The best righteous deeds
Assalamu alaikum. I would like to know what deeds are considered the most rewarding in the sight of Allah, for e.g. I know that Jihad and seeking knowledge are some. I would like to know what the deeds are in order or rewards, something similar to what is in "Al-Kabair" by Imam Dhahabi, where he lists sins in order of seriousness. JazakAllah khayr.
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 is His slave and Messenger.
There are many acts of good deeds and it is not possible to mention them all in this Fatwa, let alone mentioning them in order.
The excellence of righteous deeds differ from one person to another. For some people, acquiring knowledge and teaching it to others is better for them than Jihaad (fighting for the Cause of Allah), but for some people, Jihaad is better for them.
In general, we say that the religious obligations are the best acts of worship and they come at the top of acts of obedience to Allah, as per the narration: “My Slave does not come closer to me by performing any act of worship more than he does by performing what I obliged him to do.” [Al-Bukhari]
The best of these deeds after believing in the Oneness of Allah is the prayer. The five obligatory prayers are the best deeds, and whoever is steadfast on them and performs them at their prescribed fixed times as Allah ordered him to do, Allah promised that He will admit him to Paradise. Then comes the other pillars of Islam, Zakat, fasting and Hajj; then being kind and dutiful to the parents, keeping ties with kinship, and being kind to the neighbour, orphans, the poor, and so forth.
After the religious obligations comes the supererogatory acts of worship, but the acts of worship by which one benefits others are better than those of individual benefit. A Prophetic narration reads: “The most beloved people to Allah are those who are most beneficial to the people, and the most beloved acts of worship to Allah is a happiness which you bring to a Muslim, or you take him out of a difficulty, or you pay off his debt, or you feed him when he is hungry, and were I to go with a Muslim brother to achieve his need, is more beloved to me than performing I'tikaaf in my mosque for a whole month…”[At-Tabaraani]
Similarly, being concerned with the acts of worship that are due at the present time is better than performing any other acts of worship; for instance repeating the words of the Athaan when the Athaan is being called is better than being preoccupied by other forms of the mention of Allah.
Allah Knows best.