Our good deeds are worthless
Al-Bukhaari (520) narrated that Buraydah said:
The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever does not pray ‘Asr, his good deeds will be annulled“
When it comes to Ramadan, so many of us pray and fast. We know it is required of us. We are conscious of Allah, of His SWT wrath, and His SWT mercy, we love Him and fear Him.
Even those who do not pray at all the rest of the year will pray in Ramadan. Part of the reasoning of this is as we want our efforts in fasting to be rewarded. We Don’t want to go the whole day without food and drink. We struggle and strive in order to receive a reward from Allah, we want His SWT mercy and blessings. We want our duas to be answered, and in this holy month, we understand that prayer is required in order for our desires to please Allah and benefit from ibadah to be a reality.
Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen was asked in Fataawa al-Siyaam (p. 87) about the ruling on the fasting of one who does not pray.
The fast of one who does not pray is not valid and is not accepted, because the one who does not pray is a kaafir and an apostate, because Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“But if they repent [by rejecting Shirk (polytheism) and accept Islamic Monotheism], perform As-Salaah (Iqaamat-as-Salaah) and give Zakaah, then they are your brethren in religion”
And the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:
“Between a man and shirk and kufr stands his giving up prayer.” Narrated by Muslim, 82. And he (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The covenant that separates us from them is prayer; whoever gives up prayer is a kaafir.”
Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 2621; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani inSaheeh al-Tirmidhi.
However what we seem to be failing to truly understand and internalise is that this ruling is not just for Ramadan. The one who does not pray, all his good deeds will be invalid.
“Whoever abandons the ‘Asr prayer, his deeds of worship become void.”
This means that our striving, our dawah, our smiling as it is a sunnah, saying salaam, looking after our children, being good to our husbands, EVERYTHING that we do, is of no use to us in akhirah if we do not pray.
It is pointless being seen as a person who inspires and does good, it is pointless giving sadaqah, fasting, hajj EVERYTHING is pointless if we do not pray.
It is pointless as it will not benefit us in the akhirah.
Everything we do should be first with the intention to please Allah. But if we don’t pray, we don’t please Him SWT.
Think about this, take a moment to digest.
All the good deeds you do in a day. From making your husband a cup of tea, to feeding your kids, to smiling at your neighbour, to sharing beneficial knowledge. Think about all the things you do in a day.
What potential for reward is there?
What are you missing out on?
In Ramadan we understand that this is the month of mercy and blessings and we are afraid of missing out on the rewards.
However Allah SWT in His mercy, has given us so many opportunities out of Ramadan to gain his pleasure. In every action we do, every moment of the day there is an opportunity to gain his pleasure.
Giving £1 on layalatul Qadr may be like giving £1 every day for 83 years, but every moment of every day not in Ramadan we still have opportunities that are just as important to our scales of deeds. For every intention to do good there is a chance we will be rewarded.
By not praying we are throwing this down the pan.
We are no different in the merit of our deeds then those who do not believe in Allah.
This hadith is seen by the scholars as a severe deterrent. SO let us heed it. Let it deter us.
Let us be just as worried about the struggles and deeds we do daily being accepted, as our efforts in fasting being accepted.
It makes no sense not to be.
This is a reminder to myself first.
May Allah guide us and strengthen us, May He SWT allow us to continue the good habits we have upheld during Ramadan during the rest of the year. May He increase our iman, and accept our ibadah in all that we do. May He SWT guide us and keep us on the straight path and grant us jannah.