Ever had that situation in which you've filled up your water bottle, only to find that it was leaking later on? It happened to me once when I was a child. I had forgotten to ensure that the cap of the bottle was properly screwed on tight...so by the time I got to school that very fine day, my notebooks were swimming in water and the level of water in my bottle had decreased...I was shocked. I didn't expect that to happen. Funny? Yes.
But we don't want that to happen to us in terms of Akhira, now, do we?
In the race of accumulating good deeds this Ramadan, how do we ensure that our good deeds are REALLY accepted?~
What do I mean by 'accepted'? Afterall, doing a good deed is enough, one may think.
Umm...No, not really.
After finishing off Fard salah, we are supposed to say 'Astaghfirullah' three times...even though we've done the greatest act of worship, i.e. offering Salah!
Thawban reported: When the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) finished his prayer, he begged forgiveness three times and said: Thou art Peace, and peace comes from Thee; Blessed art Thou, O Possessor of Glory and Honour. Walid reported: I said to Auza'i: How Is the seeking of forgiveness? He replied: You should say:"I beg forgiveness from Allah, 1 beg forgiveness from Allah." [Sahih Muslim, Book 4, Hadith no. 1226]
Scholars say that this is precisely why we should seek Allah's forgiveness even after doing any good deed. It is very possible that our good deed is not accepted or we may not have performed it in the manner/time that was pleasing to Allah SWT. Or we may have had made our intentions impure in the process of performance of good deeds.
Amazing Duaa of Prophet Ibrahim AS
When building the foundations of the House of Allah SWT with his son Ismaeel AS, Prophet Ibrahim AS said a duaa of which part of it, is:
رَبَّنَا تَقَبَّلْ مِنَّآ إِنَّكَ أَنتَ السَّمِيعُ الْعَلِيمُ
وَتُبْ عَلَيْنَآ إِنَّكَ أَنتَ التَّوَّابُ الرَّحِيمُ
"Our Lord, accept [this] from us. Indeed You are the Hearing, the Knowing.And accept our repentance. Indeed, You are the Accepting of repentance, the Merciful. [Suratul Baqarah, 2:127-128]
Ibn Abi Hatim narrated that Wuhayb bin Al-Ward recited, (And (remember) when Ibrahim and (his son) Isma`il were raising the foundations of the House (the Ka`bah at Makkah), (saying), "Our Lord! Accept (this service) from us'') and cried and said, "O Khalil of Ar-Rahman! You raise the foundations of the House of Ar-Rahman (Allah), yet you are afraid that He will not accept it from you!'' This is the behavior of the sincere believers, whom Allah described in His statement,
وَالَّذِينَ يُؤْتُونَ مَآ ءاتَواْ
(And those who give that which they give) (23:60) meaning, they give away voluntary charity, and perform the acts of worship yet,
(with their hearts full of fear) (23: 60) afraid that these good deeds might not be accepted of them.[Taken from: Tafsir ibn Kathir]
So next time you feel that you've done the biggest act of 'Ibadah (like we usually do when we're done Tarawih/reading the specific portion of Qur'aan, or being nice to someone ...we usually tend to think we're a gift to this Dunia but that's a diff. topic altogether), please don't forget to conclude/finish off that good deed with some Istighfaar. Inshaa'Allah that'll not only increase your sincerity but also protect your good deed.
And Allah SWT knows best.
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