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Islam Invite to the Way of your Lord with wisdom and fair preaching, and argue with them in a way that is better. Truly, your Lord knows best who has gone astray from His Path, and He is the Best Aware of those who are guided." Holy Qur'an 16:125

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Old Tuesday, October 11, 2005
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Arrow Good Deeds

A book, everyone should have or try to purchase before this ramadan. A book, that one should give out too.

Extracts from "Easy Good Deeds" by Mufti Justice Mohammad Taqi Usmani, Translated by Jamil Naqvi

Good Intention

Intention is an alchemic prescription that can turn base dirt into noble gold. The hadith says "All actions depends upon intentions."

It is sometimes interpreted to mean that good intentions justify bad deeds too and turn sins meritorious. This is entirely wrong. Sin is always a sin no matter how noble the intention may be. For instance if someone breaks into a house to steal with the intention of giving away as alms whatever he would steal would be a thief deserving the prescribed punishment. His good intentions would not earn him any merit nor would his sin be pardoned.

What this hadith means is as follows:

1. A good deed earns merit only if done with right intention. For instance prayer would earn merit only when one prays only for Divine pleasure; if one prays to impress others, then, instead of earning merit, it would earn punishment.

2. The second interpretation which is germane to the present discussion is that all lawful deeds actually earn neither merit nor punishment, but if these are done with good intent, they become acts of worship and earn merit. For instance eating is lawful; but if one eats with the intention that food shall give him energy and that energy he shall spend in the service of Allah, the act of eating would earn merit. Similarly if one eats with the intent that his physical body too has its rights and dues which include nourishment through eating or if one eats with the intent of getting pleasure and taste and of thanking Allah for these, the eating become an act of merit.

There is no lawful deed of life, which if done with good intent, does not become act of merit.

A few instances shall elucidate the point further:

(a) Honest earning, whether by trade or service or industry or agriculture, if done with the intent of rightly fulfilling the duties enjoined by Allah toward oneself and one's family, would become an act of merit. Then if one further intends to spend whatever he may save after fulfilling the needs of himself and his family in helping the poor and in other similar good deeds, he would earn further merit.

(b) When a person engaged in learning intends to serve the humanity through his knowledge he would go on earning merit as long as he remains engaged in acquisition of knowledge. For instance a student of religion may decide to propagate the faith, a medical student to alleviate human suffering due to disease, an engineering student to serve his people through his specialised knowledge etc. all these acts would become acts of merit because of the intention which motivates the doer.

(c) A man, knowing that sustenance and subsistence is the responsibility of Allah which He shall fulfil without fail, engages is a particular profession or vocation with a view to serve humanity, his profession would earn him merit.

For instance if someone enters the medical profession consciously choosing it form among other professions in order to cure the sick, he would earn merit even if he charges for his services. Such a man would not hesitate to provide free treatment for the poor and the destitute.

A cloth merchant who enters this profession to provide clothes to people because clothing onself is a religious duty, would also earn merit.

Similarly a government servant, motivated by a desire to serve the common man and fulfil his needs, would earn merit. Thus every profession, becomes meritorious, provided the intention is right.

(c) If one dresses in finery not to show off his status or wealth, but to afford pleasure to others, it is
an act of merit.

(d) If one treats his children with love because it is a sunnah of our etemally blessed Prophet, it earns him merit.

(c) If one does the household chores because this too is a sunnah as our etemally blessed Prophet helped in the housework, it merits rewards in the Afterlife.

(f) Loving conversation with wife and children is a sunnah and the eternally blessed Prophet has so ordained, hence such an act is also meritorious if done to follow the sunnah.

(g) Hospitality to guests, if shown in pursuance of sunnah is an act of merit.

(h) Planting a sapling or plant in the house so that it may one day be of use of some man or animal and please the onlooker would be a good deed.

(i) Writing a beautiful and legible hand to make it easy for the reader to read is an act of merit.

(j) If a woman dresses herself in beautiful raiment and wears ornaments and adorns herself to please her husband and if a man remains clean and neat to please his wife, both are good deeds.

(k) If permissible recreation is indulged in to the extent needed to prepare oneself for duties it is a meritorious act.

(1) If a watch is kept to know prayer timings and to realize the value of time which is intended to be spent in good deeds, it is an act that earns merit.

There are a few common examples from everyday life which can earn much merit for the doer. Imam Ghazali has rightly observed in his Ihya'-al'ulum that there is no lawful action in human life which, if done with the right intent, cannot be changed into an act of merit. Even if husband and wife give mutual pleasure to each other, each with the intent of giving the other his or her due and making them pure this too would give them merit.
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Old Tuesday, October 11, 2005
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Easy Good Deeds

Extracts from "Easy Good Deeds" by Mufti Justice Mohammad Taqi Usmani, Translated by Jamil Naqvi
"
Easy Good Deeds" is an excellent book in which the Mufti lists 82 very simple good deeds, which will Inshallah bring us immense blessings and good reward. Please take a minute to glance through the ones listed below because the amount of blessings received from reading and implementing these will Inshallah, be disproportionately greater than the effort taken.

If you would like to donate your zakat or sadaqah to finance the publication and free distribution of this book of 82 "Easy Good Deeds", please e-mail fareena_alam@yahoo.com for details. The blessings you will receive each time a person benefits from this wonderful book, will come to your aid even after your death, inshallah

Introduction
Some Important Points
1. Good Intention
2. Praying
3. Prayers according to Sunnah
4. Seeking Pardon
5. Dhikr of Allah
6. Darud
7. Thanksgiving
8. Patience
10. To Preceed in Greeting
12. Participation in Burial Service and Burial
14. To love for the sake of Allah
15. Helping a Muslim
16. Justified Recommendation
17. Concealing other's shortcomings
21. Tenderness/Kindness
27. Good Marital Relationship
28. Good Treatment of Relatives
36. To Learn Matters of Faith
37. Teaching Religion
38. Respect for Elders
48. Wudu Prayer
53. 360 Good Deeds = Ishraq Prayer
56. To Hurry in Iftar
57. Giving Iftar to a Fasting man
60. Starting work early in the morning
61. Dhikir of Allah during business
62. Taking back sold goods
64. Giving grace period to a poor debtor
65. Telling the truth in Trade
66. Planting Trees
79. Cleaning and eating a dropped morsel
80. Praising Allah upon Sneezing and its Response
81. Fear of Allah
82. Optimism and Hope from Allah


Introduction

by Justice Maulana Muhammad Taq Usmani
Allah has created this world so that creatures living here may, through good actions, provide for the Hereafter and so deeds that may earn for them Divine Pleasure.

However, we become so engrossed in the affairs of worldly life that we become oblivious of the true purpose of this life. Sp every living moment from morn till evening is spent in making earthly life better and more and more pleasant. In this struggle, there are few of Allah's bondsmen who think of bettering their lot in the Hereafter, although it is an established fact, which even the most hardened atheist cannot deny, that everyone has to leave this world one day and none knows exactly when the summons would come.

The methods prescribed by Islam to better the human lot in the Hereafter are not really difficult; in fact, if one adopts them, his earthly life too becomes pleasant and comfortable. But unfortunately, it is generally believed today that observances of Islamic teachings is difficult and demands the sacrifice of many worldly advantages, pleasures and comforts. Consequently, most people being scared of this assumed difficulty, veer away from the Divine Path.

