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“On the authority of Abu Huraira, RadhiAllahu Anhu, who said: The Messenger of Allah (SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) said,

“Verily Allah, the Exalted, is pure and accepts only that which is pure. Allah has commanded the believers to do that which He has commanded the Messengers. The Exalted has said, ‘O Messengers! Eat of the good things and do right.’ And the Exalted also said, ‘O believers! Eat of the good things that we have provided for you.’” Then he [the Prophet, SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam] mentioned a man who after a long journey is disheveled and dust coloured. “[The man] stretches his hands out toward the sky and says, ‘O Lord, O Lord,’ while his food is unlawful, his drink is unlawful, his clothing unlawful and his nourishment is unlawful. How is he to be answered [in such a state]?”
[Recorded in Sahih Muslim]

“Verily Allah, the Exalted, is pure”

The beauty of this hadith is that describes the quality of acts which are pleasing and acceptable to Allah.

It begins by stating that Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) is tayyib in Arabic. Tayyib literally means something good, but in reference to Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) in this hadith it means ‘The Pure’. Allah, is pure and perfect and far above any imperfection or need. He (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) possesses all of the attributes of perfection and completeness. He (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) is not in need of any partner or child. He (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) does not need to sleep or rest. All of these attributes are implied in this one statement of the Prophet (SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) in which every form of shortcoming or weakness is removed from Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala).

“and accepts only that which is pure.”

The scholars have said that this portion of the hadith refers not only to wealth that is pure, meaning earnt for lawful means, but to all deeds. That is, Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) does not accept any deed unless it is free from anything which would make it impure. Our actions should be lawful according to the Shariah. Our deeds must be free from ostentation or showing off, or seeking to please other than Allah, in other words it must be performed for His sake only. Our wealth should have been acquired using halal means (not from interest, or sale of liquor etc ) and our sustenance should also be pure and good (halal). As we will see later in this hadith the entire way in which a person lives life can be taken into account when considering whether or not a deed will be ‘acceptable’ to Allah (swt). And any acceptance is through His (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) Mercy, and He is the Most Merciful.

The are a number of ways in which a deed can by ‘accepted’ by Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala). Firstly, Allah may pleased with the deed, praise the one who performed it, tell the angels about the deed performed and so forth. Secondly, the deed may be rewarded in the Hereafter. Thirdly, the person may be considered to have performed their legal obligation of enacting the deed (ie they prayed). A verse in the Qur’an further states:

“Allah accepts only from those who are God-Fearing”.
(Surah al-Maaidah:27)

It is reported that the companions used to fear that their deeds would not be accepted by Allah because of this reason. If that was the fear of the companions, how much more should be the case for us?? It is clearly not enough simply to perform a deed for it to be accepted by Allah (swt) and for Him to be pleased with it. We should strive to purify our intentions, our conduct and our sources of livelihood, as well as asking ourselves whether we really fear Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) if we hope to have our deeds accepted by Him (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) and be source of reward for us in the Hereafter.