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Many Ways of Doing Good

وَمَا تَفْعَلُوا۟ مِنْ خَيْرٍ فَإِنَّ ٱللَّهَ بِهِۦ عَلِيمٌ

Whatever good you do, Allah is aware of it. [Baqarah 2: 215]

Good deeds are of many varieties and types. One who constantly engages in good deeds remains enthusiastic in his quest for perfection and by alternating between the various types of good deeds, one has the opportunity to earn the pleasure of Allah at all times.

عَنْ أَبِي ذَرٍّ، قَالَ قُلْتُ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ أَىُّ الأَعْمَالِ أَفْضَلُ قَالَ ‏”‏ الإِيمَانُ بِاللَّهِ وَالْجِهَادُ فِي سَبِيلِهِ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ قَالَ قُلْتُ أَىُّ الرِّقَابِ أَفْضَلُ قَالَ ‏”‏ أَنْفَسُهَا عِنْدَ أَهْلِهَا وَأَكْثَرُهَا ثَمَنًا ‏”‏ ‏.‏ قَالَ قُلْتُ فَإِنْ لَمْ أَفْعَلْ قَالَ ‏”‏ تُعِينُ صَانِعًا أَوْ تَصْنَعُ لأَخْرَقَ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ قَالَ قُلْتُ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ أَرَأَيْتَ إِنْ ضَعُفْتُ عَنْ بَعْضِ الْعَمَلِ قَالَ ‏”‏ تَكُفُّ شَرَّكَ عَنِ النَّاسِ فَإِنَّهَا صَدَقَةٌ مِنْكَ عَلَى نَفْسِكَ

Abu Dharr Jundub ibn Junadah RA narrates: “I asked: ‘O Messenger of Allah! Which action is the best?’ He replied: ‘Belief in Allah and waging jihad in His cause.’ I asked: ‘The freeing of which slave earns the most reward?’ He replied: ‘A slave who is considered most valuable by his masters and one who is highest in price.’ I asked: ‘What if I am unable to do this?’ He replied: ‘Help a labourer or work for a person who is unable to work for himself.’ I asked: ‘O Messenger of Allah! What if I become too weak to do anything?’ He replied: ‘Restrain your evil from others. This will be a charity from your side and it will be for your benefit.’” [Muslim]

The Qurʼaan and Sunnah teach us to be humane, generous and caring, rather than be self-centred. One who strives to develop these qualities will find immense satisfaction in life and bring considerable joy to others as well.

Every person irrespective of his financial status or background has the opportunity of engaging in various avenues of good in order to earn the pleasure of Allah because even effortless deeds such as saving others from one’s harm are counted as good deeds in His sight.

EASY GOOD DEED – Sehri

Ibn Umar relates: Rasulullah said: ‘Verily Allah and His Malaa’ikah send Mercy upon those who eat ‘Sehri.”

How great is Allah’s favour upon us that even the partaking of food before dawn for fasting is so greatly rewarded. There are many Ahaadith in which the virtues of “Sehri” are expounded and the rewards mentioned. Allaamah Ain – Commentator on Bukhari – has quoted the virtues of “Sehri” from seventeen different ‘Sahaabah’ and all the “Ulama” are agreed on its being “Mustahab” (desirable).

Many people are deprived of this great reward because of their own laziness. Some even go so far as to finish ‘Taraweeh’, eat (what suppose to be “Sehri’!) and go to bed. What great blessings do they lose!

“Sehri” actually means partaking of food shortly before dawn. Some authorities say that the time for “Sehri” commences after half the night has passed (Mirquat). The author of Kash-shaff (Zamakhshari) divided the night into six portions, stating that the last one of these is the time of “Sehri”; so that, when the night (from sunset till dawn) extends over twelve hours, the last two hours would be the correct time for “Sehri”. Then it must also be remembered that to eat at the latest possible time is better and greater in reward than eating earlier, subject to the condition that no doubt remains as to whether “Sehri” had been eaten before the time of dawn.

عَنْ أَبِي عَطِيَّةَ، قَالَ قُلْتُ لِعَائِشَةَ فِينَا رَجُلاَنِ أَحَدُهُمَا يُعَجِّلُ الإِفْطَارَ وَيُؤَخِّرُ السُّحُورَ وَالآخَرُ يُؤَخِّرُ الْفِطْرَ وَيُعَجِّلُ السُّحُورَ ‏.‏ قَالَتْ أَيُّهُمَا الَّذِي يُعَجِّلُ الإِفْطَارَ وَيُؤَخِّرُ السُّحُورَ قُلْتُ عَبْدُ اللَّهِ بْنُ مَسْعُودٍ ‏.‏ قَالَتْ هَكَذَا كَانَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم يَصْنَعُ

It was narrated that Abu ‘Atiyyah R said: “I said to ‘Aishah RA: ‘Among us there are two men, one of whom hastens Iftar and delays Sahur, and the other delays Iftar and hastens Sahur.’ She said; ‘Which of them is the one who hastens Iftar and delays Sahur?’ I said: “Abdullah bin Masud RA.’ She said; ‘This is what the Messenger of Allah used to do.”‘ [Nasai]

The Ahaadith are full of virtues of “Sehri”.

قَالَ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ “‏ تَسَحَّرُوا فَإِنَّ فِي السَّحُورِ بَرَكَةً

Narrated Anas bin Malik RA: The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “Take Suhur as there is a blessing in it.” [Bukhari]

عَنْ عَمْرِو بْنِ الْعَاصِ، قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ “‏ إِنَّ فَصْلَ مَا بَيْنَ صِيَامِنَا وَصِيَامِ أَهْلِ الْكِتَابِ أَكْلَةُ السُّحُورِ

It was narrated that ‘Amr bin Al-As RA said: “The Messenger of Allah said: ‘The difference between our fasting and the fasting of the people of the Book, is eating Sahur.”‘ [Nasai]

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