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Many Ways of Doing Good

قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏:‏‏ “‏ إذا مرض العبد أو سافر كتب له مثل ما كان يعمل مقيماً صحيحاً

Abu Musa Al-Ash’ari RA reported:

The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “When a slave of Allah suffers from illness or sets on a journey, he is credited with the equal of whatever good works he used to do when he was healthy or at home”. [Al-Bukhari].

This Hadith demonstrates the immense mercy of Allah in that the good deeds we habitually engage in are recorded in our favour when we cannot do them. According to Imam Abu Dawud R, the best deeds done by a person when he is healthy are recorded for him when he is ill.

However it is important to note that good deeds refer to optional ones, not the obligatory and compulsory ones, as the latter need to be performed without fail.

EASY GOOD DEEDS – Removing Harmful Things

Removing dirt and filth and other troublesome things like thorns or fruit peels or skins on which someone may slip from the way is a very good deed.

Our Prophet ﷺ has been quoted by Abu Hurairah RA as follows:

قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ “‏ الإِيمَانُ بِضْعٌ وَسَبْعُونَ أَوْ بِضْعٌ وَسِتُّونَ شُعْبَةً فَأَفْضَلُهَا قَوْلُ لاَ إِلَهَ إِلاَّ اللَّهُ وَأَدْنَاهَا إِمَاطَةُ الأَذَى عَنِ الطَّرِيقِ وَالْحَيَاءُ شُعْبَةٌ مِنَ الإِيمَانِ

Faith has over seventy branches or over sixty branches, the most excellent of which is the declaration that there is no god but Allah, and the humblest of which is the removal of what is injurious from the path; and modesty is a branch of faith. [Muslim}

In another hadith related by Abu Hurairah RA, the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said:

وتميط الأذى عن الطريق صدقة‏”‏

removing harmful things from the road is a charity. [Bukhari and Muslim]

ورواه مسلم أيضاً من رواية عائشة رضي الله عنها قالت‏:‏ قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم‏:‏ ‏”‏ إنه خلق كل إنسان من بني آدم على ستين وثلاثمائه مفصل، فمن كبر الله، وحمد الله، وهلل الله، وسبح الله واستغفر الله، وعزل حجراً عن طريق الناس أو شوكة أو عظماً عن طريق الناس، أو أمر بمعروف أو نهى عن المنكر، عدد الستين والثلاثمائة، فإنه يمسي يومئذ وقد زحزح نفسه عن النار

In Muslim, it is reported on the authority of ‘Aishah RA that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “Everyone of the children of Adam has been created with three hundred and sixty joints; so he who declares the Glory of Allah (i.e., saying Allahu Akbar), praises Allah (i.e., Al-hamdu lillah), declares Allah to be One (i.e., La ilaha illallah), glorifies Allah, and seeks forgiveness from Allah (i.e., Astaghfirullah), and removes stone, or thorn, or bone from people’s path, and enjoins good and forbids evil, to the number of those three hundred and sixty, will walk that day having rescued himself from Hell.”

According to another hadith, our Holy Prophet said that once a man saw a thorny branch on his path and removed it in order to save others from pain (due to being pricked by it) and Allah was pleased by his deed and pardoned him. In another hadith, it is related that our Holy Prophet ﷺ said, that he saw the man walking about in Paradise.

These Ahadith show how important it is in Islam to keep the roads and paths clear. Even removal of a thorny branch, which is a very minor act, has been promised so much reward and merit. When so much emphasis has been laid on removing things of pain from the path, it can be imagined how great a sin it would be to make a path dirty and give trouble to passers-by.

Causing trouble to passers-by also includes parking one’s vehicle (car, motor cycle etc.) in such a way or place as to block others’ path or to make it difficult for them and it is a sin. Similarly driving in a way which is in any way troublesome for others is also a sin.

Traffic rules have been formulated and promulgated to organize traffic on the roads; their observance is not merely Iegally compulsory but also a religious duty. If one observes these rules and laws in order to promote discipline in the society and public welfare, then these acts shall be rewarded. And if these rules are not observed then the sin shall be twice as great: for causing trouble to the people and again for disrupting discipline and breaking- laws.

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