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Saturday, November 19, 2016

Do not nullify your good actions!

The more I see and experience, from the actions people, the same thing is reaffirmed. The same conclusion is reached, repeatedly. The same pattern is repeated with people after people. What is it? What are you complaining about now? I am talking about people nullifying all their good actions or most of their good actions.

The first part of the action is the intention and that is not just invalid but blameworthy, at times. Please click here for previous discussion about intention. People do things in desire for reward, which is fine to begin with, but later someone should be totally disconnected from their good actions.

Main reasons for nullification of one's works

1. Charity followed by harm

2. Work done for other than Allah or to show off

3. Lack of knowledge

4. Lack of faith

5. Satan lost an eternity of works by refusing to prostrate to Adam (upon him peace).

Charity followed by harm

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تُبْطِلُوا صَدَقَاتِكُم بِالْمَنِّ وَالْأَذَىٰ

Quran: Baqarah 2:264.

"Dear believers, do not nullify ones charity by reminding (people of your favour) and harm."

Ones charity can be nullified by two main things mentioned here. One: By reminding the other of the favour, you did to them. This is a sign that the action was not accepted. You have the reward as long as you do not mention what you did for someone. Two: hurt that is followed on from the reminder. Alternatively, simply harming the other person by something you did to them. Many people have spent money and will never get any reward afterward, because of the harm that followed.

Notice the word batala in the Arabic that means nullified or void. In the fiqh of trade, you have two types of invalid sale: baya batil and baya fasid. The difference being that baya fasid had some part of the trade was valid but afterward the trade was nullified. Like the agreement to sell fruit whose amount was unknown. The offer and acceptance was valid but the amount of stock was unknown, therefore invalid. In a baya batil the trade was not valid in the first place. Like the trade of pork or alcohol in Muslim country. Trade of this type was invalid in the first place. Therefore, the action here was invalidated and it could be argued that it was invalid in the first place because of the state of heart. This was yet to manifest.

Work done for other than Allah or to show off

عَنْ مَحْمُودِ بْنِ لَبِيدٍ أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ قَالَ: "إِنَّ أَخْوَفَ مَا أَخَافُ عَلَيْكُمْ الشِّرْكُ الْأَصْغَرُ" قَالُوا: وَمَا الشِّرْكُ الْأَصْغَرُ يَا رَسُولَ اللهِ؟ قَالَ: "الرِّيَاءُ، أخرجه أحمد

Mahmud ibn Labid reports that the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bestow peace and blessings upon him) said, "I do not fear anything upon you like minor polytheism." They asked, "What is minor polytheism? O Messenger of Allah!" He replied, "Ostentation." (Ahmed)

Ostentation is when one shows off ones action. Making everyone think you are more brilliant than you are. However, this nullifies ones action, so beware of it!

Sidi Wali Raslan Al-Dimishqi said in Risala Al-Tawhid, "As for the common folk, their works are suspect, and as for the elite, their works are good deeds, and as for the elite of the elite, their works are degrees of spiritual progress." (Trans Muhtar Holland).  His whole Risala is about nullifying the self until it obeys Allah purely. In addition, until one does this have they truly reached obedience in their actions. This is minor polytheism because they have something other than Allah in their works. Important note, minor polytheism does not cause disbelief. Only actual polytheism causes disbelief, which associating other partners with Allah. 

Lack of knowledge

﴿ إِنَّ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا وَصَدُّوا عَنْ سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ وَشَاقُّوا الرَّسُولَ مِنْ بَعْدِ مَا تَبَيَّنَ لَهُمُ الْهُدَى لَنْ يَضُرُّوا اللَّهَ شَيْئًا وَسَيُحْبِطُ أَعْمَالَهُمْ ﴾

(سورة محمد

"Those who disbelieve, block the path of Allah and renounce the Messenger, after guidance has been made clear to them, will not harm Allah the slightest and their actions will be invalidated."

The lack of knowledge of one's action can mean that no reward is attained from it. If someone does not know how to make wudu, ghusul, all the parts of the prayer then they risk its invalidity.

My favourite target, the masjid committees, almost certainly have no good actions. Why, because they block the path of Allah (the Exalted) by being inactive. They are inactive and block knowledge being taught in their masjids or what I call them old boys club. They are masjids only in name and old boys clubs who even stop women from entering them! 

It is incumbent for every Muslim to know the basics of their religion. Which is my favourite gripe but I wonder how many have you learnt this? 

Imam Abu Hassan Al-Shadhali (may Allah show him mercy) said, "He who dies without studying this knowledge deeply, dies persisting on major sins." 

How many people are persistent on major sins without realising it. One must know their beliefs correctly. This is very important because people have misunderstandings about Allah and His Messenger (may Allah bestow peace and blessings upon him). Learn ones theological beliefs until there are no doubts. At least go to a scholar of theology (of Islam) and ask questions. 
As well as studying matters of the heart which have little importance attached to them.

In the Taj Al-Aroos/The Crown of the bride by Ibn Ata'llah As-Sakandari (may Allah show him mercy) he states about the presence of heart in the prayer; "The likeness of one who prays, without presence of heart, is like someone sending a King, a gift of one hundred empty boxes; thus deserving his punishment. Whoever prays with presence of heart is like someone giving the king a precious sapphire; worth a thousand gold coins. The king will always remember him because of it."

Learning about the presence of heart in the prayer is lost in this time because it was the first pillar to be lost and the last pillar is the prayer itself. The pillars of Islam were destroyed one by one until nothing is left. It started internally and then returned nullifying the outward.

Please click here for importance of knowledge post.

