“Be more concerned about the acceptance of deeds than the deeds themselves”

Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali writes in his discussion of saying farewell to Ramadan:

ومَن نقص من العمل الذي عليه نُقِّصَ من الأجر بحسب نقصه ، فلا يلم إلا نفسه . قال سلمان : الصلاة مكيال ، فمن وَفَّى وُفِّي له ، ومن طَفَّفَ فقد علمتم ما قيل في المطففين . فالصيام وسائر الاعمال على هذا منوال ؛ من وَفَّاها فهو من خيار عباد الله الموفّين ، ومن طَفَّفَ فيها فويل للمطففين . أما يستحيي من يستوفي مكيال شهواته ، ويطفف في مكيال صيامه وصلاته ، ألا بعدا للمذنبين . في الحديث < أسوأ الناس سرقة الذي يسرق صلاته > . إذا كان ويل لمن طفف مكيال الدنيا ، فكيف حال من طفف مكيال الدين ! <فَوَيْلٌ لِّلْمُصَلِّينَ * الَّذِينَ هُمْ عَن صَلَاتِهِمْ سَاهُونَ >.ـ

Whoever is deficient in actions which then results in a reduction in reward according to his shortcomings, then he has no one to blame except himself. Salman said, “The ṣalaat is a measurement, so whoever fulfills their due then he will be repaid in full for it, and whoever is deficient in fulfilling their due, then you already know what is said concerning the muṭaffifeen [see 83:1-6].” So fasting and the rest of the actions follow this same pattern: whoever fulfills their due then he is from the best of the slaves of Allah who fulfill their due, and whoever is deficient in fulfilling their due then woe to the muṭaffifeen

Isn’t he ashamed, the one who fulfills the full measure of his desires and falls short of fulfilling the full measure of his fasting and prayer? Rather, the sinful one is on the brink of destruction! And the hadeeth mentions, “The worst of people in thievery is the one who steals from his prayer”. Then if there is woe for the one who falls short of fulfilling the due measure in this dunya, then what about the one who falls short of fulfilling the full measure of the deen!?So woe to those who pray but they are heedless of their prayers” [107:4-5]

غدا توفي النفوس ما كسب ***** ويحصد الزارعون ما زرعوا
إن أحسنوا أحسنوا لأنفسهم ***** وإن أساؤوا فبئس ما صنعوا

Tomorrow the souls will be repaid what they earned
And the sowers will harvest what they sowed

If they did well, they did well for their own selves
And if they did poorly, then how wretched is what they did!

كان السلف الصالح يجتهدون في إتمام العمل وإكماله  وإتقانه ، ثم يهتمون بعد ذلك بقبول ، ويخافون من رده ، وهؤلاء الذين < يُؤْتُونَ مَا آتَوا وَّقُلُوبُهُمْ وَجِلَةٌ [ أَنَّهُمْ إِلَىٰ رَ‌بِّهِمْ رَ‌اجِعُونَ ] > . روي عن على رضي الله عنه ، قال : كونوا لقبول العمل أشد اهتماما منكم بالعمل ، ألم تسمعوا الله عز وجل يقول : < إِنَّمَا يَتَقَبَّلُ اللَّـهُ مِنَ الْمُتَّقِينَ > . وعن فضالة بن عبيد ، قال : لأنْ أكون أعلم أن الله قد تقبل مني مثقال حبة من خردل أحب إلي من الدنيا وما فيها ؛ لأنّ الله يقول :  < إِنَّمَا يَتَقَبَّلُ اللَّـهُ مِنَ الْمُتَّقِينَ > .ـ

The pious predecessors used to exert themselves in completing an action, and perfecting it, and excelling in it, and then they would be concerned about its acceptance after that, and fear that it might be rejected. And these are those who “give what they give while their hearts are fearful [because they will be returning to their Lord]” [23:60]. It is narrated from ‘Ali (raadiAllaahu ‘anhu) that he said, “Be more concerned about the acceptance of deeds than about the deeds themselves. Haven’t you heard Allah say, “Indeed, Allah only accepts from the muttaqoon” [5:27]? And Faḍaalah ibn ‘Ubayd said, “That I would know that Allah has accepted so much as a mustard seed’s weight from me is more beloved to me than the dunya and everything in it, for Allah says, “Indeed, Allah only accepts from the muttaqoon” [5:27].

