Transcribed from: The Journey to Allah | Ibn Rajab Al-Hanbali
As regards one whose deeds are great and many, he must busy himself with showing gratitude for them, for the accord to show gratitude is one of the greatest blessings Allah bestows upon His servant. It is obligatory upon him to meet these deeds with gratitude and realize his deficiency in displaying due gratitude.
Wahd ibn al-Ward, when asked about the reward of a particular deed said, “Ask not about its reward, but ask about the gratitude due upon one who was guided to it.”1
Abu Sulayman would say, “How can an intelligent person be amazed with his deeds? Deeds are one of Allah’s blessings, as such it is upon him to show gratitude and to show humility. It is only the Qadariyyah who are amazed at their deeds!”2 ie. those who do not believe that the actions of the servant are created by Allah, Mighty and Magnificent.
How excellent is the saying of Abu Bakr al-Nahshali on the day that Dawud al-Ta’I died. After his burial, ibn al-Sammak3 stood and praised him for his good deeds and wept causing all present to weep as well and testify to the truth of what he said … Abu Bakr al-Nahshali stood and said, “O Allah, forgive him and show mercy to him and leave him not to his deeds!”4
Abu Dawud records on the authority of Zayd ibn Thabit (radiAllaahu ‘anhu) that the Messenger of Allah (salAllaahu alayhi wa sallam) said, “Were Allah to punish the inhabitants of the heavens and the inhabitants of the earth, He could do so without having oppressed them in any way. Were He to show them mercy, His mercy would be better for them than their deeds.” 5
1 – Abu Nu’aym, vol. 8, p. 155
2 – Ibid, vol. 9, p. 276 #13896
3 – Ibid, vol. 8, p. 223 #11949, records that he used to say, “Astounding it is that the eye can take delight in sleep when the Angel of Death is standing by one’s pillow!”
4 – Ibid, vol. 7, p. 396 #10977
5 – Abu Dawud #4699 and ibn Majah #77. It was declared sahih by ibn Hibban [#727] and Albani, Sahih al-Jami’ #5244
Allah, Exalted is He, says: “If Allah took mankind to task by that which they deserve, He would not leave a living creature on the surface of the earth; but He grants them reprieve unto an appointed term, and when their term comes – then verily Allah is Ever All-Seer of His slaves.” [Fatir (35):45]
Ibn Hibban #659 records on the authority of Abu Hurayrah that the Messenger of Allah (salAllaahu alayhi wa sallam) said, “Were Allah to take me and Isa to account for our sins, he could punish us without wronging us in the least!”
It was declared sahih by ibn Hibban and Albani, Sahih al-Taghrib #2475