Hastening to perform good actions, and on encouraging the one who intends to do something to go ahead and do it with diligence and not to hesitate

Riyad as-Salihin (The Meadows of the Righteous)

by Imam Nawawi

10. Chapter: On hastening to perform good actions, and on encouraging the one who intends to do something to go ahead and do it with diligence and not to hesitate

Allah Almighty says, "So race each other to the good," (W2:147; H2:148)

and the Almighty says, "Race each other to forgiveness from your Lord and for a Garden as wide as the heavens and the earth, prepared for the godfearing." (3:133)

87. Abu Hurayra reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Hasten to actions during the times of sedition which will be like patches of black night. A man will be a believer in the morning and an unbeliever in the evening, or a believer in the evening and an unbeliever in the morning. He will sell his deen for the goods of this world." [Muslim]

88. Abu Sirwa'a 'Uqba ibn al-Harith said, "I prayed the 'Asr prayer behind the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, in Madina. He said the salam and then got up hurriedly and stepped over people's shoulders making for the room of one of his wives. The people were alarmed at his speed. He came out to them and saw that they were surprised at his speed and said, 'I remembered a piece of gold that we had and I did not want it to distract me so I ordered that it be distributed.'" [al-Bukhari]

In one variant, "I had left a piece of gold from the sadaqa in the house and I did not want it to remain with me overnight."

89. Jabir said, "A man said to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, on the day of Uhud, 'Where do you think that I will be if I am killed?' He said, 'In the Garden.' So he threw away some dates that were in his hand and then fought until he was killed.'" [Agreed upon]

90. Abu Hurayra said, "A man came to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and said, 'O Messenger of Allah, which sadaqa has the greatest reward?' He said, 'The sadaqa that you give when you are healthy but tight-fisted, in fear of poverty and desiring wealth. Do not put it off until death is near and you say, "So-and-so should have this much and so-and-so this much,"' when it already belongs to someone else." [Agreed upon]

91. Anas reported that the Messenger of Allah took a sword on the day of Uhud and said, "Who will take this from me?" They stretched out their hands, every man of them, saying, "Me! Me!" He said, "Who will take it with its right?" The people held back. Abu Dujana said, "I will take it with its right." He took it and split open the heads of the idolaters with it. [Muslim]

92. Az-Zubayr ibn 'Adi said, "We went to Anas ibn Malik and complained to him about what we had met with on the part of al-Hajjaj. He said, 'Be patient. There is no time without the one following it being worse than it until you meet your Lord.' I heard that from your Prophet.'" [al-Bukhari]

93. Abu Hurayra reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Race to good actions as fast as you can. What are you waiting for except delayed poverty, oppressive wealth, debilitating illness, dottering senility, a swift death or the Dajjal? Or are you waiting for an unseen evil, or the Last Hour? The Last Hour will be most bitter and terrible." [at-Tirmidhi]

94. Abu Hurayra reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said on the Day of Khaybar, "I will give this banner to a man who loves Allah and His Messenger and Allah will bring about victory at his hands." 'Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, said, "That is the only day I ever wanted the command (amirate) and I leapt forward for it, hoping that I could claim it. The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, summoned 'Ali ibn Abi Talib and gave it to him, saying, 'Go and do not turn aside until Allah gives you victory.' 'Ali went away and then stopped without turning round and shouted, 'O Messenger of Allah! On what basis should I fight the people?' He said, 'Fight them until they bear witness that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah. When they do that, their blood and their property are protected from you except when a right is involved, and their reckoning is up to Allah.'" [Muslim]