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ACTS THAT LEAD TO PARADISE – (PART 1)

ACTS THAT LEAD TO PARADISE – (PART 1)

On the authority of Muaadh ibn Jabal (RadhiAllahu Anhu) who said: I said, ‘O Messenger of Allah, inform me of an act which will place me into Paradise and keep me away from the Fire.’

He (SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) said:

“You have asked about a great matter but it is easy for whomever Allah, Exalted be He, makes it easy. [You should] worship Allah and not ascribe any partner to Him, establish the prayer, give the Zakat, fast Ramadan, and make the pilgrimage to the House.”

He (SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) then said:

“Shall I not inform you of the gates to goodness? [They are] fasting [which] is a shield, charity [which] extinguishes the sins like water extinguishes a fire and the prayer of a man in the depths of the night [which also extinguished sins].”

The he (SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) recited [the verses], “Who forsakes their beds” until he reached, “they used to do”. Then he (SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) said:

“Shall I inform you of the head of the matter, its pillar and its apex?”

I said: ‘Certainly, O Prophet of Allah.’

He (SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) said:

“The head of the matter is submission [to Allah]. Its pillar is the prayer. And its apex is jihad.”

Then he (SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) said:

“Shall I not inform you of what controls all of this?”

I said: ‘Certainly, O Prophet of Allah.’

He took hold of his tongue and said:

“Restrain this.”

I said: ‘O Prophet of Allah, will we be held accountable for what we say?’

He (SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) said:

“May your mother be bereaved of you, O Muaadh. Is there anything that has thrown people on their faces – or he said on their noses – into the Fire except that which their tongues reap?”

[Recorded in al-Tirmidhi]

“O Messenger of Allah, inform me of an act which will place me into Paradise and keep me away from the Fire.”

SubhaanAllah, what a beautiful request.

We read a question like this and feel thankful for those Companions who asked such questions, so that we, generations and generations later could be blessed with the wisdom of the answer of the last Prophet of Allah, Muhammad, may Allah’s infinite peace and blessings be upon him. What are the acts that will take us to Paradise, and which will lead us to the Fire?

This was not the only time that the Messenger of Allah, SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam, was asked a question such as this. In fact, he, SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam, was asked this many times and each time his answer was basically the same.

These ahadith are evidence for us that it is one’s deeds that enter a person into Paradise, and not just their beliefs. As Allah, praised and glorified be He says in the Qur’an,

“This is the Paradise which you have been made to inherit because of you deeds which you used to do”

(Surah al-Zukhruf:72)

We should never forget though, that while our deeds and striving in this world are essential, it is ultimately only by the Mercy of Allah that we will actually be allowed into Paradise. As the Prophet, SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam, said:

“No one’s deeds enter him into Paradise.”

They said, “Not even you, O Messenger of Allah?”

He said, “Not even me unless Allah envelopes me in His Mercy.”

[Recorded in al-Bukhari and Muslim]

Let’s make dua to Allah to assist us in performing the acts of the people of Paradise, and keep us away from the acts of the people of the Hellfire, and that He showers His infinite Mercy upon us and enters us into His Jennah. Ameen.
“You have asked about a great matter but it is easy for whomever Allah, Exalted be He, makes it easy.”
The Prophet, SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam, informed the Companion that he had asked about ‘a great matter’. Indeed, could there be a greater matter than this? Finding out which actions will take a person to Paradise and which will take them to the Fire? Allah, praised and glorified be He, has sent messengers and revelations throughout the ages to advise us about this very matter, it is of such importance.
We can see from the Prophet’s response, SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam, that not only is this a great matter, it is also a very difficult thing to achieve, except for those on whom Allah, has bestowed His Grace. Fulfilling the commands of Allah, praised and glorified be He, and staying away from what He has prohibited is a life long struggle. Without Allah’s help we would never be successful. So the Prophet, SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam, has reminded us that it is Allah who will facilitate this journey for us to the ultimate of ends.
Allah can make anything He wishes easy. He, all praises and glory be to Him, can take this difficult matter, and make it easy for us if He wishes. He can open our hearts to the beauty of Islam and make us love to obey Him, and make the obligatory deeds easy for us. Allah says in the Qur’an:

“As for him who gives [in charity] and keeps his duty to Allah and fears Him, and believes in a reward from Allah, We will make smooth for him the path of goodness. But he who is a greedy miser and thinks himself self-sufficient and belies the reward from Allah, We will make smooth for him the path for evil”
(Surah al-Lail:5-10)

Every believer should realise this fact and turn to Allah to ask for guidance. If we turn to Allah and beseech Him, He can make the path smooth for us. As Allah says:

“As for those who strive hard in Our cause. We will surely guide them to Our paths. And, verily, Allah is with the doers of good”
(Surah al-Ankaboot:69)

Let’s turn to Allah to ask Him to guide us and help us on the path to Paradise, to assist us in remembering Him, and thanking Him, and worshipping Him as He should be worshipped, and to save us from the torment of the Fire.

