This particular hadith was sent to me recently but I feel as though there are parts of it missing. could you please let me know what the complete hadith is or whether this is the complete hadith.
Narrated by Abu Hurairah (Radhiallaho anho): Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wasallam) said, “The deeds of anyone of you will not save you (from the Hellfire).” They said, “Even you (will not be saved by your deeds), O Allah’s Apostle?” He said, “No, even I (will not be saved) unless and until Allah bestows His Mercy on me. Therefore, do good deeds properly, sincerely and moderately, and worship Allah in the forenoon and in the afternoon and during a part of the night, and always adopt a middle, moderate, regular course whereby you will reach your target (Paradise).” (Bukhari Vol. 8 : No. 470)
No significant part of the referred narrative seems to be missing.
As reported in the narrative, the Prophet (pbuh) has taught his followers that no one among them should become conceited and unmindful of satan’s attacks because of his good deeds. Man, has the tendency of over estimating his good deeds and being carried away because of whatever good he does. A person who spends more in God’s way can easily become prone to looking down upon those who spend less. The same is the case with all good deeds. Such an attitude can easily develop a sense of arrogance and conceit in a person, which may ultimately result in making him unmindful of his duties toward God and his brethren. The Prophet (pbuh) in this narrative has, in my opinion, pointed out this danger. The message in this narrative is that a person should never become conceited and boastful of his good deeds, he must always remember that it is for his own benefit and good that good deeds be done. God does not need our deeds, it is purely His mercy that He accepts our deeds and rewards us for them. He is above all. We can neither contribute nor take away even a minutest part of His kingdom. Thus, even if we do a world of good, it is only with God’s mercy that we will qualify for His everlasting bliss.
If we can keep this spirit alive, it will help us do more and more good in this life, but if, on the contrary, a person becomes conceited and boastful of the good that he has already done, it would have a negative effect on his motivation and initiative to do good.
If seen in the correct perspective, this narrative ascribed to the Prophet (pbuh) conveys the same message as given in Surah Al-Muminoon 23: 60. In the referred verse one of the qualities of those that shall qualify for God’s eternal bliss is described as:
Those who give, whatever they give [in God’s way], and [yet] their hearts are filled with awe.
Thus, true believers do all the good that they can but never become conceited. They spend all that they can in God’s way but are still awed by the thought of the Day when they shall face the Master of the worlds.
23rd January 1999