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Chapter 15. What Are "good Works"?

In the final analysis, enjoining right and forbidding wrong is one of the most obligatory of actions and one of the best and most praiseworthy acts. Allah said:


[And He will test you, which of you are best in actions.] Quran 67/2.


Al-Fadheel ibn Ayaadh (A great Makkan scholar of the second century) said about the "good actions" mentioned in this ayah:


"(i.e.) The most sincere, and the most correct. Verily any action if it is done in complete sincerity, but is not correct, it is rejected, and if it is completely correct, but is not done with total sincerity, it is rejected. Only that which is done with complete sincerity to Allah and correctness according to Allah's law is acceptable. The sincere action is that which is purely for the sake of Allah, and the correct action that which is in the tradition (Sunnah).


It is a requirement of righteous deeds that they be done solely for the Face of Allah ta'ala, for Allah does not accept any actions except for those with which His Face alone was sought. This is as in the sahih hadith narrated by Abu Huraira that the Prophet said:


"Allah ta'ala says: I am the partner least in need of any partner. Whenever someone does an act, partly for me and partly for an imagined partner, I am completely free of that action, and it is wholly for the partner which was associated with me."


This is the essence of Tauhid which is the basis of Islam. It is the deen of Allah with which He sent all of the Prophets. For its sake, He created the creation, and it is His right over all of His slaves: that they worship Him alone, and not associate with Him anything.


The righteous deeds which Allah and His Prophet have enjoined are simply obedience. Every act of obedience is a righteous deed, and it is the work dictated by the shari'a and the Sunnah. They are everything which has been enjoined upon us either as obligations or as commendable acts. This then is righteous deeds (Al-'amal As-saalih), and it is what is good (hassan), and it is righteousness (Al-Birr), and it is all that is good (Al-khair). Its opposite is disobedience (Ma'siya), and corrupt action (Al-'amal Al-faasid), bad deeds (As- Sayyi'aat), rebellion (Al-fujuur), oppression (Adh-dhulm), and transgression (Al-baghyu).


Every action must contain two thing: intention, and movement (action). Thus, the Prophet said:


"The most truthful names are Harith (i.e. he who tills the earth) and Hammaam (one who ever sets objectives and seeks their fulfillment)."


Everyone is a tiller and a seeker of objectives he has actions, and he has intentions. However, the only praiseworthy intention which Allah accepts and rewards, is the intentions of doing an action solely for the sake of Allah.


The praiseworthy deed is the righteous deed, and it is the the deed with which we have been ordered. For this reason, Umar ibn Al-Khattab used to say in his dua:


"O, Allah make all of my deeds righteous, and make all of them purely for your Face, and do not make therein any share at all for anyone else."


This being the case for all righteous deeds, it is also the case for enjoining right and forbidding wrong, and it is necessary for it to be so (i.e. the act of ordering or forbidding must be good and praiseworthy which as we have seen means that it is correct and solely for the sake of Allah, is obedience to Allah, and is done for no ulterior motive.) This is in reference to the one who enjoins and forbids others.


Chapter 1

Enjoining Right: Our Prophet And Those Before Him

Chapter 2

This Nation Is The Best Nation For The People

Chapter 3

What Is Maruf (right) And Munkar (wrong)?

Chapter 3

Let Your Enjoining Of Good Be Itself Good

Chapter 4

Benefits Must Outweigh Negative Consequences

Chapter 5

Methodology Of Enjoining Right And Forbidding Wrong

Chapter 6

Pitfalls Of Enjoining Right And Forbidding Wrong

Chapter 7

Rebellion Against The Imam Of The Muslims

Chapter 8

The General Principle Of Enjoining And Forbidding

Chapter 9

It Is Obligatory To Measure All Things By The Criterion Of The Shariah

Chapter 10

The Love Of Good Should Be In Harmony With What Allah Loves

Chapter 11

The Love And Hate Of The Heart

Chapter 12

What Exactly Is Hawaa

Chapter 13

The Following Of Hawaa In The Previous Religions

Chapter 14

What A Person Loves And Hates Must Be In Accordance With The Order Of Allah And His Prophet

Chapter 15

What Are "good Works"?

Chapter 16

Action Is Not Possible Except With Knowledge And Understanding

Chapter 17

Compassion, Patience & Forbearance Are Required In Enjoining Right

Chapter 18

The Difficulty Of These Requirements

Chapter 19

Disobedience To Allah Causes Difficulty, Obedience Causes Ease

Chapter 20

Allah's Punishment Of The Previous Nations For Their Disobedience

Chapter 21

Punishment Of The Evil-doers In This World And The Next

Chapter 22

Promises And Threats Of Punishment Were The First Part Of Revelation

Chapter 23

Differences About Enjoining & Forbidding Are The Cause Of Division

Chapter 24

Sins Are Desired By Human Nature

Chapter 25

Greed Is The Cause Of Slipping Into Deviation

Chapter 26

Types Of Sins

Chapter 27

Success In Worldly Affairs Is By Justice

Chapter 28

Human Nature: Tyranny, Envy & Oppression

Chapter 29

Good Must Support Good As Bad Supports Bad

Chapter 30

The Severity Of The Test Causes Elevation Of Rank

Chapter 31

The Need For Certainty Of Belief

Chapter 32

Human Affairs Will Not Go Straight Except With Courage And Generosity

Chapter 33

A Return To Patience And Its Types

Chapter 34

The Forbiddance Of Transgressing The Bounds

Chapter 35

Fervour And Courage Which Is Praiseworthy

Chapter 36

Fear Of Falling Into Temptation As An Excuse For Neglecting Enjoining Right

Chapter 37

The Sons Of Adam Do Not Live Except In Societies

Chapter 38

Pure Intention To Please Allah Is Required In All Righteous Deeds

Chapter 39

The Meanings Of Islam

Chapter 40

The Meaning Of Submitting One's Face To Allah

Chapter 41

Definition Of Righteous Action

Chapter 42

The Meaning Of The "sunnah" In The Discourses Of The Salaf