Goodness and good deeds versus evil

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To all are degrees (ranks) according to their deeds: for thy Lord is not unmindful of anything that they do. Q:6:132

And the Hypocrites also, these were told: ‘Come, fight in the way of Allah, or drive’. They said: ‘Had we known there would be a fight, we should certainly have followed you’. They were that day nearere to Unbelief than to Faith. Saying with their lips what was not in their hearts. But Allah hath full knowledge of all they conceal. Q:3:167

O ye who believe! Eat not up your property among yourselves in vanities: but let there be amongst you traffic and trade by mutual good-will: nor kill yourselves: for verily Allah hath been to you most merciful! If any do that in rancour and injustice, soon shall We cast him into the Fire: and easy it is for Allah. If ye eschew the most heinous of the things which ye are forbidden to do, We shall remit your evil deeds, and admit you to a Gate of great honour. And in no wise covet those things in which Allah hath bestowed His gifts more freely on some of you than on others: to men is allotted what they earn, and to women what they earn: but ask Allah of His bounty. For Allah hath full knowledge of all things. Q:4:29-32

Serve Allah, and join not any partners with Him; and do good – to parents, kinsfolk, orphans, those in need, neighbours who are of king neighbours who are strangers, the Companion by your side, the way-farer, and what your right hands possess (prisoners, slaves): for Allah loveth not the arrogant, the vainglorious; those who are niggardly, enjoin niggardliness on others, hide the bounties which Allah hath bestowed on them: for We have prepared, for those who resist Faith, a punishment that steeps them in contempt; nor those who spend of their substance to be seen of men, and have no faith in Allah and the Last Day: if any take the Satan for their intimate, what a dreadful intimate he is! And what burden were it on them if they had faith in Allah and in the Last Day, and they spent out of what Allah hath given them for sustenance? For Allah hath full knowledge of them. Allah is never unjust in the least degree: if there is any good, He doubleth it, and giveth from His Own self a great reward. How then if We brought from each People a witness, and We brought thee as a witness against these People! Q:4:36-41

O ye who believe! Approach not prayers in a state of intoxication, until ye can understand all that ye say, nor in a state of ceremonial impurity except when you are passing by, until after washing your (whole) body. … Q:4:43

Wherever ye are, death will find you out, even if ye are in towers built up strong and high! If some good befalls them they say ‘This is from Allah’; but if evil, they say ‘This is from thee’ (O Prophet). Say: ‘All things are from Allah’. But what hath come to these people. That they fail to understand a single fact? Whatever good happens to thee, is from Allah; but whatever evil happens to thee, is from thyself and We have sent thee as a Messenger to mankind. And enough is Allah for a witness. He who obeys the Messenger, obeys Allah: but if any turn away, We have not sent thee to watch over them. Q:4:78-80

The Hypocrites – they seek to deceive Allah but it is Allah who deceives them. When they stand up to prayer, they stand without earnestness, to be seen of men, but little do they hold Allah in remembrance; wavering between this and that belonging neither to these nor those whom Allah leaves straying, – never wilt thou find for him the Way. Q:4:142,143

The Hypocrites will be in the lowest depths of the Fire: no helper wilt thou find for them; except for those who repent, mend, hold fast to Allah and make their religious devotion sincere to Allah: if so they will be with the Believers. And soon will Allah grant to the Believers a reward of immense value. What can Allah gain by your punishment. If ye are grateful and ye believe? Nay, it is Allah that recogniseth and knoweth all things. Allah loveth not the shouting of evil words in public speech, except by one who has been wronged, for Allah is He who heareth and knoweth all things. Whether you do openly a good deed or conceal it or cover evil with pardon, surely Allah is ever pardoning powerful. Q:4:145-149

It is those who believe and mix not their beliefs with wrong that are in security, for they are on guidance. That was Our argument which We gave to Ibrahim against his people; We raise whom We will, degree after degree: for thy Lord is full of wisdom and knowledge. Q:6:82.83

Verily he who comes to his Lord as a sinner, for him is Hell: therein shall he neither die nor live. But such as come to Him as Believers who have worked righteous deeds, for them are ranks exalted, gardens of Eternity (‘Adn), beneath which flow rivers: they will dwell therein for aye: such is the reward of those who purify themselves. Q:20:74-76

‘O my son!’ If there be the weight of a mustard-seed and it were in a rock, or in the heavens or on earth, Allah will bring it forth: for Allah is subtle and Aware. ‘O my son! estabish regular prayer, enjoin what is just, and forbid what is wrong: and bear with patient constancy whatever betide thee; for this is firmness in affairs. And swell not thy cheek (for pride) at men. Nor walk in insolence through the earth: for Allah loveth not any arrogant boaster. And be moderate in thy pace, and lower thy voice; for the harshest of sounds without doubt is the braying of the ass. Q:31:16-19

