As believers, we are accountable and answerable for adhering to the mubaarak Sunnah of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). Adhering to the Sunnah means carrying out every action that Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) has commanded us and abstaining from all those actions that Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) has prohibited us. The success of a believer lies in this.
We should not be consumed with pride over any pious deed that we carry out, as salvation is based on the mercy of Allah Ta’ala and not on any of our doings.
Hadhrat Aaisha (Radhiyallahu Anha) reports that on one ocaasion she enquired from Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam): “Is it true that no person will be entered into Jannah except through the mercy of Allah Ta’ala?” Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) responded saying: “Yes, no one will be entered into Jannah except through the mercy of Allah Ta’ala.” Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) emphatically repeated this statement thrice. Thereafter, Hadhrat Aaisha (Radhiyallahu Anha) explains that I further asked, “O Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), does this also apply to you?" (i.e. Are you also in need of the mercy of Allah Ta’ala for your salvation and entry into Paradise? Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) placed his hand on his Mubarak head and said:
ولا أنا إلا أن يتغمدني الله برحمته
“Yes, I also will never gain entry into Jannah, except if Allah Ta’ala enshrouds me with His mercy.” Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) repeated this thrice as well.
In essence, the basis of our salvation and being pardoned in the court of Allah Ta’ala is Allah Ta’ala’s mercy. However since this world is ‘Darul Asbaab’ (i.e. adopting the external means has been made the cause for achieving the necessary results), Allah Ta’ala had made actions the apparent cause for acquiring salvation and success. Hereunder are a few incidents relating to the mercy of Allah Ta’ala and His compassion towards the creation.
Hadhrat Abu Hurayrah (Radhiyallahu Anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) has said: “Allah Ta’ala had forgiven an immodest (loose) and sinful woman on account of the compassion she showed to a dog. On one occasion she passed by a dog standing at the edge of a well with its tongue drooping. The dog was on the verge of death due to severe thirst. The woman removed her shoe and tied her scarf to it. Thereafter she lowered it into the well and pulled out some water for the dog. This action was so beloved to Allah Ta’ala that He pardoned her sins and forgave her. (Bukhaari & Muslim)
عن أبي هريرة رضي الله عنه قال : قالوا يا رسول الله إن لنا في البهائم أجرا ؟ قال: في كل كبد رطبة أجر (البخاري رقم 2363)
Hadhrat Abu Hurayrah (Radhiyallahu Anhu) reports that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) was once asked by the Sahaabah (Radhiyaahu Anhum) : “Will one receive reward for showing kindness to animals”. Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) replied: “One will be blessed with reward for showing kindness and compassion to any living thing (human or animal).
Hadhrat Abu Hurayrah (Radhiyallahu Anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) has said: “Once, there was a man walking along a pathway and his sight had fallen on a branch of a tree (lying in the middle of the road). He thought to himself that it is only right for me to remove this branch from the pathway of the Muslims so as to save them from any harm. It was on account of this seemingly minor act that Allah Ta’ala had forgiven him and pardoned his sins.” (Bukhaari)
عن أبي هريرة قال قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: الإيمان بضع وسبعون شعبة فأفضلها قول لا إله إلا الله وأدناها إماطة الأذى عن الطريق والحياء شعبة من الإيمان (مسلم رقم 35)
Hadhrat Abu Hurayrah (Radhiallahu Anhu) reports that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: Imaan consists of many branches, which exceed seventy in number. The most virtuous of all is proclaiming “There is no Deity worthy of worship besides Allah Ta’ala”, and the lowest branch is removing a harmful obstacle from the pathway, and Hayaa (modesty) is an extremely important branch of Imaan.
Hadhrat Thanwi (Rahmatullahi Alaihi) writes:
It is mentioned in ar-Rahmatul Muhdaat that on one occasion a Nabi (Alaihis Salaam) had passed by a graveyard wherein there were new graves which were in a good state. As he drew closer he realized that most of the inmates of these graves were being punished. He turned to Allah Ta’ala and made duaa for the forgiveness of the inmates of these graves and then continued on his way. After a period of time had elapsed he happened to pass by the same graveyard. However, this time the graves were dilapidated. When he entered the graveyard, he was informed (by the unseen) that all the inmates of the graveyard had been forgiven and were enjoying the pleasures of Jannah. He was astounded and enquired from Allah Ta’ala: “O Allah, apparently it seemed as though these people had no good action to their credit when they had passed away, what was the cause of their forgiveness?” Allah Ta’ala replied: “When their graves had become dilapidated and there were nobody to seek forgiveness on their behalf, I then felt pity for them and forgave them.” (Jawaahir Paare)
عن جابر رضي الله عنه قال : قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم : " لا يدخل أحدا منكم عمله الجنة ولا يجيره من النار ولا أنا إلا برحمة الله " . (مسلم رقم 77)
Hadhrat Jaabir (Radhiallahu Anhu) reports that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: “Your actions will not enter any of you into Paradise, nor will it save you from the fire of Jahannum, except with the mercy of Allah Ta’ala.
Hadhrat Imaam Ghazaali (Rahmatullahi Alaihi) writes:
Hadhrat Abu Sa’eed Shahhaam (Rahmatullahi Alaihi) says that after the demise of Hadhrat Sahl Sa’luki (Rahmatullahi Alaihi), I had once seen him in a dream and addressed him as “O Shaikh”. He prevented me from calling him Shaikh. Abu Sa’eed says that I told him the reason for calling him shaikh was because in the world he was well known amongst the circle of the shuyookh. Upon this statement Sahl said: “Brother, all the good deeds I used to carry out in the world, though it was appreciated, however it was on account of a specific deed that Allah Ta’ala had for given me.” (After hearing these words, Abu Sa’eed was suprised and asked: “How did Allah Ta’ala deal with you?” He replied: “Allah Ta’ala had forgiven me on account of assisting an old lady and explaining to her the masaa’il of Deen which she was in need of everyday.” (Jawaahir Paare)
If we analyze these incidents then we understand that the basis of salvation is only the mercy of Allah Ta’ala. We also learn that every moment should be spent in carrying out good actions because we do not know on account of which action we will gain forgiveness and salvation in the Hereafter.
وعن أنس رضي الله عنه قال : قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم : " من قضى لأحد من أمتي حاجة يريد أن يسره بها فقد سرني ومن سرني فقد سر الله ومن سر الله أدخله الله الجنة ". (شعب الايمان للبيهقي رقم 7247)
Hadhrat Anas (Radhiallahu Anhu) reports that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: “Whoever sees to the need of one of my ummatis in order to please him, then he has pleased me, and whoever pleases me has pleased Allah, and whoever pleases Allah, Allah will admit him into Jannah.”