The angels of mercy said: ‘He came repentant, turning his heart to Almighty God.’ The angels of punishment said: ‘He had never done any good deed.’

An angel in the form of a human came to them and they appointed him a judge between them. He said: ‘Measure the distance between the two lands, and to whichever land he is closer, he belongs to it.’ They measured it and found him closer to the land he sought, so the angels of mercy took him.”

And In another narration: “So he was closer to the righteous village by one hand span, and so was considered from its dwellers.”  Related by Al-Bukhari and Imam Muslim.

  Qatadah said: “Al-Hasan said: ‘It was mentioned to us that when the angel of death came to him, he stuck out his chest toward the righteous village.’ ”


 

The Almighty God is the Most Merciful and Most Forgiving.  However, in order to get that mercy and forgiveness, the son of Adam is instructed to turn to God in repentance and seek His Guidance.  Just like in this world things do not come to us but we have to go and get them, the same is true in good deeds.  The son of Adam is instructed to seek guidance to find it.  The Muslim is instructed to do good deeds and avoid sins to obtain God’s pleasure and win His Paradise.

The Companion of the Prophet, Anas Ibn Malik -may Allah be pleased with him, reported that Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- said: “The Almighty God said: ‘When a slave of Mine draws near to Me a span, I draw near to him a cubit; and if he draws near to Me a cubit, I draw near to him a fathom. And if he comes to Me walking, I go to him running.’ ”  Related by Al-Bukhari.

          Thus, we see the great mercy of God and His bounty, but the Muslim must do his part and turn back to God.  In the above true story, the sinful man killed 99 souls, but he felt remorse and regret for disobeying God.  He then embarked on his path back to God.  The man was instructed to leave his evil place and move to another town and worship God with its pious people.  When the man couldn’t reach his desired destination and was overtaken by death, he indicated his sincere repentance and showed his effort by sticking out his chest toward the other righteous town.  And that half span distance of sincerity and righteousness was the final judge between Doom-perdition and Salvation, and between Hell and Paradise.

Indeed, a small good gesture, a little good deed, a sincere righteous deed could be worth a great reward with God, but we should take the time and effort to do it.  Likewise, sometimes abstaining from a sin or resisting a temptation could lead to higher levels in Paradise, but we have to strengthen our resolve and overcome our weakness to succumb to it to gain the reward.  Indeed, the path of Guidance and virtue is clear and the path of evil and vice is clear.  And we have to be prudent which path to take and sensible of the consequences we may face.  We ask God to guide us and show us the Right Path.

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