The first deed to be reckoned

Huraith ibn Qabeesah narrates that “I arrived in Al-Madinah and said: ‘O Allah! Facilitate me to be in a righteous gathering.'” He said: “I sat with Abu Hurayrah and said: ‘Indeed I asked Allah to provide me with a righteous gathering. So narrate a hadith to me which you heard from the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) so that perhaps Allah would cause me to benefit from it.’ He said: ‘I heard Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) say:

إِنَّ أَوَّلَ مَا يُحَاسَبُ بِهِ الْعَبْدُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ مِنْ عَمَلِهِ صَلاَتُهُ فَإِنْ صَلُحَتْ فَقَدْ أَفْلَحَ وَأَنْجَحَ وَإِنْ فَسَدَتْ فَقَدْ خَابَ وَخَسِرَ فَإِنِ انْتَقَصَ مِنْ فَرِيضَتِهِ شَيْءٌ قَالَ الرَّبُّ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ انْظُرُوا هَلْ لِعَبْدِي مِنْ تَطَوُّعٍ فَيُكَمَّلَ بِهَا مَا انْتَقَصَ مِنَ الْفَرِيضَةِ ثُمَّ يَكُونُ سَائِرُ عَمَلِهِ عَلَى ذَلِكَ

Indeed the first deed by which a servant will be called to account on the Day of Resurrection is his Salaat. If it is complete, then he is successful and saved, but if it is defective, then he has failed and lost. So if something is deficient in his obligatory prayers then the Lord, Mighty and Sublime says: ‘Look! Are there any voluntary prayers for my worshipper?’ So with them, what was deficient in his obligatory prayers will be completed. Then the rest of his deeds will be treated like that.

[al-Tirmidhi #413, saheeh]

Imam al-Mubarakfoori writes in Tuhfat al-Ahwadhi, his explanation of Jaami’ al-Tirmidhi, about this hadith:

قوله : ” إن أول ما يحاسب به العبد ” بالرفع على نيابة الفاعل ” يوم القيامة من عمله صلاته ” أي المفروضة . قال العراقي في شرح الترمذي : لا تعارض بينه وبين الحديث الصحيح : إن أول ما يقضى بين الناس يوم القيامة في الدماء . فحديث الباب محمول على حق الله تعالى ، وحديث الصحيح محمول على حقوق الآدميين فيما بينهم . فإن قيل : فأيهما يقدم محاسبة العباد على حق الله أو محاسبتهم على حقوقهم ، فالجواب أن هذا أمر توقيفي ، وظواهر الأحاديث دالة على أن الذي يقع أولا المحاسبة على حقوق الله تعالى قبل حقوق العباد ، انتهى . وقيل الأول من ترك العبادات والثاني من فعل السيئات

His statement, “indeed the first deed by which a servant will be called to account on the Day of Resurrection is his Salaat” – meaning the obligatory ones. Al-Iraaqi said in his explanation of al-Tirmidhi, “There is no contradiction between this hadith and the aunthentic hadith “The first matter concerning which scores will be settled among the people on the Day of Resurrection will be bloodshed.” For this hadith is concerning the rights of Allah, and the other authentic hadith is concerning the rights between human beings. And if it is said, “So which of these two comes first, the accounting of the slaves for the rights of Allah, or their accounting for their mutual rights?” Then the answer is that this is a matter of revelation, and the clear hadiths show that that which occurs first is the reckoning for the rights due to Allah, the Exalted. And it is said first comes the abandoning of ‘ibaadaat and second comes the performing of sins.

  ” فإن صلحت ” بضم اللام وفتحها ، قال ابن الملك : صلاحها بأدائها صحيحة ” فقد أفلح وأنجح ” الفلاح الفوز والظفر ، والإنجاح بتقديم الجيم على الحاء يقال أنجح فلان إذا أصاب مطلوبه . قال القاري في المرقاة : فقد أفلح أي فاز بمقصوده ، وأنجح أي ظفر بمطلوبه فيكون فيه تأكيد ، وفاز بمعنى خلص من العقاب ، وأنجح أي حصل له الثواب

If it is complete” – Ibn Maalik said, “complete by its correct performance” – “then he is successful and saved“. ‘Successful’ means victorious and triumphant, and ‘Saved’ – it is said that so-and-so is saved when he gets what he seeks. Al-Qaari said in al-Mirqaah “‘he is successful’ meaning he has achieved his objectives, and ‘saved’ meaning he has won what he sought so in that he is assured. And ‘successful’ has the meaning of safe from punishment, and ‘saved’ means he got his reward.”

” وإن فسدت ” بأن لم تؤد أو أديت غير صحيحة أو غير مقبولة ” فقد خاب ” بحرمان المثوبة ” وخسر ” بوقوع العقوبة ، وقيل معنى خاب ندم وخسر أي صار محروما من الفوز والخلاص قبل العذاب  .

