Islam emphasizes the right beliefs and right actions. Islam is an action-oriented religion. It wants its followers to be active, work hard, and always do right and good deeds. Whatever we do we must do with the consciousness of Allah and with the conviction that Allah is seeing everything that we do and on the Day of Judgment, all our deeds will be presented before Him for His final judgment. Allah says:
فَتَبَسَّمَ ضَاحِكًا مِّن قَوْلِهَا وَقَالَ رَبِّ أَوْزِعْنِي أَنْ أَشْكُرَ نِعْمَتَكَ الَّتِي أَنْعَمْتَ عَلَيَّ وَعَلَىٰ وَالِدَيَّ وَأَنْ أَعْمَلَ صَالِحًا تَرْضَاهُ وَأَدْخِلْنِي بِرَحْمَتِكَ فِي عِبَادِكَ الصَّالِحِينَ
“So he smiled – laughing at her speech and said, “My Lord! Grant me (the) power that I may thank You (for) Your Favor which You have bestowed on me and my parents and that I may do righteous (deeds), that will please You. And admit me by Your Mercy among Your slaves righteous.” (Surah An-Naml 27:19)
In Islam, there is no sharp division between secular work and religious work. All work is religious if it is done with the awareness of Allah, observing the rules of Allah and for the benefit of His creation. We should take advantage of all the opportunities we have to do right and valuable things. We should not miss the opportunities. We should understand all situations and whatever chance we have we should do righteous deeds. Allah says:
وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ وَآمَنُوا بِمَا نُزِّلَ عَلَىٰ مُحَمَّدٍ وَهُوَ الْحَقُّ مِن رَّبِّهِمْ كَفَّرَ عَنْهُمْ سَيِّئَاتِهِمْ وَأَصْلَحَ بَالَهُمْ
“And those who believe and do righteous deeds, and believe in what is revealed to Muhammad, and it (is) the truth from their Lord, He will remove from them their misdeeds, and improve their condition.” (Surah Muhammad 47:2)
Islam has given us clear rules of what is obligatory, what is recommended, what is forbidden and what is not recommended. Shari’ah teaches us priorities and we must keep this in mind in all circumstances. The thing emphasized here is that good deeds have their intrinsic value. Righteous deeds are important and we should always do good deeds.
Here are some Importance points about righteous deeds in Islam and their benefits:
- Righteous deeds serve as a divine guard against the trials
- Righteous deeds remove the fear of failure in our chores
- Righteous deeds follow up a bad deed with a good one
- Righteous deeds activate derive the pleasure of Allah
- Righteous deeds encourage goodness and forbid evil
- Righteous deeds strive for the pleasure of Allah
- Righteous deeds indulge in all sorts of vices
- Righteous deeds control worldly desires
- Righteous deeds avoid that which is wrong
- Righteous deeds to obtain blessings of Allah
- Righteous deeds remove the fear of enraging
- Righteous deeds keep away to lying and deceit
- Righteous deeds are the fruit of doing good actions
- Righteous deeds mean to cleanse or purify the heart
- Righteous deeds practising towards worship of Allah
إِنَّ هَٰذَا الْقُرْآنَ يَهْدِي لِلَّتِي هِيَ أَقْوَمُ وَيُبَشِّرُ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ الَّذِينَ يَعْمَلُونَ الصَّالِحَاتِ أَنَّ لَهُمْ أَجْرًا كَبِيرًا
“Indeed, this, the Quran, guides to that which (is) most straight and gives glad tidings to the believers – those who do the righteous deeds, that for them (is) a reward great.” (Surah Al-Isra` 17:9)
Deeds must be righteous. To know what is righteous, Allah has given us two main sources: the Naql (the Qur’an and Sunnah) and ‘Aql (mind and reason). The deeds must be by divine revelation and Prophetic guidance. The deeds must be also reasonable. Everything must be done with wisdom (hikmah) and keeping in mind the basic objectives (maqasid) of Islam. Allah says:
وَأَمَّا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ فَيُوَفِّيهِمْ أُجُورَهُمْ وَاللَّهُ لَا يُحِبُّ الظَّالِمِينَ
“And as for those who believe[d] and did [the] righteous deeds then He will grant them in full their reward. And Allah (does) not love the wrongdoers.” (Surah Al-Imran 3:57)
Righteous actions include all kinds of actions, devotional, moral, social, economic, political, etc. Righteous actions are those that are beneficial, good and useful; and righteous actions are also those that remove harm, evil and injustice. Having righteous deeds is very important in religion Islam that every Muslim must perform for pleasing Allah.
