Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Take up good deeds only as much as you are able, for the best deeds are those done regularly even if they are few.”
Source: Sunan Ibn Mājah 4240
Grade: Sahih (authentic) according to Al-Albani
Often, as Muslims, we’re called upon to do more and more good deeds each day. Voluntary prayers, voluntary fasts, extra charity, and the like are recommended and indeed good for us too. But at times, these can be really difficult for people, especially for those struggling with their imaan. This is one hadith that needs to be considered then. It’s not how much we do that is important, but the quality of our deeds that stand out when it comes down to the final verdict.
Let us look at another hadith in this regard.
Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “Do good deeds properly, sincerely and moderately and know that your deeds will not make you enter Paradise, and that the most beloved deed to Allah is the most regular and constant even if it were little.” (Sahih Bukhari)
One of the most important qualities that we should possess as Muslims is consistency in our actions. If we are not consistent with our obligatory acts of worship, then pursuing the voluntary actions become a moot point. If we cannot wake up and pray Fajr, then our priorities should be focused towards fulfilling that obligation towards Allah instead of trying to pray Dhuha everyday.
It is only through consistency in our obligatory actions that we will be able to keep our imaan firm. Imaan as we know doesn’t look like a straight line when plotted on a graph, but it has dips and peaks. While we cannot turn these dips and peaks into straight lines, it is upon us to ensure that from a particularly high imaan level we don’t come crashing down to an all time low.
To prevent such a crash we need to keep our actions consistent. It’s not just about praying on time or reciting Qur’an everyday or whatever other forms of worship that we take up being performed regularly. Our beliefs should tie in with our words, and with our actions. We cannot be liars ourselves and expect complete honesty from other people. We cannot be struggling with our own prayers and advise other Muslims to pray on time. We cannot have a shaky relationship with the Qur’an and then advocate the opposite for everything else.
Islam is a deen of moderation. There is no compulsion in Deen for voluntary acts and we need not take up more than what we can handle as individuals. It is important that no matter if we only stick to only the obligatory deeds, we do so regularly, consistently and without fail.