ALLAH’S HELP COMES AFTER EFFORT

Hazrat Abuzar Ghaffari Razi Allah Anhu narrated that he heard the Holy Prophet ﷺnarrated the following Hadith-e-Qudsi. A Hadith-e-Qudsi is a Hadith in which the Holy Prophet ﷺ says that he heard Allah Ta’ala say something. In this Hadith the Holy Prophet ﷺ said that he heard Allah Ta’ala say;

“When a person commits a good deed in this world I reward him with ten times the reward he deserves for that good deed. And if a person commits a sin I only punish him equal to the punishment he deserves for that sin. I do not even double that punishment. I either give him punishment proportional to what he did, or forgive him altogether.”

Angels recording good and bad deeds
I heard a Hadith from our Sheikh Hazrat Maulana Maseeh Ullah Khan sahib (may Allah Ta’ala bless him), though didn’t see it in a book, that Allah Ta’ala has allocated two angels to every human being. One of them notes down all the good deeds and the other one notes down all the sins. Hazrat used to say that Allah Ta’ala has made the angel who writes down good deeds, in charge of the one who writes down sins. It is Allah Ta’ala’s decree and Rasool Allah’s ﷺ teaching that when two people travel together they should appoint a leader amongst themselves. That is why one angel has been appointed as the leader of the other.

As soon as a person does a good deed, the angel who is supposed to note down good deeds writes it down immediately. On the other hand, when a person commits a sin the angel who is supposed to record sins does not write it down immediately. It asks its leader, the angel who is supposed to record good deeds, that this person has committed this sin, should I write it down? The other angel says, just wait a little bit, maybe he will repent (do Taubah) or do Istighfar (ask for forgiveness). If he does Taubah then there will be no need to write this sin down. A shorth while later the angel recording sins asks again, should I write it down now? The angel of good deeds says, just wait a little longer. Maybe he will do Taubah. But when the angel noting sins asks a third time then the other angel says, now it does not look like he is going to do Taubah immediately. Note his sin down now.

Allah Ta’ala does not want to punish His creations
In Surah An-Nisa Allah Ta’ala says,

“What would Allah get by punishing you, if you are grateful and believe?” (4:147)
So, Allah Ta’ala does not want to punish anyone unless a person always keeps disobeying Allah Ta’ala, and keeps carrying out acts that displease Allah Ta’ala, despite being told repeatedly not to do so. And even then the door of Taubah (repentance) is always open for us right up to the time of our death.

Who will not be forgiven
In the Hadith Qudsi mentioned above, Allah Ta’ala further describes who will be forgiven.

“If a person fills the whole world with his sins, but then comes to Me, I will grant him as much forgiveness as the number of his sins, as long as he has not committed Shirk (ascribing partners to Allah Ta’ala).”

In this Hadith Allah Ta’ala has clearly told us that no matter how many sins we have committed, the door of Taubah (repentance) will always remain open for us till the time of our death. Even if we have committed lots of sins there is no reason to feel hopeless. Allah Ta’ala’s mercy is much greater than our sins. And it is not just that we won’t be punished for those sins we have done Taubah from, they will be erased for our balance sheet as if we had never committed them. That is why in another Hadith Qudsi Allah Ta’ala says;
“My mercy takes precedence over My anger.” (Sahih Muslim)

The Holy Prophet ﷺ and Istighfar
In a Hadith the Holy Prophet ﷺ said;

“I beg Allah Ta’ala for forgiveness (do Istighfar) seventy times every day.”

Even though Rasool Allah ﷺ was innocent of all sins even then he performed Istighfar so many times every day. This was to teach us that we should be begging Allah Ta’ala for forgiveness every day, and do it often.

In the next sentence of this Hadith Qudsi Allah Ta’ala says;

“If a person comes one palm measure towards Me, I go one hand towards him, if a person comes one hand near Me, I go two hands towards him, and if a person walks towards Me, I run towards him.”

This is a measure of Allah Ta’ala’s blessing towards us that if a person makes an effort to get close to Allah Ta’ala, Allah Ta’ala makes much greater effort to get close to that person.

