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Many Ways of Doing Good

عن النبي، صلى الله عليه وسلم قال‏:‏ ‏‏الصلوات الخمس والجمعة إلى الجمعة، ورمضان إلى رمضان، مكفرات ما بينهن إذا اجتنبت الكبائر

Abu Hurairah RA reported: The Prophet ﷺ said, “The five daily (prescribed) Salaah, and Friday (prayer) to the next Friday (prayer), and the fasting of Ramadhan to the next Ramadhan, is expiation of the sins committed in between them, so long as major sins are avoided.” [Muslim].

This Hadith is an explanation of a verse of the Qurʼaan,

اِنَّ الْحَسَنٰتِ يُذْهِبْنَ السَّيِّاٰتِ

Good deeds obliterate evil deeds. [Hud 11: 114]

Ḥafiẓ Wali ud-Din Iraqi R stated that this Hadith is proof that only minor sins are forgiven through good deeds. However, Imam Qurṭubi R stated that Allah forgives even the major sins of a person through good deeds if his intention is sincere. Allah grants this favour to whomever He chooses.

A question may be posed here: when so many good deeds can obliterate sin, what transpires when all the sins of a person have been obliterated? Scholars explain that when one engages in good deeds while having no minor sins, his status will be raised; or if a person has only major sins, it is hoped that these will also be forgiven. However, it should be remembered that the general rule is that major sins require Taubah.


There are chapters, no, rather there are books that have been written on this very important aspect of our beautiful religion.

Good treatment of parents has been very much emphasized in the Quraan as well as Ahaadith. Parents have the greatest priority in matters of human rights. For instance read the following verses of the Qur’an:

وَقَضَىٰ رَبُّكَ أَلَّا تَعْبُدُوٓا۟ إِلَّآ إِيَّاهُ وَبِٱلْوَٰلِدَيْنِ إِحْسَـٰنًا ۚ إِمَّا يَبْلُغَنَّ عِندَكَ ٱلْكِبَرَ أَحَدُهُمَآ أَوْ كِلَاهُمَا فَلَا تَقُل لَّهُمَآ أُفٍّ وَلَا تَنْهَرْهُمَا وَقُل لَّهُمَا قَوْلًا كَرِيمًا

Your Rabb has decreed to you that: You shall worship none but Him, and you shall be kind to your parents; if one or both of them live to their old age in your lifetime, you shall not say to them any word of contempt nor repel them and you shall address them in kind words. [Al Israa 17: 23]

قَالَ الْوَلِيدُ بْنُ عَيْزَارٍ أَخْبَرَنِي قَالَ سَمِعْتُ أَبَا عَمْرٍو الشَّيْبَانِيَّ، يَقُولُ أَخْبَرَنَا صَاحِبُ، هَذِهِ الدَّارِ ـ وَأَوْمَأَ بِيَدِهِ إِلَى دَارِ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ ـ قَالَ سَأَلْتُ النَّبِيَّ صلى الله عليه وسلم أَىُّ الْعَمَلِ أَحَبُّ إِلَى اللَّهِ قَالَ ‏ الصَّلاَةُ عَلَى وَقْتِهَا ‏.‏ قَالَ ثُمَّ أَىُّ قَالَ ‏ ثُمَّ بِرُّ الْوَالِدَيْنِ ‏‏‏.‏ قَالَ ثُمَّ أَىّ قَالَ ‏‏ الْجِهَادُ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ ‏.‏ قَالَ حَدَّثَنِي بِهِنَّ وَلَوِ اسْتَزَدْتُهُ لَزَادَنِي

Narrated Al-Walid bin ‘Aizar: I heard Abi `Amr ‘Ash-Shaibani R saying, “The owner of this house [he pointed to `Abdullah’s house (Ibn Masud RA)], said, ‘I asked the Prophet (ﷺ) ‘Which deed is loved most by Allah?” He replied, ‘To offer prayers at their early (very first) stated times.’ Abdullah asked, “What is the next (in goodness)?” The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “To be good and dutiful to one’s parents,” `Abdullah asked, “What is the next (in goodness)?” The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “To participate in Jihad for Allah’s Cause.” `Abdullah added, “The Prophet (ﷺ) narrated to me these three things, and if I had asked more, he would have told me more.” [Bukhari]

عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ عَمْرٍو، قَالَ قَالَ رَجُلٌ لِلنَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم أُجَاهِدُ‏.‏ قَالَ ‏‏ لَكَ أَبَوَانِ ‏.‏ قَالَ نَعَمْ‏.‏ قَالَ فَفِيهِمَا فَجَاهِدْ

Narrated Abdullah bin Amr RA: A man said to the Prophet ﷺ, “Shall I participate in Jihad?” The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “Are your parents living?” The man said, “Yes.” the Prophet (ﷺ) said, “Do Jihad for their benefit.” [Bukhari]

The Ahaadith tell us that if one’s parents need attention, then he must go on serving them, Jihad does not become absolutely necessary (fard-e-‘ain), as serving the parents is superior to Jihad.

It is widely known that Owais Qarni R lived in Yemen and desired to visit the Holy Prophet ﷺ. But since his mother needed his services, our Holy Prophet ﷺ ordered him not to come to Madinah, but to take care of his mother. Thus, Owais Qarni R could not visit and see the Holy Prophet ﷺ; however, as a reward for his serving his mother, he was granted such a status by Allah that many senior Sahabah RA asked him to pray for them. When he finally came to Madinah, during the Caliphate of Umar RA, the latter rushed to him to ask for his blessings.

Serving the parents is normally easy since love for parents is but natural and one is automatically motivated to serve and help them and take care of them. Then parents love their children and do not wish to unduly trouble them, or to make them do things that are difficult. A little service is enough to please them and earn their blessings. According to one Hadith, serving parents with love has merits equal to Haj, Umrah and Jihad. [Abu Ya’la, Hadith:2760, and Tabarani with good chains.]

The above Hadith proves that one who cares for their parents, will indeed receive the rewards of Haj, ‘Umrah and striving in Allah`s way.

While serving one’s parents holds great merit, failure to do so equally holds great sin.

عن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم قال‏:‏ ‏ “‏ رغم أنف، ثم رغم أنف، ثم رغم أنف من أدرك أبويه عند الكبر، أحدهما أو كليهما، فلم يدخل الجنة‏

Abu Hurairah RA reported: The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “May he be disgraced! May he be disgraced! May he be disgraced, whose parents, one or both, attain old age during his life time, and he does not enter Jannah (by being dutiful to them)”. [Muslim].


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