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Hasten to Do Righteous Deeds, Especially When They Are Being Presented to the Lord of the Worlds

  Musa Shaleem Mohammed

A brief article extolling the virtues of completing righteous deeds, knowing that Allāh is Ever Watchful over us. Another reference is made concerning the oft overlooked prophetic sunnah of fasting in the month of Shaʿbān, which precedes Ramaḍān.

bismallah

  

  Therefore, whoever remembers that his deeds are recorded, written and presented to the All Knowing, the All Aware, it is then appropriate that he takes account of himself, does good deeds and repents to Allāh for his sins and shortcomings.
Shaykh ʿAli ibn Yaḥyá al-Ḥaddādī (حفظه الله).

 

الحمد لله، والصلاة والسلام على رسول الله، وعلى آله وصحبه أجمعين، أما بعد:

Verily, it has been confirmed in the Prophetic Sunnah that the deeds of an individual are raised and presented to the Lord of the Worlds on a daily, weekly and finally, a yearly basis.

The Prophet (ﷺ) explicitly stated that this event occurs twice a day when he (ﷺ) said: "Verily, Allāh does not sleep, and it does not befit Him to sleep. He raises the scale and lowers it. The deeds of the day are presented to Him in the night, and the deeds of the night in the day."1

He (ﷺ) then clarified these times to be at the time of Fajr and ʿAṣr, for he (ﷺ) said: "Angels come to you in succession by night and day, and all of them congregate at the time of the Fajr and ʿAṣr prayers. Those who have passed the night with you [i.e. stayed with you] ascend [to the Heavens] and Allāh asks them, even though He knows everything about you, 'In what state did you leave my slaves?' They reply: 'When we left them, they were praying, and when we reached them, they were praying.'"2

Likewise, it has been well established in the Sunnah that deeds are also presented to Him twice a week. The Prophet (ﷺ) said: "Deeds are presented [to Allāh] every Monday and Thursday."3

Furthermore, it has been stated in a Ḥadīth that this also occurs annually. Usāmah ibn Zayd (رضي الله عنه) said: "I said: 'O Messenger of Allāh, I never saw you fasting any month as much as Shaʿbān.' He (ﷺ) said: 'That is a month which the people have forgotten about. [It is] between Rajab and Ramaḍān, [and] in it the deeds are taken up to the Lord of the worlds; therefore, I like that my deeds be taken up when I am fasting.'"4

Hence, the deeds of the slaves are raised and presented to Allāh on a daily, weekly and yearly basis.

Ibn al-Qayyim (رحمه الله) said: "Indeed, the deeds done annually are raised in Shaʿbān, as the truthful and trusted has informed [i.e. the Prophet (ﷺ)] that: 'It is a month in which deeds are raised, and I like that my deeds be taken up when I am fasting.' The weekly deeds are presented on Mondays and Thursdays, as was established in Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim. [As for] the daily deeds, then they are raised in the latter part of the day, before the night, and the deeds of the night are raised in the latter part of the night, before the day.”5

From the benefits of knowing this is that an individual should hasten, strive and be diligent to do good deeds, especially during the times in which his deeds are being presented. This is why the Prophet (ﷺ) would fast on Mondays and Thursdays, since they are the days in which the weekly accounts are presented. He (ﷺ) said: "Deeds are presented [to Allāh] on Mondays and Thursdays; therefore, I like that my actions be presented while I am fasting."6

He further clarified this when he said about Shaʿbān, the month in which the yearly accounts are presented: "In it the deeds are taken up to the Lord of the Worlds; therefore, I like that my deeds be taken up when I am fasting."7

As a result, we find the Sharʿīah encouraging and motivating us, Muslims, to be diligent in doing good deeds at these times, as we were commanded to be steadfast in our prayers, particularly the Fajr and ʿAṣr prayers. Ibn Ḥajr (رحمه الله) said: "It has been confirmed that sustenance is divided at the time of Fajr, and deeds are raised in the latter part of the day [i.e. ʿAṣr time]. Therefore, whoever was in a state of obedience [i.e. at these times], his sustenance and deeds will be blessed, and Allāh knows best. Hence, this is the wisdom behind the command for the preservation and concern for them [i.e. the Fajr and ʿAṣr prayers].”8

Similarly, the scholars—both past and present—encouraged and still continue to encourage the people to hasten to do good deeds during these times. When commenting on the statement of the Prophet (ﷺ): "It is a month in which deeds are raised," Shaykh Muḥammad ibn ʿAlī ibn Ādam al-Ityūbī (حفظه الله) said: "Therefore, it is necessary that the actions done in it are righteous, especially the most righteous of them all—fasting."9

Shaykh ʿAli ibn Yaḥyá al-Ḥaddādī (حفظه الله) also said: "Therefore, whoever remembers that his deeds are recorded, written and presented to the All Knowing, the All Aware, it is then appropriate that he takes account of himself, does good deeds and repents to Allāh for his sins and shortcomings."10

It is important to know, however, that this presentation of deeds does not imply in any way that Allāh, the All Knowing, is unaware of their deeds; rather, He is fully aware of them, as was mentioned in the Ḥadīth above: "Those who have passed the night with you [i.e. stayed with you] ascend [to the Heavens] and Allāh asks them, even though He knows everything about you, 'In what state did you leave my slaves?' They reply: 'When we left them, they were praying, and when we reached them, they were praying.'"

Thus, the Muslim should always be mindful of the fact that his actions are recorded and presented to the All Knowing, the All Aware; hence, it is necessary that he constantly takes account of his actions, hastens to do good deeds and repents to Allāh for his sins and shortcomings.

والله الموفق، وصلى الله وسلم على نبينا محمد.

Endnotes:

[1] Reported by Muslim.

[2] Reported by al-Bukhārī and Muslim.

[3] Reported by Muslim.

[4] Reported by al-Nasāʾī, and Shaykh al-Albānī deemed it to be authentic.

[5] Ḥāshiyah Ibn al-Qayyim ʿAlá Ṣunan Abī Dawūd, Vol. 12, pg. 313.

[6] Reported by al-Tirmidhī, and Shaykh al-Albānī authenticated it.

[7] Reported by Muslim.

[8] Fat‘ḥ al-Bārī, vol. 2 pg. 237.

[9] Dhakhīrah al-ʿUqbā fī Sharḥ al-Mujtabaʿ, vol. 21, pg. 268.

[10] الحث على الصوم في شعبان

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Tags: Purification, ʿAlī al-Ḥaddādī , Shaʿbān

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