There are various deeds mentioned as the best deed and the best people in hadiths; how should we understand them?

The Details of the Question

The Prophet (pbuh) mentions the best believer in many hadiths. For instance, the best of you is the one who performs prayers properly or the best of you is the one who learns the Quran and teaches it. There are several other hadiths like that. My question is this: Why does he mention different things? He says your best one is the one who does this or that, who treats his parents well, etc. Are they expressed based on topics?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

The occasions when hadiths were uttered are important. Everybody has different tests. Some people are weak for money; they do not take care of the poor. Some people are weak for ranks and positions, they despise people. Some people are weak for obeying their parents; they do not obey their parents very much. When the best deed is mentioned related to various issues, the deeds are based on the test a person undergoes.   

The Prophet (pbuh) says, "Deeds are based on intentions." The intention and sincerity of a person is important related to a deed. A deed that we sometimes regard to be small might be in accordance with Allah’s consent while a deed that we regard to be great might not gain man any rewards. What matters in deeds the most is to aim Allah’s consent instead of thawabs.  

The deeds that gain man the most thawabs are fard ones, followed by wajib and nafilah ones. The thawabs of the deeds done by forcing the soul and especially the ones done in youth are more than others.   

The Prophet (pbuh) had a mat; he used it as a separator at night and performed prayers behind it; he sat on it during the day. The people visited and saw the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) and started to perform prayers like him. Their number increased day by day. Thereupon, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) addressed them as follows: 

"O people! Do what you have strength to do. For, Allah will not get tired of recording thawabs for you unless you get tired of praying. The best deed in the eye of Allah is the one that is done regularly though it is little."

The narrator states the following: When Hz. Muhammad’s (pbuh) family did something, they would continue it. The following is stated in a narration from Abu Hurayra included in Bukhari:

"Follow the moderate way; try to be near to perfection; walk (worship) in the morning, evening and during the last hours of the night so that you can reach your target slowly. Do not forget that the deed of none of you will gain you Paradise." They said,

"O Messenger of Allah! Will you not be able to enter Paradise with your deeds?"

"I will be able to enter Paradise with my deeds if Allah does not treat me with His forgiveness and mercy."

The following is stated in another narration in Bukhari and Nasai: "This religion is very easy. None of you should try to compete with the religion; he will not be able to overcome it; he will be defeated by the religion."

[Bukhari, Iman 16-29, Adhan 81, Riqaq 18; Muslim, Salat 283, (782); Muwatta, Salatul-Layl 4, (1, 118); Nasai, Qiyamul-Layl 1, (3, 218); Abu Dawud, Salat 317, (1368)]

Questions on Islam

Was this answer helpful?
In order to make a comment, please login or register