Clarification of the many paths of good

Riyad as-Salihin (The Meadows of the Righteous)

by Imam Nawawi

13. Chapter: On the clarification of the many paths of good

Allah Almighty says, "Whatever good you do, Allah knows it," (W2:213; H2:215)

and the Almighty says, "Whatever good you do, Allah knows it." (W2:196; H2:197)

The Almighty says, "Whoever does an atom's weight of good will see it" (W99:8; H99:7)

The Almighty says, "Whoever acts rightly, it is to his own good." (W45:14; H45:15)

117. Abu Dharr Jundub ibn Junada said, "I asked, 'Messenger of Allah, which action is the best?' He replied, 'Belief in Allah and jihad in His way.' I said, 'What is the best kind of setting free?' He replied, 'That of the person most valued in the eyes of his people and the one with the highest price.' I asked, 'What if I cannot do that?' He replied, 'Help the poor or those who cannot do anything for themselves.' I said, 'Messenger of Allah, what about someone who is too weak to do anything?' He said, 'Withhold your evil from other people. That is sadaqa from you to yourself.'" [Agreed upon]

118. Abu Dharr also reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Sadaqa is owed by every joint you have. Every glorification is sadaqa. Every praise is sadaqa. Every 'la ilaha illa'llah' is sadaqa. Commanding the right is sadaqa. Forbidding the wrong is sadaqa. Praying the two rak'ats of Duha (the forenoon) takes care of all that." [Muslim]

119. Abu Dharr also reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "The actions of my community, both good and bad, were displayed before me and I found among their good actions removing obstacles from the road and I found among their bad actions spittle in the mosque which is not buried." [Muslin]

120. Abu Dharr also reported that some people said, "Messenger of Allah, the rich people have gone off with all the reward. They pray as we pray, fast as we fast, and then give sadaqa from their excess wealth." He said, "Has Allah not given you something that you can give away as sadaqa? Every glorification is sadaqa. Every 'Allahu akbar' is sadaqa. Every praise is sadaqa and every 'la ilaha illa'llah' is sadaqa. Commanding the right is sadaqa and forbidding the wrong is sadaqa. There is even sadaqa in your sexual intercourse." They said, "Messenger of Allah, can one of us indulge his appetite and then get a reward for it?" He said, "Do you not think that if you did it unlawfully, you would incur a wrong action for it? In the same way if you do it lawfully, you will receive a reward." [Muslim]

121. Abu Dharr said, "The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, told me, 'Do not consider anything correct insignificant, even meeting your brother with a happy face." [Muslim]

122. Abu Hurayra said, "The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, 'Sadaqa is owed by every limb people have. Every day on which the sun rises in which someone establishes justice between two people is sadaqa. To help a man with his animal and help him onto it is sadaqa. Or to lift his goods onto it is sadaqa. A good word is sadaqa. Every step you take to the prayer is sadaqa. Removing an obstacle from the road is sadaqa." [Agreed upon]

Muslim also related it with the variant of 'A'isha: "The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, 'Allah created three hundred and sixty joints in every one of the children of Adam. Whoever says "Allahu akbar", praises Allah, says "There is no god but Allah", glorifies Allah, asks Allah's forgiveness, removes a stone or a thorn or a bone from people's path, or commands something right or forbids something wrong, has accounted for the whole three hundred and sixty. In the evening of that day, he has moved himself away from the Fire.'"

123. Abu Hurayra reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Allah will prepare hospitality in the Garden for anyone who goes to the mosque morning and evening for each morning and evening that they go." [Agreed upon]

124. Abu Hurayra also reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "O Muslim women! No one should look down on a gift from her neighbour, even if it is only a sheep's trotter." [Agreed upon]

125. Abu Hurayra reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Belief has over sixty branches. The best of them is the words, 'There is no god but Allah' and the least of them is to remove an obstacle from the road." [Agreed upon]

126. Abu Hurayra reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Once a man was walking along a road and became very thirsty. He found a well, climbed down into it and drank. When he came out, he saw a dog driven by thirst to eat mud. He said, 'This dog has reached the same extreme of thirst that I had reached.' So he climbed back down the well, filled his leather sock with water and, holding it between his teeth, climbed back up and let the dog drink Allah thanked him for that and forgave him." They said, "Messenger of Allah, do we then receive a reward on account of animals?'" He said, "There is a reward for every live animal [lit. everything with a moist liver]." [Agreed upon]

In a variant in al-Bukhari, "Allah thanked him for that and forgave him and admitted him into the Garden."

