Source: alkhawf wa rrajaa – fear and hope (of Allaah) – tape no. 1, asaheeha translations
shaykh al-albaani (rahimahullaah) begins with the khutbat ul-haajah maa shaa Allaah, and the first part of his talk revolves around the meaning of the hadeeth below:
Allaah’s Messenger sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said:
“Allaah says [to the angels], ‘If My slave intends to do a bad deed then do not write it against him until he does it; if he does it, then write it as it is, but if he leaves it for My sake, then write it as a good deed for him. And if he intends to go a good deed, but does not do it, then write it as a good deed for him; and if he does it, then write it for him as ten good deeds up to seven-hundred times as much up to many more times” – [Saheeh al-Bukhaari]
The shaykh comments and speaks on the many favors of Allaah upon His believing slave:
“…First, if he does a good deed it [the count of the deeds] is multiplied – as for a bad deed, then it [the count of the deeds] is not multiplied.
Second, if he did not do a bad deed, and had intended to do it, nothing is written against him, as opposed to [gaining a] good deed:
if he intended to do (a bad deed), then did not do it, a good deed is written for him. Why? – because he left it fearing Allaah ‘azza wa jal. And the [understanding of] this is that if he intends to do a bad deed, then leaves it and does not act upon it for some reason, and it is not (because of) his fear of Allaah, the Blessed and Most High, then nothing is written upon him, neither a bad deed nor a good deed.
As for if his motive for leaving this bad deed was his fear of Allaah ‘azza wa jal, then this bad deed, because of his leaving it, turns into a good deed. Hence, fearing Allaah ‘azza wa jal pushes its possessor (the possessor of the quality of fearing Allaah) to have many good deeds. Every time he intends to do a bad deed and he leaves it fearing Allaah, the bad intention turns into a good deed.”