The Prophetic Way of Life (Rah-e-Amal)


1.'Umar bin Khattab reports the Prophet Sallallahu alaihi wasallam to have said, "Deeds depend solely on intent and man will have only that he intended. (For example) the person who migrated seeking only the pleasure of Allah and His Prophet, who shall be deemed to have made genuine migration. But he who migrates with worldly ends in view, or marrying a woman, his migration shall be regarded (centred on) these lowly ends." - Unanimous

Exposition: This is a very important tradition from the point of view of self-introspection. What the Prophet intended to convey was that all good deeds to be fruitful rest on man's own intent. If he is sincere in his performance, he can expect due reward from Allah for it. A deed however good and sound in appearance shall be deemed worthy of reward and if it has been performed solely for the pleasure of Allah. In case of petty benefits or considerations other than the divine pleasure it will be rejected as a counterfeit coin in the market of the next world. This fact he has made explicitly by means of an example. Migration from one‘s land of birth and home and hearth is apparently a great sacrifice. However, one undertaking even this onerous task, having also some baser ends at the back of his mind, shall not only find himself deprived of its reward, but shall also make himself liable for charges of deceit and hypocrisy.

2. Abu Hurairah reports the Prophet to have said, "Allah shall not look to your faces and your substance, but to your hearts and your deeds."

3. Abu Hurairah reports the Prophet to have said, "On the Day of Reckoning the first person to be judged would be a martyr. He would be produced before the Divine court of justice. Allah would remind him of all His bounties and he would remember them. He would then be questioned about them and also his reaction to this bestowal. He would submit in reply that he fought (against the enemies of the Divine Faith) for His pleasure alone and laid down his life in this struggle. Allah would falsify this statement of He had fought (and valiantly too) to become known as a valiant fighter and he was rewarded in the world with that reputation. And under Divine edict this "martyr", would be dragged, face down, towards hell and hurled into the abysmal pit.

Next would be produced before Allah, a person learned in the religious lore, a teacher and well-versed in the teachings of the Quran. Allah would remind him of all His Benevolence and Blessings and he would remember them all. Then he would be asked about his reaction to the bounties conferred on him. And he would state that he acquired knowledge of the Faith seeking His countenance and imparted it to others for His pleasure and recited the Quran for His sake alone. Allah would reject his statement as totally false, saying that he had acquired knowledge of the Faith so that he might be called an erudite and attained expertise in the recitation of the Quran to be reputed as a Qari (an expert reciter with proper intonation). And that reputation was ample reward for him in his worldly life. And Allah would order that he should be dragged on his face and thrown into the Hell.

And the third person to be judged would be one who had been endowed with bounties plentifully. When produced before the Divine court, he would be reminded of ail the blessings and he would also call them to mind. Then he would be asked by his Lord and Cherisher as to his conduct after receiving those bounties. And answering he would submit that he had spent all that substance of his on all the items of expenditure liked by Him. Allah would falsify him and say that he had spent his substance to become well known for his generosity and he was rewarded with that reputation in his worldly career. And he also would be dragged face downward and cast into Hell under Divine command. - Muslim

Exposition: All the three cases cited above very explicitly bring out the fact that there will be no rewards of deeds in the life Hereafter, on their face-value, Only such deeds as were performed for the pleasure of Allah in real earnest would be deemed worthy of reward. The greatest deeds of charity, if they were performed to please others or just to project his own image would be worthless in the sight of Allah. They can fetch no price in the market of the Hereafter, being counterfeit coins according to the divine standards. Neither a half-hearted belief shall be acceptable there, nor showy acts of charity and beneficence, however grand by worldly norms.

When such is the fact-and undeniable at that-we will have to be very much on our guard against the devastating eagerness for empty show, and a never ending desire for self- aggrandisement failing which the labour of a life-time and our only asset in the life of Hereafter, may come to a very unhappy end. And there we may find ourselves ruined at the most critical juncture when there will be nothing to make good this heavy loss and no one to plead our case or intercede on our behalf.