Hadith 10. Acceptance of deeds

On the authority of Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) who said: “The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Verily Allah the most high is Pure and He does not accept (anything) except that it is pure. And verily Allah commanded the believers to do that which He has commanded the Messengers. The most high has said: “O Messengers! Eat of good things and do right”. And the most high said: “O believers! Eat of good things that We have provided for you”. Then he the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) mentioned a man who after a long journey is dishevelled and dust-coloured. [The man] stretched his hands out towards the sky and says: “O Lord, O Lord, while his food is unlawful, his drink is unlawful, his clothing is unlawful and his nourishment is unlawful. How is he to be answered [in that state]? “


Reported in Muslim


Brief Commentary:


  • This hadith teaches us about the acceptance of deeds
  • طيب  (translated as pure) linguistically means:
    • Pure
    • Free from defects
    • Good
    • Wholesome
  • The first part of the hadith establishes that Allah is طيب
  • In order for an action to be accepted, it needs to be طيب, thus not have any riyaa’ (showing off) or be a bid’ah
  • Not only do our actions needs to be طيب , but our aqeedah needs to be طيب  too, so we need to free it from any wrong beliefs and thoughts about Allah
  • By Allah accepting an action, this could mean:
    • He is pleased with it
    • He rewards us for it
    • We are not required to do this action thereafter i.e. it has been fulfilled
  • Ibn Rajab Al-Hanbali said that Allah’s acceptance that is being referred to in this hadith falls under the first or second meaning of acceptance and not under the third meaning. This is because we can do an action and the action is not طيب, e.g. we pray but have hardly if any concentration in our salah, then Allah will accept it in that we are not required to do it again, but will not accept it in that He is pleased with it, or that we are rewarded for it because this action was not طيب
  • In the hadith, we are being compared to the prophets (peace be upon them) in that we have been both ordered to do eat from that which is طيب. We should see this comparison as a privilege to us and strive to achieve what that which we and the prophets alike have been ordered to do
  • The prophet (peace be upon him) described the man raising his arms in du’aa in specific descriptions and these were mentioned for a reason. This is because all of these features about him are contributors to acceptance of du’aa. He was:
    • Travelling – Time of acceptance of du’aa
    • Dishevelled and dust-coloured/covered – sign of humility, which is a contributor to acceptance of du’aa
    • He raised his hands to the sky – recognising the blessings of Allah over us, which is a contributor to acceptance of du’aa
    • He began his du’aa with “ya rabb” – This signifies his weakness and need for Allah, which is a contributor to acceptance of du’aa
  • Despite all of the positive requirements that the man had, due to what he did, Allah did not accept his du’aa


Benefits and Action points to take from this hadith:


  • Our aqeedah (beliefs) must be correct and free from any incorrect ideas
  • Our actions need to be sincere for the sake of Allah and free from showing off or being happy with it
  • Our wealth must be acquired from a halal means and spent in a halal way
  • Our food and drink must be halal
  • Focus more in purifiying our actions, because an action may be accepted in the dunya sense i.e. the obligation has been fulfilled, but that doesn’t mean we will be rewarded for it or Allah is pleased with it, as that will occur if the action is in fact طيب  (which incorporates all four linguistic meanings of the word)
  • From the contributors of acceptance of du’aa are:
    • Travelling
    • Standing with a broken soul in front of Allah
    • Humbling yourself physically and spiritually in front of Allah
    • Raising your hands to the sky
    • Acknowledging Allah’s blessings upon you
    • Beginning your du’aa with “يا رب”
    • Signifying your weakness and need for Allah
    • Being insistent and repetitive in your du’aa
  • Stay away from eating or drinking from haram, or wearing or using products purchased with haram money, as that will lead to Allah rejecting our du’aas
  • For a du’aa to be accepted, you don’t necessarily have to get what you asked for, as Allah may give you something better but you do not realise it


19 thoughts on “Hadith 10. Acceptance of deeds

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