Rewarding Those Who Do Good
Allah is generous in His bounty to those who are generous in this life. He announces good tidings in both worlds to His faithful servants who strive to win His favor, fear and respect Him, obey the Qur'an as best as they can, and tell others of the Qur'an's morality. While still in this world, believers are honored with blessings that resemble those of Paradise.
Except for those who repent, believe, and act rightly. Allah will transform the wrong actions of such people into good – Allah is Ever-Forgiving,
The Qur'an reveals that those who do good will enjoy many blessings:
Anyone who acts rightly, male or female, being a believer, We will give them a good life and recompense them according to the best of what they did. (Surat an-Nahl, 97)
… "Good!" There is good in this world for those who do good, and the abode of the Hereafter is even better. How wonderful is the abode of those who guard against evil. (Surat an-Nahl, 30)
Abraham was a community in himself, exemplary, obedient to Allah, a man of pure natural belief. He was not an idolater. He was thankful for His blessings. Allah chose him and guided him to a straight path. We gave him good in this world, and in the Hereafter he will be one of the righteous. (Surat an-Nahl, 120-122)
From the Qur'an, we learn that it announced blessings first for the prophets and sincere believers. For example, Allah made our Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) wealthy in this life, "Did He not find you impoverished and enrich you?" (Surat ad-Duha, 8). In addition, David (pbuh), Solomon (pbuh), Dhu'l-Qarnayn (pbuh), Abraham (pbuh) and his family all enjoyed great wealth.
It is a glad tiding from Allah that His faithful servants receive wonderful blessings in this life both as a reward and as a source of joy, and as an indication of His generosity and protection. Just as the unbelievers' eternal pangs begin in this life, so do the believers begin to receive the eternal blessings promised to them.
Another blessing on the sincere believers is that their bad deeds are changed into good. As we said earlier, a human being is a creature that can easily make mistakes. A person may fall into error, commit sins unknowingly, behave incorrectly and say bad things. But the important thing is that he later repents of these errors and corrects his behavior. To His servants with such a sincere morality, our Lord gives glad tidings in the Qur'an:
Those are people whose best deeds will be accepted, and whose wrong deeds will be overlooked. They are among the Companions of the Garden, in fulfillment of the true promise made to them. (Surat al-Ahqaf, 16)
These glad tidings manifest the All-Merciful and Most Merciful Allah's endless generosity to His servants, as does His changing of bad deeds into good. The Qur'an tells us of this in the following words:
Anyone who acts rightly, male or female, being a mumin, We will give them a good life and We will recompense them according to the best of what they did.
Except for those who repent, believe, and act rightly: Allah will transform the wrong actions of such people into good – Allah is Ever-Forgiving, Most Merciful. For certainly all who repent and act rightly have turned sincerely toward Allah. (Surat al-Furqan, 70-71)
But as for those who believe, do right actions, and believe in what has been sent down to Muhammad – and it is the truth from their Lord – He will erase their bad actions and improve their condition. (Surah Muhammad, 2)
Believers believe in Allah Who created them, obey His commands and prohibitions, live according to the Qur'an's morality, and, most importantly, have great hope and expectation for the Afterlife. As a result, they are far removed from all sadness and spiritual anxiety, for they believe in destiny and that Allah has created everything. And so they submit to whatever happens, for "nothing can happen to us except what Allah has ordained for us"(Surat at-Tawba, 51). They seek Allah's favor and say: "Allah is enough for us and the Best of Guardians" (Surah Al 'Imran, 173).
Since the world is a place of trial, believers will encounter hunger, illness, sleeplessness, accidents, material loss, and other hardships as part of their destiny. Understanding that these events were designed to test their belief and that their patience will be the source of their eternal reward in the Hereafter, they also realize that these ordeals will help them mature. Thus they entrust themselves to Allah and remain content, joyful, and happy, free of all anxiety and spiritual imbalance. In fact, their joy and excitement actually increase.