The fact is that, firstly, Islamic commandments and injunctions are not per se difficult to follow. Whosoever of Allah's bondsmen desires to follow them is aided by Allah and his life in this world as well as well as in the Hereafter, are changed for the better and to his greater advantage.

Secondly, even if there is some difficulty or some laborious effort is called for in the observance of rouse command, it is insignificant is one keeps in mine the eternal bliss and comfort vouchsafed in the Hereafter for the observers.

Even in this world, earning the daily bread does involve some hardship but it is accepted since it is rewarded. Similarly, if we keep in mind that observance of Islamic commandments is going to earn for us unimaginable rewards in the Hereafter, we would hardly shirk the slight hardship involved.

Thirdly, while there are some Islamic commandments and injunctions, the observance of which does entail from labour, there are other Divinely ordained acts which do not entail any hardship nor are they time consuming nor do they demand any expenditure. It is only a matter of attitude; if one develops the right attitude, he would go on chalking up good deeds in his roster of deeds, and if one goes on observing them, he would have a vast store of good deeds that would fetch rewards in the Afterlife.

In this world, we do not realise the true importance of storing up good deeds, but when our eyes shall close in ternal sleep and when we shall be summoned before Allah to answer for whatever we did in this world, then we would know how important even the most ordinary good deed shall become. Good deeds are the currency of the Afterlife; gold and silver and worldly coins shall avail nought, the only question to be asked would be "how many good deed have you brought to be reckoned?" If then the pocket would be empty, one would rue and repent why the roster of deeds was not filled up with good acts. But then all repentance would be of no avail as the time for acts would be long past.

The exalted companions of our eternally blessed Holy Prophet knew the worth of good deeds; they were eager to do good. As soon as they learnt that some good deed earned Divine pleasure they did it and went on doing it. And if they learnt it late, they regretted the delay.

Abu Huraira recounted the Hadith to Abdullah ibn Omar that whosoever offers the salah of janazah at the burial service of another would earn merit equivalent to one carat and whosoever goes with the bier and remains with it till burial, earns two carats, each carat being equal to the hill of Uhad.

Ibn Omar asked Ayesha (may Allah be pleased with her) to verify it, which she did. Ibne Omar exclaimed "Alas we have lost so many carats" (Tirmidhi).

Every good deed which earns Divine pleasure is most valuable. As it is only in this world that one can do good deeds, especially those that entail no hardships and earn merits for them, it would be a misfortune of the highest order if one shuns them here only to repent in the Hereafter.

The present booklet is a compendium of good deeds done easily, without any significant labour and without any expenditure. Whosoever shall pay heed to them shall go on doing good deeds and earn merits.

The Muslims are requested to read this booklet carefully and to do the good deeds mentioned herein as a routine. May be that these apparently insignificant steer our lived lives on to the path of Divine and ensure our salvation.

May Allah give the author and all Muslims the opportunity to observe these injunctions and may He
He grant us merits and its bounties in the Hereafter. Amen.

Some Important Points

Only those deeds have been discussed here that do not involve any significant labour or difficulty but earn much merit and reward. The purpose is to awaken in the hearts of the readers the urge to follow and observe them and increase their store of goodness for the Afterlife. However, it is necessary to remember the following points when reading this book:

1. Firstly, Since this booklet deals with only those good deeds that are easy to perform without much labour or hardship and one can start performing them immediately, there is no mention of those acts and actions which are unavoidably enjoined and prescribed. Hence it should be remembered that din. (i.e. faith) is not confined to the deeds mentioned here. The commandments of faith embrace all aspects of life and it is incumbent upon every Muslim to carry out all prescribed acts and to desist from sinning.

This book has two purposes: Firstly it is to urge those who already carry out the prescribed duties to add those easy-to-perform actions in their repertoire of good deeds and thus, enhance the positive value of their roster of deeds. The second purpose is to attract those who, believing the commands of the faith too difficult to observe, have deviated from it, and to gradually persuade them to do easy-to-perform deeds which lead them at once to the portals of faith. It is hoped that if they start performing those easy deeds, there shall gradually awaken in their hearts the urge to observe all the commandments of the faith and they shall one day easily embrace a wholly religious way of life.

2. Secondly, a point to be understood is that ahadith (saying of our eternally blessed Prophet) have been quoted in this book which promise Divine forgiveness for some very simple actions. However, it must be remembered when reading these ahadith that the sins which are automatically pardoned by good deeds are minor sins only; major sins require formal penitence and forswearing. The Holy Quran says: If you avoid the major sins you are prohibited to perform, We shall atone your minor vices.

Similarly, sins relating to the human rights are not pardoned until and unless the right due to the aggrieved is restored to him or her, or the aggrieved person forgives the wrongdoer.

Thus the mention of sins pardoned by simple good deeds should not delude the reader into believing that whatever sins big or small he commits he would be receiving Divine pardon by virtue of these good deeds.

One should keep in mind the environment in which the Eternally blessed Prophet Muhammad spoke of Divine pardon for good deeds: The conditions then were such that it was difficult to imagine a mu'min (a believer) commiting a major sin and not repenting for it. In those days most sins were minor and thus only those sins were mentioned, while the seriousness and heinousness of major sins and the importance of penitence and penance remain.

3. Thirdly, keeping in mind the above mentioned two points, one must not forget the following saying of our eternally blessed Prophet: Never take any good deed as humble.

Hence, one must never be deluded into believing that we are unable to do big deeds, how can small relatively insignificant deeds lead to our salvation? A good deed is never insignificant and so no opportunity of doing good should be let pass, as it is entirely possible that good deed may be rewarded by Diving pleasure and our whole life may change.

This book, if read with those points in mind, shall be useful. May Allah reward this humble effort and may He grant us the good fortune to do good deeds. Amen.

Good Intention

Intention is an alchemic prescription that can turn base dirt into noble gold. The hadith says "All actions depends upon intentions."

It is sometimes interpreted to mean that good intentions justify bad deeds too and turn sins meritorious. This is entirely wrong. Sin is always a sin no matter how noble the intention may be. For instance if someone breaks into a house to steal with the intention of giving away as alms whatever he would steal would be a thief deserving the prescribed punishment. His good intentions would not earn him any merit nor would his sin be pardoned.

What this hadith means is as follows:

1. A good deed earns merit only if done with right intention. For instance prayer would earn merit only when one prays only for Divine pleasure; if one prays to impress others, then, instead of earning merit, it would earn punishment.

2. The second interpretation which is germane to the present discussion is that all lawful deeds actually earn neither merit nor punishment, but if these are done with good intent, they become acts of worship and earn merit. For instance eating is lawful; but if one eats with the intention that food shall give him energy and that energy he shall spend in the service of Allah, the act of eating would earn merit. Similarly if one eats with the intent that his physical body too has its rights and dues which include nourishment through eating or if one eats with the intent of getting pleasure and taste and of thanking Allah for these, the eating become an act of merit.

There is no lawful deed of life, which if done with good intent, does not become act of merit.