Allah’s promise is only for those who make an effort
The true meaning of this Hadith is that Allah Ta’ala wants to see who amongst his subjects makes an effort to perform deeds which will bring him closer to Allah Ta’ala. The promise made in this Hadith is only for those people who make that effort. There are many people who genuinely want to follow the path of Allah Ta’ala but keep waiting that something out of this world will happen and they will automatically become pious Muslims one day. Sometimes they become disciples of a man of God but then, rather than starting to try to change their life themselves, they keep waiting that the Sheikh will perform some miracle which will turn them into pious Muslims and will take them to Jannah (Paradise).

Everyone has to earn their own way to Jannah (Paradise)
It is important to understand that nobody can carry anybody else to Jannah (Paradise). We all have to make our own way to Jannah and have to perform those deeds ourselves which may take us to Jannah. However, Allah Ta’ala has promised that if you make a little effort on my way, I will bring you much closer to Me than your effort alone could bring you. In the Holy Quran Allah Ta’ala says;

“As for those who strive in Our way, We will certainly take them onto Our paths, and indeed Allah is with those who are good in deeds.” (29:69)

We have to work hard to earn Jannah
Believing that we will enter into Jannah without making any effort is fooling oneself. We have to work hard to earn it, as we do for any other goal we consider worthwhile. Even if our efforts are imperfect and incomplete, but we still have to make those efforts. Some day because of the Barakah (blessing) such labours bring, Allah Ta’ala will pull us towards Himself. We should not denigrate our meagre efforts. We should do Allah’s Shukr (thanks) even for those imperfect good deeds because some day they will bring Allah Ta’ala’s blessing upon us.

Seeking the right path is a must
The lesson we should learn from this Hadith is that a person cannot gain anything he values without working hard for it. Hazrat Thanvi (may Allah bless him) used to say that some people say to their Sheikh that please tell us a way by which we automatically start doing good deeds and stop committing sins. Hazrat used to say that there is no such miracle cure. When the Prophets were sent to their nations they all wanted their people to come to the right path. If there was such a miracle cure they would definitely have used it to turn all their people into righteous Muslims, but there isn’t one. Unless a person wants to find the right path, even being in the company of a Prophet can’t do anything for him. Both Abu Jahal and Abu Lahb were born in the time of the Holy Prophet ﷺ and met him many times, but because they had no desire to seek the right path, even the Suhbat (company) of the Holy Prophet ﷺ couldn’t guide them to the righteous path.

Deen (religion) in our daily routine
Hazrat Dr Abdul Hai (may Allah Ta’ala bless him) used to say that everyone of us should look at our daily routine to make a list of which of our daily activities are in accordance with Shariah and which are not. How many Faraid (فرائض) and Wajibat (واجبا ت) do we follow in our daily life and how many we don’t? How many Sunnah of the Holy Prophet ﷺ do we follow in our everyday life? How many opportunities for good deeds are we neglecting each day? What sins are we involved in, in our daily life? Make a list of all these Do’s and Don’ts.

Once you have made such a list then consider how many of these sins you can give up easily without too much discomfort. Give up those sins immediately. Then consider those sins which you cannot give up immediately for some reason. Start making an effort to give them up even a little bit if you can. And for the rest start praying to Allah Ta’ala, “O’ Allah! I have given up all the sins that I could. But I am unable to give up the rest. Please help me in refraining from these sins too with Your blessing.” Start making the effort that you can, and start praying to Allah Ta’ala to help with the rest. Insha’Allah Allah Ta’ala will help us.

Start making an effort and then pray to Allah Ta’ala
There are two essential steps on the path to Allah Ta’ala; start making whatever effort you can make immediately, and then pray to Allah Ta’ala to help you with deeds that look too difficult. If a person keeps following these two steps all his life, he will Insha’Allah (God willing) succeed on this path.

