Hasten to Forgiveness from Your Lord

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Allah The Almighty encourages His slaves to hasten and race to doing good as He Says (what means):

• {And hasten to forgiveness from your Lord} [Quran 3:133]

• {Race toward forgiveness from your Lord} [Quran 57:21]

• {So race to [all that is] good} [Quran 2:148]

• {So for this let the competitors compete} [Quran 83:26]

• {For the like of this let the workers [on earth] work} [Quran 37:61]

Allah The Exalted mentions some of His righteous slaves – Zakariyyah and his family – Saying (what means): {So We responded to him, and We gave to him Yahya (John), and amended for him his wife. Indeed, they used to hasten to good deeds and supplicate Us in hope and fear, and they were to Us humbly submissive} [Quran 21:90]

The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) , said: “Deliberation (is a must) in all things except in deeds that pertain to the Hereafter [i.e., good deeds].” [Abu Daawood in his Sunan] Thus, man should hasten to the deeds of the Hereafter without hesitation. One should race towards them and compete in them.

This hastening, racing and competing indicate the depth of faith in one's soul. The deeper the faith is in one's soul, the more he hastens to please his Lord. Consider the noble Companion ‘Umayr ibn Al-Humaam  may  Allah  be  pleased  with  him when the polytheists advanced towards the Muslims in the Battle of Badr and the Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) , said: "‘Get up to a Paradise whose width is equal to the heavens and earth.’ Anas  may  Allah  be  pleased  with  him the narrator of the Hadeeth, said that ‘Umayr ibn Al- Humaam Al-Ansaari  may  Allah  be  pleased  with  him said, ‘O Messenger of Allah, a Paradise whose width is equal to the heavens and earth?’ He said: ‘Yes.’ ‘Umayr  may  Allah  be  pleased  with  him said, ‘My goodness!’ The Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) asked him: ‘What prompted you to say this (i. e. my goodness!)?’ He said, ‘O Messenger of Allah, nothing but the desire of being among its residents.’ The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) who did not speak from his own inclination, said: ‘You are (surely) among its residents.’ ‘Umayr  may  Allah  be  pleased  with  him took out the dates from his bag and began to eat them. Then he said, ‘If I were to live until I eat all these dates, it would be a long life.’ (The narrator said) He threw away all the dates he had with him. Then he fought the enemies until he was killed.” [Muslim]

Therefore, let us initiate good deeds and hasten to them.

This encouragement to initiate and hasten to good deeds is due to the fact that we do not know what impediments and obstacles may prevent us in the future if we wish to perform them. That is why the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) urged us to hasten to performing Hajj in the Hadeeth in which he says: “Hasten to perform (your obligatory) Hajj, for one knows not what should happen (to prevent it).” [Ahmad]

The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) used to hasten to good deeds. It was narrated in a Hadeeth that after finishing the ‘Asr (late afternoon) prayer, the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) got up quickly, went to some of his wives and then came out. He noticed the signs of astonishment on the faces of the people caused by his speed. He then said: "I remembered while I was in my prayer that a piece of gold was in my house and I disliked that it should remain with us throughout the night, so I ordered it to be distributed." [Al-Bukhari] This Hadeeth was mentioned by Imam An-Nawawi  may  Allah  have  mercy  upon  him in his book Riyaadh As-Saaliheen in the chapter named 'hastening to good deeds'. Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen  may  Allah  have  mercy  upon  him said explaining this Hadeeth, "This Hadeeth enjoins hastening to do good deeds. One should not hesitate for he does not know when death will come to him and so he loses the good deed. The Hadeeth also proves that the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) was the quickest person in hastening to good deeds.” [Sharh Riyaadh As-Saaliheen]

Since we are currently in the month of Ramadan and it is one of the virtuous times as it is the month of salvation from Hell and winning the gardens of Paradise, we should increase our good deeds. In addition, we ought to not only do good deeds but also hasten to them and not ignore continuing to commit ourselves to them for the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said that Allah Says in a Qudsi Hadeeth (sacred narration): "My slave keeps on coming closer to Me through performing voluntary acts of worship till I love him." [Al-Bukhari] The verb "keeps on" signifies continuity. The Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said: “Keep on performing Hajj and ‘Umrah." [At-Tirmithi] Continuous good deeds and persistence on them is among the things which Allah The Almighty loves. The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) was asked, "What deeds are loved most by Allah?" He said: "The most regular constant deeds even though they may be few." [Al-Bukhari and Muslim] It was narrated that if the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) performed a certain act, he used to do it constantly. [Muslim]

Moreover, we should not get bored or tired of performing good deeds for the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said: "Religion is easy and whoever overburdens himself in religion will not be able to continue in that way. So you should not be extremists, but try to be near to perfection…" [Al-Bukhari] Another narration reads as follows: "Observe moderation so that you would succeed." [Al-Bukhari]

At the same time, we should not overburden ourselves or commit ourselves to too much worship. Anas ibn Maalik  may  Allah  be  pleased  with  him narrated that once the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) entered the mosque and saw a rope hanging in between its two pillars. He said: "What is this rope?" The people said, "This rope is for Zaynab who, when she feels tired, holds it (to keep standing for the prayer.)" The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said: "No, remove the rope. You should pray as long as you feel active, and when you get tired, sit down." [Al-Bukhari and Muslim] When the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) , knew that ‘Abdullaah ibn ‘Amr ibn Al-‘Aas  may  Allah  be  pleased  with  him prayed all the night and fasted daily all the year, he prohibited him from doing this, and said: "If you keep on doing this, your eyes will become weak and you will get bored." [Al-Bukhari]

In addition, the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said: "You should do that which is within your capacity. By Allah! Allah will not be bored until you are bored. The dearest deeds to Allah are the most regular deeds even though they may be few." [Abu Daawood and Ibn Maajah]

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