Lack of faith

﴿ وَمَنْ يَرْتَدِدْ مِنْكُمْ عَنْ دِينِهِ فَيَمُتْ وَهُوَ كَافِرٌ فَأُولَئِكَ حَبِطَتْ أَعْمَالُهُمْ فِي الدُّنْيَا وَالْآَخِرَةِ ﴾

(سورة البقرة)

"Whoever of you leaves his religion and dies a disbeliever, is from those who have nullified all their works in the world and afterlife." (Baqarah 2:217)

The cause of receiving reward in the afterlife is faith. If there is no faith, there is no reward.

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا أَطِيعُوا اللَّهَ وَأَطِيعُوا الرَّسُولَ وَلَا تُبْطِلُوا أَعْمَالَكُمْ

’Muhammad 47:33

"O believers, obey Allah, obey the Messenger and do not nullify your works."

Again, here nullification of one's action comes when one does not obey Allah and His Messenger (may Allah bestow peace and blessings upon him). Because he chooses another path and not the path that was shown to him.

﴿ ذَلِكَ بِأَنَّهُمْ اتَّبَعُوا مَا أَسْخَطَ اللَّهَ وَكَرِهُوا رِضْوَانَهُ فَأَحْبَطَ أَعْمَالَهُمْ﴾

(سورة محمد

"This is because they followed what Allah detested and dislikes, therefore nullifying their works."

Choosing another method other than what was shown to them.This could also be true to those sects who have mislead people into obeying their group ethos and ignore religious matters! This is more common than you think and it effects most groups.


It was said that he prostrated on every piece of the earth and attained a high rank that he spoke to angels. Yet, this was all for naught when he refused to obey Allah (the Exalted). Allah commanded satan to prostrate to Adam (upon him peace) but satan refused. Claiming to be better and thus he was cast out of heaven. For this act of disobedience was all of satans works nullified. 

The exceptions

وروي البيهقي عن عبد الرحمن بن خباب رضي الله تعالي عنه قال : خطب رسول الله صلي الله عليه وآله وسلم  فحث الناس علي جيش العسرة فقال عثمان على مائة بعير بأحلاسها وأقتابها ، ثم نزل مرقاة أخري من المنبر , فحث الناس فقال عثمان على مائة بعير أخري  بأحلاسها وأقتابها ، ثم نزل مرقاة أخري , فحث الناس فقال عثمان على مائة بعير أخري  بأحلاسها وأقتابها ، قال فرأيت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم يقول بيده هكذا , يحركها كالمتعجب وقال :

ما على عثمان ما عمل بعد هذا اليوم

Al-Bayhaqi narrates that Abdurrahman Ibn Khubab (may Allah be pleased with him) said, “The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bestow peace and blessings upon him) delivered a sermon exhorting people to prepare the army of Al-Usarah. Uthman said, ‘I shall give one hundred mules with their saddles and stirrups.’ Then he came down from the pulpit a step and exhorted the people and Uthman said, ‘I shall give one hundred other mules with their saddles and stirrups.’ The he came down the pulpit a step and exhorted the people and Uthman said, ‘I shall give one hundred other mules with their saddles and stirrups.’ The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bestow peace and blessings upon him) indicated astonishment with his hand and said, ‘There is no action (that will harm) Uthman after today.’” (At-Tirmidhi 5/625. There is another hadith which uses the word Daar which means harm, so the hadith means no harm shall come to Uthman after today.)

Of course, there are other companions who were seen in paradise, as well as the ten promised paradise. Yet, this promise did not make them stop their good actions, they continued until they passed. So how should we be without such promise? We should try harder and strive to do as much good actions as possible.

They do not belong to you

Our actions are created by Allah (the Exalted) when we determine to do them but the responsibility is ours, based on our choices. Ponder the Quran passage, "Allah created you and what you do." (37:96) So the connection to your good work is your intention. When you intend in a determined fashion and go ahead, does Allah create the action. So why are your proud about good works that do not belong to you? All you did is decide, Allah created them! So why are you proud of actions that you did not create? Nor can you attribute them to yourself! Yet, Allah gives us recompense for actions that we did not create. The best things for anyone to do are maintain and build good actions to weight down the scales in his favour, on the day of judgement.

Know, that the only thing that remains with you in the grave is your good actions. After your family have buried you and they have all gone. Only your good actions remain with you to face the two angels of the grave.

Denying divine Decree

Sheikh Abu Hassan Al-Shadhali (may his secret be sanctified) said, “One attribute nullifies actions and most of the people are unaware of it: the anger of the servant about the decree of Allah (the Exalted). The Exalted has said, ‘That is because they disliked what Allah descended so their actions were nullified.’” (Quran: Muhammad 9 and Hikam Al-Shadhali 58).

Decree is part of belief and its important to give Allah (the Exalted) the benefit of the doubt. We should know that things always work out for the best. We should not allow ourselves to get to caught up in the moments of emotion, even though its very easy. 

Please see previous post on divine decree click here.



Give charity and do as many good works as possible then forget about them. Have the intention that it is just for Allah (the Exalted). 

Do not harm people or remind them of your favour. One Wali gave some money to another Wali and said this is not from but from Allah. The recipient said this belongs to Allah not you.

Most of all do not be attached to ones actions. 

Protection from polytheism is by saying the following the supplication, especially if one thinks that they are brilliant!

اللهم إنا نعوذ بك من أن نشرك شيئاً نعلمه، ونستغفرك لما لا نعلمه

أخرجه الطبراني والإمام أحمد عن أبي علي رجل من بني كاهل

"O Allah, I seek refuge with you, from associating anything to you and I know. I seek Your forgiveness in what I do not know."

Ponder this, a true seeker does not look for reward in action, he seeks Allah (the Exalted). Make a good intention and set off on your good action but then forget about it once its done. Do not remind anyone or harm them afterwards. 

Please see previous post of importance of action click here