“[You should] worship Allah and not ascribe any partner to Him…”

In this hadith, the Prophet, SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam, told Muaadh ibn Jabal, RadhiAllahu Anhu, that the key to entering Paradise and escaping the Hellfire is to practice the five pillars of Islam.

The first of the pillars of Islam is to worship Allah, without ascribing any partners to Him. Belief in Allah (swt) and the need to worship Him, is the cornerstone of the Islamic faith, and all of the other Islamic beliefs revolve around this. If our understanding of Allah (swt) and His attributes is incorrect, then the basis of our own faith may be jepordised. This is a matter of such fundamental importance that many Muslim scholars have described the correct belief in Allah, called Tauheed, in great detail.

Tauheed means ‘making something one’. It is not a term found in the Qur’an or the sunnah, but it became the main term used to cover the aspects of belief in Allah from the time of ibn Abbas, RadhiAllahu Anhuma. Although there are some variations, the scholars have traditionally divided Tauheed into three distinct categories:

Tauheed al-Ruboobiyah – The belief in the Oneness of Allah concerning His Lordship. He alone is the Lord (al-Rabb), He is One, without partner, and He is the sole Creator and the only One who nourishes and Sustains the creation.

Tauheed al-Uloohiyah – This is the Oneness of Allah with respect to Him being the only One worthy of worship. All acts of worship must be directed toward Allah alone. We should not offer prayers or make supplications to anyone else such as saints, pirrs or sheikhs. By doing this, people show that they are putting their trust in a person to help deliver what they want, they are not putting their trust in Allah alone.

Tauheed al-Asmaa wa al-Sifaat – This is believing in all the names and attributes of Allah as mentioned in the Qur’an and authentic hadith. We must believe that they are unique to Him, without negating them, stripping them of any meaning, or distorting their meaning by interpreting them figuritavely. The more we know about Allah the more we love Him and turn to Him, understanding that He alone had power over all things.

The completion of this belief in Allah and worship of Him, all praises and glory be to Him, is to ensure that we do not ascribe any partners to Him in worship. What comes to mind when we think of ascribing ‘partners’ to Allah, is perhaps the physical worshipping of an idol or such like. But ascribing partners to Allah, all praises and glory be to Him, is actually more subtle than this.

Attributing any of the powers of Allah, to part of His creation, is in fact making a partner with Allah. Many Muslims do not realize that to ask a saint, pir, or holy man etc for help in something which is not normally within the capability of a human being – such as to put faith in one’s heart, or knowledge of the unseen on influence in future events – is strictly forbidden. It is in fact shirk, associating partners with Allah, because it assumes that a human has the power to do what only Allah, all praises and glory be to Him, can do. This is in effect the equivalent of asking an idol to assist you in bringing the rain.

You can still find Muslims in many parts of the world who perform acts of worship at graves, or carry out worship of ‘saints’ (auliya). Remember that making dua is an act of worship, so if you make dua to a saint or teacher to help you then you are making partners with Allah in worship, which is shirk, the only unforgivable sin. We are not in need of any intercessors when calling on Allah. The doors of Allah, the Merciful are wide open to all of us to ask Him for our needs directly. It is recorded in Sahih al-Bukhari that Allah descends during the last part of every night, asking:

“Is there anyone asking of Me so that I can give to him? Is there anyone supplicating to Me so that I may respond to him?”

In the Qur’an Allah (swt) says:

“And when my slaves ask you [O Muhammad] concerning Me, then I am indeed near. I respond to the invocations of the supplicant when he calls on Me.”

(Surah al-Baqarah:186)

So let’s ensure that we put our trust in Allah alone, and direct all our acts of worship towards Him, for there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and to put our trust in other than Him, will lead to a terrible end.