Muslims have a firm belief in the Day of Judgement and in the Hereafter. We know this life is a test and we will be judged according to what we do in this life. Every human being who believes in the life after death wishes to go to heaven, the eternal Paradise. Questions of how to get there and what deeds are required of us then arise. To answer these questions, Allah says in Qur’an:
“And give good news (O Muhammad) to those who believe and do good deeds, that they will have gardens (Paradise) in which rivers flow…” [Qur’an, 2:25]
Another verse, very accurately, calls it a great achievement:
“Verily, those who had faith and had done righteous deeds will have gardens beneath which rivers flow. That is the great achievement.” [Qur’an, 85:11]
As both the above verses mention, the foremost requirement is the faith. Faith, itself, has many branches. Islam requires you to firmly believe in the One God, His angels, His messengers, His books, the Day of Judgement, and Providence. Most of these are unseen. We must have faith, without any trace of doubt, in all of these.
“O you who believe, have faith in Allah and His messenger and the book that He revealed to His messenger and the scripture which He revealed before. Whoever disbelieves in Allah, His angels, His books, His messengers, and the Last Day has certainly gone far astray.” [Qur’an, 4:136]
Faith means a complete submission of heart, affirmation of tongue, and the true actions of the limbs. All three aspects are equally important.
The second thing which Allah asks Muslims to do to attain the glorious, never-ending life of Paradise is doing righteous deeds. Faith is incomplete without the actions which are in line with it.
Good deeds can be divided into two classes: those done solely for Allah, such as Dhikr, Salah, Fasts, Zakat, and Hajj; those done for His Creations to please Him, such as being kind to humans, animals, and plants, keeping them away from harm, and being just.
Prophet of Allah (P.B.U.H) said:
“Faith has seventy-odd – or sixty-odd – branches, the best of which is saying Laa ilaaha ill-Allaah, and the least of which is removing something harmful from the road, and modesty is a branch of faith.” [Bukhari, Muslim]
Every deed of worship and humanitarianism is, hence, part of the faith and is likely to give us a chance to enter Paradise. However, we can never do enough deeds to “buy or trade for” the glorious heavens. Allah’s mercy will be the deciding matter on the Day of Judgement.
More than anything else, it is Allah’s will and mercy that will allow us the ultimate reward. Allah’s Apostle (P.B.U.H) said:
“None of you will enter Paradise because of his good deeds alone. None would be rescued from the Hellfire, not even myself, except for the mercy of Allah.” [Muslim]
On our part, to reach the door to eternal Paradise, we should have an unwavering belief, perform righteous deeds, and pray to Allah (S.W.T) steadily for His mercy. May Allah (S.W.T) reward us with the best of His bounties.