Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Humbleness in our good deeds


16th day or Ramadhan

How often do we get proud after doing a good deed? For me, the answer is probably almost always. With pride, there may be a possibility that one becomes self righteous from their good deeds. And while it may be OK at first, self righteousness can turn into arrogance and lead one to the path of wretchedness.

In the Islamic tradition, whether a good deed is successful or not is seen by whether or not God accepts it. And there are several criteria that one must observe.

The first one is the intention of the good deed, whether it was done for the sake of God, or for other things. For example: whether it was done for money, for other people’s praise, etc. The second criterion is that no injustice was committed in the course of the good deed. And the third one is to have both, hope and fear of the acceptance of God, as this will increase ones effort in the quality of their good deeds. There may be other criteria, but let’s just simplify it up to here.

One noble example is given in the Qur'an when our father Abraham built the Ka’ba with his son Ismail (peace be upon them). After conducting such an amazing service for God, they were not proud and still made sincere effort to pray to God to accept their services.

Thus, after conducting a good deed, we shouldn’t be overly confident and proud with it. On the other hand, we should keep ourselves humble and have balance between hope and fear of God’s acceptance of it. That way, we will be able to avoid self righteousness and in turn improve the quality of our good deeds.

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