Hazrat Dr Abdul Hai (may Allah Ta’ala bless him) used to say that keep talking to Allah Ta’ala and say, “O’ Allah, I was committing so many sins. I started trying and I have quit so many sins. But I am failing at quitting the remaining sins because of the influence of my Nafs (a person’s inner self) and the devil. I am unable to stand up to my environment and my surroundings, but You can help me stand up to them. Please give me strength to fight their influence, otherwise, please do not punish me in the Aakhirah (the Hereafter).” Keep this internal dialogue going with Allah Ta’ala. After a while you will notice that the same deeds that looked impossible to you, will start becoming easy. Do whatever steps you can take immediately, and keep praying to Allah Ta’ala for the rest.

Pray to Allah Ta’ala at night
When going to sleep at night say to Allah Ta’ala, “O’ Allah! Today I was able to refrain from so many sins, but wasn’t able to refrain from such and such sins. I was able to perform these good deeds but wasn’t able to perform such and such good deeds. O’ Allah! I failed to do these acts because of the pressure from my environment. Please remove that pressure from me. I want to follow your path but my Nafs (a person’s inner self) and the devil want to lead me astray. O’ Allah! Please help me stand up to them.”

Make a commitment to Allah Ta’ala in the morning
Hazrat Dr Abdul Hai (may Allah bless him) used to say that before you start your routine day set aside some time to make a commitment to Allah Ta’ala in the morning and say, “O’ Allah!
My day is about to begin. I don’t know how many temptations to commit sins I will face today. Even though I am making a commitment to you now that I will try my best not to commit any sins today, but I don’t know whether I will be able to resist all those temptations. I am weak and I do not trust my resolve. If I falter in my resolve please have mercy on me and stop me from committing sins. O’ Allah! I am weak, my will is not strong enough. You are the only one who can make me strong, give me courage. Please give me the strength to stay away from all sins. And then if I make a mistake please forgive me and do not punish me on the Day of Qiyamah.”

Have this dialogue with Allah Ta’ala every morning, and then try to stick to your promise to Allah Ta’ala as much as you can the whole day. But we are all human beings and are fallible. If you make a mistake, do Istighfar (asking forgiveness from Allah Ta’ala) and Taubah (Repentance) to Allah Ta’ala. You will Insha’Allah come back to the right track. This is an exercise we need to do our whole life, making a commitment to Allah Ta’ala in the morning, and then doing Istighfar and Taubah for all the times we could not keep our promise to Allah Ta’ala that day, before going to sleep.

A Qur’anic prayer for the morning
Hazrat Dr Abdul Hai (may Allah bless him) used to say that after Fajr Salah make this dua
(prayer);
ان صلاتی و نسکی و محيای و مماتی للّٰ رب الٰعٰلمين
“O’ Allah! My Salah (Namaz), my Ibadah (acts of worship), my life, and my death, they are all for you.”
Whatever activities I carry out today, I will do those solely with the intention of pleasing You. But I am weak, I do not trust myself. Please help me to stay on the right path.
Do this prayer every morning before setting out for your daily routine. If you continue doing it every day, after a while you will start noticing what change it brings to your life. And do not lose hope even if you make a mistake. Just remember to do Istighfar for that sin as soon as you realize that you have broken your promise to Allah Ta’ala. Insha’Allah He will forgive us.

Our today should be better than our yesterday

In a Hadith the Holy Prophet ﷺ said,
“That person is in great loss whose today is no better than yesterday.”
If a person is committing the same number of sins today he committed the previous day without even the smallest reduction, and he is not doing any more acts of worship today than he did yesterday, then he has not made any progress.
That is why the Holy Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلمhas taught us to say this prayer,
“O’ Allah! Please make our today better than yesterday, and our tomorrow better than today.”
Keep making this prayer, then start making whatever effort you can make in the way of Allah, and keep praying to Him for His help. As long as we keep doing our whole life, no matter how imperfect and flawed our efforts, Insha’Allah they will lead us to success on the day it will matter most. May Allah help us all in continuing to make this effort. Ameen

وآخر دعوا ان الحمد ﷲ رب العالمين