As people of Imaan we do good only for the pleasure of Allah Ta’ala. This should be the only driving force in the life of every Muslim. Anything else or any other objective is frowned at and out rightly rejected by Allah Ta’ala. And even worse than this is that on the Day of Qiyaamah all deeds done for other than the pleasure of Allah Ta’ala would weight us down and drag us into the depths of Hell-Fire (We seek Allah Ta’ala’s protection from such acts)

Abu Nasr As-Sayyad was a very poor fisherman. One day he had no food for his wife and son so he went to the masjid and started crying. The Imam on learning of his situation took him to a river bank and told him to offer 2 rakaats of salaah and thereafter throw the fishing net into the waters with the name of Allah Ta’ala. Very soon after casting in his net, he caught a large fish and went to the market to sell it for a loaf of bread. After having gotten the loaf of bread he headed for home but on his way he met a destitute woman and her son. They too like his own wife and son were starving. On seeing the loaf in his hand, they stared longingly at it in hunger.

He thought of them and then his own family, and remembered that Allah Ta’ala would not forsake him if he were to part with his only loaf for His pleasure. So he gave the loaf of bread to the destitute woman and her child. The child smiled and the woman started weeping in gratitude. He returned home a bit distressed, but soon after he heard a knock on the door. The man standing in his doorway asked “Is this the house of Abu Nasr As-Sayyad?” and he replied “Yes”. The man gave him some money saying to him that he was asked to hand over this money to him by someone whose identity he was asked to not disclose.

After seeing to the needs of his family As-Sayyad used the remainder of the money to start a business. His business soon flourished and he became one of the wealthiest merchants in the city. So wealthy did he become that he was able to give a thousand dirhams in charity in one go with the slightest ease! This in turn led to him becoming famous amongst his people for his charitable ways. Whenever his name came up people spoke of his generosity above and over everything else. Soon he became proud and conceited and these swelled up in his heart. He still continued to give but now it was with another motive besides the pleasure of Allah Ta’ala which was popularity amongst his people. One night he went to sleep and saw in a dream that it was the Day of Qiyaamah, and names were being called out to measure their good and bad deeds. His turn came and angels put his evil deeds against his good ones.

His evil deeds were as heavy as a mountain but his good deeds as light as a bundle of cotton, because even though he had given thousands in charity it was in vain because of his showing off and lack of sincerity. So the angel asked “Is there anything left?” And there was only one thing left – the loaf of bread he had given the poor woman. It was added to the good deeds which suddenly tipped the scales making them heavier but still not heavier than his evil deeds. So the angel asked again if there was anything left. There turned out to be still something left, which was the smile of the child. It was added to the scale and his good deeds became equal to the evil ones. Again the angel asked and the last thing left were the tears of the woman, which were as heavy as a sea of tears when added. This outweighed the evil deeds and he heard the angel saying that he was saved! He woke up that night and glorified Allah Ta’ala for that loaf of bread. From that day onward he continued with his charitable ways but was always wary of insincerity creeping into them.


  • Allah tests those who have even been given very little to see their trust in Him when they part with even this little.
  • Good deeds given with sincerity, no matter how simple, may be compensated with multiple rewards staring in this very life. The greater rewards await him in the hereafter.
  • Acts of charity or virtue done without sincerity are futile and may only secure name and fame in this world.
  • Allah may save someone based on a single event or circumstance in his/her life because of his sincerity.

Name and fame today will result in blame and shame tomorrow in the court of Allah Ta’ala…

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