For Muslim (surrendered) men and women, for believing men and women, for devout men and women for true men and women, for men and women who are patient and constant, for men and women who humble themselves, for men and women who give in charity, for men and women who fast for men and women who guard their chastity, and for men and women who engage much in Allah’s remembrance for them has Allah prepared forgiveness and great reward. Q:33:35

Nor can Goodness and Evil be equal. Repel with what is better: then will he between whom and thee was hatred become as it were thy friend and intimate! And no one will be granted such goodness except those who exercise patience and self-restraint, none but persons of the greatest good fortune. And if an incitement to discord is made to thee by the Satan, seek refuge in Allah. He is the One Who hears and knows all things. Q:41:34-36

Whoever works righteousness benefits his own soul: nor is thy Lord ever unjust to His servants. Q:41:46

Man does not weary of asking for good, but if ill touches him, he gives up all hope is lost in despair. When We give him a taste of some mercy from Us, after some adversity has touched him, he is sure to say, ‘This is due to me: I think not that the Hour will be established; but if I am brought back to my Lord, I have good in His sight!’ But We will show the Unbelievers the truth of all that they did, and We shall give them the taste of a severe chastisement. When We bestow favours on man, he turns away, and gets himself remote on his side; and when evil seizes him, full of prolonged prayer! Q:41:49-51

Tell those who believe, to forgive those who do not hope for the Days of Allah; it is for Him to recompense each People according to what they have earned. If any one does a righteous deed, it is to his own benefit; if he does evil, it works adversary. In the end will ye be brought back to your Lord. Q:45:14,15

Then seest thou such a one as takes as his god his own vain desire? Allah has, knowing left him astray, and sealed his hearing and his heart and put a cover on his sight. Who, then, will guide him after Allah? Will ye not then receive admonition? Q:45:23

And thou wilt see every nation bowing the knee: every nation will be called to its Record: ‘This Day shall ye be recompensed for all that ye did! ‘This Our Record speaks about you with truth: for We were wont to put on record all that ye did.’ Then, as to those who believed and did righteous deeds, their Lord will admit them to His Mercy: that will be the manifest triumph. But as to those who rejected Allah: ‘Were not Our Signs rehearsed to you? But ye were arrogant, and were a people given to sin! And when it was said that the promise of Allah was true, and that the Hour – there was no doubt about it, ye used to say, ‘We know not what is the Hour: we only think it a conjecture, and we have no firm assurance’.’ Then will appear to them the evil of what they did, and they will be completely encircled by that which they used to mock at! It will also be said: ‘This Day We will forget you as ye forgot the meeting of this Day of yours! And your abode is the Fire, and no helpers have ye! Q:45:28-34

That what is good in Islam, is further elaborated with examples in the ahadith, traditions of the life and sayings of the prophet peace be upon him, however, the basics are mentioned in the Qur’an. And if we wish to answer what ‘good’ means in the faith, we should in fact know the psychological basis behind everything considered praiseworthy according general norms. What we should remember, is that which is good and just in everyday standards, also finds grace by Allah swt. In fact the community also decides what is good, goodness also means to forgive someone else and not harm them according to the other person’s standards. You are not the only one to judges what’s injust. Here we may think of charity followed by insult. The Qur’an in any case mentions the qualities of thankfulness, patience in adversity, goodness and generosity to kinsmen,  with special mention of the orphaned child, travelers and others next to us, modesty and endurance as important good qualities. Goodness is also characterized by sincereness and intention. If your words and behavior parallel what lives in your heart, you are sincere. Reliability is one of the main islamic virtues. The relationship with Allah swt should also be based on sincereness; prayer is no prayer as soon as it is not really addressed to Allah and charity no charity when this intention is not behind it. We should show one face to te various people we relate with, including ourselves and Allah swt. However, also here boundaries apply. Selfrestraint and moderation are to be preferred over unlimited and impulsive rudeness, on whatever field, because on this path a lot of damage may and shall be done. Honesty and openness is not equal to trampling over everything, which is unjust and therefore sinful. Avoidance of restraining evil from a positive wish to do good is no hypocrisy, on the contrary. Hypocrsisy is allowing evil will to persist and hiding it with good deeds for display only. A believer never forgets that serving Allah is the first assignment in life and will remember Allah oft and eagerly, and also do good to obtain His favor. Important aids to achieve goodness are cleanlyness, regularity, where prayer is a good gauge and weigh moment, and also avoidance of any addiction. Whoever takes intoxicants, loses focus and is not fully able to do good. Those may not pray either. It is rewarding to do good: the highest ranks will in the end be for the believers and that is a beautiful prospect. Contrary to what is often said, this reward is in store for both men and women.

The next question then is: what is evil according to Islam and where does it come from?

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