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Chapter 1.5. Allah's Blessings can Never be Truly Repaid

This is further clarified by His saying,

Then you will be asked that Day about the pleasures you enjoyed.

[Quran, 102:8]

This verse shows that the servants will be asked about the pleasures they enjoyed in this world: did they show gratitude for them or not? Anyone who is required to display gratitude for every favour such as good health, sound senses, good livelihood, and, moreover, will be thoroughly examined, should know that all of his deeds taken together cannot repay even some of these favours. Hence that person would be deserving of punishment.

Kharaiti, Kitab al-Shukr, records on the authority of Abdullah ibn Amr that the Prophet said, ''The servant will be summoned on the Day of Judgment and he will stand before Allah, Mighty and Magnificent. He will say to His Angels, 'Look at the deeds of My servant and the favours I bestowed upon him.' They will look and say, 'They do not even amount to one of Your favours granted him.' Then He will say, 'Look to his evil deeds and good deeds.' They will look and find them the same whereupon He will say, 'Servant of Mine, I have accepted your good deeds and forgiven you your evil. My favours, I have gifted you."'

Tabarani records on the authority of ibn Umar that the Prophet said, "A person will be brought on the Day of Judgment with such deeds that would burden a mountain were they to be placed on it! Then just one favour from amongst the favours of Allah would be displayed and would almost extinguish all those deeds were Allah not to distend them through His mercy." [Tabarani, al-Awsat on the authority of Ibn Umar]

Ibn Abi al-Dunya records on the authority of Anas that the Prophet (pbuh) said, "On the Day of Judgment, blessings will be brought forward as well as good deeds and bad deeds. Allah will say to just one of His blessings, 'Take your due from his good deeds,' and it will take all his good deeds."

He also records that Wahb ibn Munabbih said, 'A servant worshipped Allah for fifty years. Allah inspired him with the words, "I have forgiven you." The servant asked, "Lord, what have you to forgive I have committed no sin!" Thereupon Allah ordered a vein in his neck to throb painfully such that he could not pray or sleep. After a while it was cured and an angel came to him, and to him he complained about the vein. The angel said to him, "Your Lord, Mighty and Magnificent says: your worship for the last fifty years equates to the soothing of that vein.'" [Abu Nuaym]

Hakim records on the authority of Jabir that the Prophet said that Jibril said, "A servant worshipped Allah on the top of a mountain, in the middle of an ocean, for five hundred years. Then he asked his Lord to let him die in the state of prostration. We used to pass by him each time we would descend and ascend and we would find written in the (pre-eternal knowledge) that he would be resurrected on the Day of Judgment and would stand before Allah, Mighty and Magnificent. The Lord would say, 'Enter My servant into Paradise by virtue of My mercy.' The servant will say, 'My Lord, rather by virtue of my deeds!' This will happen three times, then Allah will say to His angels, 'Weigh my favours against his deeds,' and they will find that the blessing of sight alone takes up all the deeds he did during his five hundred years of worship, with the other bodily blessings still remaining. He will say, 'Enter My servant into the Fire!' He will be dragged towards the Fire and will cry out, 'Enter me into Paradise by virtue of Your mercy! Enter me into Paradise by virtue of Your mercy!' Thereupon he shall enter Paradise." Jibril went on to say, "Muhammad, things only happen by the mercy of Allah." [Hakim]

Whoever understands all of what has preceded will realise that his deeds, even if they are great, are not sufficient to merit his success and entry into Paradise or salvation from the Fire in and of themselves.

Ahmad records on the authority of Mulhammad ibn Abi Amirah that the Messenger of Allah said, "Were a servant to remain in the state of prostration from the day he was born to the day he dies an old man, in devout obedience to Allah, Mighty and Magnificent, he would consider that insignifi cant on the Day of Judgment and would wish to return to this world so that he may increase in reward."

As such, he will no longer overly rely on his deeds or be impressed by them, even if they be great and wonderful. If this is the case of great and many deeds, what then would one think of the paltry deeds of the many? Such a person should ponder his deficiency in worship and devote himself to penitence and repentance!