A few instances shall elucidate the point further:

(a) Honest earning, whether by trade or service or industry or agriculture, if done with the intent of rightly fulfilling the duties enjoined by Allah toward oneself and one's family, would become an act of merit. Then if one further intends to spend whatever he may save after fulfilling the needs of himself and his family in helping the poor and in other similar good deeds, he would earn further merit.

(b) When a person engaged in learning intends to serve the humanity through his knowledge he would go on earning merit as long as he remains engaged in acquisition of knowledge. For instance a student of religion may decide to propagate the faith, a medical student to alleviate human suffering due to disease, an engineering student to serve his people through his specialised knowledge etc. all these acts would become acts of merit because of the intention which motivates the doer.

(c) A man, knowing that sustenance and subsistence is the responsibility of Allah which He shall fulfil without fail, engages is a particular profession or vocation with a view to serve humanity, his profession would earn him merit.

For instance if someone enters the medical profession consciously choosing it form among other professions in order to cure the sick, he would earn merit even if he charges for his services. Such a man would not hesitate to provide free treatment for the poor and the destitute.

A cloth merchant who enters this profession to provide clothes to people because clothing onself is a religious duty, would also earn merit.

Similarly a government servant, motivated by a desire to serve the common man and fulfil his needs, would earn merit. Thus every profession, becomes meritorious, provided the intention is right.

(c) If one dresses in finery not to show off his status or wealth, but to afford pleasure to others, it is
an act of merit.

(d) If one treats his children with love because it is a sunnah of our etemally blessed Prophet, it earns him merit.

(c) If one does the household chores because this too is a sunnah as our etemally blessed Prophet helped in the housework, it merits rewards in the Afterlife.

(f) Loving conversation with wife and children is a sunnah and the eternally blessed Prophet has so ordained, hence such an act is also meritorious if done to follow the sunnah.

(g) Hospitality to guests, if shown in pursuance of sunnah is an act of merit.

(h) Planting a sapling or plant in the house so that it may one day be of use of some man or animal and please the onlooker would be a good deed.

(i) Writing a beautiful and legible hand to make it easy for the reader to read is an act of merit.

(j) If a woman dresses herself in beautiful raiment and wears ornaments and adorns herself to please her husband and if a man remains clean and neat to please his wife, both are good deeds.

(k) If permissible recreation is indulged in to the extent needed to prepare oneself for duties it is a meritorious act.

(1) If a watch is kept to know prayer timings and to realize the value of time which is intended to be spent in good deeds, it is an act that earns merit.

There are a few common examples from everyday life which can earn much merit for the doer. Imam Ghazali has rightly observed in his Ihya'-al'ulum that there is no lawful action in human life which, if done with the right intent, cannot be changed into an act of merit. Even if husband and wife give mutual pleasure to each other, each with the intent of giving the other his or her due and making them pure this too would give them merit.
Praying

Allah likes his bondsmen to pray to Him. If a man, however numificent he may be, is again and again asked for anything, he sooner or later loses his patience and becomes angry. But Allah, on the contrary, is pleased the more his bondsmen ask him. Hadith tells as that Allah is displeased with one who does not ask him for anything in prayer.

Praying is not only a means of realizing one's purposes but is, in itself, an act or worship. In other words, praying even for one's personal ends and worldly needs is counted among acts of worship and earns merit. The more one prays the closer one gets to Allah. It is not necessary to pray only in times of need or of distress; rather, praying in times of pleasure and plenty is also necessary. A hadith tells us that one who desires his prayers in the times of sorrow and distress to be answered, should pray in times of happiness and plenty. (Tirmidhi cited in Jami' al Usmi)

Allah has promise in Quran "Pray to Me and I shall fulfill it". This Divine promise can never be wrong so one must pray with Belief and trust in its fulfilhnent. But fulflllrnent can take different forms; sometimes one gets what he prays for, but sometimes the desired object is not regarded by Allah as beneficial or useful to his bondsman and so he is granted something, better in this life or Hereafter. Thus every act of praying has three advantages:

1. Divine grant of prayers fulfills our desires;

2. Every prayer earns merit; and

3. Repeated acts of praying bring one ever closer to Allah

Although the correct method of praying is to face the qiblah and raise one's hands and pray with tongue, prefacing the prayer with praise of Allah and darud, but one can also pray without these preliminaries too. Thus Allah has made the act of praying so easy that one can also pray almost anywhere and at any time; one can pray while engaged in any activity and if one cannot intone the prayer as e.g. in lavatory, one can think his prayer.

Also it is not necessary to pray for big or important things; one should pray to Allah asking him to fulfil all one's wants, big or small; hadith tells us to pray even when one breaks his bootlace (Tirmidhi).

Consequently one should develop the habit of asking Allah to fulfil even the smallest need, to seek Divine amelioration of the most ordinary trouble. Just a child calls his mother for everything big or small, one should call and go on calling Allah. No matter what work one may be engaged in, one should always ask Allah for something or the other. Cultivate this habit and see how quickly you rise.

Prayers according to Sunnah

Although one should pray to Allah at all times for all one's needs, our eternally blessed Prophet has taught us some specific prayers for special occasions at different times of night and day, e.g. upon waking up, when going to the toilet and coming out of it, when performing ablution, upon entering and coming out of the mosque, upon entering the house, before meals and after, after hearing the adhan, when dressing, when looking in the mirror, before falling asleep in bed.

Tt,ese prayers are all-embracing and extremely useful for all our worldly and other-worldly needs. We by ourselves can never think of such prayers which the eternally blessed Prophet has taught us. These prayers are not time consunung nor ablution is their precondition nor is one to raise his hands. If one commits them to memory, one reaps a very rich harvest both here and in the Hereafter.

Hence every Muslim must commit these prayers to memory. There are many books wherein they are listed. Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi's "Munajat-e-Maq-bul" has most of them. You should commit them to memory and ask your children to memorize them too. These shall earn great merit for you.



Praying for others

One prays for one's own needs and desires, but one should also pray for one's relatives, friends and Muslims in general as it is an act of great merit. There is a hadith which says that when a Muslim prays for anyone of his brothers in faith in the latter's absence angels pray for the same for him (Sahih Muslim).

Hence if you come to know that any Muslim is in trouble or need, pray for him. In fact one should pray for the unbelievers too so that they may be Divinely guided on to the path of Islain. Thus one gets merit for the act of praying as well as for wishing well for others.

Seeking Pardon

Seeking Divine pardon is an antidote for the poisoning of human soul by sinning. Every sin against Allah, however heinous if may be, is forgiven if one seeks Divine pardon for it. Whenever a sin - great or small - is committed, it should be atoned for by seeking pardon, and even when no sin has been apparently committed, one should seek Divine forgiveness. Every Muslim knows that the eternally blessed Prophet Muhammad was free of all sin, but even then he has said that "I beg for Allah's forgiveness seventy times or more every day" (Bukhari)

In one hadith the eternally blessed Prophet is quoted as follows: "Whosoever regularly seeks Allah's pardon, Allah makes for him a way out of all tight corners, removes all his worries and grants him sustenance from sources he had never imagined." (Abu Damd, Kitab-al-Satat, Bab-al-Istighfar).

