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Chapter 2. The Most Beloved Deeds to Allah

The Prophet (saw) indicated the most beloved of deeds to Allah in the hadiths of Aishah and Abu Hurairah quoted at the beginning of this treatise. They are of two types:

1) Those that are done continuously and persistently, even if they be few. This was the description of the deeds of the Prophet (saw), and the deeds of his family and wives after him. He would prohibit the severance of deeds saying to Abdullah ibn Amr ibn al-As, "Do not be like such-and-such a person who used to pray by night and then left it." [Bukhari & Muslim]

He (saw) said, "The supplication of one of you will be answered so long as he is not hasty and impatient, saying, 'I have supplicated and supplicated but have not been answered,' so he despairs and abandons the supplication." [Bukhari & Muslim]

Al-Hasan said, 'When Shaytan looks at you and sees you persistent in your obedience to Allah, Mighty and Magnificent, he will do his utmost to deceive you; if he still sees you persistent, he will give up on you and leave. However, if he sees you alternating between this and that, he will have hope in you.'

2) Those deeds that are done with steadiness, balance, and ease as opposed to those that entail hardship and undue striving. Allah, Exalted is He, says,

Allah desires for you ease; He desires not hard ship for you. [Al-Baqarah:185]

Allah does not wish to place you in a difficulty. [Al-Maidah:6]

He has chosen you and has not laid upon you in religion any hardship. [Al-Hajj:78]

The Prophet (saw) would say, "Make things easy and do not make them difficult." [Bukhari & Muslim]

He (saw) said, "You have been sent to make things easy, you have not been sent to make things difficult." [Bukhari & Abu Dawud]

Ahmad records on the authority of ibn Abbas that it was asked of the Messenger of Allah (saw), 'Which of the religions is most beloved to Allah?' He replied, "The easy and natural religion." [Bukhari & Ahmad]

Ahmad records on the authority of Mihjan ibn al-Adra that the Prophet (saw) entered the Masjid to see a man standing in prayer. He asked, "Do you think him to be truthful?" It was said, 'Prophet of Allah, this is so-and-so, he is the best of the residents of Madinah and the most frequent of them in prayer!' He said, "Do not let him hear you lest you render him to ruin - he said it two or three times - you are a nation from whom ease is desired." [Ahmad]

Another narration has the wording, "The best part of your religion is the easiest of it." [Ahmad] Another narration has the wording, "You will not attain this matter through excess and trying to over come it." [Ahmad]

This Hadith was also recorded by Humayd ibn Zanjaway and his version adds, "...do such actions as you are able to bear, for Allah does not stop (rewarding you) until you grow tired and give up, and upon you is a journey [to Allah] at the beginning of the day, at the end of the day, and a portion of the latter part of the night." [First part also recorded by Bukhari]

Ahmad records on the authority of Buraydah who said, 'I went out only to see the Messenger of Allah (saw), so I joined him. We saw a man in front of us praying many prayers and he (saw) asked, "Do you think he is showing off ?" I said, "Allah and His Messenger know best." He released his hand from mine and joined both his hands together, lowering and raising them saying, "Stick to a middle path for whoever makes this religion difficult will find that it overwhelms him."' [Ahmad]

This Hadith is also recorded as a mursal report and it mentions that the Prophet (saw) said, "This person has taken to the way of difficulty and not to the way of ease." He then pushed the man in his chest and left and that man was not seen in the Masjid again.

The Prophet (saw) objected to those who wished to continuously live a life of a hermit, to be castrated, to pray through the whole night, fast every day, and recite the whole Quran every night such as Abdullah ibn Amr ibn al-As, Uthman ibn Mazun, al-Miqdad, and others. He (saw) said, "...but I fast, and I break my fast; I pray by night and I sleep; and I marry women: whoever turns away from my Sunnah is not of me." [Abu Dawud]

He finally advised Abdullah ibn Amr to recite the Quran completely every seven days, and one narration mentions that he finally advised him to complete it once every three days. He (saw) said, "The one who recites it in less than three days has not understood it." With regards fasting he (saw) finally advised him with the fast of Dawud saying, "There is no fast better than that." With regards praying by night he (saw) advised with the prayer of Dawud. [Bukhari & Muslim]