All praise is due to Allāh, the Lord of the Earth and the Heavens. He urged us to perform plenty of righteous deeds. I bear witness that there is no deity save Allāh, having no associates. I also bear witness that our Master and Prophet Muḥammad is the Servant of Allāh and His Messenger. He was the best of those who mentioned their Lord, the Most Exalted, and drew nearer to Him by observing acts of obedience. May the peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him, his family and all of his companions, and those who follow them in righteousness till the Day of Judgment.
Dear brothers and sisters in Islām, our today’s sermon is centered on lasting righteous deeds which every Muslim is expected to ensure. Please know that all righteous good deeds are enduring for their doers in the hereafter and all righteous good deeds result in rewards for them. To this, Allāh the Exalted is He says:
ٱلمَالُ وَٱلبَنُونَ زِينَةُ ٱلحَيَوٰةِ ٱلدُّنيَا وَٱلبَٰقِيَٰتُ ٱلصَّٰلِحَٰتُ خَيرٌ عِندَ رَبِّكَ ثَوَابا وَخَيرٌ أَمَلا
Wealth and children are [but] adornment of the worldly life. But the enduring good deeds are better to your Lord for reward and better for [one’s] hope. (Q. 18: 46)
The enduring good deeds include all acts of obedience and all forms of acts of kindness that are conducive to draw the believer to their Lord. The ever-abiding good deeds are those whose virtues are permanent and their doers will be rewarded in return in the Hereafter.
Ibn ‘Abbās, may Allāh be pleased with him, has interpreted Allāh’s saying “Al Bāqiyātu’ṣ-Ṣāliḥāt (the enduring good deeds)” as: “Dhikr (remembrance of Allāh the Almighty), prayer, fasting, Hajj, giving in charity, keeping good ties of kinship, and all forms of righteous acts. They are everlasting for their doers in Paradise.”
In fact, Allāh the Most Exalted has described these deeds as enduring because their rewards are enduring, and as good deeds because their rewards are abundant. The Almighty says:
وَٱلۡبَٰقِيَٰتُ ٱلصَّٰلِحَٰتُ خَيۡرٌ عِندَ رَبِّكَ ثَوَابٗا وَخَيۡرٞ مَّرَدًّا
And the enduring good deeds are better to your Lord for reward and better for recourse. (Q.19: 76)
That is to say: the best of deeds that bring to their doers great rewards and the best of those whose rewards are well-preserved till the Day of Judgment. Dhikr is amongst the enduring good deeds. Its rewards are gracious in the sight of Allāh the Most Generous. Defining the enduring good deeds, the Messenger of Allāh pbuh said: “The enduring good deeds are: (the saying of) Takbīr (Allāh is the greatest), Tahlīl (there is no deity save Allāh), Tasbīḥ (Exalted is Allāh), Taḥmīd (All praise is due to Allāh), and ‘there no might nor power except with Allāh’.” He (SAW) further explained that Allāh, the Exalted and Sublime, has selected these words for His servants and multiplied the rewards for those who are regular on reciting them. The Prophet (SAW) said:
Indeed, Allāh has selected from the speech four (statements): Exalted is Allāh, All praise is due to Allāh, there is no deity save Allāh, and Allāh is the Greatest. Whoever says, ‘Exalted is Allāh’, twenty good deeds will be written in his record and twenty sins will be removed from it. And whoever says ‘Allāh is the Greatest’ or ‘there is no deity save Allāh’, he will attain the same (rewards). And whoever says, ‘all praise is due to Allāh, the Lord of the Worlds’ sincerely (from the bottom of his heart), then thirty good deeds will be written in his record or thirty misdeeds will be forgiven for him.
Thus, with such great words, Allāh the All-Merciful will remove the believer’s sins. The Messenger of Allāh (SAW) said in this regard:
There is not anyone upon the earth who says: ‘There is no deity save Allāh, and Allāh is the Greatest, and Exalted is Allāh, and All praise is due to Allāh, and there is no might nor power except by Allāh,’ except that his sins shall be pardoned, even if they were more than the foam of the sea.
Moreover, whoever recites these statements frequently will be protected from the Hellfire and, by Allāh’s grace, will be admitted to Paradise as a perpetual abode. In this context, it was narrated that Abū Hurairah, may Allāh be pleased with him, said:
The Messenger of Allāh (SAW) came out to us (once) and said, ‘Seek protection from the Hellfire; say: Exalted is Allāh, and Allāh praise is due to Allāh, and There is no deity save Allāh, and Allāh is the Greatest, and there is no might nor power except with Allāh, for these come on the Day of Resurrection (surrounding the believer from every side); the front, from behind, right and left. And, indeed, these are the enduring good deeds.
This means, take protection from the torment of the Hellfire by reciting these statements of remembrance of Allāh, for they are the ever-abiding righteous deeds that come on the Day of Judgment to testify for their doers from in front of them, behind them, on their right side, and on their lift side in order to shield them from the Fire.