Hence one should cultivate the habit of seeking Divine pardon at all times and at least once a day, one should tell a hundred beads of istighfar on the rosary.



One can ask for Divine forgiveness in any language. However, the Arabic version is given below:



One particular form of seeking Divine pardon has been particularly lauded in hadith, and it has been designated as Chief of all Prayers for Divine Forgiveness:

Translation: O Allah! You are my Sustainer, there is no god but You, I am Your bondsman and am to the best of my ability firm on my oath to You. I seek refuge with You against whatever I have done. Whatever boons You have showered on me, I invoke them and turn to You and I also turn to You against my sins. Hence forgive my sins because there is none save You who forgives sins.

Hadith tells us that whosoever intones these words with full faith in the morning and dies before nightfall shall be counted among those of the Paradise, and whosoever says them with full faith at night and dies before morning shall likewise go to paradise. (Sahih Bukhari, Bab Afdal-al-Istighfar)

Specially before going to sleep, one should briefly recall one's short comings and wrongdoings of the day and seek Divine Pardon for them and Grace.

Dhikr of Allah

Dhikr i.e. nimtal or verbal remembrance of Allah is so consoling, pleasant and easy form of worship that one can perform it continuously at all times and with great benefit. Allah has enjoined His Dhikr in the Quran in the following words:

Obviously dhikr does not benefit Allah, Who has no need of it; the benefit is for Allah's bondsmen since dhikr strengthens the bond between Allah and His bondsmen. It is food for the soul which invigorates it. And with an invigorated soul it becomes easy to overcome one's base instincts and to vanquish the Devil. Thus one is able more easily to avoid sins and the good deeds increase.

Someone asked our eternally blessed Prophet "Which worship is highest in the Eyes of Allah and which shall be reckoned weightiest on the Day of Judgement?" The Prophet replied "Dhikr of Allah" (Jami'al Usul, p. 475 Vol. 4)

A companion once submited to the eternally blessed Prophet "O Messenger of Allah! Good deeds are many and I do not save the strength to perform all of them. So please tell me one thing that I may always remember. Please do not tell me many things as I would forget them." The Holy Prophet said "Your tongue should be wet with dhikr of Allah". (Jami Tirmidhi, Dawat Bab Fadl al Dhikr).

Abu Musa Ash'ari has been quoted as follows: The eternally blessed Prophet said "A house wherein Allah is remembered and a house wherein He is not remembered are like living and dead bodies" (Bukhari and Muslim).

Another hadith quotes our Prophet as follows: "People who leave a meeting or conclave without mentioning and remembering Allah are like those who get off from a dead ass, and such a meeting they would repent (for time misspent) on the Day of Judgement" (Abu Da'ud).

That's why a hadith tells us to recite the following words at the end of every meeting or conclave.

In spite of the great merits of dhikr. Allah has made it very easy. There are no preconditions attached to it. If someone performs ablution and then sits facing qiblah and performs dhikr it is all for the best. But if there is no time or occasion for it then one can perform dhikr while engaged in other works, even ablution is not required and dhikr is permitted even when unclean after coition or while menstruating. However one should not perform it verbally when unclothed or when in some unclean place like lavatory. However even there dhikr can be done without intoning or moving the tongue. Thus the merits of this worship can be reaped at all times without any difficulty. However it is appropriate to fix a particular time in the night or the day when one can perform dhikr after ablution and facing the qiblah; dhikr at other times would be an added boon.

For special dhikr the following books may be consulted.

1. Fada'il-al-Dhikr by Shaikh al Hadith Hadrat Mawlana Muhanumd Dhakariyya

2. Dhikr Allah by Mawlana Mufti Muhammad Shafi

3. Ma'mulat-e-Yaumiyah by Dr. Abdul Hai Arifi

However some brief adhkar are given below which should be recited continuously.

1. Hadith quotes our eternally blessed Prophet as saying that

"The following four phrases are most pleasing to Allah." (Sahih Muslim)

2. Hadith tells us that two phrases most pleasing to Al Rahman are light on the tongue but view weighty on the Day of Judgement (Bukhari Muslim):

3. Hadith tells us to recite because these words are among the treasures of paradise (Mishkat)

4. Hadith tells us that if one recites these words in the morning he gets merit equivalent to freeing of ten slaves from among the progeny of Prophet of Islam, he gets ten good deeds recorded in his name, his ten sins are pardoned he is elevated by ten stages and is protected against the Devil till evening. And if he recites these words in the evening; he gets the same reward till morning (Abu Da'ud).

Darud

Ahadith mention in detail so many advantages and merits of blessing the Holy Prophet by reciting darud that one can compile a whole book on them, and many learned people have in fact written books on them. One hadith quotes the Holy Prophet as saying that "One sent by my Sustainer came to me and told me that 'Whoever from your ummah sends darud on you once ten good deeds are recorded on his behalf, his ten (minor) sins are pardoned and he is elevated by ten stages" (Sunan Nisai and Musnad Ahmed, AI-targhib li al Mundhari, P.157 volume 3)

And Anas, a companion, has said that the eternally blessed Prophet said that "When my name is mentioned before anyone it is incumbent upon him to, send darud on me, and whosoever sends darud once, Allah sends His Mercy on him ten times (ibid.)

'Me best darud is the darud-e-Ibrahime which is recited in prayers and the briefest is Sallallaho alaihi sallam, the latter also has the same merits as others. It should be noted that when the holy Prophet's exalted name is written, one writes sallallaho alaihi-w-Sallam after it and not salla'am which is insufficient.
To Preceed in Greeting
Greeting brother Muslims is one of these Islamic practices which are hallmark of a Muslim and its merits have been anointed in many ahadith e.g. "One who takes precedence in greeting others is closer to Allah." (Abu Daud)

It is not necessary to greet only those with whom one is acquainted; greeting strangers who are known to be Muslim is a matter of great merit.

Our holy Prophet, may he be Divinely blessed eternally, was asked as to which actions are good for Muslim. Among the actions which he enumerated was this: "You should greet people whether you know them or not."

It is reported about Abdullah bin Omar that sometimes he went out of the house only to greet any Muslims he met and thus to increase his merit. (Muvatta Imam Malik)

The correct interpretation of this hadith, however, is that one should greet others, though not everyone one sees because it is impossible and it might be embarrassing for others. (Al Adab al Shahriah, li ibn Muslih page 422, vol 1)

It is also a sunnah to greet the family when entering the house. Our holy Prophet instructed his personal servant Anas as follows, " On son! When you enter (your) house, greet your family members; this act shall be of benefit for both you and your family members." (Tirmidhi) Even when entering an empty house one should greet with the intent that angels are being greeted.

Haidth also urges the Muslims to clearly speak out the greeting so that it may be heard and understood. Although the sunnah of greeting is fulfilled by saying 'Al Salam Alaikum', adding 'Rahmat ullah wa barakatuhu' earns more merit.

