Relying solely on one’s deeds

This quote by Ibn Ata Allah Al-Iskandari is based on a well-known orthodox position in Islam, that nobody is guranteed salvation only because of his deeds. Therefore if one is depressed and loses hope because of a sin or a slip, that is a sign that a person is relying solely on his deeds.

Narrated Abu Huraira:
Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “The deeds of anyone of you will not save you (from the (Hell) Fire).” They said, “Even you (will not be saved by your deeds), O Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ)?” He said, “No, even I (will not be saved) unless and until Allah bestows His Mercy on me. Therefore, do good deeds properly, sincerely and moderately, and worship Allah in the forenoon and in the afternoon and during a part of the night, and always adopt a middle, moderate, regular course whereby you will reach your target (Paradise). – Sahih Bukhari Vol. 8, Book 76, Hadith 470

This does not mean that our deeds are useless, rather what this means is that the key to Jannah is not as simple as it may seem. It depends on Tawfeeq. Tawfeeq is both the ability and the opportunity to do something and this happens when all the means come together so you can do the good you want, and this is only from Allah ‘azza wa jall.

So how does one get Tawfeeq? When a person’s intention becomes sincere and when they wish for what is correct and proper, then will Allah grant them tawfiq. For this reason, it (sincerity) is from the biggest of the causes of tawfeeq as can be seen in the statement of the slave of Allah, Shu’ayb:

“…And my guidance (tawfeeq) cannot come except from Allah in Him I trust and unto Him I repent.”
[Hud: 88]


  1. Sincerity in intention
  2. True belief that tawfeeq can only come from Allah
  3. Repentance
  4. Turning back to Allah and
  5. Reliance upon Allah

are all the causes of tawfeeq.

We must strive to be among  those, who, when they do good, do not see themselves as originators of the good deed, rather recognize that the tawfeeq (the ability and the opportunity) is a mercy and a blessing of Allah. When they do good, they act with pure intentions and with sincerity. They realize that their success is based on Allah’s acceptance of their deeds. Their fear of Allah does not diminish because of their good deeds. Their hope of Jannah and success does not increase because of their deeds.

May Allah give us Tawfeeq to do good and accept our deeds and give us Jannah out of His Mercy. Ameen.

Disclaimer: I am not an Alim. Just another layman trying to navigate through life therefore do not take your aqeeda from me. May Allah forgive my mistakes. Based on the following references:…/001-the-hikam-with-shaykh-zahir-ba…/


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