127. Abu Hurayra reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "I saw a man going about in the Garden who was there on account of cutting down a tree in the middle of the road which had been a nuisance to the Muslims." [Muslim]

One variant has, "A man passed by a fallen branch in the middle of the road and said, 'By Allah, I will remove this from the path of the Muslims so that it does not inconvenience them' and he was admitted into the Garden."

In a variant of the two, "If a man who is walking along on a road finds a thorny branch in the road and removes it, Allah thanks him for doing it and forgives him."

128. Abu Hurayra reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Anyone who does wudu' thoroughly, then goes to Jumu'a, listens and is silent, will be forgiven until the next Jumu'a and three days more. Whoever plays with pebbles has wasted it." [Muslim]

129. Abu Hurayra reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "When a Muslim or believer does wudu' and washes his face, he removes from his face with the water, or with the last drop of water, every wrong action which he looked at with his eye. When he washes his hands, he removes from his hands with the water, or with the last drop of water, every wrong action which he did with his hands. When he washes his feet, he removes from his feet with the water, or with the last drop of water, every wrong action which he walked to with his feet, until he emerges free of wrong actions." [Muslim]

130. Abu Hurayra reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Five prayers, and Jumu'a to Jumu'a, and Ramadan to Ramadan are expiation for everything between them if major wrong actions are avoided." [Muslim]

131. Abu Hurayra reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Shall I tell you something by which Allah will wipe out wrong actions and raise up degrees?" They said, "Yes indeed, Messenger of Allah." He said, "Doing wudu' thoroughly, even in times of difficulty, taking many steps to the mosque and waiting for the prayer after praying the previous one. That is what you should hold to."[Muslim]

132. Abu Musa al-Ash'ari reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Whoever prays the two cool ones (i.e. the Subh and 'Asr prayers) will enter the Garden." [Agreed upon]

133. Abu Musa reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "When a slave of Allah is ill or travelling, the same is written for him as what he would normally do if he were healthy and at home." [al-Bukhari]

134. Jabir reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Every right thing is sadaqa." [Al-Bukhari. Muslim related it from Hudhayfa]

135. Jabir also reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "No Muslim plants something without what is eaten from it being sadaqa for him. Even what is stolen from it is sadaqa for him. And no one visits it without that being sadaqa for him." [Muslim]

In one variant of it, "No Muslim plants something from which man, animals or birds eat without it being sadaqa for him until the Day of Rising."

In another variant of it, "No Muslim plants a tree or sows a crop from which birds, man or beasts eat without it being sadaqa for him."

136. Jabir said, "The Banu Salama wanted to move near to the mosque and the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, heard about it. He said to them, 'It has reached me that you want to move near to the mosque?' They said, 'Yes, Messenger of Allah, we do want that.' He said, 'Banu Salama, keep the houses you have. Your footprints are written down. Keep the houses you have! Your footprints are written down.'" [Muslim]

In one variant, "There is a degree for each footstep."

137. Abu'l-Mundhir Ubayy ibn Ka'b said, "There was a man and I do not know of any man who lived further from the mosque than him. He never missed a prayer. It was said to him ­ or I said to him ­ 'You should buy a donkey which you could ride in the dark and when it is very hot.' He said, 'It would not make me happier if my house were right next to the mosque. I want my steps to the mosque to be written down for me and also my return when I return to my family. The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Allah will combine all that for you."'" [Muslim]

In one variant, "You will have what you reckoned."

138. Abu Muhammad 'Abdullah ibn 'Amr reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "There are forty good qualities, the highest of which is giving away all of an animal's milk. If anyone acts with any one of these qualities hoping for its reward and affirming what is promised by it, on account of it Allah will admit him to the Garden." [al-Bukhari]

139. 'Adi ibn Hatim said, "I heard the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, say, 'Protect yourselves from the Fire, even if only with half a date.'" [Agreed upon]

In a variant in both al-Bukhari and Muslim, he said that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "There is not a single one of you who will not be spoken to directly by his Lord without any mediator in between and he will look to his right and see only what he sent ahead, and will look to his left and see only what he sent ahead. He will look in front of him and see only the Fire facing him. Protect yourselves from the Fire, even if only with half a date. And if you cannot find even that, then with a good word."

140. Anas reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Allah is pleased with His slave who eats a morsel and praises Allah for it or takes a drink and praises Allah for it." [Muslim]

141. Abu Musa reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Every Muslim should give sadaqa." He said, "What about if someone has nothing to give?" He said, "He should get work and earn something and give sadaqa." He said, "And if is unable to do that?" He said, "He should help someone in need." He said, "What if he cannot find anyone?" He said, "He should command what is right or good." He said, "What if he cannot do that?" He said, "He should refrain from evil. That is sadaqa for him." [Agreed upon]