Imran bin Husayn recounts that once he and others were in the presence of our exalted and eternally blessed Prophet when a man came and said, "Assalamo alaikum", to which the blessed Prophet responded and said, "Ten" (i.e. the person who had greeted him had earned ten merits); then another man came and he "Assalamo alaikum wa Rahmatullah", to which the blessed Prophet responded and said "Twenty" (i.e. the person had earned twenty merits). Finally a third man came and said "Assalamo alaikum wa Rahmatullah wa Barakatu", to which the exalted Prphet responded and said, "Thirty" (i.e. the person had earned thirty merits) (abu Daud, Tirmidhi, Jami al Usul, p. 602. vol 6)

It should be noted here, however, that salaam i.e. is a sunnah only when the person greeted is not busy or when salaam would not disturb him. If salaam is going to disturb him in whatever he is doing, e.g. reciting Quran or doing dikhir or tending the sick of studying or doing something else in which loss of concentration would cause loss, the one should wait till the work is finished.

Similarly, it is not right to salaam when somebody is making a speech, and the speaker too should not do it. However, if a group is sitting quietly and somebody passes by then he should greet them. If someone wishes to join them then just one salaam is enough and a single response from one of the group fulfills the sunnah.

To be the first with salaam is sunnah and he who does not reply to is a sinner.

When a letter is received in which "salaam alaikum" is written, it should be responded to in the prescribed manner while reading the letter.
Participation in Burial Service and Burial
Participation in the burial service of a Muslim and accompaniment of the funeral procession up to the graveyard have been designated as acts of great merit in ahadith; in fact, our most exalted Prophet has called it a right of the dead that the living ones pray for them and accompany them to the graveyard.

Although participation in burial services and burials are fard kifayah, i.e. if a few do these, it does not remain compulsory for others, yet both are acts of great merit.

Abu Hurairah has reported that our holiest Prophet said that "Whosoever participates in a burial service earns one carat and if he remains till the burial is complete, then he gets two carats, each carat being equal to the Mouth of Ohud."

They should participate in this prayer not as a matter of pure form but for the sake of Allah's pleasure. This would certainly fetch much merit,. Accompanying the funeral procession after the prayers is, as said above, an act of great goodness, which according to Mujahid, is of a higher order than nafl prayers. (Fath-al-Bari, p. 193, vol 3, ref Abd-al Razzaq).

To love for the sake of Allah

To have love for someone for the sake of Allah's pleasure is also a grand act for which much merit and many rewards have been promised. "To love for the sake of Allah" means loving someone, not for worldly gain, but because he is more religious and pious or he is very learned in din or is busy in serving the cause of din or because loving him or her is commanded by Allah, e.g. one's parents.

Such a love has been called "love for Allah" in ahadith.

One hadith says, " Allah shall ask on the Day of Judgement, ' Where are those who loved for the sake of my Greatness? Today when there is no shade save Mine, I shall have them in My Shade.'" (Sahih Muslim: Kitab al Birr wa al Silah)

Another tells us that "On the Day of Judgement, those who had mutual love for the sake of Allah's Greatness shall be on pulpits of light and all shall envy them." (Jami' Tirmidhi, Kitab al Zuhd)

Abu Idris Khulani, one of the most famous tabi'in says that once he visited Ma'adh ibn Jabal in the mosque of Damascus and told him that "By Allah I love you for the sake of Allah." He repeatedly asked me to swear if it was so and when I answered in affirmative every time, he pulled me by my shawl and said, "Hear the good news! I have heard the exalted and blessed Messenger of Allah saying that "My love shall certainly be for those who love each other for my sake, who sit in each other's company for my sake, who go to meet each other for my sake and spend money on each other for my sake." )Muvatta Imam Malik, Kitab-al-Shi'r)

Having love for Allah's pious and good bondsmen is actually an outcome of one's love for Allah, so it earns the same rewards and merits as the latter; because of this love. Allah includes this lover in His beloved people. According to a hadith, someone asked our blessed and exalted Prophet, "When shall come the Day of Judgement?" Our Prophet asked him "What preparation have you made for the Day?" The man said, "Nothing, but I have love for Allah and for His Messenger." The Prophet said, "You shall be (on that Day) with whom you love."

The above hadith has been quoted by Anas. He says that these words of the Holy Prophet so pleased us as nothing had ever done. He further said, "I have great love for the Holy Prophet - may he be eternally blessed - and with Abu Bakr and Umar, may Allah be pleased with them, and because of this love, I shall be in their company, even though my deeds are not equal to theirs." (Sahh Bukhari, kitab-al-Adab, chapter Alamah al Hubb fi Allah).

There are many ahadith of the same import showing that having love for someone for the sake of Allah is an act of great merit, which grants one the opportunity of doing good in this world and being in exalted company in the Hereafter.

Hence, one should love good people for the sake of Allah and with the intent of becoming good oneself and earning Allah's pleasure, as a poet once said, " I love good people and although I am not one of them, may Allah grant me goodness too."

Hadith tells us that when someone loves his brother in faith, he must tell him of his love (Abu Daud; Kitab-al-Adab; Tirmidhi; Kitab-al-Zuhd).

A man was sitting with our Holy Prophet when another one passed. The sitting one said, "O Messenger of Allah! I love this man." The Prophet said, "Have you told him?" The man said, "No." The Prophet said, "Tell him!" The man rose to his feet and went to the man who was passing by and said, "I love you for the same of Allah." He said, "May Allah whom you love, love you in return!"

Helping a Muslim

To help a Muslim in some important work and to do it for his sake or to remove his troubles and worries is an act which has been promised much reward by the Prophet. Abdullah bin Omar said that our Holy Prophet said, “'One who helps someone in his need, Allah helps him in his work, and one who removes any worry or trouble of any Muslim, Allah, in return, removes anyone of his worries on the Day of Judgment'. (Abu Daud, Kilab-al-Adab, Bad-al-Muvakhat)

Telling someone the way, sharing someone's load or helping him with it, and all other acts of public service are included in the acts defined by this hadith. "Those who help others are truly much blessed," as the hadith says, “Best people are those who are useful to others.”

Hence all occasions of service, big or small, must be sought for; this increases one's merits. If someone is a victim of tyranny, it is the duty of every Muslim to save him from it.

A hadith tells us that the Holy Prophet said "A Muslim is the brother of another Muslim", and “A brother does not leave his brother helpless nor does he lie to him nor yet makes false promises, nor treats him with cruelty." (Tirmidhi: AI Birr wa-al- Silah)

Another hadith runs as follows, "If a Muslim is being insulted and degraded and his honour besmirched somewhere and another Muslim leaves him helpless, Allah would leave the latter helpless on occasions when he would need help. And if any Muslim helps him in when he is insulted and degraded, Allah shall help him when he would need help" (Abu Da'ud: Adab)

Helping a Muslim includes appropriate refutal of any wrong charges or insinuations levelled against another Muslim. Abu Darda' report that our Holy Prophet has said, "One who defends the honour of his brother, Allah keeps the fire of hell away from his face on the Day of Judgment.” (Tirmidhi: al Birr wa al Silah, Chapter 20)

Justified Recommendation

To give justified recommendation for someone is an act of great merit. Make recommendation; you shall earn merit. (Abu Daud and Nisa'r)

Once a man asked the Holy Prophet for something; the Messenger of Allah turned to others and said "Recommend him, so that may you earn merit.” (Bukhari Kitab al Adab).

