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Central Sermon: “Truly Knowing Allah Motivates One to Do Good Deeds”

The three objectives that every believer aspires to each day are contained in the supplication that the Prophet of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) recited every morning after the dawn prayer (sabah):
‎(اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْأَلُكَ عِلْمًا نَافِعًا، وَرِزْقًا طَيِّبًا، وَعَمَلًا مُتَقَبَّلًا)

“O Allah, I ask You for:

  • Beneficial knowledge,
  • Good (halal) sustenance,
  • And accepted deeds.”

Every Muslim, every repentant person, wishes to know if Allah, Glorified be He, has accepted their repentance (tawba) and their good deeds. In this regard, Islamic scholars have mentioned certain signs indicating that acts of worship and good deeds are accepted by Allah.

  1. First Sign: Not returning to sin after repentance and obedience to Allah, as returning to sin is a sign of perdition.
  • Yahya ibn Mu’adh said: “Whoever seeks forgiveness with his tongue while his heart is attached to sin and has the intention to return to it, and then indeed returns to sin, his deed is rejected and the doors of acceptance of his acts of worship and good deeds are closed before him.”
  1. Second Sign: Worry and fear that Allah might not accept one’s good deeds, as Allah is independent of our worship and obedience, as the Exalted has said: “Whoever is grateful, it is for his own benefit, and whoever is ungrateful, then surely Allah is Self-Sufficient, Praiseworthy.” (Luqman, 12.)
  2. Third Sign: Being guided to a new good deed after performing a good deed, i.e., continuing to do good deeds.
  3. Fourth Sign: Seeing one’s good deeds as insignificant and not being filled with vanity due to them, because no matter the quantity and greatness of one’s good deeds, the believer knows that his good deeds mean nothing compared to the countless blessings Allah has granted him.
  4. Fifth Sign: Hoping that Allah accepts one’s acts of worship and good deeds, and persisting in supplication. The fear of Allah’s punishment alone, without hope in His mercy and forgiveness, is not sufficient. Fear without hope leads to despair, while hope without fear leads to a sense of security from Allah’s punishment, and both are blameworthy. The life of the believer is balanced between the fear of Allah’s punishment and the hope in His mercy and forgiveness.
  5. Sixth Sign: Loving worship and good deeds, and hating sin and disobedience to Allah, as stated in the verse: “Those who believe and whose hearts find tranquility in the remembrance of Allah. Indeed, in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find tranquility.” (Ar-Ra’d, 28.)
  6. Seventh Sign: Loving sincere believers and good people. When Allah, Glorified be He, accepts someone’s good deeds, He fills their heart with love for the believers.
  7. Eighth Sign: Perseverance in obedience to Allah and in doing good deeds. The Prophet of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “The most beloved deeds to Allah are those that are done consistently, even if they are small.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

We implore Allah to accept our repentance, our seeking of forgiveness, our prayers, fasting, zakat al-fitr, zakat, reading of the Quran, and all our good deeds, to make worship and obedience to Him, the Exalted, beloved to us, and to make sin and disobedience hateful to us, and to make us steadfast in doing good deeds until our death. Ameen!

(Central khutbah by the religious leader Hafiz Hilmija Redžić on June 21, 2024, at the “Centre Islamique et Culturel Berat” in Esch-sur-Alzette)

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