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Many Ways of Doing Good

وَمَا تَفْعَلُوا۟ مِنْ خَيْرٍ يَعْلَمْهُ ٱللَّهُ

“Allah is aware of whatever good you do.” [Baqarah 2: 197]

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.

عن أبي ذر رضي الله عنه عن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم قال‏:‏ ‏ “‏يصبح على كل سلامى من أحدكم صدقة‏:‏ فكل تسبيحة صدقة، وكل تهليلة صدقة، وكل تكبيرة صدقة، وأمر بالمعروف صدقة، ونهي عن المنكر صدقة، ويجزئ من ذلك ركعتان يركعهما من الضحى

Abu Dharr RA reported: The Prophet ﷺ said, “In the morning, charity is due on every joint bone of the body of every one of you. Every utterance of Allah’s Glorification (i.e., saying Subhan Allah) is an act of charity, and every utterance of His Praise (i.e., saying Al-hamdu lillah) is an act of charity and every utterance of declaration of His Greatness (i.e., saying La ilaha illAllah) is an act of charity; and enjoining M’aruf (good) is an act of charity, and forbidding Munkar (evil) is an act of charity, and two Rak’ah Duha prayers which one performs in the forenoon is equal to all this (in reward).” [Muslim].

The bounty and blessings of every joint in the human body is immense. One can well understand their value when one considers those who are incapacitated. Hence, when one awakes every morning, safe from sickness and difficulty, one needs to be grateful to Allah. Charity has been suggested for this purpose as it repels calamities and difficulties. By giving in charity, it is hoped that the joints of the body will remain sound and healthy.

Various forms of giving charity have been taught to us in this Hadith. The most obvious and superior of these is monetary while the other forms have to do with the actions of the body and the tongue. One who engages is all these forms of charity is fortunate indeed.

Ṣalaah has been specified as a suitable alternative for the charity of the joints because ṣalaah incorporates all the previous mentioned forms of charity such as tasbiḥ, taḥmid, tahlil, takbir, and encouraging good and forbidding evil.

EASY GOOD DEED – Filling the Gaps in the Saffs

Keeping the rows in congregational prayer straight and filling of gaps therein have been highly emphasized and described as acts of great merit.

عن أبي مسعود رضي الله عنه قال‏:‏ كان رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يمسح مناكبنا في الصلاة، ويقول‏:‏ ‏ “‏استووا ولا تختلفوا فتختلف قلوبكم، ليلني منكم أولو الأحلام والنهى، ثم الذين يلونهم ثم الذين يلونهم‏

Abu Mas’ud RA reported: The Messenger of Allah ﷺ used to gently pat our shoulders when we were standing in rows at the time of Salaat and say, “Keep (the rows) straight; do not differ from each other lest your hearts should suffer from discord. Let those of you who are mature and prudent be nearer to me, and then those who are next to them.” [Muslim].

“To gently pat our shoulders” means that he would set their shoulders right to straighten the row. “Do not differ from each other” here means that they should stand shoulder to shoulder and ankle to ankle in a straight line. The reason is that disorder will have a spiritual effect and will create discord. The latter would eventually result in the domination of enmity. Thus, we learn from this Hadith that the Imam should stress on his followers the importance of setting their rows straight; and if his exhortation fails, he should go to them personally and set their lines in order. We also learn from this Hadith that men known for wisdom, knowledge and piety should stand in the first row and these should be followed by those who come next to them in these virtues.

عَنْ عَائِشَةَ، قَالَتْ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ ـ صلى الله عليه وسلم ـ ‏ إِنَّ اللَّهَ وَمَلاَئِكَتَهُ يُصَلُّونَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ يَصِلُونَ الصُّفُوفَ وَمَنْ سَدَّ فُرْجَةً رَفَعَهُ اللَّهُ بِهَا دَرَجَةً

It was narrated that ‘Aishah RA said: “The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: ‘Allah and His angels send blessings upon those who complete the rows, and whoever fills a gap, Allah will raise him one degree in status thereby.’”

Anas RA reported: The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “Keep your rows straight (during Salaat in congregation), for keeping the rows straight is part of the perfection of Salaat.” [Bukhari and Muslim].

This Hadith also highlights the importance of setting the rows straight. In fact, this is part of the perfection of Salaat. In other words, Salaat in congregation does not become perfect without setting the rows in order.

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