A good recommendation, whether affective or ineffective, is in itself a good deed. If it is effective then it might earn double merit.

But it should be noted that the recommendation should be for some correct purpose and not for any unlawful purpose because recommendation for something unlawful is a grave sin with graver consequences. Hence it is necessary to be absolutely sure that the person recommended is truly deserving of it, and whatever he is being recommended for is justified and lawful.

Another point to be noted is that the recommendation should not unduly burden the person to whom the recommendation is being made; first of all it must be assessed if the person is really able to do what is recommended. If not, then the recommendation should not be made as it embarrass him. If one cannot know whether the person to which recommendation is made is able to act on it or not, then recommendation should not be pressing and one should ask for the work to be done if it can be done.

Sometimes even when a person is able to do something, he still has to follow some rules or preferences of his own. In such a case too one should not make specific recommendation but leave it to the person to do it according to his rules and preferences so that he may not be unduly burdened.

Nowadays recommendation is made for the sake of its merit in the hereafter but its rules as formulated by shari'ah are not observed. Especially, people do not consider the trouble they may cause to the person to whom recommendation is being made. Remember that there are rules for everything in shariah which have to be followed; it is not at all permissible to unduly trouble anyone even for the sake of another Muslim.

Concealing other's shortcomings

If one comes to know of somebody's shortcomings it is a matter of great merit if he conceals it from others provided this shortcoming is not harmful or dangerous to others. According to Abu Huraira, our Holy Prophet has said that, “Allah shall conceal on the Dav of Judgement the shortcomings of the one conceals the shortcomings of other.” (Sahih Muslim: Kitab al Birr wa Silah)

And Aqabah ibn Amir relates that Our eternally blessed Prophet has said that, “The action of one who conceals the shortcomings of another is as if he saved a girl from being buried alive.” (Mustadrik Hakim, p. 334, vol 4)

Concealing the shortcoming means not mentioning it to others and not broadcasting or announcing it before all. But certain points should be borne in mind in this connection.

1 . It is not justified to lie to conceal another shortcoming. So if one is asked about the shortcoming he, should first try to avoid answering, but if pressed he should not say anything except the bare fact.

2. Concealing somebody's shortcoming is justified when the effect of that shortcoming is confined to the man himself, but if it might conceivably cause harm or injury to others, then it is justified to tell the person to be affected about the shortcoming. This latter action is not only justified but also meritorious provided there is no intent of harming anyone or insulting or degrading him. For instance someone is in the habit of taking money from others by subterfuge and not returning it or someone is habitual borrower and does not redeem his loans. As in both case an unaware person may be taken by surprise and lose his money, he should be informed of this habit of the borrower. Another instance is of a person who proposes to marry girl; if the giri's parents wish to know about the prospective husband, it is justified to tell the the truth. However, in all such cases, the intent should not be of harming anyone in any way. Another case is that of a person who has committed a crime which may harm the society or the community; this information must be made available to proper authorities as it is a meritorious act, if the intent is social reform and not personal revenge against the culprit.

Tenderness and Kindness

Tenderness towards others is very pleasing to Allah and is very meritorious. Ayesha (may Allah be pleased with her always) relates that our holy Prophet has said, 'Allah is kind and likes kindness and gives that reward for tenderness which is nor granted for harmless nor for anything else.” (Sahih Muslim)

In another hadith related by Ayesha (may Allah be pleased with her) our Prophet (may he be eternally blessed) says that, “Tenderness adorns everything and if removed would make it ugly." (Sahih Muslim)

Tenderness means that one must avoid using harsh words or harsh attitude in anger, and behave and speak with tenderness. If someone has to be checked or if a difference in opinion is to expressed, one should not be rough or harsh, but speak softly and kindly. If a younger person has to be trained and strictness cannot be avoided, it too should be adopted in moderation or to the extent needed.

Kind behaviour also implies that one must not argue or quarrel with others on every issue and think well of them as far as possible. Even haggling over price should not be harsh or acrimonious. One should be ready to accept another's viewpoint if it is acceptable. and when if it is not so one should withdraw from argument. It is not good to compel others to agree with one's own viewpoint and to force them into submission.

Jabir has related that our exalted that our blessed Prophet said that, “Allah is kind to him who is tender and forgiving in selling as well as buying and even when asking others for his due". (Sahih Bukhari). Hadhifah ibn Yaman has related that our blessed Prophet said that, "A bondsman of Allah who was given much wealth would be brought before Allah and would be asked 'Wwhat did you do in the world?' He would submit that 'Oh my Noursher, Thou hadst given me Thine wealth and I traded with it and I was forgiving, so I made things easy for the rich and allowed time to the poor'. Allah would say 'I have more right to behave in this manner' and would then turn to His Angels and command them 'Release this bondsman'. (Sahih Muslim)

Abu Hurairah has quoted our blessed Prophet as saying that, “One who gives time to the poor debtor or gives him some relief, Allah would keep him in the shade of
His throne on the Day of Judgement where there would be no shade Save that of His Throne." (Jami' Tirmidhi)

Abu Qatavah has quoted our revered and respected Prophet as saying that, “One who desires to be relieved of the pains and worries of the Day of Judgment, should ease the troubles of the destitute or ease his loan.” (Sahih Muslim)

Good Marital Relationship

Mutual respect, love, understanding, courtesy and a mutual consideration of each other's needs plus mutual tolerance are not only a must for marital and familial bliss but also very meritorious. The exalted and eternally blessed Messenger of Allah has said that, “The most perfect faith have those Muslims who have better morals, and the best of these are those who are best for their women." (Tirmidhi)

A hadith has already been quoted which says that the food which one puts in his wife's mouth earns him merit. Another hadith goes a bit further and predicts merit even on the sexual act of a husband and a wife.

Some of the companions once asked the Holy Messenger of Allah, “We satisfy our carnal needs; does it too earn merit?" Our Holy Prophet replied, “Tell me, would it not be a sin if someone did it in the unlawful way? Then the one who is doing it in the lawful way would certainly get its reward." (Muslim).

Another hadith tells us that when a husband, upon returning home, looks at his wife with love and the wife returns his glance with love, Allah looks upon both of them with Mercy.

Husband and wife are always together and pass a large portion of their lives in each other's company. It is but natural for frictions to arise. If these normal misunderstandings and displeasures are allowed to degenerate into bitter quarrels and cruelty to each other, then not only are worldly pleasures destroyed but the Divine reward for mutual love is also lost.

Hence Allah and his blessed Messenger have formulated for us a perfect guideline for marital bliss; it can be summarized as follows: "Do not look at only those things which displease you; think too that the partner, who is displeasing you, has some good qualities as well. If you think of these good qualities, the good relationship with your spouse shall be restored". Allah has said, “In a hadith the Messenger of Allah, may he be eternally blessed, has directed as follows, “No believer should have total dislike of a believing woman (because) if he dislikes one thing, there would be some quality (in her) which he would surely like.”

If husband and wife follow this principle and live with mutual love and try their best to be good to each other, their marital life shall be enriched with happiness and they shall go on earning more and more merit and Divine rewards all their lives.

