6. Carry Out Good Deeds
Doing good deeds for others can be like switching on a light bulb in a darkened room. No matter how awful we are feeling there is just something about offering a helping hand to someone in need that lifts our spirits and brightens our Iman. We should get to the stage where we crave to do good deeds! Because our good deeds are our eternal investment which will benefit us for the rest of eternity rather than investment into this life which is very temporary indeed! So what investment sounds better? Eternal investment which will give us eternal bliss or temporary investment which has a chance of failing even though we spend our whole lives investing in it! You choose!
Allah Almighty says in the Holy Qur'an: "For those who believe and work righteous deeds is a reward that will never fail" (Fussilat: 8).
Time in Islam is more than gold or any precious material thing in this world. Of all religions, only Islam guides mankind not only to the importance of time but also how to value it. AllahI the Almighty and His Messenger, the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), very clearly tell us the value of time, why we must not waste it and how we can make use of our time wisely to increase our iman (faith) and thus attain success, especially eternal success in the life Hereafter.
Bin 'Abbas narrated t that Allâh's Messenger r said, "There are two blessings which many people lose: (They are) health and free time for doing good."(Bukhari 8/421)
Abdullah Bin Mas'ud t narrated: "I asked the Prophet (peace be upon him), 'Which deed is the dearest to Allah?' He replied, "To offer salaat (the prayers) at their early fixed times." I asked, "What is the next (in goodness)?" He replied, "To be good and dutiful to your parents." I' again asked, "What is the next (in goodness)? "He replied, "To participate in jihad (religious fighting) in Allah's Cause."(Bukhari 1/ 505)
Abu Qatada, Bin Rab'i t narrated that the Prophet (peace be upon him), said,"Allâh the Exalted said: 'I made five times (daily) prayers obligatory on your people. And I took a guarantee that if anyone observes them regularly at their times, I shall admit him to Paradise. If anyone does not offer them regularly, there is no such guarantee of Mine for him.'" (Abu Dawood 430)
If we fear Allah for His wrath and hope for His rewards in the eternal world to come, time has come for us to give due value to the importance of time. We should try not to waste most of our time seeking worldly pleasures. It is for our guidance that we must take admonition from the following authentic hadîth:
Abu Hurairah t narrated that Allâh's Messenger r said, "Be prompt in doing good deeds (before you are overtaken) by turbulence which would be like a part of the dark night. During (that stormy period) a man would be a Muslim in the morning and an unbeliever in the evening or he would be a believer in the evening and an unbeliever in the morning, and would sell his faith for worldly goods." (Muslim 213)
Abu Hurairah t narrated that Allâh's Messenger r said, "Hasten to do good deeds before six things happen: the rising of the sun from the west, the smoke, the Dajjal, the beast and (the death) of one you or the general turmoil." (Muslim 7039)
"Call then upon Allâh with sincere devotion to Him even though the Unbelievers may detest it." (Qur'an 40:14)
Verily, time is very important for our success both in this temporary world and the eternal world to come. If we waste time, if we abuse it, then we waste and abuse our lives. In the Life Hereafter we will be among the losers, who will suffer the torments in the Hell-Fire, if Allah I the Almighty will not forgive us. Therefore, if we really give value to our lives then, we must give due value to the importance of time.
7. Remember Death
Every soul shall taste death
Allah has said in the Qur'aan: "Every soul will taste death."
From this verse we know that death is such a thing that you can't escape from even if you are in a house, which is built with metal walls, and has a massive padlock. Death will not only come when hair and the beard turn white, but it can come at any time, even when you are a baby, or an old person or a teenager or of middle age. Even if you are a king, a Prime Minister or a leader of one of the tribes.
Merits of the Remembrance of Death
Know that the person, who is engrossed in the world and cheated by its charming coquetries, is unmindful of the remembrance of death. They do not remember death and when they are reminded of it, they do not like it. Allah has said regarding such a man: "The deaths from which you flee away will meet you. Thereafter you will be led to the Knower of the world seen and unseen. You will then be informed of what you did."
Hazrat Bilal bin Masood and Umar bin Abdul Aziz Radiallaho Anho said, "O People! You are not created for being destroyed". You will travel from one home to another home. For a believer, death is a gift.
Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wassallam has said, "The gift for a believer is death".
Due to the hardship which the believer goes through in this world, death becomes easy for him and all of his anxieties disappear. Therefore, it is described as a gift in the Hadith.
Hazrat Mahmood bin Labeed says that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, "Mankind likes two things very much. One of these things is life, though death is much better for him, and the second is wealth though poverty makes accounting easy."
Hazrat ibn Umar Radiallaho Anho says, "This world is paradise for the non-believers (they are engaged in their worldly desires and aspirations) . This world is a jail or prison for the faithful (momins). They are bound by the laws of Shari at in every matter. Therefore, when the soul of a momin leaves his body (at the time of death), it is as if a captive has been freed from the cell. He cleans himself by turning in the dust.
To seek knowledge is a sacred duty, it is obligatory on every Muslim, male and female. The first word revealed of the Qur'an was "Iqra" READ! Seek knowledge! Educate yourselves! Be educated.
Surah Al-Zumr, ayah 9 reveals: "Are those equal, those who know and those who do not know?"
Surah Al-Baqarah, ayah 269 reveals: "Allah grants wisdom to whom He pleases and to whom wisdom is granted indeed he receives an overflowing benefit."
Ibn Mas'ud (Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: "The position of only two persons is enviable; the person whom Allah bestowed wealth empowering him to spend it in the way of righteousness, and the person whom Allah gave wisdom with which he adjudges and which he teaches to others."
According to Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah, Ibn Abbas (Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said:"A single scholar of religion is more formidable against shaytaan than a thousand devout persons."
Islam is our greatest gift. We have to be thankful for this gift. We have to render to Allah His due. Allah has given us so much by making us a part of the Ummah of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) so we must totally commit ourselves as followers of the Prophet (peace be upon him). We must become true Muslims.
A person without knowledge is like someone walking along a track in complete darkness. Most likely his steps will wander aside and he easily can be deceived by shaytaan. This shows that our greatest danger lies in our ignorance of Islamic teachings and in our unawareness of what the Qur'an teaches and what guidance has been given by the Prophet (peace be upon him). But if we are blessed with the light of knowledge we will be able to see plainly the clear path of Islam at every step of our lives. We shall also be able to identify and avoid the dangerous paths of Kufr, Shirk and immorality, which may cross it. And, whenever a false guide meets us on the way, a few words with him will quickly establish that he is not a guide who should be followed.
Every one of us, young or old, man or woman, should at least acquire sufficient knowledge to enable ourselves to understand the essence of the teachings of the Qur'an and the purpose for which it has been sent down. We should also be able to understand clearly the mission, which our beloved Prophet (peace be upon him) came into this world to fulfil. We should also recognize the corrupt order and system, which he came to destroy. We should acquaint ourselves, too, with the way of life which Allah has ordained for us.
No great amount of time is required to acquire this simple knowledge. If we truly value Iman, it cannot be too difficult to find one hour every day to devote for our Iman.
"He who acquires knowledge acquires a vast portion." AND "If anyone going on his way in search of knowledge, God will, thereby make easy for him the way to Paradise."
May Allah (SWT) give us strength to behave and act just as He likes us to do and be pleased with us, and that should be the purpose of our lives. Rabbi zidnee ilma (O Lord, increase us in knowledge). Aameen.