Abandoning Da’wah Does Not Invalidate Deeds
Fatwa No: 393772

Question

Salam aleykum wa rahmatullah. Thanks for taking the time and effort may Allah reward you. My question is something that has worried me a lot and it’s to do with the losing rewards for good deeds i have done. A lecturer in youtube said if people dont give dawah and forbid that which is bad and enjoin good their dua’s wont be accepted and their good deeds will be erased. He also mentioned the hadith of thawban (may allah be pleased with him) that people who transgress beyond bounds when they are alone, allah will scatter their good deeds and make them perish even if they are the size of mountains. I would like to know if there is any evidence behind his comments on not giving dawah and what the hadith is talking about specifically because everybody transgresses beyond bounds but what does it mean when they are alone?

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

First of all, a Muslim should establish and know that Allah Almighty is The Most Merciful and that He does not cause the good deeds of His Slaves to be lost without any reason from them.

Allah Says (what means):

• {Indeed, those who have believed and done righteous deeds - indeed, We will not allow to be lost the reward of any who did well in deeds.} [Quran 18:30]

• {Never will I allow to be lost the work of [any] worker among you, whether male or female.} [Quran 3:195]

• {…and [of the fact] that Allah does not allow the reward of believers to be lost .} [Quran 3:171]

The texts that stipulate the invalidation of good deeds state that it is due to the person himself, his sins and acts of disobedience. Reflect how Allah forbade us from invalidating our own deeds; as He Says (what means): {... and do not invalidate your deeds.} [Quran 47:33} Allah also Says (what means): {O you who have believed, do not invalidate your charities with reminders or injury.} [Quran 2:264]

The Sharee'ah confirmed that some sins cause the invalidation of one’s deeds in their totality, or part of them. The worst of all these sins is Kufr (disbelief), and some include raising the voice over the voice of the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) (during his time), abandoning the ‘Asr prayer, showing off, arrogance, going to magicians and fortune-tellers, keeping a dog for reasons other than those that Islam permits keeping a dog for, and consuming alcohol (any intoxicant).

We have already clarified in previous Fataawa that Shirk (associating partners with Allah) is the only sin that invalidates all good deeds. As regards other sins, they invalidate some of the good deeds but not all of them. We also clarified that the deeds that are invalidated return to the person (in his record of good deeds) once he sincerely repents.

Among the sins that invalidate the good deeds is violating the limits of Allah when one is in seclusion, and perhaps this is what you are asking about.

Thawbaan  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him narrated that the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: “Indeed I know a type of people from my nation who would come on the Day of Judgement with good deeds as big as the mountains of Tihaamah, pure, but Allah will turn them into scattered dust.Thawbaan  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him asked: “O Prophet of Allah! Describe them and make them clear to us, we fear to be amongst them while we do not know.” Thereupon, the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: “Indeed they are your brothers, and they perform acts of worship by night (prayers) in the same way that you do, but when they are alone, they transgress the limits of Allah.” [Ibn Maajah and At-Tabaraani]

For more benefit on this Hadeeth, please refer to Fatwa 89956.

The scholars explained that the Hadeeth refers to people who refrain from committing sins and pretend to be righteous when in the presence of other people, but as soon as they are alone, far from people's sight, they will quickly transgress the limits of Allah.

Such people act as if Allah is the least important One who is looking at them (to see them sin), so they are not conscious of Allah Who is watching them at all times; they did not fear Him as they feared the people. This is one of the most distinct traits of the hypocrites. As for those who strive to stay away from sins, but sometimes weaken and commit sins without persisting on them, then it is hoped that they are not included in this.

As for the invalidation of deeds because of abandoning Da’wah and abandoning enjoining good and forbidding evil, then we are not aware of any Islamic text indicating this.

However, some texts were reported stating that abandoning enjoining good and forbidding evil is a reason for punishment to befall people and for supplications not to be answered.

The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: “I swear by the One in Whose Hand is my soul! Either you command good and forbid evil, or Allah will soon send upon you a punishment from Him, then you will call upon Him but He will not respond to you.” [At-Tirmithi]

Tuhfat Al-Ahwathi reads: “Your supplication will not be responded to, meaning when you supplicate Him to repel the punishment off you.” [End of quote]

For more benefit, please refer to Fataawa 373006, 367639, and 333973.

Allah knows best.

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