Good Treatment of Relatives

Good treatment of relatives is very pleasing to Allah and earns much merit. It has also been enjoined by the Holy Quran in several places and its merits described, for instance (AI Nisa': 36) Show kindness unto parents and unto near kindred.”

(AI Nisa': 1) “Be careful of your duty towards Allah in Whom you claim your rights and towards the womb that bore you.”

Abu Hurairah relates that our Holy Prophet, may he be eternally blessed, said that "He who believes in Allah and in the Day of Judgment, should treat his relations well.” (Bukhari and Muslim) And according to Anas, the Holy Prophet said that, “He, who desires his earnings to increase and his life to be long, should treat his relations well." (Bukhari and Muslim)

Good treatment means courteous behaviour, sharing in happiness and grief and helping them in a lawful manner whenever required.

However some points regarding this good treatment must always to kept in mind.

(1) Some people treat their relatives so well that they do not hesitate to sin for them in wrong belief that this is what has been enjoined on them. To share in sinning with a relative, to recommend them undeservedly, or to get them an employment for which they are not suited etc. are all unlawful in Islam.

Good treatment of relatives does not encompass committing sins for them. Hence when a relative seeks helps or support for any unlawful end, a polite excuse is called for.

(2) Good treatment of relatives is meritorious and rewarding only when it is motivated by the desire to earn Divine pleasure and not by any urge to show off or to keep up with others or to follow customs. Our present day society is shackled by customs and traditions; good treatment of relatives is usually motivated by the desire to save face or out of one-up manship; hence many things not really desired or liked are done due to the force of customs. Consequently, one must not allow himself to be motivated by such thoughts and if any good is done to any relative or kinsman it must be done only to earn Allah's pleasure, and with happiness and grace; nothing should be done to complete a formality or fulfil a custom.

(3) Since good treatment of kinsmen should be for the sake of Divine pleasure, one must never expect or wait for a good deed in return. Even when the return is not good, one should not abandon good treatment of his relations. Actually this is the acid test that shows whether the good treatment is for Allah or merely for show. Our eternally Prophet has said, “He does not treat his relations well who merely returns a good deed; he who treats them well even when they deny his rights really treats them well". (Sahih Bukhari)

Umme Kulthum bin Aqabah has related that the eternally blessed Messenger of Allah said, “The best sadaqah is the one given to inimical relatives.” (Hakim and Tibrani: AI Targheeb wa al Targheeb, p.120. volume 4)

Real and true good treatment is the one given even when one's relations treat him badly; this earns much merit. Abu Hurairah relates "Someone said to the Messenger of Allah 'I have some relatives whom I treat well, but they deny me my rights; I treat them well, but they treat me badly. I am forbearing, but they quarrel with me'. The Messenger of Allah said 'If this is really so then you are feeding them hot ashes. Allah shall always give you a helper.'” (Sahih Muslim).

It means that they were acquiring hell fire by their deeds, and they would never harm him; rather he would be helped against them by Allah.

To Learn Matters of Faith

It is the duty of every Muslim to know as much about his faith as to enable him to lead his life according to it; it is not necessary for everyone to become a theologian. Only necessary learning is necessary; e.g. important points about prayers, hajj and zakat (poor due) and what is allowed and what is forbidden in matters of everyday life.

While acquisition of knowledge is a duty, observance of religious duties in the light of this knowledge has obviously been promised much reward and merit. Every act of learning Faith is a good deed in itself and has been much lauded in Quran and also hadith. For instance, according to Abu Darda’, our eternally blessed Prophet said, “For the one who walks a path in order to acquire some knowledge, Allah makes the path to Paradise easy; and angels being pleased with this deed of the seeker after knowledge, spread their wings in his path.” (Abu Daud; Tirmidhi)

This encompasses not only those seekers of knowledge who study religion in a regular way but also those who seek answers to their problems by going to a learned person or by sitting in a sermon. Anas has quoted the following words of the Holy Prophet, “He who goes out of his home to seek knowledge is in the way of Allah till he returns."

Thus whatever step one takes to learn any aspect of the faith of Islam would, Allah willing, earn him the merit due to a seeker of knowledge; even study of religious books, provided they are genuine, earns for one the same merit and reward. Hence, one should choose one’s books in consultation with a learned man. One should never pass up an opportunity to learn anything of the faith. It will increase knowledge, improve one’s life and increase the good in one’s record. Knowledge is an unbounded ocean and the more one learns the more becomes his thirst for knowledge, and it should be so. Hadith tells us that one who is greedy for knowledge is never satiated. He is ever seeking more knowledge and thus the acquisition of merit goes on and one.
Teaching Religion
Teaching religion is for more meritorious an act than learning religion, provided one does not expound religious to show off his own erudition but teaches to benefit others. Abu Umama has quoted the following words of our Prophet, may he be eternally blessed, “Allah the Most High and His Angels and all creatures of the Heavens and earth even the ants inside their ant-holes shower mercy one those who teach things of benefit to others.” (Jame-Tirmidhi)

Sahl bin Sa’d relates that once our Prophet upon whom be peace, addresses Ali as follows, “If Allah gives guidance to even one person through you it is far better for you than red camels.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

Red camels were highly prized among the Arabs. Thus this hadith means that if your teaching benefits someone, it is better than all the wealth in the world.

Hence, whenever one gets a chance to teach others, particularly one’s own wife and children, any aspect of religion, one should avail it and continue doing this good deed because it is a perpetual source of merit.
Respect for Elders
Although piety and knowledge are the true attributes of greatness in Islam, the youngsters have been enjoined to give due respect to their elder. Our Prophet, upon whom be peace, went to the extent of saying that, “He is not of us who does not have kindness for our young and respect for our old.” (Abu Daud and Tirmidhi)

Grey-haired folk have been specially indicated as objects of our respect in hadith. Abu Musa Ashari relates that our Prophet, may he be eternally blessed, said, “Respect for a grey-haired Muslim is a part of respect for Allah.” (Abu Daud)

Another Prophetic saying has been related by Anas, “For youth who respects an old man because of his age, Allah appoints people who shall respect the young man in his old age.”

It was a custom of our eternally blessed Prophet that if a younger member of a delegation began to speak, the Holy Prophet asked him to let the elders speak first. This shows the great emphasis, laid by our blessed Prophet upon respect for elders, which is highly merited and rewarded.

Wudu Prayer

Wudu or ablution may be performed for any purpose, and praying 2 rakaats after every wudu as 'tahiyyat-al wazu' is a highly meritorious act. Aqaba Ibn Amir has related that the blessed Prophet said, "When one performs ablution and performs it well and then prays 2 rakaats in such a way that his face, and also his heart are turned to Allah, Paradise becomes a certainty for him." (Muslim, Abu Da'ud, Nisai)

Abu Hurairah has related that the eternally blessed Messenger of Allah said to Bilal, "Tell me from which of your acts you expect the most merit, because during Meraj (Assention), I heard your footsteps in front of me." Bilal said, "The act due to which I expect maximum mercy from Allah is that whenever during day or night, I have performed ablution, I have prayed as much as I could." (Bukhari and Muslim)

It takes two to three minutes to pray 2 rakaats after ablution, but it is immensely rewarding. If it is time for one of the 5 compulsory prayers, then it is better to pray 2 rakaats tahiyyat-al wudu first, but if there is no time then fard or sunnah should be performed with (additional) intent of tahiyyat-al wudu. This might earn the merit due to tahiyyat-al wudu.

