Increase in the remembrance of Allah, praising Him, glorifying Him, declaring His Oneness and His Might and Majesty. Fast in these nine days and especially on the Day of Arafah. Pray on time. Increase in voluntary acts of worship, for servants draw near to Allah, through their voluntary deeds, until Allah becomes pleased with them. Increase in the recitation of the Quran, its reflection and its application. Give in charity. Join the ties of kinship. Spread goodness and be in the service of others. Repent, and seek the forgiveness of Allah. Supplicate plenty, for Allah is more plentiful (in responding).
So remind, in case the reminder benefits.Surat al-A’laa (The Most High 87:9)
Abu Khaithama narrated to us, saying: Jareer reported to us from Qaaboos on the authority of Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allah be pleased with him): When speaking to his Lord, prophet Musaa (upon him be peace) said, ‘My Lord, which of Your slaves is the most beloved to You?’ He said, ‘The ones who remember Me the most.’ He then asked, ‘Which of Your slaves is the wisest?’ He replied, ‘The one who judges himself in the same way he judges others.’ He then said, ‘My Lord, which of Your slaves is the richest?’ He said, ‘The one who is pleased with what I have given him.'” – Kitab al-‘Ilm by al-Hāfidh Abū Khaithama (may Allah have mercy on him)
Blessed, exalted is He
who holds all control in His hand
who in His Hand is the dominion
and He is over all things
Who created death
so that He may test you
who among you
– not most, but –
best in deed
excellent in action
beautiful in character
and He is
deserving of our
But if we fall short
If we falter
that He is
the Most Forgiving.
“Blessed is He in Whose Hand is the dominion, and He is Able to do all things. Who has created death and life, that He may test you, which of you is best in deed. And He is the All-Mighty, the Oft-Forgiving.”
Allah mentions in the Quran the virtue of intending to be good, striving upon the path of goodness, and keeping to it. And because one treads upon this path, Allah increases their guidance, steadfastness, patience and piety. Whoever practices a good habit, Allah makes it easier for them. And whoever thanks Allah for what He has given, Allah gives them more in return.
“While as for those who accept guidance, He increases their guidance, and bestows on them their piety.” (Quran Surah Muhammad 47:17) And [remember] when your Lord proclaimed, ‘If you are grateful, I will surely increase you [in favor]; but if you deny, indeed, My punishment is severe.’ (Surah Ibraheem 14:7)
The Prophet peace be upon him said, “Whosoever would be chaste and modest, Allah will keep him chaste and modest, and whosoever would seek self-sufficiency (relying on no one but Allah), Allah will make him self-sufficient, and whosoever would be patient, Allah will give him patience. And no one is granted a gift better and more comprehensive than patience.” (Muttafaqun ‘alayh)
In another narration, the Messenger of Allah pbuh said: “Whoever wants to refrain from asking, Allah, the Mighty and Sublime, will help him to do so, and whoever wants to be patient, Allah will help him to be patient. No one is ever given anything better and more far-reaching than patience.” (Sunan an-Nasa’i 2588)
Invest in your relationship with the Quran. Recite it. Understand it. Implement it. It is the Book. A guidance (2:2). A clear proof (4:174). A remembrance of God (7:2). A reminder (12:104). A mercy (17:82). A cure (17:82). A light (4:174). Fair warning (20:113). Glad tidings (2:97). Promises of ease. Happiness. Comfort. It increases your faith (8:2). Protects you from committing sins. It is a companion (Ahmad 394). A witness (Muslim 223). An intercessor (Muslim 1757). It is blessed (38:29) and a great blessing. And the reward and benefit from the Quran, is far greater than the effort of our investment.
Indeed, those who recite the Book of Allah, and establish the prayer and give (in charity) secretly and openly from what We have provided for them, they hope for a trade that will never yield a loss. That He may repay them in full their rewards, and give them (even) more from His Grace. Verily He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Appreciative. (Fatir 35:30-31)
Abu Hurayrah narrates that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: “The one who eats and is grateful has the same station as the one who fasts and is patient.” (at-Tirmidhi 2486)
Anas bin Malik narrated that: the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: “Whoever prays Fajr in congregation, then sits remembering Allah until the sun has risen, then he prays two Rak’ah, then for him is the reward like that of a Hajj and Umrah.” He said: “The Messenger of Allah said: ‘Complete, complete, complete.'” (at-Tirmidhi 586)
Abu Hurayrah reported: The poor came to the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) and said: “Oh, Messenger of Allah, the wealthy have gone with the highest ranks and lasting bliss. They pray like us and fast as we do. They have more money by which they perform the Hajj, and `Umra; fight and struggle in Allah’s Cause and give in charity.” The Messenger of Allah said, “Shall I not teach you something with which if you acted you would catch up with those who have surpassed you? Nobody would overtake you and you would be better than the people amongst whom you live except those who would do the same. Say Subhanal-lah (Allah is free from imperfection), Al hamdulil-lah (Praise be to Allah), and Allahu Akbar (Allah is Greatest) thirty-three times after every (obligatory) prayer.” (al-Bukhari 843)
Deeds are not just counted; deeds are weighed.
Allah says in Surat al-Bayyinah (98:5), “And they were not commanded except to worship Allah, [being] sincere to Him in religion, inclining to truth, and to establish prayer and to give zakah. And that is the way of the straight religion.”
‘Umar bin Al-Khattab narrated in Sahih al-Bukhari (hadith 54): that Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “The reward of deeds depends upon the intentions and every person will get the reward according to what he has intended. So whoever emigrated for Allah and His Prophet, then his emigration was for Allah and His Prophet. And whoever emigrated for worldly benefits or for a woman to marry, then his emigration was for what he emigrated for.”
What makes intentions so important? Good intentions are, by itself, rewarded for. They magnify the rewards of good deeds and they elevate the status of mubah actions to worship (for example, sleeping with the intention of waking up for prayer makes the former an act of worship).
Sufyan ibn Dinar asked Abu Bashir: Tell me about the deeds of those who came before us.
He responded: They used to do little but were rewarded greatly.
Sufyan ibn Dinar said: And why is that?
He answered: Due to the purity of their hearts.1
1Source unknown to me.
If you were to count one blessing of Allah, you would never be able to enumerate it. Singular, Allah uses the singular form. Because if we were to extract and count the number of blessings that come forth from that one favour from Allah, we would never be able to do so. All praise and thanks be to Allah.
O Allah I thank You for all that You have given me, and all that You’ve taken away. I thank You for the harm and pain that You have avoided me from, and avoided from me.
O Allah I thank You for the blessings that I cannot count, those that are apparent to me and those that are hidden. I thank You for the blessings I presently enjoy and the ones that You have in store for me.
O Allah I thank You for the good that You have helped me to perform, and the good that You have facilitated for me. I thank You for without Your guidance and refuge, I am lost and defenceless.
O Allah I thank You for You are appreciative, and Your reward is just and bountiful. I thank You for this breath that I still have to repent, to say thanks, to seek Your forgiveness, for You are Most Forgiving, the Most Kind.
And lying on your sides.
And in secret.
Out of shyness.
Out of guilt.
Out of gratitude.
Out of relief.
Out of grief.
Out of fear.
Out of hope.
And out of love.
“Your Lord knows best what is in your hearts. If you are good, then verily, He is ever most Forgiving to those oft-returning to Him.” – Surat al-Israa’ 17:25