[Surah Al-Qalam 68:4]
During the days of our Prophet ﷺ, the rich used to sponsor the Muslim armies, free the slaves by paying their dues and spend on poor and orphans. During the same time, there were some sahaba who were living in destitude. They were around seventy in number and were known as As’hab e Suffa as they stayed in the vicinity of the Masjid e Nabawi. They were so poor that many of them did not even have a pair of proper dress to cover themselves while some of them had to use thorns of cactus to stitch the parting on the dress to cover their bodies. They noticed their rich fellow Muslims involved in charity and felt that they were missing out on Ajr (reward). One day, they approached the Prophet ﷺ and said, “O Messenger of Allah, the rich have taken away all the rewards. They observe the prayer as we do, and they keep the fasts as we do, and they give Sadaqah (charity) from their surplus riches.” Upon this, the Prophet ﷺ said: “Has Allah not prescribed for you (a course) by following which you can also do Sadaqah? Verily in every tasbih ( Subhanallah) there is a sadaqah, every takbir (Allahu Akbar) is a sadaqah, every tahmid ( Alhamdulillah) is a sadaqah, every tahlil ( Lailaha illallah) is a sadaqah. The rich sahaba saw this and they, too, started doing Tasbeeh so the poor sahaba went to the Prophet ﷺ again and complained. This time the Prophet ﷺ said, “Have sabr, it’s the bounty of Allah and He gives whomever He wishes.” (Muslim)
Generosity of A’as bin Wail without Tawheed, could not benefit him
A’as bin Wail was a leader of Quraish and very generous. He was a respected man. He had two sons, Hisham and Amr who had embraced Islam. Amr ibn Al A’as was a military general. A’as ibn Wail, during the days of ignorance, had pledged to give away one hundred camels in charity. It was a huge charity. Even one camel was very expensive in those days. But before he could do it, he died. Both the sons were obedient and wanted to fulfill the vow of their father. So each of them decided to give away fifty camels. Hisham (May Allah be pleased with him) bought and gave away fifty camels in charity.
But Amr bin Al A’as (May Allah be pleased with him) came to the Prophet ﷺ and reported the whole matter. He wanted to know if his father will get any benefit if he gave away fifty camels in charity. He replied, “Had your father died on Tawheed, then he would have been benefited even if you had fasted on his behalf or given charity on his behalf.”
But what about the reward of good deeds of one who rejects Allah?
Allah ﷻ does not let the efforts of a person go in vain. If a Believer does a good deed, he will get the reward in this world or hereafter or in both. There are some good deeds whose reward will be given only on the day of Judgement.
A man will be brought before Allah on the day of Judgment and be rewarded for his good deeds and then there will be a mountainous size of his good deeds shown to him to be rewarded. He will ask, “What is this for?” It will be told to him, “These are your those supplications which you made in your life but were not given there. Now you can have them here.” The man will exclaim, “I wish all of my supplications were rewarded here.” For a non-believer, he will get his due reward for his good deeds in this life, but nothing in Akhera.
Anas ibn Malik (May Allah be pleased with him) says, “The Prophet ﷺ said,
“ Believer gets his reward in this world ( at times) and in hereafter (at times), but for a disbeliever who does a good deed, he will be rewarded in this world till when he dies, he will not have any reward pending”.
If a Disbeliever does a good deed, he gets his reward in this world and there is a hadith which says that had it not been painful for the believers, Allah would have turned the ladders of the houses of disbelievers into gold (to reward them for their good deeds in this world).
Therefore, for a Believer, it is Sabr that is important as compared to instant success.