Amongst the other virtues of the enduring good deeds is that Allāh, the Almighty, will plant for the believer in virtue of each of them an ever-lasting tree in Paradise. This was accentuated by the Messenger of Allāh (SAW) as he said: “Say: Exalted is Allāh, All praise is due to Allāh, there is no deity save Allāh, and Allāh is the Greatest. For each one a tree will be planted for you in Paradise.” Such good trees will be ever-green and ever-blossoming; waiting from their owners in Paradise to come and pick their fruits and cherish their shade and blessings.
It is also good to know that the Messenger of Allāh (SAW) has urged Muslims to celebrate the remembrance of Allāh frequently and at many occasions. For instance, when the Muslim completes their prayer, they should mention Allāh by reciting these great words. Our Master Muḥammad (SAW) said:
Whoever says, ‘Exalted is Allāh’ thirty three times, ‘Allāh is the Greatest’ thirty three times, ‘All praise is due to Allāh’ thirty three times and then says, ‘there is no deity save Allāh alone, having no associate. To Him belong all the Dominion and all the praise is due to Him. He is over all things competent’ after every prayer, will have all his sins pardoned even if they may be as large as the foam (on the surface) of the sea.
For another, when one goes to sleep, they should also recite these glorious words of Dhikr. The Prophet (SAW) has once said to Sayyidah Fāṭimah, may Allāh be pleased with her, “Shall I not tell you of a thing which is better for you than a servant? When you go to your bed, say ‘Subḥān Allāh’ thirty-three times, ‘Al ḥamdu Lillāh’ thirty-three times, and ‘Allāhu Akbar’ thirty-four times.” That is to say: the benefits of Dhikr and Tasbīḥ are greater than the benefits of the servant. This is because their rewards are enduring and will be preserved till the Day of Judgment, while the benefits of the servant are limited to the worldly life.
Therefore, you are urged, O Servants of Allāh, to celebrate the mention of Allāh the All-High much and at all times, for His mention is light for the tongue, yet heavy in the balance of good deeds. It is most loved by Allāh the Most Merciful and is our path to attaining Paradise.
Bearing this in mind, let us seek Allāh’s favour to make the balance of our good deeds heavy and raise our status in Paradise in degrees.
May Allāh guide us all to obey Him and obey His Messenger Muḥammad (SAW) and obey those He has commanded us to obey in line with His orders:
ياأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ أَطِيعُواْ ٱللَّهَ وَأَطِيعُواْ ٱلرَّسُولَ وَأُوْلِي ٱلأَمرِ مِنكُم
O you who have believed, obey Allah and obey the Messenger and those in authority amongst you. (Q. 4: 59)
May Allāh direct us all to the blessings of the Glorious Qur’ān and the Sunnah of His Messenger (SAW).
أَقُولُ قَوْلِي هَذَا وَأَسْتَغْفِرُ اللَّهَ لِي وَلَكُمْ وَلِسَائِرِ المُسْلِمينَ وَالمُسْلِمَاتْ فَاسْتَغْفِرُوهْ إِنَّهُ هُوَ الْغَفُورُ الرَّحِيمُ
I say this and ask Allāh for forgiveness for me and you, so invoke Him for forgiveness, for He is the Most Forgiving, the Most Merciful.
الحمد لله رب العالمين والصلاة والسلام على سيد المرسلين وعلى آله وأصحابه أجمعين.
All praise is due to Allāh, the Lord of the Worlds. Exalted is He, He says the truth, and He guides to the [right] way. I bear witness that there is no deity save Allāh, having no associates. I also bear witness that our Master Muḥammad is the servant of Allāh and His Messenger. May the peace and blessings of Allāh be upon our Master Muḥammad, his pure family, companions, and all those who follow them in righteousness till the Day of Judgment.
O Worshipers of Allāh! Allāh the Almighty has bestowed upon mankind numerous favours. Amongst such favours is that He made for us seasons for performing acts of kindness. So, let us show diligence during these days in performing acts of worship and draw closer to our Lord, the Most Exalted, by celebrating His remembrance and doing the enduring good deeds. During these days, one should perform every act of goodness that one can do, be it little or much, for indeed they are the greatest days in the sight of Allāh the Almighty and the dearest to Him.
Truly, these words are the best of speech and the dearest to Allāh. To this, the Prophet (SAW) said: “The dearest phrases to Allāh are four: Exalted is Allāh, All praise is due to Allāh, There is no deity save Allāh and Allāh is the Greatest.” So, let us pray to Allāh the Almighty to guide us all to the best of deeds and the finest of manners. O Allāh, we seek Your favour and generosity to make us amongst the winners of Your satisfaction.
O Allāh, please confer Your blessings and grant peace upon our Prophet Muḥammad (SAW), his family and all of the companions.
May Allāh be pleased with the Rightly Guided Caliphs: Abū Bakr, ‘Umar, ‘Uthmān and ‘Alī, and all of the noble Companions.
O Allāh, we seek Your grace to make us amongst those who remember you much and are steadfast on performing acts of worship. O Allāh, please forgive us all.
O Allāh, we seek refuge in Your perfect words from the evil of that which descend from the sky and from the evil of that which ascends in it, and from the evil of what is created in the earth and the evil of that which comes out of it. O Allāh we seek refuge in You from the trials of the night and the day, and from the visitations of the night and day, except for one that knocks with good. Indeed, You are the Most Merciful.
By Dr. Mubin Olatoye Raji