But if it is defective” because he did not perform them or he did not perform them correctly or they are otherwise unacceptable “then he has failed” being deprived of the reward “and lost” by incurring punishment. And it is said that the meaning of ‘failed’ is regret and loss – meaning the he became deprived of success and sincerity before punishment.

” فإن انتقص ” بمعنى نقص المتعدي ” شيئا ” أي من الفرائض ” هل لعبدي من تطوع ” أي في صحيفته سنة أو نافلة من صلاة على ما هو ظاهر من السياق قبل الفرض أو بعده أو مطلقا

“So if there is a deficiency” meaning something is lacking “of something” – meaning from the obligatory salaat. Look! Are there any voluntary prayers for my worshipper?” – meaning in the record of his sunnah or naafilah (optional) prayers according to what is apparent from the context either before the obligatory prayer, or after it, or in general.

” فيكمل ” بالتشديد ويخفف على بناء الفاعل أو المفعول وهو الأظهر وبالنصب ويرفع قاله القاري ” بها ” قال ابن الملك : أي بالتطوع وتأنيث الضمير باعتبار النافلة . وقال الطيبي : الظاهر نصب فيكمل على أنه من كلام الله تعالى جوابا للاستفهام ، ويؤيده رواية أحمد فكملوا بها فريضته ، وإنما أنث ضمير التطوع في بها نظرا إلى الصلاة  .

So it will be completed with them“. Ibn Maalik said, “meaning with the optional prayers.” [Some portions of the text deal with the Arabic grammar and hence will be excluded from this translation]

” ما انتقص من الفريضة ” فهو متعد قال العراقي في شرح الترمذي : يحتمل أن يراد به ما انتقصه من السنن والهيئات المشروعة فيها من الخشوع والأذكار والأدعية ، وأنه يحصل له ثواب ذلك في الفريضة وإن لم يفعله فيها ، وإنما فعله في التطوع ، ويحتمل أن يراد به ما انتقص أيضا من فروضها وشروطها ، ويحتمل أن يراد ما ترك من الفرائض رأسا فلم يصله فيعوض عنه من التطوع . والله سبحانه وتعالى يقبل من التطوعات الصحيحة عوضا عن الصلوات المفروضة ، انتهى

What was deficient in his obligatory [prayers]“. Al-Iraaqi said in his explanation of al-Tirmidhi:

Perhaps what is meant by that is what is deficient in terms of the sunan and legislated matters of it, such as al-khushoo’ and dhikr and supplications, and that he still gets rewarded for the obligatory prayers even if he doesn’t do these things therein, and only does them during the optional prayers. And perhaps what is intended by that is also deficiencies in the core part and pillars of the prayer, and perhaps what it is intended is the abandonment of the principle obligations, so he does not pray them, in which case he would not be compensated for that deficiency by his optional prayers. And Allah, High and Exalted is He, accepts from the correct optional prayers as compensation for the obligatory prayers.

 وقال ابن العربي : يحتمل أن يكون يكمل له ما نقص من فرض الصلاة وأعدادها بفضل التطوع ، ويحتمل ما نقصه من الخشوع والأول عندي أظهر لقوله ، ثم الزكاة كذلك وسائر الأعمال ، وليس في الزكاة إلا فرض أو فضل فكما يكمل فرض الزكاة بفضلها كذلك الصلاة وفضل الله أوسع ووعده أنفذ وعزمه أعم ، انتهى  .

And ibn al-‘Arabi said,

Perhaps what is meant is to complete what is lacking from the obligatory prayers and their numbers by virtue of the optional prayers, and perhaps what is meant is the lack of al-khushoo’ and to me that is what is most clear from his statement [in another narration ] “then the zakaat and so on for the remaining deeds,” for there is nothing of zakaat except for what is obligatory or what is extra, so just as the obligatory zakaat is perfected by giving extra, so it is with the salaah. And Allah gives the most expansive blessing and His promise is the most able to be fulfilled and His decision is the most encompassing.

”  ثم يكون سائر عمله على ذلك ” أي إن انتقص فريضة من سائر الأعمال تكمل من التطوع

Then the rest of his deeds will be treated like that” – meaning if there are deficiencies in the obligations from the remaining deeds, they will be completed by the optional deeds.

[Tuhfat al-Ahwadhi]

For more on the importance and benefits of al-salaah, see also: “Indeed, prayer prohibits immorality and wrongdoing”: Tafsir al-Sa’di

See also: Reserve a part of your prayer for the house

See also: Do not make your houses like graves: Sharh al-Nawawi

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4 thoughts on “The first deed to be reckoned

  1. Pingback: “Indeed, prayer prohibits immorality and wrongdoing”: Tafsir al-Sa’di | Tulayhah

  2. Pingback: Do not make your houses like graves: Sharh al-Nawawi | Tulayhah

  3. Pingback: Reserve a part of your prayer for the house | Tulayhah

  4. Pingback: Qualities of the Successful Believers – Part 1/7: Tafsir al-Shinqitee | Tulayhah

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