We should stress that those whom Allah has favored to do good deeds and stay away from bad deeds should be thankful to Allah (glorified and exalted be He), Who has chosen them from among His servants to be on the right track. They should implore Almighty Allah to accept their good deeds.
Islam considers the whole earth a field for religious practice or the very business of religion. Islam also considers all one’s acts a form of worship if one’s intention is genuinely committed to the service of Allah (exalted be He) and such an act is not impermissible in the Islamic Shari`ah.
Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, states: The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “The wisest person is he or she who has mastered his own self and works for the life beyond death; the foolish one is he or she who follows his or her carnal pleasures, and yet vainly hopes for Allah’s mercy!”
In Islam, the first and foremost requirement, above everything else, is to acquire sound knowledge. The foundation of all knowledge is to know Allah. Allah says in the Qur’an, (So know that there is no god but Allah, and ask forgiveness for your sin, and for the believing men and women, Allah knows your movements and your resting-place) (Muhammad 47:19).
as Imam Al-Bukhari says in his authentic hadith, “Knowledge precedes both speech and action.” In other words, for our actions to be valid, we must first ascertain that it is acceptable to Allah. Imam Fudayl ibn `Iyad said, “In order for an act to be valid, it must fulfill two conditions: First, it must be in sound agreement with the laws of Allah; second, it must be done with pure intention of serving Allah.”
actions that are not based on sound knowledge are neither beneficial nor productive. The perfect example are the fanatical sectarians in Islamic history known as Khawarij or Kharijites; although they had been extremely pious and had done lot of good works, because they were lacking sound knowledge, their actions were more destructive than beneficial. It was in reference to such people that the pious caliph `Umar ibn `Abdul-`Aziz said, “Those working without sound knowledge will do more harm than benefit.”
Once we have attained sound knowledge, and discovered that the act is good and approved by Allah, then we must also make sure that it is done with the purest of intentions. The Prophet said, “Actions are reckoned by their intentions; everyone will be judged according to his intention; thus, if anyone emigrates for the sake of Allah and His Messenger, his emigration will be reckoned accordingly; if, on the other hand, anyone emigrated for some worldly gain or for marrying a woman, that is his portion of the hijrah.”
now let us come more precisely to describing good deeds:
1. It should be common knowledge for everyone that our first duty is to Allah, our Creator, Sustainer and Cherisher. We will not be rendering our duties towards Him in full measure unless we carry out His orders. Thus, it should be a top priority for us to do what Allah has clearly instituted for us as pillars and mandatory duties in our religion, such as Prayer, zakah, fasting, Hajj, and so on.
2. While doing the bidding of Allah, it is equally important for us to stay away from all the things that He has clearly forbidden for us. This includes all the major sins and prohibitions such as shirk, displeasing our parents, murder, adultery, giving or consuming usury, and unlawful business practices.
3. Next comes doing as much good as possible. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Humans need to do acts of charity or compassion every day that the sun comes up in the sky.” He then added, “It is charity to guide someone who is lost, to give a ride to someone who is stranded; to build something beneficial or help someone who is building.” He also said, “A good word is also an act of charity.” When someone asked, what if a person cannot do any of the good things, he replied, “Then at least he should refrain from harming others; that is a charity he would be rendering towards himself.”
So let us look out for opportunities for good works; there is no shortage of them if we look around. By doing so, we can rest assured that we will have a good time in our graves as well as in life beyond.