If one’s sins blocked him from having hope in God’s mercy, and if one’s good deeds relaxed him from seeking God’s forgiveness, then both are only focusing on themselves and their deeds, not on God’s attributes.

Allah (SW) created us, and He knows we are sinful, weak, and vulnerable by nature, and in no time or place can one attain purity in its complete form to claim that he is ready to present himself to God.

Sinful people should understand the reality that their cries to Allah for repentance can be heard by God even during their darkest moments, and that His Doors for acceptance are always open, and that His Mercy is infinite, to encompass the sins of all humanity.

Allah (SW) tasked us with (Tawbah) – repentance {And repent to your Lord, all of you O believers.} 24:31; (Mujahada) – striving in his path {Those who strive in Us, We shall guide them to Our path.} 29:69; and (Tazkiyah) – self-purification {triumph one who purifies it.} 91:9. He (SW) never stated that a person can ever reach a moment when he can stop putting effort towards the pleasure of his Lord. Allah (SW) told His beloved prophet Mohammad (SAAW) to keep worshiping Him until death. {And worship your Lord until you reach certainty.} 15:99.

Grateful people should continuously be seeking God’s Mercy because they know that their deeds will never meet the Might of Allah in gratefulness. The best human ever to worship God (SW), our prophet (SAAW) said: “Deeds will never bring one into Heaven!” The companions said: “Even you O messenger of Allah?” He said: “Even me, only if Allah bestows mercy on me.”

Deeds alone were never the price to reach Paradise. No deeds could ever be equivalent to Paradise, described as something “no eye has witnessed, ear has heard of, or even ever been imagined by a human being.” Practicing the pillars of Salah, Zakah, and Hajj, etc., are only reasons for God’s Mercy to be bestowed on us so He (SW) can gift us, out of His Mercy, the entrance into Heaven.

For example, if you buy a watch from a store, you are paying the full equivalent price of this item’s worth or value. Once it’s been purchased, the seller has nothing to do with this watch anymore. This is the normal act of trade in this world between people. But trade with Allah is different. If we say, we deserve paradise because we have offered the price, a question arises: Who gave you the ability to pray? Who made it feasible for you to perform Hajj? Who made you able to donate money? Who made your heart a place for faith rather than a place for Kufr? Isn’t it Allah? Allah (SW) said: {They regard as favor to you that they have embraced Islam. Say: “Count not your Islam as a favor upon me. Nay, but Allah has conferred a favor upon you that He has guided you to the Faith if you indeed are true.}

We should never imagine for a second that we deserve Heaven because we have done our homework. This would mean that all our deeds are based on self-sufficient acts with help from no one. As if we alone did all these deeds by ourselves and we have the full price equivalent to paradise, so give it to us God! And indeed, that is not the case.

Where is لا حول ولا قوة الا بالله that: “There is no power or ability but by Allah.” I need Allah to move my tongue to remember him in Zikr. I need Allah to move my feet to walk to Salat. I need Allah to put faith in my heart.

A person might argue that Allah said: {Enter you Paradise, because of (the good) which you used to do.} However, this statement is a decision from one side only, and that is Allah (SW). It is not between two partners who are under a contract. It is more similar to the example of a parent giving the child money and telling him, if you donate this money I gave you to that poor person, I will give you a gift.

A maid was praying in the night making this Dua: O Allah, I ask You by Your love to me to make me happy. I ask You by Your love to me to help me. Her master was angry and said: How dare you say such things to Allah. You should say: O Allah, I ask You by my love to You to give me, not the other way around! She said: My master, if He did not love me, He would not have made me wake up for Him this hour…

One of the greatest statements of wisdom came from the great Ibn A’ta Al-Sakandari when he said: “One of the signs of relying on one’s own deeds is the loss of hope when downfall occurs.” It means, do not let your sins block you from having hope in God, for at that time you are looking at how bad your sins are, but forgetting how great the Mercy of Allah is.

May Allah always bring us back to His infinite Mercy.

By Sh Kifah Mustapha