Allah Almighty says in the Holy Quran:
- “Lower your voice and talk moderately.” (Quran 31:19)
- “Don’t let hatred cause you to be unjust.” (Quran 6:108)
- “Don’t ask too many favours from people.” (Quran 2:273)
- “And establish worship for My Remembrance.” (Quran 20:14)
- “Preach to others in a good and wise manner.” (Quran 16:125)
- “Don’t accuse others of immorality without proof.” (Quran 24:4)
- “And Allah does not guide the wrongdoing people.” (Quran 3:86)
- “Consider the wives of the Prophet like your mothers.” (Quran 33:6)
- “And those who strive in Our (cause) -We will certainly guide them to Our paths.”(Quran 29:69)
Whatever action we take we must consider that the benefits should outweigh the potential harm. Avoiding harm has priority over potential benefits. The meaning is that when taking any action, we should carefully see whether there is more harm or benefit. If there is more harm than benefit. The actions should be taken with knowledge, wisdom, planning and care. In Islam, there are no place for rash, radical or extreme actions. Allah says:
مَن كَفَرَ فَعَلَيْهِ كُفْرُهُ وَمَنْ عَمِلَ صَالِحًا فَلِأَنفُسِهِمْ يَمْهَدُونَ
“Whoever disbelieves, then against him (is) his disbelief. And whoever does righteousness, then for themselves they are preparing.” (Surah Ar-Rum 30:44)
Here we discuss some of the righteous deeds as follows:
- Reading and reciting the Quran: Reading the Quran will be credited with a good deed, and a good deed gets a tenfold reward. So by reciting Quran daily helps us to understand the words of Allah with great rewards daily.
- Obligatory Prayers: Prayer is one of the best means for undertaking spiritual migration towards Allah Almighty. The Prayer is a celestial formula and Divine electuary, every part of which contains a hidden mystery.
- Ask for Forgiveness Every day: In our daily life routine, we commit sins willingly or unwillingly which leads to Allah’s displeasure at times.
- Removal of Obstacles: Before the prayer, all obstacles in attaining the heart’s presence must be removed and only then one should engage himself in prayer.
- Upholding the ties of Kinship: By upholding the ties of kinship not just only increase your provision but also spreads love across the family.
- Be Thankful to Allah: Thanking Allah is a simple way towards worshipping the Exalted Lord as whatever we are today and we do is because of His favours.
- Strengthening of Faith: Man’s attention towards God-Almighty depends in proportion to his knowledge and enlightenment relative to Him. If the faith has reached the degree of certainty, has completely comprehended God’s Majesty, Power, Presence, Dominion, and Knowledge, naturally will show humility and humbleness in front of Him.
- Remembrance of Death: One thing which might be useful in achieving a heart’s presence is -remembrance of death.
We are not indifferent to results, but we are not obsessed with the desire for immediate achievement in everything. This principle saves us from the mistaken view that says, ‘ends justify the means.’ In Islam, the rule is that the ends must be right and means must be right. If the means are not Halal or appropriate, they should not be used. Allah says:
إِلَّا مَن تَابَ وَآمَنَ وَعَمِلَ صَالِحًا فَأُولَٰئِكَ يَدْخُلُونَ الْجَنَّةَ وَلَا يُظْلَمُونَ شَيْئًا
“Except (one) who repented and believed and did good (deeds). Then those will enter Paradise and not they will be wronged (in) anything.” (Surah Maryam 19:60)
Whatever actions are taken they should be with sincerity (ikhlas) and in an excellent manner (itqan). None of us knows when the end of the world will be. One may think that end is near, but it may not be. Only Allah knows when the end will be. So whatever time we have we should keep doing the right things and good deeds. Allah says:
وَأْمُرْ أَهْلَكَ بِالصَّلَاةِ وَاصْطَبِرْ عَلَيْهَا لَا نَسْأَلُكَ رِزْقًا نَّحْنُ نَرْزُقُكَ وَالْعَاقِبَةُ لِلتَّقْوَىٰ
“And enjoin (on) your family the prayer and be steadfast therein. Not We ask you (for) provision; We provide (for) you, and the outcome (is) for the righteous[ness].” (Surah Ta-Ha 20:132)
A righteous deed itself is important, whether we can see the results or not. We should not be too obsessed with the desire that results must be achieved immediately, or we must see the results. Some results are obtained immediately and some later, but our ultimate objective is to please Allah and find His acceptance in the Hereafter.