وقال ابن دينار : الخوف على العمل أن لا يتقبل أشد من العمل . وقال عطاء السليمي : الحذر : الاتقاء على العمل أن لا يكون لله . وقال عبد العزيز بن أبي رواد : أدركتهم يجتهدون في العمل الصالح ، فإذا فعلوه وقع عليهم الهمّ ، أيقبل منهم أم لا ؟

And ibn Deenaar said, “Fear that the deeds would not be accepted is more intense than the deeds themselves.” And ‘Aṭaa’ al-Saleemi said, “Vigilance is being wary that an action is not being done for the sake of Allah.” And ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Abi Rawwaad said, “I know that they have striven in righteous good deeds. So when they do that, then they have another concern – is it accepted from them or not?”

قال بعض السلف : كانوا يدعون الله ستة أشهر أن يبلّغهم شهر رمضان ، ويدعون الله ستة أشهر أن يتقبّله منهم . ـ

One of the salaf said: They used to supplicate to Allah for six months that He would enable them to reach the month of Ramadan, and they would supplicate to Allah for six months that He would accept it from them.

خرج عمر بن عبد العزيز رحمه الله في يوم عيد الفطر ، فقال في خطبته : أيها الناس ! إنكم صمتم لله ثلاثين يوما ، وقمتم ثلاثين ليلة ، وخرجتم اليوم تطلبون من الله أن يتقبّل منكم . كان بعض السلف يظهر عليه الحزن يوم عيد الفطر ، فيقول له : إنه يوم فرح وسرور ، فيقول : صدقتم ، ولكني عبد أمرني مولاي أن أعمل له عملا ، فلا أدري أيقبله مني أم لا ؟

‘Umar ibn ‘Abd al-‘Azeez (rahimahullaah) went out of the day of ‘Eid al-Fitr and said during his khutbah: O people! Verily you have fasted thirty days for the sake of Allah, and you have stood (in prayer) 30 nights for the sake of Allah. And you have come out on the day on which you seek for Allah to accept (your deeds) from you. Grief was apparent on one of the salaf on the day of ‘Eid al-Fitr, so it was said to him, “Verily this is a day of happiness and glee.” So he replied, “You have spoke the truth, however, I am a slave who have been commanded by my master to perform a deed for him, but I do not know whether it has been accepted or not!”

رأى وهيب بن الورد قوما يضحكون في يوم عيد ، فقال : إن كان هؤلاء تُقُبِّلَ منهم صيامهم فما هذا فعل الشاكرين ، وإن كانوا لم يُتَقَبَّل منهم صيامهم فما هذا فعل الخائفين . وعن الحسن ، قال : إنّ الله جعل شهر رمضان مضماراً لخلقه يستبقون فيه بطاعته إلى مرضاته , فسبق قومٌ ففازوا ، وتخلّف آخرون فخابوا . فالعجب من اللاعب الضاحك في يوم الذي يفوز فيه المحسنون ويخسر فيه المبطلون .ـ

Wuhayb ibn al-Ward narrated that some people were laughing on the day of ‘Eid, so he said, “If these are those whose fasting was accepted from them, then this is not the action of al-shaakireen (the grateful ones). And if these are those whose fasting is not accepted from them, then this is not the action of those who are afraid.” And al-Hassan said, “Verily Allah has made the month of Ramadan as an arena for His creation to race therein in the obedience to Him towards His pleasure. So the people who are the forerunners, then they have succeeded; and the others who lag behind, then they regret. So it is astounding that one would be a joker and constantly laughing on the day wherein the muḥsinoon succeed and the false ones lose out.

[Lataa’if al-Ma’aarif pg. 375-376]

See also: “The entire dunya is a month of fasting for the muttaqoon”

See also: Three Conditions for the Acceptance of Deeds: Imam al-Shinqitee

See also: Notes on Perfecting One’s Deeds and their Acceptance: ibn Rajab

See also: Be More Concerned about the Actions of the Heart than the Actions of the Limbs: ibn ‘Uthaymeen

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7 thoughts on ““Be more concerned about the acceptance of deeds than the deeds themselves”

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  6. Pingback: Notes on Perfecting One’s Deeds and their Acceptance: ibn Rajab | Tulayhah

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