This situation is quite the opposite for the unbelievers, for they suffer spiritual distress and various kinds of physical pain. Their sense of fear, despair, apprehension, pessimism, and negativity are the first stirrings of the pain they will suffer in Hell. In the Qur'an, Allah describes those people who deviate from the true path:
When Allah wills to guide someone, He expands his [or her] breast to Islam. When He wills to misguide someone, He makes his [or her] breast narrow and constricted, as if he [or] she were climbing up into the sky. That is how Allah defiles the unbelievers. (Surat al-An'am, 125)
For certainly all who repent and act rightly have turned
Allah will show His kindness to those believers who approach Him with fear and awe, repent, and ask forgiveness. If they are sincere, they will receive many wonderful blessings in this life:
Ask your Lord for forgiveness, and then repent to Him. He will let you enjoy a good life until a specified time, and will give His favor to all who merit it. But if you turn your backs, I fear for you the punishment of a Mighty Day. (Surah Hud, 3)
Believers do good to win Allah's approval and mercy so that they may attain Paradise. All they want is to serve and please Him; they have no desire to serve or seek any person's favor or respect, to acquire high rank or position. They fear, respect, and love Allah, always remembering that He is their sole friend and advocate. In the Qur'an, the Lord tells us that His devoted servants will be rewarded with a great and never-ending reward, that this reward will be perfect in all respects and that it will be given to them twice over:
When it is recited to them they, say: "We believe in it; it is the truth from our Lord. We were already Muslims [bowing down to Allah] before this came. They will be given their reward twice over, because they have been steadfast, warded off the bad with the good, and gave from what We provided them. (Surat al-Qasas, 53-54)
Those who believe and do right actions will have a wage that never fails. (Surah Fussilat, 8)
[O Prophet, tell your wives:] "But if you desire Allah, His Messenger, and the abode of the Hereafter, Allah has prepared an immense reward for those among you who do good." (Surat al-Ahzab, 29)
As for those who believe and do right actions, We will erase their bad actions and recompense them for the best of what they did.
Those who recite the Book of Allah, pray, and give of what We have provided for them, secretly and openly, hope for a transaction that will not prove profitless. [Believers hope] that He will pay them their wages in full and give them more from His unbounded favor. He is Ever-Forgiving, Ever-Thankful. (Surah Fatir, 29-30)
But those of you who obey Allah and His Messenger and act rightly will be given their reward twice over; and We have prepared generous provision for them. (Surat al-Ahzab, 31)
Those who produce a good action will receive ten like it. But those who produce a bad action will only be repaid with its equivalent; they will not be wronged. (Surat al-An'am, 160)
Men and women who are Muslims, men and women who are believers, men and women who are obedient, men and women who are truthful, men and women who are steadfast, men and women who are humble, men and women who give charity, men and women who fast, men and women who guard their chastity, men and women who remember Allah much: Allah has prepared forgiveness for them and an immense reward. (Surat al-Ahzab, 35)
We see in the above verses that Allah promises a great reward in return for His servants' sincere efforts to win His favor, do good, and spread the Qur'an's morality to all around them. The greatest reward is earning Allah's favor. Moreover, Allah promises a great and generous reward to those believers whose only goal in this life is to win His favor and mercy and attain Paradise. Another reward announced in the Qur'an is that the Lord will encompass these sincere believers with His mercy:
As for those who believed and did right actions, their Lord will admit them into His mercy. That is the Clear Victory. (Surat at-Jathiyya, 30)
No matter what conditions believers live under, they always trust in Allah, turn to Him, think about pleasing Him, and never compromise the Qur'an's morality. For this reason, Allah's mercy, love, and generosity are always with them. Allah has announced good tidings to His sincere servants who sincerely try to follow His way and gladly spend their energy and resources to win His favor; as a reward for what they have done, they will be endowed with blessings that will never end;
There is good news for them [the believers] in this world and in the Hereafter. There is no changing of Allah's words. That is the great victory! (Surah Yunus, 64)
Their Lord gives them the good news of His mercy and good pleasure, and Gardens in which they will enjoy everlasting delight. (Surat at-Tawba, 21)
In other words, Allah has given to believers the good tidings of Paradise, revealed that He will accept all of their good works, and that the beauty and happiness they will attain is very near. The knowledge that Allah's endless mercy and love are always with them, as well as the hope that He will reward them with Paradise give the believers' great contentment and relief. Allah also says that these glad tidings will be announced to believers by angels:
The angels descend on those who say "Our Lord is Allah" and then go straight: "Do not fear and do not grieve; rather, rejoice in the Garden you have been promised." (Surah Fussilat, 30)
As for those who believe and do right actions, We will lodge them in lofty chambers in the Garden, with rivers flowing under them, remaining in them timelessly, forever. How excellent is the reward of those who do (good). Those who are steadfast and put their trust in their Lord.
