Hadith 24: Recompense For Deeds
By Imam Nawawi
In the name of Allāh, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful;
All the praise and Thanks is due to Allāh, the Lord of al-‘ālameen. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allāh, and that Muhammad, Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His Messenger
On the authority of Abu Dzarr al-Ghifāri, (radiyallāhu’anhu), from the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam), Allah (subhānahu wa ta’ala) said:
“O My servants, I have forbidden wrongdoing for Myself and I have made it forbidden for you. Therefore, do not wrong one another.
O My servants, all of you are lost except those whom I have guided. Therefore, seek guidance from Me and I will guide you.
O My servants, all of you are hungry except those whom I have fed. Therefore, seek food from Me and I will feed you.
O My servants, all of you are naked except those whom I have clothed. Therefore seek clothing from Me and I will clothe you.
O My servants, you sin by day and by night, and I forgive all sins. Therefore seek forgiveness from Me and I will forgive you.
O My servants, you will not be able to harm Me so as to bring any harm to Me and you will be able to benefit Me so as to bring any benefit to Me.
O My servants, if the first and the last of you and the human and the jinn of you were as pious as the most pious heart of anyone among you, it would not add anything to My dominion.
O My servants, if the first and the last of you and the human and the jinn of you were as wicked as the most wicked heart of anyone among you it would not decrease anything from My dominion.
O My servants, if the first and the last of you and the human and the jinn of you were to gather together on [the same sector] of land and all asked Me and if I were to give everyone of them what he asked, that would not decrease what I have any more than a needle decreases what is in the ocean when it is put into it.
O My servants, it is but your deeds that I reckon for you. Then I recompense you for them. The one who finds good is to give praises to Allah. The one who finds other than that should not blame anyone but himself.”
(Recorded in Muslim)
Abu Dzarr Al-Ghifāri (Jundub bin Junadah) (radiyallāhu’anhu) was one of the earliest Muslims, being perhaps the fifth person to embrace Islam. He (radiyallāhu’anhu) moved to Madinah after the Hijrah, and was present at many of the battles of the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam). Abu Dzarr (radiyallāhu’anhu) narrated approximately 281 hadiths.
“O My servants, it is but your deeds that I reckon for you. Then I recompense you for them. The one who finds good is to give praises to Allah.The one who finds other than that should not blame anyone but himself.”
This Hadith Qudsi began with Allah (subhānahu wa ta’ala) stating that He does not commit any dzulm or wrongdoing. Here, at the end of the hadith, He (subhānahu wa ta’ala) demonstrates His justice to us by showing that He (subhānahu wa ta’ala) is preserving the deeds that mankind is performing. Everyone’s deeds will be presented and weighed on the Day of Judgement, and all of mankind will be recompensed according to their deeds. No one will be wronged in any way. Allah (subhānahu wa ta’ala ) says:
“So whoever does good equal to the weight of an atom shall see it. And whoever does evil equal to the weight of an atom shall see it”
(Surah al-Zalzalah, 99:7-8)
Allah (subhānahu wa ta’ala) tells us that on the Day of Resurrection all our deeds will be recompensed in full. Many Ahādīth tell us that the weighing takes place on a real scale, with two plates, and that good deeds will be weighed on one side and evil deeds on the other. It is important to note that the reward that Allah (subhānahu wa ta’ala) gives to His servants is an act of His mercy, however His (subhānahu wa ta’ala) punishment is out of His justice and He does not punish anyone more than he deserves. He (subhānahu wa ta’ala) will deliver His ultimate justice, and will shower His mercy and grace on the believers by giving those who did good deeds ten times the reward. Allah (subhānahu wa ta’ala) says:
“Whoever brings a good deeds shall have ten times the like thereof to his credit, and whoever brings an evil deed shall have only the recompense of the like thereof, and they will not be wronged.”
(Surah al-Anām, 6:160)
Those who did bad deeds will recompensed only for what they have done, so they any punishment they receive can be blamed on no-one but themselves. People who do wrong things sometimes try to blame other for their sins. They claim that they were led astray by their leaders, Shaytan, society, or their friends and family. But in reality, as this hadith shows, they have no-one to blame but themselves. They could have chosen the path of good deeds, of worship of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) and the religion of Islam, but they chose not to take that path, and the consequences will come.
On the Day of Judgement, the one who did wrong will be alone with their book of deeds, faced with the reality of the life they lived, and they will feel regret and remorse. Allah (subhānahu wa ta’ala) tells us:
“But as for him who is given his Record in his left hand, he will say, ‘Woe to me, I wish that I had not been given my record and that I had never known how my account was. Would that it [death] had been my end. My wealth has not availed me. My power has gone from me.’ [It will be said] ‘Seize him and fetter him. Then throw him in the blazing Fire.”
(Surah al-Hāqqah,69 :25-31)
May Allah (subhānahu wa ta’ala) protect us from performing bad deeds and meeting a horrid end such as this, and may He (subhānahu wa ta’ala) make us of those who perform good deeds and find a beautiful everlasting reward. Ameen. Let’s also remember that if we do perform a bad deed, we should follow it up with a good one that will outweigh it on the Day of Judgement. And Allah (subhānahu wa ta’ala) is the best of all Judges.
Allāh Almighty says: "Verily, the Abrar (pious and righteous) will be in Delight (Jannah).And verily; the Fujjar (the wicked, disbelievers, sinners and evildoers) will be in the blazing Fire (Hell)." [Al-Infitar, 82:13, 14]
‘Abdullah bin Mas’ud (radiyallāhu‘anhu) reported that the Prophet (Sallallāhu`alayhi wasallam) used to say: "Allāh umma inni as `alukal-huda wat-tuqa wal-‘afafa wal-ghina (O Allāh ! I ask You for guidance, piety, chastity and self-sufficiency)". [Recorded by Muslim].
Guidance here means guidance at every turn of life and steadfastness on the path of truth. Fear of Allāh is the greatest means of piety and strongest defense against sins. Chastity is the state of being free from what is unlawful. Self-sufficiency is the antonym of poverty and here it means the self-contentment. What it implies is that one should not care for what people possess. In view of all these qualities, the do’a of the Prophet (Sallallāhu`alayhi wasallam) mentioned in this Hadith is very comprehensive and valuable.
Anas Ibn Mālik (radiyallāhu’anhu) who said: “The supplication most often recited by Rasūlullāh (Sallallāhu`alayhi wasallam):Rabbana-ātina-fid-dunya hasanah, Wa fil-ākhirati-hasanah, Wa-qina-‘ādzabānnār (O Lord! Bestow upon us in this world that which is good and in the Hereafter that which is good, and save us from the punishment of the Fire).’” (Al-Baqārah 2:201) [This is recorded by Al-Bukhāri, Muslim, and Tarmidzi]. Tarmidzi (rahimullāh) said: “Hasanah is very comprehensive and includes in all kinds of good and benefits of this world and of the Hereafter. Good health, wealth and satisfaction of the world and good status in Jannah, forgiveness from sins and Allāh’s bounties and favours in both worlds are included in this duā’” [Recorded in Jāmi’ At-Tarmidzi]
And Allāh Almighty Knows best.
[Excerpted from commentary on Hadith 24: “Recompense for Deeds”, Forty Hadiths of Imam Nawawi, By Dr. Jamal Ahmed Badi, via ICTruth. ]