What is Al-A’mal As-Salihah?
Imaan is to believe in everything that has reached us from Rasulullah ﷺ through a mutawatir chain, i.e. the narrators are so many in number during every era that to perceive it to be fabricated is impossible. It is a great mercy of Allah that He has granted us this great gift of Imaan and enabled us to recognise and believe in Him and all that was conveyed by Him through his Rasul ﷺ. Every believer is aware of this. However, let`s take a brief look at the term Al-A’mal As-Salihah.
Al-A’mal As-Salihah literally means good deeds. The majority of people are unaware of what is really meant by ‘good deeds’. It is a technical term of Shari’ah and can be divided into two categories:
1. To stay away from everything that displeases Allah. This is an obligatory and necessary category of good deeds and failure to carry out the actions of this category will result in the displeasure and wrath of Allah. The actions in this category consist of fara’id, wajibat, sunan mu’akkadah along with abstinence from acts which are haram or makruh tahrimi.
2. To do those things which please Allah. If one does not carry out these actions, it will neither be regarded as disobedience, nor will it result in the displeasure of Allah. However, carrying out these actions will bring Allah’s Pleasure. The actions of this category consist of sunan ghayr-mu’akkadah, mustahab and nafl, and to stay away from makruh tanzihi.
So, in short, those people who accept Imaan, become common friends of Allah. Thereafter, those who become particular with regards to the first category of good deeds only, become the special friends of Allah i.e. loving wali of Allah and those who progress to the second category, become the special beloved friends of Allah i.e. the beloved wali of Allah. Regarding such people Allah states in a Hadith Qudsi:
وَمَا تَقَرَّبَ إِلَيَّ عَبْدِي بِشَيْءٍ أَحَبَّ إِلَيَّ مِمَّا افْتَرَضْتُ عَلَيْهِ، وَمَا يَزَالُ عَبْدِي يَتَقَرَّبُ إِلَيَّ بِالنَّوَافِلِ حَتَّى أُحِبَّهُ، فَإِذَا أَحْبَبْتُهُ، كُنْتُ سَمْعَهُ الَّذِي يَسْمَعُ بِهِ، وَبَصَرَهُ الَّذِي يُبْصِرُ بِهِ، وَيَدَهُ الَّتِي يَبْطِشُ بِهَا، وَرِجْلَهُ الَّتِي يَمْشِي بِهَا، وَإِنْ سَأَلَنِي لَأُعْطِيَنَّهُ، وَلَئِنْ اسْتَعَاذَنِي لَأُعِيذَنَّهُ،
… And my bondsman gains the most closeness to Me through the farā’id, and then he continues to progress in this closeness through nawāfil until I love him. And when I love him, I become his ears with which he hears, and his eyes with which he sees, and his hands with which he grasps, and his feet with which he walks and if he asks from Me, I definitely grant him and if he seeks refuge from Me, I grant him refuge… [Bukhari]
EASY GOOD DEED – Patience
Allah has created three worlds: one of complete bliss and comfort without any shadow of grief or pain which is Paradise; the second of pain and grief without any shadow of bliss or comfort; which is Hell; and then there is the third world where bliss and grief and pain and comfort coexist, and this one is our present world.
Consequently, there has never been nor can ever be, a man who has not at some time in his life tasted sorrow. Man, however rich or pious or powerful he may be, would experience pleasure as well as pain; even Allah’s chosen Messengers AS have suffered in this world.
Hence, one who wants to be wholly and permanently free of sorrow and pain does not know the nature of this world and this desire of his can never be fulfilled. Of course, the measures of pleasure and pain may vary, but complete and permanent freedom from pain is impossible. It is thus obvious that every one of us is visited by sorrow and pain in one form or the other. So, if man is impatient and frantic and laments his fate and bewails his lot, it would not rid him of pain and sorrow. Such a behaviour would on the one hand, exacerbate the feeling of pain and sorrow, and on the other hand, his impatience will be of grave disadvantage to him in so far as he will lose all the reward he could have earned through patience and sabr.
In contrast to this, there is a man who in times of pain and sorrow thinks of the brevity of mundane life and the inevitability of pain and then thinks that whatever Allah does has some Divine Design which man cannot unravel. This man then does not lament his lot nor does he complain; rather his faith in Allah and His doings is strengthened since whatever Allah does, he believes Him to change his pain and sorrow into pleasure and comfort and to save him from such plights in future.
This way of thought is “patience”. Patience has the advantage that it brings solace and banishes dismay. Moreover, the pain and sorrow thus become causes for boundless reward and merit since Allah says:
إِنَّمَا يُوَفَّى ٱلصَّـٰبِرُونَ أَجْرَهُم بِغَيْرِ حِسَابٍ
Those who endure with patience will be rewarded without measure. [Zumar 39: 10]
Please note that sorrow and worrying in times of trouble and trial are not sins, even weeping in sudden shock is not a sin, nor is it an act of impatience. Impatience is to criticize Allah and to lament and complain. Patience is to hold firm to one’s faith in Allah even when his whole world is crumbling into ruins and heart is heavy with grief and eyes are brimming with tears. It is this patience for which has been promised boundless reward.