These glad tidings can be seen in the lives of several prophets mentioned in the Qur'an. For example, Allah answered Solomon's (pbuh) prayer: "My Lord, forgive me and give me a kingdom the like of which will never be granted to anyone after me. Truly, You are the Ever-Giving"(Surah Sad, 35), and gave him great possessions in this world. Elsewhere, the Qur'an mentions that great wealth and resources were given to prophets. As a generous reward, Allah has made believers inheritors of many blessings and beautiful things in Paradise. Along with this, He gives them blessings in this life and increases their closeness to Himself, as well as their zeal and desire for Paradise.
Allah promises that believers will always be happy and secure in this world, that He will give them strength and power to live under the rule of the moral teachings of the Qur'an:
Allah has promised those of you who believe and do right actions that He will make them successors in the land, just as He made those before them successors; will firmly establish for them their religion with which He is pleased; and give them, in place of their fear, security. "They worship Me, not associating anything with Me." Any who do not believe after that, such people are rebels. (Surat an-Nur, 55)
This is Allah's promise to all believers. Believers must thank and praise Him constantly for His incomparable generosity.
With Allah's permission, those who obey the Qur'an, listen to the Qur'an's advice, and prepare themselves for the Afterlife will live a good and endless life without defect and cleansed of all sin. Believers who follow the Qur'an's advice, show trust, submit when told to do so, and fear and respect Allah will enter His presence purified on Judgment Day.
This life will be eternal, as a manifestation of His name All-Merciful and Most Merciful, and every believer will give Him endless praise. As the Qur'an says:
As for those who believe and do right actions, We will admit them
Those who shun the worship of false deities and turn toward Allah will have good news. So give good news to My servants. Those who listen well to what is said and follow the best of it are the ones whom Allah has guided. They are the people of intelligence. (Surat az-Zumar, 17-18)
Elsewhere in the Qur'an, Allah tells us that, when that day comes, those who fear and respect Him will be greeted warmly at the gates of Paradise:
And those who fear [and respect] their Lord will be driven to the Garden in companies. When they arrive there, finding its gates open, its custodians will say to them: "Peace be upon you. You have done well, so enter it timelessly, forever." They will reply: "Praise be to Allah, Who has fulfilled His promise to us and made us the inheritors of this land, letting us settle in the Garden wherever we want. How excellent is the wage of those who work!" (Surat az-Zumar, 73-74)
Certainly, the best news people can receive is that they will live forever in Paradise, and that they will be welcomed by angels at the gate of Paradise as a reward for what they have done. These are glad tidings for those who listen well and follow the Qur'an's morality.
Believers, unlike unbelievers, have been promised that they will be welcomed upon their deaths by the beautiful words of angels, that their souls will be taken gently, and that their life in Paradise will begin:
[Those who guard against evil are] those the angels take in a virtuous state. They say: "Peace be upon you. Enter the Garden for what you did." (Surat an-Nahl, 32)
Allah has promised all of these things to those who submit sincerely to Him. Indeed, the endless life of Paradise will be His greatest reward to those who live according to the Qur'an's morality and thus enjoy the contentment sent by Him.
Their Lord gives them the good news of His mercy and good pleasure, and of Gardens in which they will enjoy everlasting delight. (Surat at-Tawba, 21)