360 Good Deeds = Ishraq Prayer

Ishraq Prayer is a nafl prayer which is performed about 12 minutes after sunrise. It has only 2 rakaats but Hadiths are replete with the high merits of this prayer. Abu Hurairah relates that our Prophet - upon whom be eternal Peace - has said that "He who says Ishraq prayers without fail shall have his lesser sins forgiven even though they may be as numerous as foam specks on the surface of the sea." (Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah)

Abu Hurairah has also related that the eternally blessed Prophet once sent some companions on jihad. They returned soon with much booty. Someone asked in surprise how the military expedition returned so soon with so much booty. The Holy Prophet said, "Should I not tell you about the men who would come back even sooner and still more booty?" Then he said, "He who performs his ablution well, then completes his fajr prayer and then (after sunrise) performs his Ishraq prayer, comes sooner and with greater booty" (Targhib p. 427. vol. I ref. Abu Yate ba Isnad-e-Sahib).

A tradition related by Abu Dhar Ghifari tells us that a man has 360 joints in his body. To rid each from the hellfire, he should do at least 360 good deeds, which were subsequently described by our Holy Prophet. He said that saying Subhanallah once is one good deed, saying al Hamdulillah is another and saying La Ilaha Illallah is the third; to bid someone do good is a good deed and to stop someone from sin is also a good deed. Then after reciting the whole list, our Prophet said: -

"And in place of all these good deeds, 2 rakaats prayed at the time of Ishraq can also suffice" (Sahih Muslim)

Imagine this: 2 rakaats - which will take you less than 2 minutes, are equivalent to 360 good deeds.

The best way to perform Ishraq prayer is to sit in place after fajr prayer and do dhikir and then leave after performing Ishraq prayers when the sun has risen. But if one cannot follow this, then he can say Ishraq prayers after coming back home or after doing something he has to do.

To Hurry in Iftar

While fasting, one should hurry with iftar after one is sure that the sun has set. Delaying Iftar without any legitimate cause isn’t allowed. Sahl ibn Saad has related that our blessed Prophet has said “People shall be in welfare as long as they hurry in iftar (breaking fast).” (Bukhari and Muslim)

Abu Hurairah has said that our blessed Prophet has said, “Those of His bondsmen are dear to Allah who hurry with iftar.” (Musnade-Ahmad and Tirmidhi)

Giving Iftar to a Fasting man

Giving Iftar to a fasting man is an act of great merit. Zaib ibn Khalik Jehmi has related that our Prophet upon whom be peace has sad, “He who gives iftar to another fasting person shall earn reward equivalent to a fasting man without detracting from the reward of the latter.” (Nisai and Tirmidhi)

Salrnan Farsi has related that our etemally blessed Prophet has said that, "If one breaks the fast of another, this act shall be a source of pardon of his sins and release of his neck from hellfire, and he shall earn the merit of the fast of the fasting man, but the reward of the fasting man shall not be reduced". The companion, upon hearing this submitted: "Some of us do not have enough to break the fast of another". Thereupon our Prophet said "Allah shall give this reward even to those who give a date or water or a mouthful of milk to a fasting man." (Sahih ibn Hazimah)

Taking back sold goods

Sometimes a buyer wishes to return a thing he has bought. In such a case, the seller is not bound to take it back, but if he does it in view of the buyer's need or embarrassment, it would be an act of very high merit. Abu Hurairah has quoted the following Prophetic words: -

"He who takes back a thing sold has his sins pardoned on the Day of Judgement." (Abu Daud)
Planting Trees
Planting plants and trees in appropriate places is an act of great merit. Anas has quoted the following Prophetic saying: -

"A man plants a tree or sows a field and a man or bird eats from it, the tree or field becomes a source of sadaqah for him." (Bukhari and Muslim)

In other words, the merit of advantage taken by a man or beast from a plantation goes continuously to the planter as a sadaqah jariyah.
Cleaning and eating a dropped morsel
Our Prophet - may he be blessed - has also instructed us that if we accidentally drop a morsel on the ground. It should be picked up, even washed if needed, and eaten. Jabir has related the following Prophetic saying:

"When anyone of you drops a morsel, he should clean it of any unwanted accretion and eat it and should not leave it for Satan. Then upon finishing, he should lick his fingers as he knows not which part of it is beneficial for him." (Sahih Muslim)

According to this hadith, disrespect for food and drink is a Satanic act, and eating a dropped morsel is a respectful act, which shall surely earn merit and reward and one must not feel ashamed of it. However, if to clean it is impossible, then it is quite another matter.

Praising Allah upon Sneezing and its Response

Abu Hurairah has related a Prophetic saying: "Allah likes sneezing and dislike yawning. When anyone of you sneezes he should say “Alhamdulillah” and the hearer thereof should respond “Yar hamakullah” as it is a right of the one who sneezes. (Sahih Bukhari).

There was a time when all observed these norms of Islamic behaviour, but now none even knows them, hence those norms have to revived.

Fear of Allah

Allah - by virtue of His Greatness - should be feared, as has been enjoined time and again in Quran as well as ahadith. Abbas the uncle of our blessed Holy Prophet has related that once he and others were sitting under a tree with the Holy Prophet when dry leaves began to fall from the tree till only green leaves remained. The Holy Prophet said. "This (tree) is like a believer who trembles with fear of Allah and so sheds his sins leaving behind only good deeds". (AI Targhib, p. 227. vol. 5. ref Baihaqi)

To create fear of Allah, we should think of His Power and Greatness, of the straits of earlier ummahs and of the chastisement mentioned in Quran and hadith for the disobedient ones. This shall create Allah's fear in the heart and prevent one from wrongdoing, sinning and unlawful acts, and one shall attain piety which is the basis of all good and of deliverance and salvation in this world and in the next. May Allah grant unto us the opportunity for it all Amen.

Optimism and Hope from Allah

Besides fear of allah, expecting good from Him is an act of sublime merit. Abu Hurairah has quoted a Prophetic saying, “Hoping for good is also an act of worship of Allah.” (Tirmidhi and Hakim)

In a hadith-e-qudsi our blessed Prophet has quoted the Divine words, “1 am what my bondsman thinks of me, and where he remembers Me, there 1 am with him.” (Bukhari and Muslim).

Many merits have been given in Q'uran and Hadith for having high hopes from Allah. This implies that one must try to live according to the Divine Commands and when he incuritably commits errors, he should expect Divine Mercy for it. But if one is entirely unmindful of Divine commands, does not care to reform himself, and is driven by worldly and carnal desire and yet expects Divine Pardon and Mercy, he has been castigated in hadith.

The right way is to try to reform oneself and to balance Allah's fear and good hopes from Him.

Anas has related that "Once our Prophet - may he be eternally blessed - went to a young man who was on his death bed and asked him 'How do you feel?' The young man said, 'I have much hope from Allah but 1 also fear for my sins'. The Holy Prophet said, The believer who has these two ideas simultaneously at such time, Allah fulfils his hopes and grants him security from fear." (Tirmidhi).
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